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Energy Management CompaniesBy: Tiffany Richmond

Recently the Aberdeen Group released a study on energy management business practices that compared laggard, industry average and best-in-class organizations against one another. These results were uncovered through a survey of 254 executives earlier this year.

The survey classified the three levels – laggard, industry average and best-in-class –based upon practice and performance. The definitions are:

Level Description
Best-in-Class (20%) Practices that are the best currently being employed and are significantly superior to the Industry Average, and results in the top industry performance.
Industry Average (50%) Practices that represent the average or norm, and result in average industry performance.
Laggards (30%) Practices that are significantly behind the average of the industry, and result in below average performance.

In addition to ranking the levels by practice and performance the study also look at the following five categories. In each category the study identifies how a best-in-class organization stands out from the other levels.

Process: The approach companies take to execute daily operations.
This includes a standardized approach to monitor energy data across an organization and an auditable and transparent process across all functional groups. Best-in-class companies stand out in this category because they have standardized the process to monitor energy data across their enterprise. This allows the companies to understand what energy data to collect, where to collect from and how frequent and how to use the data to make effective decisions.

Organization: Corporate focus and collaboration among stakeholders.
An important aspect of this category is collaboration between corporate and facility level departments. Energy management has to be viewed at the executive level as a core initiative and not the sole responsibility of an energy engineer. Most best-in-class organizations have an executive sponsorship and create cross functional teams for its energy management program.

Knowledge Management: Contextualizing data and exposing it to key stakeholders.
This includes collecting energy data automatically and using real time data to provide key decision makers with proper information. Best in class companies ensure that critical decisions are made from the most up to date information without any doubts as to the validity of the information.

Performance Management: The ability of the organization to measure its results to improve its business.
Best-in-class organizations benchmark current performance of their energy management programs across all facilities to understand how it performances internally, againsts its competitors and industry standards.

Technology: The selection of the appropriate tools and the effective deployment of those tools.
A major differentiator of best-in-class organizations is that they invest in energy management and carbon management tools to provide facility level visibility to energy and carbon data.

So what makes a best-in-class company? The study summarizes that best-in-class companies:

  • Redesign/optimize processes to support the organization’s energy goals. Companies are using actual energy consumption, across all levels, to make real time decisions.
  • Create and improve collaboration across functional groups. Companies are taking a board holistic approach to energy management and understand that energy management is a part of the overall corporate strategy.

Best-in-class performers also:

  • Establish cross functional teams to enable a holistic energy management program.
  • Enable visibility into energy data by investment in energy management and carbon management solutions.
  • Invest in reporting, dashboards and analytics to provide role based visibility into key sustainability metrics.

For more information about the report, visit www.aberdeen.com.


Tiffany Richmond is an enthusiastic marketing guru and is responsible for online marketing strategies at Energy Advantage Inc.

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