In a couple of weeks the clocks go forward (26 March). ‘Thank goodness!’ we all cry. Lighter evenings and summer thoughts fill our heads…well mine at least!
Around this time, and in October when the clocks go back, media messages appear on how you should check your smoke alarm batteries at the same time as doing your clock changing rounds. And quite rightly so.
I used to work for the Fire Service and know how important this is. But it did make me think about how many maintenance clock changes are made in the UK. There’s still a lot of old equipment out in our building stocks and sometimes these smaller tasks do get overlooked. Of course there is automation and smarter digital systems but I would still hazard a guess that some clocks never get changed.
I’ve seen evidence of this myself in car park lighting, which had a daylight saving timer that was never changed or updated. This was discovered amongst other items when I was conducting an energy audit. From what I’ve seen in the industry, it’s a shame that energy audits aren’t utilised more effectively as they are the perfect starting point to analyse where you are and what cost avoidance could be achieved in terms of energy efficiency.
As some of you might be aware, the Government recently published for consultation their BEIS industrial strategy which has a strong emphasis on looking at ways to reduce energy costs for businesses and in particular how cost savings from energy efficiency can be best realised and supported. Although I'm sure we all have our own views on how the Government is addressing these issues, fundamental “no brainer” steps and measures are in our own gift to progress.
Take the humble energy audit. How many of you have had one, read the report and then filed it away somewhere? How many of you have ticked the box of compliance to the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and not paid attention to the information and recommendations presented through that exercise? We could blame poor workmanship giving a poor output but surely that rests with the procurer to check the competence of the auditor and whether standards are used like BS EN 16247 or ISO 50002 for example.
Energy audits have been around for years and will continue to be because of the output they provide as well as endorsements such as the CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers) recommendation that they should be completed every 3-4 years which consequently also aligns to the Phases of ESOS.
Still not convinced? Well let me leave you with this thought…
The Carbon Trust sampled 86 ESOS audits and the average reduction achievable through the recommendations of those audits was 20%. If you take the average energy spend of those qualified within the scheme, that’s an annual saving of £360k*. How much revenue do you have to create to make that level of profit?
With various funding options available for both public and private sector, along with usually some low cost measures, not taking any action is becoming less excusable. We are in ESOS Phase II, but regardless of whether you are captured within that scheme, why not start now and get those energy audits underway?