Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

An energy conscious workforce: New research looks at how to encourage staff to go green

Date:
November 27, 2012
Source:
University of Nottingham
Summary:
As homeowners we are becoming cannier about turning down the thermostat to save our pennies and the planet but are we as energy conscious when we get to work?

As homeowners we are becoming cannier about turning down the thermostat to save our pennies and the planet but are we as energy conscious when we get to work?

Related Articles


A new 1.3m project, being led by researchers at The University of Nottingham, is to look at people's attitudes to energy consumption in the workplace and how to encourage colleagues to work together in reducing their organisation's carbon footprint.

Drawing on technical expertise at Nottingham's Horizon Digital Economy Research and design skills of experts at The University of Southampton, the five-year study will also aim to deliver new 'energy display' technologies that will allow workers to visualise their energy use and potentially identify areas where further savings could be made.

Project lead, Dr Alexa Spence said: "Obviously at home there is a financial incentive to save energy as well as what's termed the 'warm glow' environmental and moral imperative. We want to find out whether these incentives still apply when people reach their place of work and to look at which strategies are most successful in encouraging people to engage with their energy use."

The research, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will see the academics collaborating with industry experts including Arup and WilSon Energy, who conduct energy monitoring for companies and provide energy efficiency solutions to reduce companies' costs and their impact on the environment.

The researchers will be given access to some of the consultants' client base which will allow them to find out what workers are already doing to save energy, what would encourage them to be more energy efficient and decide the best way of motivating the workforce to make further savings.

Dr Spence said: "Energy is invisible and we often don't think about it. When we go to work we don't go there with the specific aim of using energy, we are far too busy thinking about doing our job. We are not the bill payer, so there is not much incentive for us to make an effort to be more energy efficient. The challenge is how to incentivise people to want to save energy."

The Nottingham team, which includes sociologists and psychologists, will also be looking at how the workforce might prefer to effect change, either individually or part of a team and, if so, the best ways to encourage people to work together. They will be asking how companies can best inspire staff to take part in energy saving initiatives and how to sustain their enthusiasm and cooperation in the long-term.

Dr Spence added: "Firstly we need to know what workers have the power to change themselves and which things, for example the lighting or the building's heating, might be out of their control. We would like to promote organisational change by motivating the staff to ask constructive questions, for example, why do the lights need to be left on all night?"

The project will lead to the development of a 'toolkit' that they will test among staff at companies that are currently having their energy use monitored to establish whether it is successful in having an impact. This will encompass guidance on developing workplace initiatives as well as technical advice and design prototypes that can be installed to monitor energy use in new and engaging ways.

The resulting 'toolkit' will be rolled out to other companies with assistance from the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE), an independent national charity that aims to help people and organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors to meet the twin challenges of rising energy costs and climate change.

Horizon is a research institute at The University of Nottingham engaged in digital economy research. Established in 2009, it represents an initial 40 million investment by Research Councils UK (RCUK), The University of Nottingham and more than 100 academic and industrial partners in both a Research Hub and Doctoral Training Centre within the RCUK Digital Economy programme.

Further information on the project is available on the web at www.energyforchange.ac.uk


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Nottingham. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Nottingham. "An energy conscious workforce: New research looks at how to encourage staff to go green." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127111247.htm>.
University of Nottingham. (2012, November 27). An energy conscious workforce: New research looks at how to encourage staff to go green. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127111247.htm
University of Nottingham. "An energy conscious workforce: New research looks at how to encourage staff to go green." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121127111247.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

EU Gets Climate Deal, UK PM Gets Knock

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

Raw: Tornado Rips Roofs in Washington State

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A rare tornado ripped roofs off buildings, uprooted trees and shattered windows Thursday afternoon in the southwest Washington city of Longview, but there were no reports of injuries. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Fast-Moving Lava Headed For Town On Hawaii's Big Island

Newsy (Oct. 24, 2014) Lava from the Kilauea volcano on Hawaii's Big Island has accelerated as it travels toward a town called Pahoa. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins