Are Energy Managers Making Progress? Introducing a Tool to Help!

Liz Delaney | February 11, 2015

Energy management can be complicated, and the projects that organizations must tackle run the gamut: from small-scale lighting and HVAC upgrades to whole building retrofits, from baselining energy consumption to data analysis of enterprise-wide energy management systems and from volunteer employee engagement programs to executive-level goal setting.

So if you’re an energy manager, there’s no doubt that you are busy! But, when you’re deep in the middle of so many “weeds,” what’s often not so clear is this: Is your organization making real progress to improve the way it thinks about and manages energy? What does real progress look like?

The Virtuous Cycle of Strategic Energy ManagementSeveral years ago, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and partner MIT started to address these questions through the  development of a framework for strategic energy management that showed the dependency of truly successful programs on a holistic and multi-faceted management approach—one where five focus areas work in concert to create a virtuous cycle of continuous improvement:

This year, we’re taking this work a step further by addressing another question that organizations frequently have: where are we on the journey?

To that end, EDF Climate Corps is proud to announce the launch of a simple and free benchmarking survey called the Smart Energy Diagnostic, designed to help energy managers assess the overall health and progress of their energy management programs.

In just 15 minutes, energy managers can zoom out of their day-to-day project work and get a big-picture view of their programs. Answers to just 14 multiple choice questions provide users with a quick snapshot that clearly and simply identifies areas of strength and weakness, and can be leveraged as an internal communications tool. Energy Managers often use it to build the case for increased attention and investment in energy management programs, as well as proof of the results of their hard work.

Sample Smart Energy Diagnostic Snapshot:

Sample Smart Energy Diagnostic SnapshotIn addition to this benchmarking snapshot, energy managers can place their answers on EDF’s detailed rubric of energy management best practices and see what progress in each category looks like.

We’re excited to share the knowledge and insight that we have gained through our program with a wider energy management community. If you’ve ever wondered whether your energy management strategies are the right ones, or which specific next steps will advance your projects, the EDF Smart Energy Diagnostic tool will help you assess real progress toward achieving a holistic energy management system.

About EDF Climate Corps

EDF Climate Corps ( taps the talents of tomorrow’s leaders to save energy, money and the environment by placing specially trained EDF fellows in companies, cities and universities as dedicated energy problem solvers. Working with hundreds of leading organizations, EDF Climate Corps has uncovered nearly $1.4 billion in energy savings. For more information, visit Read our blog at Follow us on Twitter at and on Facebook at