Energy Management: Success is a team effort.
Would Wayne Gretzky have been as successful without role players like Dave Semenko and Marty McSorly?
I’m not trying to rehash this timeless debate; however, these guys undoubtedly opened up the ice for #99. They gave him something he needed – time and space. Your team can do the same for you.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you hire protection to ensure you get the results you want. Instead, I strongly advise that you understand who’s involved in the process and ensure that you have a clear line of communication so that you can stay privy to the information you need.
Who makes up your energy management team?
Defense: The Finance Department
Let’s begin with your finance department – your defense. Everyone knows that a good defense is your best offense so establishing clear communication lines with your finance team is critical, especially since they are the ones who receive the utility bill and validate it for accuracy. They have a system that provides them with actual consumption and cost data, and can verify that it aligns with the electricity management plan and consumption data for the same period last year. If something is out of line, it is their responsibility to understand the issue and protect your organization from unnecessary costs, reporting any anomalies to your electricity leader and operations team.
Offense: Operations, Maintenance and Facilities
Your offense – operations, maintenance, and/or facilities – all work to achieve a 10% reduction target in consumption. The operations manager is confident with the target because they were involved in setting it based on a normalized baseline. Again clear communication is essential to the process, as the operations manager uses the information passed along from the defensive team to determine where to make improvements. Using this information, he or she can take the necessary action to successfully lower maximum usage and electricity used during non-production hours. Simply understanding what equipment was running at those times and turning them off to reduce unnecessary consumption can make a significant impact.
The Coach: The Energy Manager
Your coach (typically the budget holder) needs to keep the whole team working together. Based on the information collected in your budgeting and energy management plan, they receive constant feedback in easily generated reports to ensure the success of the plan. When improvement opportunities are presented to him, he can make educated decisions calculated by their return on investment (ROI). Following implementation, he can easily track the results because he has the necessary systems in place to monitor consumption and cost.
Success is a team effort
It is important to note that achieving success is a team effort. When everyone – from finance to operations – is aware of the goal to reduce electricity and involved in the improvement process, they are incented to work more efficiently and recommend further ways to improve.
Granted, this post describes a very ideal situation. Given the dynamic nature of your business, as well as the electricity market, energy management planning and implementation will involve many unforeseen changes. However, you can apply similar techniques within your organization that will yield immediate results.
If you have any questions or comments please share them in the comments section below.