Jul 2021

A Guide to Energy Management

Energy management is the cornerstone of energy performance (or energy efficiency). Without it, energy savings cannot take place in the long term or at levels that comply with user comfort or production. But what is it really for? Why and how should it be included in your corporate energy policy? Is there a legal framework? This guide explains everything.

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Energy management is the cornerstone of energy performance (or energy efficiency). Without it, energy savings cannot take place in the long term or at levels that comply with user comfort or production.

But what is it really for? Why and how should it be included in your corporate energy policy? Is there a legal framework? This guide explains everything.

Defining energy management

What is energy management? Thanks to innovative and connected tools, and with the support of specialists, it consists of continuously managing the energy consumption of different sources (electricity, heating, air conditioning, water). It is also designed to detect breakdowns and potential areas of waste.

The concept of energy management relates directly to the energy management system (EMS) that is required in the context of a variety of mandatory or optional frameworks.

More broadly, energy management aims to reduce both electricity and water consumption. It is ultimately a way of limiting fossil fuel consumption while maintaining a level of comfort and production that fits one’s needs.


Energy management: what is it for?

The reasons behind efficient energy management are multiple and interrelated. They share the same goal: to lower one's energy consumption.

  • Bringing down energy and water bills

Energy management is directly linked to a company’s competitiveness or, in the case of a public structure, to its savings efforts. Choosing to engage in efficient energy management leads to lower electricity and water bills.

  • Complying with the law

Energy management is not only a choice, it can be a legal obligation in certain circumstances. Large companies are required to carry out an audit (relative to at least 80% of their overall energy bill) every 4 years. They must also set up an energy management system in this context.

Likewise, companies choosing to get the ISO 50001 certification (which is optional), must also go through a similar process.

  • Participating in the energy and ecological transition

Everyone now knows that the energy transition is no longer optional. And companies are on the front lines. They are required to set up consumption management processes to bring down their buildings’ consumption. Their buildings, along with those of the tertiary-sector, are the most energy-intensive (at 49%, heating being the biggest culprit) according to the ADEME agency.

Without compromising on its competitiveness, the industrial sector was the first to understand these issues. Its consumption has been declining steadily for the past twenty years. It now represents 19% of France's total energy bill. 

  • Maintaining the comfort of the people occupying the building and the same levels of production (in the case of factories)

It is possible, through energy management, to solve the difficult equation of reducing consumption – heating, electricity, air conditioning, etc. – while maintaining good levels of comfort for the building’s occupants and for industrial production. Finding the right balance is therefore key, but it goes even further than that.

Thanks to connected sensors (the Internet of Objects), it is now possible to detect someone's presence in a room, overall occupancy rates in the premises and needs for air conditioning, heating or lighting. And that is just one example amongst many others.

What are energy management solutions?

Technological innovations and legal or optional frameworks work together to lower consumption:

  • A remote energy audit done through algorithms and machine learning

Thanks to algorithms, the energy audit can take place continuously and remotely. These technologies belong to energy efficiency companies. When combined with machine learning which, for its part, collects and learns from the data it receives, a company can understand its energy consumption in detail and figure out where paradigms can shift to lower the bill.


  • The NF EN 16247 audit

This audit is mandatory for large companies and must take place every 4 years. Failure to meet this obligation is severely punished (2% of turnover, and 4% in the event of a repeat offense).

This standard provides a framework for large companies. Depending on their sector, they can find where they can reduce their consumption and in what proportions. This standard is divided into 5 parts where each part corresponds to a different sector.


  • Complete energy management services and support from an energy manager

To improve chances of succeeding, and whatever the size of the organisation, commissioning an outside company to take care of energy management is a cost-effective solution. This comprehensive form of management deals with all issues for each energy outpost. It gives you the option of monitoring and seeing the areas that are more energy intensive. The online dashboard can also alert you directly.

Alongside these services, you can also benefit from the support of an energy manager who’s there to manage the process as a whole. This means that you don't have to employ a collaborator for that task while maintaining access to the information. The energy manager, an engineer specialising in energy efficiency and certified in the ISO 50001 standard, becomes your main interlocutor. He / she works in collaboration with your teams, ensuring that the implemented solutions work smoothly.

Energy management brings together various innovative solutions that allow private and public organisations to reduce their consumption without sacrificing user comfort or industrial production. It is one of the blocks that make up energy intelligence. Energy intelligence is a set of actions, processes and techniques aimed at achieving energy efficiency.

This means that it is as much based on new technologies as it is on more down-to-earth aspects, or even on common sense. But it is of course greatly based on the actions of professionals in energy consumption. While algorithms are an essential part of the process, the work of competent people at both ends of the chain is essential to implement the best solutions. Each building has its specificities; therefore, energy management cannot be replicated in the same way for everyone.

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