Procedures such as separate budgeting of energy costs and life-cycle accounting for energy-using capital investments build energy concern into the organization by routinizing it. Other rules and routines in areas such as architectural and engineering design can have the same effect. Energy efficiency can be used as a criterion of effectiveness in measuring and allocating organizational resources. For example, in planning budgets, a separate category of capital outlays for energy efficiency can be created. Or, in evaluating the productivity of labor, the advantage of energy savings can be assessed.
To identify potentials for energy efficiency and to measure progress, organizations need devices and indices for monitoring energy expenditures. They should keep simple, cumulative records of the data generated, make these records readily retrievable, and statistically evaluate the payoffs of past investments in energy information and energy-saving measures and technologies. With small computers, even a fairly small organization can evaluate its expenditures and investments, taking into consideration external factors such as weather, prices, and competitors’ behavior.
Trade and professional associations are valuable sources of information on effective ways of saving energy. These groups are in a good position to tailor information to their members’ needs; they are also highly credible and can quickly spread new ideas to places where they are most likely to be applicable.
Trade associations and associations of public officials can assist their members in improving energy efficiency by establishing regular networks within the associations within which organizational representatives concerned with energy can interact. They can also gather, digest, and distribute brief reports about successful energy-efficiency efforts of well-respected firms or agencies. Such procedures would assist the process of social diffusion.
The U.S. government is the largest organizational energy user in the country. As such, it can implement many of the above suggestions. It can, for example, assign more resources to managing its own energy use, delegate responsibility for energy efficiency to high-level officials in each department, and set specific goals for energy saving in each agency.
The federal government should work to develop ways organizations can improve their energy efficiency. A research effort would begin as part of a drive to improve energy efficiency in government operations. It might initially focus on the effects on organizational energy use of engineering decisions, accounting and monitoring systems, and the organizational status accorded energy management. Policies found to be effective in federal agencies are often adaptable in state and local government agencies and in organizations in the private sector. The research effort might be broadened to include cooperative work with private sector organizations so that further transfer of learning will occur. The federal government can take