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|Energy Efficiency: Adopting an Energy Champion|
|Written by David McGiverin|
|Wednesday, 09 June 2010 15:14|
Energy Efficiency: Adopting an Energy Champion
By David McGiverin
How does a food processor make energy efficiency a priority?
Sharon Peterson: Key learnings from working with NWFPA members over the past 5+ years tell us that executive sponsorship is the single most important part of a comprehensive energy management program. When the company’s leadership makes energy a priority by establishing an energy policy, setting a goal, and dedicating resources, employees know the company is serious about energy. And that’s when employees will take energy seriously.
What are the key components of an energy program?
That’s a big question and the answer depends on your definition of “energy program.” Any effort to manage energy can be defined as an “energy program.” And today, companies have lots of options available to them. Those options range from training their employees on energy efficient practices, to formalizing operation and maintenance plans, to creating and implementing plans for upgrading to energy-efficient equipment, to changing the culture of their company to focus on energy in the same way they focus on safety or quality. It all depends on the company’s business goals and objectives and where the company believes energy fits as a priority.
What tools and resources are available to help?
First and foremost, NWFPA members have NWFPA as a key resource to support them in managing energy. The Association has always been a leader in energy management. And through its 25 percent in 10 year energy intensity reduction initiative, NWFPA is attracting funding and resources that are helping take its focus on energy to new levels. NWFPA members interested in additional resources can contact their local utilities and the Energy Trust of Oregon (www.energytrust.org) to find out about energy management programs and incentives available to them. In addition, information about NEEA’s Continuous Energy Improvement system is available at www.energyimprovement.org.
A person who is responsible and dedicated to a company’s energy program is very important, but is it enough?
You’re talking about an Energy Champion, a critical part of a company’s energy program. And that brings us full circle to the answer to the first question—executive sponsorship. If the leadership of the company isn’t fully behind the Energy Champion, the champion can’t be successful in his or her job. To be successful, the champion needs consistent authority, responsibility and resources. Those come from the top. When the leadership makes energy a priority, that’s when energy becomes a priority at the company. And that’s the first step toward managing energy as a controllable expense—just as any other manufacturing input is managed at the company.
Thank you Sharon for time spent sharing with us during this interview.
For additional information on structuring your energy program(s) see the following:
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