Guest Blog: Michael Prager – Lockdown is ending. Time to think about Back to Work

‘New Normal’ is rapidly approaching that point where it moves from being the coolest soundbite on the block to the one you just don’t want to be associated with – but that’s because it has become mainstream.

Big Zero Report 2022

‘New Normal’ is rapidly approaching that point where it moves from being the coolest soundbite on the block to the one you just don’t want to be associated with – but that’s because it has become mainstream and it’s done that by being succinct and relevant. What is normal won’t be the same post covid as it was pre. So, for the last time using the phrase, do we have the chance to make new normal not just different but better than old normal? Resoundingly yes, we do, if we take the emotional and intellectual learning we’ve all accumulated during lockdown into new normal, no forget that, into the workplace when we return.

What we’ve learned during lockdown (not exhaustive, feel free to add to them)

  • Communities do exist and they are good to have.  People speaking to each other, a focus on what goes on locally has been a pleasant feature of lockdown
  • Working from home can be very productive and is something that will become part of our normal working lives when working from home becomes a choice rather than being mandated
  • The air has been cleaner, skies brighter, seas less polluted due to the shutdown
  • Riding a bike or walking (as long as it’s not chucking it down) is a really good alternative to public transport
  • Doing what’s good for the planet doesn’t have to come at the expense of what’s good for the business

The thing is that the old big issues; sustainability, decarbonsing our addressable bit of the world, getting rid of single use plastics etc haven’t gone away. And they all build into one agenda; how do we value conservation equally to consumption? It’s a biggie, all of the world’s economic models are built on consuming more.  How do we change that without getting into the cross over sandals and hairy legs of the anarchist fringe?  How do we make that the new normal?  Sorry, sorry.

ELN have captured this in their future net zero campaign and from the survey you all completed you agree with the notion. Here’s an excerpt

78% of you believe this is the perfect opportunity to capitalise on net zero plans.

And when asked, if we are at a net zero reset, should business lead this change? Again, a huge majority, 79%, said yes.

Overall just over a fifth of those surveyed (22%), said coronavirus had pushed back their net zero commitments

and of those, 51% had no idea how long the delay would be and 24% believed a delay of at least one year was likely.

So let’s start with a simple idea to action.

Just because we can’t do everything doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything.

So rather than build an impossible to achieve agenda, pick one thing, get it done, then move on to the next thing.

I’m going to pitch for energy management as the first thing. Why? well first off it’s pretty much on everyone’s agenda, secondly UK plc really hasn’t done demand or consumption management well.  Boards are all over tariff but few have really grasped the nettle of behaviour change from managing consumption down (and for a free ride carbon) as a core KPI measured corporate goal and finally, ‘fess up time, I have skin in the game, our company Optimal Monitoring has developed EMMA AI, what we believe is the first and best AI enabled energy management platform that more or less gets rid of all of the old arguments why demand management is important but not a priority.

  • It needs too much capex to set it up

Wrong. No capex required, EMMA AI uses data from the fiscal meter, sub meters & BMS if you have them, and that’s all she needs. Her AI engine replaces the need for invasive hardware

  • It creates too much extra work for an already overstretched team

No.  EMMA AI analyses the meter data and turns these into suggestions of what needs to be looked at and in turn into work tickets that go straight to your nominated resource for each utility or technical area. Plus, we’ll get the data from your utility provider or DC on your behalf.  No extra work

  • There’s no payback

If that’s the case then we won’t even try to sell it to you. We’ll run a risk-free pilot, if that doesn’t prove the case then any fees paid get refunded 100% and based on the evidential results from that it’s either go or no go. Plus, we’ll give you a cast iron, copper bottomed, gilt edged guarantee.  You will never pay more in fees than 20% of savings identified. So worst case pay 20 get 80.

  • I don’t have reliable data to populate the system

You need half hourly fiscal meter data only.  That’s what you pay your bill on so you probably do.

One of the good things that has come out of lockdown is that we’ve mostly found a way to be bigger than just our own narrow self-interest, whether that’s been volunteering to help the NHS, shopping for a neighbour, whatever and in that spirit I say that it’s more important that you do something than who you do it with. So even if it’s not us you reach out to reach out to someone. Getting on top of your energy consumption gives you two bites of the cherry – it will drive your net zero agenda (and even if you don’t have one your customers increasingly do) and it will save you money, quite probably enough that the effect is equal to an extra day or more of sales each year. It’s worth doing.

Thanks for reading this far and good luck with making what we all come back to better than what we all left behind on March 22nd.

This is a promoted article.

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