1st & 2nd July 2024
Hilton Deansgate, Manchester

ENERGY MANAGEMENT MONTH: How we’ve moved beyond flicking off the lights

Gone are the days of simply switching off lights at the end of the workday. For Facilities Managers, energy management has become a strategic imperative, driven by rising energy costs, environmental concerns, and a growing focus on sustainability. Here’s how energy management has evolved and what the future holds for UK businesses

From Cost-Cutting to Sustainability Leadership

Modern energy management goes beyond simply reducing costs. It’s about creating a holistic approach to resource efficiency:

  • Data-Driven Decision Making: Facilities Managers are leveraging smart meters, building management systems (BMS), and energy management software to collect and analyse real-time data. This data empowers them to identify areas of high energy consumption and target specific interventions.
  • Focus on Behaviour Change: Behavioural change campaigns encourage employees to adopt energy-saving practices, such as switching off lights and computers when not in use, or adjusting thermostats for optimal comfort.
  • Investment in Energy-Efficient Technologies: Businesses are investing in energy-efficient lighting systems, HVAC equipment, and appliances. Additionally, exploring renewable energy sources like solar panels or on-site generation is becoming increasingly attractive.
  • Building Automation and IoT Integration: Building automation systems and Internet of Things (IoT) integration allow for automated control of lighting, heating, and ventilation based on occupancy and weather conditions.
  • Collaboration with Stakeholders: Effective energy management requires collaboration across departments. Facilities Managers are working with procurement teams to source energy-efficient equipment and with HR to promote sustainability initiatives among employees.

The Future of Energy Management in UK Businesses

The future of energy management in UK businesses promises even greater innovation and a focus on long-term sustainability:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): AI and ML will be used to analyse energy consumption patterns and predict future usage. This will allow for proactive energy management strategies and optimised resource allocation.
  • Focus on Embodied Carbon and Building Materials: The embodied carbon footprint of building materials will be considered alongside operational energy consumption. This will encourage the use of sustainable building materials with lower environmental impact.
  • Net Zero Energy Buildings: The construction of net-zero energy buildings that generate as much energy as they consume will become a key objective for many businesses.
  • Focus on Employee Well-being and Indoor Air Quality: Energy management strategies will consider the link between indoor air quality and employee well-being. Balancing energy efficiency with creating a comfortable and healthy working environment will be crucial.
  • Sustainability Reporting and Transparency: Businesses will increasingly focus on transparent sustainability reporting, showcasing their energy management achievements and commitment to environmental responsibility.

Leading the Charge on Sustainability

Facilities Managers role to play in driving energy efficiency and sustainability. By embracing data-driven decision making, investing in innovative technologies, and fostering a culture of responsible energy use, Facilities Managers can ensure their organisations operate in a more sustainable and cost-effective way.

The future of energy management is one of continuous improvement, with AI, a focus on embodied carbon, and employee well-being all playing a role in creating a future where businesses can operate responsibly and efficiently. Remember, energy management is no longer just about cost savings; it’s about environmental responsibility and creating a sustainable future for businesses. Facilities Managers who embrace this evolution will be instrumental in leading their organisations on the path to a greener future.

Are you looking for Energy Management solutions for your organisation? The FM Forum can help!

Photo by Vadim Babenko on Unsplash


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