5 reasons to monitor your energy production

Soufiane Elbaz

Due to recent technological developments, energy monitoring systems are more affordable than ever. However, energy production analysis is still often overlooked. Many organizations are not tracking their energy production and do not have a comprehensive understanding of their primary energy needs and areas of inefficiency. They are thus forgoing the significant saving and operational opportunities associated with energy monitoring.

Read on to learn about the five key financial and operational benefits of implementing an energy monitoring system.

 

Reason 1: Noticing and explaining excessive energy use

Before receiving the monthly energy bill, companies are often unaware of their excessive energy production. In many cases, occasional energy losses go unnoticed since the overall monthly energy bills do not indicate whether the monthly expenditure is reasonable or excessive. With operational changes, energy wastes can be rectified. Something as simple as turning off some loads, reducing loads during peak rate periods, or adjusting the schedule to operate during non-peak rate periods can tremendously reduce the bills.

Energy monitoring systems (EMS) provide dynamic dashboards and real-time load profiles, enabling companies to locate specific areas of occasional energy losses and take immediate remedial actions. A typical EMS, like the ePowerMonitor solution offered by Elum Energy, could also send custom email alarms to notiffy the operator of any abnormal energy use.

energy monitoring system

Reason 2: Quantifying energy-saving potential and uncovering savings opportunities

After being analyzed, data issued from energy monitoring systems provide an accurate reflection of the energy demand enabling the operators to identify energy-saving opportunities and quantify their energy-saving potential.

Organizations often implement customized energy management systems to reduce their operating costs. An energy monitoring system is mandatory to design, develop, and track the performance energy management systems; it also enables the operators to monitor the financial and environmental return of their energy efficiency actions.

Reason 3: Successfully planning changes in the industry

Additionally to energy savings, managers need to understand and model the correlation between the evolution of energy production and the various internal and external factors.

The dynamic load profiles provided by energy monitoring systems allow managers to identify the causes of variations in production. The cause can be a change in behavior or of process, different external conditions, etc. The dynamic load profiles provided by energy monitoring systems allow managers to identify the causes of variations in production. Each change must be identified and tracked. It will provide a predictive tool for future energy production and costs based on industrial activity and enable the adoption of best practices accordingly.

The recorded data could be used to conduct a load study and assess the capacity of the facility before adding a new electrical load to the electrical panel. Failure to perform a load study could result in an overloading of an existing power source and affect the electrical safety and reliability of the plant.

Reason 4: Ensuring more efficient maintenance

The data gathered by the EMS can be used to evaluate the performance of the system and proper equipment. Measurements on the actual hardware, combined with energy and process performance measurements, can be used to trigger equipment maintenance.

Typically, troubleshooting is best done by capturing and analyzing data over a long period. In some cases, circuit breaker tripping may not be caused by the sudden addition of a load to the grid.

However, maintenance technicians may be faced with problems that seem random and may occur in their absence in some cases. Connecting an energy recorder to the load side of the circuit breaker to record electrical parameters such as harmonics, voltage, or current over time can help significantly in the process of troubleshooting.

Reason 5: Building reputation and promoting positive corporate social responsibility

More than ever, customers and all stakeholders are increasingly asking companies to play an active role in addressing social, cultural, and environmental issues.

Monitoring energy consumption drives companies to take environmentally-friendly measures. These actions can be promoted and integrated in the values of the company to retain consumers and improve brand image.

Certifications can be obtained in this context, such as ISO 50001 set up by the International Organization for Standardization, which certifies companies defining their energy targets and establishing an energy metering plan. Additionally, some utilities and governments offer financial incentives and retables to encourage organizations to promote such actions.