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A recent article by the American Council for Energy Efficiency (ACEEE) provided a toolkit around how local government can plan and implement Energy Efficiency Polices. These recommendations are applicable to both local governments and businesses alike and are part of the growing adoption of Energy Efficiency policies.

ACEEE article is aimed at helping local governments in the US to implement energy efficiency policies. In Ireland the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland SEAI are champions of sustainable policies. A number of current and past SEAI programs reflect the guidelines as set out in the ACEEE report. The Better Energy Workplace, which grant supported businesses ran from 2011 to 2012 is an example of one support scheme targeted at businesses and commercial buildings. Frontline Energy & Environmental carried out a number of energy efficiency projects, including one at Merrion Hall in Dublin, Ireland.

One of the current programs under SEAI includes the framework support required for delivery of energy efficiency services to the Public Sector in Ireland. These programs include Advisory Services and Delivery of Expert Energy Advisory Services to the public sector, with a number of Energy Management companies being nominated to deliver these services. Very much in keeping with recommendations from the ACEEE report, the SEAI are already driving energy efficiency policies forward throughout Ireland.

A number of key baseline factors outlined in the tool kit include the following:

Understanding when and how facilities use energy is the first step in managing and reducing usage.

Energy Policy time frames in most cases will be a baseline method, and what we mean by this is either:

  • The date for a single year (a single year in the past).
  •  A rolling average (the average of several immediately previous years).
  •  Annual time-frame (the immediate previous year).

Time framing enables success in the near, medium and long-term future for energy goals. At the beginning it is wise to have near-term success builds to support for long-term energy management strategies. For example, requiring a 5% reduction after 5 years, 20% after 10 years, and 50% after 20 years mobilises a business into taking action and increases momentum. In tracking progress, it is important for businesses to track data relevant to normalizing energy use by economic or service activity by one of the following:

  • kilowatt-hours (kWh).
  • gas emissions (GHGs).
  • carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) equivalents.

Research from 2013 in the US estimates that on average 21-28% of baselines energy use was saved in buildings with Energy Performance Contracting (EPC) in operation. This in turn transitions a business into having an energy conscious ethos within its operations.

Introducing energy management goals that are in line with a business’s overall vision helps a business achieve energy and cost saving benefits through reductions.

Frontline Energy are one of the SEAI nominated service providers for Advisory Services and Delivery of Expert Energy Advisory Services to the public sector.

To find out how your business can become more energy efficient, get in touch with the Frontline Energy Team.

Other Energy Efficient Case Studies:

Energy Efficient Lighting Upgrade

Air Conditioning Upgrade – Phase out of R22 Refrigerant Gas.

Further reading and viewing:

Use less energy - Tedx video

The world in carbon dioxide - infographic

Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change

Sustainable Energy Supply Chain.