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10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers [SlideDoc]

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Developing the right tactics can determine success, so what practices should energy managers nurture?

Sharing from her personal experience working with other energy managers every day, EnergyCAP Project Manager SJ Bergman (CEM, CMVP) highlights ten practices that help energy managers excel in their work.

SJ received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an active member of ASHRAE, AEE, AESP, and IBPSA. Passionate about energy efficiency, SJ has a favorite saying that the cleanest and cheapest unit of energy is the one you never use.

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10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers [SlideDoc]

  1. 1. Today's Energy Leader Webinar topic is the 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers. It will be presented by Shirley Jean or S. J. Bergman. SJ is a project manager here at EnergyCAP. She is a member of Ashrae, AEE, AESP, IBSA and PMI. She has a lot of years of experience in the energy management industry. She is a certified energy manager and a certified measurement and verification professional by the Association of Energy Engineers. 1 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  2. 2. I believe that being an energy manager is one of the most exciting and rewarding jobs that anyone can have. So whether you're working in a corporate environment or on an educational campus, in a research or a manufacturing facility, as an energy manager you really play a crucial role in your organization. So some of the things that you're responsible for are setting the tone for the energy management activities for your business. You're the keeper of cost and consumption data, which is really the key to understanding trends and forecasting for budgeting. You can investigate new technologies and sometimes even see them implemented. You're an agent of positive change, having a real impact on your organization and the world by decreasing your carbon footprint. 2 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  3. 3. So as exciting and rewarding as the energy manager's job may be, it is also at times challenging and frustrating and that's often for the same reasons that it's exciting and rewarding. Because you're the keeper of the data, the people who need that information will demand it from you and they want it now. New technologies are expensive and sometimes risky to implement. You want to influence your organization for change but you recognize systemic issues that you don't have the time or the resources to address. So how can energy managers overcome these obstacles and difficulties to achieve success in energy savings, dollar savings and process efficiencies? Well, there are very successful energy managers and it's not just that they are exceptionally talented individuals, although in some cases they are. The main reason that energy managers succeed is because they do the right things. 3 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  4. 4. It's been my privilege to work with many really amazing energy managers. So here at EnergyCAP, we've identified ten tactics used by the most successful energy managers that we know. I'm going to start with technical tactics; so these are the technical parts of what most energy managers see as their core responsibilities. From there, I'll move on to talking more about soft skills. These are the techniques used by the most successful energy managers to promote energy efficiency throughout their organization. 4 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  5. 5. Successful energy managers find meaning in raw data. For most people, the immense quantity of data contained in their utility bills is overwhelming, it's just too much data, kind of like all the stars you can see in a clear night's sky. But the energy manager sees all the stars or the data points and is able to fit them together and interpret how together they form a constellation. 5 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  6. 6. So within the constellation each star relates to the others and to the whole system of stars, this is like what the energy manager does, he brings meaning to the raw data that's contained in the utility bills by relating each individual bill to all the others in the system. This is important because utility data tells a story about your organization and how your organization uses energy over time. It answers these vital questions: where are we now? So the energy manager will use benchmarking to identify your current conditions. How much energy does it take to operate today? From there, where do we want to be? You can use the data to identify what are reasonable goals for energy reduction and also to use things like unit cost trends to evaluate future costs and to do forecasting and budgeting for the entire organization. And then finally, your data tells you how can we get there; so monitoring your data to ensure that you're making progress towards your goals this month, this year, and every year. 6 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  7. 7. So you've likely heard the term garbage in, garbage out, and this is absolutely true for utility bills. If the raw data isn't correct then your conclusions may not be correct either. So that's why it's important to regularly check your data for billing mistakes. Proactively reviewing your energy data for errors will ensure that you're operating from a firm foundation for the rest of your energy management activities. 7 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  8. 8. So the effective energy manager will audit bills regularly, and by regularly, that would ideally be every month. So when you audit your bills some of the things that you'd want to look at would be unit cost. So you'd want to look at the unit cost of the current month's bills as compared with your previous month's bills. You'd also want to look at your unit cost across vendor accounts with the same rate code. You should be looking at use and cost as compared with the same month of the previous year because this will take into account seasonality, if you're in heating or a cooling climate. You also want to identify and keep tabs on vendors, especially those who tend to have billing issues. So we all know that there are certain vendors who are prone to issuing rebills or having other billing mistakes. So it pays to keep a close eye on them so that you can catch problems when they occur. A client told me recently that they had a vendor issue rebills for the past 12 months, to the tune of an additional $45,000.00 that they had to pay. So hopefully that's a rare and extreme case but it does happen, so be prepared and try to head those things off. And speaking of billing issues, you want to address them right away. So don't let them slide to the next month because they may recur and compound over time. And finally, keep a running tab of your found savings. When you do uncover a billing mistake, keep 8 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  9. 9. a log of how much you saved, so this could be a starting point for some interesting discussions with others in your organization and highlight your value as an energy manager. (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers 8
  10. 10. Once you're in the habit of checking your data regularly and you've set up a reliable data review process, you can automate processes whenever possible. The energy manager adds value through data analysis, so that's where you want to spend your time. What is not a good use of your time is spending hours manipulating flat files from your utility vendors to get your bills into a consistent format so you can study them. If you're spending a lot of time either fitting your bills into formulas in Excel spreadsheets or formatting your flat files to import into a software tool, that's time that could be better spent examining trends, investigating outliers and otherwise finding meaning in your data. So embrace technology and automate your routine tasks to give you more time to spend in valuable data analysis. 9 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  11. 11. The reality of being an energy manager is being pulled in many directions at once. So make sure you stay organized by setting priorities. The key is to prioritize so that not just what's urgent gets your attention but what is really important gets your attention. 10 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  12. 12. President Dwight D. Eisenhower stated, "what is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important." I think this sums up the life of an energy manager pretty accurately. There are so many urgent demands on your time that issues of great importance to the future of an organization may be neglected. President Eisenhower is credited with developing a simple tool that can be used to ensure that the important tasks are getting our time and attention, this is called the Eisenhower matrix. 11 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  13. 13. So this is what the matrix looks like. You can use this matrix to organize your to-do list. We all have a limited amount of time and we can't do everything, so it's important to prioritize your tasks. So this is how it works: you can organize your tasks from low urgency to high urgency. You can also organize them by importance, from low importance to high importance. So all of the tasks that you have to do will fall into one of the four quadrants. So starting at the lower left-hand corner, that's going to be for tasks that are low urgency and low importance; those are things that you can do later. Then moving to the lower right-hand quadrant, that's where tasks do have a high urgency but they have a low importance. So see if you can delegate these tasks. It's urgent, so it does need attention but maybe it doesn't need your attention because it's low in importance. This would be a good opportunity to have someone else in your organization that you trust, you can possibly mentor them and have them help you out with this task so that you can focus your time on things that are of high importance. So if you go to the quadrant in the upper right-hand corner, those are the issues that are both urgent, high in urgency and high in importance. So those are the things that 12 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  14. 14. you want to do immediately because they're both urgent and important. But most of your time should be spent in the upper left quadrant, those are the issues that are important –that are of high importance but they're not urgent. So those are the tasks that you schedule time for because otherwise they might be left behind. It's easy to avoid doing those or to just pass over them because they're not urgent, and there are so many things in our lives that are urgent. So this is how the Eisenhower matrix can be used. So that you schedule and make time to do the things that are important. So your life as an energy manager naturally puts you in high urgency most of the time, but again, the priority should be on tasks that are important. So even if it's important and not urgent, it should get priority over the urgent and not important tasks. So to see how this works, let's use a few examples and see where they would fit on the matrix. So let's say you get a call that the sprinkler system in one of your buildings is going off. Well, I would call that definitely high urgency but importance, well, that's – it's pretty important but on the other hand, it's more –is it important if it's in the president's office, I would say that would be a high importance that you would want to attend to yourself. But if it's in a utility closet, on the other hand, maybe that is a low importance and that's something that you could delegate to others. So this is something –a tool for your use and it will vary based on your circumstances. But clearly, that task would go in either do it now or delegate the task. Let's look at another example. You need to call a vendor because there was an error in this month's billing statement. We already talked previously about the importance of following up on your billing issues, so I'm going say that that is high importance but it's certainly not urgent. It's not something that you have to do today; you could do it anytime in the next couple of weeks. So this is a highly important task that you want to make sure that you schedule time to do. So set aside a half an hour, schedule it to make a phone call to your utility rep. So that's how you can use the Eisenhower matrix to set priorities and to effectively manage your time so that you're focusing on the things that are of high importance to your organization. (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers 12
  15. 15. So once you have your Eisenhower matrix filled out, with so much work to do it may seem best to stay at your desk and just knock out your to-do list, but successful energy managers remain mobile and agile. So what does that mean? 13 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  16. 16. Don't spend all your time behind your desk, get out and observe your facilities, and plus, a brisk walk can do a world of good for your health and your attitude. One longtime university energy manager I know will take a lunchtime stroll every day. He walks through a different section of the campus and he leaves himself time to stop and talk to people he meets on the way. He told me it's amazing how much information that he picks up from talking with construction crews, maintenance workers, and even landscapers depending on the season. In the winter months he walks through buildings to observe any unusual conditions like overheated areas or cold drafts. So give it a try. You also want to be observant. Keep your eyes open. Look for opportunities to spread your energy conservation message across your organization. Be accessible. 14 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  17. 17. You want to make yourself available for others in your organization whether it's for information, education or assistance. It used to be that energy managers only had to communicate with their spreadsheets and equipment but times have changed, so now good communication skills are a basic requirement for energy managers. Here are some tips to help you communicate with the stakeholders in your organization. 15 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  18. 18. First of all, you need to identify your stakeholders, both up and down the chain of command. If you think about it, everyone in your organization is a stakeholder because they're all impacted by your energy management decisions. If you doubt that, in the winter turn down the thermostat ten degrees and you'll find that your stakeholders will be coming out of the woodwork. You also want to build relationships. The more people you know in your organization, the more effective you will be. Simplify complicated issues. A lot of the things that you deal with as an energy manager are very complex issues but the more you can simplify and make energy topics easy to understand for all stakeholders, the more buy-in you'll get with them. And keep to broad topics. So energy managers tend to like to get into the weeds because of a general tendency to be very detail oriented, but try to save the details for those who are really interested. Always be prepared to provide backup documentation if you're asked but wait until you're asked for that. 16 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  19. 19. The next tactic is to build your team. Gone are the days when energy managers had to work alone. When it comes to energy management, the lines between departments are blurring, whether it's energy management, sustainability or whatever you want to call it. Energy conservation is becoming the work of everyone, which means a successful energy manager builds a team. So there are some things to keep in mind when you're building your energy team. 17 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  20. 20. Don't waste your time on the doubters. In any organization there are always people who just don't get it. It's tempting to try to convince them but it really doesn't pay to waste your energy on them. Instead, focus on building a strong team with the people who are ready to get onboard and they will be the ones who can start some positive momentum in your organization. Find your fans, go to wherever they are. Try to enlist ad hoc members from different departments and different areas of your organization, and you might be surprised who wants to get involved. Welcome new viewpoints. Remember, your team members don't have to be energy experts, you can teach them about energy. They really just need to want to be a part of the team. And value enthusiasm. I like to say that an ounce of enthusiasm is worth a pound of expertise, it's –you really want a team that you can rely on to create this positive momentum through their enthusiasm. So it's much more important to have someone who wants to be a part of the team, who is going to participate and give you their viewpoints. And again, you can provide instruction on the energy side but what you can't do is you can't create enthusiasm in people who don't want to be part of the team. So value that enthusiasm. 18 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  21. 21. With all the urgent demands on your time it's easy for this important tactic to get pushed aside but successful energy managers develop key performance indicators or smart goals. This does take a lot of time because the best goals are made together with your stakeholders and your team members and sometimes the reality of our life is that goals are sometimes set for us through legislation. So in this case, you'll often have to develop a set of intermediate goals that will help you to meet the legislative targets. 19 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  22. 22. With smart goals, the goals should be specific and simple. Everyone should be able to understand the goal and most should be onboard with it. Measurable; you'll need a way to provide evidence that you accomplished the goal. Achievable; this is really an important one. If the goal is too easy then there's no sense of accomplishment in attaining it. The goals should be possible but take some work. It's very important to know when you shouldn't set a goal either. Don't set goals if you don't have the knowledge, the skill or the funding available to achieve it because that will just be frustrating for everyone. Relevant; the goal needs to be something that is of benefit, that's valuable so that people are willing to work to achieve it. So make the goal relevant and real to the team. And finally, time bound; setting a timeframe creates a sense of urgency. Without having a timeframe really nothing will get done. So this is often a new concept for organization, so if this is new for you start small. Focus on the small changes that will result in measurable results. One good place to start is the found savings through auditing your energy bills, that's a great way to kick start a savings program. So you want –your goal as the energy leader 20 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  23. 23. is to help your team to start taking ownership of their energy consumption, and then goals are a way to measure how well they're doing on that. (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers 20
  24. 24. Many energy managers will finish a project and then just immediately move on to the next one, but it's vital to celebrate your successes within your organization. When you start setting smart goals and achieving them, you will have reason to celebrate. Here at EnergyCAPwe have a video and an ebookon some ways that you can promote your energy savings. You can download this at www.energycap.com/library, and here are just a few ideas that you can try. Articles in internal newsletters. So this is a great way to talk about what you're doing and what you've been successful at. Try to use comparisons, and this helps people grasp the scale of energy savings because energy is not something that most people understand very well, they don't understand what a BTU is, so making comparisons can help them to understand. For example, a good one would be last month we saved enough electricity to drive an electric car across the United States. So a comparison like that is a good way to help people to understand that their actions do have an impact in your organization. You'll want to be sure that you announce new projects and completed projects and also hold celebration events and these can be as small or as elaborate as your organization wants. 21 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  25. 25. (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers 21
  26. 26. Finally, you'll want to reach out to others beyond your own organization. You'll want to tell everyone about your successes, learn about what works for others, and share your experiences with others. So some of the venues for networking are conferences, and conferences can be intimidating, so I would encourage you to start small if you don't typically attend conferences. Start with small ones so that you can find people to network with and be comfortable. Engineering society meetings, they are always looking for speakers, so taking the opportunity to talk about some of the things that you're doing in your organization can be really beneficial and can also start to impact your shareholders. Local community groups, seek to educate on energy issues. There are a lot of people in the community who are interested, so you'd be surprised how many people will turn out for some of these public meetings. And then there are always user group meetings. EnergyCAPhas our Catalyst Conference every spring and that's a great opportunity to meet other people who are doing similar things as you and you can find out how they're managing some of their challenges and some of the things that they're successful at. 22 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  27. 27. That concludes the ten tactics and I hope that you were able to identify some new tools to add to your energy management toolkit. By implementing these tactics that I have suggested you can be even more effective in saving energy and money for your organization. Managing energy use starts with your leadership, so be sure that you're finding meaning in raw data. Look for how the stars line up into a constellation that has meaning. Check your data for billing mistakes, remember, garbage in, garbage out. Keep track of what you find and a log of the savings that you find due to billing mistakes. Automate processes wherever possible. Spend your time on analysis not data entry. Stay organized by setting priorities. Focus on what is important but not necessarily urgent. Ultimately, energy management is a team effort. 23 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  28. 28. Your success will depend on your ability to get others involved and excited about your plans, so remain mobile and agile. Get out from behind your desk and look at what's around you. Communicate with energy stakeholders; take the time to build relationships with your stakeholders. Build an energy team. Value enthusiasm over expertise because you can teach your team the energy part. 24 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers
  29. 29. And as you are going through your energy management program, don't forget to develop key performance indicators, smart goals. When you achieve them, celebrate your successes. As a result, you'll want to network with other energy managers to share your successes and learn more. So thank you for joining us today. I wish you well in your rewarding, exciting, challenging and frustrating energy management accomplishments. If you found the topics that we discussed today useful, I'd love to hear from you. 25 (C) 2014 EnergyCAP, Inc.: 10 Tactics of Successful Energy Managers