Prepared by Paul Webb, MIE Chartered Energy Manager
This is an extract of a book that I’m currently writing;
I want to talk about my learned approach to energy management over the years because it has taken me many years to actually put myself into the zone with regards to carrying out energy assessments.
I find myself in a mode of investigation, detective or even as a doctor.
Many years ago, I was once called a doctor because of a particular software package I had designed and founded. I would often find myself not wanting to attend energy assessments with other members of my team as I really like to get into the zone and focus on finding the issues to make a difference on the day.
There are certain tips I want to share with you within this ‘article’ to hopefully help individuals deliver good assessments. The first area and the most important area is to never call it an ‘Energy Audit’. If you complete an audit, this is where you ‘tell’ someone they are doing things wrongly.
We need to maintain the word ‘assessment’ as we are guiding our organisations through this process.
Like all assessors I have my strengths within carrying out an assessment. I believe these to be, working through the BMS and delivering ‘Best Practice’ which is now being identified as ‘behaviour’ and ‘consciousness’ and people being used to drive down energy.
When you deliver these assessments, I want you to remember this simple approach which I call my “pepper pot” approach:
- P = Polite at all times
- E = Early to site
- P = Patient with the team
- P= Prepare yourself to learn and be educated
- E = Explore all the facts before you decide what can be done
- R = Rather than talk, listen
- P = Photograph everything for your evidence
- O= Organise your findings
- T = Teach your guide and the organisation to save energy
This very simple approach will ensure you deliver an amazing assessment and I can guarantee you will probably make savings on the day. I personally set myself a ‘quest’ to deliver savings for the organisations on the day, which will cost the organisation nothing to implement.
When you start the Assessment make sure you make time to sit with the escort or guide and set the scene for the day and make it very clear that you are there to work with them and not report on them. You must ensure you work with them as a ‘team’.
Keeping an open mind can be a challenge and it may be that you need to step out of your comfort zone, but I can assure you, the benefits will be amazing.
I have started many assessments where I have been kept waiting, I have been told that I was not welcome and I have been told “we have seen it all before”. But in 100% of the cases where I have actually delivered a great assessment, the ‘maintenance manager’ at the end of the assessment has divulged his life story and we have become very good friends.
It will take time to get to this stage but as long as you focus on my ‘pepper pot’ approach then you should be able to develop your own style and deliver good savings.
I am always mindful of the potential areas to focus on, regarding heating, cooling, lighting, power, energy management and water. These should not be cut in stone and could vary. One thing you will possibly notice on your assessments is that the guide on the day will be passionate about their job and their business. Make sure you spend time understanding their business and embrace what they do regarding each process, I can assure you that you will make an impact on the consumption during that time.
I have been lucky to assess some pretty amazing buildings and I have many fond memories of what I learnt on the day.
The principles of this article come from my first book which is called “How to become an Energy Expert”, this is a very exciting time where we will be launching our new B2B Energy Experts Website full of Energy Insights and the start of a book ‘Trilogy’.