Communicating energy efficiency to users
Because there is always human interaction with energy use; whether heating, cooling, lighting or appliances, the users' awareness level of energy management is important. After auditing your energy use, involve members of your organisation in setting targets and starting to measure and monitor improvements in energy usage. It is important to show staff not just how, but why changes are being made. Making staff aware of savings, and demonstrating how savings are reinvested can be very successful in convincing staff to engage fully in new energy reduction schemes.
Generally successful awareness programmes have the following elements:
Clear actions to take - actions that can be carried out easily such as switching off computers when not in use or closing windows that have been opened.
New and innovative methods of communicating - messages that are more than four months old or those lost in a long list of other suggestions tend to be less successful than more recent and interesting options.
The support of upper management - If upper management shows no visible evidence of supporting energy efficiency in general, an awareness campaign is very difficult to run well.
An environmental champion - There are always enthusiastic employees whose commitment to energy saving can help the programme along.
Support for awareness programmes can be found on the Carbon Trust website which provides posters, newsletter and displays that can be used to for energy programmes.