Give incentives and recognition

Good work deserves a pat on the back. Really good work deserves a prize, preferably given in front of a large audience. Whether it’s a coffee mug or a check, incentives and recognition are great ways to motivate your occupants to achieve even greater energy savings.

It’s not all just selfless giving though. By providing incentives and recognition to your occupants, you’ll help sustain momentum and support for your program.

Free food goes a long way.

Consider starting small with something like a pizza party, ice cream social, bagel breakfast, or other food rewards for hitting goals or making progress. 

So do cash and other prizes.

Depending on savings levels, you might also consider awarding cash or prizes for great energy-saving ideas or to energy champions.

For example, Cleveland Clinic created an incentive program in which it shares a portion of the savings from the utility budget, which building occupants can use to improve their work space. Other ENERGY STAR partners tie energy savings to pay-for-performance, bonuses, and employee rewards. And Hines gives an award to employees with ideas that satisfy specific triple-bottom line requirements at the Silver ($1K), Gold ($5K), or Platinum ($20K) levels.

Make it official.

Complement ENERGY STAR recognition opportunities with internal validation. If occupants are part of your organization, recognize individuals or teams who made a difference. The recognition will mean more if it’s given formally (for example, at an awards ceremony or during an all-hands meeting) or if it comes from senior management.

For example, Hines implemented a Best Practices in Operations and Engineering Employee Recognition program to reward the best ideas submitted by employees. And New York Presbyterian Hospital hosts an annual Green Carpet Awards recognition event with senior leadership support.

HEI participants with prizes for energy efficiency challenge.

HEI Hotels & Resorts awards prizes like flat screen TVs to its greatest energy savers.