One of the major problems highlighted as part of our energy audit was employee awareness of energy wastage. This was obvious just on the walk around when the number of lights and computers left on was visible to anyone with their eyes open. As a consequence, we were offered several one hour training sessions to try to raise the awareness of staff about the cost of leaving things switched on. This was sold to us on the basis that most people, even advocates of energy saving, don’t even think about saving energy at work and are often unaware of just how much leaving some devices on standby could be costing.
So, I organised three sessions for all the employees on site that day, and was impressed to see that everyone did turn up for the sessions. Only one person asked if they could miss it (I obviously said no as they are the biggest sceptic that I know and believe that climate change is just a government scare tactic to introduce more taxes). I also (admittedly a bit belatedly) sent an email to other departments and sites inviting them to send someone over if they wanted (I had only one response, and everyone else ignored me) – this is obviously not currently a priority within the Company – although I believe this may be about to change with the requirements for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC).
How did the training go? Well, it was not the most dynamic of deliveries I have ever come across. There were some interesting facts and figures about the cost of leaving appliances on standby, which did seem to be news to some people in the room, but other than that there did not seem to be very much content and certainly nothing that I thought would influence many people to change their habits. There was also a large concentration of effort about the Carbon Reduction Commitment, despite my assurances that there really was nothing that I could do about it at my lowly level. Maybe I was a little prejudiced though, because it wasn’t news to me, but apparently some people did not know that leaving their mobile on charge for longer than required was wasting money.
So, results of the training, no immediate effects were noticeable, although it did get some people talking about it. I have since discovered that more warehouse staff are turning lights off as they leave the room (I discovered this second hand due to a comment from maintenance that they are having to replace more bulbs). Most disappointing though is that people in the office are still leaving lights and IT equipment on – one of our biggest wastes of energy. So, although it did not change the world, it was probably worthwhile as it did what it said on the tin and raised employee awareness with regards to energy usage – now it is up to me to start getting them into new, better habits.