“Copy anti-smoking campaigns to cut energy use”

Copying anti-smoking campaigns could help businesses encourage staff to save energy. That’s according to the boss of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) in a new report about using […]

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By Vicky Ellis

Copying anti-smoking campaigns could help businesses encourage staff to save energy.

That’s according to the boss of the British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) in a new report about using smart meters in UK businesses.

Gareth Tancred, BIFM Chief Executive wrote: “Social marketing campaigns have long been changing behaviours to ensure that we get more exercise or quit smoking and it is these techniques that can engage key stakeholders and ensure that they are using energy efficiently.”

Called ‘Working Smarter: Realising the potential of smart meters in business’, the report by environmental industries trade body EIC and Acclaro Advisory lays out tips on smart business practice.

Long term behaviour change is suggested, making it a fun thing to do through “gamification” or bringing in incentives.

Appointing ‘energy champions” with backing from senior management and using apps could get people interested.

Image: Thinkstock
Image: Thinkstock

On the other hand setting local budgets for energy saving, with penalties for going over, could be a “stick” to change behaviour.

Backing from senior management is “necessary”, according to the report.

MrTancred added: “For this [being more efficient with energy management] to really take hold the entire organisation must get behind it.”

The report also points out the need for a strong set of data about energy use in a “baseline” year to measure against the success of any programme.

As for what government can do, EIC’s Executive Director Matthew Farrow said benchmarking energy use across sectors, publishing anonymous energy use data and developing a standard method for measuring the energy reductions from behaviour change “would be a very positive step forward”.