Energizing Your Team with Education by Arnie Wohlgemut
There have been countless articles written about energy consumption. One author wrote about getting a formal energy audit and creating a baseline as a solution to conserve energy in our buildings. Another wrote that you must “learn your building” and another wrote about the importance of proper design.
But there was one common thread in these articles – people!
In the end, people’s mind-set determines what they are willing to do or not do.
There are many products that help save energy but it won’t help if you’re putting them into the hands of people who don’t understand or care about the outcome.
Even when you create the most energy efficient design, one best suited for the application, people are unpredictable and will find ways to go over or around any restrictions or requests.
So how do we change the mindset?
Teaching, mentoring and training are all part of engaging your team. It’s important to begin right at the onset of the plan. From the birth of an idea to occupancy of our offices, schools and homes, an energy conservation mind-set must be present.
It’s critical for the building owners to set a base-line performance goal. With the goal in place, architects and engineers must model and test their designs to align. Facility managers and building operators must understand and support the conservation goals and the building occupants need to participate.
Understanding and buy-in start with knowledge. Yet, in my experience, education is often a missed step.
I have seen the impact of training and mentoring first-hand.
I witnessed a shift in understanding when a building operator realized the temperature set-point in the thermostat did not act like an accelerator. He believed the higher he set the temperature, the faster the space warmed up. Instead, he was wasting energy.
Start your team with the information they need. Give your people a chance to succeed!