Active Energy Management (AEM), the concept of taking an integrated approach to energy buying and management, and sustainable operations, is making waves. But many companies ask: “What’s the first step toward convergence?”.
This post will cover why sustainability and energy data is the key to unlocking deeper efficiency and savings, how to get meaningful and actionable data, and what to do with it once it’s in hand.
The short answer to the question lies in the age-old “you can’t improve what you can’t measure” adage.
AEM requires integrated decision-making, technology, expertise, processes and data to work together. But getting that data from the right people is not always easy, and integrating it into processes can prove even more challenging.
Further complicating matters is the avalanche of bits and bytes. According to IBM, there will be 300 times more information by 2020 than in 2005. To make an even more staggering statement, 90 percent of the data that exists today was created in the last two years.
So is this potentially daunting challenge of aggregating and analyzing big, big data worth the effort?
Shared Data for Better Decisions
Sharing data across departments is worth the effort. Integrated data that’s accessible across departments and the enterprise benefits everyone. In the below diagrams, it’s easy to see how sharing sustainability and energy data helps make better, more informed decisions within the company.
1. Here, Mr. Procurement shares his energy data with Ms. Sustainability and Mrs. Efficiency. Because of this, Ms. Sustainability is now able to more effectively report on carbon and look into sustainable procurement such as wind and solar, and Mrs. Efficiency can incorporate accurate cost figures to better prioritize facility improvements.
2. Mrs. Efficiency shares her data to help Ms. Sustainability explore new energy opportunities. Does onsite solar with battery storage have the best ROI? Or is a power power purchase agreement for offsite wind energy a better option? Mr. Procurement also takes Mrs. Efficiency’s energy data, and uses it avoid peak load penalties and reduce the company’s overall spend.
3. Finally, Ms. Sustainability helps Mr. Procurement manage exposure to carbon markets and determine the impact of renewables on buying energy, while Mrs. Efficiency improves reporting and proves her business case for efficiency by engaging employees across the company.
The Path to Active Energy Management
So just how does a company collect and share its sustainability and energy data? That’s the focus of our next post so check back soon.