Energy management standards, such as the ISO 50001 Energy Management certification, are crucial to businesses facing energy constraints, Certification Europe founder and director Dr John Ryan argued at the recent Eastern Cape Energy Efficiency conference.
The event, hosted by the South African Association for Energy Efficiency, called for a collective effort from industry to take the lead in energy efficient policies and technologies. The conference took place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Science and Technology Centre, in Port Elizabeth.
Ryan said that ISO 50001 requires that an organisation understands the various factors that influence its energy consumption and that it sets a baseline against which it can measure its energy consumption.
“By implementing and following ISO 50001, an organisation can achieve an energy saving of between 5% and 37%. Since 2005, the total world- wide saving made by organisations that have the certification has been €160-million. Adhering to the standard will also reduce the carbon footprint of the organisation,” he explained.
Another solution to the energy crisis was for organisations to establish energy improvement programmes. Such programmes would include a network to facilitate information exchange in energy performance; the development of a series of relevant industrial guidance on localised energy issues, such as energy efficient fabrication, design and project management; as well as the application of quality protocols to energy efficiency, he said.
Industry sectors should publish common energy issues that incorporated inputs from companies, based on their experiences and challenges, and that built capacity within industry from interactions with specialists on demonstration projects, research, training and energy auditing.
Energy management systems for organisations, where inefficient energy management was a business risk, could also be incorporated as a solution. Such systems included conducting energy reviews of how energy was used, prioritizing opportunities for improvement, resource action plans to ensure completion using verification methods to track progress and reviewing the method to align it with future energy demands of the organisation.