It's not enough to change residential behavior. Utilities need to change office behavior too



Quick Take:  A new report from the United Kingdom suggests that energy wastefulness occurs much more often in offices than in homes. British consumers (and, I suspect, consumers everywhere) work much harder to save the energy they pay for than the energy provided by their employers.


Europe approaches energy efficiency not just as a cost-saver, but also as a way to reach carbon-reduction targets. The report implies that the UK will not be able to meet its goals unless it learns to modify consumer behavior at work as well as at home.


I believe utilities everywhere may discover the same thing. In the U.S., Pulse Energy and several other firms specialize in helping utilities implement successful energy efficiency programs for commercial customers. But most firms -- market leader OPower, Tendril, Aclara -- spend the bulk of their efforts on residential customers. This report suggests they may want to expand their horizons. - By Jesse Berst


Today Rexel UK launched its research into energy behaviour across the UK. The report reveals a ‘split personality’ amongst UK consumers when it comes to their energy usage. Results found a split personality amongst consumers, who are more likely to use energy in the office than at home. Also, worryingly they are changing their behaviour and actively looking to charge devices in the office to save money on their personal energy bills.


With the ever-increasing cost of energy, this behavioural pattern will inevitably continue. With the average office worker spending the majority of their week in work a huge percentage of the UK’s energy consumption is taking place in the nation’s offices. To reach the UK’s carbon reduction target of 80% by 2050, long-term and mass behavioural change is needed not just in the home, but in all aspects of peoples’ lives.


  • Only 20% of consumers would say that they are energy conscious in the workplace compared to almost 50% at home.
  • Over 70% of consumers say they are concerned about wasting energy at home, only 43% worry about wastage at work.
  • 60% of employees actively charge personal devices at work.
  • Only 60% turn off the lights in the office compared to 93% at home.