Energy conservation is important not only to help you reduce unnecessary costs but also because of 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 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, which in turn reduces associated 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
Reducing your organisations energy usage and saving some money on bills doesn’t need to be complicated. Many of the actions to adopt are like what you would do in your own home.
To get you started, here are our top tips:
- Switch your energy provider to one that sources energy from renewables as well as invests in the development of renewable energy projects and technology.
- Include energy within your sites environmental policy, monitor your energy use and set targets for reduction.
- Heating and hot water controls. Make sure these are set up to match your usage patterns and change them depending on up-coming events, so you don’t waste energy. It is also worth installing local controls (TRVs) for radiators, so that you only heat the areas that you need.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. Thermostats should be set between 19-21oC and water tanks between 60-65oC.
- 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.
- Insulate – roof and floor are the most impactful, along with insulating pipes to reduce any heat loss.
- When required, purchase energy efficient products
- Lighting. Fitting LED bulbs can make a big difference. At RYA HQ we have cut lighting energy use by around 75% by replacing tube units with LEDs.
- Catering: making efficient use of ovens and hobs through planning ahead and only catering for the volume required. Make use of hot water urns to store hot water, rather than boiling the kettle.
- 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.