Engage employees to help save energy

For years, The Carbon Trust have been working with a wide range of businesses and organisations, helping them engage employees in a bid to reduce energy usage. The businesses and organisations working with The Carbon Trust have managed to save up to 26% on their energy bills, simply by educating and engaging their teams.

17 December 2015

Research has revealed that many businesses are missing out on simple yet significant energy savings by not implementing employee-focussed techniques. When implemented business-wide, these techniques could help cut energy costs and boost the eco-credentials of businesses of all sizes. To help you get started in engaging your workforce, we have put together a few tips which could help your employees help you save money.  

Below are five simple techniques for increasing energy savings through employee engagement.

1. Appoint an energy champion

Empower your employees by appointing an energy champion.  It could be a single staff member or a group, for larger organisations or teams, responsible for improving awareness of energy efficiency around the business. Give them responsibility for helping change the behaviour of other individuals. These champions can also help shape the workplace policy on energy saving.

Just as fire wardens are responsible for all aspects of emergency fire response and safety procedures; the designated energy champion should take charge of all aspects of energy improvement around the workplace. For large businesses, it may be more sensible to assign a green energy champion to individual departments, so they can perform the necessary checks and keep a closer eye on how energy is being used within their team.

If possible, it’s also a good idea to have the energy champion produce informal monthly reports, outlining any changes and improvements which have been made over the course of the month. This will make it much easier to oversee energy saving measures, and ensure targets remain on track.

energy champion

2. Offer incentives

Some businesses offer their employees incentives to encourage energy efficiency. Reward employees who implement energy-saving techniques such as turning off equipment over lunchtime or at the end of the day. However, the businesses which do offer such incentives remain in the minority.

By assigning a percentage of the money you save through energy saving to monetary incentives, you can offset the cost of offering staff financial bonuses whilst helping to encourage eco-friendly working practices.

There are a number of different options available when it comes to incentivising employees for improved energy efficiency, including competitions, prizes and special offers. However, one of the simplest ways of incentivising energy efficiency is to offer a bonus as part of their regular pay, with ESB (Energy Saving Bonus) labelled clearly on the printed pay slip.

3. Involve your employees

Employees need to change their behaviour in order to produce worthwhile energy costs. For instance, an employment engagement campaign from Marks and Spencer helped improve energy efficiency across the group's 600 shops by 19%. The NHS Trust Barts Health, in London, saved more than £100,000 over a year by asking employees to take simple energy-saving measures such as switching off lights and closing doors.

Use employee briefings, meetings and internal communications processes to help share the message regarding energy savings and keep repeating this across the business so the message is ‘front of mind’. This can be done through regular energy use recap meetings, or via the company newsletter.


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involve your employees

4. Make energy saving competitive

If your business comprises of different departments or teams, this presents the perfect opportunity to add a competitive element to energy saving work practices. By pitting departments against each other to see which can make the biggest energy improvements, and rewarding the winning team, you’ll encourage a healthy sense of contest among all employees — making them more likely to take an enthusiastic approach to future energy saving efforts.

Not only that, but implementing an inter-departmental energy saving competition will help to improve relationships between teams, making for a happier and healthier workplace.

5. Publish an official energy saving policy

For both new and existing members of staff, you’ll need to make clear the company’s energy saving policy, and outline exactly how the business plans to improve its efficiency. Draw up an energy policy document detailing all the information about how the business currently makes energy savings, including the responsibilities of each member of staff. You may wish to have this printed and pinned to the company noticeboard, or else have it readily available for staff to make reference to when needed.  

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