If you’re a long-time subscriber to our media channels, you’ll be aware that we regularly provide you with handy tips on how to save on your business energy costs, especially when switching suppliers.
As we highlighted in a previous post, if you’ve made it through the first stages of switching successfully, it’s imperative that you manage your energy usage effectively to truly maximise the savings you’ve already made. We’ve discussed in detail the energy management procedures required, so today’s post covers an area often overlooked by firms: Improving your staff’s attitude to saving energy.
We have enough experience to understand that your staff are human beings. Realistically, not everyone will take energy saving to heart, and in truth, old habits die hard.
Although the concept of appointing energy champions within the workplace isn’t new, businesses throughout the UK are finally starting to reap the benefits.
But what exactly is an energy champion? How would they help you? And what training do they need?
What is the role of energy champions?
The responsibility of an energy champion is to advocate energy efficiency throughout an organisation and encourage their co-workers to adopt ‘cleaner’ practices in both the workplace and their everyday lives.
Typical characteristics include:
- The ability to create, drive and promote internal awareness campaigns.
- Being knowledgeable and up-to-date on the latest environmental policies and regulations.
- Demonstrating a willingness to challenge others on their behaviour.
- Displaying a passion for the environment.
- Leading by example within the workplace.
How can an energy champion benefit my business?
The main benefit of appointing an energy champion is simple:
If you’re using less energy, you’re spending less money.
Training and integrating them within your team helps overcome the difficultly of changing culture amongst your staff, a common obstacle facing many businesses.
Simply providing one-off training and hoping it’ll make an impact moving forward is not enough. Let’s be honest, we’ve all been there. Someone organises a presentation, we sit through it, make some notes and by the end of the session everyone is feeling enthusiastic. But even after just a few days, how easy is it to slip back into the bad old ways? Empowering energy champions is the first step in mitigating this threat.
Through leading by example, they are perfect for reinforcing key messages on a permanent basis. Over time, their drive and organisation will prove vital in changing the behaviour of your staff. That’s why you need to appoint the right type of person.
It’s also important to remember the impact training will have on your staff’s morale. Training will improve the workplace overall and highlights not only your commitment to energy efficiency, but also indicates to employees that an investment in their future is key.
Another key benefit is ensuring you’re compliant with the latest legislation. Having someone in your team well-versed in this field could prove invaluable against potential fines and charges for non-compliance.
Do I recruit them? Or train them in-house?
This really depends on the size of your business and the industry it operates in. Each proposition should be evaluated on a case-by-case scenario.
Most businesses (especially SME’s) recruit and train their staff from within. Although an important function in ensuring real energy efficiency, for many, the role is not often considered a full-time vocation.
We would always recommend requesting for volunteers first. It’s incredibly important that you recruit, train and prepare the right people for the job. If a member of staff shows no passion for the role, then you’re at a disadvantage from day one.
Larger businesses, such as manufacturers who consume exceedingly high levels of energy, could benefit from employing a member staff into the role on a full-time basis.
Once you’ve found the right people for the roles, your next challenge is to find the correct facilitators to enlighten them.
Make sure the team you select have the relevant qualifications within the energy industry, a proven track record and the unique skills required to aid you in any compliance related issues you may have.
Need more help?
We have experience in both training and acting as energy champions and are happy to discuss how we could work alongside you. Call us today on 0800 130 3514 to speak with one of our energy management experts.