In most situations, your employees will determine how much energy you use and how high your bills are. You can use technology, regularly compare business gas and electricity prices, and make changes to the structure of your build to minimise heat. You’ll still pay too much, however, if your employees leave computers running when they’re not in use, set the heating too high, or fill the kettle when only making one cup of tea.
It is therefore important to involve your team in all your energy-saving initiatives. You have to get them to buyin, and you have to keep them motivated and focused on minimising their energy use without affecting their work performance.
Here are some tips for getting your employees to actively help you reduce your energy bills.
Explain Your Objectives
Explain to your employees what you’re doing and why. This includes being upfront about costs and outlining how much you want to save. For example, do you want to cut your energy bills by five percent over the next six months? If so, explain this to your employees, and tell them why it is important.
Inform your employees of other reasons behind the energy saving policy, including helping to protect the environment.
Give Useful Information
The next step is to provide your employees with the information they will need to cut their energy use. This means going further than simply telling people to switch off lights. Instead, it means going through practical actions.
For example, your employees may not know whether they are allowed to turn a particular piece of equipment off if they find it running but not in use since they don’t know whether turning the piece of equipment off will affect business operations. You should therefore explain which equipment should never be switched off, which equipment should only be switched off by trained personnel, and which equipment can be turn off by anyone.
Establishing policies is a way to give structure to your efforts to reduce the amount of energy used in your office. An example is creating a tea rota. This prevents people from making only one or two cups of tea at a time. Instead, everyone gets their tea or coffee together. This means the kettle only has to be boiled once.
Other examples include putting in place an open routine for the first person in each day and a closing routine for the last person to leave. This ensures things are only switched on when they need to be and that everything is switched off before the building is locked up for the night.
Another good method of motivating employees to cut their energy use in the office is to incentivise them. For example, you could set the company an energy reduction target. If that is achieved within the timeframe, you would commit additional funds to the Christmas party at the end of the year.
Lead by Example
Finally, make sure you and your management/senior team lead by example. If your employees see you taking steps to cut your energy use, they are more likely to do the same.
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