The countdown to Christmas is on. With only a few weeks left in the year, any new meaningful projects may well have to wait until the new year; but you can still be productive.
Now is the perfect time to reflect on the year and tie up loose ends, so when you return to your desk after Christmas (if you’re lucky enough to have some time off), you can start with a fresh slate. Here are a few things that you can action now to help you get off to a good start in January.
Prepare to make the most of the festive shutdown
Whether your organisation has a full Christmas shutdown or just a few days where the premises aren’t open, it’s a good opportunity to let these non-working days do some energy management work.
- It’s an ideal time to measure the baseload energy usage in your buildings when they are not open, or no one is there. Here’s how:
- If your building(s) has half hourly monitoring of gas and electricity, then do nothing! For now. Set a reminder for when you return to work to review this data and look at the profile of energy use.
- A good rule of thumb for an office building is that the baseload energy use should be around 10% of the peak use. If yours is significantly above this, it suggests that there is unnecessary energy usage during these downtime periods. This will need investigating.
- If your building does not have automatic meter readings, then take a meter reading before you leave for the Christmas break. Set a reminder to take another as soon as you’re back in the office.
- Averaging the energy used over the days that your office / building was closed means that you can compare this to the average during busy / normal periods.
Top tip – don’t just do this on gas and electricity use. If possible, take readings or monitor water use as well. It’s a great opportunity to identify any possible leaks which you may not currently be aware of.
Assess the key dates for your organisation
- Have you hit all the important energy compliance deadlines?
- If you are eligible for ESOS Phase 2, you’ve probably just delivered your submission. If not, there is still time to minimise penalties – give us a call and we can help.
- Is your organisation affected by the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework? If so, start making SECR preparations well in advance of the deadline
- Are you up to date with your compliance requirements? Is your Display Energy Certificate (DEC) still valid – if it expires at the beginning of the year, book a renewal. Don’t forget to check the validity of the Recommendation Report that accompanies the DEC – this may need renewing too so you need to book a survey. Are there any recommendations that could be implemented in the new year that would deliver significant improvements?
- And if you do need to have a survey, is your Air Conditioning report in date? If this needs renewing, it could be done at the same time as the DEC Recommendations Report site survey.
- Also, check when your boiler and heating system will need servicing. Add it to your calendar as a reminder.
Remind your colleagues that they can help
Many hands make light work. Remind colleagues that they can help save energy over the Christmas period. Get them to:
- Switch off the lights – particularly non-essential lighting that needn’t be on when no one is occupying their office or work area.
- Turn down the thermostat – turning down the heating so it is just high enough to prevent frost can significantly cut fuel consumption.
- Shut down non-essential equipment – monitors, computers, photocopiers, and printers.
- Don’t forget less obvious energy wasters in the staff kitchen – unplug any empty fridges, chilled water machines, hot water urns, kettles, and microwaves.
If you would like advice on keeping your business energy efficient, our expert energy consultants offer a range of services to help you. Call us on 01908 690018 or contact us here.
This post has now been updated, please see the latest version here.