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A handbook for managers, engineers and operational staff

Published by the Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada

Co-authored by James H. Hooke
Byron J. Landry, P.Eng.
David Hart, M.A., C.Eng.

Please note: Some publications may refer to programs and initiatives that are no longer available. For current information please visit the Office of Energy Efficiency or contact us.

Funded by Natural Resources Canada, Union Gas Limited, Enbridge Gas Distribution

Uniongas      Enbridge

CEATI – End-Use Technologies Interest Group (BC Hydro, Manitoba Hydro, Hydro-Québec, Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation)

CEA     BC Hydro     Manitoba Hydro   
   Hydro Québec      Paprican      NYSEG

Table of Contents

1 Preface

2 What Is an Energy Management Information System?
2.1 What Is an EMIS?
2.2 Energy Management Programs and the EMIS
2.3 What Does an EMIS Deliver?
  2.3.1 Early Detection of Poor Performance
  2.3.2 Support for Decision Making
  2.3.3 Effective Performance Reporting
  2.3.4 Auditing of Historical Operations
  2.3.5 Identification and Justification of Energy Projects
  2.3.6 Evidence of Success
  2.3.7 Support for Energy Budgeting and Management Accounting
  2.3.8 Energy Data to Other Systems
2.4 What Are the Elements of an EMIS?
2.5 Solutions for Different Circumstances

3 What Makes an EMIS Successful?
3.1 Elements of Success
  3.1.1 Management's Understanding and Commitment
  3.1.2 Company Policies, Directives and Organization
  3.1.3 Program Responsibilities
  3.1.4 Procedures and Systems
  3.1.5 Project Selection and Focus
  3.1.6 Approved Budget
  3.1.7 Approved Investment Criteria
  3.1.8 Training
  3.1.9 Integrated Information Systems
  3.1.10 Reports on Savings Achieved
  3.1.11 Motivation
  3.1.12 Marketing
3.2 Evaluation

4. Real-Time Data Is Required

5. How Can Action Ensure Improvements?
5.1 Who Should Take Action?
5.2 What Is Needed to Take Action?
  5.2.1 Energy Data
  5.2.2 Targets
  5.2.3 Reports
  5.2.4 Training
  5.2.5 Decision Support
  5.2.6 Audited Success
  5.2.7 Motivation and Recognition
  5.2.8 Benchmarking and Best Practices

6 How Is an Effective EMIS Designed and Justified?
6.1 Creating a Vision of an Effective EMIS
  6.1.1 Address Site Needs
  6.1.2 Usefulness of the System
6.2 Beginning Design: Consider Measurement Issues
6.3 The Next Step: Consider Integration Into Existing Systems
6.4 Prepare a Supporting Case: Cost/Benefit
6.5 Obtaining Support From Decision-Makers
6.6 Designing and Implementing an EMIS: A Checklist

7 Effective Energy Reporting
7.1 What Is an Effective Report?
7.2 Who Requires Energy Reports?
  7.2.1 Executives
  7.2.2 Operations Management
  7.2.3 Operations Personnel
  7.2.4 Engineering
  7.2.5 Accounts
  7.2.6 Energy and Environmental Managers
  7.2.7 External Advisors
 7.3 A Staged Approach

8 Energy Data Analysis
8.1 What Is Energy Data?
8.2 Objectives of Energy Data Analysis
8.3 Breakdown of Energy Use and Costs
8.4 Calculation of Performance Indicators
8.5 Understanding Performance Variability: Simpler Techniques
8.6 Understanding Performance Variability: Data Mining
8.7 Calculating Targets
8.8 Data Modelling and "What If" Analysis

9 Metering and Measurement
9.1 Introduction
9.2 The Need for Metering
9.3 Deciding Where to Locate Meters and Sensors
  9.3.1 Step 1: Review Existing Site Plans
  9.3.2 Step 2: Develop a Meter List
  9.3.3 Step 3: Assign Energy Accountability Centres
  9.3.4 Step 4: Decide on Additional Metering or Measurement
9.4 Deciding on What Types of Metering to Use and Practical Considerations
  9.4.1 Electrical Metering
  9.4.2 Natural Gas Metering
  9.4.3 Steam Metering
  9.4.4 Water and Condensate Metering
  9.4.5 Compressed-Air Metering
  9.4.6 Data Loggers
9.5 Linking Meters to Monitoring Systems
9.6 Cost Considerations
9.7 Concluding Remarks

10 Do You Have an Effective EMIS? A Checklist

Appendix A: Abbreviations

Appendix B: Figures and Tables

The views and ideas expressed in this handbook are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the funding organizations. The generic opportunities presented herein do not represent recommendations for implementing them at a specific site. Before modifying any equipment or operating procedures, consult qualified professionals and conduct a detailed site evaluation.

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Main entry under title:
Energy management information systems: achieving improved energy efficiency:
a handbook for managers, engineers and operational staff
Aussi disponible en français sous le titre : Systèmes d'information sur lagestion de l'énergie.
ISBN 0-662-38024-X
Cat. no. M144-54/2004E

1. Information storage and retrieval systems – Power resources.
2. Energy conservation – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
3. Energy auditing – Handbooks, manuals, etc.
I. Canada. Office of Energy Efficiency.

TJ163.3E53 2004 – 025.06'33379 – C2004-980297-6


The Kyoto Protocol requires Canada to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2008–2012. This, in addition to rising energy costs and deregulation in the electricity and gas industry, has once again provided new impetus for companies to improve their energy use efficiency in order to reduce operating costs, increase profits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

This handbook, written for all levels of management and operational staff, aims to give a structured and practical understanding of an Energy Management Information System (EMIS) and to serve as an instruction guide for its implementation. Because it covers all aspects of an EMIS – including metering, data collection, data analysis, reporting and cost/benefit analyses – this handbook is an integral part of a company's Energy Management Program (EMP). The authors present state-of-the-art techniques coupled with their own experience and technical input from this handbook's sponsoring organizations: Natural Resources Canada, Union Gas Limited, Enbridge Gas Distribution and CEATI – End-Use Technologies Interest Group (BC Hydro, Manitoba Hydro, Hydro-Québec, the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation).

There are vast opportunities to improve energy use efficiency by eliminating waste through process optimization. Applying today's computing and control equipment and techniques is one of the most cost-effective and significant opportunities for larger energy users to reduce their energy costs and improve profits.

In his widely acclaimed book Megatrends (1982), John Naisbitt states, "Computer technology is to the information age what mechanization was to the industrial revolution." This insight has proven to be extremely accurate. Modern computing and control techniques, particularly in larger companies, are among the most cost-effective and significant tools with which industrial and commercial facilities can improve energy use efficiency.

Today it is normal for companies, particularly in process sectors, to collect huge amounts of real-time data from automated control systems, including Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA), etc. In addition, a host of other computerized systems and associated databases are maintained at the corporate and/or managerial level. Integrated computer systems are commonly used to enhance performance in most facets of business, including finance and accounts, personnel, stock control, sales and marketing, production and scheduling, resource planning, asset management, maintenance planning, process control and monitoring, design, training and other areas.

However, unless this captured data is shared and analysed in an orderly and precise way that identifies problem areas and provides solutions, this mass of data is merely information overload.

Data is not knowledge! Knowledge is information learned from patterns in data, and it follows that there must be the capacity and ability to convert information into knowledge in order to make sound energy-related business decisions. This is key in any management function. In many businesses it is often difficult to comprehensively analyse total energy use. Patterns of energy use are very complex, particularly in process industries where it is difficult to understand what causes energy use to rise and fall, especially when production rates are highly variable, when the product mix varies, or when there are several interacting processes at a single site. It is vital, however, for managers to be able to decipher this information in order to make good energy and business decisions.

Advances in information technology (IT), defined here as the use of computers to collect, analyse, control and distribute data, have developed rapidly. It is now common for managers and operators to have access to powerful computers and software. Today there are a number of techniques to analyse the factors that affect efficiency, and models are automatically generated based on "what if" scenarios in order to improve decisions to be taken.

In the 1980s, the Canadian Industry Program for Energy Conservation (CIPEC) developed two versions of an energy accounting manual (basic and advanced) to help Canadian organizations in the industrial, commercial and institutional sectors design and implement energy-accounting systems that were capable of monitoring energy productivity and performance. A 1989 revision of these manuals, still available from the Office of Energy Efficiency of Natural Resources Canada, discusses the fundamentals of energy accounting and provides a standard format that can be applied to single- and multi-unit organizations. The manual has been referred to as a first-generation energy management tool for businesses and other organizations.

In the 1990s, the UK Office of Energy Efficiency developed the first recognized energy management system, called Monitoring and Targeting (M&T). Based on the same fundamentals as CIPEC's energy accounting manual, it took full advantage of the increased use of computers and was the first automated energy management system. In the field of energy management, it was known as the second-generation energy management tool.

Both approaches, however, tend to focus exclusively on energy, with varying degrees of success. Most of the initiatives relate to low- or no-cost projects and seldom look beyond HVAC systems (set-points), compressors (air leaks) and similar actions for potential savings. Many businesses are unaware of opportunities for increasing energy use efficiency because there has been no in-depth analysis of credible and shared data that will identify profitable energy use efficiency improvements. As a general yardstick, most companies must sell $10 worth of product to realize a profit of $1. Conversely, every $1,000 saved by eliminating waste and improving energy use efficiency is the equivalent of an additional $10,000 in sales.

Recognizing the proliferation of computerized systems and the potential that databases offer, the consortium members (see inside cover) supported the development of this handbook. Its goal is to identify what a company needs in order to develop an EMIS and what it should do to get there.

This handbook is structured to allow each level of staff within an organization to refer to sections that are specifically pertinent to them, but the authors recommend that all levels of management read the entire handbook.

The authors have been part of the groups that developed and implemented the EMIS examples described in this handbook, and their practical application of proven information reflects the authors' underlying theme that energy is a variable operating cost, not a fixed overhead charge.

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