Setting up a M&T programme
Monitoring and targeting (M&T) is an ongoing process that ensures your targets continue to be met and that your business enjoys additional gains from its energy management.
An M&T programme divides your business into energy cost centres. The input into each energy cost centre is closely monitored and energy used is compared with the key outputs. Targets can be set, variances spotted and action taken.
Core elements of an M&T programme
- Recording data - your data will be gathered in three main categories: energy consumption figures, energy costs and information about energy drivers such as floor area, production runs and temperature variations.
- Analysing data - correlating energy consumption with key outputs, such as production quantity or ambient temperatures.
- Setting targets and benchmarking - there are a number of approaches you can take: historically-based incremental improvements, industry benchmarks or arbitrary goals.
- Monitoring - comparing energy consumption to a set target on a regular basis
- Reporting - typically, reporting falls into three categories: regular, weekly or monthly. Exception reports are produced when something unexpected happens. On demand reports are initiated by request or as the result of an investigation.
- Controlling - when you identify low-performing sites or cost centres, billing discrepancies or unexpected usage variations, find the cause and act on it.
Energy manager’s role in the M&T programme
- Specifying the M&T programme objectives and setting up the programme
- Checking the accuracy of energy invoices
- Allocating energy costs to specific departments
- Determining energy performance and efficiencies
- Recording energy use so that projects intended to improve energy efficiency can be checked
- Highlighting performance problems in equipment and systems
Your energy manager understands your processes and what your staff do. However, energy use is a highly technical area, so we recommend your manager collaborates with an external consultant or an M&T software provider.
A decision to invest in an M&T programme should be based on the programme’s potential results. You can expect to make savings of between 5% and 25% of your annual energy expenditure. With a reasonable midway point of 15% savings in mind, a rule of thumb is to budget about 2.5% of your annual energy expenditure for setting up and operating an M&T programme. Generally, you can expect to recoup set-up costs in the first year.
Monitoring and targeting systems and software
Monitoring and targeting systems can be implemented in stages, starting with a simple system to confirm the benefits. Often this initial system can be justified and funded based on the improved control that it gives. Logical building blocks, particularly with computer systems, can be added to the monitoring and reporting system for future development. Savings made can be used for funding ongoing improvements.