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What is an Energy Management System, Why Use One and What are the Benefits?

Increasing gas and electricity prices and volatility, a changing climate, and the need to target net zero emissions have all combined to create an era of uncertainty around the future of energy use in Australia. This is of particular concern for businesses with high energy consumption.

What is known is that we need to get better at managing energy, and we need to find systematic ways to reduce our consumption.

This is what an Energy Management System can offer – a sophisticated and clear path forward, to lower risks, reduce costs, and support energy-based action towards net zero.

What is an Energy Management System?

An Energy Management System – or EnMS – is a systematic planning tool that assists companies to understand their energy consumption, align stakeholders, and implement continuous improvements in the way an organisation uses energy.

Central to an EnMS are both technical and stakeholder elements. The process is structured around Objectives, Targets, and an Action Plan – which in alignment, form the backbone of an EnMS. They inform energy managers what the current energy use is, where they are headed in regard to energy management efficiencies and why changes are important.

Another core element is understanding and measuring the Energy Performance Indicators (EnPIs) related to Significant Energy Users (SEUs). Understanding how much energy is being used, how measuring progress is tracked will feed into the targets. EnMS processes for measuring, tracking and reporting EnPIs against targets, is the powerhouse of an EnMS that will make improvements and get things done.

Companies can also align their EnMS to be certified under the international EnMS standard, ISO50001. This provides the benefit of a detailed and comprehensive, industry-backed standard to guide their framework.

Energy Management System - eaguk.org - Ndevr Environmental
Image source: eaguk.org

What are the benefits of an Energy Management System?

Energy is a critical component of business with a high cost and high contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore the efficient management of energy, especially for larger businesses is key to managing high and often volatile costs and also managing the transition to a lower emissions future. 

The benefit of a high-quality, comprehensive energy management system is that it serves as an overarching method to measure, monitor and achieve best practice in the use of energy resources. 

An effective energy management system provides a framework of practical processes and procedures to deliver on an organisation’s energy objectives.

What kind of business should use an Energy Management System?

Every business and its requirements are unique, and key to the successful implementation of an EnMS is that it is aligned with existing business priorities and systems. The EnMS should be a key component of an organisation’s broader continuous improvement efforts and is applicable for any organisation that wants to understand and reduce energy consumption.

Companies of different sizes can benefit from an EnMS to gain insights into their energy consumption and demand. An EnMS is a must for high energy users such as manufacturing and processing plants, who report under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERs), and is applicable to anyone who manages multiple assets that consume energy, such as building managers.

Many companies and facilities that consume a lot of energy typically have sophisticated ways of measuring and tracking energy consumption but may be a step away from bringing these processes together into a coordinated EnMS.

Taking the first steps to implementing an Energy Management System

For organisations with the resources and budget to implement an Energy Management System, here are some important steps to consider upfront:

  1. Ensure senior management commitment: Implementing an EnMS is no small endeavour, and prior to implementation it is essential to confirm senior management understands the benefits and resourcing requirements to ensure the EnMS will be supported.
  2. Build your team: Select an EnMS Champion in the leadership team and identify staff across the business who would be enthusiastic participants in a team-leading and implementing the EnMS. Consider leveraging an external technical expert to bring the EnMS framework together.
  3. Take stock of existing processes: This could be a self-gap assessment to identify what elements of an EnMS framework are already in place, and how pre-existing processes may fit together. At this stage, it is worthwhile considering whether aligning with ISO50001 would suit your needs.
  4. Resourcing: Address the gaps from the outset to implement the EnMS with the best chance of success.

As global and national drivers for climate change push for net zero and other emissions reduction targets, energy efficiency plays a central role in the transition to a low carbon economy. Putting processes in place to effectively manage and reduce energy consumption will help reduce exposure to risk, and enable businesses to get ahead of the game in the race to net zero. For large energy users, an EnMS can play an important role in this transition.

Want to explore energy management or introduce an EnMS?

At Ndevr Environmental, we provide a range of specialised services for businesses to manage and reduce energy consumption and promote energy efficiency. We have two Energy Efficiency Council Certified EnMS Advisors on our team who support businesses with implementing an EnMS. Reach out to learn more, environment@ndevrenvironmental.com.au or call 03 7035 1740.

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    ATIYAH

    CARBON NEUTRAL PRODUCT

    ​AWESOME STREETFOOD, ZERO CARBON – that’s Atiyah. With its launch in 2020, Atiyah became Australia’s first 100% renewable-run street food zero-carbon kitchen certified under Climate Active. Atiyah sets operational carbon efficiency benchmarks and raises awareness about the global warming impact of food choices. They even disclosed the footprint of every item on their menu to empower their customers’ low-carbon lifestyle. We assist ATIYAH with their carbon neutrality certification.

    ORIGIN

    CARBON NEUTRAL ORGANISATION & PRODUCT

    Responsible business is at the heart of what Intrepid does. Intrepid has been a pioneer in measuring and reporting carbon emissions since 2010. When it joined the Climate Active family in 2018, it became the largest global provider of carbon neutral certified travel adventures and the first company to voluntarily include all global operations in its certification.

    NEXTDC

    CARBON NEUTRAL ORGANISATION & PRODUCT NEXTDC are one of Australia‘s most trusted providers of data centre solutions. Since 2018 we’ve been assisting them with their Greenhouse Gas (GHG) accounting and in March 2021, the company broke ground with the launch of NEXTneutral, an innovative Climate Active-compliant colocation opt-in program for their customers. Learn more.

    GOODMAN

    COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY
    Goodman Group is an ASX20 global property expert in logistics and business space. It owns, develops and manages industrial property in 17 countries. We provide strategic advisory on Goodman’s operational GHG inventory and trajectory, the GHG intensity of its investment portfolio, net zero pathway and carbon neutral certification, as well as the renewable energy delivery strategy.

    ISPT

    PROPERTY FUND MANAGEMENT
    ISPT is one of Australia’s largest unlisted property fund managers, with over $11.9 billion of funds under management. We assist ISPT with its net zero pathway, land-based offset strategy as well as maintaining its carbon neutral certification. When ISPT joined the Climate Active network, it pioneered many concepts. It became the first participant under Climate Active to voluntarily include base building operations on all its owned and operated properties into its organisational certification and, as an industry first, procured 100% Australian Carbon Credit Offset Units (ACCUs).

    BHP

    METALS & MINING
    BHP is an ASX listed, world-leading resources company and are among the world’s top producers of major commodities, including iron ore, metallurgical coal and copper. They also have substantial interests in oil, gas and energy coal. We assist BHP comply with energy and greenhouse gas legislation and advise facilities on matters related to energy use and production emissions.

    Intrepid

    TRAVEL
    Intrepid Travel is the largest small group adventure travel company in the world. Responsible business is at the heart of what Intrepid does. We assist Intrepid with their Human Rights reporting obligations as well as many aspects of its GHG accounting and reporting. This includes its Science-based target (SBT), making them the first tour operator with approved SBT. When Intrepid joined the Climate Active family in 2018, it became the largest global provider of carbon neutral certified travel adventures and the first company to voluntarily include all global operations in its certification.

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    QANTAS Airline

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    Founded in the Queensland outback in 1920, Qantas has grown to be Australia’s largest domestic and international airline. We have worked with Qantas since 2016 on a variety of emissions reduction projects.

    ORICA

    METALS & MINING
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    Fulton Hogan

    CONSTRUCTION
    Fulton Hogan has more than 80 years experience in the transport, water, energy, mining, civil construction and land development infrastructure in New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.
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    TOYOTA AUSTRALIA

    AUTOMOTIVE
    Toyota Australia was founded in 1963 and is one of Australia’s leading automotive companies. We have worked with Toyota since 2018 on many aspects of its GHG accounting, target setting, reduction initiatives, and reporting. We continue to inform strategic decisions around the contribution of the Australian business to the realisation of Toyota’s global Environmental Challenge 2050.

    H&H Group / Swisse Wellness

    CONSUMER GOODS
    H&H Group is a global health and nutrition company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Consumer brands include Biostime, Solid Gold Pet, Dodie, Good Goût, Aurelia Probiotic Skincare, CBII, and Swisse Wellness, a vitamin, supplement, and skincare brand, born in Australia in 1969. We have been working with Swisse and the group on many aspects of its GHG accounting and reporting, including the ongoing management of its Climate Active certification.

    AGL ENERGY

    ENERGY
    AGL is one of Australia’s leading energy companies offering electricity, gas, solar and renewable energy services, plus internet and mobile plans. We have assisted AGL for over five years on a variety of activities including audit and assurance projects.

    VIVA ENERGY

    ENERGY
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