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Changing energy behaviour in the workplace

New guide from BRE IHS Press explores the psychology behind behaviour change

mindy publication

A new guide by Mindy Hadi explores how organisations can engage their staff in saving energy in the workplace.
“Energy use in both domestic and non-domestic buildings is influenced by a variety of factors: physical factors, such as the building itself, its services and control systems, and also social factors that govern energy use behaviour, such as lifestyle, individual differences and group composition. Although physical improvements to the building and new low energy technologies can make a considerable impact, these effects will always be limited by the presence and actions of its occupants.
Studies have been carried out on the impact of the end-user on energy consumption. However, more information is needed in order to fully understand these effects and the role of behaviour, attitudes and motivation in energy use. Most studies tend to concentrate on the domestic sector rather than the workplace, where it is much more difficult to engage occupants, even though organisations are increasingly interested in changing staff attitudes and encouraging eco-friendly behaviour at work to produce energy savings.
The guide examines the literature on the psychological theory underpinning behaviour change and how this relates to energy use. It reviews the role of feedback as a change mechanism and the use of interfaces such as eco-visualisation to motivate and maintain change, using examples from BRE research. It also discusses the pros and cons of introducing fully automated systems that remove the need for user input altogether and whether there is potential for integrating both approaches.”

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