Best Practices In Sustainability: EPA’s Energy Management Guidelines

Nov. 9, 2005

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Superior energy management equals good business, and the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is presenting buildings professionals with an established strategy for superior energy management. Based on the successful practices of Energy Star® partners, these principles can assist you in enhancing your buildings’ energy and financial performance while distinguishing your organization as an environmental leader.

Use the diagram to plot the steps of Energy Star’s Guidelines for Energy Management and learn more about what leading organizations are doing to realize results.

  1. Make a Commitment. No matter the size or type of your organization, the common element of successful energy management is commitment. Organizations make a commitment to allocate staff and funding to achieve continuous improvement. To establish an energy program, leading organizations form a dedicated energy team and institute an energy policy.
  2. Assess performance. Assessing performance is the periodic process of evaluating energy use for all major facilities and functions in the organization, and establishing a baseline for measuring future results of efficiency efforts.
  3. Set goals. Well-stated goals guide daily decision-making and are the basis for tracking and measuring progress. Communicating and posting goals can motivate staff to support energy management efforts throughout the organization.
  4. Create an action plan. Successful organizations use a detailed action plan to ensure a systematic process to implement energy performance measures. Unlike the energy policy, the action plan is regularly updated, most often on an annual basis, to reflect recent achievements, changes in performance, and shifting priorities.
  5. Implement the action plan. People can make or break an energy program. Gaining the support and cooperation of key people at different levels within the organization is an important factor for successful implementation of the action plan in many organizations. Reaching your goals frequently depends on the awareness, commitment, and capability of the people who will implement the projects defined in your action plan.
  6. Evaluate progress. Evaluating progress includes formal review of energy-use data and the activities carried out as part of the action plan when compared to your performance goals. Evaluation results and information gathered during the formal review process is used by many organizations to create action plans, identify best practices, and set new performance goals.
  7. Recognize achievements. Providing and seeking recognition for energy-management achievements is a proven step in sustaining momentum and support for your program. Providing recognition to those who helped the organization achieve these results motivates staff and employees and brings positive exposure to the energy-management program.

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