Given the many competing priorities and rigorous return on investment criteria for many business customers, the commercial and industrial sectors represent a challenging space for energy efficiency programs. The CEESM Strategic Energy Management Initiative (SEM) addresses these challenges by:

  • Identifying the minimum elements of SEM to support persistent savings streams with measurable operations and behavior change
  • Accelerating program industry learning to enable expansion of SEM program offerings and enhanced outcomes for businesses and program administrators

The CEESM SEM Minimum Elements guides new programs, business customers, or service and technology providers through the key aspects of SEM that are supported by a consensus of efficiency program administrators.

SEM puts energy into business terms.

Using an SEM approach, efficiency programs assist their business customers to identify and address their most relevant energy objectives. SEM positions efficiency programs as a key partner for US and Canadian business.Energy becomes another source of continuous improvement with an SEM strategy. Source: iStockphoto

CEE members participating in this initiative find that SEM is a customer-focused, long-term strategy that builds customer capacity to support continuous improvements in energy intensity and enhancements to process, operations, and management practices. By applying energy monitoring and reporting to a rigorous management system approach, SEM offers greater visibility to the energy impacts of customer actions, including capital and operational decisions, employee behavior, and management practices. When practiced effectively, strategic energy management generates energy savings and operational value for customers and provides programs with accelerated capital savings and access to new savings streams from operations and behavior change.

What's Next?

CEE brings DSM programs together to enhance program-to-program knowledge transfer about SEM program design, delivery, and evaluation. CEE collects detailed program experience in the annual SEM Program Case Studies for members—a source of valuable information about specific program approaches and results, intended for SEM program designers and managers. Looking ahead, CEE will work with leaders within and outside the DSM program industry to address new challenges and opportunities, including technology support for SEM, demand response integration, dual fuel strategies, and cost-effective solutions for small businesses.