Top 10 energy management tips for executive leaders • COLUMN
By David Arkell
February 15, 2018 - All companies consume energy. At an operational level, energy is one of the 5 highest input costs. Yet, many companies are at risk because they lack full understanding and awareness of energy’s strategic value. For executive leaders who want to take corrective action, here is how:
By David Arkell
1. Be proactive. Excelling at energy management is a proxy for good business management. Become proactive and your company will experience measurable benefits you may never have considered or imagined.
2. Include energy goals in corporate strategy. Provide a clear mandate, delegate responsibility, and schedule quarterly or bi-annual check-ins to assess progress. Make appropriate resources available. Celebrate milestone accomplishments.
3. Integrate energy use and pricing together. This is rarely done, or done well. Capturing energy consumption data is challenging, especially for multi-site organizations. Energy markets are also volatile and complicated. If you have difficulty, consider getting expert advice. It will pay for itself many times over.
4. Build a team. Managing energy and environmental factors takes more than just one person or department. Enlist Operations, Accounting and Procurement. Together, learn how much energy you use and the rates you pay. Discover how rates are impacted by consumption patterns and market trends.
5. Understand energy markets. With good knowledge of energy pricing/markets, your team will be equipped to assess which suppliers are offering a good deal that matches your organization’s needs and projected requirements.
6. Promote energy literacy throughout your organization. Do not let a lack of knowledge or involvement make your organization vulnerable. Make sure the solutions proposed by well-informed suppliers are in the best interests of your organization.
7. Assess and mitigate your climate-related risks. Energy management is the fastest and easiest way to introduce sustainability within your organization. There are now more reasons than ever to pursue clean energy options.
8. Stay on top of the technology disruptions underway. Technology can reduce your energy consumption. You can also use technology to generate or store energy onsite to optimize rates. Knowledge of energy use and costs is essential for ensuring technology proposals are cost-effective for you.
9. Manage it all. Energy management is more than just focusing on electricity. It also includes natural gas, propane, diesel and oil. To be effective, also include utilities like water and wastewater. Their pricing is predicted to increase faster than other utilities. All of these inputs are controllable costs, provided there is an internal process for achieving control.
10. Renew your energy plan regularly. Managing energy is a dynamic process. What you did last year may not make sense again this year.
Energy management is a critical factor in remaining competitive and enhancing your organization’s reputation for environmental responsibility. Establishing a strong team and organizational culture around energy will help your organization reach or exceed the goals you have set. When you follow these tips, I am confident your organization will be on track for success!
David Arkell is the president & CEO of 360 Energy, and has a deep understanding of energy markets and customer energy usage. He has developed results-driven innovations in utility tracking and whole-organization process integration. Together, these have made 360 Energy a leader in energy management consulting across North America. For more information, visit www.360energy.net.