Energy management is an environmental goal almost everyone can agree on: If you can eliminate energy waste and increase efficiency, you’ll spend less money while promoting conservation and sustainability. However, it’s easier to set efficiency and carbon-reduction goals than it is to accomplish them. To manage energy usage within your company or organization, you’ll need to benchmark all points of expenditure and waste, adjust systems to use only as much energy as needed and provide suggestions for ongoing improvements. That means continuously collecting measurements and tracking data for all facilities throughout your portfolio, which can be a time-consuming and onerous task. Fortunately, energy management solutions for your buildings are designed to simplify the process.
Energy Management Issues and Goals
Carbon dioxide and methane emissions, often caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, are strongly associated with global climate change. As such, many companies and organizations have invested significant time and resources into finding ways to reduce their carbon footprint—the amount of emissions generated by their everyday operations—in an attempt to minimize potential climate impact. Companies undertake this process voluntarily, choosing to adhere to emissions accounting and reporting standards like the Greenhouse Gas Protocol for a variety of reasons, including a sense of corporate responsibility, pressure from investors or customers and the potential cost-saving benefits of reducing energy waste.
In addition to tracking carbon emissions generated through daily operations, production and travel, businesses concerned with energy management often opt to closely monitor their water and electrical consumption for areas of waste or inefficiency. This process, known as utility tracking, looks for areas where costs may be reduced through the detection of leaks or malfunctioning equipment and the identification of poorly-performing facilities in a portfolio. Waste removal is another field in which businesses seek energy management solutions, often via company-wide recycling initiatives and environmentally-sound disposal methods for materials that are toxic, flammable, corrosive or otherwise hazardous.
For companies concerned with sustainability and conservation throughout all their facilities, the gold standard is certification through either LEED—Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, administered by the US Green Building Council—or its UK counterpart, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, more commonly referred to as BREEAM. LEED certification is awarded to buildings that meet rigorous criteria for green design and minimal environmental impact. LEED-certified buildings pass a checklist of features in multiple areas including sustainability, energy efficiency, green building materials and interior air quality. Companies with LEED-certified buildings in their portfolios may reap certain financial incentives including potential tax rebates and zoning allowances; such buildings often lease faster and retain higher property values than their uncertified counterparts.
Energy Management Solutions Help with Sustainability Goals
The pursuit of effective energy management solutions is a matter of increasing concern to businesses and organizations of all sizes. IBM TRIRIGA’s Energy Manager software helps businesses and organizations achieve their sustainability goals by monitoring energy usage across all buildings in their portfolios. With Energy Manager, managers can trace the energy output of each building, identify facilities that are performing poorly, and implement corrective actions. Using the data accumulated by Energy Manager, businesses are able to find cost-effective energy management solutions. For companies in pursuit of LEED certification, Energy Manager can create a detailed report on the project costs necessary to meet LEED’s stringent requirements. All energy-related issues—carbon emissions, waste, utilities, travel and more—are contained within a single database, allowing users the chance to analyze information and identify ways to decrease energy costs, reduce emissions and move toward increased sustainability.
Energy Management Solutions Save Money
Energy costs can seem like fixed expenses, and the pursuit of sustainability can seem like a noble yet financially unrewarding task. However, there are many ways to reduce expenditures through increased energy efficiency. Since energy management solutions like IBM TRIRIGA’s Energy Manager let you measure the energy consumption and spending for every building in your portfolio, it enables you to compare those figures to averages to find areas where improvements can be made—and where savings may be found. You’ll be able to pinpoint areas in each building in which increasing energy efficiency in ways such as installing new insulation or replacing old boilers would make financial sense. The same principle applies for increasing energy efficiency in waste removal, utilities, travel and carbon emissions—if there’s room for improvement, Energy Manager will identify it and show you the path toward reduced costs.
Setting goals to increase energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint is only the first step in the process of finding energy management solutions for your buildings. Using an IWMS such as IBM TRIRIGA to compile and assess information about all your facilities, then analyzing that data in search of areas of improvement are the next logical steps. Energy Manager can help you cut costs while finding energy-efficient solutions to implement throughout your portfolio.
If you’re searching for energy management solutions for your buildings, eCIFM, an IBM business partner and a top implementer of IBM TRIRIGA, may be able to help. The eCIFM team includes some of the world’s leading TRIRIGA experts, who work continuously to improve and expand every aspect of desktop and mobile IWMS. If you would like to learn more about our services, including our mobile apps, contact us today.