Although the report is focused upon the retail sector and North American grocery stores in particular, its discussion of energy savings and low-cost solutions is useful for any business with one or more moderately sized premises.
The energy savings report contains ten key strategies a company can use to improve its energy efficiency in day to day operations, and cover the following areas:
Metering and Real-Time Energy Displays
Although many companies rely upon having a single meter for each of their premises, this can be too blunt an instrument to measure energy consumption. Particularly considering that these meters don't give any insight into what energy is being consumed when and by what. To gain this understanding, businesses ought to consider installing sub-meters in their premises that will help them identify the relative consumption of different aspects of the business, like lighting or IT.
Businesses can also benefit from installing real-time energy displays. This will help the company discover spikes in energy consumption which may not otherwise be identified, while they show images that allow staff and building users to be aware of their impact on energy and carbon, and provide stimulus to change staff behaviours for the better.
Peak consumption planning
Energy consumption can vary dramatically at different times of the year and even at different times of the day. For example, heating usage will vary throughout the year, while kitchen-energy consumption will peak in the middle of each day.
When Smart Metering and Real-Time Energy Displays are introduced, these peaks can be identified and strategies can be implemented to overcome them, become a key part of a company’s overall energy efficiency strategy.
The installation of energy-efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems are among a lot of facilities energy saving initiatives. But, while these can deliver good long-term energy savings, it is just as important to ensure that existing facilities are running as efficiently as possible.
It is important for businesses to monitor existing systems' energy consumption and identify when a service has increased energy efficiency or can point to fundamental problems.
Energy Consumption Analysis
Apart from concentrating upon the energy consumed by different parts of the business at different times, it is also important to take a long-term view and establish a mechanism for comparing energy consumption data every day, week, month and year.
This will help businesses to identify long-term trends and indicate equipment or business processes which are either failing to meet their expected energy efficiency.
Benchmarks for best practice
Another way multi-site companies can produce energy efficiency is through introducing a companywide system of benchmarks. Often similar equipment or business processes in different locations can perform with different energy efficiency, depending on different factors.
Once benchmarks have been established, further analysis can be used to identify energy-efficiency variations between different locations, and produce companywide standards and best practices.
Hugh Jones, managing director of Carbon Trust Advisory Services said, "Capital investment can deliver a positive return on investment, but there are numerous energy efficiency options for organisations to consider which do not require significant capital outlay up-front."
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