Prioritizing Key Areas to be
Depending on the scale of your operations and the resources available
it may be necessary to prioritise certain areas for initial action. Prioritisation
criteria could include your main areas of energy use and/or significant emissions sources.
Alternatively, benchmarks can be an effective way of identifying areas that could be
readily addressed and hence prioritised.
Assessing Your Company Position by Benchmarking
findings can be used to benchmark operations against industry standards. Benchmarks can
also be used as a basis for establishing achievable reduction targets.
The Energy Indicator (EI) and Benchmarking System developed by
the EMSD is an effective tool to establish benchmarks. The tool:
- Provides data on energy/emissions levels within particular industrial
sectors, processes or building types;
- Allows organizations to compare their own performance with that of
others in equivalent situations; and
- Provides advice on measures to improve energy efficiency.
The Benchmarking System can be used as a basis for identifying energy
efficiency and hence indirect emissions reduction opportunities. By using information such
as total electricity and fuels consumed, building floor areas, the number of computers,
the number of staff, operating hours, etc., the System allows users to benchmark their
company against similar operations in their industry sector online.
The EMSD System is currently available for 11 common industry groups
in Hong Kong, as follows:
- Commercial Outlets;
- Hotels and Boarding Houses;
- Universities, Post-secondary Colleges and Schools;
- Hospitals and Clinics;
- Private Cars;
- Light Good Vehicles;
- Medium Goods Vehicles;
- Heavy Goods Vehicles;
- Private Light Buses; and
- Non-Franchised Buses
The EIs of each group are summarized in Appendix B.
Use of the online system (www.emsd.gov.hk/emsd/eng/pee/ecib.shtml)
provides users with information on how efficiently they are using energy compared to
average operations in Hong Kong, and hence allows for the identification of realistic
energy reduction targets. Companies can use the EMSD's benchmarking system and associated
EIs to review their current performance.
No idea where to start? A
benchmark can help
Businesses often find it
difficult to evaluate whether their energy consumption and emissions conform to environmental
standards. A benchmarking system can help.
"Basically, benchmarking refers to comparing current performance
against other similar operations," Mr Peter Rawlings, Environmental Manager of Gammon
Construction Ltd, explained. "When you purchase a new car and compare its kilometres per
litre against other cars, that is benchmarking - you are seeing how something performs when
compared to others."
In 2003, Gammon began to benchmark the environmental performance of its
Hong Kong operations against each other. They began by collecting data from all of their
sites, using monthly environmental data forms. Data was collected on electricity and diesel
consumption, waste generation and water usage. The 2003 data was then standardised and used to
generate a series of key performance indicators (KPI's) which were used for future monitoring
of other operations. Each year, new data are compared with the KPI's to track improvements and
changes in performance.
"The KPI's cover fuel consumption by our plant, equipment and
vehicles, which is an indirect measure of exhaust emissions, chemical and paint usage across
our operations, and other indirect emissions from electricity consumption and the materials we
procure," Mr Rawlings elaborated. "We have also established an in-house working
group comprising representatives from our different operating units to develop an action plan
to reduce our air quality impact arising from transportation, on-site plant usage, electricity
consumption and chemical usage."
For example, Gammon has
the largest plant fleet in Hong Kong, comprising over 1,300 pieces of plant assets. To manage
and minimise the environment impact, a comprehensive Preventive Maintenance Programme has been
developed and implemented, providing a baseline level of performance for the plant fleet so as
to ensure that all plant and equipment is in optimum operating condition. Another example is
the creation of an in-house Energy Innovation Group, which is investigating energy efficiency
opportunities across the business including a prototype energy-efficient mobile site office
and a set of energy saving guidelines.
"In 2005, we extended the benchmarking exercise across all areas of
Gammon's operations and activities including the main offices, Construction Services Division,
China and Singapore, as well as our newly established Macau operation. We now also quantify
our equivalent carbon dioxide emissions and our use of Montreal Protocol substances, and year
2005 marked our first year in fully reporting on greenhouse gases across all of our regional
businesses," Mr Rawlings said.
Once areas for improvement have been identified, the EEM Team
can establish specific energy consumption and air emissions targets. The targets should be
- Specific: they say exactly what you mean.
- Measurable: you can prove that you've reached them.
- Achievable: you can reach them within a specified timeframe.
- Realistic: they are about actions you can take.
- Time-related: they have deadlines.
Example of SMART targets for energy efficiency and air emissions are
- Reduce energy consumption by X% within Y year(s)
- Reduce NOx emissions from diesel generators by X% by January 200Y
Managing Energy Efficiency by
Objectives and Targets
is also business efficiency," MTR Corporation's Operations Director, Mr Andrew McCusker
said. Energy management is particularly important to MTR which transports some 2.5 million
passengers every day, moving them around 53 stations with over 100 trains. Given such high
volume of people and mechanical movement, the optimisation of energy is viewed as a continual
process to achieve the long-term goal of improved cost efficiency and operational excellence.
Obviously, the railway operations managed by MTR is a huge network.
Traction and air-conditioning are the two major areas of MTRC's electricity consumption. In
addressing the electricity need of moving trains and the supporting infrastructure, the
company has used the advanced technology to improve the energy efficiency. The installation of
chopper system and the replacement of traditional motor alternators with solid state inverters
has improved the energy efficiency by 17% and 10% respectively. As for air conditioning,
individual cars are managed by a weight cell to adjust the temperature according to
passenger-load. Platform screen doors, while enhancing the safety of passengers, also help
reduce air-conditioning cost by 10%.
Many other energy saving measures have been taken ranging from
ventilation to lighting. One of the most recent initiatives is the installation of LED
lighting in car saloons, a trial scheme in cooperation with a local university.
For such highly mechanical and complicated business involving 6,500
employees, it has not been an easy task for the management to motivate everyone in the MTR
Corporation, including the frontline staff, to work towards a common goal.
The key to MTR's success is to set objectives and targets, which will be
incorporated into business plans. "Even if it is a trivial objective of say half a
percentage of energy and if the management follows on that objective, people will have that in
their business plan," said Mr. McCusker. With clear business plans, managers and
department heads are all well informed of the targets and know where to start, he added.
The Review Group of
Energy Consumption has been set up to establish energy reduction targets and develop
management plan. Under the Committee there are a number of task forces and working groups
across different departments to ensure that the company's targets are well understood by all
According to Mr McCusker, the Corporation needs to create a culture of
continual improvement, by giving recognition and reward to staff who have contributed to
energy saving practices, so that staff will wholeheartedly take part in the programmes and
Developing An Action Plan
After establishing reduction targets, an Action Plan should be
developed. Responsibility and timelines for implementing the actions should be defined.
Responsibilities for action should not be limited to the EEM Team. Some actions, for
example turning off computers and lights, will require the support of many staff members.
The action plan will therefore need to include internal communication and raising
For actions that may take longer to implement, consideration should
be given to setting interim goals and metrics for tracking progress. For example, due to
cash flow constraints the replacement of CRT with LCD monitors within small enterprises
may need to be staggered over a longer time frame and an interim target of replacing 40%
by year end may be appropriate.
Section 4 provides some examples and references for the types of
actions that can be included within EEM action plans.
Consideration should also be given to identifying audit and
performance monitoring schedules within the action plan. Some actions may require regular
monitoring to ensure implementation, while overall progress against targets might just be
measured on a semi-annual or annual basis. Further discussion on audit and reporting is
provided in Section 5.
Example of an Action Plan
|e.g. replace all conventional fluorescent tubes with
energy efficient tubes at area A
Sustain Energy Saving Programme
by Adopting Knowledge-based Approach
"To implement an
energy saving programme, three key factors are critical, top management's support, committed
staff and knowledge." Ir Cary Chan, Head of Technical Services of Swire Properties said.
"To get buy-ins, we need to be able to use information and knowledge to demonstrate to
top management the tangible and non-tangible values of implementing energy reduction
Swire Properties' investment portfolio in Hong Kong comprises mainly
office and retail premises, as well as serviced apartments and other luxury residential
accommodation, totaling about 1.16 million m2 of gross floor area. Together they consumed over
220 million kWh of electricity in 2005 at a cost of about HK$250 million. In comparison with
2002, a saving of 11 million kWh of electricity per year was achieved after the implementation
of energy saving programme.
"In 2002, we consolidated our company-wide energy saving efforts by
formalising an energy task force, the Technical Efficiency Team to manage energy issues,
develop and monitor energy conservation measures," Ir Chan said. "Air conditioning
and lighting systems are two of the key areas we focus on since their electricity consumption
represented over 80% of that of a commercial building."
The energy saving measures they've taken range from simple, low cost
measures to more capital and knowledge intensive initiatives.
Relatively simple energy saving initiatives were then taken, for example,
to replace lighting supplies with more energy efficient equipment such as T-5 tubes, and to
review operation schedules so that lighting equipment was used only where and when necessary.
On the other hand, the retrofit of air conditioning plants from air-cooled to water-cooled,
and from constant air volume to variable air volume systems, required more investments. For
air-conditioning systems, estimating annual energy savings is a challenging task as the
efficiencies and hence the energy consumption of air-conditioning plants depend on a lot of
variables such as outdoor temperatures, humidity, occupancies, etc. which are changing from
hour to hour and day to day.
"Before implementing any energy reduction measures, past operating
data are collected for at least a whole year to construct the relationship between the
air-conditioning plants' efficiencies and the various changing factors. Such becomes our
knowledge to our systems and forms the basis for our feasibility studies and our three year
energy saving plans. To sustain our energy saving programme, we have adopted a knowledge-based
approach through the continuous capturing and analyzing of data in order to explore new
opportunities for improvements. By adopting this approach, we have successfully derived and
implemented a number of control strategies in the past two years, resulting in substantial
energy reduction. Two notable ones are static pressure reset for variable air volume systems
and the variable primary chilled water flow system at Festival Walk," Ir Chan said.
To move forward, the company is in the process of building a large
database to capture and store all operating data from the Building Management Systems.
Software is being developed in-house to automatically analyze data from the database to
identify/diagnose faults of the air-conditioning plants and monitor its efficiencies. By
making use of their knowledge base, the Technical Efficiency Team is able to generate more
This proves the old proverb - " Knowledge is Power." In Swire's
case, knowledge saves energy, continually.
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