Energy use behavioural change for business & industry: identification, development and enhancement

Panel: 3. Energy management: The nuts and bolts

Authors:
Sophie Chirez, DNV-GL, Belgium
Anke Brems, DNV GL, Belgium

Abstract

Europe needs to increase its productivity and competitiveness. The application of energy efficiency in a more widespread and thoughtful manner is a key component of this. Business & Industry needs to invest not only in more efficient technologies, but also in the way it operates at a behavioural level. There are challenges though: Europe’s business and industrial environment is notably rather conservative in relation to energy use and employee behaviour, in that it generally only focusses on technical solutions.

Previous studies have shown that energy savings potential linked to an Energy Management System (EMS) can in some cases be up to 30% (average 12%). And that a significant part of this can be achieved by behavioural change. With an effective system in place, organizations can better integrate energy management into their overall activities and be guided in changing their employee behaviour to make the most out of opportunities available to them. However, while many organisations have implemented an EMS they have often not delivered on expectations. This has been due to them often being aimed only at technical staff. In addition to this, an employee in a technical function within an organization is often the ‘ambassador’ for the EMS, which is often sub-optimal given that its 'success' is all about timely and dynamic organization-wide employee engagement. Engaging and motivating an organization’s technical staff and enabling them to enhance their soft skills is then a key factor in the successful implementation of an EMS across an organization. However, effective communication is often a forgotten factor. If engagement with employees is more personal and specific then an EMS and the realisation of energy savings can be made significantly more effective.

A case study of a company operating in the healthcare sector will be presented to show how the above concept has recently been applied in relation to an EMS and soft skills for behavioural change.

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