ecosurety’s ESOS lead assessors are busy completing energy audits right now on behalf of members, ahead of the final report and ESOS submission deadline of 5 December 2015.
Guiding organisations through this process has naturally generated numerous questions that we are frequently asked, so here are some of the key facts that you need to know.
What’s an energy audit?
In a nutshell, this is a complete assessment of all the energy being produced by a building or business, and of the processes that create that energy. Having an energy audit of your business by a lead assessor can help save money long-term because they identify areas of waste that are literally invisible to the human eye, but which can create significant overheads.
Can you give me a recent example?
We recently undertook an energy survey of one of the largest office blocks in Cardiff. Over the 5000m2 office space the audit identified a number of opportunities, such as a reduction in gas consumption within a large office block which could save over 530,000 kWh - equivalent to a £21,000 saving compared to their baseline performance.
Overall, the changes implemented showed a substantial cost saving as well as better facilities for the staff in the office, despite the incumbent facilities and energy supplier’s best efforts up to the audit. It would take less than a year to get the £21,000 costs back in savings - an incredibly short payback period and a great return!
What principles drove the lead assessors on this project, and every audit?
Utilising 25 years’ experience, our lead assessor surveyed this office to obtain all the connected energy consuming equipment including lighting, HVAC, process loads, domestic hot water services and lifts for example.
Using their specialist modelling formulas on the Cardiff project, energy consumption and savings were determined and best value changes were ranked by cost, savings and payback time. The choice was then in the customers hands, while we guided and supported any changes from the audit onwards.
How did the lead assessor find these savings in practice?
The process is simple. One day was put aside for a general maintenance assessment and energy management review across all departments, both looking to make the working environment better for the staff and the company’s bottom line.
A full buildings survey, covering heating and cooling, lighting and other facilities, resulted in the following suggestions being made:
- Reprogramming the building management system (BMS)
- Installing compensating valves to balance heat throughout the building (e.g. heating the south side less than north facing side)
- Installing switching in the gym and lavatories for optimal and timely usage
- Continual monitoring and the creation of an improvement plan, including monthly on-site monitoring of room conditions and set points for ongoing adjustments and future improvements
- Prioritising repairs and maintenance for existing control equipment to prevent leakage and wastage from the heating system
What are the main benefits of an energy assessment?
Reduced costs and a reduction in environmental waste are the two areas where immediate benefits can be noticed.
Over and above those, benefits can accrue over many years, resulting in an improved environmental profile, both financially and environmentally, and an improved reputation. Staff also appreciate the efforts being made to become more environmentally aware, which is a good and very sustainable by-product!
Is there anything else?
Our technical team have a unique solution for ESOS compliance. Our product offering has been carefully selected so between ecosurety and our member, we can choose a lead assessor from a network of experts in different industry sectors. This selection and industry-specific choice gets best value and expert knowledge right to your door. Recommendations made on where energy savings are cost effective are unique to the organisation being assessed - we don’t believe in tick-boxing exercises.
To kick things off have a chat with our energy experts and find out how you can identify the savings for your own organisation. To sign up for a ESOS meeting, simply call us on 0845 094 2228 or email our technical team to reserve your date with a lead assessor. We’ll be with you in a few days ready to start your ESOS and energy savings journey.
Innovation and policy director
Robbie is innovation and policy director at Ecosurety. Having spent years building an intimate understanding of the industry’s policies and politics, he uses this knowledge to help shape new legislation and oversees Ecosurety’s growing portfolio of cross-industry innovation projects including Podback and the Flexible Plastic Fund. He has worked closely with Defra during the most recent packaging consultations, outlining the impacts and required transitional arrangements of the UK’s new EPR system and is a member of the government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP). He is also a spokesperson for the company and regularly uses his influence to communicate the importance of environmental responsibility to external stakeholders.