While most businesses conceptually understand the financial and environmental value in investing in energy efficiency projects, successfully proposing and greenlighting new energy projects internally can still be a challenge. Retail energy managers must navigate internal competition for funds, short- and long-term budget cycles, and cross-departmental buy-in as they seek to move projects forward.
The new Workflow and Approval Process Guide, prepared by RILA and the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), helps retail energy professionals think more strategically about the project proposal and budgeting process. It is the latest in a suite of financing resources produced through RILA's cooperative agreement award from the Department of Energy (DOE). From getting buy-in from all affected departments to aligning the project's objectives with the company's public goals, this guide considers the many factors that impact the approval process for energy projects and provides thoughtful insights on how to navigate them.
Using a graphic flow chart, the guide walks through the three phases of a successful energy project proposal, highlighting key questions to ask along the way and identifying common pitfalls that could slow or stop projects. The chart is designed to prepare energy managers for the final step in project approval: presenting to finance and senior management.
Use this flow chart to ensure your process yields a comprehensive project proposal.
In addition to the above flow chart, the guide includes an implementation model case study featuring Food Lion, detailing how the grocery chain's comprehensive approach to energy project planning helps them integrate energy efficiency into larger company goals like customer service and cost saving.
The model highlights how Food Lion already successfully applies many of the Guide's leading practices for project proposals, to help key stakeholders recognize the value of energy management to the company's long and short-term goals.
Access the full Workflow and Approval Guide, including a full-scale flow chart pictured above, here. To learn more about RILA's energy management program and its similar resources, please contact Erin Hiatt, RILA's director of energy, sustainability, and research.