Case report: Implementation of an energy management system

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Case report: Implementation of an energy management system

Case report: Implementation of an energy management system
October 01
14:39 2013
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By Juliane Bränzel, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH


In view of steadily rising energy costs, the sustainable and efficient use of energy in production is becoming increasingly important. But how can large companies analyse their energy consumption, potential for energy savings and opportunities for improvement? An energy management system in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard is the tool of choice to ensure continual and sustainable improvement of energy efficiency. TÜV SÜD accompanied a brewery throughout the process of implementing an energy management system.

Depending on a company’s industry and size, its production processes may account for a large part of its energy input. However, many companies have come to recognise that efficient use of electricity, heat, gas and fuels makes good economic sense, as it not only saves resources but also renders production more cost-effective. However, companies that aim to move from theoretical considerations to practical implementation need answers to very specific questions, including: Which areas offer potential for saving? Which alternatives and measures are particularly important and genuinely profitable? How can the effectiveness of a measure taken be assessed?

Complex subject, simple solution

Addressing the complex subject of a company’s energy consumption and energy supply soon leads us to realise that only a systematic approach will deliver answers to all of the above questions and point out all potential areas for energy-saving. The ISO 50001 standard represents such a systematic approach. The standard, entitled “Energy management systems – requirements with guidance for use”, is a suitable tool for improving the energy efficiency of companies in all types of industries. The case study of an SME, in this case a German brewery, which moved the energy efficiency of its production processes into the focus of interest of both management and personnel demonstrates how an energy management system in accordance with ISO 50001 (also referred to as EnMS) can be implemented in practice.

Taking a wider perspective makes good economic sense as brewing is very energy-intensive. Before the beer, filled in bottles and kegs, can be stored in the cool house, it must be heated, filtered, boiled and cooled. The energy-consumption data surveyed by the energy agency of the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia show that thermal energy and electricity account for three-quarters and one-quarter of total energy use respectively. The largest share of thermal energy, viz. 43 per cent, is used in the brewhouse, where the process steps from mashing to boiling take place. Another 40 per cent are needed for filling the beer into bottles and kegs. As far as electricity is concerned, cooling processes alone account for 40 per cent of electricity comsumption, again followed by the filling line, which uses a further 18 per cent.

Energy-efficiency assessment forms the basis

The first step of the implementation process at the brewery was to make a comprehensive assessment of the actual energy performance to establish the energy-efficiency baseline. TÜV SÜD’s energy experts then compared the results against the requirements of the ISO 50001 standard and found that the brewery already complied with many of these requirements. For example, the brewery already recorded the energy consumption data of important systems and installations on an ongoing basis using suitable measuring and metering instruments. Its technical staff also considered energy-efficiency aspects in their ongoing optimisation of systems and installations. By contrast, some other aspects of the ISO 50001 standard still had to be established in the company to anchor the concept of “energy efficiency” firmly and raise personnel awareness.

The latter aspect is important as the identification of areas for saving and opportunities for improvement requires the support of all personnel and their proactive efforts. Where this is ensured, employees can supply innovative ideas and make valuable contributions to reach the energy-efficiency targets that the company has set itself. Tools that support the establishment of an energy management system include setting up a fixed energy team, appointing an Energy Management Representative, involving as many members of staff as possible at an early stage, and ensuring they work together on the development of an Energy Management Manual with specific workplace-related instructions. Regular “energy walks” with the energy team through selected areas of the company can also have surprising effects.

Workshop – from the idea to implementation

To develop the energy management system, the brewery held several multi-day workshops with representatives from selected departments. The attendees of these workshops now form the “energy team”, which is documented in an organisational chart and integrated into the company’s organisational structure. In its first workshop, the team worked with the Energy Management Representative and focused on the individual energy consumers, developing energy review s for both the brewery’s use of electricity and thermal energy.

The energy review demonstrated the most energy-intensive steps in the production process to all workshop participants. Based thereon, the team then discussed the options for influencing the energy use of individual systems and installations and the specific opportunities for improving energy efficiency. In this context they found out, for example, that further systems and installations could be integrated into waste-heat recovery. While some installations and systems had been equipped with heat exchangers that recovered the waste heat and directed it to highly insulated thermal storage units for subsequent use, others still simply discharged the waste heat into the atmosphere unused. By integrating these installations into the existing waste-heat recovery system, further potential for energy savings could be unlocked.

However, the agenda not only comprised measures based on innovative technology. The team also discussed ideas based on changes in personnel behaviour. Given this, solid energy review provided the baseline for subsequent starting points. In focused meetings, the energy team then developed actions including a detailed measurement plan, designed measures to raise personnel awareness, discussed specific energy-efficiency requirements for its purchasing department and developed an electronically controlled EnMS Manual.

Sustainability offers several benefits

One of the first energy objectives successfully implemented by the brewery was the placing into service of its own in-house co-generation unit. With an efficiency ratio of over 90 per cent, the co-generation unit produces heat and electricity. The unit now replaces steam power as a new, highly efficient source of thermal energy. As both natural gas and biogas can be used to fuel the co-generation unit, the brewery can also use treated digester gas from its own anaerobic effluent treatment or produce biogas from brewery wastes, i.e. renewable raw materials, in a biogas plant. The brewery thus recycles the waste it produces in its production processes to supply some of the energy needed.

By implementing an energy management system in accordance with the ISO 50001 standard, subject to continual improvement and further development, the brewery established the basic framework for systematically and continually improving its energy efficiency. The management system provides for the annual definition of new and ambitious energy objectives, audits at regular intervals and continuous further development of the EnMS Manual. To do so, the standard focuses on the PDCA cycle, a well-known management technique. PDCA stands for “plan, do, check, act”. The cycle starts by designing a vision, such as a 5 per cent improvement in energy efficiency over the next five years. In the PDCA cycle, management implements and evaluates the specific measures that are necessary to realise the vision. By doing so, the company verifies whether the objectives included in the vision are actually reached. If this is not the case, the company needs to take corrective actions. The iterative cycle is designed for a period of one year, resulting in a continual improvement process within the scope of which opportunities for energy saving are identified and implemented on an ongoing basis.

Fulfilling the criteria for tax reimbursement

Using the control mechanism of the PDCA cycle, the standard guarantees that companies will actually reach their medium- and long-term efficiency targets. The brewery thus not only contributes to sustainable energy use but cuts its production costs at the same time. As this is in line with the government’s vision, which sees energy improvement as a cornerstone of Germany’s energy transition, a third-party certified energy management system is also one of the prerequisites for tax relief measures such as the “energy tax cap”. Companies thus benefit from their sustainable, resource-saving energy use in more than one respect  – they save energy, cut costs, reduce their tax load and, last but not least, increase their competitive strength.

Info box 1:

“Energy tax cap” – the legal framework

Companies in the manufacturing industry can apply to the main customs office for reimbursement of part of their energy and electricity taxes. The “energy tax cap” is only one option in this context.

The reimbursed amount depends on the level of energy consumption and the size of the company’s workforce. AfterGermany’s ecological tax reform, corporate energy taxes increased and companies also had to pay electricity tax for the first time. In return, their contributions to the state pension scheme were reduced. Within the scope of the “energy tax cap”, the higher taxes now paid are compared against the lower contributions to the state pension scheme. If the tax increase is higher than the reduction in contributions, part of the electricity and energy tax paid is reimbursed.

However, in its second amendment of the energy and electricity tax act (EnergieStG / StromStG), the German government established that in the future only companies that contribute directly to an improvement in energy efficiency will benefit from the tax cap. Evidence is provided by an energy management system in accordance with the EN ISO 50001 standard or an environmental management system in accordance with EMAS. The management system must be established and certified by an accredited body by the end of 2015 at the latest. In addition, the German government established specific targets. The energy efficiency of all companies in the manufacturing sector must improve by 1.3 per cent per annum from 2015 onwards, and by 1.35 per cent per annum from 2017 onwards.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) can opt for less complex alternatives to provide evidence of their energy efficiency, i.e. an energy audit in accordance with the EN 16247-1 standard.

The German Regulation on the Energy Tax Cap and Energy Efficiency (Spitzenausgleich-Effizienzsystemverordnung, SpaEfV), which has been available since August, establishes the details for enforcing the laws. According to this regulation, companies applying for tax reimbursement in 2013 and 2014 must furnish evidence of one of the two above systems covering at least 25 % of the company’s total energy use. Alternatively, in 2013 and 2014, evidence can be furnished in the form of a binding letter of intent issued by the company’s management, declaring its intention to introduce an EnMS or alternative system including the appointment of an Energy Management Representative. In this case, from this year onwards companies must also list and analyse the energy carriers used and from 2014 onwards also their energy consumers.











The Author:

Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing. Juliane Bränzel, Energy Systems, TÜV SÜD Industrie Service


TÜV SÜD Industrie Service GmbH
Energy Systems
Drescherhäuser 5d
01159 Dresden

Tel.: +49-351 – 42 02 – 312
Fax: +49-351 – 42 02 – 356


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