To implement an effective corporate energy management system, businesses need a combination of senior management support, good data, clear targets and technical, managerial and economic resources, as well as consistent implementation over decades, says energy expert Peter Garforth in an article written for Plant Services.
However, the reality is that other business priorities typically take precedence over the energy challenge and few companies can keep up with the implications of a changing energy world, says Garforth. This often means that companies continue to use tried and tested approaches using data and assumptions that may be out of date.
In addition, engagement at the start of a program can fade, which jeopardizes the sustained consistency needed for successful energy management, he says.
Garforth’s recommendation is to use regular detailed benchmarking to ensure that your company’s energy management strategy is “refreshed, challenged and adjusted.” He cited a recent meeting between sustainability and energy teams of major U.S. corporations, which shared their different approaches to energy management.
Topics included energy metering and reporting systems, employee motivation and incentives, low-cost and no-cost efficiency practices, climate change legislation, efficiency and clean supply technologies and the energy efficiency in all major procurement decisions.
While each company was building its own energy management expertise in different ways, they “all recognized the importance in understanding the direct and indirect carbon footprints, as much for avoiding business risks associated with climate legislation as for mitigating climate change,” says Garforth.
It also reenergized their programs by sharing their approaches with other companies.
The upshot: “Systematic benchmarking of energy management programs keeps them relevant and successful,” says Garforth.