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12 Keys to Energy Management Success

Linda Hardesty

The success of a company’s energy management program depends on more than just the energy manager, according to a new white paper from Drumbeat Energy Management, which outlines these 12 steps to success.

1. Management Commitment. Senior Managers need to give their full support to the campaign from the outset. Key areas include releasing staff for training, ensuring that energy management is on the agenda at board meetings and releasing funds. It is also vital that middle managers be fully behind any initiative.

2. Funding. Most campaigns that fail usually have one thing in common: they are attempted on a shoestring budget. To run an effective campaign, the investment level needs to be between 1 to 2 percent of the total annual utility bill.

3. Response Resources. Once management has raised staff awareness, it needs to respond to the number of ideas, suggestions and questions generated by the campaign. If people do not get a response, they may lose interest.

4. Technical Staff Involvement. Technical and energy management staff must be personally involved in the campaign, rather than delegating it to a consultant or a junior member of staff.

5. Coordinated Plan and Strategy. The company needs a variety of initiatives, which are part of a coordinated strategy. It is also important to design and brand the campaign appropriate to corporate culture.

6. Focus. The 80/20 rule suggests that 20 percent of staff control 80 percent of the energy, and 80 percent of staff control the remaining 20 percent of the energy. Whatever the ratio, it is important to identify the key people and focus resources on them.

7. Feedback Mechanisms. Once expectations are raised, most staff will make some effort. The next question is: “How are we doing?” Without an adequate monitoring system it will be impossible to answer this question.

8. Appropriate Timing. An energy campaign is a change program: motivating people to become energy savers and not energy wasters. But energy campaigns do not happen in isolation. Plan the timing of an energy campaign so that it gets the recognition it deserves.

9. Sensitivity about Morale. Another factor affecting campaigns is overall staff morale. Critical reactions to energy campaigns are usually symptomatic of ill feeling by employees toward the organization.

10. Investment and Maintenance. Thermal comfort is important to employees. The ideal situation is to run an energy campaign in parallel with an on-going capital and maintenance program, which communicates that energy management is not a one-way street.

11. Motivation. Give clear positive messages to employees why it is important to save energy. These reasons usually must go beyond cost savings such as how saving energy could make their job easier. The key to getting people on board is to relate energy efficiency to their own personal interests and values.

12. Maintaining Momentum. Any campaign has a limited life. A key to maintaining momentum is to analyze existing culture, training, procedures and communication systems and build energy into existing mechanisms. For this reason a formal energy management system, compliant with ISO50001, will accelerate the process.



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