What is an Energy Management System

What is an Energy Management System

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An Energy Management System, or EnMS, is a system that ensures that effective energy management  – using electricity, gas, and fuels in an efficient manner – becomes part of business as usual. Achieving this involves measuring energy usage, establishing indicators to monitor performance – such as kWh per widget, implementing procedures to reduce wastage of energy, and ensuring that energy management activities are appropriately resourced. 

International standard ISO 50001:2018 Energy Management Systems, is a guide to implementing an EnMS within an organisation. A requirement of this standard is continual improvement in energy performance. And with this requirement, one of the key problems with the First Fuel – Energy Efficiency – is fixed.

EE the under-utilised first fuel

The International Energy Agency identifies Energy Efficiency (EE) as the First Fuel. Energy that isn’t used is energy that doesn’t need to be generated. However, within the context of an organization, harnessing the savings from EE is not necessarily easily done. This is because it requires both time and money to identify and implement measures to reduce energy use. And whilst, in some cases, achieving energy savings is easily done – by tweaking a few HVAC settings for example – other measures which may give larger savings aren’t implemented because of the significant effort required. 

Because of this most businesses are wasting energy to some extent. Energy Efficiency, the first fuel, isn’t being tapped to its full potential.

How an EnMS fixes the first fuel

When an organisation adopts an EnMS its attitude to energy efficiency changes. A businesses adopting ISO 50001 has to continually improve its energy performance. And viewing energy efficiency as a “must have”, rather than a “should-have”, means that those opportunities that previously seemed to be too hard are now achievable. All businesses view financial profitability as a “must have”. Even businesses operating in intensely competitive environments, and which are already financially efficient. 

When an EnMS is adopted, making efficient use of energy becomes important to everyone in the business. And once its important, opportunities to save energy become easier to see, because more people are looking for them. 

Example of an EnMS systems in action

The Crompton Mill of Catalyst Paper in Canada is an example of an EnMS in action. A range of energy efficiency measures at Crompton mill has already been implemented before the EnMS was adopted, and seemingly it would be hard to find more savings. But by implementing an EnMS Catalyst Paper was able to identify even more opportunities. And, year on year, continue to improve its energy performance. 

Which businesses are best suited to an EnMS?

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Whilst making energy management part of Business as Usual can yield benefits for many businesses, medium and larger sized organisations usually have the most to gain. 

Any organisation which is currently certified to ISO 9001 Quality Management Systems or ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems will find it relatively easy to also adopt ISO 50001 Energy Management Systems. 

How to get started

A starting point is securing top management commitment. This would include the organisation formally adopting an Energy Management Policy, setting targets, and allocating responsibility within the organisation. 

Sustemy has just released its Fundamentals of Energy Management Systems course, developed by expert Management Systems auditor Brian Pittard. In this course you’ll learn more about what’s involved in setting up an energy management system, and be one step closer to harnessing the full potential of energy efficiency in your business. 

Take this course to learn how to make better use of the First Fuel, and adopt a Business as Usual Approach to cutting your energy use and greenhouse gas emissions whilst becoming more environmentally more sustainable. 

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