Energy price hikes are hitting businesses hard, but it isn’t just the energy companies that’ll be pushing up your energy spend this winter. Whether you’re in manufacturing or business services, your staff could be inadvertently wasting energy and driving up your bills.
We all know how to reduce our energy consumption. Basic energy saving tips like “switch things off” and “turn down the heating” are common sense, and we don’t have much of a problem doing them at home. You wouldn’t go to sleep with your living room lights still switched on, so why do we forget to turn off the office lights at the end of the day?
It all comes down to staff education and communication. Maybe the last staff member to leave the building assumes that there’ll be cleaners around to turn the lights off, but that’s no good if your cleaning staff won’t be around until the next morning.
We often advise our clients to adopt automated systems wherever possible, and we follow our own advice. At Utilitywise House, we’ve fitted our overhead lights with LUX sensors that lower the bulbs’ brightness to match the available natural light, as well as motion sensors. Lights do not switch on until somebody walks underneath them, and they switch off automatically at the end of the day. Motion sensors mean we save money 24 hours a day, and not just at night.
There are things you can do that don’t involve automation, though. It’s vital to engage employees when looking to reduce energy consumption. We can provide staff training and help you get your employees on board, but the one thing we’ve seen have a major impact on energy use in business is an Energy Awareness Team.
Assemble an Energy Awareness Team
Put the responsibility for saving energy directly onto your employees. Appoint an energy awareness champion and consider including representatives from finance and marketing for budgeting and communications support. You should also include your facilities manager, who’ll be able to provide information on your current energy spend.
Your Energy Awareness Team should be clear on why your company needs an Energy Awareness Team, and what the goals are. They should formulate clear actions on how those goals can be achieved, and then communicate those goals to their colleagues.
Communication is the key to engaging your staff in any energy awareness plans. The better your communication, the more your employees will engage. Once your employees are on board, you’ll quickly see changes in your energy bills – for the better.