Energy Managers that make a difference lay the track not drive the train
There has not been this much concern over energy costs in Ontario for quite some time. Electricity prices are rising along with natural gas, and gasoline. It is the perfect storm – and you can run but can’t hide. Volatile energy markets continue to put unprecedented pressures on manufacturing profits. Energy managers have a unique opportunity to make a difference by having their organization make a commitment to implementing an energy program.
Many organizations have embraced safety and made it part of their culture. Now is the time for progressive organizations to make energy efficiency and conservation part of that same culture.
Just last week, I’ve heard Stephen J. Coppinger speak about the report he authored for CalPortland related to their energy management journey. As a result of CalPortland’s commitment to energy management throughout its organization, employee involvement, energy efficiency initiatives and long term strategies they were able to save $52 Million since 2005.
Based on many conversations I’ve had with major energy users in Ontario, I believe similar energy programs can not only help companies save millions of dollars but also reduce process emissions by creating a corporate culture that fosters continuous improvement in the areas of sustainability and energy efficiency.
The opportunity for the energy manager is to implement these program. The railway track needs to be laid before we drive the train. Too often energy managers are left wanting to run the train without the program – proper (track) being in place.
Consider some high-level steps you should start thinking about before implementing your energy management plan.
Energy management steps – laying the track
1. Management buy-in
- Establish a core culture of energy efficiency (like safety)
- Executive team involvement in program
- Plant manager involvement & support
2. Create an energy organization – corporate energy team
- Include energy manager responsibilities in everyone’s job
- Green Team tasked to look for ways the company can embrace renewables in their operations
- Set a baseline – quantify energy, install metering, study utility bills, benchmark, develop reports & scorecards and set goals
- Identify & execute projects treasure hunts, replicate best practices, enlist help from utilities, Ontario roving energy managers, track opportunities, provide engineering support and have them compete for capital to complete projects
- Engage employees awareness programs, use point system for peer recognition, website, newsletters, training, awards & recognition (President’s Award for Energy Management & Outreach)
3. Promote energy efficiency externally
- Get the word out to your customers, vendors, industry groups, communities and schools. Be proud of your achievements.
4. Measure and celebrate the results with the Bruce Power Virtual Energy Manager
- Gain in-depth understanding of your electricity consumption and cost trends
- Detect anomalies to eliminate wasted energy
- Set, track and monitor your electricity budget
- Set targets, baselines and monitor progress
- Identify and apply learnings to drive future energy performance
In Ontario with continued pressures on manufacturing profits being eroded by increasing energy costs, energy managers have a unique opportunity to implement and develop an energy management program. Developing an energy management plan is the only way to reduce consumption and achieve cost saving objectives. Measuring and monitoring the resulting data will drive efforts towards a cycle of continuous improvement.
At Bruce Power Direct we would welcome the opportunity to work with you to lay down those tracks. Let’s discuss and identify what are the required tracks (4 steps) for your business that will help your organization achieve the benefits of being on the energy management train.
Does your organization have the train tracks laid for a successful energy program?
To learn more please contact one of our electricity advisers.
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