Survey data reveals communication is key to greatest energy savings

JRP’s recent survey of energy professionals set out to discover just how committed businesses are to saving energy, whether they could be doing more and what the greatest barriers to further energy saving are.

Posted on 25 May 2017.

What the survey indicates is that despite a perceived commitment to minimising energy use, organisations are not actually being very effective at delivering on this commitment.

A massive 96% of respondents said that their organisations are committed to minimising energy use but less than 20% believe that their organisation’s energy reduction strategy is very effective!  This is not surprising when only 13% of respondents stated that minimising energy use is the responsibility of everyone within the organisation and nearly 30% of organisations provide NO energy training at all and another 30% provide it to less than 10% of employees.

This contrasts starkly with health and safety, for example, which is generally acknowledged these days as being the responsibility of everyone and where most organisations provide some degree of training for all staff!

Not surprisingly, the biggest barriers to implementing energy savings projects or initiatives were cited firstly as financial and secondly as the lack of top level commitment.  Other priorities, pay-back periods, time, resource and lack of data were also listed.

Interestingly, although budget and capital outlay were given as the biggest barrier to project implementation, additional budget or capital investment were not the survey respondents’  favourite solutions for overcoming these barriers.  In fact, the top three solutions were all about communications:  engaging top level leadership and support; more and better workforce engagement and training and better communication of energy saving successes!

So what does this tell us? 

It tells us that we, as energy professionals, are not getting our message to the right people at the right level in the right way.

We need to do better to engage at the top level within organisations, using robust business cases to gain buy in for energy projects; we need to evidence energy savings we make and shout about our successes; we need to engage all staff in the energy saving journey at an appropriate level and we need to shout about our successes.

And most of all, we need to keep doing it!  It took decades for the health and safety message to stick, we are not there with energy yet!

Barriers to implementing energy saving projects/initiatives fell largely into 6 categories:

  • Budget/capital outlay                                 56%
  • Lack of commitment/buy in                        39%
  • Other priorities                                           22%
  • Payback period too long                            17%
  • Lack of time/resource                                14%
  • Lack of data                                               13%

What do you think would help overcome these barriers?

  • More top level leadership and support: 23%
  • More and better workforce engagement/training: 22%
  • More visibility and sharing of savings successes: 18%
  • Better data collection and analysis: 17%
  • Acceptance of longer paybacks: 14%
  • Government incentives and legislation: 13%
  • More resource: 13%
  • Verifiable evidence of effectiveness of projects: 12%
  • Easier access to grants and investment capital: 11%
  • Re-investment of savings from energy efficiency projects for use in future proposals: 9%

If you’d like to discuss any of the issues mentioned above or would like advice about any other energy management issue, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@jrpsolutions.com or on 0800 6127 567, we’d be pleased to hear from you.