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ISO50001: A Six-Step Guide for Developing an Energy Baseline

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Creating an energy baseline is a game-changer when it comes to the analysis of changes to your assets, systems or sites. With an energy baseline, you'll be able to monitor the effectiveness of a change by comparing the data before and after the change is made. This article is all about how to get an energy baseline set up.
Energy Baselines

Energy Baselines are a vital requirement of the ISO50001 Energy Management Standard. They provide a quantitative reference period for your energy consumption, allowing you to track efficiency and performance fairly.

Step 1: Decide your boundaries.

Deciding on your boundaries is an important first step. This is where you choose to compare your energy data. You could use one site, multiple sites or perhaps an entire estate. Or within certain sectors of the business, for example just manufacturing, just logistics or across all sectors.

Step 2: Establish the baseline period.

Next up, you’re going to need a time period to compare future data to. Let’s say consumption has been high over the month, you can use a monthly comparison period to see how changes are affecting consumption. Your comparison period can be in the past if you have access to previous data. Generally, you want the baseline period to be at least 12 months long, to account for any seasonality patterns in your consumption.

Step 3: Determine factors that heavily influence energy consumption.

This is absolutely key. There are a plethora of factors that can influence energy consumption. Such factors might include degree days, tonnes of product manufactured, store opening hours. These kinds of influences need to be accounted for in order to develop a strong baseline. These affecting factors can be used to create Energy Performance Indicators to track your efficiency over time.

Step 4: Gather energy and affecting factors data.

Here is where you will monitor the energy consumption of meters, submeters, as well as your affecting factor data such as weather data, production data, etc. Energy data can be collected in multiple ways, from manually tracking your utility bills, to custom Hark hardware that wirelessly stores all energy metrics on a minute basis.

Step 5: Calculate your energy intensity across the boundaries over the baseline period.

This can be a simple performance indicator (kWh per tonne of product) or a more complex model that takes multiple factors into account at once. Complex models can be created used a wide range of techniques, such as using multiple regression analysis, or machine learning techniques used by the Hark Energy Index tool. Check out our recent article on how to create Energy Performance Indicators here.

Step 6: Track and report your performance against the baseline.

Continue measuring energy and affecting factor data, and compare how it matches up to the performance indicator or baseline model. Verifying improvement against the baseline is an important part of ISO50001.

This can be reported using the Hark Energy Tools, which has many features that aid in the tracking and verification of your efficiency. These include automated graphing and visualising, efficiency project tracking, forecasting, consumption analysis, and more!

And with that, you’ve developed a baseline and you’re well on your way to ISO 50001 certification!

Angus Doherty
Angus Doherty
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