Highlighting the value of award programmes to promote energy management best practices: New EMAK report

26 Jun 2017

How can award programmes support the uptake of energy management in the industrial and building sectors? This is the question at the heart of the Energy Management Action Network’s (EMAK’s) latest report, “Recognised Energy Management Best Practices and Award Programs for Best Practices”, published in April 2017.

To give a bit of background, IPEEC’s EMAK Task Group was established in 2009 as a forum for policymakers and industry stakeholders to exchange experiences and information through dedicated networks. It is led by the government of Japan and hosts annual workshops focusing on policy issues related to energy management and its international best practices. The new report is a summary of EMAK’s 8th Annual Workshop, which was held on 3 February 2017 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Its main theme was national and international energy management award programmes, as well as other recognised best practices in buildings and industry. Ninety participants attended from all over the world from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from government and industry to academia and finance. The Energy Conservation Center, Japan (ECCJ) and the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE) co-organised the event with the sponsorship of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan (METI) and support of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) of Indonesia.

The report features a number of energy management case studies and best practices from both the public and private sectors, but the most attention by far is given to award programmes and their role in encouraging the adoption of energy management in buildings and industry. In this way it builds upon the outcomes of previous EMAK workshops, which focused on specific technologies and policies, adding a holistic dimension by exploring general mechanisms that promote the uptake of best practices and best available technologies. Based on examples of award schemes from Japan, Indonesia and ASEAN, the report outlines the following findings for energy management award programmes[1]:

  • First, the introduction of energy management systems (EnMS) and award programmes are positively linked. This is because award programmes showcase success stories and can help countries accelerate their energy efficiency improvement by providing international experiences and best practices they can learn from. More specifically, award programmes: raise awareness of best available technologies and energy-efficient solutions for processes and systems; improve knowledge of the energy saving benefit of analysing core process energy demand; increase awareness of new methods to identify and implement energy savings; promote successful demonstration projects in buildings and industry; and encourage public-private sector participation and involvement in energy efficiency, among other benefits.
  • Second, award programmes must be continuously promoted and updated to encourage the implementation of energy management in buildings and industry. Awards gain national and international recognition for companies, both by government and the private sector, but the value and prestige of the award must be sustained to maintain interest and encourage participation.
  • Third, the successful design and implementation of award schemes depends on some key factors: having a valuable brand (e.g. brand recognition); putting in place a sustainable approach to assessing applications (e.g. evaluation methodology, constituting an examination committee); showcasing the application of best practices (e.g. technologies, EnMS); promoting the award programme and disseminating content (e.g. award ceremony, presenting winning entries); and realising concrete objectives related to best available technologies and best practices (e.g. encouraging their application through follow up events).

The lessons the report shares are valuable and practical for policymakers looking to launch award schemes, and highlight their value as a tool to further energy management practices and technologies in the building and industrial sectors. More widely, the report also demonstrates the benefits of international knowledge-sharing between stakeholders to enhance and refine domestic approaches to energy management. One topic covered in the report besides award programmes is Indonesia’s energy efficiency challenge and how it can be met. Recommendations -which centre on increased adoption of best practices and award schemes- emphasise a fundamental principle of international energy efficiency cooperation: sharing and learning accelerate progress.

[1] For more global examples, see the IPEEC-CEM Energy Management Working Group’s (EMWG’s) Energy Management Leadership Award and the IPEEC Top Ten Energy Efficiency Best Practices and Best Available Technologies Task Group’s (TOP TENs’) TOP TENs Program.