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PUBLIC SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY


MEASUREMENT & MONITORI THE GROWTH OF THE ENERG


As concerns about risk to energy supply and cost continue to grow for the public sector, energy management is becoming increasingly important. But for many organisations, the journey towards monitoring, measuring and managing energy consumption levels is yet to begin – despite positive results achieved by organisations that have implemented energy efficiency strategies. Dave Lewis, head of business energy services for npower, examines some key findings from the latest npower Business Energy Index.


concerning energy-related issues such as energy management, energy risk and carbon emissions. With public sector organisations destined to play a big part in helping to achieve the Government’s national target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050; the relationship between organisations and their attitude to energy management is clearly one to be taken seriously. There is generally a lot of belief that the government’s targets for carbon emission reductions are important, with 82% agreeing that the UK should play a leading role in the reduction of carbon emissions. But many are still cynical about the targets, with 71% of major energy users (MEUs), including both private and public sector organisations, viewing the 2050 target of an 80% reduction in emissions unrealistic. The shorter-term target of 2020 – to reduce emissions by 34% – is deemed more realistic, although 59% of MEUs would still say it is out of reach. With this cynicism towards the targets, it is even more important that organisations put energy saving processes in place, as the report shows many feel the targets will not be met.


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he annual npower Business Energy Index (nBEI) is an important touchstone in canvassing the opinion of organisations and businesses


In terms of general confidence in the coalition government’s impact on carbon emission reduction, many are still undecided, with 56% believing their impact will be no different to the previous government. However, nearly a third (28%) think their targets are on track to have more of an impact on carbon reduction than the previous government. When asked to identify the number one risk to their organisation, the top choice highlighted by major energy users (MEUs) was ‘energy risk’, and in particular, the risks associated with security of supply and supply costs. Energy was the key area deemed to outweigh all others – including legislation, security, and health & safety – as the primary focus of concern to organisations.


The index questioned companies and organisations of all sizes and looked at a number of key energy-related areas for them.


With ongoing energy management strongly linked to the overall concern about energy risk, the index casts an interesting light on how large and small- sized energy users are tackling the issue of energy consumption and overall management – set against the backdrop of current challenging economic conditions.


The nBEI showed the importance attached to energy management and


PUBLIC SECTOR SUSTAINABILITY • VOLUME 1 ISSUE 5


reducing consumption levels by organisations has increased since 2010. Now at its highest level since the index began in 2005, the importance rating has climbed to an average of 7.4 this year – compared to a 6.9 rating in 2010. While the overall trend is


encouraging, as organisations seek to tackle issues around energy use, the disparity in taking action between large and small organisations is still stark. Some 53% of small organisations questioned admitted to still not having any energy efficiency measurement tools in place, a figure which drops sharply to just 15% for major energy users. Overall, some 41% of all organisations questioned have no measurement mechanisms in place. With measurement a key stepping stone on the journey to any improvements in controlling energy use, it is clear more still needs to be done in this vital area. For those organisations that have implemented energy efficiency measures, the nBEI shows it is delivering results. 58% of MEUs are managing to obtain a 10% saving in energy consumption over the past year. Progress is being made in comparison with 2010, with 8% of MEUs saying they have managed to achieve a 20% saving – none did twelve months ago.


In terms of the measures organisations are undertaking, the positive


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