Management Commitment

The most important single ingredient for successful implementation and operation of an energy management program is commitment to the program by top management. Without this commitment, the program will likely fail to reach its objectives. Thus, the role of the energy manager is crucial in ensuring that management is committed to the program.

Two situations are likely to occur with equal probability when designing an energy management program. In the first, management has decided that energy management is necessary and wants a program implemented. This puts you—the energy manager—in the response mode. In the second, you—an employee—have decided to convince management of the need for the program so you are in the aggressive mode. Obviously, the most desirable situation is the response mode as much of your sales effort is unnecessary; nonetheless, a large number of energy management programs have been started through the aggressive mode. Let's consider each of these modes.

In a typical scenario of the response mode, management has seen rapidly rising energy prices and/or curtailments, has heard of the results of other energy management programs, and has then initiated action to start the program. In this case, the management commitment already exists, and all that needs to be done is to cultivate that commitment periodically and to be sure the commitment is evident to all people affected by the program. We will discuss this aspect more when we talk about demonstrating the commitment.

In the aggressive mode, you, the employee, know that energy costs are rising dramatically and that sources are less secure. You may have taken a course in energy management, attended professional conferences, and/or read papers on the subject. At any rate, you are now convinced that the company needs an energy management program. All that remains is to convince management and obtain their commitment.

The best way to convince management is with facts and statistics. Sometimes the most startling way to show the facts is through graphs such as Figure 1-7. Note that different goals of energy cost reduction are shown. This graph can be done in total for all energy sources, or several graphs can be used—one for each source. The latter is probably better as

Figure 1-7. Energy costs—past and future.

savings goals can be identified by energy source. You must have accurate data. Past figures can use actual utility bills, but future figures call for forecasting. Local utilities and various state energy agencies can help you provide management with more accurate data.

Follow this data with quotes on programs from other companies showing these goals are realistic. Other company experiences are widely published in the literature; results can also be obtained through direct contacts with the energy manager in each company. Typical cost avoidance figures are shown in Table 1-2. However, as time progresses and the technology matures, these figures tend to change. For example, a short time ago only a few people believed that an office building could reduce energy consumption by 70 percent or that manufacturing plants could operate on half the energy previously required, yet both are now occurring on a regular basis.

As the proponent of an energy management program, you could then talk about the likelihood of energy curtailments or brownouts and what they would mean to the company. Follow this with a discussion of what the energy management program can do to minimize the impacts of curtailments and brownouts.

Finally, your presentation should discuss the competition and what they are doing. Accurate statistics on this can be obtained from trade and professional organizations as well as the U.S. Department of Energy. The savings obtained by competitors can also be used in developing the goals for your facility.

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Responses

  • abelino
    How to convince management for committments?
    8 years ago

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