Energy Benchmarking is the latest buzzword in the world of energy management, carbon emissions and conservation. We are finding that increasing numbers of new and existing clients are questioning how and where they can save energy. This is where the Carbon Trust can assist. The Carbon Trust was set up by the UK Government in 2001 and is an independant company created to “accelerate the move to a low carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.”
It might be worth spending some time using their Benchmarking Tool For Office Buildings – here you can make an assessment of how much energy you use in your office spaces and compare this with benchmarks produced for 4 different office types as part of the very detailed ECON 19 publication. This enables the user to flag up any potential need for change and improvement in efficient use of energy.
In the 21st century one of the greatest challenges we face is tackling that of climate change and global warming. It is clear that there is a link between our everyday activities and the increase in pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore the issue of climate change is one which we have to tackle thanks to protocols and policies such as the KYOTO agreement and the UK Climate Change Bill. So ‘going green’ could be used as a stimulus to help the UK and potentially the world to pull itself out of the recession we are falling into.
The electricity sector currently generates a huge amount of emissions with about 75% of UK power stations being coal or gas fired. In fact electricity generation accounts for over a third of the UK’s total carbon emissions. Therefore, if the UK were to migrate to using more alternative electricity generation methods such as wind, solar and hydro, emissions would fall dramatically. This transition could also produce a huge opportunity for job creation in the Low-carbon sector.
Despite the current global economic predicament, the UK government are pushing forward with their ambitious targets for the reduction of greenhouse gases. The latest addition to the climate change policy in the UK will be the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), due to be introduced in 2010. All large users of electricity, (ones with an electricity bill of approximately £500,000 for the period January 1st 2008 – December 31st 2008) are CRC organisations and will eventually be required to take part in a cap and trade scheme, buying allowances to cover their emissions. Where those who do well will be rewarded with bonus payments and those who do badly will suffer financial penalties.