An Energy Conservation Measure or ECM for short, is a single initiative undertaken to reduce the energy consumption of a particular piece of equipment or a certain aspect of essential building services; energy conservation measures or ECMs are pluralistic and therefore imply a combination of several ECM initiatives to reduce energy consumption across an entire facility or building.
Energy is a term that broadly refers to either electricity, gas or water consumption; energy conservation and energy efficiency are often interchangeable terms as improved energy efficiency also means reduced energy consumption.
So when we talk about ECMs, think about energy efficiency. And when you think about energy efficiency, think in terms of energy efficiency projects.
As mentioned before, ECMs are specific actions taken to improve the energy efficiency of particular energy consuming assets (ECAs) and/or measures that improve a building’s overall efficiency and environmental rating.
Energy conservation measures may involve a variety of works done to fixtures, fittings and central plant and equipment, including:
- Replacements and upgrades
- Systems optimisation and re-commissioning works.
ECMs typically requires electrical and mechanical engineering expertise to design and install energy saving solutions to achieve desired energy efficiency outcomes i.e. cost savings.
There are specialist companies in each ECM area, but when implementing larger energy efficiency projects with multiple ECMs it can become a complex undertaking to manage multiple contractors and sub-contractors.
Examples of Energy Conservation Measures / ECMs
ECMs are typically driven by advancements in technology whereby equipment and energy consuming devices become more and more energy efficient and cheaper over time. A clear example of this is the proliferation of LED technology (Light emitting diodes). LED technology requires less power for the same equivalent light output of traditional fluorescent and compact fluorescent lights (CFL).
Here are some other examples of Energy Conservation Measures ( ECMs ).
- Lighting controls including timers and occupancy sensors
- Variable Speed Drives (VSD)
- Upgrades to Heating Ventilation Air-Conditioning and Cooling (HVAC) – Dampers, actuators, and controls
- Solar PV systems and battery storage
- Co-generation and Tri-generation
- Boiler upgrades / optimization
- Chiller replacements / optimisation
- Voltage Regulation Units (VRUs)
- Demand response management
- Building Management Systems / BMS optimization
- Building Automation
- Building analytics software with programmable rules and alerts
- Building sealing
- Water pumping and treatment