No matter what type of facility you manage, the frosty time of year is a pain. While families buy each other gifts, and Santa does one final purvey of his naughty and nice list, the average facility manager is thinking of other things. How much energy will their facility chew through? Will this affect their budget for the year?
Energy is one of those areas that any practical person is always keeping an eye on. Why? Because with the technology available, there are always ways to save on cost. It is crucial to know the consumption of your facility, and the equipment and electricals within it.
Identifying energy saving potential can have impressive consequences on your business’s bottom line. In addition to financial savings, clear and documented energy efficiency measures are crucial to a company’s reputation and competitiveness within a marketplace that values (and insists upon) sustainability efforts.
In 2009 the EU set a directive for the UK to be reliant on renewable energy for up to 15% of their total needs. As such, the UK is making impressive strides towards a more sustainable, energy-efficient future.
Over the last decade, energy consumption has been steady, fluctuating slightly higher or lower each year in totality. There has been less reliance on gas as a major source, and a big push toward renewable sources.
All this means is that you should be constantly reviewing your energy usage and needs!
So how can I save energy in winter?
We will begin with a general, basic understanding of seasonal energy needs. The average home (not facility) uses less than 500 kW in summer and over 700 kW in winter. Even if we take a vague application of that equation – winter uses about 40% more electricity – we can see how this affects the finances quite heavily. This is especially true for a large facility which consumes vast amounts of energy, day in and day out.
There are a number of ways to save energy as an FM, beginning with a clear understanding of your current usage:
Conduct an energy audit
You can’t plug holes until you know where the holes are.
Why do I need to audit my energy usage?
Conducting an energy audit is your way of categorising what gets used where, and then seeing how that will be affected by the change in weather. Also, as a facility manager, your facility will likely use different amounts of energy depending on its type.
For example, a boarding school in the UK, when its dimensions, buildings, grounds, classrooms, etcetera are taken into account, will use a huge amount of energy over winter to account for early mornings, 24-hour heating, lights for studying and so on. On the other hand, an office building which opens at 7am and closes at 6pm will likely use less energy.
Other ways to save energy
- Check that your energy supplier is providing you with the best service
- Changing your supplier could result in better costs
- Voltix Services can assist you in evaluating your providers ability to give you what you need
- Switch to LED
- In a recent blog, we highlighted the immense savings on energy that LED lighting provides. Go have a look! Changing to LED can lead to substantial cost-effective solutions.
- Maintenance and servicing
- It goes without saying that maintenance and servicing all of your equipment, sites and hazardous areas goes a long way toward reducing costs and consumption in winter.
- Switching off
- Probably the most obvious solution, but making sure all energy-consuming tangibles are switched off will go a very long way
How can Voltix Services help me?
Voltix Services has an entire range of energy management services to assist you! These include:
Sub-metering helps you understand where energy is being used in your building and is regarded by some as the best energy technology investment a business can make. Voltix Services’ sub-metering solutions provide valuable energy information by delivering affordable, effective sub-metering systems for electricity and gas.
New Meter Installations
Voltix Services provide meter installations and energy supply contracts for new business premises or for companies moving into a new premises that will need a change of supplier. Voltix Services has helped a wide range of businesses, from large manufacturers who require an effortless, cost-effective process, to major retail businesses looking for on-site advice.
Bill Validation Services
Making sure you are paying the right amount on every utility bill takes time and resources. The practice of estimated billing, and the resulting incorrect tariff charges, means that some businesses overpay their utility bills by between 3 and 5% every year. Many energy invoices sent to customers are incorrect, but go unquestioned as they are not scrutinized sufficiently.
Voltix Services and Smarter Business Group can help you avoid this by checking your energy invoices from the last six years, as well as by validating ongoing bills. We can help you reclaim any overspend and ensure that your current and future rates are correct.
Whatever the size of your organisation, everyone stands to gain from being more energy efficient. Our range of services have helped numerous organisations to identify, evaluate and implement measures to make exceptional energy and financial savings.
Gas and Electricity Tariff Comparisons
Many facilities managers and financial directors manage their own energy portfolio. It is a time consuming and wearisome process. Voltix Services and Smarter Business Group take on the complete tender process on your behalf and are always on hand to answer any queries you may have during the procurement process and for the life of the contract.
The energy-scape of the UK, Europe and the world at large is certainly not set in stone; with changing legislation, energy sources and technologies it’s important to have a partner that keeps ahead, identifying ways in which your facility can save both time and money. Voltix Services is that partner, offering not only a range of energy management services, but a complete facilities maintenance solution.