Supporting continuous improvement in energy management processes.
Chad Gilless (email@example.com) is an engineering and energy management practice lead with EnerNOC Utility Solutions.
Increasingly, manufacturers of various products are selling to other companies—such as Walmart, Ford, Siemens, and Nestle—that have energy efficiency requirements for their suppliers and vendors. International standards have been an effective way for firms to prove their commitment to continuous improvement, as shown by the 25,000 U.S. firms that have signed on for the ISO 9001 quality management standard, many in response to global supply chain demands. For utilities, the new ISO 50001 standard on energy management systems offers an opportunity to engage manufacturing customers in ongoing energy savings initiatives that deliver real end-use business benefits and competitive advantage.
In the past 10 years, utilities and their customers have recognized the significant opportunity to realize savings by integrating energy management practices into every aspect of a customer’s business. Broadly speaking, this approach, called strategic energy management (SEM), has two components: a deep review of energy usage to identify potential savings from changes in operations and maintenance and in behavior, in addition to what can be obtained through equipment upgrades; and a continuous improvement approach to energy consumption, using classic “plan-do-check-act” methodologies. However, historically there were no standards for implementing SEM.