The Carbon Trust reveals findings of first wave of ESOS compliance assessments – even greater savings are possible, says Cisco Energy Management partner, Network Interlinks
If one thing was in clear evidence at The Carbon Trusts’ “After ESOS – What Next?” briefing last week, it was that big business makes big savings on cutting #energy spend.
Addressing a packed room of some of the UK’s largest companies and public sector organisations, The Carbon Trust revealed the findings of the first wave of ISO 50001 assessments, the government’s ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme); a mandatory energy standard scheme run by The Environmental Agency and supported by The Carbon Trust to reduce #carbon emissions through accurate understanding the amount of #energy consumed by organisations and the offering of innovative methods to measure and thereby significant reduce CO2 emissions in order to meet the EU Energy Efficiency Directive target of 80% by 2050.
With the extended June 2016 compliance deadline now reached, the initial analysis of a sample of the ESOS assessments undertaken by the Carbon Trust revealed an average energy spend of around £1.8 million. Of note, the reduction deemed achievable through cost-effective measures was approx. 20% for organisations with an average energy spend of £1.8 million - this translates into annual savings of £360,000.
Citing some of the most fundamental energy-dense operational costs; primarily, lighting, heating and transport, for which consumption metering and LED deployment demonstrated savings of around 25%, the assessment specifically highlighted the construction industry as having the highest average level of energy spend, with annual energy costs of around £4.9 million.
For any business this is a considerable expenditure, especially in an uncertain economic climate, and The Carbon Trust’s support service should be credited for shining a light on the issue and giving guidance to businesses to enable them reap the significant dividends which cost-effective efficiency measures can attain.
As an active supporter of The Carbon Trust’s drive, Cisco Energy Management (CEM) has perfected an accurate audit trail that supports ISO 50001 compliance. The ‘always on’ mentality for electronic devices has made staff habitually wasteful of energy - the largest unmanaged business expense across the enterprise.
To effectively combat this, the Cisco Energy Management Platform monitors, measures, analyses and uniquely controls, then seamlessly predicts energy usage. This control ensures that devices are only on when being used so controlling #carbon emissions and lowering costs by an average of ¹35% within a few weeks.
Glasgow City Council’s implementation of CEM in 2015 provides an excellent example of this; a pilot scheme of 29 of secondary schools identified over £330,000 of savings in the first year. Impressed with the findings, GCC is now rolling out the system across its entire estate of 700+ buildings.
In conducting energy assessments for a number of large, primarily office-based UK organisations, The Carbon Trust found, not surprisingly, that lighting and HVAC efficiency improvements dominated the opportunities identified through audits. Whilst replacing traditional lighting technologies with LEDs was a very common recommendation, typically offering a payback period of two to five years, the full CEM system, as proven in Glasgow, provides for a full return within four months which also takes into account wider general electricity usage, including ICT - which in itself accounts for 25%-80% of enterprise energy consumption¹.
Estimates for the ESOS initiative made by The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) suggest it could collectively save UK organisations some £250 million if just 5% of identified #carbon reductions are to be achieved. However, the sample of businesses assessed were found to have scope for improving general energy management practices and behaviours, so realisation of this forecast is questionable.
The Cisco Energy Management Platform, implemented and managed by Network Interlinks, eliminates the perceived burden of human intervention, potential costs and operational distractions, which are clearly a deterrent to this ultimate goal. A proof of concept can be run over a three week period, from this analysis immediate savings can be predicted, which can be streamlined into a project plan and implemented over a time period to match the pace of the organisation and sure-up readiness for the next ESOS assessment in 2019.
In promoting the government’s ESOS ISO 50001 standard by providing information, consultancy and workshops, The Carbon Trust has made significant inroads to raising awareness of the ‘win-win’ opportunity of low cost, high efficiency energy saving which UK businesses and public sector organisations can now readily attain. As CEM’s technology partner, Network Interlinks is uniquely placed to assist.