What can be learnt from big brands’ behaviour-based energy management programmes?

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IMServ share insights from its customers, Superdry, Carphone Warehouse & Pizza Hut

10 July 2014, Milton Keynes, UK: With rising energy costs, squeezed margins and increased legislation requirements, businesses are under increasing pressure to implement effective energy management solutions. According to Michelle Giles, Software Product Manager at IMServ, the implementation of smart meters and availability of real-time data on energy usage, provides businesses with the tools to increase awareness of energy wastage and ultimately take steps to discourage wasteful behaviour.

Michelle explains: “The implementation of a hands-on monitoring, visualisation and control strategy is key to achieving successful energy savings. However, it’s important to keep sight of the fact that energy efficiency doesn’t stop with the monitoring, analysis and control tools. Introducing a behavioural change programme in the workplace has the potential to achieve considerable reductions in energy consumption. According to the Carbon Trust, UK businesses and public bodies have an opportunity to save £300 million and six million tonnes of CO2 a year by encouraging employees to adopt behaviours that reduce energy use, travel and waste1.

“Our portfolio of clients range from companies within the banking, property and utilities sectors to retailers, manufacturers and those in the public sector. Despite diverse business models, all have achieved energy savings, many of which have been significantly increased through the introduction of behaviour change programmes.

“Habits and routines can be difficult to break as they are ingrained in people’s behaviour, however effective approaches follow similar themes. For example, a number of our customers including Superdry, Carphone Warehouse and Pizza Hut have brought energy savings to life by charting store performance on a league table, as well as offering incentives to encourage energy reductions and a competitive spirit amongst staff.”

Michael Johnson, Environment Manager at Carphone Warehouse explains: “Ownership and individual responsibility is an important factor. We are in the process of introducing a behavioural change programme which will see engagement with everyone in the business, allowing us to send a message to all our internal colleagues and to our customers. Individual store managers will be able to see and effect change in their environment through the software, and monitor and review energy trends for their store.”

Many of IMServ’s customers’ most effective programmes utilise the 3 R’s of Habit Change as a basis for a behavioural change programme.

The 3 R’s of Habit Change

Reminder (trigger):

  • Appoint energy champions to increase energy consumption awareness in each department within the company.
  • Encourage individual responsibility, present employees with hard facts to see and effect change in their environment.

Routine (behaviour):

  • Formalise office equipment energy saving routines by including them in a written policy.
  • Encourage staff to switch off equipment such as computers, monitors, printers and photocopiers when not in use. A simple poster reminder can encourage routine change.
  • Make behavioural changes easier by ensuring energy-saving features such as standby or power-down modes are enabled.

Reward (emotion):

  • Bring energy saving to life and add an element of competition by introducing a league table which charts the performance of each company site or store.
  • Introduce incentivised targets and competitions for managers and employees alike to encourage the reduction in energy consumption.
  • Provide a company event using a percentage of the savings made from your employees effort towards energy efficiency.

Michelle concluded: “Metering provides an insight into the human element of energy use and is key to a better understanding of energy trends and how to act effectively to manage them. However, the key challenge will always be to get people to notice and care about their energy use. The development of a behavioural change programme offers companies the potential to achieve further energy reductions of up to 10% on top of investments into infrastructure changes, which equates to £300 million in the UK.”

Editors’ Notes

1.http://www.carbontrust.com/resources/reports/advice/low-carbon-behaviour-change

About IMServ (www.imserv.com)

IMServ Europe Ltd is one of the UK’s largest independent energy data management providers. The company offers carbon and energy management solutions, helping organisations across all sectors to save energy, reduce costs and control carbon emissions.

IMServ offers an all-inclusive portfolio that covers data collection, analysis, reporting and carbon management. To date over 220,000 sites in England, Scotland and Wales are benefiting from its solutions.

Follow IMServ here on Twitter

For further information, please contact:

Laura Brown, PR Account Manager

KISS Public Relations

T: 01223 911123

E: laura@kisscom.co.uk

For interviews, comment, photography, or interest in by-lined articles please contact: laura@kisscom.co.uk

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