How to engage your staff in saving energy

Site walkarounds help your staff switch on to switching off

Simple actions can add up to significant energy savings, with small changes making a big difference. This blog is about how taking the time to walk around your site allows you to pinpoint areas of energy waste.

We’re on the lookout for equipment that can be turned off, equipment that is not operating efficiently and changes that can be made to operating times. Why not use a walk around to engage with staff and get energy on everyone’s agenda? It’s often those who know the buildings best that can identify what needs to change.

Who do you need on the walkaround?

Defining key stakeholder groups enables you to identify the people you need to engage with most. Stakeholder mapping helps understand people’s behaviour, their potential role and how best to engage with them. For a successful walk around, you need:

  • Technical – someone who knows the equipment inside out and can confidently advise whether it can be switched off and on again without harming it or impacting customer experience.
  • Operations – someone who knows your schedules inside out, what will be used when and when rooms or areas are out of use so that accurate schedules can be set up.
  • Decision maker – someone who can give a definitive yes or no to opportunities.

The impact: Vauxhall Dealership example

To help launch the Retailer Energy Efficiency programme at dealerships across the UK, we led a successful engagement pilot at Vauxhall Dealerships. The pilot involved:

  • A training workshop for programme coordinators.
  • A site walk-round to identify what equipment could be switched off during the day and overnight.
  • Labelling equipment, developing checklists and delegating responsibility to staff for switching off.
  • Issuing energy reports prior to fortnightly conference calls to maintain momentum and track progress.

A 10% reduction in electricity was achieved, largely through an effective end-of-day shutdown, with a 20% reduction in electricity use achieved over the August Bank Holiday weekend when compared to the same weekend the previous year.

Energy use at 3 am during the pilot phase in August and September 2016, significant and consistent reductions in overnight consumption were achieved.


The impact: The Jockey Club example

Carbon Credentials works with The Jockey Club on an ongoing basis. A few months ago, we undertook a walk around at Huntingdon Racecourse. The team on site identified numerous opportunities including lighting being left on, heating being turned on in summer and broken PIRs. The result? A 45% reduction in consumption, equating to an estimated annual saving of £9,000!

Energy use at 3 am since December 2014, significant and consistent reductions in overnight consumption were achieved following the site walk around on June 8th 2017.

Top Tips for a high impact walkaround

  • Use stickers to capture people’s attention and signpost what equipment can be switched off:

Example of simple reminders to get people into the habit of switching off.

  • Use posters to reinforce the message:

Well designed posters stick out and grab people’s attention. The best posters also carry simple and easy to follow calls to action.

  • Show consumption trends to staff and the impact their actions are having:

Carbon Credentials’ engagement impact report. Based on half-hourly electricity data from Huntingdon Racecourse.

What to think about next?

Can you think of equipment that is often left on and could be switched off? Are your staff aware of the impact of their actions? We support a wide range of organisations to design, build and embed engagement and behaviour change programmes. If this is of interest to you and you would like to find out more about our strategy and engagement services, please contact us here.


Susie Chalk, Senior Analyst