How to become an Energy Conscious Organisation (EnCO)
Energy Services and Technology Association (ESTA) and The Energy Institute (EI) have developed a new behaviour change initiative, Energy Conscious Organisation (EnCO), where the urgency to deliver against its vision is becoming increasingly important. Start your journey towards becoming an Energy Conscious Organisation and reach your net-zero goals.
Why is this initiative necessary?
A significant part of the solution for organisations (as well as the UK Government) to meet the UK’s 2050 net zero target is the – still largely ignored – focus on behaviour change.
Evidence suggests that behaviour change offers around 50% of the total potential energy efficiency savings available. The other 50% comes from technology and yet, as important as it is, technology currently gets the majority of the focus. A shift in focus is required, and soon, to ensure that the ‘hidden’ and largely untapped savings available from behaviour change are realised. Behaviour change, in terms of energy consumption, is about eliciting targeted behaviours by framing choices in a way that makes them more environmentally friendly and efficient choices become easier to make. Creating a dynamic system between technology and behaviour, rather than viewing them as separate entities is an important part of the intervention, and of being an EnCO. For example, organisations need to consider technology optimisation on an ongoing basis rather than just at the commissioning stage. This change will maximise efficiency at relatively low cost. Previous experience has shown us that behaviour change projects require relatively low investment, even including the cost of internal resources. One major difference to consider, compared to purely technical projects, is that the savings are not necessarily delivered overnight but instead typically take 4-12 months to be fully adopted and for savings to be measurable. This requires an adjustment in expectations, as well as ongoing resource input (however low-level) to maintain and improve energy saving opportunities. Our ambition is to excite people to challenge the norm, and to encourage mass adoption of energy efficiency good practice through more energy efficient behaviours and embracing the delivery of holistic large scale behaviour change programmes.
What is an EnCO?
An Energy Conscious Organisation is one who has employed behaviour change principles to make significant improvements across the following five pillars:
- Engagement - Very high levels of engagement at every level of organisation on energy management including top management practices, significant users and all colleagues. All levels enthused and taking positive action.
- Alertness - High levels of alertness/awareness across the organisation in eliminating energy waste, mechanisms to register waste with clearly delegated responsibilities and practical responses regularly actioned.
- Skills - Top management, practitioners and significant users are fully skilled in their energy management roles. Commitment to continual learning and up-skilling is demonstrated by ongoing investment in education, competency and training.
- Recognition - The benefits and co-benefits of energy management are widely recognized, and data systems track savings against robust energy targets. Those making savings are routinely recognised and celebrated.
- Adaption - The organisation positively expects and embraces change, adapting and responding to minimise risk and maximise opportunities in a timely way to maintain continual improvement in energy management.
EnCO’s are recognisable with the mark “EnCO Registered Organisation” which has the following advantages:
- The progress achieved is externally verified recognition by experts and approved by ESTA and the Energy Institute
- The EnCO registration and logo (valid for 3 years) demonstrates good practice to shareholders, regulators, stakeholders and employees
- The method and approach sustains and improves energy consumption reductions and brings cost savings
- The programme partners will be engaging proactively to gain greater recognition and subsequent opportunities to gain access to work frameworks as a result of holding the accreditation
- Becoming part of the wider EnCO community to enable sharing of good practice
- Reduction in fees for EnCO courses
- Improved ability to attract new talent to the organisation
- A stimulus for continual improvement