The cheapest kWh of energy is the one not consumed. To achieve energy savings in any organisation it is vital that the three elements of technical, data/information and people solutions operate in harmony and dynamic equilibrium.
Most organisations focus on data and technical solutions at the expense of people. This undermines the likely savings from technical and data solutions. In every organisation every employee uses energy - some more than others - either because of their job function or because of wasteful habits.
ISO 50001 focus on ‘competency’ of key people and ‘awareness’ of everyone in the organisation.
Many initiatives and programmes engaging staff are effective initially but eventually run out of steam and lose momentum. This is often because no effective tailor-made strategy was established and/or possibly because of high employee turnover. Quite often people by-pass the need for a strategy and for expedience, opt for an off-the-shelf solution.
For this reason it is important to take time and effort to identify the technical opportunities and match them with a good culture and a sound understanding of what makes people tick - in short, psychology.
In recent years I have worked closely with behaviour psychologist, Dr Phillipa Coan, to provide more effective and long lasting people-based solutions. This is a unique partnership in the UK where a qualified and experienced energy consultant with many years of employee engagement experienced has teamed up with a highly qualified and experienced behaviour psychologist to produce more effective approaches.
Embarking on the next phase of our carbon management plan, Phillipa Coan and John Mulholland helped us put together and lead an excellent interactive workshop for key stakeholders within our estate and operations on continual improvement systems and the psychology of behaviour change in carbon reduction.
The workshop was really useful for raising awareness of our proposed approach for the next phase of the CMP of building in ISO 50001 energy management systems across the Council and also provided some useful organisation-specific practical advice on the psychological and motivational factors behind getting staff from all areas in playing their part. Feedback was very positive about the workshop and overall will help engage all staff as we roll out the new CMP in the next 5 years. Dr Paul Spencer, Energy & Carbon Manager, Oxford City Council
For Phillipa Coan’s website click here
Diageo, Ibstock Brick, Wessex Water, BT, BBC, Primark, Sainsburys, Debenhams, University of Edinburgh, Aston University, Foreign Office, Ministry of Defence, Guy’s & St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.
Eur Ing John Mulholland BScTech (Hons) CEng CSci MIChemE MEI has been designing and delivering energy awareness training and services to clients across the world for 30 years. Clients include national governments, industry, commerce, retail, higher education, health, schools, local/central government.