Most people have a very poor grasp of power consumption. They tend to know that boiling the kettle 'uses a lot of electricity' but do not equate this to a similar amount of energy used by leaving a 100W bulb on for an hour. I blame everyone for this, the education system, the media, the government.
The majority of the population see this as 'Science' and are turned off immediately. It is either too complicated before they have even tried or too dull. The main reason we have trouble getting students - particularly females - into science/engineering is that it is not sexy/groovy/fashionable.
The media have a very poor grasp of numbers and science. It's all 'carbon' - whatever happened to -dioxide and -monoxide??? Why cannot they say kWh instead of KW for energy used? Why do they have to emphasize 'billion', when put into perspective the relative quantity might be small?
I work with a load of engineers who should all understand power (watts) but they still leave PCs idle when they go home - probably through laziness. I put a simple power tester on our idle PCs and found they used around 30W sitting on their login screens - and let's face it - most offices are mostly unattended for 70% of the time (evenings/nights/weekends)
I suspect companies need help in this respect rather than the iron fist approach, but turning off unused items (lights, aircon) would make massive savings to energy used - forget the money and cost savings - that would be a bonus, what about the environment and fuel stocks?