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The Role of Professional Risk in Implementing Industrial Energy Improvements
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This paper discusses the professional risks and rewards of being an industrial energy manager. The content is derived from the author's personal experience1 plus 80 separate interviews of industrial energy practitioners and experts conducted during 2012-14 for the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The intended reader is anyone who is interested in reconciling industrial energy management tasks with their business and career performance. Energy managers ensure that their facilities receive the benefits of improved energy technologies, practices, and accountabilities. But energy issues are not why industrial leaders get out of bed in the morning. Energy management imposes new priorities on long-standing organizational structures and procedures. To propose energy management is to propose change. Changes impact the way money is budgeted and spent, alters the order of work priorities, and can potentially upset the current balance of professional power and influence held by different department heads within a facility. Change elicits perceptions of risk. Risk begets resistance. Energy management becomes change management, which entails the modification of organizational accountabilities and procedures. Change management demands initiatives that are often beyond the reckoning of mechanically inclined staff that are accustomed to hands-on engineering or maintenance tasks.
Russell, C. (2014). The Role of Professional Risk in Implementing Industrial Energy Improvements. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from