Other things to do while writing your plan
Show management commitment
As a business owner or manager, you need to:
- commit to understanding how your business uses energy and how you can reduce it
- give one of your staff members the time and authority to organise your energy reduction plan. You also need to put someone in charge of implementing it. This person may be you!
- commit to an energy-use reduction target. This is a good way to engage your staff in reducing the energy use in your business
- be clear with your staff about the specifics of what you intend to change and how it will affect them. Fully engage them with your plans. More advice on this is given in ‘Step 4 – Get your staff on board’.
St Andrews Village, NSW
When it comes to energy efficiency improvements, CEO at St Andrews Village, Pip Carter, says it’s important to get buy-in from management and the board: “To generate significant long-term savings you often need to invest in new equipment, which can be quite costly,” said Carter.
“To get your initiatives across the line, pitch the benefits to the Board from a business point of view, in terms of cost savings and payback periods for any new equipment.”
Tell people about your intentions
Hold a staff meeting to brainstorm energy reduction ideas. Also speak to your suppliers and contractors about your plans, as they may have ideas that could reduce your energy bills.
When you have gathered up the best ideas, write a briefing document that informs your staff, suppliers and contractors about your new energy reduction plans. In terms of content, this document should state that your business:
- is seeking to lower its energy bills (if you have an energy reduction target, put it in)
- wishes to improve its overall energy efficiency
- welcomes additional ideas that will reduce energy use.
The document should be kept short and to the point – ideally no longer than one side of an A4.
Your policy also needs to be a standing item at any staff meetings – use it to assess how you are doing against your goals. It can also be included in employment contracts, employee inductions and tender documents.
Establish key performance indicators (KPIs)
When it comes to reducing energy use, tracking your energy bills and energy usage is the easiest way to measure your progress. For many small businesses, this information will suffice.
Another useful way to measure your progress is to create a set of ‘key performance indicators’ (KPIs). These can be an effective way to set goals and communicate your progress to staff, investors and stakeholders.
The types of KPIs you choose can be designed to reflect your type of business.
- If you own a café, an indicator may be energy used per 1,000 customers served.
- If you run a bakery, it could be energy used per 1,000 loaves of bread.
- If you are an office-based organisation, it may be the amount of energy used per employee or annual energy use for each square metre of office space.
- You could also measure the amount of energy used for each $10,000 of turnover.
Wynnum North Newsagency, QLD
After liaising with Queensland Newsagents Federation, Wynnum North Newsagency introduced energy efficiency measures that saved them over $1,750 p/a.
Co-owner John Allen conducted an energy audit of his premises by simply walking around his store and identifying areas where they could make savings. He also spoke to other newsagents about what they were doing to save energy. This helped the business to develop a plan that reduced their energy bills.