Two hundred years after the Industrial Revolution, the low carbon revolution is in full swing. This means commercial building owners and facilities management companies are facing a fast-changing landscape.
Developments in new technology, combined with a political zeal for everything low carbon, means alternative energy is now becoming the mainstream. In fact, according to data from the National Grid, more electricity will be produced in 2019 by zero-carbon energy sources than from traditional fossil fuels.
Such progress seemed unimaginable just 20 years ago, and is another sign of the positive progress being made towards the UK Government’s target of achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Not surprisingly, businesses, facilities management and commercial premises in general have been identified as one of the key pieces in the low-carbon jigsaw.
Our survey says…
Creating a low-carbon energy strategy involves more than just fixing a solar panel to the roof. Before you make changes to your facilities management plan, you need to understand how a site or building consumes energy.
The first thing to do is to calculate your total energy footprint. This is the big number that you will aim to reduce over time using a low-carbon approach to facilities management.
Data is crucial to understanding how your business or building uses energy. As well as your total energy footprint, you ideally need this data broken down so you understand the consumption for every building, floor, department etc.
You can then plot these figures in your facilities management plan, which will give you average usage for every week and month. This will also highlight your summer and winter consumption trends.
How much energy does your business or building consume overnight or at the weekend? Get those figures too.
Armed with all this new energy data, you can now make informed decisions about which areas you need to tackle first.
The easiest and cheapest way to lower your carbon footprint is to educate and change the behaviour of your staff, tenants etc. For example, make checks over the weekend to see what lights and equipment have been left on.
Run tests to determine the most energy-efficient way to use heating or air conditioning. For example, keeping the heating on a low level over the weekend could mean that less energy is used to warm up a building on Monday morning.
Simple changes to the building itself can further reduce energy waste, such as triple glazing, modern insulation and LED lights with movement sensors.
Once the easier options have been exhausted, you then need to consider investing in modern boilers and other high-consumption machinery.
Have you considered generating your own energy? Solar panels and wind turbines are becoming cheaper as technology improves, and can make a significant contribution to lowering both your energy costs and carbon footprint.
Energy companies are also giving consumers the option of using energy from only renewable sources.
Here at ista, we aim to remove the guesswork from your energy billing by providing you with accurate data about the energy usage in your building or organisation. We can then help you turn this data into clear actions to help you make energy savings.