While energy management systems are great and can substantially reduce your facility’s energy consumption there are many other factors that come into play when it comes to what affects your energy consumption and energy savings. Installing a system, ending it there and having no other course of action you can’t expect that your energy consumption troubles will just go away. Knowing what you are measuring to having an energy plan and everything in between, this article will give you an idea on how to set yourself up for success when it comes to EMS.
Getting Your Team On Board
This doesn’t just mean the front end team but your top management team as well. Commitment should look like more than a signature but accountability. Developing a solid plan for upper management and the rest of the team can help ensure the success of the energy management system. You should ensure your entire teams knows the why behind the decision to get the energy management system and let them know they play a huge part in it being successful. Oftentimes when installing an ems into a location we see setpoints constantly being overridden, refrigeration doors left open. It’s sort of like a hotel room, the first thing you do when you check in is crank that A/C super low because who cares, all you know is you don’t have to pay for it. Empowering your employees and staff with the reasons will help them hold themselves accountable and be more cognizant next time they want to turn the A/C down a few degrees and, overall, contribute to your energy savings.
Establishing a structure that surrounds defining roles and responsibilities can mean all the difference when it comes to your energy management system succeeding or failing. During the implementation process, you will want to define who will be interacting with the system on a day to day basis and ensure their knowledge is up to par when it comes to interaction with the software. Training is a big part of an EMS and establishing a training schedule ahead of time for your employees will save you time and money further along into the process. To avoid any miscommunication between staff each staff member should be completely clear on who handles what aspect of the energy management system. You may only want some employees to have access and higher up employees to have a more broad access. This will help establish clear boundaries when it comes to who should act on what alerts and what sort of escalation is needed.
Establishing what your desired results are from the EMS is key to determining if the systems ROI will meet your needs. If you don’t know what you are measuring how do you know it works? Often we hear clients say they would just look at their energy bill….hmm if your EMS isn’t connected to every single item in the restaurant how could you tell if it is providing energy savings? Taking into account volume, year over year business and temperatures are crucial to understanding the ROI of your EMS. Your company may want to incorporate other aspects of energy use into the plan, like water consumption. Be sure to review your plan and key staff annually to be sure it remains relevant. Creating an energy plan will help your entire staff jump on board with the implementation of the system and incorporate energy conservation into your values.
Taking pride in new initiatives and giving ownership empowers staff to do the right thing when necessary. Turning off a light here and there, keeping the A/C at 74 degrees, and keeping that refrigeration door closed not only helps your business save money but you are saving the environment. Good things can only come from these actions so why procrastinate?