Turn employees into advocates of energy efficiency to see results

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When considering ways to reduce carbon emissions, energy managers tend to lean towards the installation of more efficient equipment.
But Sustainable Brands argues that, in order for businesses to truly optimise building management systems, managers need to realise human involvement is still required in using even the most energy-efficient kit.
To understand how human behaviour impacts technology outputs, businesses should consider carbon psychology.
According to the publication, this technique can be used to understand what motivates staff behaviour change. From this, they can develop strategies to reduce energy consumption.
Low-carbon psychologist at npower Business Solutions, Lowri Evans, explained: "Carbon psychology is the study of human behaviour in relation to energy management.
"Businesses need to focus on the impact that people have on energy within the business. By studying energy-consuming behaviours, we can explore how much energy can be saved through behavioural measures."
A report released by npower last year suggested that the adoption of carbon psychology among British industry could lead to energy savings of up to £860m, with the manufacturing sector being one of the main areas to achieve the largest potential savings.
"Larger businesses – comprising just 1% of UK industry – could alone achieve 50% of the savings," Evans explained.
Tata Steel has been one such company that has benefited from implementing such an approach.
npower targeted a section of the steel maker's Trostre plant in South Wales in an attempt to understand behavioural drivers among staff. The company then created a 'model of behaviour' that was designed to produce energy-saving outcomes.
A key factor of npower's intervention was the installation of a smart dashboard on-site that showed the live status of all manufacturing lines.
If a line stopped running, the dashboard tracked the line against a baseline energy consumption to work out if it had been optimally stopped or not. This feedback allowed staff to see if energy was being wasted, and if so, what could be done to rectify it.
Evans claims that analysis of energy use following the intervention at Tata's Trostre plant revealed staff behavioural change had contributed to overall savings of £500,000.
For businesses to see true carbon reductions and savings, they need to know that employee engagement is a vital part of energy efficiency strategies.
Energy efficiency employee behaviour



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