Motivating people to become Energy Managers and Environmental Champions

Jenny Townsend

In this article, Townsend Consultancy Ltd describes a project commissioned by the Energy Manager’s Association. This project involved the design and preparation of a comprehensive ten week energy management course as a first step towards enabling pupils in upper Key Stage 4 and 6th Form to consider undertaking a role as an Energy Manager in the workforce once they have graduated from full time education and moved into employment.

At a time when there is increasing scientific evidence highlighting the serious environmental impact of global warming and the need to find alternatives to fossil fuels, it is vital that there is opportunity within the education system for young people to learn about the impact of environmental change and to consider through active practice, discussion and debate, a range of strategies for reducing energy consumption.

As well as developing an awareness of how companies and individuals can take action to reduce their own energy consumption, this course models methods of influencing the way others within the school and wider organisations use energy, ultimately leading to the development of team policy and behaviour change.

We all know that the world’s ever increasing energy use is continuing to put a strain on existing resources, as well as contributing to an unacceptable increase in carbon emissions. It is essential that we develop an understanding of the subject of energy management and more specifically about the relatively recent introduction of the energy manager within the workplace.

As education specialists, we have successfully developed innovative courses for schools and community groups around various aspects of sustainability and energy management.

Here’s some top tips for energy managers to consider when developing a workplace policy :

  • What are the various ways that energy is used in the workplace?
  • How does energy use vary depending on the type of equipment used?
  • What are the typical inefficiencies in energy consumption in the working environment?
  • How can energy use in the workplace be measured?
  • What energy saving practices can be introduced to reduce energy consumption?
  • What are the obstacles to reducing energy use in the workplace?
  • What actions can be taken to overcome these obstacles?

One of the key drivers for the Energy Manager is influencing behaviour change – here are some practical hands on tips to help gain staff support and change behaviour within the work force too!

  • Conduct an audit of your own personal use of energy
  • Role play activities to raise awareness of the challenges an energy manager can face in the workplace
  • Work in groups to design a product that will reduce the cost of heating or cooling of a workspace
  • Write a low energy version for a workplace travel plan
  • Devise a quiz and work in teams with the aim of further raising awareness of energy matters

In addition to writing the Energy Management course for the Energy Managers Association, Townsend Consultancy Ltd works in partnership with a wide range of agencies to develop interesting, bespoke educational resources as well as delivering practical, engaging training sessions on many aspects of sustainability including

eco – travel, the destruction and the importance of restoration of peatlands, developing solar panels as an educational resource, sustainable transport and safe travel and the importance of reconnecting people with their natural environment.

Jenny will be talking about this subject further, during the panel “The First Steps to an Energy Management Career” at the upcoming EMEX event on 20th November at 14:30 Excel, London. Register here

For more information or to discuss any training / resource requirements you may have, please visit our website: www.townsendconsult.co.uk