Do you have fears of not knowing whether or not you have made energy savings?

 

By Ombajo Vincent Gedion

Well, worry not. Every energy savings made can be measured and verified. A lot of organizations and companies have lots of worries and uncertainties as to whether energy can actually be saved. To make matters even more worrisome, they wonder if there is a way of knowing whether they have actually made savings and by how much. If your organization is one of those that hesitates  to invest in energy efficiency because it fears that the projected cost savings will not be achieved, this article is for you.

There are more convincing motivations to invest in energy efficiency programs such as saving costs and improving the overall energy performance of a company. But once these programs have been set going, it is necessary to have a reliable energy measurement and verification program. “If you don’t LEDmeasure it, you can’t manage it”, this call gives the real picture of the merits of measuring and verifying the projected savings. It is important to put these measures in any energy saving initiative so that you can realize the projected value of your savings. Fears of not knowing if you will save energy and by how much should not be there. But first, there has to be an instituted energy saving measure that is working after which you can now verify if savings are being achieved.

An entity interested in saving their energy cost would first ordinarily conduct an energy audit. This is just an assessment of energy needs, usage and efficiency of a factory, commercial building,hotel, farm etc. Typically, an energy audit will result in a raft of recommendations of energy saving measures.These measures are usually cost effective and payback for themselves in most cases. A company may then choose to implement one of the measures, lets say installing LED’ lamps to reduce energy used in lighting. This is the point where now it is essential to incorporate a measurement and verification program that will help you see if you are really saving energy, by how much and at what rate. I therefore implore upon every person who has rolled out any energy saving measure to follow up with a measurement and verification program in order to optimize on positive results. Companies also need to employ certified energy measurement and verification firms to see better results.

So what are the benefits of measuring and verifying your energy savings? A good M&V process will;Greeny

  • Track progress toward realizing recommended energy saving objectives;
  • Identify operational or maintenance problems quickly, thus reducing the risk of lost savings;
  • Identify methods for enhancing the performance of the project to improve the return on investment for the project;
  • Draw an accurate and realistic baseline as well as Energy Conservation Measures (ECM) savings projections

It is important to note that Measurement and Verification only shows how much energy an ECM has saved, rather than the total cost saved. This is because energy costs can be affected by many factors, such as utility energy prices. So there can be cases where energy has been saved but the energy prices went up hence little is realized on the cost side.However,the possibility of having such a scenario is almost a near zero as energy savings usually translate to cost savings.

The writer is an Energy Engineer at Eenovators Limited.

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