Skip to content

Publications SPE-500-17

Sorry, no image available for SPE-500-17

SPE-500-17 - Conventional energy benchmarking and introduction to benchmark energy factor (BEF) for industrial systems and processes

Publication Year:

  • 2017

Total Pages:



  • CSA


This is the first edition of CSA SPE-500, Conventional energy benchmarking and introduction to benchmark energy factor (BEF) for industrial systems and processes.

The CSA Technical Committee on Energy Efficiency of Industrial Equipment, as part of its strategic planning, has endorsed the development of user-oriented standards. Historically, the Technical Committee has developed energy efficiency standards for industrial equipment, where the equipment's efficiency is determined in a certified laboratory. Future opportunities for industrial energy savings are expected to come from measurement of energy performance of an industrial system at the facilities location using benchmarking methodologies. Once benchmarking has been accepted as an accurate, reliable, and comparable method of estimating energy savings, energy management initiatives can be implemented to monitor the energy performance thereof.

This Publication summarizes a novel approach to ideal state benchmarking of industrial systems and processes. Dedicated papers have been published by BC Hydro at various international conferences and in journals: the American Council for Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and the Journal of Energy in South Africa (JESA). The approach outlined in this Publication is contrasted with the conventional benchmarking approach used in industrial systems.

CSA Group acknowledges the development of this Publication was made possible, in part, by the financial support of Natural Resources Canada, BC Hydro, Manitoba Hydro, Hydro-Québec, Canadian Electricity Association, Ontario Ministry of Energy, and Nova Scotia Department of Energy.


This Publication presents the conventional methodologies used for benchmarking today. The different types of benchmarking practices and their evolution are explained. The next generation of benchmarking called, "ideal state benchmarking" is introduced briefly. Government-led industry programs in the US and Canada are driving benchmarking activities through rating systems and certifications.

This Publication focuses on energy performance benchmarking for industrial systems and processes (ISP). Conventional energy performance indicators (EnPI) and energy use intensities (EUI) are briefly described and the importance of considering the influence of variable independent parameters on what is considered to be best available practice. There are several factors that limit the reliability and accuracy of conventional benchmarks based on conventional methods. The challenges and limitations are presented along with case studies.

A new energy performance benchmarking concept called, "ideal state benchmarking" is briefly introduced with a high level outline of potential benefits. A case study is presented in Annex A. Basic terms are defined such as the "ideal energy", "essential energy", "energy-at-risk" and the "benchmark energy factor" (BEF).

Note: The new ideas and concepts presented in this Publication have been previously researched and largely explained in two IEEE papers, "Novel Method of Benchmarking Energetic Efficiency of Industrial Systems", and "Benchmarking Industrial Systems Using Energy at Risk and Benchmark Energy Factor Concepts".

Publication type

Print Page

Tell a Friend

GST REG No R119441681
QST REG No R1006017360