Develop an action plan

There are 4 elements to a successful energy management action plan.

1. Clearly designated responsibility

Energy management programmes have the best chance of success when driven by senior managers prepared to dedicate resource (time, people and money) to make it work.

The energy manager will be responsible for carrying out the plan, ensuring decisions are made on time – and they are accountable for the plan’s effectiveness and success. Key to this is assigning responsibility for managing energy to staff across the organisation who are in a position to influence and manage energy use.

2. Realistic goals

Set energy savings goals based on an assessment of your energy use and review periodically.

Goals should be SMART:

Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Realistic

Time-based

Set up a system for reporting progress towards these goals. Goals should be challenging but they must be achievable. Make them realistic by comparing with industry standards. Apply standards that indicate how much energy should be used for a particular application.

3. Programme planning and implementation

It’s best to start with operational and management opportunities with short-term payback that can be implemented easily. Their impact will help you build on your initial successes and get support for other initiatives. Implementing larger opportunities requires planning, capital investment, and careful integration into existing systems, but they can also deliver fast paybacks.

Review the end date of all of your energy contracts, so you can plan for rollover or moving to a new supplier. If you spend more than $150,000 per year on energy, consider having a third party conduct an energy audit.

4. Performance monitoring

You’ll need to find ways to continually monitor your energy consumption and the effectiveness of energy control processes. This is relatively easy once your energy monitoring systems are in place.

You should also undertake regular management diagnostics to assess the programme’s policy effectiveness, motivational and marketing ability, information systems investment support, etc. This will identify areas in which your energy management programme has strengths, or needs additional support to be effective.