Top 5 Energy Saving Opportunities to Future-Proof Your Business

 Lord Redesdale, Member of the House of Lords and CEO of The Energy Managers Association, organisers of EMEX, looks at ways to Future Proof your business. 

1. Does your business manage its own facilities?


Get on top of new Government energy standards, assess risks and, where necessary, act now to make improvements that ensure buildings exceed the minimum energy efficiency standard or face the prospect of the value of your assets decreasing significantly.

By commissioning or upgrading existing systems, you can expect energy savings of 20 to 40%, which typically represent a simple payback of less than 3 years on average.

With over 120 exhibitors ranging from major utilities to brokers and consultants, equipment manufacturers to training companies and showcasing a broad range of energy efficient solutions and services under one roof, EMEX has become a unique opportunity to learn about the new technology, systems and services available in this fast changing environment.

From the latest variable-speed drive dedicated to HVAC applications with ABB, energy efficient compressed air systems with Atlas Copco, commission-free energy saving lighting control system with Feilo Sylvania, integration of artificial intelligence in HVAC and BMS systems with Ecopilot, energy-saving EC fan technology for air movement applications with EBM Papst, as well as a full range of management services for multi-sited organisations with Ignite Energy, Sabien's M2G boiler load optimisation control to prevent boiler dry cycling. Other notable participants include Siemens, Schneider Electric, Total Gas & Power, EnerNOC, E.ON, Gardner Denver, Ingersoll Rand Compression Technologies & Services, Salix Finance, Carbon Trust, Carbon 2018, MWA Technology, Wilson Power Solutions, Fluke and Green Energy Consulting.

2. Does your organisation employ more than 50 people?


One of the most important energy efficiency measures is training. You could save up to 30% on your utility bills. Latest development in behavioural change can help your business to engage with your staff so they become active players in reducing operating costs while improving sustainability credentials, all this with no capital outlay and no interruption of day-to-day business.

Experts, such as the Operations Improvement Manager at British Sugar, the Senior Sustainability Manager at Skanska, the Energy and Environmental Manager at the Bank of England, the Energy and Utilities Advisor at the House of Commons and the Energy and Sustainability Manager at University College London, all specialists in behaviour change, to name just a few, will share their experience. Their presentations will leave you better equipped to deliver energy efficiency in your organisation from one-off projects to a strategy that is embedded in staff culture.

3. Does your business require flexibility in energy supply?


The UK's energy mix is fast changing. By taking a flexible approach to energy consumption, you can help mitigate intermittency in supply, lower your costs and generate new revenue.


Demand Reduction is a key area for policy makers and companies this year, as this winter will see a very tight margin between supply and demand. The EMA will be launching a new report Dynamic Response, which will promote a new solution to this problem - flexible load shifting through battery storage from off-peak to peak periods. This system will help you reduce costs through reduction in expensive peak time pricing, reduce transmission charges and deal with security of supply issues.

This new technology will be rolled out in the next couple of years; seminars on how you could incorporate this system into your business and actually make a profit will be explored in the presentations. This is a decentralizing solution that will make renewables a central part of generation on the grid. How the electricity codes will need to be amended will be covered, and the work of the EMA in lobbying for these changes will also be highlighted.

National Grid will present Power Responsive, a stakeholder-led programme of work to stimulate increased participation in the different forms of flexible technology in Britain's energy markets. They also plan to facilitate the rapid growth of demand-side solutions.

Also exhibiting at EMEX, offshore wind market leader DONG Energy is leading the way in the development of sophisticated tools that enable businesses to be more flexible in the way that energy is consumed. It has come up with a unique way to help balance its own generation at times when the wind doesn't blow.

Corona Energy, a leading independent energy supplier to UK businesses will offer expert advice on energy efficiency with a fresh approach to managing your energy usage presented at the show. They were recently awarded UK's largest annual Natural Gas supply contract by the Crown Commercial Service, a Government agency that provides commercial and procurement services for Government departments and the UK public sector.

Also presenting at the show, Origami Energy is an ambitious new technology company, created with the objective of developing the technology and financial that are required to connect, control and actively manage a large network of existing energy generating / energy using / energy storing assets connected to the electricity grid.

4. Has your company set a sustainability plan?


Renewables now account for 25% of UK electricity generation, which is up from 9% in 2011. Switching to renewables and green-tech is a substantial and yet untapped opportunity for most businesses to reduce costs and meet carbon emission target rapidly.

At EMEX (16 and 17 November 2016 at ExCeL London), Good Energy will launch their new web platform for businesses customers to enhance transparency and control of their energy supply with the ability to match with local renewable generators.

Alternatively, instead of buying all of your energy from suppliers, you can install renewables technology also called micro generation and low-carbon technology to generate your own. ENERCON UK, Emergya Wind Technologies, Lightsource Renewable Energy, Norvento Wind Energy and Patchwork Energy will present the latest technologies to generate energy from wind, sun and biomass fuel.

EMEX is also the place where you get first-hand updates on the reform of the energy efficiency tax landscape. The previous government responded to fiscal challenges by abolishing the CRC energy efficiency scheme. The Head, Business Energy Tax and Reporting from the newly formed Department of Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) will give a review on current progress toward a single tax, the merger of CRC and GHG and how the tax will be based around CCL (Climate Change Levy), and an update on the consultations for a new streamlined reporting framework. Does this mean business will need to comply with ESOS, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, once a year instead of every 4 years? ESOS is an EU legislation that is written within the English law so, in principle, it won't be affected by Brexit.

5. Does your business use a large amount of water?


Businesses need to start planning now for the most radical changes in the water industry for a generation. From April 2017, over 1.2 million eligible businesses and other non-household customers in England will be able to choose their supplier of water and wastewater retail services.

The smallest high street shops to the largest public authorities will be able to shop around and choose their retailer or renegotiate the existing deal.

if you prepare well for the changes in advance, deregulation of the water industry presents a fresh opportunity for your company to make significant savings when it comes to managing your utility costs. Companies operating in multiple locations can use just one supplier rather than several, which allow them to negotiate price on a much larger volume and to simplify billing process. Some retailers will work with such clients to reduce their water bill through the introduction of water efficient kit and metering, in order to form the basis of a Water Performance Contract in which water efficiency savings will be shared by the client and the retailer.

In Scotland, where competition was introduced in 2008, Business Stream achieved more than £35 million in Water Efficiency savings, experienced a 26% increase in customer satisfaction, made available more than £30m worth of discounts, saved public sector customers more than £20m and helped customers save 16 billion litres of water and more than 28,000 tons of CO2 in the first 3 years.

Early birds in the market will snap the best deals, so don't wait until April 2017 to do your benchmark. Business Stream, Water Plus (a new joint venture between Severn Trent and United Utilities), The Water Retail Company, Waterscan, Water 2 Business to name a few will be presenting their offerings at EMEX.

With such diverse solutions, knowledge and expertise on offer, it is not surprising that thousands of small and medium businesses, as well as household names such as Coca-Cola, NHS, British Airways, Harrods, Hilton Worldwide, Boots, RBS, TATA, British Land, Ministry of Defence, AstraZeneca, Sodexo, Dixon Carphone, IBM, Bellrock, BAE Systems, Co-Operative Group, Ofgem, Network Rail, MITIE, CBRE, Whitbread, Mitchells and Butlers, British Telecom, House of Fraser and many county and city councils are already registered to attend.

EMEX is an annual exhibition that takes place on 16 and 17 November 2016 at ExCeL London.

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