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How to Create an Energy Management Plan for your Business

Energy is one of the most important resources used to run a business. Without it, we don't have heating or cooling in our buildings, we can't fuel electrical systems, and we can't manufacture products. And with energy costs rising across the board, reducing energy consumption needs to be a priority, especially for SMEs. In order to optimize business processes and lower energy consumption effectively, you need to create an energy management plan for your business.

An energy management plan helps businesses identify energy inefficiencies in their operations and then implement changes to improve them. An effective plan requires continuous monitoring, evaluation and improvement over time. And creating an energy management plan as part of a move towards long-term business sustainability will not only help your business save money but will also help you meet consumer demand for environmentally conscious companies.

What is an energy management plan?

energy management plan

An energy management plan is a strategy to reduce your business's energy use and costs. It's an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It provides organizations with guidelines for how to use resources more efficiently, including energy audits and monitoring, using energy management software and creating strategies for reducing waste. Without one, SMEs end up using way more energy than they need to. For example, in a recent survey from Constellation, only 36% of SMEs adjusted their office temperatures to save energy, and only 28% have gone paperless. An energy management plan would enable a business to identify these unnecessary energy uses and implement strategies to mitigate them.

An effective energy management plan can:

  • Reduce overall energy use, which means significant savings on utility bills

  • Yield higher profit margins since business expenses are lower

  • Offer more growth potential as the business has more capital to invest in innovation and development

  • Increase efficiency by making sure your equipment operates at peak performance

  • Improve sustainability and environmental performance by reducing waste from inefficient systems

How to create an energy management plan

Creating an energy management plan can seem tedious, but it’s not only worth it but necessary if your SME wants to remain profitable in the long run. Here is how to create an energy management plan step by step:

Step 1: Start with energy audits and monitoring

The first step in creating an energy management plan is to conduct audits and monitor current usage. Energy audits are a great way to identify areas of improvement, energy waste, and opportunities for cost savings. They also allow you to track your progress as you implement changes that affect the use of electricity, natural gas and other energy sources in your business. You can use the data collected in the audit and plug it into energy management software. Or you can have the information assessed by a sustainability consultant who can use their expertise to offer guidance and help you create your energy management plan.

Step 2: Set long-term goals and define your plan

energy management plan

Based on an initial audit and monitoring of your current energy usage, you can set long-term goals and define your plan to achieve them. Think about the following:

  • Why is energy reduction important to your SME, and how will your energy consumption look when you achieve your goal?

  • What is the scope of your plan, and what areas of energy efficiency will be covered by this plan? Will it address only one business unit or all parts of the organization? Will it include only physical improvements or also operational changes as well?

  • What resources do your need in order to implement your plans?

  • How long will it take for these measures to pay off for your business, and how far along are you in implementing these initiatives currently (e.g., building weatherproofing, energy-efficient appliances/lights, etc.)?

Working with a framework like the Green Interval Capability Framework (GCF) will allow you to better set these goals based on a set of capabilities and guidelines, with consulting support to help SMEs adopt and implement the framework.

Step 3: Use energy management software for task management, reporting and progress tracking

Energy management software can help you analyze and visualize data to identify trends and patterns in your energy use. This will allow you to make informed decisions about how to save money, time, and resources.

  • Visualize the data: You'll see how each area of your business contributes to overall energy consumption by comparing it against previous months or years. For example, if one department has significantly higher costs than another department within your building, then it may be worth investigating what changes were made in that department recently that could have contributed to increased energy usage.

  • Track progress over time: By using energy management software tools like the Green Interval Sustainability Platform, you can track changes over time so that you know what improvements are being made and can see progress over time. You can also identify if there are areas that are lacking that you need to realign focus on.

  • Task management: Organize and keep track of any implementation plans or other tasks relating to your energy and sustainability management.

Step 4: Enjoy all the benefits of reduced energy consumption!

Once you create and implement your energy management plan, your SME will begin to reap the benefits almost instantly in the form of a lower energy bill. EnergyStar estimates typical energy savings of around 10% in the first year when using an energy management plan. SMEs have been feeling the strain of the global energy crisis and rising energy costs, and if you run an SME, you've likely had to make some cuts. Reducing your energy consumption means freeing up capital to hire back staff you may have lost, or if you've made salary cuts, you can rectify those. You'll be able to offer your employees more job security and a more positive work environment, which will directly impact productivity and employee retention.

energy management plan

On top of that, you'll have the money to allocate towards growth plans, including marketing and new product development. These are essential if you want to stay competitive and run a successful business. And lastly, implementing energy reduction initiatives helps to establish your business as more sustainable and mission-driven. And with the increased consumer demand for environmentally friendly organizations, this will be essential for success in the coming years.

Create an energy management plan

Creating an energy management plan for your business is the first step to reducing your energy consumption, lowering your monthly energy costs and increasing long-term sustainability. You don't have to create an energy management plan from scratch or on your own. Using frameworks like the Green Interval Capability Framework (GCF) coupled with the Green Interval Sustainability Platform (GSP) software, you can tap into the expertise of sustainability experts who can help you create an energy management plan tailored to your SME needs. You'll also have access to training courses and webinars to support you on your way to becoming a more energy-efficient and sustainable business.

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