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Continuous Energy Improvement: The ISO 50001 based solution to rising environmental and energy challenges

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Article written by Francios Rongere, PG&E

The Challenge
Current energy management plans are still tactical and fragmented

Managing energy poses complex strategic challenges for a business. The energy management plan must balance critical, and sometimes competing, demands related to operational effectiveness, cost control and a company’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Most organizations respond tactically to these challenges with audits and technical projects that address narrow energy efficiency or cost-savings goals.

But those tactics, while important and useful, will not allow an organization to reach its most ambitious goals for effectively and efficiently managing an organization’s energy use. To achieve significant, long-term results from an energy management plan, experience has shown that one must approach it the way one handle safety, quality, supply chain management and financial controls—as an integrated part of the company’s operating culture.

The Solution
Based on the new ISO 50001 standard, Continuous Energy Improvement offers an integrated, strategic approach 

The ISO 50001 standard, launched in June 2011, builds on the structure of the proven Plan-Do-Check-Act management model. It starts with organizational and technical company-wide assessments; it maps energy performance goals to business objectives; it ensures continual evaluation and iteration; and it activates employee participation. PG&E’s Continuous Energy Improvement program is a tool that can be use to prepare for the ISO 50001 certification and to capitalize on its benefits.

In contrast to the typical, project-based approach to energy management, the application of ISO 50001 recommendations through the CEI program: 

  • Increases the potential return on energy-related investments by prioritizing all energy projects.
  • Aims for broader and deeper savings by driving operation improvement and behavior change. 
  • Assists in reaching ambitious corporate goals and in getting results that stick.
  • Generates accurate savings metrics to support consistent communication to all stakeholders.
  • Helps boost productivity and overall business performance.

How the Program Works
CEI is divided into 6 steps covering the cycle of the continuous improvement process.

  • Commit: Appoint an executive sponsor and enroll in the CEI program.
  • Assess: Audit current energy use and identify opportunities to improve equipment, systems and processes.
  • Plan: Incorporate the energy management plan into the strategic plan.
  • Implement: Act on specific energy-saving strategies that fit a company’s culture and 
    operational plan.
  • Evaluate: Review progress.
  • Modify: Refine the plan with guidance for ongoing change management.

Next Steps
To get more information about CEI or learn whether the program might be right for your organization, contact your PG&E account representative or email us at


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NMI Industrial Holdings
DeHart Construction Services, Inc.
2485 Natomas Park Dr., Suite 550
Sacramento, CA 95833
Phone: (916) 640-8150
Fax: (916) 640-8156
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