What is an Energy Management System (and why your business needs one)

Rising energy costs and the need for more sustainable practices in light of the climate crisis makes energy management a key concern for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Implementing an energy management system can help your organisation achieve its energy management goals.

Driven by national targets set out by the Climate Action Plan, organisations are under increasing pressure to regulate their energy usage and cut GHG emissions to help create a cleaner environment. Many are using an energy management system (EnMS) to help conserve energy and reduce waste by operating more efficiently.

Read our guide to the Climate Action Plan 2021 and what it means for your business.

What is an energy management system?

An energy management system (EnMS) is a framework of software, hardware and processes that help organisations regulate their energy usage. It involves controlling and monitoring energy use and adopting and improving energy-saving technologies to help reduce and manage energy consumption. 

To ensure an efficient and effective EnMS, you can certify it to a global standard, such as ISO 50001. Certification to ISO 50001 can provide additional benefits to your organisation, including:

  • Demonstrating your commitment to improving energy efficiency.
  • Improving operational and maintenance practices.
  • Increasing energy awareness among staff.
  • Helping with decision-making regarding energy.

A certified EMS can also help show stakeholders, customers and other organisations that you are dedicated to helping achieve net-zero targets and improving sustainability. This enhanced reputation may boost your reputation and help win you more business.

Download our free, in-depth ISO 50001 case study showing how the National Police Authority ‘An Garda Síochána’ achieved €9m in savings.

energy data management systems

Benefits of an energy management system

An energy management system can benefit your organisation and the environment.

Identify risks and opportunities

Implementing an EnMS can help identify energy risks, such as ageing infrastructure and equipment, along with areas of significant energy use and opportunities for improvement, by providing a better understanding of the organisation’s energy usage.

Opportunities, when acted upon, drive energy use reduction and increase efficiency. 

As an ISO 50001 certified EnMS can help you determine sustainability goals and help organisations meet legislative and regulatory requirements.

Read our guide to how to make small business sustainability a priority.

Compliance and administration

An effective EnMS provides a centralised way of storing, processing, accessing and recording energy data. It describes the processes involved in effective energy use and the policies and procedures for controlling and monitoring energy.

A centralised EnMS allows:

  • Standardised, centralised procedures and processes to be stored and maintained.
  • Multi-site and multi-department access to necessary documentation and controls.
  • Consistent, joined-up information and policies.
  • Centralised data recording, audit trails and analytics providing an up-to-date energy data management system.
  • Risk management and tools such as legal registers to ensure your organisation meets the latest legal requirements.

This approach allows organisations to accurately record and monitor processes, supporting compliance and providing evidence-based data for future audits.

Reduce energy usage

An ISO 50001 energy management system can help you better understand your organisation’s energy use and identify ways to resolve unnecessary, excessive or inconsistent consumption.

Read our guide to the best practices for greater energy efficiency.

Lower operational costs

An EnMS can help reduce operational costs by minimising waste and reducing energy bills.

It can help reduce the amount of money an organisation spends on energy by identifying areas of waste and inefficiencies. 

It can help create more streamlined processes, minimising energy consumption and waste, while automating tasks reduces time and money spent manually identifying issues.

Increase your competitiveness

Large businesses and government departments may work only with companies with an EnMS. It can be essential for successful tendering and meeting supply chain requirements.

renewable energy management

More productive employees

Research has shown that energy-efficient environments can help boost the productivity of employees. A steady temperature and lighting can help employees feel more comfortable and increase their productivity.

It may also increase productivity levels due to the efficiency of procedures. Employees may be responsible for regular tasks in the energy management system, and knowing their responsibilities and duties could increase their motivation.

With employees, customers and investors increasingly conscious of the environment, many employees look to work for companies that share the same values. Employees may feel happier if working for an organisation that is trying to improve sustainability.

Enhanced reputation

An ISO 50001 certified Energy Management System can help boost your organisation’s reputation and environmental credentials among internal and external stakeholders, including investors and customers, providing a competitive advantage as a widely recognised environmental standard.

It can help your organisation stand out in a competitive market, attracting potential customers and investors. According to research, 57% of people believe businesses should help them make environmentally friendly choices. It shows that your organisation is thinking about the future of sustainability and the company’s longevity.

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Holly Fitzpatrick
Holly Fitzpatrick

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