As homeowners we are becoming cannier about turning down the thermostat to save our pennies and the planet but are we as energy conscious when we get to work?
A new 1.3m project, being led by researchers at The University of Nottingham, is to look at people's attitudes to energy consumption in the workplace and how to encourage colleagues to work together in reducing their organisation's carbon footprint.
Drawing on technical expertise at Nottingham's Horizon Digital Economy Research and design skills of experts at The University of Southampton, the five-year study will also aim to deliver new 'energy display' technologies that will allow workers to visualise their energy use and potentially identify areas where further savings could be made.
Project lead, Dr Alexa Spence said: "Obviously at home there is a financial incentive to save energy as well as what's termed the 'warm glow' environmental and moral imperative. We want to find out whether these incentives still apply when people reach their place of work and to look at which strategies are most successful in encouraging people to engage with their energy use."
The research, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will see the academics collaborating with industry experts including Arup and WilSon Energy, who conduct energy monitoring for companies and provide energy efficiency solutions to reduce companies' costs and their impact on the environment.
The researchers will be given access to some of the consultants' client base which will allow them to find out what workers are already doing to save energy, what would encourage them to be more energy efficient and decide the best way of motivating the workforce to make further savings.
Dr Spence said: "Energy is invisible and we often don't think about it. When we go to work we don't go there with the specific aim of using energy, we are far too busy thinking about doing
|Contact: Emma Thorne|
University of Nottingham