Energy Efficiency (EE) encompasses all changes that result in a reduction in the energy used for a given energy service (heating, lighting…) or level of activity. This reduction in the energy consumption is not necessarily associated to technical changes, since it can also result from a better organization and management or improved economic efficiency in the sector (e.g. overall gains of productivity).
According to estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA), world energy demand will increase by 45% between now and 2030 unless remedial actions are taken. Globally, energy is consumed by the following sectors: Industrial, Transportation, Residential and commercial. Industry accounts for one third of all the energy used globally and for almost 40% of global CO2 emissions. Industries have to take necessary steps immediately to reduce carbon emissions and contribute to climate change initiatives of the global community. Policies are needed to assist industry in decoupling energy consumption from output by improving energy efficiency and moving to “best practice” technologies.
All international agencies such as UNEP, EU, IFC, ADB etc have initiated several projects across the globe related to energy efficiency of industrial sector. There have been several frameworks and standards published on the topic of energy efficiency and the most popular ones are:
- ANSI/MSE Management System Framework
- UNEP Cleaner Production – Energy Efficiency Framework
- BS EN 16001
- ISO 50001
All of the above frameworks follow the management system approach and the latest one is the ISO 50001 standards released in June 2011. ISO 50001:2011 specifies the requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an energy management system, whose purpose is to enable an organization to follow a systematic approach in achieving continual improvement of energy performance, including energy efficiency, energy use and consumption.
Improved energy efficiency can help companies to: Reduce energy and production costs, Improve environmental performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Reduce exposure to rising energy prices and energy shortages and Win new customers who consider environment as important selection criteria.
Most importantly, energy efficiency does not only benefit companies but also helps the nations to reduce energy imports, conserve limited natural resources and achieve energy security and contributes to a sustainable environment
– Sath Sathappan, Director, Asia Society for Social Improvements & Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST)