Ewgeco is a research and development company that employs 12 people, located in South Queensferry. Ewgeco makes live, real-time energy displays—a behaviour-changing product. The patented Ewgeco is the first of its kind in the world, displaying energy use in an easy, engaging way (traffic light system) and empowering staff to make a difference. It monitors electricity, gas and water using existing meters, and, unlike other energy-saving technologies, Ewgeco is placed in areas of high visibility, engaging all staff by constantly reminding them of their energy-saving responsibilities.
Trials have shown that even in buildings where energy-saving technology is installed major savings can be made by engaging staff and showing people real-time energy costs. Everyone wants to know how to stay out of the red!
The VIBES judges saw a clear commitment by Ewgeco to behavioural change, which is at the core of the company’s philosophy. This approach was demonstrated clearly by management and promoted consistently through supporting literature, marketing and promotional material. Ewgeco gave good evidence of responsible practice within its premises and among staff, for example non-essential lights are switched off, there is waste minimisation in the office and there are home-working arrangements. Ewgeco staff members report that they are being far more conscious of what they use at home, as well as in the office, leading to sustained behavioural change.
Ewgeco staff has also taken the lead in developing an informal travel policy, which is being formalised, and heavily influenced the decision of where to locate the company’s new base. It was clear to the judges that the company ethos is well understood and shared by staff. The team at Ewgeco are working towards ISO14001 and are taking proactive steps to refine and improve on their practices.
The main benefit of the Ewgeco system is its simplicity. With its award-winning patented traffic light display, staff are prompted to ‘stay out of the red!’ The product has a live display so people can turn off a printer or computer and see an immediate reduction in energy use. This generates better, greener behaviour. The display is highly visible, so everyone in an office can see if the department is green, amber or red.
Ewgeco helps all types of businesses significantly reduce their energy consumption, with a small up-front cost for the equipment. The product has a minimum life span of 10 years, therefore the return on investment can be high (typically less than a year). There is no need to change existing infrastructure or meters—Ewgeco can be fitted with minimal cost or disruption. The product is intuitive and engages with people who can directly influence energy savings without the need for expensive training courses.
Every installation of a Ewgeco system has led to the appointment of an ‘energy champion’. These ‘champions’ are ordinary members of staff now engaged in energy management, empowered to make real and sustainable changes.
An eco-print, carbon neutral, company used Ewgeco to save 29% on electricity, equating to an annual saving of £6400. In one school that had the system installed, the annual electricity consumption was reduced by 16.1%, saving £3389 (payback within the first year).
It was evidenced that Egweco is committed to UK-based suppliers with a good environmental track record. The judges were pleased to see evidence of a green procurement approach in sourcing manufacturers who can produce components in the UK rather than relying on overseas assembly, thus reducing transport emissions.
Overall, the VIBES judges were highly impressed by Ewgeco’s demonstration of changing behaviour, not just of themselves but everyone who they do business with!