Energy audits, achievable goals and Net Zero

In this blog, we’ll review the importance of energy audits and setting achievable goals towards Net Zero.

When people think of implementing strategies to satisfy Net Zero goals, often what comes first to mind is the need to install expensive renewable energy technologies or completely overhauling the way a business operates. This does not need to be the case. 

Yes, having solar panels and opting for greener energy tariffs help, but it is usually the small and practical changes in a business operation that easily and quickly creates positive gains towards decarbonising and reducing wasted energy. 

It can be as simple as checking air leaks, replacing dirty filters, servicing motors, powering off standby electronics, and other small changes. These small steps all add up to positive results.

One way to discover these small steps is through a business energy audit. An energy audit is a method of systematically identifying and analysing where, when, why, and how energy is used in a process, building, site, or organisation, and hence identifying opportunities to reduce consumption, cost, and emissions and eliminate waste. Audits will identify no- and low-cost opportunities that involve operational, behavioural, and maintenance issues, through to technical solutions requiring capital expenditure which achieve greater returns. 

A full energy audit, such as the BS EN 16247-1 Energy Audit, provides you with insights that are used to help shape your decarbonisation plans. The results of the audit will remove the uncertainty on how the business can and should move forward towards decarbonisation and Net Zero commitments.

Set achievable targets and pursue them

Once you have a clear view of your energy profile following the audit, get together with your board members and set achievable targets to reduce carbon emissions. You do not need to aim for 100 percent decarbonisation right away (although this certainly should be the end target). Instead, you can look to cut emissions by 25, 50, or 75 percent by a reasonable yet still urgent timeframe. Set an achievable benchmark for your company’s carbon emissions reduction strategies that makes sense for your business. 

Once you have sent a benchmark for your company, you can look to energy management to help you stay on course. Energy management is a process that allows you to effectively manage how much energy you use and how to control, monitor, and conserve as much energy as possible while still being able to meet your demands economically. 

This requires strategies and policies, organisational changes, energy audits, energy conservation measures, administrative actions, training and awareness programmes, the monitoring of energy conservation efforts, and more.

Do not be afraid to reach out for assistance in managing your energy assets if you feel that your company does not have the skills or know-how to do so. We can help you put an actionable carbon reduction policy in place. You can also look at energy management technology like ClearVUE Systems. Systems like this one provide you with unprecedented levels of energy data in real time, allowing you to act now and in the right way towards achieving Net Zero goals.

How to use energy management to keep yourself on target

How can companies follow up on their carbon-cutting strategies? After all, one cannot manage what they cannot measure. Companies can look to energy management, a process by which an organisation can effectively manage how much energy they use and how to control, monitor, and conserve as much energy as possible while still producing enough to meet their demands.

Energy management hardware and software put energy data into your hands, providing you with the insights you need to act swiftly and productively towards reducing consumption, cost, and carbon. Solutions such as ClearVUE Systems provide you with unprecedented levels of energy data in real time. You can instantly spot anomalies and inefficient trends in your energy profile, allowing you to act quickly and implement cost and energy saving measures.

Case study

Cambridge Fluid Systems was able to simultaneously cut carbon and costs with the help of the ClearVUE energy management system. With its offices in Europe, Africa, and Asia, the business was unable to establish how much energy was being used in different territories and at different times. Due to the scale of the business’ operations, the disparity of information and the time it took to collate the information from all sites, energy management was proving to be an impossible task.

Thanks to their investment in an energy management system, the company was able to spot their waste energy and devise and commit to a plan to reduce energy waste. In the end, they saw not only more efficiently consumed energy, but reduced costs and carbon emissions as well. 

“ClearVUE… helped us to realise how helpful it is to be able to monitor energy usage. We can now employ best practices across our global operations, cutting consumption and costs and vitally CO2 too.” – Cambridge Fluid Systems 

Adhering to the plan

With or without an energy management system, no positive environmental impact will be seen if operational and behavioural patterns to reduce carbon emissions of the business are not stringently followed. This means adhering to the plan of action created after an energy audit. 

Knowing where and how to start a decarbonisation plan can be the biggest hurdle for businesses. Dan Smith, Head of Energy Services for ClearVUE Systems, encourages businesses to invest in the energy audit. Following this, a real business plan can be crafted to work in tandem with Net Zero ambitions, one in which the business can remain profitable and productive while doing their critical part in cutting carbon emissions to save our planet. 

“Once we do the investigative work,” Dan Smith says, “there is a business case for Net Zero: save energy, save money, and save carbon. Incentives are great, but we can decarbonise without them. We can build a business case around it.”

Let us help you cut costs and carbon

Northern Gas and Power has a full team of professional assessors ready to help you analyse where, when, why, and how energy is used in your process, building, site, or organisation. We can help you identify opportunities to reduce consumption, cost, emissions, and eliminate waste.

Discover more about our services on our website, or give us a call at +44 (0)3 300 300 800 to speak with us directly.

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