Energy Management & Behaviour Change

Paul Downing

Whilst it is important to evaluate where energy savings can be made by looking at energy consuming assets such as VSD’s, compressors, fans & motors, the importance of employee behaviour in industry can never be underestimated in designing an action plan to reduce or minimise energy consumption, especially on a manufacturing site.

Plenty of time and effort goes into producing CAPEX’s and project feasibility in order to determine payback for a new piece of kit, however in the current climate many organisations will not consider investment in anything requiring capital unless there is a payback period of at least 18 months or less. This leaves many energy managers with a chicken and egg situation where they need to invest in new technology and kit to make savings but the capital is not forthcoming unless it can be demonstrated that savings can be made in the here and now. Assuming that most project feasibility and CAPEX’s do not get approved, where is the next best alternative for energy savings?

Behaviour change in the industrial workplace is the next “big win” for most energy managers to consider. On most manufacturing plants, manual intervention will be necessary in order to turn off fans, motors, conveyors or isolate certain areas of plant when not in use. It will be highly unlikely that these are automated in many manufacturing sites built 30+ years ago, which is the majority of the UK’s manufacturing infrastructure.

Any energy action plan worth its salt will include an element of employee training and awareness in energy management and will have been based on an assessment of employee behaviours in the workplace. The value of an objective audit by a third party not involved in the day to day running of a facility can highlight many seemingly obvious but valuable options for making quick wins and turn these into easily achievable behaviour changes.

As in most businesses, people and people management are the key to success and once the culture and embedded behaviours are understood, only then can change happen. This is the same for energy management.

For more information on an impartial energy audit to benchmark current business practices or for further advice on energy management and energy management systems, please contact us for further information on 07790147084.




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