Energy conservation is important not only to help you reduce unnecessary costs but due to its direct correlation with climate change due to the use and burning of fossil fuels which release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The global heating we are currently experiencing is the greatest environmental challenge the world has ever faced and many other challenges today, from poverty to wildlife extinction, are exaggerated by these changes in climate.
The risks associated with global warming such as sea level rise and increases in extreme weather conditions have the potential to significantly impact the recreational boating community. For example increased flood risk and storms, may create a loss of water side facilities, damage existing facilities and raise insurance prices.
This may all sound like doom and gloom but everyone does have a responsibility to cut their emissions and even the smallest change in your behaviour can help you save money whilst contributing to protecting the environment.
The UK has now committed to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. To achieve this ambitious legislation requires cooperation and engagement from all areas of society including individuals and businesses.
Although there is no legal duty currently to manage energy use for small and medium size businesses it makes sound financial sense to reduce energy consumption as much as possible as well as cutting emissions.
Currently, all large UK organisations outside the public sector are affected by the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) regulations. ESOS mandates that large organisations (one which employs over 250 and has a turnover of €50 million) undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.
FACILITIES & OPERATIONS
Saving money by reducing energy usage:
- Switch your energy provider to one that sources energy from renewables as well as invests in the development of renewable energy projects and technology. RYA individual members can now switch to Ecotricity through the RYA membership rewards and receive up to £30 in shopping vouchers and this will be matched to donate £30 to The Green Blue programme.
- Include energy within your sites environmental policy, monitor your energy use and set targets for reduction.
- Adjust heating and hot water controls. Thermostats should be set between 19-21oC and water tanks between 60-65o
- Invest in a programmable thermostat.
- Regularly maintain and service the heating and hot water system so it is kept efficient.
- Give your club or centre a makeover, improve the energy efficiency with draught proofing, insulation and heating upgrades. This could include low cost actions such as adding reflector panels behind radiators, applying secondary glazing window film, using draught excluding tape around window and door frames or applying pipe lagging.
- When required purchase energy efficient products.
- Set good habits such as switching off lights, heating and other electrical items when not in use, closing windows and doors, make use of natural lighting and reduce use of appliances.
- Consider the alternatives available such as electric and bio-diesel engines, water lubricated stern glands, and low VOC paints and varnishes.
- As electrical appliances need renewing, look to replace with energy efficient ones. This could include LED light bulbs (use 80% less energy) to efficient white goods. The extra cost will be recouped in energy saved.
- Consider installing your own renewable energy supply – contact us for further advice on this.
- Keep your boat hulls clean, engine running efficiently with regular servicing, and trim the engine to minimise fuel consumption.
- Try to use only FSC certified wood from responsibly managed forests.
- Reduce waste and avoid using single use plastics, e.g. invest in a reusable water bottle.
- Promote local public travel routes and any facilities on site such as bicycle storage.