Our Success

360 Energy Coach » Samuel Plate Sales

“Every business manager is aware of the need to lower energy dependence but few know where to start. The Energy Coach program has provided us with the starting point we needed, along with indispensable guidance throughout the program. 360 Energy not only taught us to how to monitor and analyze our energy profile, they also taught us how to ACT on savings opportunities once they were identified!” – Doug Sharpe

While considering the impact of energy costs to product output, Samuel Plate Sales assigned responsibility to an energy team in order to strategize a sustainable approach to energy reduction.

As an older plant, they knew energy reduction opportunities were available. After completing the second phase of the Coach program, energy champion Doug Sharpe quickly began pulling his team together from various disciplines in order to tackle the projects from all angles.

After developing an energy plan, their first project was to meter their electrical loads. After monitoring their consumption, they were quickly able to determine how their peak demand was being set, and how effective their shut down procedures were. They also began looking closely at their gas consumption and performed a benchmarking exercise to determine their primary gas users.

After going through the first exercise, they quickly realized that 90% of their gas usage was actually being used for heating! Shortly after, they decided to perform a diagnostic level audit. They are now in the middle of applying for incentives to implement infrared heating and a possible building automation system. Proposed projects have identified over $115,000 in savings.

All projects were approved by management and discussed during energy team meetings which involved members from the ISO department, finance, accounting, operations, maintenance and engineering. During the same period, a facility wide awareness program was also launched with air shut off isolation valves, and new end of shift shut down procedures. The projects are to be completed in 2008.

Background Information

In February 2007, 360 Energy partnered with Union Gas and Enbridge Gas to provide industrial consumers in Ontario with a fresh approach to generating sustainable energy savings. The program was developed with four distinct phases, each aimed at providing valuable lessons and feedback for participants. The program was created to assist sites in making the leap from energy study to implementation. Many of the sites had previous energy audits conducted but as with most energy projects, the report quickly found its way to the nearest space on a shelf.

The Coach program was developed to take advantage of the previously completed work and find a path to implementing energy savings projects, and not necessarily spending capital to do so. For sites that had no previous energy use studies conducted, a new walk-through was done to identify quick targets for energy savings with the help of local gas utilities. At the same time, 360 Energy held energy interviews with various disciplines within the facility to gain an understanding of how different departments view and are responsible for energy use on a day-to-day basis. Armed with this information, the facility was then ready to tackle their energy projects.

Typically, companies do not integrate energy management within the company, it is usually left to one person or possibly a department. Consequently, a business plan may never have been developed for energy. Some organizations might have a technical checklist. This approach does not distinguish priorities, or develop a business case for upper management to gain support for these projects.

As a result, in the second phase of the Energy Coach program, participants are formally trained so that they can communicate with upper management. Participants attend a 1-day “Sustainable Energy Plan Training Workshop” where they were guided through the process of rating their organization in terms of a business approach to energy management. After this workshop, the participants are able to leave re-energized with templates and examples to create their own sustainable energy plan.

During the next 30 days, participants develop an energy plan where 360 Energy supports them in the way of answering any questions, comments, and help topics while going through the exercise. One of the items that the sites are responsible for is to identify core and non-core members of their energy team. Once the plan is completed it is to be presented to Senior management so they can receive a signed mandate to ensure the team receives on going support based on the planned activity. With this living document, the site is ready to commence phase 3.

During the 3rd phase of the program, participants are guided through their energy plan and taken from planning to implementation. In this phase, the sites participate in various exercises including best practices developed in the UK (Carbon Trust) and Canada (NRCan’s). The exercises cover business concerns as well as technical issues. Clients are educated and supported in executing their plan by focusing on specific areas over a 2-month period by targeting energy teams, employee awareness, energy monitoring, air compressors, lighting, fans, pumps, and their heating/air conditioning system. Customers not only have a better understanding of technical opportunities but are also exposed to pricing and energy market drivers. Upper management and the supporting utility receive a quarterly update on energy savings to date and note forecasted activity for future energy management activity.

All the energy practices and exercises are broken down into 3 categories: processes, programs, and projects. During the energy coach process, participants are shown how to prioritize and develop a decision model and not solely focus on capital projects. The sites were also made aware of all utility and federal incentive programs they could pursue, and the timelines associated with each. With this, they are then walked through the process to ensure the practice will be sustainable in future years. The applications are filled out with the customer and the utility rep. Future projects are also discussed with the utility to determine when applications and what details will be needed ahead of time. This information is to be used during the revision of the sustainable energy plan.

Networking with other 360 Energy Coach participants is the 4th phase and is critical because it reinforces what companies can do if they properly position energy management within their company. The Energy Coach program has three networking sessions where all customers from various disciplines learn what best practices worked for each site. Participants, utility representatives and 360 Energy are present to hear the challenges and successes faced by each site. The session has been a great success in the past as noted on the feedback forms. The following are samples of the case studies from sites currently enrolled in the program.