Energy data dashboards have grown to be a popular business accessory in recent years. The premise is that if you’re shown a visual representation of the reality of your energy consumption, you’ll suddenly feel motivated to alter your energy habits. This is in spite of the fact you’re likely to be aware of green topics already (like rising energy bills and carbon emissions) but are overloaded with a thousand responsibilities that relate more directly to your job role. While cloud-based interfaces do represent a welcome advancement in technology and help to simplify a vastly overlooked element of our daily working lives, companies risk losing investment unless they do something with this bit of kit.
And herein lies the problem, the interactivity of an inanimate dashboard can’t compare with a colleague; we need the human element when it comes to energy monitoring. A dashboard does allow users to monitor their energy uses, but it’s a passive state, you monitor, you are not compelled to control, care or action. If your company had an appointed Energy Saving Champion, it would be their entire job role to produce measurable results, change human behaviour in regard to energy usage.
Critics cite ‘style over substance’ when it comes to the colourful and technical sheen of a dashboard and there is a danger that such accessibility leads to complacency because there’s nothing compelling anybody to act. Ideally, a company should fuse clean tech and behavioural habits because there’s little point in carefully examining an issue, putting a procedure in place and then having other people let you down. As energy monitoring clean-tech hasn’t been in circulation for very long, it remains our job to put technology to the best use and not just fork out in the hope that having the right equipment will mean a boost in environmental achievement. As much as we might see certain developments as the domain of the younger generation, it’s up to every single industry professional to ensure the way they work is sustainable and adaptive to a technological age.
Is there a Corporate Social Responsibility business model at your company? Frameworks like these should be a mandatory requirement for any operating business in a modern era as they provide a basis for measuring your changes; the difference between merely monitoring your energy usage and controlling it.
If you want your business to behave in an eco-conscious way, whether it’s for company profit or for the greater good, designate somebody to begin leading by example and see real results on your bills and green rankings.