Exploiting energy-saving opportunities
edie's Business Energy Barometer survey paints a challenging picture for UK energy managers. In this article Louis Burford, Centrica Business Solutions' Head of Solution Sales, comments on the report findings to highlight some of the key energy drivers, challenges and opportunities businesses face.
Developed in association with Centrica Business Solutions, edie's new Business Energy Barometer captures the views of energy managers from across the UK. From the survey findings, three key spending priorities stand out, and all energy managers need to be thinking and taking action on as we go into the back-half of 2019.
1. Rising energy prices
It's a universal truth that money talks, so perhaps unsurprising that edie's inaugural Business Energy Barometer shows that rising energy prices, along with environmental concerns, are persuading the C-suite to engage more with the energy agenda.
Encouragingly, the report shows that boards are investing in energy improvements – taking a pragmatic approach by prioritising energy efficiency. This is a sensible starting point for all energy improvement strategies – providing many opportunities to reduce consumption.
2. Informing energy saving
The second spending priority for the Barometer's respondents is data management and optimisation, which is crucial for understanding and visualising how energy is being consumed and where it's being wasted., Our customers are gaining rapid payback on investment from using Internet of Things (IoT) energy insight technologies to monitor and report energy use - right down to device level.
This informs where to focus energy saving and how to optimise equipment and processes for operational efficiency. It provides a useful employee engagement tool, which is proving a challenge for many of the businesses interviewed for the edie report. Energy intelligence can also highlight opportunities to use assets more flexibly to avoid peak power pricing, or to unlock revenue streams through demand side response (DSR).
3. Addressing the triple energy challenge
While the Barometer's respondents seemingly recognise that distributed energy strategies are the future in a decentralising market, few are prioritising energy storage, demand response or electric vehicles. Although these are more advanced solutions, organisations must consider such opportunities if they are to meet the urgent triple challenge of reducing costs, and decarbonising and securing future energy supplies.
In addition, organisations must not overlook the benefits of on-site generation and the finance options available.