Step 5: Implementation of Action Plan
- Step 1: Commitment to energy efficiency and the use of RES
- Step 2: State of the art
- Step 3: Setting of general goals
- Step 4: Development of Action Plan
- Step 5: Implementation of Action Plan
- Step 6: Evaluation of outcomes and continuous improvement
- Step 7: Broadening of green practices
5.1 Raising awareness
The effective implementation of the Action Plan largely depends on awareness raising among the key stakeholders of knowledge institutions. All these actors need to be aware of the energy goals and act responsibly towards this end. To increase awareness about the energy use can be achieved through multiple ways:
- Distributing information materials (posters, leaflets etc.), providing basic information about everyday actions that affect energy use and impact the environment, or even energy sources used at the institution along with the associated pollution that results from this use
- Organising events, workshops, conferences, summits etc., for the dissemination of the Action Plan outcomes
- Establishing an Information Office, website etc., for environmental sensitization, energy-saving options and distribution of relevant material and information addressing a general audience
The key for awareness rising is to identify the different groups of audiences and select the most appropriate information to address each one of them. The information should be tailored to the specific characteristics of each group. For example, the manager of a university would be interested to know the cost of energy per activity, while a student would be more attracted to a tip about the energy use of his/her computer.
Training is another significant aspect of implementing the Action Plan. Through training, staff and relevant stakeholders realize the importance of energy efficiency and get access to valuable knowledge in order to make informed decisions. For this reason, a series of events, workshops and training seminars can be organized for the institution’s staff and students. Additionally, the universities can include environmental courses for graduate and post-graduate students aiming at increasing their environmental sensitization and awareness.
The type and nature of training vary by institution and by action plan. According to the Energy Star guidelines, common training programs include:
- Training on the processes of reducing energy use and increasing energy production from renewable energy sources, which usually targets specific audiences, such as facility managers, operations, and maintenance staff.
- Training on collecting data, recording, evaluating and monitoring in order to support energy management.
- Training on specialized equipment or tools to secure more efficient operation.
5.3 Monitoring and reporting
Monitoring is the specific duty of Energy Manager / Team who will take care of it throughout the Action Plan’s implementation.
A tracking system is the means by which an energy program's activities are monitored. The system should be comprehensive and available for all to use for measuring progress towards established targets. Maintaining a tracking system enables the assessment of necessary steps, corrective actions, and identification of successes. Periodic review of the activities outlined in the Action Plan is critical to meet energy performance goals. According to the Energy star guidelines, the following steps are vital in a monitoring process:
- Perform regular updates
A system is only effective if the information it contains is up-to-date and comprehensive. Data needs to be collected and incorporated into the system at intervals that correspond to the program. Many organizations perform weekly and monthly updates of their tracking systems.
- Conduct periodic reviews
Periodic reviews of the progress in meeting interim goals and milestones should be conducted with the management team, the energy team, and selected groups of employees. The frequency of these reviews will vary depending upon the audience. Such reviews should focus on progress made, problems encountered, and potential rewards.
- Identify necessary corrective actions
A tracking system is a good way to determine whether a program is performing well. It will help identify when a specific activity is not meeting its expected targets and is in need of review.