Guest Blog: Mervyn Bowden – A note to CEOs and CFOs about energy training

I’ve worked with many of the leading companies and prominent representative bodies in the energy sector – from forming training strategies to producing specifications for training regimes to scripting courses. […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

I’ve worked with many of the leading companies and prominent representative bodies in the energy sector – from forming training strategies to producing specifications for training regimes to scripting courses.

And I’ve also been involved in everything from grassroots sessions for people new to the sector to senior-level training to seasoned professionals. I probably enjoy the latter most as training environments tend to provoke much thought – often outside the box –  and sometimes excellent commercial ideas and thinking.

What screams at you when considering energy training though is the massive inherent value for all involved.

Quick payback on energy training costs

Given the very high commercial value of training in saving energy as well as new management techniques which can be involved, I’m astounded that many organisations find the cost of training their managers and staff in this most vital of areas too high.

For a few hundred pounds it’s possible to train your key energy people to save you a thousand times more in very short time. You’re likely to get your training costs back in less than the time it took to do the training! Think what investing a few thousand pounds in training would do!

The no-cost and low-cost options

There are a lot of ways you can save energy by using what is essentially common sense – the no cost option. This involves basic education on simple things like switching kit off when it’s not required.

Low cost improvements can also be made – again not rocket science but just making sure that equipment is maintained and replaced with an efficient version when it becomes overly problematic.

Wouldn’t it be great if your organisation, however large or small, had the expertise internally to drive savings through knowledge and be able to articulate to your board the significant benefits available through on energy efficiency and energy procurement?

Missing out on major savings?

You may have, to date, not realised the income streams you could secure from renewable energy generation. These are serious issues which could reduce your cost base and provide very high returns on investment. Energy efficiency schemes, historically and for companies who’ve done little to improve their performance, can provide ROIs of over 50% – what else does that (legally!)? Try explaining to your shareholders/stakeholders why you’ve not done much/anything to date…

More training, more savings

A key issue here is that the more training you give your people the more you’ll save. And don’t believe the maxim that, if you train them they’ll leave. If you don’t train them they’ll leave even sooner to go somewhere which believes in training and development!

So my point – and it has an element of the forthcoming ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme) lurking in the background – is you will not lose by training people on how to save, use and buy energy more effectively. You’re virtually guaranteed to save energy, cash and add to your organisation’s reputation which will ultimately bring extra sales and respect.

What’s not to like about energy training – maybe your CEO and CFO may benefit as well!