Energy Awareness Month: Take Action Now
October is Energy Awareness Month. Take these steps to encourage sustainable work practices.
October may be the time when you hunker down and prepare for colder weather. When it comes to energy efficiency, though, it's time to take action. In fact, October is Energy Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to underscore the importance of energy conservation.
Energy Awareness Month promotes smart energy choices and highlights how decisions we make every day can reduce energy use and increase sustainability.
Take these steps
Use this time to promote energy awareness at your facility. Establish a formal program by completing these steps:
- Establish specific energy-saving goals and educate employees about the importance of conserving energy. Conduct surveys before and after the training to measure the increase in awareness.
- Create an energy team. Include a motivated leader and representatives from each department. Commitment from senior management and all employees is critical. Designate someone from every department as an energy champion to communicate initiatives at this level.
- Develop your communication plan, which helps motivate staff to change their behavior by explaining the benefits of energy efficiency. Define both the audience and message, as well as how you present and deliver the message. Take advantage of existing lines of communication.
- Implement an energy awareness program, which can include competitions between departments, contests for the best energy-saving ideas and facility tours of energy efficiency upgrades.
- Monitor the program to make sure you're meeting your goals. Seek staff input on the program and adjust as needed. Keep employees informed about progress and other organizational conservation initiatives.
- Recognize and reward those who have contributed to achieving your goals. Celebrate the success of your program with an annual event and publicize to the outside world the improvements you've made.
Remember, an energy awareness program isn't a one-time deal; it will need to be continuously modified as time goes on, whether it's educating new employees or updating the message.
Reap the benefits
Energy awareness campaigns are proven to help reduce energy use and save money. Savings estimates range from 5% to 15%. Other benefits include:
- Increased productivity
- Improved employee morale
- Better working conditions
- Lower greenhouse gas emissions
- Enhanced corporate image
The secret to success is to get everyone involved. By implementing a successful campaign, you can make every month an energy action month at your facility.
For more information, check out this facility checklist from the U.S. Department of Energy.