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Energy


Changing the focus


Energy efficiency is a forgotten activity, for organisations and certainly for government. Reducing the amount of energy used also reduces the amount needing to be generated in the first instance, and therefore enables fewer power stations to be built – particularly important with a crunch in the available capacity in the coming years. The term ‘negawatt’ was coined by Amory Lovins in 1985 to define the amount of energy saved and to encourage viewing energy as a service together with the amount spent on it. Many regulatory and financial drivers are in place to promote energy efficiency, but little evidence exists that they have achieved a significant change. The regulatory approach to energy efficiency can be described as a series of uncoordinated policies that act as an incentive or a ‘stick’ on business. There is a clear imbalance towards the regulatory and compliance ‘stick’ with a weak set of incentive ‘carrots’ in place, leading to limited engagement from business towards viewing energy efficiency as anything but a compliance and cost issue. Owners/occupiers need to have an understanding of what role energy plays within their business, the level of control they can exert, its purpose and how to use the data generated based on what the customer would find useful. The lack of a cohesive regulatory policy makes it difficult for businesses to understand the benefits that can be gained from energy efficiency measures. Instead, it shows a complicated approach with a focus on a reporting and the compliance ‘stick’. The current regulation making the headlines is the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which highlights potential energy saving opportunities within the operations of participating organisations. There is, however, no regulatory requirement to implement the opportunities identified. This is left to each organisation to action as it sees fit with the assumption that when viable and tangible savings opportunities have been identified, this will lead to action. In this respect, ESOS follows the same logic as a number of other existing policy instruments such as Air Conditioning Inspections, Energy Performance Certificates and Display Energy Certificates. The benefits which can be provided by implementing the recommendations include: n Peace of mind about energy use and cost n Reducing energy waste through staff awareness n Identifying actions equating to a minimum of 10% reduction in annual energy bills


n Pinpointing opportunities for reducing the amount of energy consumed


n Assisting with better prioritisation of energy related workload, and


n Enabling a constant flow of energy reduction measures to be planned.


Finding opportunities


From the ESOS studies performed through our own activities, there are a range of recommendations that have been identified in a robust manner using language


FACILITIES 19


understandable by senior management. The key areas to focus upon in a building include the lighting, heating and cooling systems and the controls that consume or manage the largest proportion of energy. However, whilst savings with paybacks of less than three years have commonly been identified, even within organisations with an outsourced provider, the desire to implement the savings has been more challenging to identify. As a response, the government is seeking to consolidate the number of carbon policies and identify target mechanisms to engage business. The Better Energy Efficiency Tax review sought to consolidate many of the carbon tax regimes whilst maintaining the revenue stream providing a reduced admin burden to both organisations and government. The premise was welcomed by all parties, but the implementation would also seek to re-engage with industry through an incentive to encourage energy efficiency not seen since the concept of league tables were removed from the CRC. This top-level reputational risk will become critical for the policy to have traction with organisations – financial measures are punitive on high energy consumers and too limited on typical service sector businesses. The basis of the reputational risk will need to come from more accurate data to help justify the business case and the need for benchmarking to help understand comparison. The ability to share anonymised data in an open format is a minimum requirement, enabling use throughout the building lifecycle from design stage, as well as informing future policy decisions. Existing systems exist which capture data in a closed manner, and work is underway to align these systems together.


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