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COP26: Call made for renewable energy job creation

More than 130 renewable energy leaders, under the auspices of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Coalition for Action, have launched a Call to Action for COP26, encouraging all governments at national, regional, and local levels to ensure access to high-quality, sustainable jobs during the energy transition.

Limiting the earth’s temperature rise to 1.5oC by 2050 requires a full decarbonisation of the energy sector. As such, the clean energy transition must progress rapidly. But to build a climate-resilient future, the energy transition must advance in a just and inclusive manner, leaving nobody behind.

As countries convene in Glasgow to re-align strategies and renew ambitions at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), there is an opportunity to increase momentum of the global energy transition – and a transition grounded in renewable energy has been proven to generate widespread socio-economic benefits, including jobs.

“Leaving fossil fuels behind, we need to make sure that everybody can participate in a low-carbon economy. Policies are needed to make the best use of renewable energy players’ insights and best practices in driving a renewable energy market and creating adequate and equal opportunities for all,” says IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera.

The Renewable Energy and Jobs: Annual Review 2021 report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) finds that the renewable energy sector offered employment to 12 million people in 2020 – a steady increase since 2012 at 7.3 million. Renewable energy jobs are also more inclusive, showing better gender balance with 32 per cent women employed in the sector, compared to 22 per cent in the fossil fuels sector. These records provide a very promising insight into a clean energy future.

With the clock ticking, members of Coalition for Action urge governments to consider the following five recommended actions in their decision-making to accelerate a just and inclusive energy transition, at COP26 this week:

  • Comprehensive structural and just transition policies are critical to secure the benefits and manage labour market misalignments that result from the energy transition.
  • Concrete and resilient finance mechanisms are required for countries to equitably transition away from fossil fuels.
  • Job and enterprise creation in the renewable energy sector must be complemented with labour and socio-economic policies in the energy sector.
  • Long-term partnerships between industry, labour unions and governments are essential to ensure job security and social protection, especially in areas particularly impacted by the energy transition (e.g., coal mining regions).
  • Data-driven actions and solutions are needed to support targeted policies that encourage job creation, capacity building and reskilling to empower those disproportionately impacted, such as women, youth and minorities.

See a more detailed view of the IRENA Coalition for Action’s Call to Action for COP26.

Asset management and energy efficiency from Derwent FM

By Derwent fm

As has been highlighted during the pandemic, reducing energy usage across estates can result in significant financial savings and huge benefits to the environment. When buildings return to full occupancy, we must take the lessons learnt here into effectively managing assets to meet ongoing demand.

There are several ways and means we can action this. We need to start to utilise Building Management Systems (BMS) systems effectively to run assets efficiently in line with building occupation, turning off assets when not required or turning down usage when needed.

We can install sensor equipment so that lighting and ventilation systems only come on when activated. We can install more efficient heating systems which require less energy to run and can be remotely turned on and off.

We have proven we can run buildings more efficiently; we need to take the lessons learnt into the ‘new normal’ now.

www.derwentfm.com

Can you improve your CHP investment?

By Onsite Energy Projects

Have you invested in CHP in the last 3-4 years, or are you considering it ? If you haven’t yet, we may be able to provide a zero capex solution delivering significant savings.

If you have already invested, we may be able to help improve returns and reduce your business costs even more by helping you use all the power generated more efficiently.  Likewise if the performance or availability of the CHP has disappointed, we can assist with practical advice and review or renegotiate contract terms.

CCL costs on gas are set to rise by 90% by 2025.  So unless you qualify for an exemption (such as a  climate change agreement), you are going to see your returns eroded.  To those who are “power only” out there, it’s time to think out of the box and ensure you use the heat productively. We can help.

We specialise in making use of the waste heat from CHP or other busines processes.  Technologies to use heat productively now mean that in the right conditions we can use waste heat to produce as low as -40oC (to replace blast freezing, cold stores) or as high as 300oC (furnaces, cooking and frying), and pretty much everything in between, allowing us to reduce energy costs even further.

We can provide a free review of CHP performance, operating costs and options for improvement.

In the right circumstances, we could even purchase your existing CHP and provide discounted power back to you – so you still keep some of the savings and resilience benefits but also release cash for your core business in these challenging times.

This is the reason Onsite Energy Projects exists – we help businesses innovative, and implement the full potential of both energy efficiency and on-site generation measures.  We recognised the challenge of capex availability and can provide a no-capex, off-balance sheet solution.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

Don’t let COVID-19 wreck your climate change plans

By Onsite Energy Projects

We all need to refocus on the big issue of climate change, but we are facing a significant recession in the next few years. I predict that capex budgets are going to evaporate, and as a result investment plans are going to be put on hold. The consequence could be to derail our climate change and sustainability plans for some years to come.

At the same time, saving money has never been more important – to be competitive and grow jobs.  So how can you keep up the pace of sustainability gains, energy savings and make your business more competitive ?

Never has there been a better time to look at our zero capex, off-balance sheet solution.  We can help with energy savings ideas, sustainability innovation and develop the business cases for energy efficiency measures.  We can deliver them as an energy supply agreement without any cost to you.  All you need to do is pay for the power we provide (at a discount to what you are paying for grid power).

There is no cost to you for our analysis and recommendations.  We have experience in delivering solutions for complex manufacturing environments. We can particularly add value where you have a lot of use of heat, steam, chill or air conditioning.

In short we can accelerate your plans, not have them beaten back by lack of capital caused by COVID-19.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

Saving money on energy using Artificial Intelligence

Many use BMS (building management systems) to control your buildings. BMS is seen a “smart” in that it automates tasks that would need a human to do (such as changing set points, dead bands etc). Artificial Intelligence is best known for self-driving cars and playing chess against grand masters!! So does it have any role to play in managing our building better and saving money?

At OEP, we are already using artificial intelligence in two very real building and energy management applications and seeing £££ financial benefits:

(A) Energy Management. We can take in half-hourly meter data daily (no hardware needs to be installed), and identify patterns that could indicate a developing fault or anomaly, so it can be investigated before it becomes a cost, adjusting for weather and other inputs. The system self-learns and gets better over time at spotting new real issues. We oversee the results with our experienced energy management team, and interact with the customer.

An example benefit we picked up within 24 hours, was a (human) BMS programming error that would have cost £60,000 had it gone undetected, and probably would never have been picked up in the consumption on invoices.

In practice this also helps identify and monitor “behaviour” issues across an estate.  For example, we could highlight the differences in working practices between one supermarket and another in how they work with their refrigeration systems.

This is an ideal tool for multi-site operations (retail, restaurants, banks etc) with a rapid payback.  It allows over-loaded energy managers to have a proactive management tool, particularly across an estate of meters.  We can provide a THREE MONTH FREE TRIAL for businesses to find out if it works for them.

(B) We are also deploying AI to directly to manage the BMS, and even manufacturing processes. The software “learns” how the building or process reacts over time to different load events and climate conditions (creating a “digital twin”) and can develop its own strategies for how to optimise the building to (1) deliver the climate goals consistently and (2) at least energy cost.   It can even re-commission the building regularly.  Energy saving are typically 25%-40%.

The benefit of using AI is the ability for it to react quickly to changing circumstances, which other systems aren’t able to do. Other applications we are engaged on include compressed air management and refrigeration systems.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

Saving money using Artificial Intelligence

By OnSite Energy Projects

We are used to BMS (building management systems) to control buildings, and spreadsheets to analyse data. Both of these require human input (and are prone to human error). So does Artificial Intelligence have any role to play, and could it save money? Firstly, what is AI?

  • “Artificial Intelligence” (“AI”) is software “able to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, decision-making, and translation between languages”.
  • “Machine Learning” (“ML”) is the “application of artificial intelligence that provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed”

At OEP, we are already using AI / ML in two very real building and energy management applications and seeing £££ financial benefits:

  • Energy Management. We can ingest half-hourly meter data daily, and the software will identify patterns that could indicate a fault or anomaly, so it can be investigated before it becomes a cost. The ML learns from human past action (or inaction) on the issues raised to know if it should raise the issue again in future, or simply log it.

We provide “Energy Management as a Service” for less than £10 per meter per month, which provides over-loaded energy managers with a proactive management tool, particularly across an estate of meters.  An example benefit we picked up within 24 hours, was a (human) BMS programming error that would have cost £60,000 had it gone undetected.

We have plans to extend this to monitoring sub-meter data as well.

  • Automated BMS. AI/ML can also be deployed directly to manage the BMS.  The software “learns” how the building reacts over time to different events and climate conditions (creating a “digital twin”) and can develop its own strategies for how to optimise the building to (1) deliver the climate goals consistently and (2) at least energy cost.   It can even re-commission the building regularly.  Saving are typically 25%-40% of HVAC load – the impact of running the equipment at the right times and loads, and turning off when not needed.

The benefits of using AI is the ability for it to react quickly to changing circumstances. Other applications we are engaged on using AI are compressed air management and refrigeration systems.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

Oil vs. gas: which should you choose for your business?

As the threat of climate change continues to gather pace, one of the burning questions of our time remains: ‘how can we create a greener, more sustainable future that still allows businesses to thrive?’ Here, Flogas, examine the debate currently gaining traction. 

Central to solving this challenge is energy usage, and the fuel we depend on in our daily lives and commercial operations. As such, businesses across the UK are now looking at ways to become more fuel-efficient – not only to help lower their carbon emissions, but also to bring down energy bills and save money in the long run.

Nowhere is this debate more prominent than in the 16% of the UK not serviced by the main gas grid, which relies on alternative fuels to meet its energy needs. For the majority of off-grid operations, this means a choice between oil, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) or LNG (liquefied natural gas) for high-volume commercial applications. But what exactly are the differences between these fuels – and what should off-grid users consider when making decisions about their energy supply?

Oil: an outdated energy supply 

With the Committee on Climate Change urging the UK government to legislate as soon as possible to reach net zero emissions by 2050, the pressure is on all industries to adopt greener energy policies. What this means for off-grid businesses in practical terms is moving away from conventional, carbon-heavy fossil fuels. When considering the key features of oil, it’s not hard to see why it’s becoming an outdated off-grid option:

•Increased carbon emissions: As a major contributor to climate change, the burning of oil for heating and cooking purposes releases far higher levels of carbon into the atmosphere than more efficient off-grid fuels like LPG.

•Cost: Through a combination of factors such as dwindling oil reserves, environmental pressures and strained international relations, the price of oil remains volatile. This makes it difficult for businesses to forecast the cost of fuel and can cast doubts over the future of their supply chain.

•Maintenance: Due to its viscous nature, machines that operate on oil often take a large amount of maintenance to ensure they are running at optimum performance. This can also mean messy repairs if anything goes wrong.

The rise of LPG & LNG

With so many factors now working against businesses that are still using oil, it’s no surprise that many are now looking for an alternative fuel supply. The good news is that there are viable off-grid alternatives that offer compelling economic, environmental and logistical benefits. LPG and LNG are two such fuels. So, what are they, and how do they compare to oil?

•Chemical makeup – LPG is a blanket term for two types of natural gas (Propane and Butane) and is a natural by-product of gas and oil extraction (66%) and oil refining (34%). LNG is composed primarily of methane and is created by cooling natural gas to an extremely low temperature (-162°C). 

•Finance: Businesses can make immediate savings when switching to LPG or LNG through a reduction in energy usage.

•Carbon emissions: LPG and LNG have the lowest CO2 emissions of any 0ff-grid fossil fuels: LPG emits 36% fewer than gas oil, 22% fewer than kerosene and 17% fewer than heating oil. It also emits no black carbon (a significant contributor to climate change). 

•Cleaner air: LPG and LNG are clean, smoke-free burning fuels, that emit fewer pollutant emissions, including NOx, Sox and particulate matter (PM).

•Compliant: Because they’re cleaner, LPG and LNG help businesses to meet carbon and pollutant reduction targets set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, ULEZ, Marpol and Medium Combustion Plant Directive.

•Efficiency: With a higher calorific value per tonne than other liquid fuels, an LPG and LNG flame can burn hotter, releasing energy quicker. When used in conjunction with the likes of a steam boiler this can produce even greater efficiencies. 

•Extensive supply: LPG and LNG are in global abundance, so business owners can rest assured that they will have a dependable source of energy when they need it most. Flogas will be significantly increasing the UK’s total LPG storage capability with its new Avonmouth storage facility – the largest of its kind. 

•Easy Installation: Working alongside an expert team, switching from oil to gas couldn’t be easier. Specialist LPG companies can design and install a replacement heating system to meet your business’ needs. From the initial brief process to installation and even the removal of your old oil tank, with the right supplier there’s the option to have everything taken care of with minimal downtime. 

•Versatility: One of the main attractions of LPG is its versatility. From leisure and hospitality to agriculture and industrial heating, and even fuel for forklift trucks and fleet vehicles, LPG can be used as an energy supply for all manner of industries. 

Creating a greener future

As the cleanest, most efficient and effective fuel compared to conventional off-grid fuels like coal, oil and electricity, switching from oil to LPG (or LNG) could help businesses energy savings, ensuring compliance with government energy policies, and cutting down on maintenance time.

Image by Magnascan from Pixabay

FREE GUIDE: How solar power can help your operational efficiency

The pressure is on businesses to cut costs, reduce emissions and utilise renewable energy sources – in the midst of volatile markets and a shifting energy landscape, it’s vital for your organisation to be as energy efficient as possible.

One solution is right above us. Solar from Centrica Business Solutions enables you to generate your own energy onsite by converting the sun’s power into 100% renewable electricity – lowering your energy costs, reducing your reliance on the grid and lowering your carbon emissions.

Download our Executive Guide to Solar to see how Centrica Business Solutions can help power your energy and operational efficiency.

CASE STUDY: The Restaurant Group – Energy Reduction Strategy

By Alan Little, Business Development Manager, ECA Group

The Restaurant Group Plc (TRG) is a significant player in the UK casual dining market, operating over 500 restaurants and pubs which include Frankie and Benny’s, Chiquito, Coast to Coast, Garfunkel’s, Firejacks, Brunning & Price and Joe’s Kitchen.

They also operate a concession business which trades over 60 outlets across more than 30 brands, primarily in UK airports.

One of TRG’s core principals is sustainability and as such a decision was taken in 2013 to implement an energy management programme to reduce wastage across all sites.

ECA manage TRG’s entire portfolio and provide energy procurement, bill validation, compliance and energy management services.

ECA’s Approach

ECA created a strategy to monitor and highlight energy wastage which included regular and detailed consumption analysis, tailored reporting, remote management of exceptions directly with sites, site surveys and behavioural change sessions.

Historic consumption data was analysed against operational hours and other site benchmarks to create profile targets for each meter and site. Monitoring of HH & AMR data on a daily basis using profile usage alarms detected consumption outside targeted thresholds.

These were investigated by speaking directly to site staff to determine the cause and put measures in place to prevent recurrence.

Where a cause could not be established remotely a site survey was arranged to investigate possible causes and rectify issues on site where possible.

Some of the issues that were regularly identified included, broken equipment, misunderstanding of how to use equipment settings for the best effect, and general wastage behaviours such as having equipment on when it is not required.

ECA also attended local and national group events to deliver energy saving tips and advice to TRG staff.

Results

ECA has provided its Virtuous Energy reduction service since 2013 and has achieved year on year savings averaging 5.3% against a target of 2.5%. Last year (2017) we achieved savings of around £500K.

ECA Group – TRG Group Service supplier of the Year

In July this year ECA were awarded service supplier of the year, a fantastic achievement as they were selected from over 100 suppliers.

ECA are still providing this service to TRG and we expect further savings going forwards.

GUEST BLOG: Clamping down on your business’ energy costs in 2018

By Flogas

Energy bills are becoming a bigger focus for businesses around Britain — with the average organisation spending around £4,000. Becoming energy aware (and energy smart) can not only help businesses boost their bottom line, it can also dramatically reduce their carbon footprint – making for a more profitable, greener company all round.

The cost businesses are facing

Cost has changed over time, which has led to this newly found focus on energy supply. For most SMEs, gas and electricity charges now make up a considerable chunk of their monthly outgoings – taking a hefty portion of their profits. The majority of UK businesses are using between 15,000 and 25,000 kWh of power per year, but annual consumption figures for large business and industry can reach in excess of 250,000 kWh.

How will this impact the final bill? The latest data shows that businesses in the UK are spending an average of £3,061 on their annual electricity bills, and an additional £856 a year on gas. Small businesses in particular fare slightly better – but with the average electricity bill for an SME reaching £2,958 (and that’s before putting business mains gas into the equation), it’s still a considerable outlay.

A plan for cost reduction

Many industries will benefit from the right energy supplier and there are plenty ways to create a plan.

  1. Becoming more aware of your energy use

Before you make any core decisions around your energy plan, you must assess how much you actually use and how much it is currently costing you. The average unit prices in the UK are currently 14.36p per kWh for electricity and 4.25p per kWh for gas, with standing charges on top of this. Finding out your business’s annual usage figures – and knowing when your contract is due to come to an end – means you’re well equipped to accurately compare your current supplier’s prices with others on the market.

  1. Look at a range of energy suppliers

Research into other energy suppliers too. Ahead of your contract ending, it’s worth finding out how much switching could save you. And, whether you use a broker, online search or go direct, make sure you don’t limit yourself to the Big Six. Switching to a smaller business energy supplier could mean significantly lower bills, and benefits like better customer service.

  1. Analyse your current contract agreement

There’s plenty of energy suppliers willing to give you a better deal, so make sure you look at your current one before any renewals. For example, an extended fixed-term contract could help protect you against future price rises, giving some valuable peace of mind and making budgeting easier. Or there might be an additional discount on offer if you opt for a Direct Debit payment plan.

  1. Get a smart meter

Talk to your supplier about fitting a smart meter. That way you’ll know exactly how much your business energy supply is costing you day-to-day – and because you only pay for what you use, there’s no need for estimated billing or meter readings. As well as saving on monthly charges, it can also help you wise up to your company energy use and make better decisions on where you might be able to curb your consumption. Energy management software can also help provide useful insight for larger businesses.

  1. Find out where your energy is being used

There’s always room for improvement when it comes to your business’ energy use. It could be as simple as making sure computers are switched off outside of office hours, or putting your lights on a timer, but encouraging employees to find more efficient ways of working is a great place to start. Some companies even introduce incentive schemes to help foster better habits, offering staff tangible rewards for greener behaviour.

  1. Save

Always think of the bigger picture when it comes to energy consumption and try investing in equipment that understands the importance of efficient energy use.  While this approach might come with a heftier price tag in the first instance, any piece of kit that helps save energy on your everyday operations will pay for itself and more in the long run.

*Statistics from BusinessEnergy.com and article brought to you by gas mains supplier, Flogas.

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