I’m as skeptical as most people about Government measures to improve energy efficiency – they’re usually put together by those with little experience on the practical issues and naively optimistic views on what can be achieved.
Life isn’t always quite as rosy as publicly funded officials perceive – ask any small business owner!
The spectres of the Feed-in Tariffs, Carbon Reduction Commitment and Green Deal haunt the energy sector. Bolt on concerns over pricing, security of supply, ethics, responsibility for climate change and it clearly doesn’t have a lot going for it – or does it?
Everyone’s heard lots, or possibly not judging by the response to some surveys, about the Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS). Larger private sector & not-for-profit organisations will either need to be compliant with and have attained standards such as ISO50001 or produce an auditing regime whereby they understand and can demonstrate to boot, where 90% of the energy they consume is used, by December 2015.
That’s a very tight deadline given the shortage of skilled professionals who can carry out the required audits and manage qualifying companies’ compliance efforts.
What will this produce?
A list of energy-saving measures which organisations will be presented with and have to determine whether they wish to take them up.
This regulation is aimed at those who’ve done the least on energy efficiency in the past. For those organisations the requisite audits are likely to throw up investment opportunities with returns in excess of up to 50%… Where have they been all these years? Are their businesses so profitable they can afford to forgo returns of this magnitude?
Those who have already gone down the ISO50001 route are saving tens of millions of pounds every year. It also builds respect, boosts profits, helps engage employees, stakeholders and most importantly customers in an activity which is essentially about common sense – you CAN try this at home.
Ultimately CEOs and CFOs will receive reports on where these opportunities to save energy lie in their domain but if this opportunity isn’t taken it will ultimately threaten long term business performance.
What’s the six-point plan when you get an ESOS audit report?
> Read it and seek guidance if there’s anything unclear
> Check out the amount you can save
> Decide how soon you want to reap the benefits
> Seek advice on the best way to maximise savings
> Find someone to do it
> Do it
You can then spend several years counting your extra savings, perhaps raise a glass to celebrate your success and pat yourself heartily on the back for your sudden conversion to environmental champion and guardian of future generations’ planet. You may even be wondering how you can improve your organisation’s energy efficiency still further.
And you’ll definitely be angry with yourself, wondering why it took you so long to get this far…