Anna Monini is an Energy Manager and partner with the Great Estate Group who specializes in the design and implementation of energy efficiency solutions in domestic, business and condominium use. This is a valuable resource for issues with excessive energy consumption.
Today energy conservation is no longer just an option but is a “duty” that we all have within our companies that will bring benefits to our children and grandchildren. Energy efficiency is an investment that we make, whether public or private companies, so it is important that consideration is given not only to the technical aspects but also the economic and managerial.
Energy Management within a business or company means the careful and efficient use of energy to maximize profit and minimize costs. This then improves the company’s competitive position.
This does not mean, however, that the level of service needs to be compromised when using various energy devices and systems, for instance, lighting, HVAC (heating ventilation & air conditioning), cold chain refrigeration processes, industrial equipment etc. The objective instead is to minimize waste through the following actions:
• Renewable energy: making careful choices over suppliers and developing self-production;
• Consumption of energy: processes and performance, equipment and systems.
The energy management within a business or company is entrusted to the Energy Manager who is responsible for the energy conservation and its rational use. This professional role was introduced in Italy by the Law 10/91 (6) for entities, (both public and private), that are characterized by large consumption.
The advantages of having an Energy Manager are:
– Ability to identify an optimal and sustainable improvement path;
– Reduction of costs and energy consumption;
– Better knowledge and control of energy flows;
– Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions;
– Improved company image.
First, there is a widespread problem of high fuel consumption. Many companies complain about high energy costs which then impact on profits. Where energy costs are reduced by, for example, 10% or 15% there is often a comparable improvement in the performance of the company.
Energy waste is another problem, with estimates suggesting this can normally be around 30% although in some companies it is even higher. The reason for this is mainly to be found in the low efficiency of systems and components as well as energy misuse.
One major immediate problem that companies face when they want to take action to reduce energy costs is the lack of available information. In short, no one knows where the energy is consumed and why. Lacking this knowledge means that cost reductions cannot be properly achieved.
When proper energy management skills are missing within a business or company it can therefore be useful to have competent outside support who can work with companies to improve their energy management.
However there is a widespread difficulty when trying to evaluate new energy suppliers and often a change in supplier does not deliver real advantages in terms of cost reduction.
The use of self-generation technologies is still not widespread within Italian companies where there is still a perception that it represents a large expense with little benefit.
Thanks to incentives and tax breaks, however, you could benefit greatly from implementing energy efficiency measures. This could include, for example, the introduction of photovoltaic or co-generation systems; from community heating schemes to the building of bioclimatic greenhouses.
Edited by Anna Monini and translated by Tanya Pia Starrett