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Step 12: Allocate adequate resources

In a nut shell

Adequate resources must be allocated by top-management to ensure that your plan is implemented effectively. Such resources include time, finance, support systems and functions, equipment and external services. Resources need to be identified and reviewed regularly in each area where Energy MAP objectives and targets are to be achieved.

Why does this step matter?

A lack of resources (especially time) will prevent you from taking control over energy consumption. Such resources must be provided by line management to ensure that the Energy MAP is implemented effectively. This is one of the most important contributions of senior management to the process. It is essential that they not only allocate resources but that a budget specific to energy is assigned. This can be in the form of a sub-set of another budget cost centre but it is preferable to create a dedicated energy budget. This can be extended to include electricity, heating and even transport fuel.

What to do and how to do it?

The resources required for implementing your Energy MAP plan are generally divided into:

  • Time
  • Financial
  • Systems & functions
  • Equipment
  • External

Time resources - you are unlikely to be able to manage energy effectively on your own. By establishing an energy team, the Energy MAP can be implemented more effectively and integrated throughout the organisation. The size of the energy team depends on the size of your organisation. Ideally the team should include a representative from each operational area with significant energy use. You must also determine the personnel resources required for each action in your Energy MAP programme.

Financial resources - define the budgets required for each element of your programme plan. For this you will need to develop the business case for each proposal and justify it by including payback period.

Systems & functions - identify the support required in terms of systems or functions such as IT, admin, personnel, training, maintenance or other support.

Equipment - is there any particular equipment required such as monitoring equipment or display equipment for awareness campaigns.

External resources - identify whether you require external consultants or service providers and if so, ensure that this is included in your budget planning.

The above resources, where relevant, must be identified for each activity or action in your Energy MAP plan.

Tip: the Australian Greenhouse Office (AGO) suggest that funding for an energy management programme should be around 10% of the total energy bill, excluding capital investment costs. The AGO also recommends appointing a full-time energy manager for energy bills above €1.25 million (= 2 million AUS$).

Tip: develop a 'Roles and Responsibilities Matrix' to identify and communicate 'who does what' within your Energy MAP.

Tip: try to take advantage of links between energy and other programmes such as health and safety, training, quality, environmental or building maintenance and co-ordinate your efforts.

Possible problems and how to deal with them

It is a mistake to make just one person responsible for energy management within the organisation. Energy management should be integrated into the organisational structure and responsibility shared among the relevant decision makers. Any appointed energy manager needs the support of other key people in order to control energy consumption effectively.

A lack of resources can cause initiatives to fail and sometimes end up doing more harm than good. Make sure you obtain management commitment from the outset and secure adequate resources. Otherwise you should reconsider embarking on the action. Resources should not be allocated as the cost of a once-off campaign. Whilst these have an immediate effect it is usually short-lived and can cause apathy along the lines of "what's the point? We do it for a week then that's it for another year!" The idea is to invest in an on-going behavioural change programme that will become second nature. 

How long does it take to complete this step?

The allocation of resources to Energy MAP is an ongoing process, and part of the approach to achieve continuous improvement in energy management. Resources must be regularly reviewed and amended where necessary.

How do I know when I have completed this step?

Resources are identified for each activity within the Energy MAP plan and approval received from management for the allocation of the resources.

What do I do next?

Having drawn up your plan and acquired the necessary resources, it is now time to put the plan into action

Congratulations! You have completed all the steps within pillar 3 - Plan. Click here to go directly to Pillar 4 - Take Action.

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