Businesses must involve both employees and owners in efforts to save energy. The previous section provides businesses with energy saving tips and material to help create an energy management culture. The following section applies to motivating employees and managers to become aware of potential savings within the business.
Energy awareness should be a part of your business as much as other integral parts such as safety. Becoming committed to saving energy has positive effects for employees and for the environment. An energy team should be set up within your company to develop an energy strategy. An Energy Team can focus on getting employees motivated about conserving energy and understanding more about energy use.
Reproduced from [Creating an Awareness Campaign: Energy Awareness in Your Business –CTG001 ] with kind permission from Carbon Trust.
Informing and Maintaining Employees about Energy Awareness
In your business you must ensure that employees are informed about energy issues. Dedication to training about energy awareness is key. Gaining the cooperation and interest of staff boosts energy awareness.
To maintain interest businesses should:
- Continue to communicate messages at longer intervals. Adjust the messages according to what is and what isn't working
- Build energy awareness into job descriptions where possible and appropriate
- Consider energy usage when purchasing new equipment
- Maintain displays, posters, messaging, etc. making sure they are refreshed at regular times
- Create competitions or challenges for employees, run them regularly and obtain sponsorship if possible
Above all, continue to monitor energy awareness and review it throughout the organization. Learn from your experiences and incorporate them into the program.
Creating a Successful Energy Awareness Campaign
There are a lot of ways for a company to communicate with their employees to inform them about Energy Awareness. The following section suggests some options your business may be interested in using.
- A direct method of communications where staff use computers
- Allows targeted messages to be sent
- Appropriate delivery route for messages about computer use
- Can also be used for further questions, ideas, suggestions, etc.
Effective e-mail messages should be relevant and interesting. Do not annoy or bore your colleagues. Don't make the email too long – to the point. If possible, use graphics and/colour in the email. Don't overload recipients with too many messages as this can cause a negative reaction.
- Use part of an existing notice board or create a dedicated energy awareness display as a focal point for communications
- Focus your communications. Concentrate on one or two particular issues at a time and change them regularly to maintain interest
- Location. Make sure the display is available for all to see, including visitors
- Use limited text. Add pictures, graphics, charts for energy awareness
Posters can contain different types of messages; news, questions and commands. Produce a series of posters targeted for your business.
- Focus on a different issue for each poster
- Use images
- Replace them regularly
- Ensure they are good quality
A poster usually suggests action that can take place now. The message should be short so the lettering can be bold and large.
Like posters, stickers can be used to target different equipment or individuals.
- Use stickers at point of use or near equipment e.g. computers, photocopiers, fridges, lights
- Label equipment that has a high energy use
If your business creates a staff newsletter, you can publicize any energy saving initiatives your business is undertaking. You can also think about making energy awareness a regular feature in the news letter.
By offering attractive prizes, you can motivate people and raise the profile of your energy awareness program. Competitions are a great way to get staff involved.
- Create competitions between departments, teams, or even buildings to see who can reduce the most
- Choosing who participates is also important. Target your staff and their children with fun competitions. Allowing children to be involved generates interest outside of the workplace
- Keep the competition simple and easy to participate in
- Announce the winners and hand out the prize. You could think about combining this with your staff newsletter
Meetings and Presentations
Meetings are ideal for face-to-face communication. You can present, highlight, and provide advice on energy awareness in the company.
They also offer the opportunity to highlight any progressive steps your business has made in energy efficiency.
If you are presenting to senior management think about budgets and how much money is being saved/spent on the campaign. This could be a great opportunity for future investments in energy efficiency.
A simple walkabout around your business can help:
- It will demonstrate where energy savings can be made throughout the facility
- Affirms good practice
- Note where energy is being wasted and the potential for savings
- Record where repair and maintenance work is needed
Conduct walkabouts at regular intervals, maybe once a month and at different times of day.
Providing employees with energy efficiency literature can help with energy awareness. A lot of the time this literature can be produced in electronic form for ease of viewing.
Energy Awareness Questionnaire and Checklists
Below are Energy Awareness checklists that will help you identify the level of energy efficiency and awareness that employees have within your company. They are great tools to start the process of creating an Energy Awareness Campaign.
- Employee Energy Awareness Questionnaire
- A questionnaire for employees to fill out to find out how energy aware they are. It will also help track the success of your Energy Awareness Campaign.
- Energy Awareness Summary Checklist
- This checklist is to identify the level of energy awareness at your business. Fill this checklist out according to answers received in the employee questionnaire. You will be able to track the progress of your Energy Awareness Campaign.
- Walkabout Checklist
- Completing this checklist on a monthly basis will allow you to identify energy saving opportunities.
For more information on Energy Management visit the Carbon Trust website.