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Setting the Timeline for Long-Term Energy Planning
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: How to Plan for Long-Term Energy EfficiencyPt. 2: Teaming Up for Long-Term Energy EfficiencyPt. 3: This PagePt. 4: Questions to Ask for Successful Energy Planning
Multi-year energy planning should include a timeframe designed around incrementally scheduled process improvements and planned investment with a clear understanding of how outcomes can be measured and verified. Incorporate a very intentional method of tracking persistence and demonstrating the additive benefit of each succeeding investment and operational change.
It’s terribly important to avoid losing track of the incremental benefits realized over time. Develop a method to cross check these measured improvements with empirical data from utility meters and energy bills. Planning years one, two, and three should all consist of their discrete sub-plans with a clear understanding of projected improvement coming out of each incremental element of the overall energy plan. It’s common for energy load and usage reductions to be marginalized by so much else going on at the facility, becoming lost in the “noise” of facility operations.
Facility managers should employ a disciplined approach to energy planning over a multi-year timeline — the kind of planning and timeframe associated with achieving big and bold goals. Seeking out others’ insight about the future, articulating a direction informed by such insight, pursuing broad-based stakeholder involvement in goal planning, and committing to incremental measurement and verification of outcomes, all help assure that multi-year energy planning realizes a successful and rewarding result.