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Energy Efficiency

CENTRICA REPORT: Future-Proofing Your Company’s Energy Needs

By Centrica

Every business relies on energy for critical tasks – but with this dependence comes risk.

As organisations seek to become more sustainable, it’s vital to plan not only for short-term energy needs, but also for long-term energy security.

Increasingly, businesses that are digitalising processes are becoming ever more dependent on power to run them, making it critical to plan effectively to reduce risks and ensure energy resilience.

Our new report, Future-Proofing Your Company’s Energy Needs, highlights rising awareness of resilience as an issue for organisations across the globe, and practical steps you can take to mitigate risk.

Click here to download the report.

Lloyds Energy to create 700 jobs in liquid gas trade

Lloyds Energy Group LLC has submitted a formal application to export Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to countries with a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US, creating a large number of jobs in the process.

Production involves extreme compression of natural gas, often methane, in order to improve the transportation process. The volume in a liquid state is 600 times less than in a gaseous form.

Exporting from their facility in Calhoun County, Texas, the project will be known as Point Comfort LNG and aims to significantly benefit the south central Texas coastal region, in part in the creation of around 700 direct, long-term jobs.

Lloyds Energy expects the project to also indirectly lead to thousands more jobs, as well as economic benefits and a predicted hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

“Lloyds Energy is strongly positioned to meet client demand, and submitting our Point Comfort LNG FTA application is an important first step towards making the final investment decision,” said Philip Holland, Lloyds Energy CEO. “The U.S. has an abundant supply of natural gas and the international market has a growing demand for cleaner, more-efficient fuel.”

 The company hopes to expand further into new territories, and with a potential new deal between the US and UK on the cards, many more could start setting their sights on Britain within the coming year.

UK-GBC’s HQ refurb breaks carbon footprint record…

The UK Green Building Council‘s (UK-GBC) headquarters in Central London has achieved the lowest embodied carbon footprint ever recorded for an office refurbishment in the UK.

Working in collaboration with London-based architects, Barr Gazetas, among other organisations, the landmark project has proven to be an exemplar for sustainable office refurbishment and also features a range of innovative wellbeing measures – such as an innovative ventilation system and an automated low-energy LED lighting system – to deliver an environmentally friendly workplace.

Notable statistics collected in the aftermath of the office refurbishment are: 48 per cent decrease in carbon emissions from lighting; 139 kgCO2/m² – embodied carbon footprint 22 per cent below a comparable ‘standard’ fit-out and the lowest ever recorded in the UK (under the SCP database, WRAP database); 98 per cent of original fixtures and finishes reused or repurposed; and 99.4 per cent of construction waste diverted from landfill.

Chief executive of UK-GBC, Julie Hirigoyen said: UK-GBC’s purpose is to accelerate the transformation of places so that people and planet can thrive. In refurbishing our own office space, we had a fantastic opportunity to trial and showcase the very best solutions sourced from our membership. I’m delighted at the outstanding results we have achieved – both to minimise our environmental footprint and to improve the wellbeing and productivity of our staff.

“I’d like to thank all of our innovative product suppliers as well as our outstanding design and delivery team: architect, Barr Gazetas; services engineer and sustainability consultant, Cundall; project manager and quantity surveyor, Currie & Brown; main contractor, Morgan Lovell; and carbon consultant, Sturgis Carbon Profiling.”

The UK-GBC HQ will be subject to a ‘post-occupancy evaluation’ in order to assess its operational performance against performance factors such as energy efficiency and air quality. In addition, staff satisfaction will also be analysed through ongoing surveys, with results compared to previous data collected prior to the refurb.

 

To view an annotated diagram providing details of the suppliers and products used in the refurbishment, click here

Energy efficiency ‘gains ground’ despite lower energy prices…

A new report released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) – which focuses on worldwide government commitments on saving energy and reducing carbon emissions under the recently ratified Paris agreement – has demonstrated the progress made by energy efficiency policies over the last 12 months; particularly in emerging economies such as China.

The IEA’s Energy Efficiency Market Report 2016 found overall energy intensity (the amount of energy used per unit of GDP) improved by 1.8 per cent last year – indicating that the global economy needed less energy to grow. The improvement exceeded the 1.5 per cent gain of 2014, and was triple the average rate seen over the past decade.

IEA’s executive director, Dr. Fatih Birol said: “Energy efficiency is the one energy resource that all countries possess in abundance. I welcome the improvement in global energy efficiency, particularly at a time of lower energy prices. This is a sign that many governments push the energy efficiency policies, and it works.”

The report demonstrates the central role of government policy in driving energy efficiency, and indicates how policies must be strengthened and expanded to boost the potential gains from energy efficiency.

 

Read the report’s findings here

 

Scotland leads the UK in energy and climate change…

New analysis compiled by the government’s climate watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has discovered that Scotland is leading the UK when it comes to lowering emissions; detailing that its annual greenhouse gas reduction target was met in 2014 and gross emissions fell by 8.6 per cent during that period – compared to a reduction of 7.3 per cent recorded for the UK as a whole.

The ‘Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2016 progress report’ also acknowledges that emissions in Scotland have decreased by almost 40 per cent over the past 30 years – in comparison to 33 per cent for the UK – and CCC members also revealed that Scotland has shown great enthusiasm in introducing renewable electricity generation, as well as implementing a ‘well developed’ energy efficiency policy and making ‘excellent progress’ with community energy schemes.

Chair of the CCC, Lord Deben, said in a statement: “Scotland continues to lead the UK both in performance and ambition when it comes to tackling climate change. Emissions are reducing and the latest targets have been hit.”

Despite the positive action, the CCC has also warned that more work needs to be done following warnings from the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee that the UK will more than likely miss an EU-set target that is legally binding to achieve 15 per cent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2020. 

 

Read the full analysis here

NG Bailey further invests in specialist energy services…

According to reports, the independent facilities, engineering and IT services group, NG Bailey, has confirmed that it will continue to invest in its specialist energy services by introducing a dedicated ‘central operations’ centre.

The new centre, which claims to offer support to the company’s specialist team by merging the existing facilities management, IT and engineering expertise and abilities, provides services including: energy monitoring and alarming, data analysis, mobile operations management and dynamic scheduling to its client base.

NG Bailey’s head of energy, Chris Coath, commented: “Buildings are generating more data than ever before, and by accessing and then analysing that data we can use our design, engineering and building services capabilities to improve system efficiencies, increase building performance and reduce energy usage. This enables us to generate tangible outcomes for building owners and occupiers.

He continued: “The real opportunity is in the analysis of building data, which is what our operations centre is focused on. By being able to analyse and respond, in real time, to the data that is being collected within a building, we can help customers meet their financial and sustainability objectives.”

It is thought that NG Bailey has invested an estimated £1 million in its energy services offering during the last financial year.

Brexit vote behind confidence dip in energy efficiency…

The latest EEVS & Bloomberg report has suggested that supplier confidence in the energy efficiency sector has fallen to its lowest point in five years; detailing a combination of supplier order books, sales prices, government action and staffing levels had experienced an overall confidence fall to (-) 38 points for the second quarter (Q2) of 2016.

This follows a decline of 21 points in the previous quarter to (-) 4; the most significant drop since the trends survey commenced in 2012. 

Furthermore, it is thought that sector confidence has also been hit by the UK’s decision to leave the EU, with a Bloomberg EEVS survey conducted before the vote indicated both suppliers and consumers in energy efficiency favoured a remain vote prior to the outcome on June 23. 

 

View the full report here

 

Cities and Green Building Councils join forces to increase energy efficiency…

Under a new partnership between the World Resources Institute-led Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) and the World Green Building Council, Green Building Councils located around the world will be working with various cities in order to increase energy efficiency in buildings. 

Green Building Councils based in Poland, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Colombia will work with mayors and city leaders in Dubai, Warsaw, Tshwane and Bogota, under the BEA, to achieve a goal by 2030 to double the rate of energy efficiency; recognising the best course of action to create significant efficiency improvements, as well as receive market buy-in from those who will help generate these energy savings.

Announcing the partnership at the Green Building Council of South Africa’s annual convention in Johannesburg, CEO of the World Green Building Council, Terri Wills, said: “Cities and the buildings which make them up consume around 75 per cent of global energy, putting them at the coal face of our fight against climate change. But whilst they are a major consumer of energy, cities also have huge potential to dramatically reduce energy use, with buildings offering one of the most effective ways to do so. Through collaboration with cities, our Green Building Councils will provide on-the-ground expertise to help realise this opportunity.”

Guest Blog, Brian Londsale: The current status of energy efficiency

Energy efficiency is now beginning to enter the minds of consumers and businesses alike. Whether the carbon footprint in your home or the use of travel to and from your workplace, the need to raise awareness and take action is gaining traction. Simple ways in which to do so include:

  • Cost-cutting initiatives of the 1970s and 1980s where organisations began to outsource ‘non-core’ services.
  • Management of varied services both ‘hard’, (e.g. building fabric) and ‘soft’ (e.g. cleaning, catering, and health & safety) to achieve better quality.

The facilities management sector has brought in a mix of new contractors, large multi-service companies along with in-house departments. The task to be addressed includes bettering emissions in travel and insulation of goods, ruses and recycling of goods. Bringing an understanding of why this is important to the longevity of your business.

It is estimated that the facilities management sector employs an estimated 10 per cent of the UK working population and is said to be worth £111 billion a year to the UK economy.

The skill and knowledge required in the management of facilities has now began to gather momentum, continuing to include management of an increasingly broad range of tangible assets, support services and people skills. Attracting a higher level of staff to pursue the sustainability will only strengthen the sectors growth and relevance.

Energy efficiency can be attained through the simple tasks completed in the correct way and, as many of you may find, the management of these simple tasks can be fruitful in cutting costs.

The energy used is more than likely your buildings largest expense, also very much the most unpredictable. Cost effective solution to help reduce the energy usage and improve performance and comfort:

  • Upgrading your boilers, ventilation, and windows.
  • Improving energy efficiency of insulation, window and doors will help improve comfort and energy savings.
  • Upgrading your lighting, with energy efficient lamps, fixtures and controls.
  • Control upgrades of optimizing when the lights are dimmed to allow natural light through and decreasing ventilation usage when not needed.
  • Water consumption and waste water improvements, seeing as electricity accounts for 80% of all water processes.
  • Renewable energy sources, solar, geothermal alternatives to improve efficiency.
  • Servicing and correct maintenance of equipment to further their life cycle.

Having these practises in place will help a long way to the efficiency of your building, before you then decide to tackle other aspects, such as: lowering transport costs, packaging, labelling and uses of biodegradable products.

Outsourcing is a major topic with how to manage your costing and what way brings the best results. Facilities management is a discipline vital to the high level, strategic change required by the decision makers in daily work or living space. Financial management will become very much common practice for many organisations, to nurture their growth. Rather than those who deem it as an unwarranted overhead and not required for the business.

Brian Londsale is a managing partner of Glasgow Boiler Service. The have been experts in energy efficiency for generations. The company use their skills and knowledge to reduce the environmental impact of their customers.