This week, the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is trying to encourage more consumers to embrace energy efficiency via its Energy Saving Week.
This initiative is primarily aimed at a domestic audience, hoping to inspire more people to take action to save energy – as well as cutting bills.
The government sees energy efficiency as a key part of helping the UK achieve its carbon reduction targets.
Overlooking the benefits
Yet despite energy being a costly resource, many larger consumers are still overlooking the benefits of implementing simple energy efficiency measures. And big picture thinking often focuses instead on renewables to deliver the bulk of carbon savings.
However, analysis by Carbon Brief has found the value of energy efficiency to be unfairly under-rated.
According to a recent report, the increase in renewables – which last year supplied 33% of the UK’s energy – has reduced fossil fuel generation by the equivalent of 95 TWh between 2015 and the end of 2017.
But over the same period, energy efficiency has cut energy demand by a larger 103 TWh.
New technologies driving savings
A key factor has been the availability of more energy-efficiency equipment and technologies. For example, upgrading from a B or C-rated fridge to an A++ model can half your energy consumption.
The switch to more efficient and longer-lasting LED lighting is also delivering big collective carbon – and cost – savings.
For example, working with a multi-site petrol station business, our Energy Management Services Team achieved consumption savings of almost 64% by replacing older-style incandescent lighting fittings in station forecourts with LED counterparts. This cut around £610,000 off the company’s annual energy bill.
Getting a clear picture
However, more often for large business consumers, there are multiple areas where savings can be made. The challenge is knowing how to spot them.
This is where an energy management system can prove invaluable.
Working with a large restaurant chain, for example, we have helped them to become 27% more energy efficient (in terms of kilowatt hour per customer) by facilitating real-time data collection and analysis via our Intelligent Analytics online energy management system.
This enables them to spot and correct areas of waste, by seeing if lights or equipment have been left on, or the settings on the Building Management System are not optimal etc.
The increased visibility also makes it possible to assess the effectiveness of each new energy efficiency measure implemented – for example, installing timers and temperature thermostats or cleaning the condensers on refrigerators.
In the domestic market, it’s hoped that the roll-out of Smart meters will help to give consumers greater visibility, albeit not at the same level.
Access specialist training online
But whether consuming energy at home or at work, the problem for many is knowing where to start.
A lack of resources and expertise are often cited by our business customers seeking support from our energy management specialists.
That’s why we’ve launched a range of specialist training – the nBS Energy Management Qualifications.
Our popular online Foundation course covers the basics for saving energy both at home and in the workplace.
Then we offer more detailed classroom-based courses for Energy Champions and would-be Energy Managers, along with Masters-level training for senior staff.
Each course is designed and delivered by energy professionals, which means we can provide access to real-life experience and examples from experts who walk their talk.
You can find out more here.
We also offer a complete service where we audit, identify and implement agreed energy savings throughout your business. You can find out more here.
So this Energy Savings Week, why not take action to make 2019 your Energy Savings Year. We are here to offer any support or help you need. And if you’re not sure where to start, drop us an email to nBS@npower.com.