Energy management is the use of technology to improve the energy performance of an organisation. To be fully effective it needs to be an integral part of an organisation's wider management processes - and any corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy.
The management of energy is often neglected, even though there is considerable potential to save energy and reduce costs. Rising energy prices, climate change legislation and the need to be environmentally responsible all require effective energy management.
Successful energy management
Senior management commitment
Without the support of senior managers, energy management will falter and be marginalised. Senior managers need to be convinced of the business case for investing funds and staff time in managing energy.
An energy policy
An energy policy is a written statement of senior management's commitment to managing energy and its environmental impacts. Often it forms part of a wider corporate social responsibility (CSR) policy. For large organisations an energy policy should be no more than two pages long; a few paragraphs may be sufficient for smaller organisations.
An energy strategy
An energy strategy is a working document setting out how energy will be managed in an organisation. It should contain an action plan of tasks, which will initially involve understanding the organisation's current position and establishing the management framework. As the processes are established, the tasks should address the identification and implementation of specific energy saving projects.
A complete and effective energy strategy will address the following aspects:
- Organising roles and responsibilities and ensuring there are sufficient resources available.
- Compliance with energy and climate change regulations is required of businesses and the public sector.
- Investment in projects will be needed to take full advantage of cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities.
- Procurement of buildings, equipment and services should take due account of the implications for energy efficiency and energy related costs.
Metering, Monitoring and Targeting (MM&T)
Energy information management, or Metering, Monitoring and Targeting (MM&T) - the measurement and analysis of energy use - is central to good energy management. For detailed information, read our Monitoring and targeting - in-depth management guide (CTG008).
Identifying energy saving opportunities is an ongoing process. There are two ways of doing this:
- analysing energy data through MM&T
- carrying out energy surveys.
Download Energy surveys (CTG055)
The organisational culture of an organisation can either support or hinder energy efficiency. People are more likely to change their habits if they understand how their actions affect energy consumption and costs. See our Employee awareness guidance for further information on saving energy in the workplace, and supporting materials such as posters and stickers.
Download Creating an awareness campaign (CTG056)
Internal communications are an important part of developing an organisation's culture of energy efficiency. To demonstrate their green credentials some organisations may also wish to communicate their energy saving endeavours to their customers, suppliers, shareholders and the local community.
As with any management process, regular reviews are vital to ensure that sufficient progress is being made and that energy management policies, strategies and action plans continue to be up-to-date and relevant. An annual review is typical, but this may need to be more frequent in the early stage.
Energy management publications
Download the following energy management publications:
Energy management support
If you'd like to improve energy efficiency of your organisation, see our services to find out how we can help. This includes financing and implementation support for organisations seeking to invest in energy efficient equipment, for more details visit our Implementation & finance page.
If you'd like our experts to help your organisation devise and implement an effective energy management strategy, visit our Business advice page.
If your organisation is based in Wales or Northern Ireland, visit our regional pages to get details of our UK government-funded support.