Factory workers decreased energy consumption from text alerts

We often write about the ways that text message systems can help businesses reach a wide variety of people quickly and efficiently. But these tools can also be used to help companies rely information to employees or another consist group of people to accomplish a common goal.

An article for the Engineer this explained how a group of businesses and universities in the United Kingdom used a text alert system. Instead of relying on automatic lighting and climate controls, companies can send texts to remind employees to turn off lights when not in use, and other energy efficient practices.

One of the larger companies that were a part of this trial period was Federal Mogul, a power train manufacturer, which found that participants decreased energy use by 20 percent thanks to the system.

"What we've seen is that it really is possible to change people's mindset about energy use and get them to think 'what can I do to make a difference,'" Dan Mason of Moixa Technology told the Engineer.

Though the success of automatic light sensors in offices has been proven to reduce energy, the investment to install that technology can be costly if used throughout a building.

Additionally, automated light sensors also have their own limitations.

"When empty areas are over-lit or computers are left on at night, for example, it's the workforce that's best placed to do something about it," Mason said

However, many employees have cell phones with text messaging capabilities, inspiring one technology company to use an SMS service to save energy. 

Automated light sensors also have their own limitations. "When empty areas are over-lit or computers are left on at night, for example, it's the workforce that's best placed to do something about it," Mason said.

Members of Moixa Technology implemented the research by using sensors to map out parts of the building that excessively wasted energy. From there, researchers were able to monitor employees that entered and exited the building. Employees in targeted areas received texts to remind them to turn off lights or equipment before going home for the day.

These SMS reminders along with energy workshops drove the idea home to these workers.

Others can take this example to create their own energy reduction initiative. Swift SMS Gateway has the means to set up an SMS service that can reach all employees at once.