What is Corporate Energy Management (and why do you need it)?

10 August by Miriam Heale


The world is changing. Climate change is impacting on ecologies the world over with global CO2 emissions reaching somewhere in the region of 35 gigatonnes in 2015.

Whilst there is evidence to suggest CO2 emissions stalled for the first time that same year, all we have succeeded in doing is halting an industrial juggernaut with over two centuries of momentum behind it.

The real challenge is simultaneously reducing emissions and extracting the excess carbon from the atmosphere.

Whilst the latter problem is being tackled by some of the greatest minds in environmental science, we as individuals, employees or business owners can directly impact on energy usage.

Businesses who respond proactively to the growing need to reduce CO2 emissions rather than wrongly assuming they either (a) can’t do anything about it or (b) it will be too expensive to change, are starting to see lasting positive changes in their organisations.

Most businesses, no matter what their size, will have either a policy or a statement regarding their efforts to limit or off set their energy consumption and or an environmental document of some sort.

However, corporate energy management goes one step further. It is the championing of energy efficiency and sustainable solutions on across the entire business.

It also goes a long way to dispel the perception that energy efficiency or friendly to the environment are merely code words for expensive, in fact it is quite the reverse and Energy Managers frequently include figures outlining huge company savings, due to better energy management, in their CV.

Whilst cost can be involved, most efficiencies are investments and a good corporate energy manager will pay for themselves inside of six months as their ideas and innovations save money.

The fact is that when it comes to the environment, doing what’s morally right and financially prudent are symbiotic.  Reducing energy consumption reduces costs. Less energy means lower bills. Lower bills means more money on the bottom line.

For example, it’s a common known fact that most lights make better heaters than sources of illumination so replacing fluorescent tube lights with LEDs can cut energy consumption by 80% and it’s not expensive.

Change doesn’t always come with a price tag. There are zero investment changes that every office can make to reduce energy and cut costs. Switching off all non-essential equipment at the end of each day is the easiest thing every company could implement tomorrow.

Adjusting the thermostat in the office by a single degree can save hundreds of pounds on annual energy bills. If you really need the air conditioning unit on, close the windows and doors. Equally, turning the air conditioning off and opening a window is obvious, but not always done.

The Energy Manager takes responsibility and ensures that savings are made and initiatives are implemented.  Managing the energy portfolio and procurement process, monitoring energy usage and implementing energy saving strategies.

If you are still asking yourselves these questions; What processes exist to make sure energy is being used as efficiently as possible? When was the last time energy usage and expenditure was reviewed? You are well behind the curve.

These are the questions an energy conscious or for that matter, any company should be asking themselves. Giving visibility to the issue provides a means to make improvements.

Similarly, recognising that energy management isn’t a one shot wonder, but an ongoing series of changes and innovations that add value over time is a crucial part of understanding what energy management is.

Think of it as turning a super tanker. It’s a gradual process, one done by a few degrees at a time and takes a very steady hand. But once the course has been righted it’s plain sailing all the way.

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