Employees often don't have access to energy consumption data. This Toolkit gave us the idea to look for a more engaging metering and feedback activity: a smart meter to show employees’ personal influence. - Egle Jaraminiene, COWI Lietuva
This is an excerpt from the project story Northtown Technology Park – COWI Lietuva working with the Make Energy Change Happen Toolkit. COWI Lietuva made efforts to tailor the instruments they used to the particular context in which they were working: a business park hosting many small businesses. Here are examples of how they did it:
Metering and feedback: how to tailor to context
At the design phase of the project we decided to use energy consumption baseline to compare how changing behaviour could affect heat and electricity demand. Electricity and heat consumption data of both buildings was collected andthe results visualised in graphs. We presented some preliminary results during face-to-face interviews with the target group and asked them how understandable this information was for them. The result was interesting to technical staff and administrators of the buildings. The actual target group, however, appeared to be not very interested.
Thus, we looked for more engaging ways to communicate energy consumption to the target group. The idea to use smart metering of real energy consumption of different office equipment was taken from the EC IEE Program project “Energy Trophy+”, unfortunately only one smart meter was available. We arranged a meeting with out target group members during which the use of the smart meter for our target group members, see photo below.
During the demonstration we checked equipment such as computer, monitor (LCD and CRT), laptop, drinking water automat, printer and mobile phone recharger. Results showed that a laptop is more energy efficient than stationary computer with monitor. Results also indicated that older computers use twice as much energy compared to newer models. Contrary to expectations, mobile phone chargers did not consume electricity when being plugged into the grip without mobile phone attached. Other equipment checked were LCD and CRT monitors and laser and ink jet printers. During the presentation and testing with the smart meter, NTP staff appeared motivated to reduce energy consumption by learning about the actual consumption of equipment they use. An inventory of electrical equipment used at Northtown Technology park offices was made to ensure the future energy advice provided would be relevant to these particular facilities.
Energy audits: how to tailor to context
An energy audit of one of the buildings was performed in order to attain an energy consumption baseline and to calculate the energy efficiency of the building. Knowledge about real monthly consumption of the building increased motivation for office workers to save energy. In converting the electricity use to CO2, SO2 and NOx, emission factors specific for Lithuanian electricity production were used.
The knowledge gained through the energy audit was also communicated to office employees who tended to think that there are a lot of technical measures that should be installed versus trying to behave more energy efficiently. The audit has shown that the potential of economically feasible technical solutions to increase energy efficiency of the building are almost fully exploited already and now it is up to employees to save energy by changing their habits.
As NTP is planning to build a third office building in the near future, the audit of the existing building has provided some insight on energy saving technical measures to be considered in the building design phase. We discussed such measures with the NTP management and the person responsible for the maintenance of the technical systems.
As NTP has plans to build a third office building in the near future, the audit of the existing building has provided some insight on energy saving technical measures to be considered in the building design phase. We discussed this with the NTP management and the person responsible for the maintenance of the engineering systems.
Energy advice: how to tailor it to context
The advice to be given was clear from the audit and general practise. The Make Energy Change Happen toolkit gave ideas on how to put the advice in the right form, how to choose the right communication channel to disseminate the advice.
Some meetings with the management group of the NTP were arranged to discuss the peculiarities and needs of the target group and to adjust the energy advice accordingly.
When providing advice on issues well known to the target group, the main stress was put on the instruments to shape the habits. Where a lack of knowledge was found, detailed and visual information was presented. From the questionnaire and initial interviews with our target group we found out that the majority of people do not know about thermostatic valves, how they function and how they could help to save heat. Thus we have provided detailed information on this issue in the form of illustrated material. As many of the target group are technically educated and curious persons, we decided to include even comprehensive technical information with graphical illustrations of performance of the thermostatic valves. We have received positive feedback on this.