Monitoring Environmental Performance
Level 5
Unit 6
Monitoring Energy

Unit 6: Monitoring Energy

This unit will focus upon the means by which companies can monitor their energy consumption when looking at:

  • implementing an energy reduction improvement strategy
  • reducing expensive energy costs
  • implementing an EMS

Typical Uses of Energy in Industry:

  • production process, operation,plant etc
  • wastes treatment
  • space heating and lighting
  • transport (which is covered in the transport unit later on)
  • all heating and cooling processes


Read the overview of energy improvement strategies as a useful background to this unit (this includes transport).

Energy Monitoring

A good starting point when looking at reducing energy consumption on site is to check the bills. However, bills are often only an estimate and the only means by which an accurate measure of energy can be understood is through regular (monthly, preferably weekly) meter readings. It may also be worthwhile sub-metering high usage equipment and on each building on site in order to glean a clearer picture.

A general guide to monitoring energy use by meter reading is outlined below:

  • Train staff (2/3 members) to read meters.
  • Trained staff should read the meters on a regular basis.
  • The readings must be accurate- this should be checked.
  • Meter readings should be inputted into a computer spreadsheet

Reading meters is not a time consuming process and can identify invaluable energy wastage. Subsequent analysis of spreadsheets containing meter readings should be undertaken on a regular basis and compared against industry norms,(bench marking compares the company's performance to that of competitors or the optimum performer), energy yardsticks and also any targets that the company have set.

All energy sources need to be looked at, the type, where it is used on site and its cost. The environmental review should have identified the main sources of inefficiency and objectives and targets set. A further energy audit will give a clearer picture of energy consumption on site and will also help establish less serious issues that can be tackled later.

An initial environmental review should have identified key areas where energy is being wasted. However, should a company's energy bills be high (in excess of £10 000 per annum), or should a company wish to investigate energy consumption on site further, it is recommended that a separate energy audit is undertaken to monitor and measure usage on site.

An energy audit should be designed to look at the key areas of:

  • Energy using equipment
  • Working practices, controls etc

Information should be gathered in order for energy saving opportunities to be identified and improvements undertaken and / or as a baseline to implement long-term energy monitoring on site.

To undertake a simple energy audit (summary of key points):

  • Assemble all fuel bills over the past year
  • Identify the main energy uses on site
  • Calculate the amount of energy used per operation/unit production (if possible)
  • Check energy use against industry norms
  • Identify energy saving opportunities and measures
  • Evaluate payback costs or each measure
  • Assign priorities to each opportunity


  • All measurements should be converted into a standard unit- kWh using the appropriate formulae
  • All measurements should be converted into related Carbon Dioxide emissions.
  • Results of audits/surveys should be used to raise awareness on site, and charted (where possible) to show energy consumption before improvement measures.
  • A spreadsheet of energy consumption on site should be maintained.


(a): Undertake an energy audit of your site using the checklist and report form. Attempt to write a report of your site. (Hint, use the section on energy improvement strategies as a guide for recommending improvements)

(b): Devise an energy spreadsheet suitable for your site- include a column for carbon dioxide conversion.