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How our customers are building a more sustainable energy future

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

Businesses are taking a renewed look at sustainability. Not only is it seen as a corporate responsibility, but due to developing technology and evolving energy markets, it also makes good financial sense.

Many businesses identify climate change as one of the biggest risks for global society, and are embedding sustainability at the heart of their 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. New energy solutions and technology mean 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 United States moves to a decentralized 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.

Better energy use not only means environmental sustainability, but better financial performance as well. Today’s consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before. Employees, shareholders and investors expect brands to pursue environmentally-focused corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. In research by Centrica Business Solutions, one quarter of respondents said that advanced energy solutions have not only improved their reputation but provided additional revenue too.

According to a 2017 international study by Unilever, a third of consumers (33%) are now choosing to buy from brands they believe are committed to having a positive social and environmental impact. The numbers are even higher in the United States, and data shows that the percentage is increasing year-over-year. 56% of consumers say they are willing to pay more to use environmentally-friendly products, according to a 2017 study by GFK. This is an increase of 3% since 2010.

This translates to the workforce as well. In order to attract and retain top talent, a commitment to sustainability is a requirement. In a 2017 study by Lightspeed, nine in ten Millennials believe it is important they work for a sustainable company, compared to 84% of Gen Xers and 77% of Baby Boomers.

Energy sustainability using end-to-end distributed energy strategies

Walking the talk on energy sustainability

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

By embedding sustainability across our entire international enterprise – from property to transportation – 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 organization.

We have deployed low carbon and renewable onsite generation technologies, such as Solar and Storage, Cogeneration/Combined Heat and Power (CHP), together with advanced energy analytics that inform wide-ranging energy efficiency measures. We have also introduced Demand Response (DR) 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 organizations to implement sustainable energy strategies.

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

Energy Insight: PowerRadar® advanced energy analytics delivered 7% energy savings at The Franklin office towers in Chicago. By using our technology to monitor and analyze 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 3,000 MWh of annual energy savings, valued at $214,000 per year, with a payback on investment of less than 6 months.

Cogeneration/Combined Heat and Power (CHP): A data solutions company required resilience in its energy supply and a reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions. We installed a highly efficient cogeneration solution to reduce their carbon emissions by over 650 metric tons per year. The 425 kW cogeneration unit is also delivering $135,000 in energy savings each year.

Energy Efficiency, Energy Insight and Demand Response: Excela Healthcare in PA has been awarded for its energy efficiency efforts throughout its footprint. They supported their mission of being conscious of their energy use and carbon footprint by maximizing their energy strategy and efficiency measures with our Energy Insight and Demand Response solutions. They were able to shed load consumption by reducing use from their HVAC systems, lighting and elevators – to curtail more than 3.5 MW at three of their locations and increase earnings by $50,000.

Solar: Reed Intermediate School in Newtown, CT partnered with Centrica Business Solutions and the Newtown Sustainable Energy Commission to bring the largest solar installation to date to Newtown. Our solar PV installation has replaced 39% of the grid electricity consumed with renewable electricity. This has dramatically reduced the school's carbon footprint – the amount of solar energy generated by their solar PV system is equivalent to 196 metric tons of waste recycled instead of landfilled each year, or 615,734 pounds of coal not burned each year. The system has also reduced electricity costs by 43%, which is projected to save the school a total $1,500,000 over 25 years.

Asset optimization: Our technology provides businesses with valuable energy saving intelligence. Our full-automated DR solution has enabled a water treatment plant to achieve a 5 MW energy load reduction from its upstream pumping stations and other equipment – with no effect on water output on pipeline pressure – and reduce annual carbon emissions by approximately 4,000 metric tons. This solution allows the plant to meet its objective of delivering excellent service reliability while minimizing its impact on climate change through energy management investments.

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