Managing your energy use
Six key steps of an energy management strategy
Putting in place a successful energy management strategy involves following six key steps.
Step 1 - get commitment and appoint an energy manager
The first step is to make sure that senior management understands the business benefits of an energy strategy and supports the proposed energy-saving measures. Appointing an energy manager demonstrates that the business takes its energy-saving goals seriously. The energy manager's role is to:
- Lead the energy team in their energy-saving actions
- communicate and emphasise to colleagues the importance of the energy strategy
The energy manager needs experience and training to be effective - relevant professional qualifications are available. Depending on the size of your organisation the role might be full or part time.
Step 2 - understand the issues
To manage energy use effectively you need to have a clear understanding of:
- how your business is currently using energy
- how your energy usage compares with other businesses
- attitudes within your business towards adopting energy-saving measures
The Carbon Trust has produced guidance for businesses on implementing an effective energy management strategy. This includes an energy matrix to help you assess your current performance.
Step 3 - plan and organise
Start by carrying out an energy survey to see where you can make energy savings. Use all the information you gather to produce an energy policy and identify long, medium and short-term energy-saving targets.
Step 4 - develop an action plan
Once you have identified your targets, draw up an action plan outlining the practical steps your business will take to achieve your goals. Give individuals responsibility for specific tasks.
Step 5 - involve your staff
It's very important to get support for the energy strategy from:
- key decision makers
- senior management
- staff at all levels of the business
Carrying out training and highlighting the strategy's benefits all help to boost staff participation.
Step 6 - control, monitor and report
Monitor your performance regularly to check that you're making progress towards your energy-saving goals. Put in place procedures to make sure your systems will carry on operating efficiently and continue to make savings in the future. Let staff know how progress towards achieving targets is going - this helps to keep them motivated.
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