Energy Audit

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After an early assessment of the level of energy use, potential savings, and measures already in place has been conducted and its results collated to give a classification of the particular organization in the energy matrix (compare Figure 3.1) , information about the project, its topic and the necessity to reduce energy spending should be circulated. CEOs, managers, key players, the HR department, officials of the workers ' council or other employee representative organizations and maybe even stakeholders should be invited to an energy audit. The energy audit is a workshop, which includes information about the project with an aim to reach understanding and support but also its discussion, the gaining of further insight and the agreement on enhancements as well as specifications.

An information presentation on the energy awareness program needs to contain reasons and (dis-)advantages of the project, an analysis of the current energy use, preliminary potential savings as well as measures that could increase energy awareness and ultimately reduce energy usage. The business case for energy efficiency is clear: it reduces energy costs, diminishes vulnerability to increasing energy prices and reduces CO2 emissions. Overall, the benefits of energy efficiency measures (technical and behavioral) generally outweigh the costs of an energy management system.

The classification of a particular organization in the energy matrix provides further information and is subject to discussion as well as the basis for goal specifications. The participants have to be encouraged to ask critical questions, provide new information and contribute to the analysis and development of the program. Their ideas and involvement are wanted, not only because it is valuable to the quality of the program itself, but also guarantees the understanding and support of the upper/top management. With supportive, or even better enthusiastic, individuals on board, the process and efficiency of the project will improve tremendously. The programs messages and goals will be communicated with more authority as well as through an increased number of formal and informal communication channels.

The relevant and gainful results from the energy audit will be worked into the existing plan and program so that the upgraded version provides a corporate vision and agenda and can be used to decide on methods and measures. However, a participative approach means that the plan and somehow the agenda have to remain flexible and will be adjusted in the course of the implementation. A participative method will lead to greater acceptance of the intervention, with the result of higher outcomes in behavior change (see also Section 3.2.4. and 3.2.6).

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