New report says energy efficiency is not just needed; it’s essential

A new report from the Royal Academy of Engineering says, ‘Improving energy efficiency and resource productivity needs to be a priority.’ The paper definitively reveals just how key efficiency is for a resilient, effective UK.

The report, a collaboration of 38 organisations, forms the engineering profession’s collective response to the government’s green paper on industrial strategy. It has benefited from an unprecedented level of engagement by the engineering community; vital to creating its meaningful, focused lobbying position on efficiency.

Describing the paper, the Energyst writes that, ‘The UK’s main engineering bodies have urged government to provide energy efficiency payments or tax breaks to businesses, communities and households that can demonstrate proven reductions in demand.

‘The engineers also urged government to give teeth to existing energy efficiency regulations. Focusing on energy efficiency and productivity will be the cheapest way of decarbonising the economy and increasing UK competitiveness.’

Energy efficiency’s vital role; the Royal Academy paper in depth

The Academy is unequivocal; energy efficiency is essential, and it’s needed sooner rather than later.

It writes; ‘Energy efficiency is often overlooked, but a unit of energy saved is usually much cheaper than all production options. Reducing demand has a double benefit: it benefits the user by reducing their costs and it benefits the system by reducing the amount of generation required.’

The Academy argues that incentives and regulation should go hand-in hand with reporting against energy efficiency benchmarks of performance standards, which many in the professional engineering community would view as a reasonable requirement.

Plenty in the wider sector agree. “Improving energy efficiency and resource productivity needs to be a priority, particularly in buildings, and a systems-thinking approach is required to deliver this in all sectors,” Ant Wilson, Director and AECOM Fellow, Sustainability and Advanced Design Building Engineering, told The Academy.

What comes next?

“Papers like these go a long way towards proving what we at Energys know; how vital energy efficiency is to a resilient and productive UK,” says Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Here, we are keen to work with all stakeholders, including the government, to establish and deliver the best systems for promoting efficient growth and sustainable UK businesses.”

The Academy’s paper concludes that in order to achieve the goal of secure, stable and affordable energy supply, the government needs to base its policymaking around multi-vector, system-wide solutions that build on end-use energy efficiency measures.

Such work could do much to put the UK on the path to the overarching sustainability so badly needed, not only for business profit, but for CO2 remediation and more secure, longer term power.

“As such, papers like these are essential to helping raise the level of the debate, in advance of the energy efficient futures we all predict will soon be here,” concludes Cox.

Retrofit technologies are the lifeblood of buildings and business, confirms new report

A new paper reveals global revenue for energy efficient retrofits in commercial buildings is estimated to exceed $100 billion (£0.74bn) by 2025.

The news is vastly impactful; on a global scale, buildings, both residential and commercial, are said to account for 37% to 45% of total final energy consumption.

Thus, energy efficient technologies stand ready to comprehensively combat climate change, by mitigating carbon emissions from buildings and delivering the futuristic building stock of tomorrow.

Reducing existing energy consumption

At Energys, we’re proud to work at the pinnacle of low carbon tech. Alvin Chen, Research Analyst at Navigant Research, behind the report, said: “Worldwide, countries are making commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. Energy efficiency retrofits will be a key component toward reducing existing energy consumption and reducing the need for new generation.”

“We know this to be true,” confirms Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys. “Our numerous successful case studies point to the worldwide revolution taking place. Yesterday’s building stock is being made more sustainable at unprecedented rates.”

Retrofitting success stories

Hyde Park Junior School

Energys Group equipped Hyde Park Junior and Infant Schools in Plymouth with retrofit boiler optimisation technology in just a single half-day of work. The project is now predicted to save the schools 15% a year on their energy bills.

Moreover, 9.45 tonnes of carbon savings have been achieved, overall payback is estimated at 2.5 years.

Hackney Community College

Using Salix energy efficiency funding, Hackney Community College in east London has converted 4,900 lamps to LED, as well as implementing boiler optimisation controls and specialist insulation – supplied and installed by Energys Group.

320 tonnes of CO2 a year are being saved, as part of a major energy efficiency upgrade that will pay for itself in just over 2.5 years.

Retrofit to the future

“We’re immensely proud of our track record,” says Cox. “We know our technologies, are comprehensively fit for purpose, futureproof and timely to install. Across schools and hospitals, with the NHS or with private leisure centres, our role in the transition to a sustainable UK is central.”

The Energys Guide: Frequently asked questions about LED lighting for schools

At Energys Group, we have helped hundreds of schools save money and reduce their carbon footprint by upgrading their old, inefficient lighting to the latest energy saving solutions.

For schools considering making the switch to LED lighting, here is our guide to the most frequently asked questions.

Understanding LEDs

1. LEDs are more expensive than traditional lighting – are they worth it?

Yes. LEDs consume far less energy (saving up to 70% on energy use) meaning that payback can be achieved in a much shorter amount of time than fluorescent or incandescent lighting – typically less than 3 years.

LEDs also have a much longer life expectancy than traditional fluorescent or incandescent lighting even when compared to the latest T5 technology. LEDs can last up to 10 times longer than traditional options.

2. Are all LEDs the same? Shouldn’t I just go with the cheapest quote?

Not all LEDS on the market are the same – there are a lot of suppliers out there providing differing quality LEDs over a broad pricing range.

This vast range of products makes selecting the correct product for your application very difficult. Without the correct product the result may be that you don’t get the outcome you should be getting in terms of light output, quality, colour or lamp life.

As an LED manufacturer, our LED products offer high quality as standard, with low glare, even light distribution, excellent colour and over 50,000 hours life expectancy, all backed with our 5 year product guarantee.

3. Will LED lighting reduce my maintenance costs?

The long life of LED fixtures (50,000 hours) also massively reduces the costs and disruption associated with maintenance – making them even more cost-efficient.

4. Don’t LED lights give off a cold colour?

Not necessarily. In fact, LEDs offer a whole range of colour options to suit your space – be it warm white, daylight, or a cooler tone. Our team has a lot of experience working with schools and can advise you on the best ‘colour temperature’ for your application – whether it’s a classroom, office or sports hall.

5. Don’t LEDs cause more glare than traditional lighting?

While poorer quality LEDs can cause glare, our products have been designed specifically to address this issue. Our LED solutions for schools keep glare to an absolute minimum, particularly important in areas with high glare potential such as sports halls and ICT rooms.

6. LEDs are coming down in price – is it worth me waiting a few more years?

The price of LEDs has reduced considerably over the last few years to the point we are now. Only small further reductions and/or technology upgrades are currently being introduced as the technology becomes more and more mature.

It’s also important to factor in the ‘cost of inaction’ while you wait. Installing LEDs now will start to deliver energy savings straight away, whereas as you wait your less efficient lighting is costing you money.

We typically see investment in school LED upgrades pay for themselves in less than 3 years.

7. I’ve heard that LEDs aren’t bright enough – is that true?

No – we use our industry experience to ensure that the replacement LED product specified will provide superior lighting output, performance and uniformity to your existing lighting while still providing the maximum energy savings.

8. Are the LED fittings direct replacements for the existing lighting?

Yes – we use direct replacements both in terms of lighting performance and form & fit.
This ensures that minimal disruption is caused during the installation.

LED Lighting for schools: choosing the right supplier

1. Have your staff been DBS-checked?

Yes, our installation staff will have already undergone DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks – so they can get on with the job straight away.

2. Do you have experience in providing lighting to schools?

Yes, we have extensive experience in the schools/education sector. Read our case studies online and read our book of education sector press coverage.

3. How do I know that you are going to be around for the full warranty period?

Energys Group has a solid reputation within the schools sector; since our company was founded 10 years ago we have helped hundreds of schools reduce their energy bills with energy efficient technologies. We would be happy to provide you with references; read our case studies for testimonials.

Funding for LED lighting upgrades

1. You offer a leasing arrangement option to finance the lighting upgrade – how does it work?

We offer a lease package in partnership with Utility Rentals, which enables schools to press on with their lighting projects now, with no upfront capital required. Rentals can be structured over a 3 or 5 year period, depending on what suits your school the most. And all installation and ongoing maintenance charges can also be spread over the rental.

The lease package includes a 5 year parts warranty as standard so you have comfort in knowing that if so much as a light bulb fails within that period, your school will not have to pay a penny to replace it.

Flexible payment profiles are available – payments can be made annually or quarterly and can be structured to match your school’s budget.

2. What are the benefits of a leasing arrangement, rather than paying for the lighting upfront?

  • There is no upfront capital outlay required.
  • You pay as you save – in most cases, the savings on electricity bills will outweigh the lease cost.
  • Your revenue budget can be used, freeing up your capital budget for other uses within the school.
  • Payments are fixed for the term of the lease, offering protection against inflation.
  • The operating lease is designed for the education sector and compliant with IAS17.
  • At the end of your rental agreement, you can upgrade your lighting again, to the latest technology: and seamlessly continue paying the same annual/quarterly fee out of your revenue budget.

Do you have a school lighting question that we didn’t answer? For help and advice on upgrading your school lighting, contact us.

Energys Group saves Hackney Community College 320 tonnes of CO2 a year in major energy retrofit upgrade

The college, which supports the success of over 9,000 students each year from its award-winning Shoreditch campus in the heart of east London, has converted 4,900 lamps to LED, as well as implementing boiler optimisation controls and specialist insulation – supplied and installed by Energys Group. The project forms part of a major energy efficiency upgrade, and will pay for itself in just over 2.5 years. The campus includes industry-standard specialist facilities and workshops as well as high-spec classrooms, for local people to get the skills they need for work and life.

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