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Energy Managers Also Manage People

Linda Hardesty

It takes three specifically-trained professionals to run a successful energy-management program at a large facility, according to a column in Chemical Processing.

The energy manager is a full-time position, preferably filled by an experienced process engineer, according to Ven V. Venkatesan, an energy columnist. But in addition to his or her technical work, the energy manager at a large facility can also benefit from the assistance of an energy consultant and an energy auditor. The roles can be combined for smaller facilities.

Responsibilities of the energy manager include:

  • Initiate and monitor the energy database and report to top management.
  • Develop energy consumption targets based on best-in-class baselines.
  • Optimize energy consumption at all phases of the operation.
  • Develop energy-saving behavioral campaigns.
  • Measure energy efficiency with an energy accounting system.
  • Create cost-benefit analysis of proposed energy cost-reduction measures.
  • Present proposals to management for capital approval.
  • Implement energy-saving measures.
  • Stay abreast of trends in the profession via associations, research institutes and equipment manufacturers.

While the energy manager assumes responsibility for the company’s energy program, he or she can can get help from energy consultants who:

  • Develop an energy cost-reduction strategy for the facility.
  • Set benchmark levels.
  • Set target milestones.
  • Evaluate vendors.
  • Provide detailed engineering for energy cost-reduction measures.
  • Provide technical assistance and analysis.

Finally, an energy auditor, usually an unbiased external specialist, does the following:

  • Validate the plant’s energy cost and consumption data.
  • Compare and correlate production activity with energy use.
  • Help with energy procurement.
  • Perform heat and mass balances measurements.
  • Classify energy uses as controllable or uncontrollable losses.


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