energy consumption definition

What does energy consumption mean?

You might have seen our energy productivity glossary of terms in a previous blog post. There you can find a dictionary of basic concepts that are sure to ring a bell for the most advanced energy managers. But even if you are a non-energy professional interested in energy saving and energy management, they’ll come in handy!

Today we are taking a closer look at the definition of the term “energy consumption“.

Energy Consumption

What does energy consumption mean?

Energy consumption refers to ALL the energy used to perform an action, manufacture something or simply inhabit a building.

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • In a factory, total energy consumption can be measured by looking at how much energy a production process consumes, for example, by making car parts. This will include water, electricity, gas… any energy source needed for the stuffed animals to be made.
  • In a household, energy consumption will include the electricity, gas, water, and any other energy used to live in it.
  • The energy consumption of a bus includes how much diesel or gasoline it uses to run.

All this to clear up the following: energy consumption does not necessarily come from a single energy source. It is a common misconception to think that to save energy you have to save electricity. It could very well be a totally different energy source that has the greatest impact on a certain process.

Looking closely at the definition of energy consumption and going back to our first example, the car parts factory, means we have to consider how an entire production process is evaluated. If you are part of a value-added process such as industrial metallurgy (like TACSA, for example) the process does not end when the car parts are manufactured. If your delivery fleet takes them to the customer, the gasoline from that fleet also forms part of your energy consumption.

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How Much Does My Energy Consumption Cost?

Given the above information, figuring out the answer to this question is easy. In economic terms, your energy consumption is the sum total of your energy bills.

Calculating energy consumption helps to come up with two very interesting figures if you plan to save energy:

  1. Knowing how much you would have to invest in an energy management system that would help you achieve continuous, verified savings
  2. Know the savings potential of the building you live or work in, and understand where to begin saving

To answer the first question, we recommend that you use our free template to create your own energy efficiency budget.

For the second question, the best way to answer it is to create a free EnergyGrader account. This new online platform will connect to your energy providers and automatically show you your energy savings potential and give you personalised recommendations on where to start saving energy. Try it for free below:

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