Energy management series: Where am I starting from?

The starting point for energy management is data and the most successful and efficient energy management strategy is to ensure that it is built on a foundation of good quality data.

Good quality data is crucial for your business. It is the key to compliance, streamlined budgeting, and surpassing carbon reduction targets. It also provides ultimate portfolio transparency in the mission to drive down consumption.

To facilitate the most accurate monitoring, targeting and reporting of energy and consumption, we believe that quality data needs to have the following attributes:

  • Accuracy – data correctly reflects what is being measured and its expected behaviour
  • Completeness – all expected data is present and without gaps
  • Consistency – data values conform to a required format that agree with each other
  • Timelines – data is available to support the fulfillment of energy management duties on time

So first, identify what data you have. Ask yourself:

  • What type of energy is your data measuring – gas, electricity, LPG, oil?
  • What is the data input – meters, data loggers, Building Energy Management Systems (BEMS), Electronic data interchange, manual entry, or a mixture of them all?
  • Where do you keep your energy data – is it all in one place and in one format? Is it all calculated into one common unit e.g. kWh or tonnes CO2?
  • Are there any gaps in data that you don’t currently receive – do you have a system that fills or estimates gaps in data?
  • How frequently is the data updated – monthly or quarterly bills; downloads of half-hourly (HH) data; real-time data with smart meters?
  • Can you perform any trend analysis or build reports with your data to help you keep a check on whether your data is in line with what is expected? How can you profile your data to identify changes or anomalies in usage?
  • How do you assemble your data for reporting and efficient stakeholder engagement – budget reports, building business cases, compliance and mandatory reporting?

If you get to the bottom of these key areas, you are en route to achieving a solid and high-quality database.

This can provide:

  • Trustworthy reporting
  • Intelligent energy strategies
  • Reliable forecasting, capacity management and procurement strategy
  • Accurate compliance submissions
  • Engaged managers, partners, and staff

Data is one of the most valuable resources an organisation owns and is the basis of all energy management work. By following our four key attributes, ensuring your data is accurate, complete, consistent and timely, you can be assured you will have the framework in place to build your energy strategy upon.

If you would like advice on setting up a high-quality database, managing your data, data gap-filling or trend analysis for your organisation, contact us today or call us on 01908 690018.

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