Simple steps can reduce your company’s energy costs by as much as 20%. Here’s how.
Energy costs are often overlooked in business, but they have a huge impact on your bottom line. With rising energy prices, climate change legislation and the increasing expectation for corporate environmental responsibly, energy use counts for a substantial proportion of expenditure for commercial facilities and is playing an ever-increasing role in the public image of companies. Where there’s wasteful energy use there’s compromise to an organisation's resources, image and competitive edge. Smart energy management has never been a more essential practice for modern business.
'the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales'
Corporate energy costs can usually be reduced by 10%-20% through simple actions that produce quick returns. The Carbon Trust worked out that a 20% cut in energy costs represents the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales in many businesses.
See where your facility is losing money through wasted energy
The key to identifying waste and managing energy efficiency is to use an Automatic Monitoring and Targeting (AM&T) management tool. AM&T systems are becoming more commonly used by commercial facilities. While these systems are critical for fulfilling legislative requirements such as obligations under Part L2 of the Building Regulations or CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment), many companies are yet to unlock the substantial benefits that their systems can deliver leaving their untapped value ignored.
Applied correctly, an AM&T system can identify 12% savings in your energy costs (The Carbon Trust).
Far more than just satisfying legislation, AM&T systems give you the opportunity to truly understand how your facilities consume energy and how your equipment is performing. They let you observe trends and anomalies, see how assets and critical equipment work and how to quantifiably improve your overall business efficiency. This vital intelligence helps you reduce costs, reduce risks and get a firm ROI on your equipment. More often than not, energy-saving tactics are simple but the metrics help users think clearly and generate ideas about where they can save energy.
The 3 steps to energy savings
In a nutshell the three overarching principles to saving energy are:
Automate. Set your equipment to turn itself on when it’s needed and off when it’s not. When you don’t have to rely on humans to remember that off switch, you can make big savings.
Replace. Swap out old or less energy efficient equipment with energy efficient equivalents. If you’re using an AM&T system to track your energy usage, it’s easy to see how quickly new equipment will pay for itself.
Educate. Changing your staff’s mind set about energy wastage can seem like a huge undertaking, but it has a snowball effect. Planting the seeds of an energy-aware culture can produce a real difference in effective energy use, conservation and cost.
You can’t manage what you can’t measure
Metering can help spot problems and abuses, enabling them to be resolved, and can provide the insights that are required to prove a business case for expenditure. Effective metering enables a continuous cycle of improvement monitoring, analysis, benchmarking and implementing of solutions making energy metering the most critical part of any energy management programme.
Whether you’re new to energy management or have been tackling the issue for years, an independent consultation can let experienced, impartial eyes help you find where you could make more savings and recommend how your organisation could be more efficient.
Article by David Whitlow
David is Prism Power Group's Sales Director and primary energy management consultant. He leads the Intelligent Solutions group division, which encompasses our energy monitoring solutions and InTouch range of intelligent power and monitoring products.
To find out more about how energy monitoring could benefit your organisation, you can contact David on: