Not too long ago, making decisions about a company's energy management and sustainability was a fairly uncomplicated process for most facility managers. Switching to fluorescent lighting, replacing the HVAC to a more efficient system or upgrading to a more integrated process controls architecture to streamline production. These, and scores of other initiatives may have been undertaken to make a company more energy efficient, productive and sustainable. But today it is different. For industrial and manufacturing companies with large campuses or multiple facilities, possibly operating with different production systems and scattered across various geographic locations, managing such a task can become a significant challenge. The importance of the problem is magnified even further for those facilities that have high energy usage, deal with hazardous materials or have sizable waste disposal issues.
For large operations, campus facilities or companies with multiple locations an energy audit alone may not be sufficient to cover all the mitigating factors needed to be addressed. What such a company needs is a clearly written roadmap to achieving its energy and sustainability objectives.
A More Comprehensive Approach to Energy Planning
The solution for resolving the integration of energy and sustainability projects and assets in large industrial, manufacturing and institutional facilities is a fully integrated energy master plan through the use of an energy broker. This is a long-term, broad-scoped plan that puts in place a company's strategy to optimize all facets of energy efficiency and sustainability. This begins at the purchase of energy and other utilities, and covers all aspects of their use, distribution, measurement and minimization of waste. The plan establishes recommendations going forward on how to best utilize energy assets, how and when to replace them, and how to be most efficient when a company needs to add to them.