Energy monitoring and targeting is an energy efficiency technique based on the standard management axiom stating that “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”. Monitoring and targeting techniques provide energy managers with feedback on operating practices, results of energy management projects, and guidance on the level of energy use that is expected in a certain period. Importantly, they also give early warning of unexpected excess consumption caused by equipment malfunctions, operator error, unwanted user behaviours, lack of effective maintenance and the like.
The foundation of monitoring and targeting lies in determining the normal relationships of energy consumptions to relevant driving factors (HVAC equipment, production though puts, weather, occupancy, available daylight, etc.) and the objective is to help business managers:
- Identify and explain excessive energy use
- Detect instances when consumption is unexpectedly higher or lower than would usually have been the case
- Visualise energy consumption trends (daily, weekly, seasonal, operational…)
- Determine future energy use and costs when planning changes in the business
- Diagnose specific areas of wasted energy
- Observe how changes to relevant driving factors impact energy efficiency
- Develop performance targets for energy management programs
- Manage energy consumption, rather than accept it as a fixed cost
The ultimate goal is to reduce energy costs through improved energy efficiency and energy management control. Other benefits generally include increased resource efficiency, improved production budgeting and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.