Key Performance Indicators
To improve energy reduction efforts, best practice is to develop a facility culture that manages energy usage to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Proper energy KPIs help a facility keep a continuous pulse on ‘what is most important’ for achieving desired performance.
While on the surface defining a set of energy KPIs seems rather simple, the process should not be taken lightly. Ineffective KPIs can result in missed insights, ill-informed decisions, and potentially dysfunctional behaviors. Furthermore, the reason they are called ‘key’ performance indicators is that these should be a relatively small sub-set of the broader indicators and metrics utilized across operations. Narrowing down and agreeing upon a small set of meaningful KPIs can be a challenge.
The key is to think about indicators that:
- Can be measured frequently (e.g., hourly, daily, weekly);
- Resonate with Plant Management and are connected to high-level strategic objectives for the facility and/or company;
- Are easily understood and able to be acted upon; and
- Associated accountabilities are team based.
Evaluate Data Availability
The first step in defining KPIs is to consolidate and evaluate the data available from the baseline, utility billing data, metering, and other data collection processes. Metered data, as previously described, is preferred as the input into KPIs given the higher data integrity and opportunity to move towards automated analysis. For each meter, the following information is valuable to consolidate:
- Name and type of meter (e.g., flow, kWh, pressure, etc…)
- Is the data electronically or manually retrieved
- What added value does the meter provide
- Can this data point be used for a KPI
Evaluating the above data will allow for short-listing potential data points that can be transitioned into KPIs. A common next step is to utilize this data to prepare a baseline energy pie diagram(s) for the facility which provides (and visualizes) energy consumption by area, process, and/or users. Energy consumption for no production and full production conditions should be a consideration.
Where it is found that insufficient data exists, temporary meters or (documented) estimations can be used to fill in data gaps.
Define Key Performance Indicators
After reviewing the consolidated data and energy pie diagrams or profiles, the next step is to define specific energy KPIs. The most important part of developing a KPI is determining its variables. The denominator is the variable that is intended to be reduced, while the numerator is expected to grow.
For energy management in beverage operations, the denominator is commonly kWh, MJ, MMBTU, SCFM, Tons, etc and the numerator is barrels, gallons, cases, liters, etc. produced. For example, a KPI of kWh per units produced could be used to demonstrate a company’s success at lowering its energy consumption while at the same time growing their business.
It is important to point out that KPIs might vary in granularity as ‘what is important’ could be at the macro/facility level all the way down to specific operations, processes or equipment. A common way to think about KPIs is to consider the following three tiers with the end result of defining one or more KPIs within each tier:
While there is a large range of potential KPIs that a facility or company can select from, the following provides a list of considerations and focus areas:
- Energy consumption: How much energy is consumed in a given period (e.g., x kWh)
- Energy efficiency: Ratio of useful work delivered to energy consumed to accomplish a certain task (e.g., x units of work/kWh or kWh per employee)
- Energy intensity index: Ratio of actual energy consumed to what would have been expected in the absence of efficiency measures (e.g., 0.92 representing 8% savings)
- Avoided energy use: Cumulative energy saved over a period (e.g., x kWh in a year)
- Peak energy demand: The maximum energy usage in a given time frame (e.g., x KW)
- Total energy cost
- Amount of renewable energy sources used
- Ability to meet energy performance forecasts
- Achievement of energy efficiency improvement opportunities
- Performance of significant energy uses or users
Upon defining a short-list of proposed KPIs, the next step is to frame the specifics for each indicator (e.g., Who, What, How, etc…) in the form of KPI protocols. The purpose of this is to clarify and document:
- Review criteria and how the KPI will be collected, tracked and reported (roles and responsibilities).
- Identifying and ‘mapping’ the requisite KPI metering data for the KPI.
- Defining how the KPI will add value to sustainable and efficient use of energy at the facility.
- Communicating to appropriate personnel as to how the KPI was established, the value of tracking the data and how to use the KPI to improve energy usage within the facility or enterprise.
- Processes and control points for regularly evaluating and interpreting the KPI, including defining specific set points, targets and alarm points for inventoried meters.
- Recommended corrective actions for “out of spec” conditions.
Monthly Energy KPIs Report
Collect, Analyze, and Improve
Upon determining the energy KPIs to be utilized, the next step is to define processes to collect, analyze, report, and most importantly act upon KPI results. As mentioned earlier in this section, the objective is to develop a facility culture that manages energy usage to KPIs. Best practice is to:
- Develop easy to maintain methods and procedures for energy data collection, trending and monitoring to ensure that data are accurate and consistent.
- Develop KPI report templates that are appropriate for each level of management or operations function. It is recommended that report templates include visual indicators.
- Appropriate personnel have been assigned and given responsibilities for ensuring that the KPI data are collected, trended, and communicated in accordance with established procedures or protocols.
- Conduct KPI reviews on a regular basis and as frequently as possible (daily or weekly). Ideally, energy KPI reviews are integrated into existing or standard operation reviews (e.g., same frequency and priority). Furthermore, it is best practice to present energy performance data in a similar format as other operation information. For example, facilities may consider the following types of reports:
- Weekly Management Report focused on energy KPI’s (Usage and Cost)
- Utilities Weekly Report (includes raw data, KPI data, operational issue that may impact reduction targets, weather conditions, etc.)
- Direct Production Weekly Report (Focused on Production energy usage with an attention focused on KPI impacts)
- Monthly Key Performance Indicators for Energy Usage and Cost (to be shared with plant stakeholders not directly involved with the Energy Management Program)
- All KPI’s are readily accessible to appropriate personnel that need to employ the KPI information to efficiently manage the use of energy across the facility or enterprise.
- Implement corrective action protocols to ensure that out of spec and nonconforming KPI data is reviewed, and solutions found to bring operational parameters back into specification in a timely manner.
- KPI’s are reviewed on a regular basis (at least twice a year) to verify that the KPI is still relevant for Energy Management Program objectives and to adjust the KPI parameters if necessary. Reviews should include gaps in metering capabilities and data collection to ensure that KPIs are accurate and of high integrity. Actions to resolve gaps are implemented in a timely manner so as not to disrupt KPI reviews and trending analysis.
- Historical records of data collection information are stored and maintained for a minimum of three year