Four steps to get your business on track for net-zero during the energy crisis

As we approach the end of a challenging year on many fronts, it is understandable that some businesses may feel their decarbonisation efforts have been forced to take a back seat of late. Energy costs and resilience of supply have risen to the top of the agenda. However, edie’s Net-Zero November campaign, and a reaffirmed commitment to 1.5C at COP27, have brought net-zero sharply back into focus.

As we head into 2023, many will face tough choices on how to navigate the economic uncertainty which lies ahead, while keeping net-zero commitments alive. The long-term solution will be for businesses to take energy consumption into their own hands, investing in renewables to support the shift away from carbon intensive, price-volatile fossil fuels.

However, this may not be possible as an immediate action and, in the interim, an energy efficiency approach is the more feasible option. Having spent the past three decades improving the energy and carbon performance of more than 1 million buildings globally, our experts have developed a four-step plan to help businesses improve their energy management strategy and reduce their carbon impact, while saving costs, improving employee comfort and productivity, and supporting your ESG strategy along the way. You can read more in IES’s free Guide to Reducing Business Energy Costs, but here are our headline tips:

1) Understanding your organisation’s energy consumption

Understanding exactly where and when your business is using energy is the vital first step in getting your buildings on track for net-zero, while supporting better energy management and cost reduction strategies. After all – if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Budgeting for and investing in the latest smart metering and energy monitoring infrastructure now is key to unlocking larger, sustained savings on all fronts – energy, cost and carbon

2) Identify low/no-cost operational improvements

With a better handle on your data you can start to identify the highest emitters and where energy is being wasted. Facilities teams can then adapt how they operate your building(s), implementing low/no-cost control changes, which will lower your carbon impact and help save potentially 20% on operational energy costs.

3) Set up remote energy monitoring

To save time and improve efficiency, consider setting up remote energy monitoring for your buildings, including the heating and cooling systems. This will prevent operational drift, whereby efficiencies are lost over time due to building occupants and managers altering settings, equipment and use patterns.

4) Consider bigger building and renewable investments

Once operational improvements have been implemented, consider bigger netzero investment opportunities. Retrofitting may be the most effective way to set your business on the journey to net-zero, and can also offer opportunities to save money and increase energy resilience.

Technology, such as digital twins, exists to support each of these steps, providing a central digital asset from which to collate and analyse your data, identify and monitor operational improvements, and simulate future scenarios and interventions to support better decision-making. Using such tools can provide confidence that net-zero investments are well-informed, backed by data and will get your business where it needs to be.

edie’s Net-Zero November report

Incorporating exclusive COP27 coverage, high-level interviews, themed podcast episodes and a dedicated Net-Zero Action online event, edie’s Net-Zero November campaign saw us deliver up a bumper month of content designed to help businesses raise their sustainability ambitions and accelerate climate action. And what a month it was…

To summarise all the key developments, announcements and initiatives, as well as capturing the key messages of thought leaders, edie has partnered with IES to create a post-COP business report on how net-zero will evolve moving forward.

Click here to download the report.

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