Most of the world’s businesses were unprepared for the recent (COVID-19, geopolitical context, results of climate change – extreme weather, etc.) energy volatility and associated price increases. Such results were revealed by a study conducted last year by global digital energy company Schneider Electric. The study surveyed top-level managers of companies with revenues greater than 250 million dollars annually. Specialists point out that in order to achieve efficient energy consumption in companies, it is necessary not to focus only on technical changes. It is very important to prepare an energy efficiency strategy and communicate it.
“We see that only 18 percent managers of large organizations rated their situation and efforts as “very effective” in responding to price changes in their operations. 67 percent stated during the investigation that they were not prepared for such volatility of energy prices and their control. Not all managed to prepare in advance for crisis situations – the wave of the pandemic, the war caused by Russia in Ukraine, and finally – the climate crisis. The business had many challenges. Everyone adapted as they knew how, not necessarily choosing the most optimal solutions for energy consumption”, – says Asta Vaituleviče, head of the energy efficiency program of “Ignitis group”, based on the data of the research results.
According to her, the study highlights the importance of an efficient energy strategy and encourages speaking more loudly about the actions that ensure the smooth implementation of the strategy. Factors such as consistent data monitoring and corrections, involvement of company employees, and involvement of managers are extremely important for the energy efficiency strategy.
“The research also looked at what steps organizations are taking to manage volatility in energy supply and energy prices.” 48 percent respondents singled out active risk management and a clear strategy, 44 percent – diversified energy supply, 43 percent energy efficiency measures. The results of the study reveal the importance and use of energy efficiency measures all over the world,” says A. Vaituleviče.
Effective planning is the key
According to the manager of the energy efficiency program of “Ignitis group”, efficient energy consumption should be viewed holistically – organizations should not focus on a few measures, but should see the whole and act in a planned way together with all employees.
“Each team member should clearly know the goals set by the organization, the reasons why it is being pursued, and what return the company will receive. It is extremely important to monitor how well the plan is being carried out, and if necessary, make corrections. Only constant data analysis ensures progress”, A. Vaituleviče is convinced.
The representative of “Ignitis group” advises to use energy, water and fuel consumption data to create an action plan to reduce energy waste. Using the descriptions and diagrams of operational processes (production or service provision) and auxiliary processes, it is recommended to try to assign energy costs to individual process stages. Without data that can be assigned to a process, e.g. the energy consumption of painting one part, – the gradual collection of such data should be initiated.
This exercise of assigning energy, water and fuel costs to the process will allow you to know and compare the costs of different operational processes, the energy intensity of different lines of the same process, etc. thus precisely identifying areas of energy waste. Based on this information, it is possible to distinguish in detail all the energy saving measures implemented and planned to be implemented in the organization, group them in order of priority and define the implementation period – whether they will be short-term, medium-term or long-term projects, and evaluate their financial aspect.