In a recent survey conducted by Telegraph and YouGov, a staggering one-fifth of UK businesses were found to spend over £250,000 on energy annually.”What’s more surprising is that 54% of senior business managers claim they have no idea who exactly is responsible for purchasing that energy.
It seems managers are not up to date on energy-saving solutions. In this article, we highlight and expose the myths that make energy management look like a complicated and expensive process. We believe that businesses can make substantial savings in this area.
When it comes to monetary expenses, the input into energy savings is quite large compared to its payback time. Furthermore, for the establishment of an impactful business, a reduction in energy consumption should be the foundation of your Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) policy.
At Ventairge we recommend the following energy-saving tips to gain control of your rampant energy bills – less consumption, and fewer expenses for what your company consumes in energy usage.
Know Your Energy Consumption
Knowing how much you consume is the first step in minimising your energy costs. Go through past bills, this will highlight spikes in usage on a daily and yearly basis. If you have numerous energy usage meters, you will be able to attribute consumption to certain processes or machinery.
Looking at your backlog will help you build a detailed “energy map”. You will be able to pinpoint energy-intensive processes with ease. With access to half-hourly data, you can also identify high out-of-hours consumption due to equipment or plant left switched on when it is not in use.
Your data insight can highlight where you need changes. A concrete way to reduce your bill is to group as many energy-dependent processes in one system for better control. Appoint a team exclusively to managing it.
The environment should be optimal for both the staff and the smooth operation of plant and machinery – this can be managed without any difficulty from a central point.
Invest in a Building Energy Management System (BEMS) – BEMS controls heating, ventilation, cooling, hot water (HVAC), and lighting in buildings in one interface.
It is a known fact that machinery working below their optimum efficiency or ones that require maintenance consume more energy and are susceptible to downtime. Here again, your BEMS system will read machine data and foresee failures. This is highly effective in preventing maintenance downtime and lowering energy usage.
Build New Habits and Behaviours
It isn’t only industrial processes that consume high energy, office-based organisations are just as susceptible. They accumulate large costs from lighting, computer systems, servers, and HVAC systems. If automated control of these elements is out of your reach currently, try educating the staff to bring a reduction in energy usage which will help your business lowers its energy costs.
Making the staff aware of the importance of energy-saving is beneficial for both the business and the environment. You can make this a conducive practice by rewarding employees that support the company’s energy reduction goals and do their part in helping the environment. Likewise, observe changes and report on achievements so further reductions can be encouraged.
Modernise and Replace
With the low-cost energy efficiency measures in place, the next logical step is to upgrade old and inefficient plants and equipment. These measures can manifest as switching up lighting – dimmable LEDs with presence detectors are known to cut down on energy consumption and costs by up to 80%. Furthermore, high-quality LED Lamps significantly improve the work atmosphere by providing flexibility of lighting levels. A single high-quality LED lamp has an operational life of 50,000 to 100,000 hours.
Similarly, replace inefficient motors or convert them to VSDs (Variable Speed Drives). VSDs are external devices attached to a fixed motor that can vary its speed. With these in place, you will see a considerable reduction in energy consumption and an improvement in process control. VSDs are perfect for large motors that operate variable loads (read: compressed air systems).
When replacing an HVAC system with a new one, always look at efficiency ratings. Make sure the systems are sized and set up for control correctly.
Yes, the capital cost of shifting to energy-efficient systems is high but it is worth the investment in the longer term; with lower costs and energy consumption.
Monitor Your Energy Usage
Demand and energy prices are directly proportional. If you consume most of your energy at peak periods, you are paying a lot more for it than you would in off-peak hours. Large consumers are also put under energy restrictions, such as the Authorised Supply Capacity (ASC). The ASC is a set level of electricity available for supply with your Distribution Network Operator (DNO). It is measured in kVA. Exceeding your capacity leads to excess charges. Similarly, with large gas consumption, it is referred to as Supply Offtake Quantity (SOQ).
With these quotas in mind, it is best to balance your energy consumption. It is also conducive to schedule your usage so you can benefit from cheaper, off-peak unit rates to reduce your costs.
Do not Compromise on Rates
If your energy consumption is high and you are aware of it, hire a trusted “energy consultant.” Energy prices are not stagnant even throughout the day. Therefore, you can obtain the best rates. Invest in Half-hourly meters for accurate mapping and better analysis of your usage data and energy usage rates. This will highlight your peak periods and help you devise a low energy consumption plan successfully.
Most businesses also invest in “cheaper interruptible contracts” – the rates are cheap but there is a risk of interruption in energy supply during peak periods.
Lower energy users opt for “fixed-term contracts.” These have a predictable cash flow and, most energy suppliers offer this. Regardless, they are not a cost-effective option.
Another way to utilise the nest rates is to choose group-buying initiatives. These help smaller users, access energy at cheaper prices, which are available to those with more purchasing power.
Produce Your Energy
With your energy reduction measures in check, invest in producing energy on your own. It will lessen your dependence on grid-distributed energy. There are plenty of renewable options in the market: solar panels, wind turbines, biomass boilers, and CHP (combined heat and power) systems, in addition to our heating and cooling systems with gender-based regulation currently being developed to improve efficiency.
Energy generation technology has become widespread in recent years, with renewable technology taking the helm as it has short payback periods. It is cost-effective and an excellent option for big businesses. Most technologies are often backed with government incentives to generate onsite energy and feeding the surplus back to the grid.
Learn About Government Incentives
As mentioned, numerous government-led incentives emphasize local and carbon-free renewable energy production. The following incentives are for electricity generation:
Keep Monitoring Your Energy Plan
An energy-saving solution is a yearly exercise. To ensure reductions in billing and energy consumption, you need to monitor and maintain your usage. With the data at hand, look for discrepancies and spikes and introduce new techniques and technology where applicable. Your basic energy plan is here to stay, it will just need a few tweaks and moderations over the years. Once you say the reduction in costs and the amount you save, you will maintain it willingly.
In conclusion, reducing energy usage in commercial buildings is a vital step toward sustainability and cost savings. Contact us today to learn how our energy-efficient systems can benefit your business.
For more information about our heating and cooling system currently being developed or on how we can help you save energy, then please email email@example.com