Are Energy Managers Making Progress? Introducing a Tool to Help

on February 17, 2015 at 10:00 AM

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Energy management can be complicated, and the projects organizations must tackle run the gamut: from small-scale lighting and HVAC upgrades to whole building retrofits; from baselining energy consumption to data analysis of enterprise-wide energy management systems; and from volunteer employee engagement programs to executive-level goal setting.

So if you’re an energy manager, there’s no doubt you’re busy! But, when you’re deep in the middle of so many weeds, what’s not often clear is: Is your organization making real progress to improve the way it thinks about and manages energy? What does real progress look like? 


Several years ago, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and partner MIT started to address these questions through the  development of a framework for strategic energy management. This framework shows successful programs depend on a holistic and multi-faceted management approach—one where five focus areas work in concert to create a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement.

This year, we’re taking that work a step further by addressing another question organizations frequently have: where are we on the journey?

To that end, EDF Climate Corps is proud to announce the launch of a simple and free benchmarking survey called the Smart Energy Diagnostic, designed to help energy managers assess the overall health and progress of their energy management programs.

In just 15 minutes, energy managers can zoom out of their day-to-day project work and get a big-picture view of their programs. Answers to just 14 multiple choice questions provide users with a quick snapshot that identifies areas of strength and weakness, which can then be leveraged as an internal communications tool. Energy managers often use it to build the case for increased attention and investment in energy management programs, as well as proof of the results of their hard work.

Sample Smart Energy Diagnostic Snapshot:


In addition to the benchmarking snapshot, energy managers can place their answers on EDF’s detailed rubric of energy management best practices and see what progress in each category looks like.

We’re excited to share the knowledge and insight we have gained with the wider energy management community. If you’ve ever wondered whether your energy management strategies are the right ones or which specific next steps will advance your projects, the EDF Smart Energy Diagnostic tool will help you assess your progress toward achieving a holistic energy management system.

By  Liz Delaney, Program Director, EDF Climate Corps

Originally Published on February 12, 2014

The Energy Exchange Blog is a forum where EDF‘s energy experts discuss how to accelerate the transition to a clean, low-carbon energy economy. Follow them on Twitter here: @EDFEnergyEX