2.3 Establish accountability and teams

The first part of this handbook focuses on communicating the business case for energy management in compelling ways that are most appealing to management and other staff. It highlights that an argument is most compelling when managers can easily identify ways in which energy management activities is going to support their own goals. An energy management system presents an opportunity to formally integrate particular responsibilities into the job description and day-to-day activities of particular site stakeholders. A responsibility assignment matrix, such as the RACI model (Table 2), can be a useful way of formalising the roles of managers and personnel in relation to energy management.

Table 2: The RACI model for identifying roles and responsibilities

Required to actively work on energy management according to defined tasks (‘the doers’)


Ultimately answerable for energy performance (‘the buck stops here’)


Have important opinions and insights that should be drawn upon through two-way communication (‘provide valuable input’)


Kept up to date on progress through one-way communication (‘keep in the picture’)

Accountability for energy performance at the site level should be held with the site manager, since they can have a significant influence on the resources provided for energy management and the degree to which it is a priority on site.

An energy champion (who is also referred to as ‘energy manager’ and may have another title, such as ‘sustainability manager’) should be allocated and provided with the resources to enable them to be ‘responsible’ for overall energy management at the site. The responsibilities of the site-based energy manager may include:

  • providing a central point of contact for energy management
  • facilitating the identification and implementation of energy management initiatives
  • monitoring and reporting onsite energy performance metrics and progress towards energy-efficiency targets
  • coordinating site energy audits under the AS/NZS 3598:2014 series
  • briefing management on and monitoring site energy-related compliance obligations
  • ensuring that the site meets its energy-efficiency related legislative responsibilities
  • maintaining documentation associated with site energy management
  • ensuring that lessons learned about energy management are shared with corporate and other sites.

Other personnel may have specific accountability or responsibilities. For example, truck drivers may be both responsible and accountable for energy efficiency through KPIs such as those developed by Downer EDI Mining (Box 4).

Another important way to ensure that responsibility does not lie solely with the site energy champion is to establish an energy management team.

Energy management team members could include:

  • site and other managers, who have the capacity to approve implementation, a good understanding of the business, often extensive experience in the industry and a whole-of-business perspective, and who can encourage cooperation from staff
  • operators, who are familiar with the day-to-day issues involved in the current operation, so that they can help to identify problems and opportunities
  • subcontractors and service providers, who are likely to be familiar with the detail of onsite issues and who, from their use or knowledge of equipment, may have ideas about how practices can save energy and bring other benefits
  • finance staff, who can assist in developing proposals so that they are suitable for consideration by management, may identify mechanisms (such as tax arrangements and financing options) that facilitate implementation, and may also help to clarify and overcome internal and external financial barriers to action, such as the separation of capital and operating budgets, tax and contractual issues
  • marketing and public relations staff, who can provide input on the importance of various product attributes, assist with the presentation of proposals to management and other staff, and provide advice on building relationships, organisational and behavioural change, effective communication, and raising the profile of energy efficiency
  • business improvement staff or external consultants, who have analytical and facilitation skills and a broad perspective on strategies for identifying opportunities and creatively capturing them across the site, and who can also promote learning across the site and the organisation
  • technical staff, who have detailed experience and knowledge of plant, equipment and operational issues, as well as insights into why certain priorities or procedures have evolved
  • energy procurement staff, who can advise on the financial and supply risks and opportunities associated with energy supply contracts.

Whatever role individuals play in the energy management team, it is important that they are appropriately resourced. This includes ensuring that training is provided to allow them to achieve the goals that they are responsible for.

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