Energy management steps forward

Energy management was last a big issue in the 1970s. Since then, the impetus has not been maintained and energy demands per employee have risen. Now many organisations are beginning to tackle their energy issues, but not in a long-term way. Malcolm West, AEA Technology, shows you how.

Energy costs impact the bottom line, and while we all would like to reduce our energy bills it has always been a difficult task to achieve with scarce resources and other tasks taking priority. This is changing now with the application of the climate change levy (CCL) which saw electricity prices rise by 15 per cent from 2 April. Energy usage is now a major cost-reduction opportunity for many companies.

AEA Technology helps companies to optimise their energy usage through a long-term partnership delivering strategy advice, training, awareness campaign support and leading edge software tools as well as the traditional on-site audits. As energy usage is increasingly seen as an environmental issue, AEA also helps organisations to link it with ISO 14001, preparation for IPPC and corporate environmental reporting.

In particular AEA's Monitor-Pro range of environmental and energy data management software enables their customers to better understand energy use. Mike Birks, senior energy consultant, comments: "Often managers wade through tables of numbers on a spreadsheet to try and ascertain how they are performing. Frequently all the invested effort produces is figures of a five per cent up or down on last month, and no explanation of the underlying reasons."

In contrast, Monitor-Pro software draws out the trends from the data in a quick and intuitive way enabling anybody from the boardroom to the shop floor to identify where and how savings can be made. Better still, the software can provide regular reports so improvements in performance can be seen.

This information also acts as a baseline when looking at large scale savings that might require capital investment, or when planning how to improve utilities' demand profiling, infrastructure changes and when addressing operational issues.

The software can be used as a remote service or can be operated in-house with AEA support. For organisations that are investing in their intranets as a business focal point, AEA can provide a hub with energy reports, on-line training, hints and tips, expert contacts and much more. Whatever the delivery method, the investment is small compared to the potential savings you can make, and our broader package of support services can help to identify, deliver and maintain the cost benefits.


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