Over a third (36%) of UK workers are more likely to waste energy in the workplace than at home according to research out today from Opus Energy, a leading independent supplier of electricity to UK businesses. Indeed male workers were shown to be the worst culprits in contrast to their female counterparts.
The research, which surveyed 1,140 working adults, found that despite people taking proactive energy saving steps at home, such as switching off lights and not overfilling the kettle, when it came to the office they tended to ignore these steps. Worryingly, one in five workers say that they are not taking any steps at all to be more environmentally responsible in the workplace.
By looking at simple energy saving techniques that can be used both at home and work, the Opus Energy survey found that there was significant inconsistency in people’s behaviour. For example, whilst 74% of workers unplug their phone charger at home after use, just 30% do this in the workplace. Over two thirds of workers (69%) are also more likely to overfill the kettle when making a cup of tea for colleagues, despite over 80% taking being cautious not to when at home.
At home, 91% of people were careful to ensure that lights were switched off when not in use; however at work just 56% thought to do this. Similarly, workers are 20% less likely to switch appliances off at the mains overnight in their workplace than at home. Whilst larger offices do not always allow workers to switch lights off, this does not excuse the third of workers who continue to leave individual appliances such as computer monitors switched on but not in use.
For the most part, female workers were marginally more likely to take energy saving steps at home and at work than men. For example in the home, 79% of women said they unplugged their phone, compared with 71% of men. In the workplace, 41% of women were cautious not to overfill the kettle, whilst just 34% of men claimed they also took this energy saving step.
This increased diligence in energy saving at home may be caused in part by being responsible for the energy bills each month. Despite threats of global warming, without the direct financial impact of energy bills to incentivise in the workplace, employees seem unwilling to take responsibility for their electricity consumption.
Louise Boland, Director for Opus Energy who is in charge of renewable energy sourcing commented on the findings:
“It could be the case that employees feel less pressure to be green at work because they are not directly accountable for the energy bills each month. Companies that wish to reduce their carbon emissions and cut costs should encourage their workforce to ensure they take basic steps towards saving energy. Switching off PCs overnight and using double sided photocopies and printouts are just a few of the ways UK businesses can be more energy efficient, as well make financial savings.”
Opus Energy works with UK businesses to help them reduce their carbon footprint by sourcing cleaner fuel and offering energy efficient technology, such as smart meters. Its website has tips for simple steps to achieve energy savings in the workplace. Opus Energy specialises in providing cleaner electricity at lower prices to UK businesses. Last year, 66% of its energy came from cleaner low-carbon sources - 47% from renewable generators and 19% from cleaner Combined Heat and Power (CHP) produced by CHP generators.
About Opus Energy
Opus Energy is a independent supplier of electricity offering tailor-made solutions for the UK SME and corporate markets. Its market-leading innovations are driven by customer needs and the company is committed to helping businesses become more environmentally responsible through procurement of energy from cleaner sources.