Shravan Gupta, CEO, Enspar Energy Consultants
“India has approximately 17.9 per cent of untapped electricity-efficiency potential and optimizing industrial motor-driven systems could deliver overall savings up to 60 per cent on industrial electricity consumption,” according to a Siemens Financial Services research report. This shows the huge upside for industries to tap into a dormant potential and increase their green footprint, reduce their operating expenses, and increase productivity significantly. Because, energy saved is energy produced.
Siemen’s study actually hangs the coat on the right peg. The priority list of things to take care, energy efficiency is perhaps among the last items. And the irony is when it comes to energy efficiency and energy savings, industries wake up only when there is a huge crisis in terms of electricity consumption bill or when a factory shuts down due to an electrical equipment failure. A second roadblock faced by the idea of energy efficiency in India is that once the industries invest in an energy efficient equipment, they sit back thinking all will go well forever.
Energy management is a continuous process
This is where a turnkey energy consultant steps in. A turnkey consultant typically takes a holistic approach to energy management from an industry environment perspective. The process has the following levels:
- Energy Strategy
- Design for efficient energy consumption
- Climate change
- Energy Audit
What industries need to understand is after much of the heavy lifting done by way of using efficient equipment, real progress can only be made in smaller steps.
It is key to have stated goals to lower consumption rates of energy and water per unit produced, as well as emissions from a factory floor. It’s a process of continuous improvement. For instance, it is key to examine how much energy is wasted at each work station. To measure at such granular level, one has to turn to the experience of a turnkey energy consultant.
Here’s a classic case, in most parts of India it’s very hot and humid bulk of the year, so it’s probably necessary to use air-conditioning in a plant, unlike in a European production environment, and it’s a significant factor in energy use. A blind application of European standards may actually hamper the operations.
Defining Internal Best Practice for Energy Efficiency
A turnkey energy consultant helps you continually assess your energy practices to ensure:
- Continuously address key energy risks
- Pro-actively identify potential vulnerabilities in the energy setup and seek ways to address these
- An independent assessment to meet regulatory and audit compliance requirements
- Have adequate controls in place, particularly where high energy consumption is involved
- Deliver a high level of service and quality back to their customer base
A turnkey energy consultant provides review services to independently assess existing solutions to ensure they meet governance and management obligations. They help with auditing techniques to quickly identify any gaps in the current levels of control compared with that desired by standards and global benchmarks.
A turnkey energy consultant can help define energy management practices that are both pragmatic and appropriate for a particular operational environment, taking into account the energy setup, energy risk profile and existing controls. Working with energy and operations team, they can deliver realistic action plans to achieve best practice and assist businesses in implementing the plans.
A detailed assessment may focus on one or more of the areas below:
Company wide policies and standards for energy management Energy security settings Energy security design Continuous Controls Monitoring (CCM) Role design, build and testing strategies
A turnkey consultant also provides detailed documentation to support any changes to existing energy practices and can employ their change management capability to develop and deliver training and communications.
Let the experts in
In the final reckoning, a turnkey energy consultant can help an organization to
- Reduce Energy Costs
- Reduce Carbon Footprint
- Reduce Maintenance Costs & Downtime
- Increase Productivity
- Improve’Green’ Image
With a crisis looming large both inside the industry and outside in the operating environment, acing the energy management question is key. Most companies turn to internal operational managers to come up with solutions. This is a mistake. Though knowledgeable, these managers may not have adequate know-how about best practices and innovations in the market. Moreover, being close to a plant, in the interest of solving immediate issues they may use short term measures which may do more harm than good. The best bet is to get the expert consultants in. Their independent study takes away biases and puts them in a situation to assess the energy situation without getting blind-sided by operational issues.
It is often found that a typical factory floor wastes 40% of energy available to it. Now, to find out where this is wasted and how to plug it requires deeper and continuous study. This can only come adopting an auditing and monitoring rigour established by global industry standards. Like in an ISO or Six Sigma process, energy audit also has its own processes developed over a century. It is time we took energy efficiency to the top of our priority list.