Now that the feel-good factor brought to our country by London 2012 has been and gone, we’re once again waking up to the harsh reality that the UK economy is still in dire shape and as we look forward, there’s yet to be any signs that things are soon to be on the up.
With all businesses, both large and small, still struggling to shake off the near knockout blow that the credit crunch dealt to our finances, companies need to be looking at any ways to save money and welcome them into their business with outstretched arms.
Reducing outgoings can increase profit and there isn’t any better way to do that than by improving the energy performance of your business’ building. Research from EON has indicated that UK industry is losing out on £7.7bn per year due to insufficient energy management – that figure can, and should, drop significantly should businesses realise the benefits that efficient energy management can bring.
Aside from the financial aspect of things, making sure that your building is running efficiently is key to securing a healthy and stable environment. Studies suggest that businesses account for up to 30% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and with the threat of global warming continuing to hang over us, businesses have a responsibility to act on climate change.
In addition to cleaning up the planet, the ecological benefits that your business will offer the planet through energy management will also more than likely transfer over and impact upon your commercial interests.
Britain is more conscious than ever to environmental needs and any business that looks favourably upon its ‘green’ responsibility is well received by consumers, while companies that take a different view often find the opposite reaction – just look at the public outrage that the BP oil spill caused in 2010.
Whether you look at things from an economical or ecological perspective, ensuring that your business has a secure energy management system in its building is of higher importance today than it’s ever been.
Still unsure? Here’s what you need to know.
What is an energy management system?
An energy management system (EMS) is a computer-based system that is designed to control and monitor your building’s mechanical and electrical equipment, in turn managing your business’ energy output.
An energy management system can overlook processes such as ventilation, lighting, heating and security systems. The control system will represent approximately 70% of your building’s usage, giving you a full breakdown of how and where you can save your company money.
The basic function of an energy management system is to control, monitor and optimise a building’s facilities in order to ensure comfort, safety and efficiency.
How will the local environment be affected by my choice regarding energy usage?
Depending on the perspective that you or your company takes to environmental responsibility, businesses can have a polarising impact on their local surroundings.
Some businesses feel that adjusting their working culture in order to suit a green, left-wing agenda can be ineffective and a burden on company finances. The reality is that such a perception is far from the truth.
Companies who aren’t fully aware of their environmental output are often oblivious to the impact that their processes have on the ecosphere. Heating and air conditioning systems pump greenhouse gas emissions from offices into the atmosphere and ravage electric output.
Further to this, office buildings in particular have an insatiable appetite for electric power, with much of the equipment left on overnight. Be honest, when was the last time you left your computer on standby after clocking-off?
Companies that enlist the help of an energy management system are able to streamline their usage of power, cutting down the effects of greenhouse gases. An EMS offers companies reports on their power usage, meaning they get a clear indication of just how much energy they’re wasting.
With the help of an EMS, businesses have the option to significantly cut their waste, which does damage to both the outside world and the cash flow.
What actual benefits will my company see upon fitting an Energy Management System?
As already discussed, the most appealing benefit to most businesses is the immediate cash boost that their finances will receive. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs suggests that via the efficient use of energy and materials in business, the economy stands to save up to £23 billion per annum. Your company can get a slice of that saving via energy management.
Business gas and business electricity bills are constantly on the rise and with the reports and monitoring that an EMS can produce, you can get ahead of the game and cut costs quickly and effectively without placing the morale and productivity of your company at risk.
In addition to making immediate cost savings with the reduction of waste, installing an EMS in your building will have further long-term benefits. If you own the property, the value of the building will increase and when the time comes to sell-up and move on, you can be sure that the EMS will add a few extra pounds to your asking price.
As already touched upon, switching your status to an organisation that’s more conscious of its need to ‘go green’ will attract a new customer base, and likely further satisfy existing ones. More and more investors, companies and consumers will only work with organisations that have an eco-friendly ethos.
What else can my business do to ensure that we manage our output?
There are a number of practical measures that you can take to enhance the energy performance of your building, some of which can be done overnight and at low cost.
Ensure your staff members are aware of their responsibility to boost energy efficiency, make the most of your building’s natural light and begin to check that your workspace complies with building regulation requirements.
Installation of an energy management system can cut your output and put cash right back in your pocket. You’ve got the power.
James writes for PowerExperts.co.uk; forward thinking, uncomplicated advice on business electricity and business gas rates.