Kady Cowan, founder of Energy Connect, designed the program with a specific focus on engaging frontline facilities management staff, building operators, mechanics, and engineers in energy saving behaviors after spending eight years working on energy behavior with healthcare facilities staff and building occupants. In 2016, the program design team worked alongside site-based facility leaders through a series of three workshops to map out current energy use, the socio-ecosystem, and identify possible energy efficiency behaviors and intervention strategies. Two Energy Connect Summits featuring experts in sustainability, energy management, engineering, anthropology, hospital and facilities administration, and behavioral psychology further developed the program by giving input on program design as well as overseeing the implementation and evaluation processes. Qualitative data gathered via focus groups, interviews, surveys, and workshops helped the design team to uncover barriers and benefits, identify access points in the current system to leverage change, and document a baseline condition which could be used for future comparison. Once the program had been developed, five interventions were tested across six diverse healthcare facilities at the second largest health network in North America. While the program employed specific key strategies and tactics to encourage participation and empower local champions, it intentionally avoided identifying behaviors that needed to be adopted in order to encourage participating operators and mechanics to detect and act accordingly on energy waste issues. To evaluate program impact, on-site building Energy Experts were responsible for reporting and tracking set point adjustments and other energy efficiency projects via a formal work order system, and monthly bills for electricity and gas were monitored between January 2016 and December 2016 before the initiation of Energy Connect and during the test year January 2017 and December 2017. As of 2018, the program had saved 2,755,133 kWh (US$153,568) per year across the six sites, or 2.5 kWh saving per square foot of building.
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