Using data to build an energy savings culture
The industrial sector accounts for a substantial share of energy consumption in the United States – in fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2021 this sector accounted for 35% of total energy consumption in the U.S. While the industrial sector has shown steady progress in improving energy efficiency over the years, there is potential to further accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient technologies and practices.
By using Energy Management and Information System (EMIS) software and tools, industrial energy consumers can better monitor their systems and identify opportunities for continual operational improvement. An EMIS approach aligns well with industrial process control culture – equipping the industrial customer with tools that enable the continuous management of energy use and also provide controls for energy use at the subsystem level through the availability of real-time information. Through the availability of detailed energy data, industrial energy consumers are able to apply organization-wide management techniques and best practices for energy use such as setting performance targets, establishing accountability for results, and assessing technical and financial milestones.
Benefits of EMIS
- Bringing daily and month-to-date energy costs into focus. Keeping energy costs top-of-mind and having the ability to view data in greater detail allows for comparison over time and the ability to analyze how energy improvements impact the bottom line.
- Identifying and adjusting standard operating procedures. Procedure adjustments can include targeted input to an energy intensive process where operators have input control, procedures for shutting down equipment to avoid unnecessary idling during non-production or reduced production periods, and procedures related to the running of systems with multiple equipment components that may not all need to be operating (HVAC, compressors, vacuum pumps, etc.)
- Allocating responsibility for energy costs, consumption, and improvement to department leaders in the plants. An EMIS approach establishes a framework for capturing and analyzing energy usage and uses the data to drive action. By empowering employees to take ownership of energy management, they can see the impact of their efforts and are greater invested in the company’s success, values, and goals.
- Capturing additional savings through capital projects that may be funded through utility energy efficiency programs. Data analysis may indicate that equipment improvements are needed; many utility energy efficiency programs provide incentives for upgrading to options that will lower energy usage and subsequently lower energy costs.
Organizing key EMIS data into dashboards allows industrial energy consumers to understand trends, outliers, and patterns in their energy usage. This information can then be used to drive decision making, increase efficiency, predict performance problems, and promote energy awareness among employees.
Data captured and shared through an EMIS approach communicates energy savings and benefits in a way that is easily understood. This shared understanding results in enhanced engagement within the organization – from senior leadership to facility mangers and operators – and creates a culture of energy savings. Allowing these facility stakeholders to have a firm understanding of energy data and its impact on operational efficiency provides long-term, persistent savings.
With 35 years of experience in the energy industry, Leidos specializes in implementing utility programs that engage industrial customers, drive deeper energy savings, and increase overall customer satisfaction. Our team has launched several EMIS pilot programs for utilities and delivered data-driven energy savings for industrial customers. For more information on Leidos or to inquire about launching an EMIS pilot program, contact our team.