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What is energy management?

Optimizing consumption to improve energy efficiency


What is energy management?

Energy management is the set of actions and processes aimed at optimizing energy consumption in order to rationalize and reduce costs without affecting consumers.

Energy management involves the planning of energy production and consumption. All agents in society, from companies to individuals, are increasingly aware of the need to manage and use energy more efficiently, which helps us to preserve the environment.

Efficient energy management and sustainability are truly important concepts in the development of an advanced society. Therefore, we promote a series of actions that optimize and improve energy consumption.

This concept is directly related to energy efficiency, or the efficient use of energy to produce a given product or service, which encompasses all the actions that can be implemented through analysis, monitoring, and optimization. The better the energy management and savings, the greater the energy efficiency.

Benefits of good energy management

Good energy management has positive effects on people and the environment.

  1. Use less resources: Moderating the use of resources allows us to be more environmentally friendly.
  2. Save energy: Reducing energy consumption without affecting the quality of the service results in a higher level of energy efficiency.
  3. Produce clean energy: Generating renewable energy (such as solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, biomass, or sea energy) enables us to supply the population, while caring for the environment.
  4. Reduce CO₂ emissions: Reducing CO₂ emissions, the gas that most contributes to the greenhouse effect, brings us closer to achieving our goal of becoming net zero by 2050.
  5. Save on your energy bill: Increasing energy efficiency and reducing electricity consumption translates into savings on your bill.

What is an Energy Management System?

An Energy Management System (EMS) is a tool that allows each organization to develop and implement its energy policy. It enables the company to manage all processes, products, and services that use energy; reduce consumption; and increase energy efficiency. To implement this system, the energy needs of the plant must be analyzed, and its main sources of energy, how much energy is consumed, and when must be determined. With all this information, a study is carried out to make the necessary adjustments.

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An Energy Management System is based on a continuous improvement cycle (ISO 50001 standard) and consists of 4 stages:

  1. Plan: Conduct an energy review and establish the necessary goals and plans to achieve results that will improve energy performance.
  2. Do: Once the energy efficiency strategy has been defined, specific energy management tactics and actions are implemented.
  3. Check: Following implementation, all processes are measured and monitored to check the data obtained and report the results.
  4. Act: With all the information collected, the necessary measures are taken to meet the objectives and improve energy performance.
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The ISO 50001 Energy Management System Certification promotes the rational and efficient use of energy to reduce associated costs and the environmental impact.

It was created based on the concept of "total quality" by the statistician William Edward Deming with the aim of supporting organizations to achieve continuous improvement in energy performance.

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Requirements for certifying an Energy Management System

The requirements for implementing an Energy Management System according to ISO 50001 are:

  1. Comply with legal requirements: All companies or organizations must comply with the energy legislation in force in each country.
  2. Management leadership: Management should serve as a role model and play a role in raising awareness among employees.
  3. Awareness: Employees must show full cooperation to achieve satisfactory results, while following good energy practices, reporting any system failures, etc.
  4. Assessment: The risks involved in the development of operations must be assessed as well as the opportunities for improvement that may arise.
  5. Energy planning: Through a risk and opportunity analysis, companies can establish parameters that help reduce consumption and increase energy efficiency.
  6. Documentation: The organization agrees to create and provide all necessary documentation to report on the proper functioning of the system.

Applications of Energy Management Systems

In order to implement an Energy Management System, a policy for more efficient use of energy must be developed and targets to be met need to be set, which are translated into concrete actions and can be applied in different settings.

  • Energy efficiency in grids

Thanks to the development of infrastructures and the improvements brought about by technological innovation, energy efficiency in grids has made significant progress. Smart grids have integrated digital technology with increased energy efficiency to meet the demand. These technical developments have achieved high performance levels and have considerably reduced energy consumption as well as production and maintenance costs.

  • Energy management at home

Energy Management Systems are truly helpful when it comes to managing energy at home. Improving lighting usage patterns, replacing appliances when necessary with more energy-efficient ones, or detecting areas where energy can be saved are some of the ways to increase energy efficiency and, at the same time, save on bills.

  • Energy management in buildings

Energy Management Systems in buildings enable us to control the air conditioning/heating and lighting using more efficient technology. Given that they are supported by advanced monitoring and control systems, they provide data on the behavior of the electrical grid or demand curves. As a result, it's possible to build more sustainable buildings that are more energy and cost efficient.