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IMA Energy & Environment Blog

Taking the Lead in Energy Management

Ameren Illinois is an IMA member energy provider…

In an increasingly competitive marketplace, a sound energy management program makes good business sense. For many organizations, the focus on energy efficiency is really about profitability. However, energy-saving opportunities can only become reality when someone is driving change. The solution for a growing number of organizations is to hire an energy manager.

What an energy manager can do for you

An energy manager serves as an energy champion within an organization, providing leadership and guidance on utility resource issues. They oversee all aspects of energy use to maximize efficiency and serve as a single point of accountability. While the role of an energy manager may vary depending on the size and type of the organization, key responsibilities include:

  • Identifying opportunities to improve efficiency
  • Determining strategies for purchasing energy
  • Providing advice on energy-efficient equipment and technology
  • Implementing energy efficiency projects
  • Formulating an energy management plan for the organization
  • Promoting energy conservation

Asking the right questions

If utility costs make up a large portion of your operating expenses, an energy manager’s work can make a real difference. By focusing on improving energy efficiency, your organization can devote the cost savings to more profitable activities.

Bringing an energy manager on board does require a certain amount of commitment from an organization. Before you begin the hiring process, ask the following questions:

  • Does energy play an essential role in your processes or service offerings?
  • Are significant energy-saving opportunities available?
  • Is energy efficiency part of your overall business or organizational strategy?
  • Are there resources available to compensate an energy manager and support efficiency projects?

The answers will help you determine whether an energy manager will fit your needs. If you don’t need full-time energy leadership, consider appointing someone on your staff or retaining an outside consultant. Whoever you hire, it’s important to set them up for success by providing the necessary authority and resources.

What to look for in an energy manager

Once you make the decision to hire an energy manager, what qualifications should you seek? Energy managers typically have an advanced degree in engineering or a related technical field. Some have a business degree combined with a strong background in facilities management or the energy industry. Certification programs for energy managers also are available. Ultimately, an effective energy manager is someone who can achieve results. The ideal candidate combines an appropriate technical background and training with strong people skills.

 

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