Energy management: A practice-based assessment model

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Journal Article
Applied Energy, 2019, pp. 1614 - 1636
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© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Industrial energy efficiency is crucial for energy cost saving and sustainable competitiveness, but its potential is not exploited due to several barriers. Previous literature has pointed out that, among the most effective means, energy management in industrial companies could bring a valuable contribution. Therefore, it is crucial to assess and evaluate the energy management status in an organisation so to undertake the most appropriate improvement actions. So far, literature has neither described the fundamental characteristics of energy management practices, nor specifically developed an assessment model to support industrial decision-makers. Stemming from those research gaps, the present work presents and discusses an innovative energy management assessment model based on a novel characterization of energy management practices. We validated and applied the model through case studies among large Italian and Swedish manufacturing companies, both proving the model to be able to thoroughly describe the energy management status and benchmarking the adoption level of energy management practices with respect to specific baselines. The model highlights both strengths and critical areas in an industrial company's energy management, thus offering a valuable support to drive further improvement activities. The work concludes with interesting suggestions for industrial decision-makers and policy-makers, sketching also some further research avenues.
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