Energy conservation is important not only to help you reduce unnecessary costs but due to its direct correlation with climate breakdown due to the use and burning of fossil fuels. The global heating we are currently experiencing is the greatest environmental challenge the world has ever faced. And so many of the challenges today, from poverty to wildlife extinction, are exaggerated by climate breakdown.
The risks associated with global heating 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, 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.
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.
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.
FACILITIES & OPERATIONS
Saving money by reducing energy usage:
- Conduct an energy site audit, ideally annually, to identify where energy is being used and possibly wasted.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Act to remove and prevent any damp or mould.
- Get to know your energy bills, so you understand what you are paying, how your usage changes over the year and make sure you bills are based on meter readings and not estimates. Installing smart metres can help with this.
- Look at switching tariff or even energy supplier, using the Ofgem approved comparison site uSwitch is a good place to start.
- Consider your suppliers green credentials and opt for a green / renewable tariff.
- Consider the alternatives available such as electric and bio-diesel engines, water lubricated stern glands, and low VOC paints and varnishes.
- Include energy within your sites environmental policy, monitor your energy use and set targets for reduction.
- As electrical appliances need renewing, look to replace with energy efficient ones. This could include LED light bulbs to efficient white goods. The extra cost will be recouped in energy saved.
- Consider installing you own renewable energy supply, check for grants which may be able to help you with the cost.
- Keep your boat hulls clean, engine running efficiently with regular servicing, and trim the engine to minimise fuel consumption.
- Think about emissions and the ability to recycle when buying products such as kit or craft. Ask about the environmental policies of the businesses or manufacturer before you buy.
- 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.