Employee engagement is essential to all elements of successful business but when the cost of energy seems to be on an ever-increasing spiral it is becoming more important for everyone to muck in and help reduce energy consumption.
In most cases energy spend will be monitored through a monthly energy meter read or by comparing one month’s bill to the next; this however isn’t enough to get employees excited. They need to know if what they do affects the overall outcome and what do they get if they help reduce the spend!
At the other extreme, measuring an individual’s energy use can also be done but it’s not an ideal starting place, it makes employees feel like big brother is watching and it can cause unnecessary friction.
Monitoring a section or department as a whole through a sub-metering solution (which can cost as little as a few hundred pounds) is a very realistic option and can create camaraderie and a healthy element of competition inter-departmentally.
Most people are visually stimulated and as the workforce is increasingly populated by Generation Z (born between 1994 and 2010) and their older counterpart Millennials, this becomes ever more apparent. According to a recent article by Forbes these workers differ in their professional outlook. Technology and digital communication is such a massive part of their lives outside of work, that engagement with the written word or a dictatorial policy is almost unthinkable. They are used to working collaboratively and are often passionate about the environment so providing software to illustrate real-time energy data is a natural tool to help them improve their understanding of how they impact their own environment.
Once you know how much energy your business is using and where it is being spent you can then make informed decisions on how to start improving the energy efficiency of the workplace. Start with simple things like, which department leaves the most equipment on overnight or who has the biggest saving over a lunchtime period. If you consider there to be enough room for improvement, incentivise the competition with a 15 minute early finish on a Friday (everyone loves the Friday early dart!) or provide the winning department with some tasty treats.
This approach will also help with your Corporate Social Responsibility, display a live feed in reception or the canteen so everyone can see how the company is performing and how you are actively reducing and managing your carbon footprint.
Energy management that engages with employees is far more likely to succeed and it’s a start not a one fix for all, by genuinely finding out where your energy is being spent you can identify areas of savings, some of which can be quick wins. Those savings can then be reinvested into bigger capital expenditure projects which could give bigger savings with shorter ROI.
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