Planning to conserve energy
The success of a plan of any kind in an organisation depends upon the support of the management team at all levels, followed by the acceptance and subsequent support of the employees. There are a number of steps you can take to improve your chances of success in your venture. To plan to make energy SAVINGS, you should:
- Set the task;
- Apprise people of the situation;
- View the current picture;
- Imagine the future;
- Now make the plan;
- Go for it!; and,
- See how you’ve done.
Let us look at each stage in more detail.
Set the task
It is a good idea to make someone responsible for the project, to allocate the job of improving energy management. This can be extremely motivational and in addition provides a focal point for the process of change and improvement.
Apprise people of the situation
Keeping people informed is key to the success of your venture. This process should be established from the start and regular updates should be given to maintain interest in the progress of the project. It is a good idea to incorporate some kind of staff incentive scheme, giving rewards to people who accurately identify areas where savings may be made. Rewards could be in the form of cash and directly related to the overall savings achieved, or could be such things as gift vouchers, extra holiday or gifts such as watches, etc. Again, it is a good idea to relate the size of the reward to the savings made - someone who makes a suggestion that saves the company £2,000 will expect a more tangible reward than the person whose suggestion saved £200.
View the current picture
You will need to establish exactly where you stand at the moment. Checking on utilities bills for the past couple of years (if available) will begin to show you what you spend. Also, you should go and take a look at how things operate. Don’t assume that you know how machinery and processes work, check it out for yourself. Looking closely at individual methods and processes will begin to show where the money goes.
Imagine the future
Once you are armed with information relating to how much is spent and on what, it is possible to look to the future and envisage your best case scenario. Where do you want to be? By when? When setting targets for your energy management programme, you should ensure that they are SMART: that is, specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound.
Now make the plan
Having established both where you stand and where you want to be, with SMART targets, you are in a position to prepare a project plan.
Go for it!
Time to implement your plan. Remember that change can be threatening, so be sure to continue with your policy of keeping people informed.
See how you’ve done
It is important that you monitor your progress. Analyse bills, solicit staff opinion, check on the performance of machinery. Remember that plans are not necessarily set in stone, nor are they sticks with which to beat people. The process of monitoring is there to ensure that you stay on course. If you drift off course, it is up to you to then investigate to find out why and to take corrective action. Monitoring makes sure that you do not go too far astray.
It is also necessary to evaluate. Since your targets were timebound, you have a timescale in which you will hope to have achieved them. If you have, then you have some good, positive news to communicate to others. Even if you have not achieved everything, your monitoring should ensure that you have at least some successes to report.
It is likely that you will move on to a new stage in your energy management programme. Evaluation of your successes (and perhaps lack of it in certain areas) will help you to plan stage two.