Step Two- Assessment

Once the Journey to Energy Excellence for Greenhouses is underway, the grower will be able to identify where they excel in energy management as well as where there might be shortcomings.  Assessment is part two and follows information gathering which we discussed in our last article.  It is this stage the site evaluates there current status in data management, supply management, energy usage, energy efficiency and business integration.  Once the site can understand their current status they can determine what their future actions and priorities are to reduce their energy costs per acre/hectare.

Stage 2 helps evaluate the operational procedures and the physical facilities.  These are two very distinct assessments, both critical to the success of a grower’s Journey to Energy Excellence.

An operational review entails discussions with several people including accounting, production, senior management and suppliers.  Each of these departments and people will discuss how they approach energy management in their day to day activities and how energy impacts their decision making.  These discussions provide the basis for how energy is currently managed by staff throughout the organization. This is the starting point for change.

While physical audits are traditional in identifying capital equipment that could be improved, they can be lacking in several other areas. A comprehensive audit should cover areas such as production data, energy bills (LDC and suppliers), metering types, maintenance practices, building type, commissioning/re-commissioning, as well as any past retrofits or audits completed. 

Once these assessments are completed it allows for the site to develop an action plan which may include educational training by the grower and their staff.  The development of an energy plan will be discussed in Step 3: Developing a Sustainable Energy Plan.