October marks Energy Awareness Month, and the nation is looking to the federal government to provide leadership in energy management and building optimization, energy resilience and security, and the use of advanced and distributed energy technologies.
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) helps agencies meet federal energy efficiency and renewable energy laws and requirements. Agencies are making tremendous progress toward these requirements by implementing energy- and water-management projects throughout the federal government.
Whether these projects are implemented campus-wide or in individual facilities, every action taken by hard-working employees in U.S. defense and civilian agencies contributes toward strengthening the security and resilience of our federal infrastructure.
Build Awareness in Your Agency
During Energy Awareness Month and throughout the year, FEMP recommends using these steps and resources to raise awareness of energy- and water-saving possibilities and support agencies' missions.
Step 1: Plan the Effort
- Define your agency’s mission and goals. Establish a direct relationship between saving energy and success in meeting these goals.
- Assess the constraints and opportunities of your facility. Evaluate energy use patterns based on your types of equipment, size of staff, hours of operation, and current levels of energy use. Use this information to ensure that you develop obtainable goals and plan activities well-suited to your organization’s needs.
- Determine the specific goals and objectives of your awareness program.
- Obtain upper management support. Ask a senior manager to serve as the facility’s energy champion to lend authority and endorse the program’s messages.
- Recruit enthusiastic and capable team members to serve on your planning committee.
- Assess your access to various communications channels (e.g., newsletters, closed-circuit TV, etc.) and program capability to produce printed materials, displays, videos, and handouts.
- Assess your financial resources and develop a preliminary budget.
- Examine existing links with institutional groups and others that can help promote your program.
- Consider an evaluation mechanism for gathering behavioral data and reporting program results.
Step 2: Design and Implement
- Solicit input from employees to develop program content via surveys, focus groups, and personal interviews.
- Identify the desired behaviors/actions and consider how you will motivate employees to take these actions, such as through incentives and awards.
- Develop motivational themes, messages, and slogans.
- Determine the communications channels you will use to convey your information (e.g., posters, videos, newsletters, exhibits).
- Select the activities or methods you will employ to distribute the messages/information.
- Develop a new budget specific to the products you plan to develop and the activities in which you plan to participate.
- Develop a schedule based on a specific timeframe (e.g., one fiscal year) to help you produce your products in plenty of time to carry out planned activities.
- Produce your visuals, products, and materials and conduct activities.
Step 3: Evaluate and Report Results
- Obtain employee feedback on the program’s effectiveness through focus groups and surveys. Consider a mid-course evaluation as well as a final evaluation.
- Document the energy and water savings. Share results based on measures implemented and employee achievements.
Step 4: Sustain the Effort
- Develop ways of introducing new employees to the program, such as an informational video, personal interview, or employee awareness handbook.
- Continue to implement your incentive and awards programs and publicly recognize employee accomplishments.
- Ask employees to pledge their commitment to specific personal actions or new events to promote and encourage ongoing participation.
- Recruit new members and conduct regular meetings with your planning committee. Continue to plan your program into the next year.
For inspiration about how your agency can save energy and water and meet your agency’s critical mission goals, see: