Effective energy management comes from the top
With more and more businesses focusing on their energy management strategies and looking to reduce consumption, it is clear that there is a gap between business expectations of the amount of energy that can be cut, and the amounts of energy that are actually being cut. While there are many large-scale energy management schemes and technologies, such as electric batteries for businesses and the introduction of electric vehicles into your company fleet, it is often the little things done on a frequent basis that have the largest effect, due to their cumulative reductions.
Little things such as turning off lights when a room is not in use, reducing the temperature on the heating and managing water usage when making coffee and boiling the kettle all have significant effects on a company’s overall energy usage.
Getting employees on board
One of the biggest challenges for any business, however, is to incorporate these positive changes into the everyday actions of employees. The reduction in energy usage and the subsequent cut operating costs have little real-world meaning to them, other than numbers on annual reports and your company’s corporate social responsibility document. Therefore, it is essential that managers create a way of making the company’s energy usage real and relevant to all employees, which will help to result in positive action being taken.
Behaviour change starts from the top
One of the easiest ways of affecting change in the office is by having managers promote sustainability and reduced energy usage in their daily activities. Basic human psychology tells us that people emulate the actions of those who appear to be above them in a hierarchical structure, as the emulation of their actions means they are more likely to rise in the hierarchical chain of command; in short, employees want to act like their manager.
This means that enforcing behavioural change should not come through carrot and stick methodology, or negative reinforcement techniques, but is more effective when the behaviour is learned through emulation and repetition. If a manager does all the right things to help reduce energy consumption, it is extremely likely that their employees will follow.
At Touchstone Energy Management Services, we pride ourselves on helping businesses of any size in any industry reduce their energy consumption. For more information about our solutions and how we can assist you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.