Case Study 4: Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Symbol of the Government of CanadaIn 2010 the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (Pacific Region) invested in three Natural Resources Canada workshops: one for hatchery managers and two for site managers and occupants at their major sites on Vancouver Island.

Although the content in the workshops was similar, Ryan Glancy, the Energy Manager for the region, described the sessions quite differently. The two training session at the major sites on Vancouver Island had low attendance and the people who came were distracted. Participants felt that the day was too long and that too much information was provided. In contrast, the technical training for hatchery managers held in Vancouver was well received and almost all hatchery managers attended. Ryan reported that "the hatchery managers have really bought in [to the energy management program]. They are the most proactive, which is partially reflective of the training that they attended." Ryan had only been with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans five months at the time of the training and therefore was not sure about the level of commitment prior to the Natural Resources Canada workshop, but he said, "certainly there was a lot of interest coming off the back [of the training] and they are keen to help where they can."

In providing training to two different types of audiences, Ryan and his team learned three valuable lessons about energy management training:

  • Provide relevant, customized, appropriate information to the right audience
  • Take people away from their "pumps and computers" to reduce the risk of distraction (i.e. off-site)
  • Continue to engage staff by incorporating follow-up mechanisms

The hatchery manager session was more successful in Ryan's opinion because it was relevant and specialized to the hatchery environment; having the managers "understanding the key energy and cost drivers was really important to [our program]."

Ryan explained that "the hatchery managers hear the energy conservation message all the time about putting in energy conserving light bulbs and turning down the thermostat, but when we start talking about pumps and aeration towers, it gives them added knowledge and experience."

Regardless of the relative success of both types of training, an important aspect of the Natural Resources Canada training was the two mechanisms Ryan and his team created to follow up on the lessons learned in the session. The first mechanism was the opportunities forms that site managers now complete every year to help identify saving opportunities at each site. The second follow-up mechanism and "one of the real benefits of training" was finding the individuals at each of the sites who are interested in energy reduction. Out of the training session, Ryan was able to identify 30-40 local energy champions, representing 30 sites in the Pacific Region. These individuals now work to develop ideas on how to conserve energy at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.