Although we specialize in utility rates and tariffs here at ETE, we've noticed something over the years regarding firms that do energy strategy right. All of the different departments work together to a help reach organizational goals pertaining to greater efficiency and lower costs. These goals are often clearly stated and each employee understands their role in helping to meet those goals. Energy is just like any other raw material that goes into a business and with some good data and discipline, it can be managed as a variable cost.
These days, everyone pays lip service to energy management and many large firms have developed Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) functions that may or may not be well integrated into the core business. Its very easy for energy related initiatives to be stymied by organizational bureaucracy and fiefdoms. CSR and public relations personnel are consumed with brand image, external stakeholders, and "green" credentials. Facility managers struggle with budgetary allocations, occupant comfort, deferred maintenance, and changing space requirements. Procurement is focused on sourcing the lowest cost energy supply options that meet basic business requirements. Accounting & finance need to manage cash, justify investment decisions, communicate with shareholders, and weight tax and balance sheet implications of energy investments. As a result, its possible for varied agendas and myopic departmental needs to get in the way of a successful energy strategy.
The best firms bring representatives from each department together, oftentimes through an energy committee, so that they have input into the formulation of and the power to execute an energy strategy. The graphic to the left illustrates this in a clear and simple fashion.
Working with an organization that has aligned its internal departments to increase energy efficiency and reduce costs is really a rewarding experience. At ETE, we work with our channel partners to bring insight into energy costs and these cost discussions really touch each department shown in the graphic above.