Welcome to save@work - helping offices to save energy and cut carbon.

  • Monday 13 February 17 /

    "Quiz buzz", the third save@work challenge in Hungary

    The Hungarian partner, GreenDependent Institute, compiled an "office energy saving quiz" for the Energy Teams and other employees of the competing buildings, and announced it as the third save@work challenge. Since everybody likes quizzes, we were sure that it will be a success... and we were right! The challenge consisted of two parts: first, the members of each Energy Team had to fill in one quiz together, then the Energy Teams had to encourage their own colleagues to do the same – this time individually, possibly creating a little event around it. While for the first part the focus was on how many answers the Energy Teams got right, in the second part the organisers did not check how well the quizzes were filled in (we left this task to the Energy Teams) but instead we put the emphasis on the creativeness and successfulness of the promotion activity within the buildings. The…

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  • Is It Worth It?
    Friday 06 January 17 /

    Is It Worth It?

    Guest blog from Dave Bailey, a member of the Save@Work energy team at Telford Land Registry. We had a question submitted to us recently about our asking staff to turn off monitors not only when you leave work, but also when you are only leaving your desk for a few minutes. Monitors these days are pretty energy efficient, so how much difference does it really make, and is it worth all the effort we’ve put into going on about it all the time? Well, we did the maths and we’ve come to the following conclusion (drumroll please): No, it isn’t really…if you’re only talking about 1 monitor. Here’s the basic breakdown of what we found: On standby (when the power light glows orange) our Dell monitors’ power usage is just an impressive 1 watt (according to CNET). Energy usage is measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). 1 kWh is equal to…

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  • Midterm Motivation Meeting in Latvia
    Friday 16 December 16 /

    Midterm Motivation Meeting in Latvia

    To meet up, share experiences, boost enthusiasm and simply have a good time, a motivation meeting for all Latvian Save@Work participants was held on the 3rd of November this year. The event was hosted by Tukums municipality Council energy team. To kick things off, the teams looked at the overall energy saving results and were given awards for the most active participants. There were 5 categories: Film star Twitter activist Most accurate participant Most responsive participant Most knowledgeable energy team. No need to be sad for those outside the winning circle – all participants were winners as altogether Latvian teams had reached an excellent midterm energy saving result! Therefore, Save@Work cake for everyone!     After the small award ceremony all participants were divided in mixed-up teams to share and discuss their experiences in the competition so far. Each team discussed and later presented one of 3 following topics: Project…

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  • Fuels of the Future
    Monday 12 December 16 /

    Fuels of the Future

    With a rise in the number of cars on the road in the UK alongside the depletion of fossil fuels, we’re going to have to start thinking outside the box of how to power our vehicles. We trawled the web to find some of the more eccentric fuel options out there – some of which are already available! 1 Chip fat Most diesel cars on our roads can be powered by chip fat without the need for it to be converted. The fuel is cheaper than diesel, performs similarly and produces less CO2 emissions. There are a number of companies in the UK which run their cars on vegetable oils including bus companies, car rental companies and many garages now also stock the fuel. 2 Chocolate Sweet success was made by scientists at the University of Warwick who created a Formula 3 race car which runs on biodiesel derived from…

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  • Hand dryer savings
    Monday 05 December 16 /

    Hand dryer savings

    Energy savings do not always come from using less. We thought we’d share some experiences from our own offices to see if you may be able to make similar savings! A couple of years ago, Severn Wye Energy Agency installed equipment that will actually increase electricity consumption, but results in reduced waste, cost and carbon emissions. It was decided to look at the overall impact of the paper hand towels that were used at our Highnam office in terms of waste, cost and carbon. The first two were relatively easy to calculate. The hand towels cost £330 to £380 to purchase a year and create around 50 bags of physical waste. The carbon impact was more difficult to calculate with the estimates ranging from a single hand towel being equivalent to 6 to 15.5 grams of CO2. It was decided to be conservative and assume one paper hand towel was…

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  • Energy Myth-busting
    Thursday 01 December 16 /

    Energy Myth-busting

    Do chargers use energy when plugged in but not connected to the device? Can Clingfilm really help keep heat in on your windows? We’ve set out to bust some of the most common energy myths lurking on the World Wide Web.   Myth – When devices are turned off they are off Fact – Despite turning an appliance off, many continue to consume power, sometimes up to 20% of the energy they use when they’re on! We call this ‘standby power’. A surprising number of electricals cannot be switched off completely without unplugging them. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a typical household wastes around £30 a year leaving devices plugged in or on standby. Be wary of the transformer, they are shockers for using energy when the appliance is no longer on. If you want to turn it off, turn it off at the socket!   Myth – Chargers…

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  • Top Team dishes out Top Tips
    Wednesday 16 November 16 /

    Top Team dishes out Top Tips

    Looking for some motivation as we approach the half way stage of the Save@Work campaign? The Telford Land Registry offices share their success through launching a monthly Energy Saving Competition in their local intranet magazine, Parkside Post. Launched at the beginning of October, Telford based the competition on two actions to help their building in the wider Save@Work competition – turning off monitors when not in use and registering for the Green Clicks tool on the Save@Work website. Currently, the office has 451 computer monitors in use. During a random check of team monitors across the office, they found that 64 were left on overnight, 14% of the monitors currently in use! The figure varied across teams from only 4% of one team’s monitors being left on through to 67% in another area. It’s a really quick and easy win; every colleague can make a different to energy consumption by…

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  • Beyond the midterm - sharing experiences in Budapest
    Wednesday 16 November 16 /

    Beyond the midterm - sharing experiences in Budapest

    October in Budapest brought around a Save@Work midterm event, inviting along all of the Hungarian Energy Teams. The event aimed to boost enthusiasm of the teams after the summer break and to carry this beyond the midterm of the competition. At the event, the Energy Teams were encouraged to share their experiences. One member from the municipality of Tata recounted his battles with phantom colleagues to close windows in corridors when the heating is on, and how their Energy Team secretly turned down the faucets under the sinks to reduce water flow and prevent excessive use of hot water. At the same time they bought desk lamps; reorganised the areas around printers to encourage separate collection of paper waste; and have been rewarding all colleagues with Save@Work gifts, even those which are not heavily engaged with saving energy, with the idea that they develop a bad conscience prompting them to…

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  • Telford Land Registry office set up their own climate change resources library
    Tuesday 04 October 16 /

    Telford Land Registry office set up their own climate change resources library

    The Telford Land Registry save@work team have really taken the spirit of the project to heart and gone one step further by setting up their own library of climate change and environmental books and resources for staff to borrow and share. The inspiration of Clare and Maria, it even has Open University Climate Change module books for those who are interested in looking at the impacts of climate change and the science behind it in greater detail. They are keen to help their colleagues understand the infinitely bigger picture of what it means to reduce carbon emissions.   However, if you’d rather watch than read they have a couple of DVD’s, you can choose from…   Age of Stupid (Spanner Films 2009) www.ageofstupid.net Starring Pete Postlethwaite as a man living in the devastated future world of 2055, looking back at old footage from our time and asking: why didn't we…

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  • Genesis of an Energy Team and the #Alloraspengo project
    Friday 30 September 16 /

    Genesis of an Energy Team and the #Alloraspengo project

    It’s August 2015 on a hot and busy summer afternoon an email arrives from AESS (the Italian save@work coordinator) inviting us to participate in the new save@work project. On reading the objectives of the project I thought it looked good but the doubts started to creep in; how will we get colleagues involved without coming across as annoying; how will we avoid triggering arguments that don’t go anywhere? We decide to stake everything on the energy team: this way the "corridor" work starts, it is here that we meet between appointments, asking colleagues already sensitive to the energy saving issue to join us and get involved in this project. And so our atypical energy team was born; we talk about the activities to be implemented and we have a lot of fun! From the beginning, we made the decision that each team member will only do that which he or…

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  • Just a bit of fun - electrical appliances that look like people!
    Thursday 01 September 16 /

    Just a bit of fun - electrical appliances that look like people!

    Ever been tired, or feeling slightly dazed and you look over at the clock and swear it is looking straight back at you? You’re not alone – Pareidolia is the term used when a “vague and random stimulus is perceived as significant”, or more commonly, when you see face-like patterns in inanimate objects. We’ve had a bit of fun collating some images of expressional electrical appliances and sockets, and thought it would be fun to share some of them with you. Have a scroll and see if you can see them yourself! Got any in your office? Why not send them over to Zoë at the Severn Wye office and we can pop up a post of our favourites. Enjoy!   This cross alarm clock:   These sockets:   This poorly washing machine:   This surprised mixer:   This zoned out iron:   This loud oven: 

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  • It's all about heading EAST
    Tuesday 23 August 16 /

    It's all about heading EAST

    Changing our behaviour is not easy – we are creatures of habit and like to do things the way we always have. The Triandis theory explains that it isn’t just habit that affects our behaviour in the office but that social factors and emotions also have an important influence. The Save@Work team in Belgium invited a keynote speaker who taught them that you can influence behaviour with four simple principles: make it Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely (EAST). Five months later, we are curious to see how the Belgium energy teams have put this theory into practice...   Easy We know that small, seemingly irrelevant, details can make a task more challenging and can make all the difference between doing something now or putting it off. If you want dog owners to clean up their dog’s mess, don’t just put up a sign telling them to do it, add bags to…

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  • Switching Off
    Thursday 28 July 16 /

    Switching Off

    What savings have you been able to identify during the Save@Work project? Now I know that you are all technically in competition with one another but we thought this was probably just too good not to share! During an energy survey of their building, the Birkenhead Land Registry energy team identified a rather excessive amount of lighting in the office reception foyer. The area was lit by 23 spotlights, 12 strip lights, 1 light circle shade, 2 lights in the porch and one illuminated logo. It was revealed that the lights were left on simply “out of habit” with one member of staff even commenting that they “would not have them on at home”. The team looked into what the lighting levels for this area needed to be and realised that there were potential energy savings to be made simply by turning off any unnecessary lighting. The issue was raised…

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  • Energy-saving extravaganza at Tempelhof-Kreuzberg local court in Berlin
    Monday 18 July 16 /

    Energy-saving extravaganza at Tempelhof-Kreuzberg local court in Berlin

    Over a hundred people turned up to an energy saving extravaganza at the Tempelhof-Kreuzberg local court in Berlin to enjoy a banquet of food, good company and engaging exhibitions. On July 8th 2016, the district court energy team in Berlin invited all their staff to attend their “Energie tanken, zum Energie sparen” (Recharge energy, to save energy) courtyard festival as part of the Save@Work project. To open the event, Dr. Christian Kunz, the local court president, delivered a speech stressing the importance of a motivated staff force when achieving energy saving goals in the workplace. Following this, everyone was invited to help themselves to the BBQ and the delicious spread of home-made food available whilst browsing a variety of information stands on energy saving and how to lead an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Some of these exhibits included a waste-bike illustrating how best to recycle (Friends of the Earth), a display…

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  • Treat yourself to a little piece of chocolate heaven
    Monday 04 July 16 /

    Treat yourself to a little piece of chocolate heaven

    This Thursday, 7th July, is World Chocolate Day – a perfect excuse to tuck into that yummy bar of chocolate magic.  Rarely, however, when sitting down with a cuppa to enjoy our treat do we consider the cocoa farming industry – I mean, why would we? Just to give a flavour though, across the world, around six million people depend on cocoa farming for their livelihoods; 90% of our global cocoa supply comes from small family farms. Cocoa is grown in the tropical environments of Africa, Asia and Latin America with Cote d’Ivoire being the largest producing country, generating 40% of the global supply! These areas are ideal for cocoa growth blessed with desirable hot, rainy and tropical climates hosting an array of lush vegetation to shade the cocoa trees. Growing cocoa isn’t all that easy, however. Cocoa plants are very delicate and sensitive to the elements of wind, sunlight,…

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  • Communicating Climate Change
    Friday 17 June 16 /

    Communicating Climate Change

    For many years scientists have been trying to “sell” us the impacts of climate change – the problem is, many people still aren’t buying. Although widespread attention has been given to the threats of climate change and the impacts it is likely to have around the world, this hasn’t held us back from running headlong towards it. With a recent resurgence in denial despite the science behind it becoming increasingly more solid and unquestionable than ever, perhaps it is no longer just a scientific problem but more of a communication problem. Communicating climate change to colleagues can appear very daunting, for many people it simply isn’t on their radar, it can so often mean encountering indifference or even mistrust. We need to learn how to sell the ‘sizzle’! We have taken some tips from a report by sustainability and communication consultancy, Futerra on how to go about communicating a clear…

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  • What a waste
    Wednesday 08 June 16 /

    What a waste

    Today is World Oceans Day, an annual event celebrating our oceans and raising awareness of their important role in our lives. This year’s theme is Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet, focusing on taking action to prevent plastic pollution in our oceans. We know that plastic can cause distressing problems for both wildlife and water quality – did you know one million sea birds and 100,000 marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans (Ecowatch, 2014)! As plastic biodegrades into even smaller particles (Trash Travels estimate it can take 20 years for plastic bags to decompose and up to 450 years for plastic bottles) it attracts toxins and can even enter the food chain. Plastic can also be harmful to humans – plastic chemicals, such as BPA, can be absorbed by the body, and compounds in plastic have been found to alter hormones or have other potential human health effects.…

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  • Does saving energy turn you off? Energy team in Latvia investigate…
    Friday 03 June 16 /

    Does saving energy turn you off? Energy team in Latvia investigate…

    All participating municipalities in Latvia were visited before the competition started to raise awareness and skills of the Energy Team members in order to achieve energy savings in their buildings. Working in groups, the first task was to look at what the barriers might be to making energy savings. Once these had been identified, each team brainstormed as to how these barriers might be overcome – how they could motivate their colleagues to change their ways. One member from each team then had to present their best ideas to the rest of the workshop attendee’s after which everyone had to vote on the best options. Interestingly, most of the barriers suggested were behavioural rather than financial or technological aspects, especially forgetfulness and motivation: Behavioural.aspects Forgetfulness (8), motivation (6), unwillingness & indifference (5), lack of time (5), I do not pay for it (5), lack of information about EE measures (5), unaware…

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  • A buzzing dilemma for Swedish Energy Team
    Tuesday 31 May 16 /

    A buzzing dilemma for Swedish Energy Team

    The city hall sits in the centre of the town warmed by morning summer temperatures of around 10 degrees. This beautiful scene, however, is accompanied by a humming sound around the bike racks at the staff entrance. Could this be a swarm of bees? Sadly no, it is the sound of our building’s air conditioning unit. With the basement for the hall reaching temperatures of 30 degrees, and even warmer on the 3rd floor, the needs and conditions for the building are controlled by an intelligent energy management system and it is occasionally necessary to have both cooling and heating systems in some rooms. An energy team member questions “can I demand to have 18 degrees in my room when my colleague next door wishes to work in around 24 degrees? Is it our decision to choose or is it simply ignorance about how the ‘sneaky knobs’ which regulate the…

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  • Simple changes you can make at home that will save energy and money
    Thursday 19 May 16 /

    Simple changes you can make at home that will save energy and money

    The difference that one small change can make is often negligible. However when that change is made alongside a whole host of other simple changes, the difference can be much more visible – especially when those small changes make such a big difference to your energy bills. Taking action to save energy in the home doesn’t have to be expensive. Whilst there are lots of measures you might be able to install – such as new boilers, solid wall or cavity wall insulation, whole heating system replacements or floor insulation – which do cost a lot of money, there are plenty of low-cost and no-cost actions you can take, too. Taking simple steps to cut energy bills around your own home can save you hundreds of pounds. From draught-proofing your property, through to ensuring electrical items aren’t left on, there is plenty that people can do. Check out our energy…

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  • Saving energy from redundant printers
    Thursday 05 May 16 /

    Saving energy from redundant printers

    An interesting discovery was made during the Graz workshops with regards to the energy consumption of redundant printers. Many of the devices are left switched on during the night and over the weekend for one reason only – to allow for the delivery of fax messages. How then do we avoid wasting energy from printers when they are not being used? Simply turning the devices is not an option, as this will prevent any fax messages from being delivered. How about redirecting the faxes to a central device? This, however, would be an increase in effort for staff. The solution was simple and feasible – to establish a digital fax-position. This allows for faxes to be delivered to the server rather than to multifunction printers. The fax-number will remain the same and the faxes are sent directly to the workstation. That’s how energy efficiency works!

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  • Hidden energy savings and secret myths…
    Friday 29 April 16 /

    Hidden energy savings and secret myths…

    The energy teams are set up in the southeast of Sweden and most of them have already started to save energy and encourage their colleagues to join them. Most of the participating buildings are averaged sized office buildings, the largest has 250 employees but there are also smaller offices taking part with staff of between 8-10 people. It will be interesting to follow; will having a smaller number of employees make it easier to engage all staff and encourage them to take up new energy saving routines and behaviour, rather than having an office with more people? The competition spirit is high. Elvira Laneborg, the energy team leader in Mörbylånga says: “The campaign is a fun method of getting people, the staff in the buildings, to talk about energy behaviour and routines. The challenge will be to keep the interest going throughout the year. We will meet this challenge with…

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  • The Power of Chocolate
    Friday 01 April 16 /

    The Power of Chocolate

    And so it begins…the competition to crown one of our 20 participating buildings as energy saving champion, has started. A number of the UK participating buildings belong to the Land Registry and competition between them is fierce, each one of them wanting to beat the others. Every participating building has an initial training workshop at which each team gets the opportunity to have a bit of a brainstorm and think about what sort of activities they want to run but as a witness to the discussion I am sworn to secrecy and not allowed to pass on one buildings ideas to another. They tell me they are just joking but I’m not so sure…!Because the Land Registry offices are located all over England and Wales, it hasn’t been possible to do a single starting event and so each office has been given a sum of money that they can use…

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  •  Hunt to find partner municipalities
    Thursday 30 July 15 /

    Hunt to find partner municipalities

    The hunt is now on to find partner municipalities and their buildings to take part in the project. In France, Prioriterre is working with Conseil Departemental of Haute-Savoie who, already in the throes of implementing an internal energy action plan saw the benefit of introducing a behavioural change element to their work, something that they had not at that point considered.The UK had an early supporter of the project in the form of Ceredigion Council in Wales who were also keen to implement a behavioural change programme to complement the work they had already done on assessing the energy usage of their buildings. Finding another municipality, however, that has several buildings to take part has been more of a challenge.Hungary on the other hand, came across quite a different problem in that they had anticipated each participating municipality including 4-5 buildings in the project. Unfortunately however, as the result of…

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