When an employee switches on a light in Building 270 at Boeing’s site in St. Louis, energy managers want him or her to know how that simple action could have a big impact on energy use.
“Part of the education about energy use was to tell employees that if a person came to work on Saturday and turned on the lights, it turned on the lights and the heating or air-conditioning system for the entire floor,” said Bryan Kury, senior manager for Boeing’s conservation efforts. “One person working eight hours on a Saturday could use enough energy to power 250 homes.”
Kury believes helping employees see the connection between their behavior and a building’s energy profile and costs is a big reason for the success of the initiative, which reduced energy consumption in the building by more than 12 percent in 2011 and reduced utility costs by $100,000. The 520,000-square-foot (48,310-square-meter) office building has more than 2,000 occupants.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the achievement in 2012 by awarding Building 270 the first ENERGY STAR certification at the St. Louis site.
The building’s energy management team and an Employee Involvement team worked together to design a plan to reduce electricity and water consumption by, in part, adjusting employee, maintenance, housekeeping and system schedules, including:
The energy plan includes separating the building’s energy management systems by zones and sections to improve overall efficiency.
“The initiative works in part because we have helped make energy consumption more visible,” said Christopher Van Gels, a senior manager for site operations. “People who work later hours or want to work weekends see the changes; the building’s lights and air go off at a certain time. It’s not behind-the-scenes maintenance.”
Kury agrees and said employee feedback has been positive. “I think our communication and education efforts have helped people understand that turning off a light not in use can help us cut costs and be more competitive, while helping the environment. It’s a big part of the program’s ongoing success.”