“Improving Energy Efficiency in Energy Systems” might be the overall statement summarizing an increasing interest worldwide on energy efficiency initiatives. Fortunately energy systems are endless by nature; thus setting the framework, scope and targets is such an evolving and paramount crucial challenge (there is no “nothing” without a framework). Ongoing competitiveness, increasing knowledge areas and a richer society more sensitive to Sustainability while still struggling with security and hunger issues, call for action.
To find out what the “extras” are, newness and innovation in such a traditional scenario like that of the use of energy as a social input, require from out of the box thinking as well as new boxes to refine and enlarge the capacity and deliverables out of different “boxes”.
To begin with, one of the boxes that you might be using is that of placing energy efficiency right in the middle of a variety of related fields of activity and start a communication exercise asking them about the role of energy efficiency.
What are the expectations that different areas ought to have from energy efficiency initiatives…?
- (Skills) Listening actively and effectively to find out what are the expectations that your customers and related areas do have (even those that they are not aware of)
- (Attitude) Questioning and probing ideas and situations to ensure better understanding; the current state is needed to provide a background as well as many times confuses future visions
- (Educational) Increasing the Team´s knowledge (hopefully you already have one) in energy efficiency methodologies and customer´s value processes so that they can be more effective
- (Practice) Fact-finding to identify or confirm information in scenarios that usually do not function with formal organizational structures dealing with energy efficiency
- (Goals and targets) Setting and managing expectations by fixing deliverables and S.M.A.R.T goals beyond energy savings and being specific when addressing other energy efficiency benefits
- (Drive) Persuading a person, a team, or an organization to perform an action in which uncertainty in results will require of higher doses of honesty (distinguish fear from risk)
- (Motivating) Encouragement and reassurance will be needed to fix those initiatives breaking through and opening new paths as a result of energy efficiency deployment
- (Coaching) to improve performance and achieve desired results in fuzzy areas where energy efficiency function is not yet well defined
- (Balance) Negotiating to improve mutually acceptable agreements between parties understanding energy efficiency as a catalyst and enabling mechanism
- (Alignment) Managing conflicts to prevent disruptive impacts that at early stages might threaten new models consolidation (i.e. ESCO)
- (Transitions set up) Summarizing, recapping, and identifying the next steps in the multiple level perspectives (buildings, mobility, sustainable cities, productivity, energy mix, smart city, health, technology, comfort, budget…)
Thus I suggest that a fair dialogue with a broadened stakeholders portfolio as well as within your own team could provide precise and creative extension of the former Decalogue (+1) dealing with communicational topics on energy efficiency.
(Adapted from PMBOK Guide®)