What to do and how to do it
The energy policy is a statement in which the senior management of your organisation outlines the principles, commitments, objectives and operating approaches to effective enerty management.
Review existing policies
Check any existing policies. An environmental policy or quality management system might already make some reference to energy management. This can be separated out or expanded upon.
Set the boundaries
Confirm the boundaries of the organisation to which the policy will apply, e.g. to which overall site, unit, building, operations or process will it apply.
Develop draft document
Start by putting together an outline draft document for discussion with those most likely to have responsibilities or close involvement in the Energy MAP. Your policy should include objectives, targets, roles and responsibilities so you need to get input from those who will be involved in implementing the policy.
If you are considering implementing ISO 50001 in the long term, then consult the standard in order to identify the requirements in relation to the energy policy.
See Step 5, Guide 1'Drafting an Energy Policy' for guidance.
Circulate the draft policy to the key managers, representatives and others with a vested interest. Allow a reasonable period for consultation and redrafting to gain acceptance and support for the content.
Following the consultation phase, you'll have to get the policy endorsed by top management and make sure that it is signed by the General Manager/CEO or Chairman.
Launch the policy and communicate it to all employees.
Review and update
Remember that the policy is a live document. You'll have to review and update it regularly. See Step 20 Management review of Energy MAP.
Tip: Keep the whole organisation informed of progress. Avoid making people feel they are just getting another task imposed on them. This can be done by giving them the opportunity to submit ideas and comments.
Possible problems and how to deal with them
Lack of consultation
Consultation is the key to successful development of an energy policy. It should not be imposed, but instead agreed with all relevant parties in order to build commitment to energy management.
Getting a commitment to targets for continuous improvement can be difficult. Recognise the likely constraints, always seek agreement, but don't let this aspect be left out.
How long does it take to complete this step?
If yours is a small or medium organisation then you can draft a simple policy document in a few days. However, if you then need to get agreement on resources, targets and responsibilities, this might take some weeks.
How do I know when I have completed this step?
You have completed this step when:
You have a written and agreed energy policy, signed at the highest level of the organisation, and communicated throughout the organisation.
What do I do next?
Now that commitment has been secured, it is time to move on to the Identify pillar.