Influencing Cultural Change as a New Energy Manager by Craig Avalone

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Energy Management positions are becoming more and more prevalent at campuses, large commercial buildings, and manufacturing facilities across the globe. Societal influences, the desire to become more “green” and increasing energy costs are pushing companies to invest more proactively in sustainability and in employees whose jobs are dedicated towards reducing overall energy consumption and costs. When hiring into an Energy Manager position, it is often difficult to establish roles and responsibilities and to influence real cultural change within the organization. An Energy Manager is likely to face a number of barriers when first stepping into a newly created position. These include corporate influences and structure, available capital, and employee pushback. To overcome these potential obstacles it is important to fully understand the major roles and responsibilities of a typical Energy Manager, evaluate existing company energy philosophy, recognize first steps towards establishing your position within the company hierarchy, and recognize the value of establishing allies. Additional strategies toward becoming a successful Energy Manager include establishing goals that align with the company’s overall financial strategy, developing a comprehensive Energy Management Plan, selecting the right first project for implementation, and understanding the true value of measurement & verification (M&V).