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Energy


There is emerging evidence of the


Author information


Sunil Shah is Director of sustainability consultancy Acclaro Advisory.


http://www.acclaro-advisory.com/


Clear lines of responsibility from senior managers down to assets is commonly lacking, leading to a lack of support to resolve challenges relating to energy effi ciency measures. Reliance is placed on a devolved structure with local engagement and the building manager/ FM providing the communication and drive, which can lead to confl icts around lack of budgetary ownership and a focal point to drive change. SMEs have shorter lines of responsibility but are more reliant upon business focus. Aligned with the responsibilities is the capacity for staff to infl uence the level of energy within buildings. Modern buildings are relying more on technology to control energy use and this minimises the perceived impact of the individual to affect energy within their workplace. For example, monitors switch to standby, lights are controlled for presence/ daylight, and temperatures (heating and cooling) are set automatically. But the ability for staff to affect change in energy consumption will be a signifi cant motivator in their interest to engage with the subject. However, an understanding of staff behaviours will be critical to ensure sensors are set correctly and operate in line with the culture within the business. Without this understanding, effi ciencies often fail to materialise. Building owners are still largely concerned over cost and building status, and often prioritise these over issues such as lowering carbon emissions from the built environment. Monetary incentives from government would greatly entice and very likely drive success in driving behaviour change towards better operated buildings in terms of energy effi ciency and management.


20 FACILITIES


development in organisations’ philosophies around energy management being incorporated at a strategic level into the longer term thinking and decision-making processes. Responses from those seeking behaviour change linked the exposure of energy and rising prices to the impact on competitiveness of the business. The accuracy of data is understood to be variable. The CRC set a robust mechanism for larger organisations to understand energy consumption, forcing business to develop a governance structure providing more accurate data at a granular level. The process highlighted a number of defi ciencies in meter readings, location and interpretation of energy consumption from sites both being manually read and with automated meters. Lack of actual data at the sub-building


level has a real impact for multi-tenanted buildings, as well as larger properties, leading to a poor understanding of where and how energy is being consumed. Such gaps mean further detailed analysis is often required to determine the necessary measures to reduce energy consumption by identifying the problems and related causes at signifi cant cost.


Playing the reputation card Ultimately, reputation will be the biggest lever that can be used to drive energy effi ciency. Whilst being seen as behind the curve, the US has promoted heavily the idea of ‘city challenges’ whereby cities require organisations to submit energy consumption data onto a common platform, with results published and awards presented. Such an approach has signifi cantly raised the profi le of effi ciency, supporting accreditations not for the savings achieved but the prestige that comes from winning awards. Within the UK, energy data is already captured numerous times, but the closed system doesn’t allow for any publishing of the data, removing this simple step. We can move a long way on this through the release of published data from the CRC and ESOS. Raising the concept of the negawatt can help to monetise the benefi ts being gained, supported by a fi nancial and reputational benefi t. The tools are all in place, but a policy framework is lacking – perhaps now is the best time for business to take the lead.


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