An introductory guide to energy management

15 March 2017

Here, we offer an introductory guide to energy management for small businesses, helping you to better implement an energy conscious approach within your organisation.

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What is energy management?

Like any aspect of business management, energy needs to be supervised and organised to guarantee its efficiency and success. Despite this, few small businesses take an active approach in managing energy consumption, meaning that opportunities for energy and money saving often go overlooked. 

But in a climate in which energy prices are on the rise, and where the government is placing increasing pressure on businesses to ensure it meets its carbon reduction targets, it’s now imperative that businesses big and small take steps to improving how they currently manage energy.

energy management

Adopting a systematic approach to energy management can vastly improve the energy performance of your business, and from a small business point of view, this can be achieved relatively easily — with minimal resources needed to implement energy management that’s proportionate to the scale of your operation.

Below, we outline some of the measures your business can implement to improve its energy management.

How to implement an energy management strategy

Successful energy management must be scaled and tailored to the size and nature of your business. There’s a big difference between energy management for a small office-based business as opposed to that of a large organisation with a complex, multi-site energy structure. For a small business, there are two key steps which can be introduced to improve on-going energy management.  

Elect an energy manager

Your first step towards comprehensive energy management is to elect an energy manager who will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of how your business consumes energy. Many large corporate businesses employ someone specifically to manage their energy operations. However, for small businesses any additional tasks concerning energy management can be integrated with an existing employee’s normal everyday duties. 

The role and responsibilities of the energy manager will differ greatly depending on the size of the business, but in essence, their job is to ensure that the business is using energy as efficiently as possible, in a long-term effort to save time and money. This can be achieved in a number of ways, but often starts with an initial review of the way energy is currently being used across the business, to identify areas of improvement. Achievable energy reduction targets can then be determined, and an energy strategy and action plan outlined to demonstrate how these improvements can be made.

While it’s the energy manager’s job to see that these steps are taken, the entire company should be responsible for ensuring that they’re completed to an accurate, high-standard. This is particularly true of the owner, director or senior management team, who should be involved from the beginning of the energy management process to encourage all employees to take an active role in helping the business meet its new energy efficiency targets.

energy manager

Drawing up an energy policy

After the energy manager has performed an initial review into the business’ current energy usage and costs, they should have a good understanding of the steps needed to improve energy consumption across the business. This can then be translated into a comprehensive energy policy, which outlines the business’ commitment to reducing energy use, and the strategy it will take to achieve these new energy targets.  

An energy policy need only be a short written document, and should include the following:

  • An endorsement from the owner or director, showing that the company’s new environmental strategy has their complete backing and support. This is a chance to encourage all employees to take an active role in the business’ energy management strategy. 
  • The business’ overarching energy management vision, complete with a list of aspirations and goals which can lead on to specific short and long term energy reduction targets.
  • A breakdown of how effective energy management will be integrated across the business, and any potential effects this may have on everyday working practices.
  • Evidence which demonstrates that sufficient resources are in place to meet energy efficiency targets in the short and long term.
  • Details of how energy management will be reviewed going forward, with key assessment dates listed to keep staff up to date. 
  • A written energy strategy, outlining the steps the business will take to ensure that it meets its energy reduction targets. According to The Carbon Trust, the energy strategy should address eight key areas, including organising energy management, regulatory compliance, investment, procurement, metering and monitoring, identifying opportunities, organisational culture, and communications.

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For smaller businesses, it may not be necessary to draw up a formal energy policy. However, we would always recommend briefing employees on the business’ energy strategy, particularly if it could directly or indirectly affect the workplace.  You might even consider offering incentives to the employees who do the most to help the business achieve its targets.

small busines energy

The benefits of good energy management

Adopting a systematic approach to energy management can vastly improve the energy performance of your business, leading to lower energy bills, reduced carbon emissions and a more environmentally conscious corporate image, which will undoubtedly reflect well on your customer and client base.

If your business takes steps to introduce a specific Energy Management System (EnMS) to help monitor on-going energy consumption across the business, the benefits can be considerable: 

  • Encourages energy management best-practice across everyday operations.
  • Ensures that energy processes are continually improved.
  • Monitor and target year-on-year energy reduction.
  • Set measurable energy targets.
  • Identify key areas for energy improvement.

Energy management isn’t just for big business. By investing in energy management practices, even the smallest businesses can enjoy the benefits of effective energy management.  

At Gazprom Energy, we help thousands of small businesses across the UK to manage their business energy contracts. To find out how we can help you, visit the homepage or call us today on 0161 837 3395.

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.

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