Building your energy team

The tools you need to succeed

Choosing your energy team effectively is a very important task – and we have some valuable resources to help you along your way. Below you will find field tested strategies, things to avoid and things to pursue when selecting members for your team – and how to ensure success.

Ten Tips for an effective Energy Team:

To be effective, energy teams need an action plan that will keep them focused on working effectively and achieving results. Here are ten steps that can help guide your energy team’s activities.

  1. Get upper management support and keep them involved on a regular basis. An executive sponsor can help pave the way for your energy team.
  2. Diversify your team – include financial, technical, environmental and operational representatives. For more suggestions on team members are recruiting view our Energy Team Membership and Recruiting (PDF).
  3. Create a structured action plan – Who does what and when? How will you measure success? Get the whole team involved in writing it!
  4. Make sure to allocate the resources you need to get the job done – whether internal or external.
  5. Measure and compare energy use and costs – from one area to another, one plant to another. Audit compressed air, water, and steam use as well.
  6. Use financial as well as technical criteria to evaluate and sell projects – establish paybacks and ROI.
  7. Track ongoing progress and post results. Let your colleagues know when they succeed.
  8. Use a variety of sources – contests, intranet, ideas box – to gather ideas and create an energy conscious culture.
  9. Integrate your energy plan into your company’s business plan.
  10. Celebrate and reward success

Energy team Do's and Don'ts:

Do's

  • Recruit a team ‘champion‘ to help support your initiatives. Ideally, a champion is a member of senior management who has the confidence of other managers and employees and who can support and promote your energy team activities throughout the company.

  • Recruit a good mix of department representatives for your team. Having a healthy cross-section of different people and departments on your team will give you the knowledge and expertise your team needs to succeed.
  • Schedule regular meetings with team members to solicit ideas and assign tasks.
  • Schedule bi-monthly meetings with management to update them on the team’s progress.
  • Always keep an open ear for new ideas. It’s a good idea to solicit ideas from all employees – not just energy team members.
  • Host special events and activities for employees to strengthen the organization’s energy savings culture. For example, you could conduct a contest where prizes are awarded to the department that can save the most energy.
  • Maintain focus. Strive to achieve the goals you set while not straying from corporate goals and strategies.

Don'ts

  • Don’t try to be an energy ‘hero’ by taking on more tasks than you can handle. Discourage team members from hogging the glory for themselves. Instead, delegate tasks and always give credit where credit is due.
  • Don’t assign all members of your energy team. Though assigning critical members to the team is necessary, accepting volunteers can invigorate and energize your team.
  • Don’t penalize employees whose energy efficiency ideas turn out to be fruitless.
  • Don’t forget to communicate your team’s achievements to management. It is important that teams, especially newly formed teams, publicize their accomplishments to prove their worth.
  • Don’t pick goals out of a hat. Instead, determine challenging yet attainable goals by analyzing the energy efficiency opportunities that are available to you.
  • Don’t forget to benchmark. Knowing where you stand on energy efficiency relative to other businesses in your industry is a great motivator. It will also allow you to set goals that will help you be more competitive.
  • Don’t give up. Perseverance is crucial to the success of any team. ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try again.’