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How our customers are building a more sustainable energy future

Centrica Business Solutions is helping organisations across the globe to improve environmental performance with distributed energy technologies.

Climate change is one of the biggest risks for global society, making it critical for all organisations to embed sustainability at the heart of business strategy.

Those forward-thinking businesses that have moved to lower carbon energy sources and reduced energy waste are having a huge impact on greenhouse gas reduction. And new energy solutions and technology means it's now easier and more affordable to deploy sustainable energy practices and contribute to the slowing of climate change.

Energy revolution

Renewable and low carbon energy supplies are fast displacing fossil fuels as the UK moves to a decentralised model of energy generation and distribution. This is opening up new opportunities for business leaders to transform the way they source, monitor, manage and consume energy – leading to better cost and environmental performance.

Among many examples of best practice, the UK government has announced a 43% greenhouse gas emissions reduction target across its central estate by 2019/20, compared to 2009/10 levels. Businesses will had an opportunity to celebrate their progress on climate action at the government's first ever Green GB Week in October 2018.

Accelerating carbon reduction

During Green GB Week, we launched our research report, Distributed Energy - Powering sustainability. It examines the serious energy sustainability challenge facing UK businesses and public organisations, and reveals how new distributed energy technologies can help accelerate the critical decarbonisation process.

In the report, we've calculated the carbon saving potential of deploying distributed energy solutions across 50% of the NHS and UK manufacturing and hospitality and leisure sectors. Our modelling shows that this would deliver cumulative savings of 137MtCO₂e through to 2030; the equivalent to annual emissions of 43 million homes.

Learn more about the Distributed Energy: Powering sustainability report in this video

Walking the talk on energy sustainability

Centrica Business Solutions supports all types of organisations to design and implement end-to-end distributed energy strategies, but our methods and technologies are also practised and proven within our own company.

By embedding sustainability across our entire international enterprise – from property to transport – we've dramatically reduced our carbon emissions. As such, we're on target to achieve a 50% reduction in our global internal carbon footprint by 2025 and have again achieved an A- rating in 2018 from the prestigious CDP climate ranking organisation.  

We have deployed low carbon and renewable on-site generation technologies, such as solar, biomass and combined heat and power (CHP), together with advanced energy analytics that inform wide-ranging energy efficiency measures. We have also introduced demand side response (DSR) and electric vehicles.

Best practice in action

But managing our own impact on the climate isn't enough, it is important to us that we help our customers improve their own environmental performance. That's why we are using distributed energy solutions to help other organisations to implement sustainable energy strategies.

Below are a range of examples, from across the globe, of organisations we are helping to make a more positive impact; and the technology that is powering their future energy sustainability ambitions.

Energy insights: Our PowerRadar™ advanced energy analytics have led to a 7% energy saving at The Franklin office towers in Chicago. By using our technology to monitor and analyse circuit-level energy, building services engineers identified that unnecessary energy was being used out-of-hours and during the summer months. Rectifying this anomaly led to 3 million kW of annual energy savings, valued at $214,000 per year, with a payback on investment of less than 6 months.

Low carbon CHP generation: The University of North Midlands NHS Trust is using our  CHP and advanced monitoring technology at its Royal Stoke University Hospital to reduce CO2 emissions by 8% (almost 2,800 tonnes a year). The project is also delivering recurring revenue savings. 

Energy efficiency: Our energy performance contract with Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust is cutting carbon emissions, while delivering energy cost savings of £1 million per year. We've installed our high efficiency low carbon CHP units, together with a comprehensive LED lighting upgrade programme that includes movement sensors and remote-control technology. This project will yield a guaranteed return on investment within 10 years.  

Battery storage: We have installed the UK's largest commercial energy storage system at Cornwall's  Olde House holiday site, significantly improving utilisation of the solar power generated on site, while saving up to 50% on peak price energy imports. This is part of Centrica's pioneering Cornwall Local Energy Market (LEM) project, which will also enable the business to generate revenue from Demand Side Response (DSR) participation via our LEM software and trading platform. 

Solar: Our solar PV installation at Noor-UL-Iman School in New Jersey has replaced 80% of the grid electricity consumed with renewable electricity. This has dramatically reduced the school's carbon footprint. It has also reduced electricity costs by 86%, which is projected to save the school a total of  $949,300 over 25 years.

Demand Side Response: As Europe's number one DSR provider, our technology provides businesses with valuable energy saving intelligence. This has enabled a building materials manufacturer to achieve an average 5% energy reduction from all its connected assets and to reduce annual carbon emissions by approximately 35,000 tonnes. As an added bonus, the company is earning revenue from shifting loads and selling excess energy back to the grid at peak rates.

Tomorrow's innovation: We're live-testing blockchain technology at our Cornwall LEM project to explore how communities can use flexible demand, low carbon generation and battery storage in a fully decentralised local market place. The £19 million LEM trial aims to deliver smart, clean, affordable, flexible energy at the point of demand. Use of blockchain is key to establishing a virtual market place that is run by consumers.


Find out how how Centrica can help power your sustainable energy performance and learn more about our customer case studies.