The four dimensions of a systems approach to energy efficiency

The example of space heating demonstrates how systems thinking introduces four dimensions of looking into energy efficiency:

  1. Physical: extending the focus from an individual product towards a functional system, and even further to the entire building or factory;
  2. Time: extending the focus from just the purchase cost to total cost of ownership;
  3. Value chain: extending the focus from the product itself to include the entire value chain of its materials;
  4. Business performance: balancing energy efficiency with various other system attributes such as maintenance, reliability, quality, asset integrity, process safety, resource efficiency and profitability.