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Energy managers – do you need to do more to empower colleagues?

Phil Gilbert, Director of Business Customer Solutions at E.ON, said: “When it comes to a business running smoothly, comfortably and efficiently, energy managers are some of the most important people in the office, yet our survey has shown their efforts can often go unnoticed or unrecognised.

“We asked people when was the last time they thought about the amount of energy they used in work and it’s interesting – but perhaps not surprising – that people make more effort to save energy at home than they do in the office, as they feel the benefits in reduced bills directly. There’s clearly a job to be done around persuading colleagues that the little changes they make to their office behaviours can collectively have a significant impact, and what’s good for the company in terms of greater efficiency and lower overheads translates into a benefit for all in terms of job security and prospects.

“Our campaign is designed to help energy managers continue to make a real difference to a business’s bottom line and calls on the insight and expertise gained from our work with companies who have first-hand experience of how colleague behaviour can cut office energy use.”

The survey of 500 office workers in business across Great Britain also found that half (50%) of employees admitted to not switching off their computer and screen at the end of their working day. Twice as many British employees admitted being more likely to turn off appliances at home (49%) than at work (27%).

Alongside a cuppa, people like to feel toasty at work, with more than twice as many people turning the thermostat down one degree at home (34%) as opposed to at work (15%). So why are we so much better at saving energy at home?

One answer is a lack of awareness: 60% of people say they have never heard of their company’s energy practices to begin with. Additionally, the role of the energy manager – the person who ensures a company’s energy consumption is acceptable – and energy management itself is often not understood enough in the workplace.

A recent behavioural science experiment(2) commissioned by E.ON, demonstrated how efficiency savings in a small office can stack up, from switching off computer monitors and printers at night to turning off lights and leaving office thermostats alone. The experiment which compared two sides of the office, one with visible prompts for responsible energy use, saw significant reductions in energy usage, with the amount used for sockets and lighting falling by 4%. Overall resulting in a total energy savings of 26%.

Encouraging colleagues to be greener isn’t just about making a business more energy efficient, it can also make a significant difference to annual targets. In fact, according to the Carbon Trust, low or no cost actions can reduce energy costs by at least 10% and produce quick returns, where as a 20% reduction in energy can result in the bottom-line benefit to business similar to as much as a 5% increase in sales.


Notes to editors

  1. Survey of 500 full and part-time office workers and 500 utilities/energy decision makers in companies with more than 50 employees, conducted by OnePoll between 06.11.18 – 14.11.18.

  2. Four-week behavioural science experiment at a Cardiff city centre office conducted autumn 2018 comparing colleague behaviour of two sides of the office: one with a series of behavioural science inspired ‘nudges’ to prompt responsible energy use, with the other running as a control group without any interventions


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