Energy Efficiency and Conservation – A Problem in Change Management

On September 21 to 23, 2016, officials from the Ministry of Energy of Nepal visited Cebu, to learn about energy efficiency programs and policies. The visit of the Nepalese officials is sponsored by GIZ Nepal. For this activity, AUFTRAG member, Engr. Magdaleno Baclay Jr, was hired as consultant to coordinate and facilitate the meetings and site visits.

In one of the visits, Engr. Baclay brought them to an SME, Wellmade Motors located in Mandaue City. This is a machine shop with plenty of innovative practices:

* PDCA or continuous improvement as part of company's daily routine

* Bar Coding to track efficiency of production and personnel

* Hiring of Persons with Disabilities

* Sharing of savings to employees due to their efficiency

* Energy efficiency is a result of employee efficiency -- if operator is efficient, less time on machine operation, thus reduced energy consumption of machines. Efficiency becomes a company culture, so the system has a great impact on their profitability

Reflecting on the above practices, we can’t help but compare it with most companies in the country. We noticed that, in most companies, the employees have less motivation to implement energy efficiency, simply because they have no incentive or they have no share on the savings of energy. That's why, if we ask people to save energy, they’d probably ask "What's in it for us if our company reduced its energy consumption?" So, on the sharing of savings to employees, this would be a great challenge on how to persuade the top management and how to implement energy efficiency practices in industries and commercial establishments.

The issue of energy efficiency and conservation is a problem on Change Management. Most workers are used to the status quo. They like to do what they do for many years. Most are not aware of the energy issues in their companies. Their focus is mainly on production. It’s up to the management or the engineering department to deal with energy. Thus, when a company requires everyone to save energy, there is resistance among workers. Saving energy requires change in attitude and habits in using energy. As we know it, change is hard to chew. For example, even simple things like turning off lights, air-conditioners or computers when not used are difficult to do because of lack of awareness.

In the context of Climate Change, energy efficiency and conservation has a big impact in reduction of green-house gas emissions. As part of its advocacy, AUFTRAG members can do its part, by sharing their knowledge and practicing energy efficiency and conservation not only on their offices, but in their households as well.