Step 1: Commitment to energy efficiency and the use of RES

The first step of the Roadmap includes the initial commitment of a knowledge institution to adoption of an energy efficient scheme and the use of RES. In order to commit, the Senior Management of the institution needs to appoint an Energy Manager and / or Energy Team, that will be fully aware of the environmental and financial benefits of the scheme’s implementation and will, therefore, strive to improve the energy performance of the institution. The dedication and commitment of the Energy Manager will serve as a catalyst for the successful implementation of an energy efficient scheme.

1.1 Justification for the need to implement of energy efficiency measures and RES schemes

Institutions seeing the financial returns from superior energy management continuously strive to improve their energy performance. Their success is based on a regular energy performance assessment and continuous steps to increase energy efficiency. No matter the size or type of the knowledge institution, the common element of successful energy management is commitment. At the very beginning of this effort, the Senior Management of the institution should make a commitment to allocate staff and funding to achieve continuous improvement.

1.2 Appointment of Energy Manager / Team

Appointing an Energy Manager is a critical component of a successful energy program. The Energy Manager helps the institution achieve its goals by establishing energy performance as a core measure.

The Energy Manager is not always an expert in energy and technical systems. Therefore, if it is necessary, the Energy Manager can seek assistance of an external expert. Successful Energy Managers understand how energy management helps the institution achieve its financial and environmental goals and objectives. Depending on the size of the knowledge institution, the Energy Manager can have a full-time position or perform his duties in addition to other responsibilities.

The Energy Manager’s key duties often include:

  • Regular contact with the senior management
  • Setting the specific energy goals and drafting the energy policy
  • Overall responsibility and coordination of the energy policy and its implementation
  • Securing accountability and commitment from different stakeholders of the institution
  • Securing adequate resources to implement the energy goals
  • Assessment of outcomes and identification of room for improvement
  • Increase of visibility and awareness within and outside of the institution

If the institution does not appoint a specific person for these tasks, nobody will feel responsible and chances are that the required tasks will not be carried out. In addition, the role and competency of the Energy Manager must be communicated throughout the institution.

The Energy Manager must have the power to ask for support in areas in which he/she has little knowledge. One of the first tasks of the Energy Manager will be to get an overview of the information and data already available in the institution. Apart from written documents, there is much knowledge among the staff. If appropriate, the Energy Manager should therefore identify people (stakeholders) working in energy-intensive areas and in areas which have an influence on energy consumption. It will also be beneficial when an expert on renewable energy or energy efficiency issues supports the Energy Manager as an advisor.

Usually the Energy Manager forms an Energy Team which supports related activities and which acts as a link between the energy manager and other departments. The Energy Team consists of people who have a sound knowledge of individual processes and technologies. Their knowledge might be used to influence energy consumption in their departments and to contribute to the development and support of an institution-wide strategy. This is necessary, as practice shows that individual departments rarely co-operate to increase efficiency. In cases of small institutions, the energy manager will already be familiar with the organisational structures and co-operate on an informal basis.

1.3 Decision-making process

For an environmental action to be effective, individual roles and responsibilities must clearly be defined from the very beginning, as they relate to the achievement of environmental objectives and targets, and the overall operation of the environmental scheme. Senior management must supply the necessary resources, both financial and human, to ensure that the action is effectively implemented. The decision to formally appoint the Energy Manager rests on the senior management and depends on the dedication and motivation of the Manager.

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