One of the most common errors that folks make in the delivery of energy and resource efficiency programs is to mistakenly set objectives to maximise the short term-returns from the program. The consequence of this approach can be disastrous for long-term value.

Some organisations take the view that the goal of the resource efficiency program is simply to optimise resource use in existing operations and managers will insist on a project-by-project justification with very rapid paybacks, leaving no room for the implementation of overarching continuous improvement systems. In other cases I have seen the program managers themselves get so carried away with the success and praise they receive that they become totally preoccupied with delivering the short-term savings as rapidly as possible and are reluctant to put in the effort to lay the foundations for longer-term success.