The Evolution of Energy Efficiency Practice:
Insights from Leading Practice in the UK Real Estate Sector
Presentation at the First Australian Summer Study on Energy Efficiency and Decentralised Energy
Manly Beach, Sydney, 29 February - 2 March 2012.
What are the leading practices that managers use to accelerate the uptake of energy efficiency initiatives? How and why have these practices evolved from a focus on technical matters to include wider acknowledgement of the importance of interpersonal influence and organisational change strategies? What’s next?
This presentation draws on interviews conducted with managers in UK real estate firms that have demonstrated significant energy efficiency improvement over the past decade. The firms represented are also members of the London Better Buildings Partnership. The interviews form part of a wider PhD study by the author into the evolution and diffusion of energy efficiency practice across Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The presentation begins with an historical perspective that highlights changing perceptions of the value of energy efficiency by internal and external organisational stakeholders. It then describes how the managers that were interviewed have used heightened stakeholder interest to build senior management support, attract resources, engage with tenants and deliver energy efficiency improvement in their firms.
The research provides new perspectives on barriers to the uptake of energy efficiency such as ‘split incentives’ and the ‘energy efficiency information gap’ by highlighting the interpersonal influence and organisational strategies that practitioners can use to build support for and progress energy efficiency improvement in the commercial sector and beyond.