Despite the good intentions of ESOS, the barriers to implementation still exist. These range from behavioural inertia to change right the way through to capital funding for larger expenditure projects and, on the whole, a lack of knowledge and experience on the plethora of energy saving technologies in the marketplace. The market is awash with ‘energy solutions’ and choosing the right one that supports and delivers your business plan is key to success.
First things first: we shouldn’t consider energy in isolation. Whilst ESOS is indeed an energy policy, it can also help businesses to become more operationally efficient and optimise both assets and sites – providing we take action on the outcome rather than allowing our ESOS recommendations to simply gain dust on a shelf.
ESOS is the first step towards an integrated carbon strategy because it ties together previously disparate elements of energy to deliver a mix of tactical quick wins and longer term projects to deliver overall carbon reduction. But the real win will be aligning it to your overall business strategy, to deliver improved performance.
When looking at ESOS recommendations and an energy reduction plan, take a broad view of the impact you want to achieve. Thinking in terms of long term, strategic impact on your organisation and its performance will make a significant difference in your approach to implementation.
Business strategy focuses on company performance and how to achieve it, so why should energy be any different? Those businesses that set themselves apart from the crowd will be the ones that grasp and achieve the best environmental performance, the best infrastructure performance, and the best financial performance.
The ultimate end game is reduction in energy use. Setting out how to achieve this in the early design phases of any implementation project is critical. It is possible to predict energy reduction through different technologies, and detailed modelling and predicting carbon savings will ensure project viability – before a penny is spent on actual implementation.
Add to this a thorough site analysis to understand where to focus in your portfolio, and link this back to business strategy to ensure objectives are in line with (and in fact delivered through) your carbon strategy. This will ensure that all the ground work is done before you commit.
The market is flooded with varying technologies, a multitude of firms offering different options for the same end result and huge players dominating company strategies. The right choice of partner is absolutely critical to achieving savings and delivering optimum business performance. Only commercially proven solutions with the best warranties or performance guarantees should be considered to deliver the highest quality outcomes for lighting, HVAC, CHP, BMS, controls, processes and overall optimisation – upgrading your infrastructure to drive revenue. It’s a buyers’ market here, and whilst there may be a myriad of technology out there, the best solutions are proven, so taking the time and using experience to make the right choice is crucial.
Finance options are vast. If capital funding is required, the influx of Energy Performance Contracts and shared savings models have opened the market to financial solutions for large expenditure, minimising risk and increasing the options around financial payment models. Repaying capital outlays via the cost savings achieved through energy reduction means financial risk is mitigated, giving you the power to implement a new carbon strategy with no capex upfront, resulting in lower operational costs for your business. However, look out for guaranteed savings, which again reiterates the requirement for proven technologies and water-tight terms and conditions.
We should welcome ESOS. Whilst it is another cost to bear, it is estimated that companies can save 13.5 times the cost of compliance – if the results are acted upon, of course.
Take advantage of the experience in the market. It is flooded with offerings, but choosing the right delivery partner will mean you gain a sustainable, long term energy reduction plan that delivers your business objectives – and your organisation will reap the benefits for years to come.
This article was published in BUU Magazine.