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eneral office equipment can be responsible for a significant proportion of overall electrical energy consumption in UK offices and this is predicted to rise significantly over the coming years [Webber, C. A., Roberson, J. A., Brown, R. E., Payne, C. T., Nordman, B., & Koomey, J. G. (2001). Field surveys of office equipment operating patterns. Berkley: CA: Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory]. As a significant contributor to overall energy use, this equipment has a corresponding cost and carbon impact. The legally binding requirements of the climate change act [Department of Energy and Climate Change. (2008 Department of Energy and Climate Change. (2008). The climate change act. London: The Ministry of Justice. [Google Scholar]). The climate change act. London: The Ministry of Justice] present a need to address the impact of office equipment, especially within the less-efficient existing building stock. In this study the range of energy consumption patterns observed across workstations in two typical UK, air-conditioned office spaces covering 90 desks and the potential effect of using feedback to encourage energy reduction through behaviour change are explored. The project monitored energy consumption over a four-month baseline period. Taking into account technical, behavioural and environmental influences this baseline established that a significant variation in consumption patterns exists between workstations providing the same function, in comparable locations and over the same period of time. Following the establishment of the baseline data further monitoring took place to assess the effect of behaviour change interventions through the provision of comparative feedback. The core driver behind the variation in consumption identified was found to be occupant behaviour over technical and environmental considerations. The study establishes that it is possible to reduce energy use, carbon emissions and cost associated with desk-level electricity consumption by up to 20% through behaviour change in typical UK office spaces. Further savings are possible through energy management and procurement policy, but behaviour change offers significant initial reductions for limited investment.
Mulville, M., Jones, K. & Huebner, G. (2014). The potential for energy reduction in UK commercial offices through effective management and behaviour change. Journal of Architectural Engineering and Design Management, Vol. 10, 1-2, pp.79-90, 2014. doi:10.1080/17452007.2013.837250