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What Is Energy Benchmarking?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 June 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Energy benchmarking is a strategy that is used by a number of businesses to evaluate energy consumption and develop specific processes that help to limit that consumption to a specific standard or benchmark. A number of factors can go into this type of benchmarking, including allowance for the types of energy used within a facility, the usage patterns of business operations of similar size and type, and even the impact of those energy sources on the local environment. As with any type of benchmarking effort, energy benchmarking involves setting reasonable standards and then developing specific methods to keep consumption under the identified benchmark.

One of the key factors with energy benchmarking is to set reasonable goals for limiting energy consumption. In order to accomplish this, businesses will often compare current usage patterns with other facilities that are of similar size and produce roughly the same level of output. This can provide some insight into how well the business is currently doing compared to others, and sometimes provide inspiration for ideas on how to reduce energy consumption in order to be more in line with what is taking place with the competition.

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Energy benchmarking is not just about keeping consumption in line with similar operations. The effort will also entail assessing energy usage within the facility to determine if some changes in policy and procedures could reduce that consumption without having an adverse impact on the quality or efficiency of the production process. This type of in-house evaluation can sometimes lead to reworking production floors or changing procedures so that less energy is consumed but the output remains at or even better than the previous level.

When company owners are environmentally aware, energy benchmarking may also involve setting usage standards that reduce the impact on the local ecology. Here the goal is often to create a hybrid model that helps to reduce reliance on energy options that require use of significant amounts of local resources. For example, the business may invest in solar panels to work in tandem with electricity obtained from the local power grid, a measure that may in turn help to reduce dependency on fossil fuels to create the necessary energy.

Energy benchmarking is a valuable tool in making the most efficient use of resources on hand, while also seeking to maintain quality and production standards. Setting the benchmark for energy consumption makes it easier to quickly identify and resolve any issues that threaten to increase usage above the standard, an event that could cost the company in more ways than one. By considering all relevant factors, it is possible to determine a reasonable benchmark, then develop policies and procedures that make honoring that standard easier to manage.

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