c) How do I implement an Energy Management System?

An Energy Management System (EMS) as defined by the ISO 50001 is a 

“Set of interrelated or interacting elements of an organization to establish energy policy and objectives and to achieve those objectives.”

The ISO 50001 provides a framework for an Energy Management System using the "Plan, Do, Check, Act Cycle". This cycle allows for continuous improvement of energy management processes within a particular facility or organisation. 


The ISO 50001 further lists elements of an EMS to allow a facility manager to:
  1. develop a policy for more efficient use of energy
  2. fix targets and objectives to meet the policy
  3. use data to better understand and make decisions concerning energy use and consumption
  4. measure the results
  5. review the effectiveness of the policy and
  6. continually improve energy management.
An EMS is therefore usually defined through an Energy Management Policy. The policy will define targets, responsibilities, type of data needed and the process for policy review. An example of and Energy Management Policy can be downloaded here.

The core component of the EMS though is usually the technology used to collect information on electricity usage. This system consists of data collection components (such as meters, servers, communications networks) and data output components (such as graphs, user dashboards, alerts etc...).  

Municipalities can either develop their own technical energy management system in house or use existing energy management and metering systems currently in the market. The key advantage or developing an in-house tender is that the municipality can be vendor independent. This means that the municipality can install a system that does not require a long term agreement with a particular vendor or service provider in order to generate data. 

The advantage of using energy management systems that are already in the market is that they are easy to implement and require little technical capacity to manage. 

It should however be remembered that an in-house EMS system will require the municipality to have the skills and capacity to analysise the data and act on the results from this analysis.