EMAK Second Workshop summary

1. EMAK workshop

 The second EMAK Workshop was held on May 10, 2010 in Washington DC USA.

The workshop featured 15 presentations from 8 countries/institutions (China, Japan, India, France, Australia, USA, Korea and Ireland) and was attended by around 60 attendees from 13 countries.

 2. EMAK presentations and debate

 The presentations provided insights into the energy management institutions and regulatory systems of various countries, and provided a learning experience for all participants. The sessions included one focused solely on the role and development of ISO50001.

3. Below are some of the key points of debate:

  • Many speakers noted that after the outcome of Copenhagen, energy efficiency was seen as at the top of the list of actions that the global community can take to reduce emissions
  • Industry was continually cited as a key implementor of this energy efficiency
  • Presentations on energy management in the company by business representatives all highlighted the need for a Plan-Do-See-Act cycle approach, with a firm wide energy management systems, targets, and in some cases third party verification.
  • It was noted that the measurement of energy performance (a key element in the Japanese experience) was critical to the broader implementation of energy management
  • The legal framework for successful management can be through mandatory legislation or otherwise. Energy efficiency is of itself competitive and can be promoted in its own right.
  • However, on the ground, it was noted that it is difficult to mount the business case among practical operators and that the tendency is to just do what is mandatory. Many industry participants commented that no project over a two year pay-back was seriously considered.
  • This response led to the reflection that CEO support is critical, and high-level dialogue between government and industry, energy efficiency awards could contribute to gaining support at management level.
  • This led to a discussion on the need for a commitment to the implementation of energy efficiency results not the identification of more technical ideas – a theme of the first workshop discussions
  • There was significant support for the proposition that energy management needed to be integrated into broader management discussions – into mainstream decision-making tools, finance and technical support, broad standards that are understandable to non-specialists and that energy needs to be seen as having a “seat at the table” in decisions
  • Getting broader numbers of businesses involved was raised and it was noted that government enables industry to minimise risk and that government could assist with benchmarking (it was also argued that industry associations could do more of this); it was also noted that programs need to be structured to incentivise involvement as there are many conflicting priorities in businesses – passionate individuals and senior managers who understand the business case are a strong partnership
  • In relation to a question about energy education, it was noted that the best teacher of energy management is experience, which tends to be very industry-specific; one speaker noted that it took them two years to get someone to be productive in a new area of engagement
  • ISO was viewed as a straightforward approach that recognised that users can manage their energy but not necessarily politics or prices
  • The growth of ISO50001 is subject as always to sensitivity to the capacity of organizations to absorb and implement new practices – something with which EMAK could assist
  • One speaker noted that involvement with a program larger than your own company has great internal benefits and increases the longevity of the work
  • ISO 50001 was noted as a good step forward and a “framework for government and business co-operation” – EMAK could help to implement this approach
  • Policy continuity was seen as critical to new processes: a long period of continuity was seen as underpinning some of the best case studies and the role of industry associations in building on this was raised
  • Recognition of effort through prizes and so on were raised, though it was noted that they needed to be designed well

4. Actions for the future work of EMAK were identified as:

  • The creation of a steering committee to oversee further development of EMAK
  • The implementation of an interactive web-site to manage the knowledge being created through the EMAK process
  • A consolidated report by the end of this year which brings together the learnings of EMAK so far