Establish metrics & baselines: energy
Setting meaningful energy goals requires good data and information about how you currently use energy, your significant energy uses and relevant variables; as well as the development of meaningful energy performance indicators and baselines of energy performance. Setting adequate baselines for measuring progress towards your sustainable goals requires several inputs.
1. Significant Energy Uses (SEUs)
Using the results of your energy assessment and/or audit you need to identify the SEUs at your company’s facilities. Significant energy uses are those that are major sources of energy consumption and/or those where there are ample improvement opportunities.
2. Relevant variables
Analyze your SEUs further, looking not only at current performance, but also projecting future energy consumption. Factor in relevant variables that could affect your energy performance over time, such as weather, expansion plans or production schedules.
3. Energy Performance Indicators (EnPIs)
Once you’ve identified relevant variables, you will be able to develop EnPIs, which are quantitative values, ratios or models that your organization will use to measure meaningful progress toward sustainable energy goals. A company can have any number of EnPIs in order to meaningfully communicate progress to various stakeholders, such as top management, who will be interested in how performance contributes to strategic business goals and the bottom line, and/or to external stakeholders requesting information on sustainability performance.
Your EnPIs should not only give you an idea of your absolute change in energy consumption and carbon emissions over time, but also how your energy and carbon performance is improving. You can evaluate your performance by controlling the relevant variables which impact energy consumption and carbon emissions. Controlling for the relevant variables through the normalization of your baselines will enable you to get a clear picture of the impact that your sustainability efforts are having on your performance.
Once you have identified the EnPIs your company cares about, you are able to use the data you have gathered thus far to set baselines of performance for each EnPI, taking into account all relevant variables. Once your baselines are set, you have the data you need to establish ambitious but realistic goals and targets, and measure your performance.
Tools for setting baselines and selecting metrics
The Department of Energy’s 50001 Navigator’s Energy Review resources provide detailed steps, as well as tools and checklists, to help you complete all of the steps needed to develop your energy baselines.