Energy prices rise and fall, with so many driving factors it is very difficult to forecast over the mid to long term how wholesale markets will perform and the general opinion from most commentators is that they will increase.
If this is the case, then the only sure-fire way to reduce the cost of energy within any property is to reduce the amount consumed. There are of course many ways to do this and the majority of these schemes have merit, from behavioural change to LED lighting, the list is almost endless, there are indeed monthly publications dedicated to this very topic.
For many organisations the first question is where to start? Closely followed by how much will the project cost? How long will it take to recoup the costs through savings? All legitimate questions, which depending on the size of the estate and organisation can create a lot of work for an individual or group of individuals.
Often the first steps in a project to reduce energy consumption start with a site survey by an external company that specialises in this field, indeed the government has introduced regulations such as ESOS, SECR or CCA to encourage this type of thinking and whilst this is the best way to begin, it will only provide a snapshot of the how and when energy is consumed. Supplier data analysis is another method used for the same purposes but the consumption through the main incoming supply provides a holistic view of the property which will be affected by so many variables e.g. lighting, air conditioning, refrigeration, electrical appliances, heating systems the list could go on, in fact there are just too many to list them all.
There is a phrase often used in the energy management industry that can also be applied to many aspects of life in general, it is “you cannot manage what you cannot measure”. It is true, before embarking on any energy reduction schemes and wasting valuable time calculating hypothetical returns on investment you must have a benchmark, a starting point, a worst case, call it what you will but the quality of the data from which you draw this line in the sand will absolutely determine how the success of any project is viewed.
By installing a series of monitoring equipment at circuit level and leaving this in situ over a pre-agreed period you can generate reports at a granular level which considers factors such as occupancy, temperature (external and internal), production volumes to name a few. If required a full assessment of your business, how it works, your day-to-day activities can be explored to identify possible areas of improvement. This will allow you to then begin the journey of reducing your energy consumption by targeting the areas that could benefit the most from these measures, thus reaping the most benefits for you through your invoices.
Of course, this means investing funds, and it is completely understandable to be concerned about capital expenditure on something that will not reduce amount of energy consumed straight away, surely this would be better spent on the actual project? But this is the first step in this journey and as in business in general speculation to accumulate is necessary, this step sets the solid foundations to build your energy efficient business on.
At Utility Team we want to work with you throughout the journey, from providing the data, to recommending various options for your projects, to obtaining quotes from independent providers but perhaps most importantly we can help fund the entire process with our Revolving Green Fund, a very simple initiative for interest free funding, an exclusive initiative which enables businesses to receive interest free funds for any energy cost-saving technologies or initiatives. So, before you embark on any type of energy management or reduction programme it may be worth taking a step back and looking at how Utility Team can help you save money.
Call or email us to explore your options: firstname.lastname@example.org / 02476 997901
Article written by: James Hughes, Senior Energy Consultant