Friday, 18 July 2008



The following is an overview of the key steps Government Agencies should undertake to implement the energy reduction target.

1. Identify a strategic corporate approach

An energy management program should be strategically designed to suit your organisation. This strategy should: include high-level commitment from senior management; recognise that energy reduction is an important key result area; provide for adequate staffing and financial resources; and provide resources that can be directed to monitoring, tracking and reporting energy use. This strategic corporate approach is the starting point.

2. Formalise an energy management policy

A written energy management policy comprising the major points of this guideline is required. The policy can take the form of an overarching environmental policy that addresses energy management, or can be a simple declaration of the organisation’s commitment to reduce energy.

3. Appoint an energy management team

An energy manager or energy management team should be appointed to ensure someone in the organisation is directly responsible for energy use. Depending on the size of the organisation, the roles within the team can vary. The energy manager or team are ‘change agents’ for the organisation.

4. Set up a monitoring and reporting system

A management system should be set up to collect, analyse and report the organisation's energy cost and consumption. This system is distinct from the EDGAR energy reporting system. In the first instance Departments and Statutory Authorities should carry out a benchmarking exercise to establish total energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, staff numbers and floor areas of each facility within the organisation. For the purposes of reporting, the base line is 1999/2000. To assist this exercise the Sustainable Energy Authority has an energy management database freely available for use within Departments and Agencies. By February 2002, all agencies covered by the target should provide this benchmarking data to the Sustainable Energy Authority in electronic format.

5. Undertake energy audits

An energy audit will include a survey and review of energy using systems, an analysis of energy using systems and the preparation of an energy budget. The audit report will form the basis of actions that will result in energy and cost savings actions. Energy audits can be carried out by professional engineers or by employees of the organisation. The Sustainable Energy Authority has assembled a panel of contractors to carry out energy audits and project management of energy savings projects.

6. Implement a staff awareness program

Motivating staff to save energy is a key aspect for ensuring the 15% energy reduction target is realised. It is vital that organisations develop a program that enlists the cooperation of staff. In tenancies, staff can have direct control over nearly all of the electrical load. There are also likely to be broader benefits as employees who are motivated to save energy at work may be more motivated to save energy at home.

7. Develop and implement a plan to realise energy saving projects

Following from strategic energy audits and information gathered as part of the staff awareness program, a detailed plan should be developed to ensure that energy saving opportunities are fully realised. The detailed implementation plan should be endorsed by senior management and should provide time-lines and state budgetary and funding requirements. Concurrently with the energy saving work, the organisation should ensure that good housekeeping practices are being followed, energy is being purchased at the best price and the best performance is obtained from plant and equipment.

There will be initial costs to departments and statutory authorities in the identification and implementation of energy saving projects. This will mainly involve capital expenditure for energy audits and implementing energy saving projects.

A systematic approach must be taken to the implementation plan to set priorities that will deliver long-term cost effective savings. Experience has shown that for many energy management actions the payback on this initial investment will be realised in approximately two years. Net savings will then be achieved through the adoption of improved energy efficiency in government building operations.

Note: The 15% reduction in energy use must be consistent with a similar reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Agencies will need to ensure that energy management options do not have the effect of increasing greenhouse gas emissions whilst reducing energy use.

Measures undertaken to meet the 15% target shall be funded out of existing Department and Statutory Authority budgets or through external sources of funding, as determined by Departments and Authorities, and savings arising from energy reduction measures shall be retained by Departments and Authorities. Energy performance contracts (EPC) are an acceptable form of third-party funding, however due diligence and care should be paramount when documenting, tendering and negotiating EPCs.

8. Report and review energy use/reduction

Reviewing the progress towards meeting the energy management targets and strategies in light of the results achieved so far, will form the basis for developing an implementation plan for the next 12 months.

The Sustainable Energy Authority will provide all Departments and Statutory authorities with the web-based Energy Data Gathering and Reporting tool (EDGAR)n for this purpose. This tool was developed by the Commonwealth Department of Industry Science and Resources, and has been customised to reflect Victoria's greenhouse gas intensity and the reporting requirements of the 15% energy reduction target. Each Department and Authority must use this EDGAR tool to report: all site details, annual energy consumption and cost; floor area; number of staff; and other relevant data. A separate, secure home page will be provided for this purpose.

Energy use must be recorded throughout the year (using the monitoring and reporting system as outlined in point 4 above) and reported via this mechanism.

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