Take a second to think about the word ‘building’. The first things that will come to mind are probably bricks, mortar, metal, glass, ... We tend to see buildings as a combination of building materials. That’s why people often want to solve energy challenges with the same technical point of view by using materials and installations. However, that’s not enough. The efforts for saving energy need to be part of a mindset within your entire organsation.
Cut energy costs during winter? More insulation.
Cut back on gas usage? Install smart thermostats.
Use less electricity? Add solar panels.
Yes; insulation, alternative energy sources, and smart thermostats are must-haves. We won’t argue with that. However, none of these individual solutions will solve the energy crisis as a whole. Energy saving needs to become a way of thinking in your entire organisation. Only then will you be able to reap the results of your individual energy investments.
They say the whole is greater than the sum of the parts, and no less is true for energy saving. But how can one change a mindset? Let’s see what we can learn from behavioral science and how technology will help you implement it.
Traditionally, policies and initiatives aimed at convincing people to be more energy efficient, stake a lot on internal awareness campaigns that demonstrate monetary savings. However, studies worldwide have proved something else: the motivation to be more virtuous than thy’s neighbor or competitor may be even greater than the prospect of lower bills. According to behavioral science, social pressure is extremely powerful.
The nudge theory had the definitive crowning in 2017. It relates to the idea that soft and indirect suggestions can influence behavior with the same effect as laws, commands, or forced fulfillment. The American economist Richard Thaler received the Nobel Prize for his contributions. He "built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making.”
His ground-breaking research wasn’t limited to economics: he included climate change challenges in histist of nudge applications. That’s interesting, because it shows that energy savings driven by changed behavior are far more future-proof than the purely technical innovations. The real magic happens when social culture meets technical innovation.
Picture a technical installation that unites different stakeholders within an organisation and helps them collaborate to achieve their shared energy goals. Imagine a system of systems that compiles several installations managed by different people and departments and makes the systems and the people behind them work together. Together, they’ll achieve more.
A Building Operating System (BOS) like ICONICS can be the technical translation of a changing energy mindset when it’s used correctly. When everyone shares the same mindset. When people start collaborating across departments and even buildings to implement the changes that are needed.
In such an environment, a BOS will convert all this goodwill and all individual efforts into a tangible action plan using centralised data from all over the building: think building management systems, lighting, HVAC, IoT sensors, 4G controller, etc. A BOS can be the technical manifestation of a joined mindset of energy saving.
Interested to find out how ICONICS software can benefit your organisation’s energy saving strategy? Contact us without any obligation.