The real benefit of any app or application is that it provides a pre-packaged approach to achieving a desired outcome. If you consider the outcomes any organisation needs to achieve positive energy and carbon management, they could fall into three key categories: accounting, stakeholder engagement and carbon disclosure.
Of course, there could be overlaps in any of those areas. Despite the availability of ISO50001 now as the international standard of an energy management system (EnMS), there are still many definitions offered to us by solution providers and experts as to what constitutes an EnMS. Regardless of whether it is called a BMS, aM&T system or an EnMS, a solution is still fundamentally a group of applications merged together to enable good energy and carbon management, and probably more importantly cost reductions.
However, consider applications in a holistic manner, with a helicopter view of all organisational requirements, and the benefits are clear to be seen. The central, most important application is that of energy asset management. This is very simply best referred to as “one version of the truth”.
It is essential that all assets that consume energy, assets that measure energy and related assets are in a central register that is maintained by robust process to ensure that every other application can function effectively. Too many organisations spend far too much time refactoring an “asset list” for every new compliance requirement or energy project to the point that it distracts from long term success.
With your asset register in place, data collection can be organised, again into a single application – it does not matter where relevant information is collected (ERP, BMS etc.). Systems integration can be used to enable the collection of data once in order to use multiple times. Integration does not have to be complex, it does not have to be via expensive hardware as sometimes simple processes can be ample.
With good asset management and all data available within one location different function are able to use applications relevant to their role requirements to achieve success without conflict.
Financial teams are able to carry out accounting of energy costs and are able to validate the real (financial) success of investment in energy projects. Engineers are able to use detailed information to track projects and undertake measurement and verification. Automatic monitoring and targeting (aM&T) features will help energy managers set priorities with alarms, alerts and insightful reporting, but maybe more importantly not spend all their valuable time on administration tasks.
Sustainability managers are able to manage carbon disclosure, for the Carbon Disclosure Project, Carbon Reduction Commitment or Mandatory Carbon Reporting – or in house Corporate Social Responsibility without spending weeks preparing the boundary of reporting. Beyond this, stakeholder engagement can be as wide ranging as required, simple or complex, owned by technical or non-technical staff. The approach is not limited to energy, all utilities can be managed in the same approach, water being the latest consideration for many companies.
extracts from water energy and environment magazine February/March 2014
digitalenergy Professional is focused on real time data to provide integrated and insightful reporting which generates relevant information management with the principles of energy management. Unlike in traditional monitoring systems where the user has to find the savings – the saving find the user with this approach.
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