Six poor ways of finding waste and "Why?"

Today a question about questions. Phrasing the key question to find energy waste is important.

A question can elicit an explanation if well-phrased but may waste time with meaningless data otherwise.

Six questions request data, the seventh seeks understanding (often a good place to start).

  1. Who - A name
  2. What - A thing
  3. When - A time
  4. Where - A place
  5. How - A means
  6. Which - A choice of the above
and of course
  • Why? - Understanding the plot - Explaining the insight

So lets look at a fairly anodyne sentence, Who did what, where and how?  It reminds me of a game... Let me give you a "Clue"  (Clue in the US)

- solving it for you "Professor Plumb, in the Billiard Room, with the Candlestick".

But TV detective aficionados believe criminal law requires Means, motive, and opportunity so Cluedo  misses the central aspect of any plot - the motive  - "Why?"

This still works fine for children, because "hey it is only a game" and it is a given - The murder takes place before play commences - We suspend reality with "Once upon a time there was a dead body"...

And so it is with Energy Management... (You knew I would get there eventually)

Energy waste is a motiveless crime - (if only it were otherwise - think of the fees:) and it is a given - it happens all over the place and all the time.

Fortunately an Energy manager is a custodian for only some places and some times and attempts to prevent energy waste happening "on my watch"

Means and opportunity are simple - "I did not think and I did not turn it off !" because it is a crime of negligence. There is generally no mens rea (guilty mind lat,) no intent, no particular recklessness (except perhaps with regard to the planet, money and energy security)

So energy waste is generally a passive act,  generally an unintended oversight or byproduct of some , and that is why "Why?" is a great question. It leads to all the others, but in a complete process of elimination way.

If you know why energy is being consumed it isn't waste  - obviously (at some level) ! 

On the contrary, it is explained (due diligence requires it must be more fully explained perhaps than Cluedo -

  "the boiler, because its cold, in the office"

would be perhaps a little skinny as a justification etc.)

So if science is seeking the explanation, energy management is about identifying the apparently inexplicable and solving for "Why ?"  

This is how it works  - it is very helpful to start with what you can justify with clarity, subtract from consumption and thereby literally deduce waste.

It's elementary - Waste identification is always a result of deductive reasoning (enter Sherlock stage left)

The "who?" doesn't matter so much - we are all guilty, the "where?" is everywhere and the "when?" is pretty continual.

However once the waste is fully apprehended  the "what?" and the "how?" lend comprehension to lock up the waste and keep it in custody - For surely  the energy manager is a custodian before anything else.
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