Kevin Dunbar, C.E.M., C.M.V.P.

27-Sep-2017, 3:30 - 4:00PM

Session: Corporate Energy Management Strategies

Track H | Industrial Energy Management

Making an Energy Impact

Kevin Dunbar, C.E.M., C.M.V.P.
Corporate Energy Group Supervisor
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US LLC

My abstract focuses on how to make energy and energy efficiency a priority from a corporate/management level.I began working at FCA US LLC in July 2016 as the Corporate Energy Group Supervisor who oversees the Corporate Energy Group.At FCA, the Corporate Energy Group is responsible for tracking energy usage across the North American manufacturing locations in addition to managing the energy projects that occur at those facilities.Upon my arrival to FCA US, I realized this group needed a fresh approach to how the group interacted with the organization to further stress the importance of energy management.Here are the following steps we took to improve our energy usage strategy and improve awareness at all levels of the organization:

  • 1.Established the Specialist to Energy Champion Relationship
    One of the key priorities of the group is to get an understanding of what is happening at the manufacturing plants in terms of energy.At each of our manufacturing locations we have a designated Energy Champion.An Energy Champion could be an environmental, facility, or manufacturing employee that looks after their respective plant for energy efficiency and energy usage.Before I came into the group, FCA US had energy specialists that primarily operated based off their strengths and interests.This operation worked fine for the opportunities that were available, but to drive energy efficiency across the North American region, a change was needed.We assigned each specialist an energy champion, which required the specialists to meet with the champions monthly and meet face to face quarterly.This not only gave energy team members a wide focus across all facilities, but provided the opportunity to share best practices and discuss energy usage/energy projects.This regular communication between the manufacturing facilities and the corporate team has further pushed the energy policy in our everyday processes.
  • 2.Transferred Departments within FCA US
    Originally, when I hired into our Corporate Energy Group, I was with the paint department within FCA US.While the paint department uses the most energy, it wasn’t the ideal fit.After leadership discussed the overall fit and direction of our role, it was decided that the group move over to the facilities team.This was ideal since all capital dollars for projects are approved through this group. Moreover, the team would now have more insight into building specifications and infrastructure projects as it relates to energy.It’s important for any energy group to strategically align itself with the corporate business to further the energy reach and help set the path with equipment when originally installed.
  • 3.Gathered the Key Stakeholders at FCA US
    As a new employee to FCA US it was important to question, “Who cares about energy?”Immediately, I sought out to meet with facilities, purchasing, environmental, sustainability, governmental affairs, communications, and finance representatives.These groups within the company have a vested interest in energy and energy affects each one of these groups differently.As you begin the journey to form an energy identity, it’s important that all the key stakeholders are aware of your challenges and your goals to reduce energy in the corporation.
  • 4.Establish Group Goals in Alignment with Company Priorities
    FCA US created North American energy goals that didn’t ladder into the overall global vision and management goals for the Company. Once we identified this disconnect, we needed to align our goals with the global mission and hold ourselves accountable to hitting the targets through a more systematic and organized approach.After establishing meaningful goals that aligned with leadership, we could achieve success as a group.
  • 5.Established the Energy CoC
  • To capture the key stakeholders on the top energy issues within the organization, the Energy Center of Competency (CoC) was formed.The Energy CoC is made up of the Corporate Energy Group Supervisor (facilities), the Commodity Manager (purchasing), and the Energy Strategy and Policy Manager (environmental) leadership.The group meets monthly to discuss the top energy issues and developments.This guarantees action and accountability on the top energy issues from our executive management staff.The Energy CoC sends out a monthly newsletter and then forms teams to attack the top issues.
  • 6.Strengthened External Relationships
    In growing your energy team, it’s important to utilize and capitalize on external relationships ranging from key contractors to competitors.Early on in our outreach efforts, the team leveraged relationships with other automakers to help benchmark our program. This helped our team identify gaps in the program and create improvement strategies.We further forged relationships with key contractors to provide expertise/strategy when necessary.This helped us stay abreast of the key technologies in the energy efficiency world. Conferences like the AEE WEEC offer a great networking opportunity.It’s very important to forge external relationships to broaden your energy efficiency focus.
  • 7.Used External Systems (ISO 50001 and Energy Star)
    Some of the key tools FCA US uses for energy management/direction are the ISO 50001 and Energy Star systems.Currently, all FCA US manufacturing facilities are ISO 5001 certified.On a yearly basis, the Corporate Energy Group meets with each plant to perform the Energy Review to ensure the plant is tackling it’s top energy loss.During an energy review at a plant, we review utility budget and forecast, the top energy users, the top energy losses, and the plan of attack to improve energy usage.We perform this yearly or where/when a significant baseline occurs.The ISO 50001 system helps us to force this type of yearly review.The Energy Star program has also been a very useful tool.We re-established the relationship with the organization and now take part in the focus meetings monthly.In addition, we use the Energy Star advisor, who provides tips and advice to our team.Finally, in 2016 we signed our North American manufacturing locations up for the Energy Star Industrial Challenge, which creates a competition among the plants to reduce energy where possible.This was a wonderful energy promotion for the organization.
  • 8.Promote Your Activities Internally and Externally
    After attending last year’s AEE WEEC, one of key lessons learned was that you need to promote and market your team and its accomplishments.Our team is very active in sharing best practices and success stories through an internal energy blog.In addition, our group created a logo that is used in all correspondence and it helps to brand our group.We are also now attending internal town hall events to talk about the goals of our group and gather more insight to other internal operations to spread the energy policy. Most recently, we spoke to more than 800 representatives from the Company’s manufacturing engineering teams.When exiting the event, everyone received badge buddies as a daily reminder about energy.These and other items help market our group and efforts.

    Through these efforts, we have seen an increased diligence and focus on energy efficiency at FCA US. By following these key steps and tactics, you can bring your energy program to the forefront.



Track: H Industrial Energy Management | Session: Corporate Energy Management Strategies