European Federation of Agencies and Regions for Energy and the Environment

Project save@work – using behaviour change to drive down workplace energy use

Keeping our office buildings warm and lit uses a lot of energy, nearly 40% of final energy consumption can be attributed to buildings, with 12% of the EU building stock either publically owned or occupied.  The public sector is a large employer and is often at the forefront of climate friendly initiatives, keen to lead by example as a climate conscious organisation and employer.  Working with the public sector, the Horizon 2020 funded save@work project taps into their desire to lead the way and put their own house in order by helping each participating building to establish their own Energy Team from amongst their staff.  Teams are provided with the external advice and support needed to run an energy saving behaviour change campaign amongst their colleagues.  There is also a specially designed online tool into which they add their monthly energy meter readings to help them gauge whether they are using more or less energy than the baseline of the previous 3 years and a web-based gamification tool to increase awareness of individuals work station energy consumption.

Using a pre-prepared checklist the energy teams look at all the different ways energy in consumed within their building and as team produce an action plan into which they pour their ideas of how to reduce consumption and how they will engage their colleagues.

With periodic intervention and support by the project coordinator in each participating country to help maintain enthusiasm and engagement, the energy teams run the project for a year competing not only against their consumption in previous years but also against the other buildings taking part.  There are 3 prizes on offer at the end of the competition:

  • Greatest energy savings made
  • Most effective energy saving campaign
  • Best action plan

Members of the winning team will also be given the opportunity to attend the European prize winning ceremony in Brussels during June 2017.

It can be hard to engage members of staff in a project that involves their making changes to the way they work to save energy when they don’t pay the bills.  Helping them to see, however, the importance of reducing carbon emissions, of how they could make changes to their energy consumption at home but also very importantly, how they can come together as a team of individuals from across an organisation to do something for the whole organisation, are key to making save@work a success.

Taking place in 9 countries with nearly 180 public office buildings and around 9,000 employee’s, the save@work project will provide an energy-saving template that can be used in the future, not just by the public sector but by all office-based organisations – a template for the energy efficient offices of the future!

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Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 649660.

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