Chapter 1
A Stake in the Ground
When thinking about energy management, you have to start somewhere. For the sake of this
book, start by thinking about energy in terms of risk, cost, and resource management. Then
look at energy management in terms of our global dependence on energy in all its commercially
available forms. With this mindset, you can begin to walk the line between facilities and IT
management by strategically applying emerging energy management technologies.
As you assess the current state of energy management within your organization, you will
find there is much room for improvement and greater risk than you realize. This chapter focuses
on the foundational elements you need to know to build an energy management program.
Having this program in place has many benefits, including improving the level of control over
your organization’s future as it relates to energy use.
For most of us living in industrialized nations, energy in the form of electricity has largely
been taken for granted. Its been ample, reliable, and cheap. In fact, given the direct correlation
between energy use and gross domestic product (GDP), using less energy goes against the very
principles of economic progress. Using more energy is inextricably linked to progress, pros-
perity, and growth in the way our global economy operates today. For these reasons, a purely
marketing-driven Green program will not help a large organization to build more-sustainable
operations in the long term. Programs that rely too much on a use less mentality and not enough
on sound financial planning are destined to fail. If your organization already has a Green focus,
what you should be asking is, How sustainable is your sustainability program? Without execu-
tive and functional business alignment and the human resources needed to effect change, the
answer to the question is not very.
Reducing costs through improved resource management can set an organization on the path
to being more sustainable and profitable, while reducing mid- to long-term risk along the way.
This book focuses on what is actionable: cost reductions through improved resource manage-
ment. The construct of the problem doesn’t need to be more complex than that. Your solution
can indeed be this simple when you approach this book as a guide to applying information
technology toward improved resource management. To that end, this chapter provides a good
foundation for approaching resource management focused on energy in much the same way we
manage anything else in a large organization.
In this chapter, you will learn the following:
How to develop critical thinking in applying technology to improve resource management
•u
How to acquire a high-level understanding of global energy economics•u
How to assess the current scope of technologies focused on energy management•u
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