Secure and keep your executives on board with energy management by applying these helpful tips.
Gain executive attention
Every energy program needs the backing of management to succeed.
Speak dollars, not BTUs
Proposals to senior management on establishing an energy program must have specific savings goals measured in dollars. Clearly stating goals this way shows your objective to lower the company’s operating costs and improve profitability.
Make the case with financial metrics
Speak the language of company officers when explaining the program. Use financial metrics valued by your company. These may include net present value (NPV), simple payback, internal rate of return, and hurdle rate. Also consider that the risk of energy performance projects may be lower than that of competing investment alternatives. EPA’s ENERGY STAR financial value calculator can help with developing financial metrics.
First cost vs. lifecycle cost
Usually funding of projects is based on initial (or first) cost rather than lifecycle cost. Investments in non-energy related process improvements often take priority over energy investments. By focusing on internal rates of return (IRR), you can demonstrate that energy projects may be better investment options. EPA’s ENERGY STAR financial value calculator can help with determining IRR.
Provide real-world proof
Credibility grows when evidence supports targeted savings. Results from a pilot energy management program at a company facility can be persuasive. Pilot programs can show the relatively short payback periods of energy projects and their significant savings. Include financial professionals on your team to help you calculate the economic returns from an energy management program.
Compare to competitors
Use benchmarking to compare your company’s energy performance and management practices to that of similar companies. This will appeal to management’s desire to achieve a competitive edge. ENERGY STAR has tools and resources that can help your company track and benchmark energy performance.
Relate energy to security and risk
Explain how investing in technologies and practices that reduce energy consumption can positively impact the company’s energy security and insulate from risks associated with supply and price uncertainties.
Build a strong foundation
Take time at the beginning to make sure that the proper building blocks are in place.
Get CEO buy-in
One of the best ways to demonstrate executive support for energy management is to have the CEO approve and sign a broad policy statement on energy management. An approved corporate policy confirms support for the energy management program and establishes the program’s legitimacy. Many manufacturers join ENERGY STAR to help secure CEO support.
Seek a line item in the budget
To further ensure program stability, make sure there is a line item for energy in the corporate budget.
Implement an energy management program
Implementing an energy management program helps to formally establish a process for benchmarking, setting goals, developing action plans and tracking program results. The ability to track and measure program success is critical to continuous improvement, communicating results and ensuring the program’s positive impact on the organization. Follow the ENERGY STAR Guidelines for Energy Management to develop a strategy energy management program.
When an energy program is up and running, it is important to continuously maintain and build on the original foundation to ensure success.
Keep a high profile
An energy manager should be included in corporate business meetings and make sure that the energy program is consistent with the company’s business plan and supports corporate goals and objectives.
Share the success
When people are included and praised for program successes, they are more willing to support overall objectives. It is the energy manager’s responsibility to make sure that everyone involved shares credit for successes. This practice avoids “ownership” struggles and can increase program participation as “everyone wants to be part of a winning effort.”
Present awards & recognition
Be generous in bestowing awards for accomplishments. When senior managers recognize employee contributions to the company, it can boost employee morale and retain loyalty to the energy program.
Seek national recognition
ENERGY STAR partners should consider applying for the annual ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year award recognizing top performing companies for their superior efforts in corporate energy management. The award provides winners national recognition and can be used to encourage future achievement. It also attracts the positive attention of senior management.
Foster senior management ownership
Increase top management’s visibility and association with the program by inviting corporate officers to accept awards and present accomplishments at high profile industry and government conferences. This effort creates a sense of ownership for the corporate officer.
Leverage ENERGY STAR
ENERGY STAR presents an excellent opportunity for a participating company to benchmark itself against peers, reduce costs, polish its public image and gain recognition for its energy efficiency activities.
The ENERGY STAR approach to energy performance and its unique communications opportunities allows program results to be easily rolled into corporate public relations, community outreach, and environmental, safety and health programs.
ENERGY STAR recognition is an unquestionable symbol of a company’s commitment to achieving excellence in energy performance.
In all areas of the company
ENERGY STAR resources are broad and cover many areas that can help your organization. Check out the full ENERGY STAR Web site to establish purchasing guidelines for energy efficient office equipment, provide information and tips for saving energy in offices, homes, schools, etc.