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Benchmarking of Energy Efficiency of Sri Lankan Industries & commercial establishments

GSA has successfully completed the first phase of Energy Utilization Benchmark Project of Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority (SLSEA) in July 2008. Sectors covered were as follows;

Industrial Sectors;

  1. Tea manufacturing
  2. Desiccated Coconut manufacturing
  3. Tile manufacturing
  4. Garment manufacturing

Commercial sectors;

  1. Hotels
  2. State Sector Office Buildings
  3. Divisional Secretary Office Buildings

SLSEA shall shortly disseminate the outcome of the project by conducting sector-wise seminars and uploading the reports and the energy utilization pattern of different sectors in the form of Normal Curves to its website

In evaluating productive use of energy, Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) is identified as the most effective indicator. For any establishment, amount of energy used per unit output of products is the specific energy consumption. By establishing benchmarks on specific energy consumption for various products and processes, a clear understanding of the productivity in energy use could be achieved. And it will be very useful to make the respective product competitive especially in the global market by ensuring that the specific energy consumption of their products is within the industry benchmarks.

Benchmarks & Benchmarking

“Benchmarks” in general are considered as “reference” or “measurement standard” for the comparison purpose of performance of any organization. Benchmarks also could be treated as "best-in-class" achievement or recognized as the “standard of excellence” for a specific industrial / business activity, process or a system.

“Benchmarking” is the process of identifying the difference in performance between the benchmark for a particular activity and other companies in the comparison, learning, and adapting outstanding practices and processes from any organization, anywhere in the world, to help an organization improve its performance. In this process, organizations could test their functions and efficiency against a standardized function or set of achievements to place it in the context of its peers as well as “front-runners” in the industry. In a competitive environment, benchmarking allows a company to know precisely where its operation is in relation to a direct competitor, to determine its competitive position, and to identify major performance gaps.

Benchmarking could be “internal” as well as “external”. Internal benchmarking is the benchmarks established within the same organization for similar processes or a single process over a period of time (Historic internal measurements - tracking and comparing current performance with past performance) is while external benchmarking is the benchmarks established outside of the organization with another organization that produces the same service or product.

Benchmarks established outside of the organization with another organization that produces the same service or product within the country is called peer benchmarking while benchmarks established outside of the organization with another organization that produces the same service or product outside the country is called International Benchmarking.

In the field of energy efficiency, energy savings potential is communicated using “typical” and “best-practice” benchmarks

Benchmarking for Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency benchmarking could be used for different purposes by different parties. Energy users could use the benchmark as a reference to improve their energy utilization by benchmarking against industry standards by answering some questions as follows;

  • Do we well above or well below what would be expected in our energy efficiency?
  • Do we compare favorably or unfavorably with others in our energy efficiency?
  • What do benchmarks and outcome indicators tell us about the relative strengths and weaknesses of our energy utilization?
  • Where are the largest deviations, positive and negative from the benchmarks and other comparators?
  • How do we interpret some of these comparisons combined with more in-depth analyses to be useful as a guide for management decisions and policy making to the area of energy performance requiring attention?
  • How do we set suitable energy performance target through benchmarking?

Benchmarking in energy efficiency would derive following benefits;

  • Setting realistic and achievable targets as the starting point in energy efficiency
  • Keeping energy performance within established norms
  • Matching rivals performance (in peer benchmarking)
  • Assisting in estimating the saving potential through cost / benefit analysis

SLSEA could use the benchmark for various purposes ranging from facilitation such as energy conservation and management programmes to regulation such as the establishment of mandatory energy utilization standards with the view to achieve industry wide energy efficiencies.

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