Set priorities

To set realistic goals for improving your organisation's energy efficiency, you need good data, observations and insights.

Set realistic goals

  • Targets need to be attainable - setting goals too high or too low will compromise your energy programme.
  • Targets should be measurable - and consistent with overall policy and output requirements.
  • Targets need 2 essential components - an amount and a time period.

To implement a successful energy management plan you need to understand what you'll be asking of your organisation in terms of time, resource and budget. You also need to prioritise your list of targets to make sure you have the resources available to implement those that will have most impact. Once you've gained traction in your business, you can focus on continuous improvement and making changes in other areas in the long term.

Types of targets

Activity targets

An activity target requires a programme of activities to be completed over a set period. For instance, the target might be to assess how much insulation 5 buildings need over a year.

Quantity targets

Energy-saving quantity targets are usually expressed in terms of energy intensity, the ratio of energy consumption to production. This is usually expressed in units of energy per unit of product (kWh/unit or GJ/tonne).

A quantity target is derived in two ways - top-down or bottom-up.

Top-down targeting

With a top-down target, you decide the magnitude of the target and the means to achieve it. Where possible, you should find some reference to use for comparison. If you have more than one factory or building, you can use internal comparisons. Otherwise, there’s a growing amount of published information you can use.

Bottom-up targeting

To set a bottom-up target, you need detailed analysis of energy saving measures that could be implemented and the energy savings they would bring.
There are 4 questions to consider:

  1. How much energy is currently used and where?
  2. What savings can be achieved by proper housekeeping with the present plant and processes?
  3. What further long-term savings can be achieved from investments in improved plant and processes?
  4. What would the minimum energy usage be with new state-of-the-art plant and advanced technology?