Stories & Features

Employees are a great resource for identifying savings

Image of a leak tag in use
Employees at Pacific Particulate Materials tag 7-9 leaks a month, with 3-5 of them being air, coolant or oil leaks. Most leaks are repaired within 1-3 days.

Emphasize teamwork – everyone doing one small part for a common goal

Your employees are your eyes and ears on the floor, able to alert you to energy waste or opportunities for savings. To build employee energy awareness and deliver energy savings, you need to do four things:

  • Inform employees why it's important to use energy more efficiently
  • Motivate them to change their behaviour by showing them how it will benefit them and the organization
  • Show them what changes to make
  • Give them the tools or knowledge to make the changes.

Engaging employees in energy conservation requires education about how energy may be wasted, and what it means to the company in terms of savings, efficiency, and living up to green commitments.

The goal with an employee awareness program is to maximize the potential energy savings that can be achieved through technological upgrades and process improvements. Neither of these tends to yield lasting results unless employees are aware of energy conservation, and are supportive of a company's energy management goals.

BC Hydro provides a number of free tools to help with employee engagement such as leak tag kits, downloadable posters and a step-by-step planning guide [PDF, 1.8 MB] that explains how to develop an energy awareness program at your facility.

Behavioural changes go beyond remembering to switch off lights and equipment, although those are important. Employees need to routinely operate equipment in its most efficient range, maintain equipment for peak performance, and keep an eye out for energy drains (i.e. leaks in compressed air systems).

Remember that when you ask people to change their behaviour, you're asking them to rethink ingrained habits and attitudes towards energy use.

To get started, enlist the help of a regional energy advisor

New Westminster's Pacific Particulate Materials (PPM) Ltd. is one company that successfully used leak tags to make energy conservation a priority among employees.

Ida Keung, regional energy manager at BC Hydro, first introduced Carlo Enage, a materials engineer at PPM, to the leak tag kit program in 2016. Employees at Pacific Particulate Materials now tag 7-9 leaks a month with 3-5 of them being air, coolant or oil leaks. Most leaks are repaired within 1-3 days.

The leak tag boards have been a great way for employees to report leaks and other maintenance related issues that are usually missed.

Engaging employees to fix air, oil and steam leaks can save thousands of dollars per year. To book a free energy consultation with a regional energy manager or to learn more about our employee engagement tools, contact the Business Help Desk: 604 522 4713 in the Lower Mainland or 1 866 522 4713 elsewhere in B.C.