The primary challenge to executing a successful Daylight Hour campaign centers on messaging to employees. NYPA’s Sustainability Office spearheads this effort and has identified a variety of strategies. In the months leading up to Daylight Hour, notices about the initiative are posted on an internal website and hard-copy posters are hung near all elevators and in common areas. The White Plains Office Green Team — a cross-departmental volunteer group — helps to build support for the event by recruiting participants. On the day of Daylight Hour, an intranet reminder is posted in the morning, a text message reminder is released 30-minutes before the event, and a loudspeaker announcement is made at the start of the hour alerting employees on all floors that Daylight Hour is about to begin. Another engagement strategy is competition, with employees encouraged to compete in saving energy floor-by-floor. Employees inspired to take up the challenge generally lead the effort. As not all floors have been renovated, and some have greater access to natural light than others, they have to be careful to turn off lights only in areas with sufficient daylight. Through the NY Energy Manager, the Sustainability Office tracks energy reductions real-time, and posts screen shots of the results at the end of the hour.
New York Power Authority
During Daylight Hour 2015, the White Plains Office’s total lighting load decreased by about 30 percent, or 380 kWh. Tangible energy and cost savings such as these give momentum to NYPA’s employee engagement efforts. The success of the 2014 Daylight Hour event inspired the Sustainability Office to launch an annual daylighting campaign called “Efficiency Fridays.” With this initiative, NYPA continues to promote daylighting throughout each summer.
• Real-time building data
• Increased lighting efficiency
• Energy consumption reduction
• Monetary savings
• Occupant confort
By participating in Daylight Hour, NYPA is identifying new strategies to engage employees and successfully communicate the importance of sustainable workplace practices. Like most people, NYPA employees are willing and often excited to get involved in workplace sustainability initiatives, but it takes a well-thought out, coordinated approach to keep everyone on track. Daylight Hour has inspired NYPA to think of new ways to save energy and engage employees in sustainability. With organizations and companies taking part globally, 2015 BEEx engaged over 300 offices spanning 58 million square feet of office space to reach nearly six million people on social media, and most importantly, to save enough energy in just one hour to power 15 New York households for an entire year.
“Our participation in the ‘Daylight Hour’ campaign at the NYPA White Plains office goes hand-in-hand with other measures we’ve undertaken to optimize the efficiency of the building. While new design features, energy efficient technologies, and energy management systems are essential elements, our success also depends on employee engagement, and certainly the Daylight Hour program demonstrates this.