Where to start
No matter how big your office, building or plant, there are opportunities to save on your energy bill and reduce emissions. Here are a few places to start.
Analyse your energy bills
Analyse your energy bills for the past 2 years to determine areas to investigate. Include electricity, gas, vehicle fuel, coal, wood and any other type of energy you use.
Energy bills usually show two charges: the amount of energy supplied and a fixed daily charge. Plot both these charges from the past 2 years on a graph and see if there are any trends or spikes to investigate further. Your energy retailers should be able to provide digital records of usage and payments.
Count vehicle fuel costs as part of your energy use
Vehicle fuel cost components are volume, price and kilometres. Track these to compare vehicles in your fleet being used for the same task. You might find you could do the same job with a more fuel-efficient or electric vehicle, or manage with fewer cars. If you use GPS vehicle tracking, pull this data into the analysis as well. Drivers who regularly speed or hard accelerate could reduce emissions and save fuel by driving more efficiently.
Find out what your staff think
Staff hold important knowledge about what actually happens in the front line.
As part of your assessment, carry out a short survey to find out what staff think about energy and climate change, what will motivate them to save energy and what problems you might come across when you implement your energy plan.
If you set up an energy team as part of the foundations phase, this is a great way to kick off their work programme.
Set up a monitoring and targeting programme
When energy becomes a significant portion of your operational costs, a specific programme to monitor and target (M&T) energy use starts to make economic sense.
An M&T programme divides your business into energy cost centres. Closely monitoring each cost centre and comparing energy use with key outputs helps you set targets, spot variances and take action.
M&T is usually overseen by an energy manager. Collaboration with an external consultant or an M&T software provider can help your business extract more value out of the programme.