Efficient occupant behaviour

An employee or building occupant awareness program [PDF - 1.2MB] is an effective means of motivating the people who control the energy in your building. Once your tenants and key employees understand what the energy management program is and why you are doing it, it will be much easier to obtain buy-in, and they may be more willing to put up with changes.

Customize an awareness program for your building occupants to help them see that they can be a part of the solution by reducing the energy consumption they can control.

A key element of your energy management plan is occupant behaviour. The behaviour of your building occupants can have a big impact - positive or negative - on your efforts to reduce energy consumption and realize energy cost savings in your building.

Encouraging energy efficient occupant behaviour means that you have the potential to maximize your organization's energy management best practices goals by taking into account the interests and habits of your building occupants. You can provide building occupants with introductory information on topics related to the efficient operation of their buildings. Through your awareness programming they will come to understand that they can make a positive contribution to your goals and do their part to reduce energy consumption.

Here are five ways to encourage building occupant buy-in for your organization's energy management goals:

  • Make your energy-awareness message directly relevant to your building and give them just enough information so they will be able understand what you want to achieve.
  • Provide targeted facts and figures that are specific to the facility.
  • Avoid use of ineffective clichéd poster facts and figures.
  • Involve occupants in planning and implementing your energy-saving strategies.
  • If feasible, pass on some of the savings resulting from energy-reduction initiatives and operating cost reductions to your building occupants.

If you provide clear and constant messages, you will increase building occupant awareness of the benefits of energy management. The ultimate goal is to modify occupant energy usage behaviour so that their actions benefit themselves as well as your organization.

Key components of communications programming will include:

  • a range of communications tools such as e-newsletters, social media and signage that reach building occupants where they work;
  • frequent use of messages that are easy to understand and appeal to the interests of building occupants; and
  • updates on energy management successes that recognize the contributions made by building occupants and that include tangible and measurable results that will reinforce the credibility of your initiative.

To learn more about creating building occupant awareness, read our guide Implementing an Energy Efficiency Awareness Program [PDF - 1.2MB].