The U.S. government’s Energy Star program is among the leading sources on the implementation of energy management.
In their detailed document on putting together an energy management team, the first step is “Make Commitment.” Indeed, without executive commitment and a team to support energy management efforts, those same efforts are bound to fall flat.
But how do you go about building the right team to support your energy management goals? Do you rush out to hire an energy manager? Or first try to build a team internally?
Every organization is different, but we have a few ideas as to the best approach. Keep reading to find out what it is.
Identify a Leader
You cannot form an energy management team without a leader. If you have an energy manager on staff already, that would be the natural choice. Your team leader need not be a C-level executive. Rather, it should be someone who can communicate easily with and report back to the highest levels of management, keep energy top of mind and pushing for energy to become a part of your company’s core business.
Consider Virtual Options
Depending on the size of your organization, you may not have the personnel or the capital to hire a full-time, on-site energy manager. Indeed, experienced energy managers are in high demand and not always easy to come by. In this case, consider whether a virtual energy manager could offer the support and guidance you need to reach your organization’s energy goals.
Get Executive Buy-In
This is not the first mention of executive buy-in on the blog, or even in this post, but that’s because it is critical to successful strategic energy management. Without a champion at the highest levels, even the best team will fall apart.
An Executive Council Can Work
At bigger, more complex organizations an executive council may be more effective than a single executive champion. In this case, a council comprised of representatives from different departments or regions can meet annually to determine the strategic direction of the energy management team. These council members can then carry the importance of energy management with them throughout the year, offering vocal support when necessary.
Include All Departments
The tasks that support energy management are not unique to a single department within your organization so as many departments as prudent should be included. Service providers outside of your organization should also be considered. Specifically, some you may want to include are:
- Facilities management
- Corporate real estate
Calling upon a member of each of these (and other) departments to steer the direction of your energy management program will ensure that you are taking a big picture view of the implications of your strategy and that you have the foundational support that you need throughout the business.
The exact number of people on your energy management team will depend largely on the size of your organization and your energy management goals. No two teams will look exactly alike.
If you’re not sure that hiring an energy manager is the best way forward for your organization, the quiz below can help you decide.