How to Get Management Approval

This is a sidebar to the feature article "Stepping up to Green – It's Good Business", that appears in the March, 2008 issue of Automation World.

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Cassie Quaintenance is energy segment manager at Schneider Electric, in Nashville, Tenn. and is a certified energy manager. She works both internally with the Schneider manufacturing plants and facilities, and with customers of the automation company on issues relating to energy. Here are some tips that she has learned through experience for successful justification and implementation of energy projects.

First, find out what makes your management tick. Learn which key performance indicators are deemed most important and couch requests for capital projects in those terms.

Propose projects in financial terms—not engineering terms. Learn not only about return on investment and simple payback, but also about internal rate of return, net present value and other calculations that relate to the financial model of the company.

Present studies to management that show how companies in your industry have saved money using energy management techniques. A search of industry and government Web sites can yield a wealth of information.
Find out if your planned project qualifies for Federal or state tax incentives or utility company rebates. If so, then include these in your project financial plan.

Implement easy projects first, but be sure to document savings. This makes management more comfortable about approving energy savings projects. A great first step, if you haven’t already done it, is to establish a baseline of current energy consumption.

To view the Feature Article "Stepping up to Green – It's Good Business", go to: ww.automationworld.com/view-3999

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