Pictured (left to right): Dr Steve Lloyd, RUMM chairman and co-founder; Phil Griffiths, RUMM’s new low carbon psychologist; Jim Handley, University of South Wales Department of Psychology; Steve Thomas, Innovation and Engagement Fellow at the University of South Wales.
Low carbon behaviour change is a fundamental aspect of a transition to a low carbon society, but is also key when a large company is looking into reducing its utility bills.
RUMM (Remote Utility Monitoring and Management) is a University of South Wales spin-out company helping companies consuming more than £100,000 of electricity, gas or water per year to reduce their energy bills. Working with customers across the industrial and commercial sectors, it uses the latest innovations in cloud-based data analytics to help businesses monitor and control their energy in real time, and make significant savings in energy costs and carbon.
In 2014, the energy management company looked into new ways to tackle the energy issue, and appointed Phil Griffiths as low carbon psychologist. The behavioural specialist had completed his research on Low Carbon Behaviour with the University of South Wales, thanks to the support of the KESS programme, which allowed him to be fully immersed into the business world and develop new professional skills, whilst completing his study.
“I am very proud of the field research we have conducted; it is saving energy, jobs and ensuring commercial and industrial businesses stay in the UK. Everyone has a talent, ability and skill. KESS simply provides you with all the tools needed to mine that resource, enabling you to succeed in the real world. It’s a journey worth taking.” – Phil Griffiths
Phil Griffiths’ study formulated that an intervention behaviour can be measured at the outset of a project, and, consequently, the energy savings achieved specifically by behavioural interventions can be quantified. RUMM became the first company to measure how much energy can be saved through “non-technical” or “behaviour” measures in an industrial or commercial setting.
Phil Griffiths is responsible for the development and management of the GreyMatter Low Carbon Behaviour Team at npower / RUMM. He is utilising Psychology & Behavioural Economics to evoke behaviour change towards saving energy and reducing carbon within the workplace. Phil specialises in the measurement of behaviour, including the generation and application of energy saving interventions, supported with pre and post utility data.
New skills developed through KESS:
Energy Management, Energy Audits, Applied Behaviour Analysis, Conflict Resolution, Sustainability, Lean Management.
Benefits to the Company:
Phil says “I am very proud of the field research we have conducted; it is saving energy, jobs and ensuring commercial and industrial businesses stay in the UK. […] you can achieve anything as long as you have the finance, the passion, the drive, the focus, and the support. Everyone has a talent, ability and skill. KESS simply provides you with all the tools needed to mine that resource, enabling you to succeed in the real world. It’s a journey worth taking.”
RUMM : Company Partner
Since its inception in 2005, RUMM has already saved over £43million for its customers, but it came as a shock in 2014 when it realised that non-technical savings were usually greater than technical savings.
Dr Steve Lloyd, RUMM chairman and co-founder, explains:
”The innovation in RUMM’s methodology is that both energy and behaviour are measured prior to an intervention, so that the results can be accurately quantified.”
“This is the first time that behavioural interventions have been measured scientifically, and the reasons for success pinpointed.”
“Our study shows that even in a company where energy saving appears to be at its optimum, behavioural interventions can lead to a substantial cut in energy consumption, saving the company significant sums of money.”
“We have appointed Phil to our team, as his expertise will enable us to carry out behavioural interventions in a wide range of companies.”
Dr Lloyd adds “This element will complement the service we already provide, making substantial energy savings for businesses by installing the appropriate technical infrastructure and supplying specialist resource.”
The first KESS programme ran from 2009 until 2014, and achieved 230 PhD and 223 Research Masters projects across Wales (21 PhD and 10 Research Masters at the University of South Wales). KESS 2 will run until 2021.