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Energy Key Performance Indicators and Metrics

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An energy KPI or metric is an efficient way to supervise, analyze and optimize any kind of energy relevant process. Mostly these performance indicators are used by energy suppliers as well as manufacturers that need energy as a key input in their production process.

Here is the complete list of the most important energy KPIs and metrics, that we will discuss in this article in every detail:

Power Cuts & Average Duration: Monitor the downtime of your facility

Consumption by Sector: Track the consumption by sector in detail

Total Shareholder Return: See the value you offer to your shareholders

Operating Cash Flow: Analyze the generated amount of cash

Production Costs: Compare costs for different energy sources

Availability Factor: Monitor the amount of time your plant is operating

Energy Production Distribution: Anticipate future consumer demand

Performance Ratio: Track and improve the efficiency of your assets

visual example of the number of power cuts and their average duration

Power Cuts & Average Duration

Monitor the downtime of your facility

The first of our energy metrics measures the number of time your facility suffers a power outage, and how much time it represents at the end of the month. Power outages are not a bad thing when they are planned for maintenance work for instance, which is highly important for the care of your systems and ensuring a performing activity in the long run. When power cuts come as a surprise though, it is important to have measures in place capable to quickly respond to it and restore the well-functioning state. If unplanned power cuts happen on a regular basis, it might translate a need for more maintenance and care, or an equipment that becomes too old to operate properly and needs replacement.

Performance Indicators

Identify the root causes of power cuts and the response time you need, so as to understand what goes wrong and anticipate better.

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chart which visualizes the energy consumption by sector

Consumption by Sector

Track the consumption by sector in detail

As an energy provider, tracking the evolution of consumption by sector helps you understand who your main consumers are and therefore provide an adequate answer to their needs. The energy required by big industrial plants is not delivered in the same way as for suburban households, who do not consume the same amount either. Breaking down the consumption by sector is a best practice to know which area uses the most energy, and through which you may adapt your production and delivery accordingly. This energy KPI will give you the vision you need to plan out and prioritize the production, storage and transport of energy, as well as the staffing needs to do so.

Performance Indicators

Evaluate the consumption per sector over time, so as to identify a trend of consumption and be able to predict future needs more accurately.

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data visualization of the total shareholder return

Total Shareholder Return

Measure how much money your shareholders get for each dollar of their investment

This metric is less of a typical energy KPI and more of a financial one. Indeed, the TSR or Total Shareholder Return provides a measure of the performance of the company’s stocks and shares over time, and is expressed as a percentage. It represents the difference between the share price at the beginning and at the end of the year, plus gross dividends. It is a measure of progress with an objective of delivering long-term value for the shareholders, and tells a story about the overall financial benefits generated for stockholders. It is used to measure how the market evaluates the performance of a company over a specific time period – this is why it cannot be compared if the time period differs.

Performance Indicators

Benchmark the TSR of other energy providers, and compare them to your TSR to see if you are providing the right results or if you should take action. The higher, the better of course.

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visualization of the operating cash flow

Operating Cash Flow

How is your generated amount of cash developing?

The Operating Cash Flow represents the amount of cash a company generates on normal business operations, less taxation and interest paid. It does not take into account investments and other income that is non-cash and/or non-sales related. It focuses on the inflows and outflows of a business’s main activities (selling or purchasing inventory, paying salaries, etc). This financial energy metric will tell you if a company is able to create enough cash to sustain and grow their operations. It is often considered to give a clearer picture of the reality of business operations, as it strips away many accounting effects. For instance, even if some big sales have been done, struggling to have them paid does not bring a positive financial benefit to the company.

Performance Indicators

Monitor you cash flow closely, and make projections regularly so as to keep your business out of trouble financially.

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see rich examples of interactive real-time kpis in datapine view our live energy dashboard
data visualization of an important energy KPI: energy production costs for different energy sources

Production Costs

Compare costs for different energy sources

The production costs represent the net present value of the unit-cost of electricity of a certain energy source. It is often referred to as “LCOE”, the levelized cost of electricity. To calculate the LCOE, you need to divide the average total costs to build and operate a power-generating facility over its lifetime, by the total electricity production over that lifetime. It represents the average minimum cost at which electricity must be sold, so as to balance the costs with profits. The cost is typically given in kilowatt-hour (kWh), and assists researchers, policymakers, or companies in decision-making and in choosing which energy source they use according to their price and technology needs. However, such calculation doesn’t include other cost factors or externalities such as health damage by coal plants, CO2 emissions impacting climate, ocean acidification, etc.

Performance Indicators

The LCOE is a good indicator to evaluate the long-term costs of an asset. Renewables like wind or solar might not be cheap to build, but they have less unpredictable future costs in comparison to atomic plants.

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data visualization of the energy metric availability factor

Availability Factor

Monitor the amount of time your plant is operating

This energy KPI represents the percentage of time a plant is able to operate. For a nuclear powerplant with 90% availability, it means that only 10% of its time is off for maintenance or downtime. Comparing various plants availability can allow to identify weaknesses or problematic equipment – but the plants have to be similar in production (solar compared to solar, wind to wind, etc). Comparing plants availability between distinct categories only makes sense if other metrics like the amount of production and the costs are analyzed alongside. Likewise, the availability factor shouldn’t be mistaken with the capacity factor, that measures the output of a plant.

Performance Indicators

Identify the root causes of unavailability to reduce them. That way, you will increase the number of operating hours and thus the time of potential energy production.

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charts showing the energy production distribution

Energy Production Distribution

Anticipate consumer demand better

The production distribution is the process through which power – electricity or gas – is delivered to end users (domestic and industrial consumers). Whether you are a company producing and transporting energy, or solely a distribution network operator (DNO), you want to know in which quantity the various types of energy are distributed to consumers. It is one of the energy metrics that is highly linked to consumer behaviour. The production distribution as in our KPI example aside lets you evaluate the type of energy your company provides the most: coal, nuclear, renewable, petroleum? By analyzing the distribution amount for the different energy types, and thus the consumers’ demand, you may adapt your offer and supply accordingly.

Performance Indicators

Monitoring the production distribution lets you ensure the provision of a reliable power supply to the consumers by anticipating better their demand.

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chart showing the performance ratio of the energy production for different energy sources

Performance Ratio

Measure and improve the efficiency of your assets

This is one of the most important energy metrics when it comes to evaluating the efficiency of a building or a plant facility. Calculated as a percentage, it is the ratio between the actual energy production and the theoretical production, over a certain time period. The difference between the two comes from the losses caused by different factors: reduced ventilation and conduction, solar input, extra internal heat, water systems, etc. This is a quality indicator, that enables you to compare the energy output of your various assets in order to know which of them generates the better returns. Monitored with real-time data, it also allows you to spot any problem in the production and take immediate action.

Performance Indicators

Track your performance ratio over time to see its fluctuation, and compare it with your industry average to see if you are on track with it.

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