Justin Vroone, commercial director at IMServ Europe, the UK independent energy management provider, claims that UK businesses are paying lip service to green issues, and are failing to implement the necessary behavioural changes needed to make a real difference to energy reduction.
According to Vroone, many companies are developing energy strategies, often as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but don’t know where to start when it comes to analysing energy usage and introducing behavioural changes.
He explained, “IMServ works closely with many FTSE 250 organisations advising on effective energy management solutions. Generally, there is board level enthusiasm for energy saving strategies and often a clear business benefit for embracing energy efficiencies, but organisations are struggling to put into practice a measurable energy saving programme. Often the biggest challenge is implementing a shift in employee attitude and behaviour. Staff might be happy to turn off lights at home, but in the workplace it’s often a different story. Many organisations address these obstacles by introducing a combination of persuasive and incentivised measures to get everyone on board.
“The first priority for any organisation is to monitor current energy consumption by obtaining accurate data for electricity, gas, water and heat usage, as well as information on carbon emissions and temperature. Once this information has been gleaned, it’s then essential to be able to analyse it to get at the valuable energy intelligence. This intelligence can then be used to communicate to and persuade the company and employees to make the necessary behavioural changes.
“Using an online energy management solution such as IMServ’s Energy Data Vision (EDV) will transform raw data into intelligent information. This will then enable a company to look at cost control and reduction – relevant for financial reports, behavioural change initiatives such as league tables, tenant billing, bill validation, and to help make really informed decisions about future energy planning.
“Once the energy usage data has been assessed, organisations need to implement a reduction strategy and this is where many businesses are slipping up.”
An example of a company that has successfully visualised its energy usage is The Go Ahead Group, a provider of passenger transport. The company has 450 sites and had originally registered 40 of these in the half hourly market whereby energy usage is recorded automatically every half hour. The only form of visibility on this energy usage that The Go Ahead Group received was pages and pages of raw data on spreadsheets.
With the help of IMServ, the company receives accurate energy information with added intelligence through EDV, an easy to use and secure web-based tool. Energy consumption from all the registered half hourly sites can now be viewed through one window, eliminating the need to plough through the pages of data on spreadsheets.
“Having time to read and digest the information would take forever and it’s just not practical,” said Chris Grinsted, group environment and energy manager at The Go Ahead Group.
He continued, “Good quality energy data is essential not only to see if you are achieving your targets but also to assess whether targets are in fact realistic. Basing targets on estimated or incomplete data will merely distort the results and a true reflection of any energy reduction efforts cannot be seen.”
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