Improving Performance #04

I delivered some staff training last week to one of our manufacturing customers so that senior management and employees may better understand their differing roles and responsibilities in the future administration of their new energy standard.

Can you imagine my abject embarrassment when after spending about an hour with the Board of Directors I was challenged by the MD with “Could you just explain in plain English what the 50001 standard is about please?”

After wishing the floor would open up and swallow me whole I remembered an experience which seemed to offer me a lifeline and I thought what the hell I had nothing to lose anyway after being nailed by a question like that.

I recounted an anecdote from my youth when I drove an old Morris Minor that guzzled petrol like it was going out of fashion and seemed to ensure that I was permanently flat broke. I decided to carry out my own scientific test to find out exactly how poorly performing the car really was.

The next time I filled up I made sure to fill the tank to the very brim and made a written note of the mileage on the clock. I then drove the car to work and back and in those days included a few trips to a number of Scuba diving sites around the South West of England.

When I next filled the tank up to the brim again I recorded the exact volume of petrol required and made another note of the mileage on the clock. It was then a simple calculation to determine my cars’ performance and I recall that it was a lamentable 10-miles per gallon.

The next weekend I serviced the car myself which from memory involved changing the sparking plugs, engine oil & filters, setting the contact breaker points, renewing the rotor arm, tuning the carburettor, re-calibrating the ignition timing and checking the tyre pressures.

I then repeated the MPG test exactly as before and discovered that my vehicles’ performance had improved to an eye-popping 12-miles per gallon (LOL).

I thought that my personal story was a great way of encapsulating the meaning behind the ISO 50001 energy standard because it is all about delivering verifiable improvements in energy performance regardless of whether the energy is consumed in buildings, industrial processes or transport.

The story must have gone down reasonably well because we have since been invited to deliver some energy training to their facilities team!

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