Task 6: We have an energy team authorized by top management to oversee the energy management system. Responsibilities and authorities are assigned and communicated, and processes are in place to identify and provide resources.
Detailed Guidance: Energy Team and Resources
Getting It Done
- Form an energy team and obtain authority from top management for it to oversee the energy management system (EnMS) and carry out assigned responsibilities.
- Document who the energy team leader is.
- Schedule regular energy management team meetings.
- Assign and communicate EnMS responsibilities and authorities within the organization.
- Address and communicate responsibilities for other relevant roles.
- Identify, communicate to top management, and allocate the resources needed for the EnMS.
Top management must ensure that an energy management team is formed and authorized to oversee the energy management system (EnMS). This team has overall responsibility to ensure that the EnMS is established, implemented, maintained, and continually improved—and to report to top management on energy performance improvement and EnMS performance. Desirable skills and qualifications should be considered when selecting candidates for this role.
An EnMS relies heavily on a team approach, to take advantage of the diversity of each individual’s skills and knowledge for your organization’s benefit. The team provides different perspectives on issues, distributes workload, communicates the importance of energy across the organization, facilitates implementation, promotes wider acceptance among the workforce, and improves prospects for sustaining the system. The energy team is authorized by top management to carry out its assigned responsibilities. Typically, the team is led by the energy manager, site managers, or other designated member of the energy team who has an understanding of the organization’s energy use or management systems.
Once the energy team is established, the team should decide how the resources needed for the EnMS and energy performance improvement will be identified and communicated to top management, as well as how those resources will be utilized.
This guidance is relevant to sections 5.1 g), 5.1 i), and 5.3 of the ISO 50001:2018 standard.
The energy management team brings together relevant expertise to guide development, implementation, operation, maintenance, and continual improvement of the energy management system (EnMS). The size and composition of the team will vary, depending on the size and structure of the organization, the scope of the EnMS, and the resources made available by top management. In very small organizations, the responsibilities of the team can be carried out by an individual.
Persons with appropriate technical expertise and understanding of energy concepts, energy management, and energy performance should be part of the energy team. However, it is not required that all energy team members be energy experts or have a technical background. Persons who are established in the organization and have the respect of peers and management, as well as those who have expressed interest in participating on the team, are also desirable.
In forming the energy team, consider representatives from functional areas dealing with the selection, procurement, consumption, reliability, disposal, and environmental impacts of fuels and energy systems. Also consider individuals who are familiar with ISO or other continual improvement-based management systems. The following functional areas are often considered by organizations implementing ISO 50001 and forming their energy management team:
- Site management
Suppliers, contractors, tenants, or customers may also have a role in your organization’s energy management activities. If appropriate, consider including their representatives on the energy team.
Developing a team roster is a helpful best practice for listing team members, recording contact information to support team communications, and verifying multi-functional representation. The optional Playbook worksheet contains a team roster matrix.
As part of assembling the team, or after the team is formed, it can be helpful to identify and authorize an energy team leader. Often this person is the energy manager, site director, or someone experienced with ISO management systems or energy-using equipment and systems. In the best case, specific skill sets can enhance the ability of the energy team leader to be successful.
Desirable skills of an energy team leader include the following:
- Interpersonal skills, including written and verbal communication
- Organizational skills
- Program management
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Conflict management
- Energy/technical background and/or experience with continual improvement-based management systems
- Computer proficiency
Once the team has been established, it is critically important that it is authorized and resourced by top management to carry out its assigned roles and responsibilities. This is true, regardless of the levels of the job positions and authorities held by the various team members. The team will be overseeing the EnMS, and it cannot succeed if it is not appropriately empowered to execute its tasks without jeopardizing the regular job functions of the team members.
The authorization of the team should be communicated broadly across the organization by top management. This helps convey the importance top management is placing on energy management and energy performance improvement and promotes cooperation that the energy team needs from across the organization.
Management supports the energy team by allowing them the time and resources necessary to conduct the activities associated with their responsibilities.
Typical resources provided to energy team members can include the following:
- Fiscal resources for energy team activities, including training in ISO 50001
- Personnel time to work on team activities during normal business hours
- Physical space for energy team meetings and work sessions
- Access to needed data and information
- Access to top management to help solicit organizational participation
- Resources required for any personnel who would assist with the EnMS
Top management assigns responsibility and authority to the energy team for the following:
- Ensuring that an EnMS that meets the guidance of the 50001 Ready Navigator is established, operated, maintained and continually improved
- Implementing action plans for energy performance improvement
- Reporting to top management on energy performance improvement and EnMS performance
- Setting up criteria and methods to ensure effective operation and control of the EnMS
These responsibilities reside with the energy team even after initial implementation of the EnMS. In most initial EnMS implementations, the energy team also serves as the implementation team. As a practical matter, energy team activities could include:
- drafting the energy policy for management review and approval.
- determining the context of the organization, with management input (Task 1 An EnMS and Your Organization).
- identifying the risks and opportunities associated with the issues related to the organization’s strategic goals and objectives (Task 2 People and Legal Requirements Affecting the EnMS.
- conducting the energy review (including data collection and analysis), determination of significant energy uses (SEUs), and identifying energy opportunities (Task 9 Significant Energy Uses (SEUs) and Task 10 Improvement Opportunities).
- proposing specific objectives, energy targets, and action plans for approval (Task 12 Objectives and Targets.
- developing EnMS documentation (Task 16 Documenting the EnMS).
- designing internal energy-related communications (Task 15 Awareness and Communication).
- serving as “energy champions” for their work areas.
- conducting competency and energy awareness training related to the EnMS (Task 14 Competence and Training).
- managing internal audits and corrective action systems (Task 22 Internal Audit and Task 24 Corrective Actions).
- tracking energy performance (Task 21 Monitoring and Measurement of Energy Performance Improvement).
Energy team members should be assigned specific EnMS implementation tasks and should be held accountable for their timely completion. Robust team communication processes are critical for communicating assignments, developing or adapting the processes needed for the EnMS, and obtaining feedback from other team members.
Establish regular team meetings to promote continuity of EnMS development, and to provide for progress reviews and task assignments, and to address issues. The meeting length and frequency may vary, but the meetings should include teamwork sessions to address specific topics related to EnMS development and implementation.
One of the first team meetings should include training on ISO 50001 and the 50001 Ready Navigator. If your organization may eventually pursue certification, purchase copies of the ISO 50001:2018 standard and distribute them among team members. Team members need to be familiar with the standard’s requirements, particularly those requirements related to their area of responsibility on the team. This training can be conducted internally if there is in-house expertise in the requirements of the standard, or if there is not, by an external training provider.
During initial development of the EnMS, your team will meet frequently to make plans, schedule activities, assign responsibilities, and review progress. From the start, ensure your team members are familiar with their individual team roles and responsibilities. Consider developing a team charter to clarify and communicate the overall expectations for team members. Use common project management techniques to define and manage the implementation schedule and tasks, along with their assignment and completion.
As EnMS development progresses, additional expertise may be needed on the team to address details associated with specific EnMS requirements; for example, design and procurement. Review progress regularly and consider if additional team members are needed to address certain topics or implementation issues.
Upon full implementation of the EnMS, the team will ensure its continued operation and manage activities for continual improvement. It may be appropriate to reduce the team size once the system has been established and effectively implemented. However, the team is a key component in the ongoing operation of the EnMS, and sufficient cross-functional membership and activity level should be maintained to ensure that it continues to meet its responsibilities and is effective.
Roles and responsibilities in the EnMS are not limited to top management and the energy team. Although employees do not necessarily affect energy management and energy performance to the same extent, everyone within the organization is responsible for meeting the EnMS requirements relevant to their work areas. At a minimum, this is addressed by the awareness guidance of Task 15 Awareness and Communication.
However, as you develop and implement (or adapt) processes to meet the guidance of the 50001 Ready Navigator, it will become clear that there are other relevant roles that need to be addressed. These are likely to include, for example, EnMS responsibilities specific to personnel in maintenance, operations, procurement, site/building management, manufacturing engineering, documentation management, and finance/accounting, among others.
What is important is that EnMS responsibilities are identified, assigned, and communicated to the relevant personnel. Top management must ensure this happens. Common approaches to assigning and communicating these responsibilities include EnMS training, communication, and awareness activities; job descriptions or position statements; roles and responsibilities matrices; process flowcharts; and employee orientation or other on-boarding processes.
A 50001 Ready system needs relevant and accurate data to track and verify energy performance improvement and support good decision-making. One topic that should be given close attention is roles and responsibilities related to management of energy data and related information. Data must be retained as documented information. Energy data management roles can include the following:
- Identifying needed data
- Determining data sources and form
- Determining location of data and frequency of collection
- Acquiring data
- Verifying accuracy of data
- Recording and retaining data in the appropriate location
- Checking the ongoing functioning of the data collection process
- Studying the data management process to determine if something is missing
The above roles can be filled by a variety of organization personnel, including those outside the energy team. Appropriate training should be provided to personnel who are assigned data management roles but have an identified gap in their skills.
To help develop roles and responsibilities for energy data management, the Playbook worksheet may be useful. The roles and responsibilities may vary somewhat depending on your organization’s needs, but the general method of data identification, description of data sources, location and frequency of data collection, data acquisition and verification, and data recording should remain consistent. Ensure that those persons responsible for collecting data are appropriately trained for such responsibilities. Appropriate training could include:
- knowledge of energy and other metrics (amps, volts, watts, Btu, cubic feet, etc.).
- meter selection and hook up (portable meters).
- meter reading.
- data recording.
- software use.
- equipment/process access.
- safety during measurement or accessing equipment.
The optional Playbook worksheet contains useful templates and examples to guide your development of data collection needs.
In addition to the resources needed by the energy team for initial implementation, it is important that processes are in place to determine and provide the resources needed for the effectiveness of the EnMS over time. Most organizations incorporate the review and determination of EnMS resources into the annual budgeting process, as well as the existing capital planning process, especially as related to the resources needed to execute action plans to achieve objectives and targets (see Task 13 Action Plans for Continual Improvement) and possibly actions undertaken to address risks and opportunities (see Task 7 Risks to EnMS Success). Other resources that may be needed could, for example, include training from external providers (e.g., EnMS internal auditor training), software for controlling and managing documented information, and new or additional metering. Resource needs are also considered as part of the management review process (see Task 23 Management Review). The energy team has a key role to play in identifying and communicating EnMS resource needs to top management.
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