edie energy management survey: Businesses ‘more committed than ever’

EXCLUSIVE: Employee engagement, behaviour change and technology upgrades are the key areas businesses are focusing on to become more energy efficient, but funding remains the biggest barrier to initiating energy-saving programmes.

Those are some of the key findings of the third annual exclusive edie report – Energy Management: Procurement, Planning and Purchasing Priorities 2015/16 – which surveyed 381 people responsible for energy management within their organisation.

Right track

Seventy-six percent of respondents said that energy-efficient lighting systems are the top area they are focusing on this year. Sixty-five percent are pushing employee engagement initiatives, while 60% will be focusing on building/energy management systems – a significant increase from 47% in last year’s survey.

When asked to rate how committed their organisation is to achieving energy management goals on a scale of one to five, almost two thirds (65%) of respondents rated their organisations as a four or a five. The proportion that thought their organisation was ‘very committed’ increased from 35% in 2014/15 to 39% in this year’s survey.

But there are a number of barriers which are stifling businesses in their attempts to initiate energy-saving programmes. The majority of respondents (62%) consider funding to be the greatest barrier. Meanwhile, 32% claimed that ‘selecting and implementing the right technology/programmes’ was the biggest barrier – a significant increase from the 24% of respondents that said this last year.

ESOS awareness

For larger companies, a big change since last year’s energy management survey has been the introduction of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), which requires all companies with more than 250 employees or a turnover of more than €50m to produce detailed reports on their energy use and efficiency every four years.

Ahead of the December deadline, the exclusive report paints a positive picture in terms of business awareness of ESOS. Eighty-two percent of respondents (which included companies that fall outside of the scheme’s requirements) had heard of it – much higher than other surveys have inferred.

However, only 39% of those responsible for energy management within their organisation have actually started work on engaging the required external lead assessor to carry out their ESOS assessment. And 80% do not have ISO 50001 or BS EN 16001 in place, so the vast majority of energy managers will have to carry out a specific ESOS audit this year to avoid being fined.

Sophisticated audience

Commenting on the report’s findings, Sarah Beacock, skills and capability director at the Energy Institute – an edie knowledge partner which supported the development of the survey – said: “It is encouraging to see that more organisations see themselves as being more committed to energy efficiency than ever. The edie survey tends to target those who are already well on the road of their energy efficiency journey and their commitment is obviously growing as their results and success increase.

“The increasing sophistication of techniques used by energy managers responding to this survey can also be seen through their organisations’ current focus of activity. In particular, by making more effective use of data and changing and developing their processes they can effectively build on the savings already seen through replacing technology and leading behavioural change.”

“The high awareness of ESOS again demonstrates the sophistication of this survey audience and it is encouraging to see how many have given thought to their needs in this respect.”

Energy Management: Procurement, Planning and Purchasing Priorities 2015/16 will be officially presented at edie’s Sustainability Live 2015 event later this month. A session on Day One of the show (21 April) will see edie editor Luke Nicholls explore the exclusive report’s findings in greater detail, with a closer look at the key challenges, business imperatives and opportunities for energy manages for the coming year.



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