Step 2 - Planning

Ultimately, successful energy efficiency programs are achieved through good planning. The planning stage should commence only when the vision and policy have been developed and approved by executive management, and once appropriate budget and resources have been allocated. At this stage it is vital to start collecting high-level energy data and physical characteristic data about the organization’s buildings and equipment, as well as thinking about the preferred management structures and responsibilities, and defining and communicating program goals.


Link to ISO 50001

ISO 50001 certification requires the “Identification of Legal and Other Requirements” that is beyond the scope of this toolkit. Guidance on all other aspects of the “Energy Planning” section of the ISO 50001 standard is provided in the “Planning” stage of this toolkit.

Collect data...

Collect Data and conduct preliminary analysis


What?

Before any meaningful energy efficiency program can be developed, it is important to understand the physical characteristics of the organization’s buildings and how they use energy. A detailed energy inventory can form part of a formal energy audit but at this stage a more informal analysis is likely to be sufficient. It helps inform any subsequent energy planning exercise as it highlights where the focus should be, how large the problem is and what the implications are for the selection and implementation of EEMs (Energy Efficiency Measures).


Related Case Studies



Related Tools & Resources

Why?

As with any situation where performance is to be improved, an assessment of the current situation is vital in order to be able to formulate goals and measure performance. The information provides a good “snapshot” of the buildings, their characteristics, use and energy profile, and will be the starting point for the subsequent steps of benchmarking, baselining and energy audits. The more detailed the information that is collected at this stage, the more accurate any assessment of potential energy savings will be.

It can also be useful to determine what energy efficiency practices are being implemented in comparable buildings and peer organizations. This information can be a good indicator of what is easily achievable, what measures have been cost-effective and what has worked. This means that sharing best practice across the organization’s portfolio of property is vital in achieving energy use reductions throughout the breadth of real estate holdings.


How?

Appropriate analysis of relevant building characteristics, equipment performance and basic energy use provides the necessary intelligence.


Collect Building Characteristics Information

A template for basic building characteristics provides an indication of the level of detail required for an initial assessment of building characteristics. Photographs can also help aid description.

This data should be captured and stored in a systematic and searchable format, for example a spreadsheet or simple database (potentially linked to an EH&S (Environment, Health & Safety) or sustainability software management system). Some information may already be available in existing organizational information systems, documents, databases or spreadsheets, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Some ERP systems may also link to utility billing or monitoring equipment making the process of assessing energy usage easier.

Collecting this data for the first time and verifying its accuracy is likely to be a challenging and time-consuming process. However, regular updates will be incremental and quicker to complete, so deciding on the exact data, format, metrics and collection method before starting is crucial. Centralized data collection may be preferable in order to avoid unnecessary replication and facilitate access to data.

It may be that not all the desired data is available. If this is the case it is important to consider the best means of dealing with missing data (extrapolation, proxy data, estimated data) and to incorporate the requirement for any additional monitoring points into the organization’s energy strategy (when next reviewed and revised) as part of the continuous improvement process.


Establish energy equipment inventory

A list of typical energy data and sources is provided.


Determine basic energy use data

Collecting and analyzing energy data will help identify opportunities for improvement in operations, occupancy habits, electrical systems, distribution systems, building envelope and mechanical systems. It will also enable the organization to build new energy conservation propositions, improve operational performance and potentially develop new streams of cost avoidance/energy savings.


Visualizing and analyzing energy usage can reveal anomalies and discrepancies compared to what would be expected: What causes the spike in consumption at 9.00pm on Sunday? Why is energy being used over weekends and in the evening when nobody is in the office?

Information on overall energy consumption can be obtained relatively easily from utility bills, though this is likely to provide only monthly, quarterly or annual consumption totals, and may not show the energy use of individual buildings.

Ideally, energy use data would be taken directly from electricity and gas meter readings. Where there are multiple buildings, sites and geographic locations, this can be an expensive and time consuming exercise and automated energy data collection and analysis software can be a valuable and time-saving investment. For example, EnergyStar’s Portfolio Manager Tool is an online tool to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. The tool can be used to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings.

It is also important to recognize that collection of energy data typically involves the participation and cooperation of many individuals within and outside an organization.

    To ensure high quality energy data collection:
  • Categorize current energy use by fuel type, operating division, facility type, product line, etc.
  • Collect data from sub-meters, if possible
  • Ensure the same units are used at all sites (kWh/Btu, m3/ft3)
  • Collect actual usage data, not estimated, if possible
  • Use data that is current and timely
  • Commission or recommission meters regularly
  • Normalize time periods in order to make sites comparable (see benchmarking)
  • Apply a data management tool that allows manual data entry, data presentation, and allows for randomly distributed readings (e.g. has a mathematically correct methodology to interpolate / extrapolate among missing readings)
  • Spot check for errors

Where building energy data is unavailable, this should be noted with a view to installing appropriate sub-metering, which can facilitate data collection. This may be included in the organization’s energy goals or form part of its energy strategy.


What?

Before any meaningful energy efficiency program can be developed, it is important to understand the physical characteristics of the organization’s buildings and how they use energy. A detailed energy inventory can form part of a formal energy audit but at this stage a more informal analysis is likely to be sufficient. It helps inform any subsequent energy planning exercise as it highlights where the focus should be, how large the problem is and what the implications are for the selection and implementation of EEMs (Energy Efficiency Measures).


Why?

s with any situation where performance is to be improved, an assessment of the current situation is vital in order to be able to formulate goals and measure performance. The information provides a good “snapshot” of the buildings, their characteristics, use and energy profile, and will be the starting point for the subsequent steps of benchmarking, baselining and energy audits. The more detailed the information that is collected at this stage, the more accurate any assessment of potential energy savings will be.

It can also be useful to determine what energy efficiency practices are being implemented in comparable buildings and peer organizations. This information can be a good indicator of what is easily achievable, what measures have been cost-effective and what has worked. This means that sharing best practice across the organization’s portfolio of property is vital in achieving energy use reductions throughout the breadth of real estate holdings.


How?

Appropriate analysis of relevant building characteristics, equipment performance and basic energy use provides the necessary intelligence.


  • Determine basic energy use data

    Collecting and analyzing energy data will help identify opportunities for improvement in operations, occupancy habits, electrical systems, distribution systems, building envelope and mechanical systems. It will also enable the organization to build new energy conservation propositions, improve operational performance and potentially develop new streams of cost avoidance/energy savings.


    Visualizing and analyzing energy usage can reveal anomalies and discrepancies compared to what would be expected: What causes the spike in consumption at 9.00pm on Sunday? Why is energy being used over weekends and in the evening when nobody is in the office?

    Information on overall energy consumption can be obtained relatively easily from utility bills, though this is likely to provide only monthly, quarterly or annual consumption totals, and may not show the energy use of individual buildings.

    Ideally, energy use data would be taken directly from electricity and gas meter readings. Where there are multiple buildings, sites and geographic locations, this can be an expensive and time consuming exercise and automated energy data collection and analysis software can be a valuable and time-saving investment. For example, EnergyStar’s Portfolio Manager Tool is an online tool to measure and track energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. The tool can be used to benchmark the performance of one building or a whole portfolio of buildings.

    It is also important to recognize that collection of energy data typically involves the participation and cooperation of many individuals within and outside an organization.

      To ensure high quality energy data collection:
    • Categorize current energy use by fuel type, operating division, facility type, product line, etc.
    • Collect data from sub-meters, if possible
    • Ensure the same units are used at all sites (kWh/Btu, m3/ft3)
    • Collect actual usage data, not estimated, if possible
    • Use data that is current and timely
    • Commission or recommission meters regularly
    • Normalize time periods in order to make sites comparable (see benchmarking)
    • Apply a data management tool that allows manual data entry, data presentation, and allows for randomly distributed readings (e.g. has a mathematically correct methodology to interpolate / extrapolate among missing readings)
    • Spot check for errors

    Where building energy data is unavailable, this should be noted with a view to installing appropriate sub-metering, which can facilitate data collection. This may be included in the organization’s energy goals or form part of its energy strategy.


Related Case Studies

Related Tools & Resources