Audits tend to conclude with calculated or estimated savings based on little hard data, often biased toward capital improvements sold by the auditor. Capital projects should be the last step in any energy savings effort, not the primary objective.
If you’re spending much on energy, monitoring and managing it will provide rapid and lasting returns. But here’s how I learned the hard way that’s true only if you have – and keep – the support of top-level management.
Engineers should use theory – the physics and modeling of equipment and systems – to uncover the possibilities for higher efficiencies. But to achieve them in the real world takes constant energy monitoring, training, and incentives.
Too many people start with the assumption that they’ll need new equipment. The better first step is to install comprehensive energy monitoring instrumentation and use the data to improve the management of the existing systems.
Many companies are ready to sell you their technology, but the typical energy management or control system may not provide the information, analysis and reports you’ll need to diagnose problems and improve efficiencies.