"Most importantly, though, you have to speak the right language to get executive leadership to take notice," he says. Find out the metrics that the relevant executive uses most and see how you can fit energy into that. This is again where networking and initiating conversations up the chain of command come into play.
"If you're doing a simple payback calculation, which is often used as an initial metric, nobody in the C-Suite is really even able to make decisions on that basis," Flannigan says. "You have to appreciate that they will be concerned with life-safety and regulatory issues, the availability of capital, and whether the rate of return for an investment is competitive relative to other potential investments."
Flannigan also urges energy managers to quantify potential results as much as possible, and in terms that are relevant to leadership. In the hotel example, that could mean researching similar companies that saw occupancy skyrocket after implementing measures similar to what you're proposing.
"Ultimately, that's what the decision-makers are going to be most impressed with in terms of moving forward and committing dollars."