Workers and bosses are 'passing the buck' when it comes to saving energy in the workplace, a study found

Owners and employees at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not taking responsibility for saving energy, meaning firms are failing to make crucial savings, a new study has found.

The workplace habits study by E.ON found that just 10% of workers saw energy efficiency as part of their role.

Results showed that workers often "pass the buck" when it comes to taking responsibility for energy efficiency at work.

According to the study, many junior executives saw energy efficiency at work as part of their office manager's role.

But many office managers said the business owner or more senior managers were responsible for conserving resources.

The most responsibility was accepted by chief executives or owners, with 22% saying it was their job to ensure energy efficiency was focused on in the office.

However, many bosses are failing to lead when it comes to saving energy, with almost one in four (24%) saying they hardly consider the issue.

Another one in ten (11%) take no action at all to save energy.

Just 28% think often about saving energy in the workplace, in comparison with 55% who think about it at home.

The study indicates that there is a lack of communication with regards to the issue, with almost two in three (57%) workers receiving no clear company policy in relation to saving energy.

Head of business sales at E.ON, Iain Walker, said: "We appreciate it's often difficult to dedicate time to educating the workforce about energy saving, but the benefits of implementing better practice can be significant and directly beneficial to all employers.

"You'll always get some people who are more active than others but I was quite surprised that the overall number of people taking personal responsibility for saving energy, and for passing on help to colleagues, is still relatively low."

Importantly, chief executives of firms were the least active in communicating the importance of energy saving, with 51% of those asked saying they never spoke with workers about the issue.

HR workers were the most active in raising energy issues, with almost one in four (22%) often speaking with co-workers about it.

Copyright Press Association 2012