Sunday, January 08, 2012

Energy Solutions Q&A

Here's a question from a reader:

What is the best approach to engage an organization to participate in an energy efficiency program, when there is not a direct relationship to upper management?

And here's my reply:

I guess you know that your question raises a subject that I’ve written about many times. I’ll recommend a few of my blog posts:

1. Scenarios for Energy Management
2. From Energy to Cash Flow
3. Who Will Blink First: Energy Solution Providers or Consumers?
4. General Eisenhower's Thoughts on Master Planning

Now, to your point, you are asking for “the best way.” I wish it were a one-size-fits-all solution, but sadly, it’s not. Each of your customer organizations presents a unique combination of corporate culture, leadership styles and motivations, overall business investment strategies, and so on. In searching for a common observation about these facilities, I would say it’s the fact that none of their decision-makers get out of bed thinking about what to do with their energy consumption. But rather than this being a dead-end, it is in my mind an opportunity. While “energy” will never be the locomotive that pulls their agenda, there are certainly other issues which can be supported by the benefits of energy optimization (those benefits being improved capital recovery, greater productivity, access to stimulus funds, and others, to name a few).

Your opportunity/challenge is to raise the dialogue out of the boiler room and across the rest of the organization. A tour of other department managers will reveal any number of hot button issues that occupy their attention. I guarantee you that discussion with these managers will reveal some business solutions where the INDIRECT consequences of energy improvement contribute DIRECTLY to their primary issues.

The best common denominator I can think of is money. I am a big proponent of monetizing the energy position for any given proposal. That’s the subject of this five-minute YouTube video.



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