Does your business have an energy plan for 2023?

The new year is coming. Do you have a plan in place to reduce energy use? Improving your energy performance can not only save you money, but it can enhance the health and comfort of your facility, and help you achieve your sustainability goals. An energy management plan is essential to achieving long-term savings.

Avoiding common mistakes

Energy management plans often fail to realize their full potential. The reasons vary, but here are some common issues that can keep such plans from achieving their goals:

  • Insufficient commitment from top management. The full support of c-suite executives is critical in realizing long-term savings. Only they have the authority to allocate the staff and resources necessary for success.
  • Poorly aligned budgeting. Spreading energy investments across departments can make them difficult to track. Give your energy management program its own budget to coordinate the allocation of resources with goals and accountabilities.
  • Lack of data transparency. Without a way to track progress, it’s difficult to assess performance and sustain momentum. Establish metrics and tools to measure performance and compare results.

By recognizing and avoiding these potential pitfalls at the beginning, you’ll be better prepared to achieve your goals and realize long-term savings.

Start by asking the right questions

If you think of your energy management plan as a journey, start by asking yourself two simple questions — where am I, and where do I want to be?

Where am I at in terms of energy performance.? Measuring and comparing energy use is crucial in identifying opportunities to improve efficiency. Collect energy-use data and benchmark it against similar facilities using the ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager tool.

What are my energy-saving goals? Clear and measurable goals establish guidelines for improvement, as well as a way to track progress. Don’t make it too complicated. It could be as simple as “reduce energy use by 10% in 2023.” That’s your target; everything else flows from there.

Your path to performance improvement

Now that you know where you want to go, these are the steps it will take to get there.

Plan your journey. Your goals are in place. Now it’s time to create a road map to achieve them. Your plan should include specific energy-efficiency measures identified in the assessment phase. These measures should align with your current state, as well as your energy-saving goals.

Check your progress. Review energy use data and the measures carried out as part of your energy management plan regularly. Compare the results against your performance goals.

Change direction. It’s important to evaluate and update your plan to reflect performance improvements and shifting priorities. Use information gathered during your regular review process to identify new improvement measures, determine best practices and set additional goals and objectives.

Toot your own horn. Once you’ve achieved your goals, it’s important to publicize your success within your organization and with customers, business partners and the community at large.

This will help sustain momentum for your efforts and build support. Consider ENERGY STAR® or LEED green building certification as a way to emphasize your organization’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability.

By taking these steps, you’ll be ready to realize all the benefits of a successful energy management plan in 2023 and beyond.