What an extraordinary week, even by our standards! It’s clear now that energy-saving is now at the top of the agenda, both for the Government and for us all.
We’ve argued long and hard this year for a cost-effective national programme that promotes and supports a Simple Savings Steps Programme would radically cut consumption of energy and water, reduce the threat of power-cuts, and reduce carbon footprint across the country.
We think that the Simple Savings Steps Programme is a “no brainer” but accept that it does not qualify as a “Big, Sexy Idea” (BSI), too often a driver of policy and action in the UK.
We need to act quickly. When you see Sara Vaughan, director of regulation and strategy at energy company E.ON, not explicitly ruling out power-cuts soon on BBC Watchdog, then we understand that speed in addressing energy use is critical now.
It is also clear that the national energy strategy is fragmenting. The Green Deal has not worked as hoped, the regulatory pressures have reduced the UK’s ability to generate energy, the utility companies are becoming as welcome as the bankers in our straitened economy – and we are picking up the ever-increasing price of failure.
The Simple Savings Steps Programme is for both consumer and business. It is based on good research and it will make a big difference, both in the short-term and the longer term, which is where we should be focusing our efforts.
The Simple Savings Steps Programme has four energy-saving elements:
- Heating and ventilation (HVAC)
- Boiler management
Let’s outline how each of these can save anything between 25-90% in consumption.
Lighting – The case for LED lighting has been made, proved and is saving savvy businesses and consumers millions of pounds a year. But too few companies and individuals are grasping the opportunity.
LED lights can deliver up to 90% savings over traditional solutions and the initial cost will be repaid quickly. After that, users can expect year-on-year savings as the LED units have long life-span and very low maintenance costs.
Water – Why waste it when you can make huge savings with simple products? Fitting effective tap aerators, replacement eco taps and eco shower heads have been proven to cut water use by more than 50%.
These products are low-cost, very efficient, with long life and low or no maintenance. The outlay is repaid rapidly, less than a year in many cases and the benefits extend to lower heating costs with associated reduction in carbon footprint.
Heating and ventilation (HVAC) – This is one of the biggest costs for many commercial sectors, particularly in hotels. Companies can cut energy consumption, in some cases by up to 45% through more intelligent, low-cost monitoring systems that repay investment well within 24 months.
Boiler management – Low-cost solutions that increase the efficiency of boilers in commercial settings can reduce energy consumption by up to 18% annually. The payback is quick, in many cases within six months and the maintenance costs are negligible, meaning that these savings build year-on-year.
We can take with a pinch of salt the stories advising that the Prime Minister promotes “Wear A Jumper” this Winter to keep warm and save energy because, surely, there needs to be extreme swiftness in this case. The Simple Savings Steps Programme ticks all the boxes for all policy-makers and advisors, whatever colour they are (or may turn) when the cold starts to bite.
If you want more advice on simple steps to save money, cut energy bills and reduce carbon footprint, please give us a call on 0333 123 5464.