Reduce business overheads with an Energy Awareness Campaign

Reduce business overheads with an Energy Awareness Campaign

It almost goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway: if you reduce the amount of energy your business uses, you’ll help to cut running costs. So, you want to get serious about reducing energy consumption? Well, there’s much more to it than simply getting an energy audit or purchasing more efficient equipment – as important as these things are. If you are looking to effectively boost energy efficiency, you’ll need to have your employees on board.

It’s crucial to engage with staff and make them aware of the energy they use every day. The simplest of behavioural changes can make a real difference, but people need to understand what is within their power to control. Understanding how much energy is currently being wasted by employees, and how much potential there is to save energy and money in specific terms, is the best way to keep people motivated.

Staff behaviours underpin the company culture. Good telephone habits, well presented employees and ‘right first time’ delivery are examples of the ‘personality’ of a business. They determine external perceptions. Energy efficiency awareness should also feature on this list of cultural norms. But just like the other factors which make up an organisation’s ‘personality’, a high degree of energy awareness will not materialise out of thin air. Individual behaviour will be driven by company behaviour and energy awareness campaigns are important.

So how do you go about raising awareness? With cyclones, droughts, resource scarcities and international emissions targets consistently in the news, most people are aware of the general, global need to save energy in a bid to tackle climate change. Whilst such global messages are incredibly important, they can however leave some feeling powerless to help make a difference.

So you need to provide information that is understandable to staff and about which they are able to do something. Changing workforce behaviour should also be a part of the strategic company plan that not only addresses energy efficiency at all levels but is seen to be doing so. You should focus on:

  1. How much energy your company is using and what for? What is being changed to reduce this level of consumption?
  2. How much energy is being used by your department? How? What can be done on an individual level to reduce consumption?
  3. What is the effect of individual action?
  4. How does energy efficiency affect individual jobs?
  5. How much energy is being wasted and what that equates to for your business and the environment.

Helping your staff to connect with these issues requires effective communication. Use as many communication methods as you can, as people will respond differently to each type. Depending on your budget, you may wish to try:

  • Emails – keep them short, consistent in message and to the point
  • Posters/flyers – one of the most effective methods, but only if they’re kept up to date
  • Stickers – applied to electrical equipment such as photocopiers and light switches
  • Internal newsletter updates
  •  Ensuring that energy efficiency is on every team meeting agenda
  • Suggestion schemes and staff competitions
  • Celebrating success when you achieve it
  • Linking individual and team improvement with company targets.

Try these tips for a successful campaign:

  • Assign energy champions from all areas of the business to help you
  • Install a smart meter to look at your energy consumption and how/when it peaks during the day or night
  • Focus on one or two issues at a time
  • Measure your success and feedback to staff regularly.
  • Build energy awareness into job descriptions

To help create an effective energy campaign at your organisation, posters, stickers and other useful materials are available free to download at www.carbontrust.com.

You can find out more about energy efficiency, efficient driver training and ways your organisation could generate income from renewable energy installations by visiting www.tadea.com