EHS Management

An Action Plan for Saving Energy

Start with an Action Plan

The first step to take is to assess your own plant. Evaluate the best opportunities that are appropriate and that will be most effective at your plant:

  1. Track your energy bills: You need to know how much you pay for electricity, natural gas, and fuel oil at your facility.
  2. Tip: Understand seasonal charges in your utility bill that can affect your energy-saving actions for heating and cooling.

  3. Pinpoint equipment using the most energy: A small portion of the equipment usually accounts for the greatest amount of energy consumption.
  4. Tip: Look for large pieces of equipment and equipment that runs most of the time or that has periodic, but substantial, start-up energy requirements.

  5. Identify no- or low-cost projects: Once you know how much energy you use and what equipment uses the most energy, your next step is finding practices that may best apply to you. EERE’s 20 best energy savers offer some opportunities that may help you save.

  7. Get management support: With management approval and support, you may be able to receive helpful training to identify opportunities and implement changes to current practices that will ultimately improve energy efficiency.
  8. Tip: Your goal is to show the value of energy-saving measures and the potential cost and productivity advantages of a more-aggressive energy-efficiency program.

  9. Create an energy team at your plant: The team will track and report energy uses, identify energy-saving opportunities, develop an energy plan, and implement cost-saving measures.
  10. Tip: Your energy team will enjoy greater success with support and involvement from senior managers. They can remove barriers and commit resources to projects.

  11. Develop an ongoing strategy to sustain plantwide efforts and to improve and maintain energy-efficient systems.

  13. Keep your staff motivated to achieve the cost savings that are feasible at your plant through regularly scheduled meetings of the energy team, tracking and reporting on your energy and cost savings, bonus awards for involved staff, and periodic reassessments of equipment.

The success of your plan depends on your and your facility’s commitment to make it work. Encouraging employees to get involved is a key factor because cutting expenses and growing expenses affect not only management but also your employees.

Additionally, employees have hands-on knowledge of your manufacturing processes. Your workforce can often offer suggestions on more-efficient work practices or machine processes. In joining forces with your workers you may uncover many ways to save energy and cut costs throughout your plant.

With the action plan in hand, you now have a resource for developing your energy conservation management program. A successful company must have an energy conservation management program to consistently take advantage of every energy conservation opportunity, especially in today’s marketplace.