Journey to Energy Excellence for Greenhouses – Part 5
By Treena Hein
The four steps that have been presented here on Energy Edge in ‘The Journey to Energy Excellence for Greenhouses’ are the meat of the program, says 360 Energy’s Lisa Brodeur. “However, Step 5 is the part that keeps your energy management plan and activities alive and flourishing, ultimately saving you money, year after year.”
“This step is tied to the concept of continuous improvement, and helps to imbed that philosophy within your organization as it relates to energy.
Monitoring and feedback is often the most over-looked step in any planning process, which is the stumbling block to any plan achieving its maximum benefits. Accountability and regular review of your energy actions are needed to keep everyone on task and focused on achieving real, measurable savings.
Each key action should be reviewed to see if it has been completed as planned and if it has met expectations. Can it be integrated into the ongoing process/operations? Utilizing the plan, Gant charts, and checklists you should have the means to accomplish this aspect of accountability. The key is, what is the next logical step that should be taken as a result of your planned action being completed? One action should lead to another in your quest for energy excellence.
Finally, if things did not go according to plan, what went wrong? Can you learn from this situation and proceed down another path? Always close out each planned action by incorporating it into your processes or fixing the direction taken to ensure a positive outcome in future actions
To keep your momentum positive and moving forward, set deadlines and assign responsibility to various people throughout the project. Have those responsible tracking their deadlines and actual completion dates, then ask for comments and input on how to improve it in the future or move on to the next action item in your plan.
Customers should monitor and report energy activity on a continual basis on what savings have been achieved by taking past action. This feedback should be provided not only to owners but also to the people (suppliers, operating staff) that impact this action to reinforce the value and benefit of pursuing energy management activity.
Start by providing annual information, moving to monthly information and for advance growers providing daily feedback to staff. We know of one grower who discusses energy usage with their team every day.
Make sure you promote and celebrate the success to the whole organization to reinforce the benefits of pursuing energy management. Cost-avoidance reporting should be tracked yearly for all actions taken in the past to ensure the process, programs and projects achieve the results that were forecasted and initially achieved.
Once you have completed step five, you move back to step one and continue the process over and over again. As you become more proficient in completing each of the five steps, successful energy management practices become integrated throughout your daily business activities and this will improve your bottom line. In addition, your production knowledge will increase and your organization will be in the best position it could be to control your future.
The Journey to Energy Excellence for Greenhouses is a 5 step process which assists growers to develop a program to manage their energy more effectively and achieve results that will improve their business performance in a sustainable manner. This process has been researched and utilizes best practices from around the world. It has been proven successful time and time again.”
Lisa Brodeur is a Quality Assurance Supervisor at 360 Energy.