Northtown Technology Park

Changing energy use behaviour at the workplace

The project aims to reduce energy consumption in office buildings by influencing employees' behaviour. Office buildings often have modern technical infrastructure, but the behaviour of employees may prevent potential energy savings. People tends to use energy more wastefully at work than they do at home, as most often they have no financial incentive to save energy at their workplaces. Therefore, there is quite a challenge to find ways to encourage people to save energy at their workplace.

Employees of the offices in two buildings of the Northtown Technology Park (NTP) were chosen as target group of the project run by Cowi Lietuva. The NTP is a public institution, providing office space to approximately 50 companies with 270 workplaces at the time of project implementation. The main challenge of the project was that employees have no direct financial incentive to save energy, as their management pays a fixed monthly rent, not dependent on energy consumption. Office employees in the NTP were found to be well educated, environmentally aware, open to new ideas and willing to participate in the project.

In the beginning, an energy audit was conducted in order to identify current consumption and saving potentials. Due to the fact that general information was found to be too abstract and hardly motivating for the target group, an energy meter was used to show people how much energy the devices they use consume. Information on how to reduce energy consumption was distributed regularly among employees.

In the course of the project, electricity consumption for lighting decreased in one building by 5% and in the other one by 20% compared to the same period of time in the previous year. Electricity consumption for computer use decreased in one building by 25% compared to the previous year, but increased in the other one by over 25%. This was mainly due to the fact that new office space had been rented out, and a lot more computers were in use compared to the year before.