Prep Time: Plan Now for Your 2020 Energy and Equipment Management Initiative

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With Halloween behind us and Thanksgiving looming on the horizon, it’s not only time to prep the turkey. It’s time to prep your plan and budget if you are considering an energy efficiency and equipment management initiative in 2020. For multisite operators of small facilities like quick-serve restaurants, convenience stores and retailers, an enterprise-wide deployment is no small investment of money OR time. An energy management system (EMS) is an investment that must be planned and budgeted for and should not be merely ‘tacked on’ to existing operations. To demonstrate the ROI and true value these systems can deliver, it’s important to plan early and perform some key prerollout research. Below are some steps to prep for an energy and equipment management solution.

Allow Time to Pilot
The pilot is the most critical piece of your energy management and equipment control initiative. For a fraction of the roll out cost, you will have the opportunity to test the performance, reliability and results of your solution. If you aren’t already in a pilot when January 1 rolls around, it will be at least three months before you can measure any kind of payback based on utility bill savings, so the earlier you can start in the year, the better. Be sure your plan, including measurement and reporting, accommodates the pilot phase timeline.

Obtain Buy-In of Stakeholders
Energy and equipment management might live at an operational level, but there are many key influencers to the process. The commitment of senior management is essential for long-term success. And alignment at the outset, with others in the organization that will serve as resources for the initiative, such as procurement, development, and/or IT, will help keep things rolling later. An organization must develop energy performance objectives and allocate sufficient resources to implement and manage the system, if it is to succeed.

Communicating the commitment of senior management and the resources that have been assigned establishes energy and equipment management as an important priority at all levels of the organization, and telegraphs that the organization is willing to improve business process as part of the new blueprint.

Ensure Alignment with Existing Process
Every company is unique, and it is important that an energy and equipment management program is aligned with existing business priorities and systems. It should be a key component of your continuous improvement efforts. An energy management program can also be incorporated into an organization’s design and procurement practices for new facilities and equipment.

Consider the Future
If your organization is in growth mode, then you may have new locations, in new regions, with different energy and equipment management needs on the horizon. While you may not be able to scope completely if details of new sites are not yet available, just keep in mind the need to integrate the solution into any new builds.

If you start by doing the prep work above, you’ll be headed in a good direction with the right level of commitment and focus, and you’ll be ready to see how an energy and equipment management solution can benefit the bottom line.