Once energy efficiency is established and raised to a business issue for the refinery, by a managerial or corporate decision and an energy policy is set, organizing this activity is demanding. Some approaches for this organization have already been addressed, like additional tasks to some organization cell or function or the designation of a special advising or aide position to the site management. Nevertheless the committee is always necessary, because of multitask and cross sectional characteristics of the program.
Many refineries and companies transit between some arrangements as these varing in time due to relative energy costs, availability of personnel and momentary corporate priority for the program. The creation of an energy management or an energy efficiency program management is a natural step for many companies. But how can it evolve and what can be the options for this evolution?
Concerning the actual strong link between energy efficiency and environmental, in some companies there has been a move to either create or change this assignment or formal organizational cell into the Health, Safety and Environmental area. If the environmental compliance is an actual concern for the company, this may be a good call, if it really raises attention and priority to the subject. On the other hand this can withdraw responsibility from staff in general, turning energy efficiency into an obligatory issue like safety. This may reduce visibility about economic results, making it loose its rewarding and challenging aspect.
In companies with multiple sites, if an energy efficiency management or coordination is in charge of a broadening program, there is opportunity to build a dedicated organizational cell as an internal energy savings company, called ESCO. The advantages are that the people working on it, have energy efficiency as their sole priority. All resources and activities, like management, training, budgeting, compensation etc circle around the theme. Their revenue comes from energy savings obtained in projects among the various company's locations. If this work is well organized and established there is even opportunity for turning it into a service to be offered externally and charged to third parties, becoming another business branch. Some disadvantages come with this arrangement. Best practice operational procedures usually fall outside the jurisdiction of the ESCO. It also creates a reasonable distance between the service provider and the refinery personnel, especially plant floor. In meantime, if third party services demand begins to rise, priority conflicts between internal and external demands may occur. Anyway, it is a possible evolution that has the great advantage of rising energy efficiency to a real business level for the company.
No recommended or foolproof organization exists, and no matter what structure, refineries achieving the greatest results do have:
• top down commitment to energy efficiency and its continuous improvement;
• an integrated approach across all business aspects;
• a system to track and analyze energy performance;
• a coherent system of performance goals;
• a system to effectively reward energy performance;
• an engaged and empowered staff.
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