Who should keep track of energy consumption in an organization? In some companies, that item is handled by finances or administration, because it is an expense of a service; in others, it is recorded by maintenance because they are the one who knows about the operating process, and can understand the technical information that is reported there.
From the point of view of the description of charges, finance is interested in the economic aspect of the process, that is, that the invoice is correctly processed and the payment instruction is given on time to avoid a suspension of the service. For its part, maintenance can spend time processing the information, but finds its attention focused on guaranteeing the operability of the process, as well as minimizing the unscheduled downtime of the production lines. In this way, it seems that organizationally there is no space to dedicate to energy management.
As stated in the article “Is there any use in Energy Performance Indicators?” , the purpose of using these is to have the necessary tools to quantify the decrease in energy consumption, and consequently, make timely decisions. However, based on the above, energy management is nothing more than structuring the organizational operation to articulate, in the work team, the necessary actions that allow the systematic reduction of the use of different energy sources.
Human capital in Energy Management
Just as organizations have variations in size, complexity and availability of resources, the energy management teams in them adapt to this reality. From small companies, with a single representative, to large ones with a multidisciplinary team that allows the appreciation of the different departments, the ISO 50001:2011 standard establishes that senior management must designate an energy management team leader , to serve as a link and be responsible.
This leader, in order to avoid light attention to the subject, must dedicate a significant portion of his job duties to evaluating energy performance, establishing his degree of dedication and competencies, to the reality and complexity of the organization.
Once the company’s energy policy, its objectives, goals have been defined, and the energy management team has been organized, with the support of senior management being guaranteed at the disposal of both human, technical, communicational and monetary resources, it is that the consumption and indicators of the organization will begin to decrease. For this, tools such as the Baseline and the Monitoring and Verification (M&V) processes must be used to evaluate the performance of the measures incorporated over time.
In conclusion, human capital is essential to achieve an energy efficient organization since it is a process that must be born from senior management and permeate downstream. It is a matter of will and dedicating adequate resources to obtain results in the short, medium and long term. In the Dominican Republic, with the highest energy cost on the continent, you only need to define how you want to recover the investment, the rest comes by itself. Again, energy efficiency is a systemic, structural and behavioral process of the company, it is not a mere technological replacement.
Published in: Factor de Éxito Magazine, Edition IX, 2017, page. 56 ( See more of the magazine )