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FW: Developing an Energy Management Plan

I take no credit for the content of today’s blog. That must go to my new friend, Larry (Lorenz) Schoff.

making a planFor decades, Larry has saved organizations big money on electricity costs. I stumbled upon an old article of his while browsing the internet last week and was immediately attracted to the quality and detail of his content. That led to an email and a phone call with Larry, and now I’m looking forward to a collaboration that will give his ideas and expertise in the area of facility energy efficiency additional circulation in the energy management community.

Larry has an extensive resume—50 years in facilities management (30 in educational facilities) plus almost 10 years as the Schools Sector Technical Analyst for the US Department of Energy’s EnergySmart Schools program. He helped to write the LEED for Schools document and the ASHRAE Advanced Energy Design Guide for K-12 Schools.

Larry’s original article focused on schools, so I’ve broadened the language for the purposes of this blog, and done a bit of editing from my more limited knowledge of the industry. Here’s what I’ve learned about the major steps in developing your organization’s energy management plan. I hope to drill into more details and related topics in future blogs.

How to Develop an Energy Management Plan (EMP)


Preliminary information gathered at each facility will have an impact on the determination of energy goals and specific targets of the Energy Management Plan.

  1. Establish an organization-wide policy for energy tracking.
  2. Establish a baseline for facility energy use.
  3. Survey plug and phantom loads

Plan Pillars

  1. Based on the policy, establish a program GOAL and establish OBJECTIVES.
  2. Designate a responsible individual and means for implementing the program.
  3. Establish energy conservation checklists for administrators, staff, and volunteers.
  4. If the plan has behavioral components, obtain necessary education materials.
  5. Schedule any necessary personnel training.
  6. Establish an evaluation program and means for celebrating success.

Sample Energy Management Plan Goals

Remember: goals should be specific, realistic and achievable. Steps toward the goal are objectives, which become the roadmap for measuring progress toward achieving each goal.

  1. GOAL: Reduce energy consumption in each facility by at least (___)% by [date here] and maintain the achieved level of consumption for five years after attainment. The baseline year for comparison is [year here].

    1. OBJECTIVE: Establish a monthly reporting protocol to measure progress toward the goal. Determine a list of report recipients
    2. OBJECTIVE: Assess monthly reports and use results to inform the next objective.
    3. OBJECTIVE: Achieve at least a (__)% reduction in energy consumption from the established baseline in at least (__)% of facilities by [date here].
  2. GOAL: Establish an energy awareness training program and maintain it for participants through periodic training.

    1. OBJECTIVE: Develop, test, and evaluate an energy awareness training program by [date here].
    2. OBJECTIVE: Implement program to all participants by [date here].
    3. OBJECTIVE: Develop a survey to gauge program participation and effectiveness, and determine frequency and extent of distribution.
  3. GOAL: Establish Energy Conservation Measures for each facility by [date here].

    1. OBJECTIVE: Perform energy audits for each facility by [date here].
    2. OBJECTIVE: Perform facility/systems inspections by [date here].
    3. OBJECTIVE: As the results of energy audits and facility/systems inspections, develop an energy conservation measures project list in conjunction with the capital projects. 

Implementation Tips

  • Establish and fund an energy manager position and area energy coordinators.
  • Establish an Energy Management Team representing all segments of the participant population.
  • Adopt a set of High Performance/Green Design guidelines for use in the design and construction of new facilities, and renovation of existing facilities.


  • Develop checklists for all daily energy conservation actions.
  • Develop checklists for special circumstances (peak demand, high-use activities) to control energy usage.

Recognizing Success

  • Develop a program for recognizing success in the program both internally and externally.
  • Develop a system to inform participants and other stakeholders on a regular basis regarding the EMP, goals, and progress.
  • Revise the plan as necessary. Remember the plan is a living document and must be updated to reflect changing conditions and successes or failures. 

My thanks to Larry Schoff for his contribution to today’s blog. Your comments and questions are welcome! If I can’t answer them, I’ll probably pass them along to Larry.