The Energy Savings Challenge – Getting Your Employees Engaged in Energy Management
Turn off the lights behind you. Dial back the heat. Put on a sweater. We are all familiar with these energy savings basics at home, but how can these habits be transferred to your workplace? It’s easy enough to tell your workforce to cut down on their energy consumption, but sometimes they need a bit of motivation. That’s where the Energy Savings Challenge comes in.
Team Engagement is Key
A great way to get people to change their habits is to make it fun. The Energy Savings Challenge is an internal contest to see how much your employees can reduce their personal energy consumption at work. Depending on the size of your organization, teams of employees can be formed based on their location or division. If you are a smaller, single location company, a single team works just as well. The challenge should begin with a session on how your teams can contribute to your organization’s energy savings. To get started, here are some ways your employees can reduce their energy usage:
- Shut down computers and monitors when not in use
- Turn off radios before going home
- Close blinds on sunny windows on hot days
- Turn off lights at workstations, conference rooms, and kitchens when unoccupied
- Unplug devices that are fully charged
- Turn off personal fans when not needed
- Power down printers at the end of the day
- Choose ENERGY STAR® rated appliances and fixtures when replacing old equipment
- Encourage the use of stairs instead of the elevator
Using this list, you could publish an energy checklist to distribute to employees. A written guide will help them to better recognize energy saving opportunities. It is also a good idea to outline what employees should not tamper with such as essential lighting and equipment or emergency backups.
Progress Updates Maintain Motivation
Once you begin, make sure you monitor and encourage your teams’ efforts. A challenge is nothing if you cannot track its progress. Reviewing your electricity bill, or using an energy management tool like the Bruce Power Saver, will allow you to determine which team has reduced their consumption the most. Be sure to feed your teams with regular updates on their progress to keep them engaged. The Bruce Power Saver breaks down your energy usage by location and time of day so you can see where savings are being realized. Look for spikes in your energy data to identify other opportunities to reduce your consumption.
You will also need to establish a timeline for the challenge. A period of several months within the same season is ideal because weather patterns are likely to be more consistent. The Bruce Power Saver can mitigate this issue by normalizing the data based on temperature to make for more accurate comparisons.
Recognize Employee Efforts
The final element of the Energy Savings Challenge is the reward. Throw an office lunch party, plan an after-work event, or provide gift cards for a favourite café to the winning team. Make it clear from the beginning that your workforce has something to work towards or you may have disappointing results. You can also go the extra mile and place the cost savings in a fund that is distributed to a charity or community program selected by the winners. This can be even more motivating for employees as they can contribute to a cause that is meaningful to them. This will not only increase participation, but it can also enhance your standing as a strong community partner.
The Energy Savings Challenge is good for more than your bottom line. By empowering employees to work towards a reward they share, you build a more cohesive team that thrives together. Your corporate image will also get a boost when you reduce your environmental footprint and increase your community support.
Keep the Savings Flowing
When the challenge is finished, you may be wondering how you can continue realizing cost savings. You could make the Energy Savings Challenge an annual event or year-round challenge, but be sure to make changes to the program to keep it fresh. Getting creative will ensure future success. After completing your first Energy Savings Challenge, you will have a better understanding of how much you can save from these small changes. In subsequent challenges, you can increase the goal to strive for a greater reduction than the previous year. You could also introduce several tiers of savings where each level provides a greater reward. The more employees participate in the challenge; the sooner their energy saving actions will become a habit.
With the Energy Savings Challenge, managing your organization’s energy costs just got easier. With more people involved, the greater your savings will be. By encouraging your people to be more energy conscious, you will be well on your way to reaching your energy goals. At Bruce Power Direct we can help you develop a strategy to engage your employees in energy saving initiatives. We are here to help you optimize your energy consumption and drive down your energy costs. Contact us today!