Physical modification of mechanical and electrical systems is only one part of an effective energy conservation program. Proper equipment operation, responsible habits (for example, turning off lights and computers), and a method of monitoring and tracking energy use are all part of a complete program.
An energy conservation program is not something that is “done to” your organization by an outside entity, but is something undertaken by your organization, possibly with the help of outside specialists. It involves your staff. Their “energy skills”, awareness, and daily activities play a significant role in ensuring success.
UK Good Practice Guide 306 is a British public document describing how organizations can assess their own situation and set priorities for establishing an effective energy conservation program. The following sections are taken from GPG306 to allow you to evaluate your present staff awareness and point to training needs.
We recommend making a careful assessment of your current situation. The evaluation matrix below assesses the role of energy awareness and training activities, and the use of information to continually improve energy performance. Procedures for reviewing energy performance, reporting performance, and for keeping abreast of market developments are assessed.
- insert Awareness and Information Matrix here -
Score each of the six columns from 0 to 4, and then average them to get an overall organizational score. The scoring is as follows:
|•||Level 4 is indicative of clear delegation of responsibility for energy consumption throughout the organization. Energy efficiency is regularly promoted both formally and informally. A comprehensive monitoring system is in place, and performance is closely monitored against targets. Plant and equipment will be selected for energy efficiency and its operation will be closely monitored.|
|•||Level 3 is indicates that energy management is treated seriously at a senior level, and is incorporated within formal management structures. Consumption is likely to be assigned to cost centre budgets, and there will be an agreed system for reporting energy consumption, promoting energy efficiency and investing in energy efficiency. Plant and equipment selection will be based on energy efficiency.|
|•||Level 2 suggests that the importance of energy management is recognized at a senior management level, but there is little active support for energy management activities. Energy staff are likely to be based in a technical department, and the effectiveness of energy management is restricted to the interests of a limited number of employees. The majority of plant and equipment will be energy efficient.|
|•||Level 1 generally indicates that, although there is no specific energy policy, some energy management activities are in place, albeit in a rudimentary or informal fashion. Reporting procedures and awareness matters are undertaken on an ad hoc basis. Some plant and equipment will include energy-efficient features.|
|•||Level 0 applies to sites where energy management is virtually non-existent. There is no energy policy, no formal delegation of energy management responsibilities, and there is no program for promoting energy awareness within the organization. Any equipment is unlikely to be energy efficient or to include any energy-efficient features.|
Now that you have scored your organization on each of the six columns in the matrix, any weaknesses should be clear. Moving forward, the aim should be to have a balanced profile, and then move up the matrix in a balanced way.
Decide which columns contain issues that are most important in your situation. Choose two columns where you would most like to see an improvement, ideally making sure that the matrix would become more balanced. Usually these will be the columns in which your score is lowest, but not always. There may be obstacles that seem insurmountable, in which case it is better to concentrate on areas where there is a good chance of success. Then decide on what actions are needed to make the improvements you have identified. Discuss these with your manager, and use them as the basis for developing a costed action plant. The aim should be to move up through the levels toward current best practice and, in so doing, develop or maintain a balance across the columns. For example, it is not so effective having high levels of energy management responsibility without reporting procedures or ongoing training.
Once a priority has been set, there is often a temptation to concentrate on that activity until it meets the level 4 requirement of the matrix. This should be avoided. A deviation of plus or minus one level about the mean is acceptable. Any results significantly above the mean are unlikely to contribute to the current energy efficiency status.
Issues and Concerns
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