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Power Lines at Sunset

Corporations have the opportunity to meet the urgency of global climate health with measures that will both reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint. With consumer concern over climate change gaining traction, organizations that implement energy efficiency strategies are positioned to be viewed in a more positive light.

Strategic energy management planning is utilized by large organizations and governments. It's goal is to assess and reduce energy use and costs over time through creation of an energy management action plan. Regular review and analysis of these plans allow organizations to proactively onboard new technologies and methods of energy management.

Steps for Launching Your Energy Management Action Plan

Initiate the process

Leaders must be on-board for successful implementation of a sustainable energy management program. Top-down leadership on an initiative of this size gives credibility and visibility to the effort. It also clearly signals to all members of the organization that energy use reduction is in alignment with the overall corporate mission.

To gain this commitment, C-Suite and Senior Management members should be briefed on what an energy management action plan is, how it benefits the organization, and any initial costs.

Determine a baseline

The first phase in creating an energy management plan is discovery of current energy streams, consumption, and associated costs. An energy audit provides a baseline assessment to track the progress of future reduction efforts. Baseline assessments should account for all buildings, infrastructure, transportation, and other sources of energy consumption.

Compile your organization's energy profile

An energy profile draws data from multiple sources, such as financial records, compliance records, and the baseline assessment. The goal of the profile is to identify the sources and distribution of energy throughout your organization to assist with achievable energy planning. Sources of energy, such as wind, solar, and natural gas, should be quantified by cost per kilowatt hour of usage. Distribution of energy through channels like ventilation, lights, and equipment use, should likewise be listed with associated operational costs.

Form an energy committee

Gather stakeholders and leaders from across the organization to spearhead the creation, implementation, and oversight of the energy management action plan. Input from a diversity of perspectives is invaluable for understanding the potential benefit and impact of proposed energy reduction initiatives. 

The energy committee should also have members from across departments whose skill is to motivate and gain buy-in from their peers. The way changes are introduced can rally a workforce or leave them feeling defeated or skeptical. Strategically place energy champions on the committee who can introduce these changes in a positive light.

Set high-impact, achievable goals

Energy reduction goals should be impactful and achievable in both the near and long term. If the baseline audit was conducted with the assistance of an outside consultant, they likely have a list of potential actions your organization can take to optimize energy usage.

Utility companies often offer programs that assist with energy reduction and access to sustainable energy sources. Various levels of government also offer incentives for updating energy infrastructure.

After reviewing recommendations by outside parties, it is up to the energy committee to set goals that make sense within the function, resources, and culture of the organization. Awareness of proposed energy legislation and agreements reached at global energy summits may help with setting benchmarks.

Draft an energy management plan

This plan will become your organization’s foundational document for energy management. It is important to take stock of how proposed initiatives align with corporate mission, vision, and values, as well as their impact on workers and the surrounding community. Well-intentioned changes are not always best practices.

The plan should detail the timeline of goals and include an explanation of metrics used to quantify progress and success in reaching those goals. Include a clear summary of committee member roles and responsibilities.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to drafting an energy management plan. However, there are resources available that can help you decide what your organization’s plan should look like. This guide from the Carbon Trust is one such example.

Release a policy statement

This statement comes from leadership and sets the direction for the whole organization. Items to include in this policy document are:

  • Statement of intention
  • Summary of energy management action plan goals
  • Outline of steps for review and revision of the plan
  • Summary of training and educational opportunities

Implementation and review

With a solid plan in place, implementation is as simple as having committee members put their assigned tasks into action. The frequency of review and metrics for success outlined in the plan should be adhered to so the plan remains viable and efforts are not wasted. Regular review shines a light on what is working and what isn’t and allows for the adoption of new technology and updates to remain compliant with new regulations.

Energizing a Culture Shift

Adopting an energy management plan not only saves your organization money through reduced energy costs, it also impacts your corporate culture by encouraging mindfulness around energy use. The education and training you provide to your employees impacts their behaviors outside of work, too, paving the way for a more energy-conscious community.

Learn more about Energy Management Systems and Planning, and how Inogen Alliance might be able to help you.

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