What is planning, reporting and monitoring for energy efficiency?
Like any business project, energy efficiency requires a planning and evaluation framework. Signatories to CitySwitch benefit from a guided way to plan, undertake, check and reward their organisation for its energy savings.
At the highest level, a CitySwitch signatory finds out their office’s rating using the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS). This system enables office tenancies to compare their performance to others on a like for like basis. Rated from 1-6 stars, the minimum commitment under CitySwitch is to reach 4 stars. So, knowing the baseline indicates how big the energy efficiency task will be. A nominated Energy Manager will need to develop an action plan for how to achieve the desired energy savings.
Why plan, report and monitor energy efficiency?
- A plan helps to select which actions will make the most impact towards your improvement goal.
- Monitoring finds out how you are tracking against your goal and what actions are making the most difference.
- Reporting feeds back to teams and management how their actions are making change and contributes to longer term commitment.
- Quantifying achievements enables signatories to be recognised through the CitySwitch awards amongst other signatories and their sector.
Those that have been through the process find several benefits: it provides motivation and shared understanding of the challenge, helps select the most effective for energy savings actions and helps navigate the many pathways available.
Tools for planning, reporting and monitoring
Discovering a low baseline is not a barrier to change. If fact, it helps to demonstrate subsequent successes. A low baseline can also be kept confidential whilst improvements are being made. Several government agencies provide tools that help to plan, monitor and report on your actions towards a green office and improved NABERS rating available here at the resources hub, those related to planning are available under related resources below.
As a starting point, the NABERS Office Rating Page provides an overview of how the scheme works. Their resource, the Energy Management Handbook, is a comprehensive guide to the whole process.
Sustainability Victoria also has a detailed Energy Efficiency Resource page - includes a best practice guide, check list and fact sheets on office equipment.