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Onsite Energy Manager Pilot Programs: A Survey of Practices and Lessons Learned


May 16, 2013

Research Report IE132

Authors:

Christopher Russell

Description:

Energy program administrators are sponsoring the placement of dedicated energy managers at industrial facilities to overcome the obstacles to energy optimization.  These pilot efforts seek to accelerate the pace and volume of industrial efficiency initiatives. This report describes five existing programs. The intent is to boost awareness of this program concept, which could be a critical component of future energy policy and program design.  

Thanks to their experience with pilot programs, some facilities are hiring and even expanding their cadre of energy managers.  The placement of empowered, professional energy managers is prerequisite to the implementation of industrial energy management standards, policies, and programs.  The viability of any policy is largely dependent on a visible and motivated constituency.  Energy managers will play pivotal roles not just in creating value within their companies, but in enabling energy policies.  By facilitating the creation of energy manager positions, these energy programs are also building the professional population that can become visible advocates for emerging energy policies and industry protocols such as the ISO 50001 energy management standard.

In all cases, the onsite energy manager initiative is perceived not as a goal in itself, but as a means to an end.  Sponsorship of energy manager salaries and related costs allows participating companies to reveal—often for the first time—the scope of value embodied in their energy use.  In effect, program sponsorship accelerates the learning curve experienced by organizations that progressively adopt strategic energy management competencies.