I have just started working at an energy consultancy firm. One of our missions is to create energy efficiency awareness in order to empower people to be more conscious about how they use energy and to make wise decisions. There’s a chart on the wall in our office that outlines energy efficiency initiatives and When I saw this clearly written, it hit me that I normally don’t pay much attention to energy consumption back in my house and from observations too, my neighbors also do not. I need to mention that I am not technical and I work in the finance department, but I have now developed an interest in energy.
Many times taps are left to run unchecked and water is obviously wasted, yet if there is no water for one or two days, we will be rushing to the caretaker demanding to know why. It got me thinking about what the root cause of this could possibly be and I asked myself a couple of questions?
• Is it because we don’t foot the water bills?
• Do we have a don’t care attitude perhaps?
• Is it an aspect of lack of knowledge?
The famous verse Hosea 4:6 that is often quoted on many occasions that that my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge comes to mind when I think about our water use and management.
Taking this into account, I realized that people need sensitization on efficient use of energy. The next question that comes to mind naturally is – what is this energy efficiency? Do people understand why we need it? Do they see it as a restriction on their use of resources?
And the answer to this is – of course not – It is actually a strategy to lower emissions and reduce energy use and costs. In order to make people understand, we need to have an awareness program in place. This involves identification of various ways through which people can be reached out to and the target audience.
I have gone further to think about some of the ways that can be used to reach out to people and these include
• Printed materials such as newsletters, memos, pamphlets
• Internet based communication platforms such as FaceBook and Twitter
• Public channels including displays and booths and other public communication systems
• Promotional items such as t-shirts, buttons and coffee mugs
The target audience for energy efficiency awareness is not limited to a specific audience and is applicable to everyone including:
• Building occupants
• Service providers/suppliers
• General public and local community
Creating energy efficiency awareness has additional benefits over and above saving money, and these includes:
• Increased stakeholder understanding of benefits of energy efficiency
• Behaviours learnt in workplace are transferred to home and community
• Empowering the community through savings
• A clean environment that is safe for all
• Enhanced reputation of your organization as a leader in environmental stewardship in the community
I encourage everyone to know that energy efficiency is beneficial to all of us and we all need to look around us, and check on different ways we can save energy and most importantly share the knowledge we have by creating awareness of this to others.
By Monica Ngage.