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Step 16 Guide 1: Train key personnel in energy efficiency practices

This is the sixteenth of 20 steps in the in the Energy Management Action Programme (Energy MAP).
Learn about Energy MAP and what it can do for your business.

In a Nutshell

The process of training key personnel in energy efficient practices consists of a number of stages:

  1. Carry out a training needs analysis to define your training objectives;
  2. Develop your training programme and materials;
  3. Carry out the training;
  4. Evaluate the outcome.

The ultimate aim of your training plan should be to integrate energy management training into the existing company training programme.

This guide presents some of the issues related to developing and carrying out training.

Training and your Energy MAP

Training and awareness of the people within your organisation is one of the main drivers for their participation in the process of the development, implementation and maintenance of your Energy MAP. Without the active participation of the majority of staff, the Energy MAP can become stagnant and end up as a bureaucratic exercise only.

Experience has shown that initial focus of training on key personnel can result in short term savings. Such training can target those who have influence over significant energy users or energy saving opportunities as identified in the Identify Pillar.


Types of training

Specialist or technical – training on managing buildings or using and/or maintaining systems, plant, equipment and tools. This could range from managing an energy management information system to operating specific equipment.

Working practices and procedures – training on good practice in energy use. In many organisations significant energy savings are available through better working practices. This could range from ensuring that heating and air conditioning are not running at the same time, to improved techniques for vehicle drivers.

However, you must make sure that people have the authority to change their working practices. People get very frustrated if they are encouraged to change working practices only to find that they are prevented from doing so by others, e.g. line management who may have different priorities, which is why training for line management and supervisory staff is also crucial.  Further detail on this can be found in Managing Change.

Managing for better energy use – this type of training is directed more at management and supervisory staff in areas where significant energy use occurs and focuses on the business implications and benefits of energy management and what should be done in their areas. It will also address the ‘people’ aspects and how to motivate people to save energy.

General awareness training – basic information and training should be given to all staff. This training should focus mainly on ‘why save energy’ and ‘how to save energy’. While informing people on the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ does not guarantee increased motivation, it is a necessary step in increasing awareness. It will compliment your awareness programme from Step 15 which should provide additional incentives for people to save energy.

Using the information from your training needs analysis carried out in Step 16, it is useful to compile a training grid similar to the one below. This can be modified to suit your own needs, and expanded to identify the particular specialists, management staff and groups relevant to your organisation.

 Training grid

  • Audience Type of training Aim/objective Learning outcome Training method Timing, duration
  • Key personnel Specialist / technical    
  • Management and supervisors Managing for better energy use    
  • Groups whose work practices affect energy use Working practices and procedures    
  • All staff General awareness    
AudienceType of TrainingAim/ objectiveLearning OutcomeTraining MethodTiming Duration
Key PersonnelSpecialist Technical    
Management & SupervisorsManaging for better energy use    
Groups whose work practices affect energy useWorking practices & procedures    
All staffGeneral awareness    

If you have developed a roles and responsibilities matrix to identify ‘who does what’ within your Energy MAP as referred to in Step 13 ‘Allocate human, financial & other resources’, this may also be used to identify some of the training necessary within your Energy MAP.

Having established your training programme it is advisable to maintain records of the training carried out.


A simple register containing the following information should suffice:

  • Attendee name, job title and department.
  • Course attended.
  • Location.
  • Date(s) carried out.
  • Number of hours of training.
  • Brief course description including aims/objectives.
  • Training delivered by.
  • Signatures (trainer and trainee)
  • Comments.
  • Results or outcomes.
  • Further actions required.

A useful framework for looking at training is the 'conscious competence learning model'. This categorises the learning stages through which individuals can progress in adopting more energy efficient practices in the workplace.

Learning stages

The goal is to move people from ‘unconscious incompetence’ to ‘unconscious competence’ in performing their work as it affects energy use.

 Energy incompetence/Energy competence

Unconscious energy incompetence – people carry out their work in an energy inefficient manner and are unaware of that they are doing so.

Conscious energy incompetence – people are aware that they are working in an energy inefficient manner but have not yet done anything to correct this. This may be because they do not know exactly how to address it.

Conscious energy competence – people are working in an energy efficient manner and are aware of their actions. However, they may exert significant effort in doing so.

Unconscious energy competence – it becomes ‘second nature’ for people to work in an energy efficient manner, and they do so almost without thinking.

When people in your organisation are working in an unconscious energy competence manner you will know that your training programme is succeeding.  However this state should never be taken for granted and by monitoring and reviewing this should be carried out on a continuous basis.

Training topics

Depending on your type of organisation, potential areas for training include the following:

  • General awareness
  • Why save energy.
  • The environmental impact of energy use.
  • How to save energy.


For Management

The business implications and benefits of energy management.

  • Managing and motivating people to save energy.
  • Energy accounting: payback; net present value; internal rate of return; life cycle costing; developing the financial case.
  • Energy procurement: purchasing; tariffs.
  • Purchasing of energy efficient equipment and plant.
  • Groups whose work practices have considerable impact on energy use.
  • Training on good practice in energy use – working practices and procedures.


  • Energy surveys and audits.
  • Information systems: building management systems (BMS); energy management information systems; monitoring and targeting; metering.
  • Lighting: sources; efficiency; efficacy; controls; retrofits; relamping.
  • Space heating.
  • Boilers.
  • Controls
  • Electricity and electrical systems: power factor correction; load management; end-use efficiency.
  • Ventilation and air conditioning systems.
  • Motors and drives.
  • Heat recovery.
  • Compressed air systems.
  • Fuel combustion principles and equipment.
  • Process heat.
  • Furnaces.
  • Steam Distribution
  • Insulation.
  • Thermal Energy Storage.
  • Refrigeration systems.
  • CHP systems.
  • Maintenance.
  • Commissioning.
  • Renewable energy.
  • Building envelope.
  • Codes, standards and legislation.


Further information and guidance

Energy efficiency training and development. Good Practice Guide 85. Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme. The Carbon Trust. UK. Section 4, pages 15-20.

Managing people, managing energy. Good Practice Guide 235. Energy Efficiency Best Practice Programme. The Carbon Trust.

Managing change – a guide on how to manage change in an organisation. Envirowise and Government Office for the South West. 2004.

European Energy-Manager – an energy manager training programme for production enterprises.

Return to Step 16.

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