U.S. Green Building Council
I hear people say it all the time: “Buildings don’t use energy, people do.” So then I ask myself: Why has the idea of engaging with building occupants fallen by the wayside?...Despite the fact that it’s one of the most cost-effective ways to minimize energy consumption and save money? I wish I could provide a simple answer to that question, but the reality is that influencing occupants to modify their behavior to meet the sustainability goals of a building and/or an organization is far from straightforward. It requires an understanding of the actions people perform and even more importantly, the motivation behind those actions. Sounds easy, right?
|Less power, more occupant empowerment.|
Photo credit: Public Domain Photos
Pilot Credit 59: Occupant Engagement requires two main components:
- Consumption feedback: Inform occupants about the actual energy consumption of the building and/or their workspace and provide a relevant comparison point
- Occupant empowerment: Implement and maintain an occupant engagement program that includes education, empowerment and feedback components
Introducing this concept as a pilot credit allows us to leverage both project team and market feedback to directly inform whether the credit’s requirements are effective or if they should be modified to better accomplish the stated intent.
So, let’s hear from you. Have you recently implemented an occupant engagement program focused on energy efficiency? What strategies did you find effective? What barriers kept your program from achieving its goals?