Carbon Management

Mottisfont Court – proving that turning off cuts costs

Staff have reduced their energy use by 23%, cutting the building’s annual energy bill by 8%, just by making small changes to their normal office routine.

The pilot study at Mottisfont Court – one of the County Council’s buildings in Winchester - tested practical, realistic and effective energy saving initiatives. Staff participation was ensured by training a network of 12 Energy Saving Champions.

Changes they made included:

  • labelling light switches to prevent switching lights on unnecessarily

  • using artificial lighting only when daylight is insufficient

  • adopting a ‘last out switches lights off’ policy

  • targeted use of desk lamps when staff numbers occupying a room decreases

  • switching off electrical appliances when not required

  • raising staff awareness about the building’s heating and cooling systems

  • restricting the use of portable heaters and fans

  • regulating room temperatures using heating controls and by shutting doors and windows

  • reporting building defects, such as draughts or heating problems, as soon as possible

Steve Hall, Hampshire County Council’s Senior Engineering Manager, explained: “We decided to use this study to find out how much impact we could make on the energy consumption of a building by changing staff behaviour alone.

“We know that approximately 30% of the building’s total electrical use is accounted for by small equipment and lights – things that individual staff can control.

“We only did things that any caretaker or site manager could do. We simply challenged the levels of heating and ventilation, and altered the controls to reflect occupancy times and weather conditions.

“Energy Saving Champions became the advocates for energy saving, encouraging others to make the small changes that can make a big difference. As well as asking staff to do their bit, other opportunities to reduce energy use were also identified

“We asked staff to make a particular effort to turn equipment and lights off when they weren’t needed, explaining that we would monitor the energy saving. In the first three months, staff reduced energy used by small equipment and lights by 28%. This knocked 8% off the overall energy bill.”

More information

If you would like to find out more, email energy@hants.gov.uk