The Top 7 Energy Metrics in Energy Management
Examples and reasons for energy indicators
In this text, we give examples of the top 7 energy indicators in energy management and for improving energy efficiency. But first we explain what the reasons are for the formation of energy indicators and where the biggest influencing factors are.
Why are these metrics so important?
Energy management without the right key figures is impossible: Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI) are becoming increasingly important as part of new requirements for an energy management system. Energy performance indicators form the foundation for demonstrating improved energy efficiency, as required by the new ISO 50000 series. ISO 50003 requires that an improvement in energy efficiency be part of the certification process. This improvement must be verifiable and therefore measurable. This results in the challenge for companies to make their own improvement in energy efficiency measurable. The creation of key figures is therefore essential in order to meet this new requirement.
Energy Performance Indicators (EnPI) video and fact sheet
Would you like to get an overview of energy performance indicators? Our experts will be happy to help you.
We have produced an ENIT Insights - a short explanatory video: In just over 8 minutes, we summarize the most important information on energy performance indicators and their relevance. Click here to watch the video.
There is also a leaflet that you can download quickly and free of charge with a compact summary of the most important information: perfect for saving, taking away and passing on.
Click here to download: To the leaflet
What role does the ERP system play?
Energy indicators alone do not save energy. They serve as a starting point for the optimization of an energy system and create the objectification and visualization of energy targets. Typically, energy indicators are formed on the basis of data from different systems. Depending on the key figure, energy data from the energy monitoring system, production data from the MES or business variables from the ERP system are necessary to form energy performance indicators and to monitor them. In practice, Excel tables are often used due to a lack of interfaces between the systems.
What are the most important energy metrics for small and medium-sized businesses?
We present the key energy figures that interest our customers most.
For this purpose, we asked 20 small and medium-sized manufacturing companies in various sectors. The survey asked them to estimate the importance of energy indicators for their own company.
Overall result of the survey: How important are the following energy indicators in your company?
#1 - Energy consumption per machine:
According to our customers, the most important energy indicator measures the energy consumption per machine.
This key figure can be used to compare different machines with each other.
If, for example, a machine has a defect and consumes more energy than usual, this can be read off from this relative key figure.
#2 - Share of individual machines in total energy consumption:
The key figure in 2nd place also looks at energy consumption per machine. In contrast to the first place, here the consumption per machine is set in relation to the total energy consumption.
This makes it possible to determine a good distribution of the energy used across the machines and to adjust it if necessary.
Optimization measures can be developed on the basis of this energy indicator, for example by taking a closer look at the machines with the largest share of total consumption.
#3 - Energy costs in relation to manufacturing costs:
At position #3, energy costs are placed in relation to manufacturing costs.
This makes it clear what part energy consumption contributes to the general production costs.
This key figure plays an important role in the optimization of manufacturing costs.
#4 - Energy consumption per process:
Most processes in a company are inconceivable without the use of energy (in whatever form). If you now put processes in relation to the associated energy consumption, new insights often emerge. Individual processes are seen from a completely new perspective.
Thanks to this relative energy indicator, particularly energy-intensive processes can be examined more closely and, ideally, optimized directly.
#5 - Share of energy costs in total costs:
Similar to the energy ratio in 2nd place, this relative ratio puts two quantities in a rather unusual relationship. For many companies, this relationship is of no significance. However, energy consumption and thus energy costs can account for a large proportion of total costs. Especially in times of high energy prices, a look at this key figure can lead to frightening insights.
By analyzing this important key figure, optimization measures such as load reduction or changes in energy procurement can be planned and subsequently implemented.
#6 - Energy consumption per output:
Behind #6 - "energy consumption per output" - is the amount of energy required to produce a part or batch (or similar). This is especially important when looking at the cost distribution per product. Often energy is not considered as a cost item in cost calutations, which can lead to surprises in retrospective cost analysis.
It is therefore also important to consider energy as a cost item, e.g. for the calculation of fixed costs per part.
#7 - Energy consumption per unit produced:
The last place of the ranking describes the same case as #6 with the only difference that here only the single part level is considered instead of also larger orders or batches.
This relative energy figure is also not to be neglected for a proper cost calculation.
What do we see in the survey results?
On the one hand, monetary parameters were considered significant, such as energy costs in relation to manufacturing costs and the share of energy costs in total costs. These energy indicators enable an economic evaluation and are important parameters for the controlling of an industrial plant.
On the other hand, production-related consumption parameters are of major importance, such as energy consumption per process, per output and per unit produced. They allow statements to be made about energy efficiency. For example, a short-term increase in consumption can be attributed to production peaks. Production-related consumption parameters also serve as input for controlling and at the same time help with internal resource planning (Enterprise Resource Planning - ERP). Here, linking the energy management system with the company's ERP system can prove useful in order to access the relevant production data.
What should you look for when choosing an energy monitoring system?
"Anyone implementing an energy management system today should make sure it is compatible with their ERP system."
(Pascal Benoit, CEO - ENIT)
Interfaces and integration
The survey result shows the companies' interest in energy indicators. Plant-specific energy consumption values are rated as the most important, while production-related and monetary statements are also highly relevant. It is precisely here that a bridge to other productivity tools in the company is important, because time-resolved and reliable energy indicators have far more than a purely informative character. Combined with controlling tools and integrated into internal resource planning (ERP systems), they offer additional added value.
Modular and flexible solutions
A further finding from the survey is the varying assessment of the key values and, in some cases, the wide spread of the results. This shows the diversity of requirements, even among companies in the same industry. Flexibility is required, also because needs can change over time. Modular solutions usually offer the greatest adaptability here.
The linking of energy recording with controlling and resource planning shows that energy is no longer only of interest to energy consultants and technicians, but is also increasingly finding its way into the economic and planning considerations in companies. ERP system providers should not miss this development.