An energy management system will help you identify, plan and implement change. It will also include practical systems and procedures to help your company reach its energy goals.
While one energy management system per organisation may be enough, corporations with multiple, independent business units often find it easier for each unit to implement its own energy management system.
For companies working internationally, or companies keen to align energy management with other business systems like environmental management (covered under ISO14001) or quality management (covered under ISO9001), it may be worthwhile using the voluntary ISO50001 standard as the basis for your energy management system.
Key elements of a strong energy management system
- Senior management is committed to the process.
- Energy management is embedded into business, not just ‘tacked on’ to existing systems.
- Clear goals are set about the company’s energy use.
- Energy management is recognised as part of continuous business improvement.
- Progress is tracked, evaluated and reported.
How an energy policy might look
Typically, an energy policy will state how energy management aligns with the organisation’s broader goals. It will set time-specific targets, for example, a reduction in the amount of energy used per unit of production by a given date.
An energy policy might also address links between carbon emissions and energy use, and set out the company’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. It should also explain how energy relates to broader sustainability objectives and policies.
As with any business policy, an energy policy should be periodically updated.
Who should manage energy improvements?
Usually, an energy manager will oversee the development and implementation of an energy management system. This person acts as the link between senior management and the rest of the organisation, but they shouldn’t work alone. Ideally, the energy manager will form an energy team involving staff from across the organisation, as this will ensure all areas of the business are considered in energy efficiency improvements.
Even staff members who aren’t part of the energy team can get involved in energy improvements. Energy assessments could be undertaken by corporate and site-based teams, while a procurement team or operational staff can help negotiate improved energy contracts.