The example of space heating demonstrates how systems thinking introduces four dimensions of looking into energy efficiency:
- Physical: extending the focus from an individual product towards a functional system, and even further to the entire building or factory;
- Time: extending the focus from just the purchase cost to total cost of ownership;
- Value chain: extending the focus from the product itself to include the entire value chain of its materials;
- Business performance: balancing energy efficiency with various other system attributes such as maintenance, reliability, quality, asset integrity, process safety, resource efficiency and profitability.