Energy and Resource Efficiency without the tears has been reviewed by Cathy Rust on her great green buildings site BEC Green…. This site is a great resource for all things green buildings and sustainability-related.
What I like about Cathy’s posts is that they are so wide-ranging – recent articles have covered: a circular-economy incubator in Rotterdam (entitled “Blue Roof – A Roof Made From Sewage Products“); an update on Californian regulations requiring that out-of-state suppliers of specified building materials (carbon steel rebar, flat glass, mineral wool board insulation and structural steel) submit an Environmental Product Declaration confirming that the products meet the specified carbon emissions; a review of a no clog, low-flow toilet; through to her personal reflections on test-driving an electric car.
The site also has links to a wealth of other sustainability resources and sites, as well as other book reviews.
I must warmly congratulate Cathy on her terrific contribution to her fellow sustainability practitioners and would urge folks to sign up for her blogs which are thought-provoking, insightful and very useful.
Survey after survey** of energy management professionals show that a lack of resources is the most commonly cited cause for rejecting investments in energy and resource efficiency projects.
At the same time, the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2012 reported that for their “Efficient World Scenario” that “Additional investment of US$11.8 trillion in more efficient end-use technologies is needed, but is more than offset by a US$17.5 trillion reduction in fuel expenditures and US$5.9 trillion lower supply-side investment.”
Clearly, a key to success in achieving a more efficient world is down to our ability, as efficiency practitioners, to obtain funding.
The excuse given by decision-makers that “we don’t have the money” is rarely true. If we are honest with ourselves, this response is often due to our own inability as practitioners to create a sufficiently compelling business case – one that addresses the many non-financial barriers that exist. My 840-page book on energy and resource efficiency is largely dedicated to sharing my own experience of these barriers and how they may be overcome:
- By properly quantifying the value that efficiency generates (e.g. dealing with hidden and missing costs, and valuing co-benefits)
- By understanding structural barriers (such as split incentives, irreversibility and term issues)
- By addressing psychological barriers (sunk costs fallacies, loss aversion, certainty bias etc.)
But let’s, for a moment, assume that there really is an availability barrier – i.e. no money. What then? Well, my book also describes 12 methods, in addition to conventional outright purchase, which can fund efficiency projects. Click the link below for a poster setting out the financial flows, pros and cons of these methods.
For a practical, comprehensive exploration of these challenges, please do download the free PDF of the book available on my website, which also describes each funding technique shown in the poster in detail. The book is full of real-world case studies and useful techniques that can help efficiency practitioners in any organisation, small or large.
In time decision-makers will gain appreciation of the great skills and value that our profession brings to organisations and communities. Indeed it us – efficiency practitioners – who are the key to solving the major challenge of our age: “how to do more with less”. Please do share this link with others to spread the word and share the knowledge.
** see for example: Prindle, William, and Andre de Fontaine. A Survey of Corporate Energy Efficiency Strategies, ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Industry 5, 13 (2009) or Institute for Building Efficiency. 2013 Energy Efficiency Indicators (2013)
I have had some kind feedback about my decision to give away a free PDF of my two-volume book on energy and resource efficiency, which sells for £59.99 (US$79.99) in print. Several people have commented on just how much work must have gone into the book and how useful it is for anyone in the energy and resource efficiency field. It is true that I have invested a lot into this book – over six years of weekends, evenings and holiday time writing the book between my “day job” as a consultant and Sustainability Director. And there are the direct costs in editing, images etc – which are not inconsiderable.
In some cases colleagues have asked me outright why on earth I am giving away such a valuable resource. There is puzzlement because folks who know me, know that I have quite a good “business head”. So I feel that I owe people an explanation.
The reason I am giving away my book is that I passionately believe that my profession – energy and resource efficiency practitioners – are central to solving one of humanity’s biggest challenges – how to do more with less. Over the years, I have observed that fellow practitioners often have great resources and knowledge about the technical or engineering aspects of their craft – but that there is virtually nothing that explains, with honesty, how to deal with the strategic, organisational, managerial, behavioral, financial and communications aspects. In fact, the plethora of self-congratulatory case studies from organisations would lead one to conclude that this efficiency stuff is easy.
I am giving away my book because I want to help my colleagues, because I am concerned about climate change and biodiversity, because the better we are at what we do, the better world we will leave for the next generation.
I don’t pretend to have all the answers in the book, but I do believe that there is much to support colleagues, and to train and enthuse the next generation of practitioners. I have been very lucky – I have worked for some outstanding clients in some remarkable programmes all over the world, alongside some truly amazing colleagues. Its time to give something back!
So how can you help? First of all please do share the PDF and the link to this blog (bit.ly/2qtzKPP) – the more folks that make use of the book the better. Second, if you have suggestions for improvements, additions or if you spot errors please do let me know – I am totally committed to getting the contents right.
Finally if you are old-fashioned, like me, and you absolutely must have a printed copy of the book, please order it through my store rather than elsewhere – I have deliberately priced the printed book at the lowest level possible, which means that when the retailer takes their minimum required 40% commission on the sale price, there is virtually nothing left. That is deliberate – this book is not a money-making project! However, by ordering the book through my store, that 40% contributes towards recovering some of the publication costs and towards future revisions and (possible) future books. There is a free shipping option to most countries and ordering through my site is the most sustainable way of shipping as each book is individually printed on demand and sent directly from the printer to you (there are no additional journeys to warehouses etc).
Above all please do use the book! You can get the free PDF here – simply select the free PDF on the left, add it to your cart, and checkout as normal.
Hopefully, there is something there to help us all do more with less.
All the best,
I am absolutely delighted to announce that the two volumes of my book on energy and resource efficiency have now been published as a single book.
As part of SustainSuccess’ contribution to sustainability the book, all 840 pages, is being made available FREE, in the Adobe PDF format.
I have been humbled by the outstanding reviews that leading folks in the efficiency world have give to the book:
- “…the definitive source or making sense of energy efficiency and all of its attendant benefits.” [Christopher Russell – Visiting Fellow, Industrial Programs, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, author of “Managing Energy from the Top Down“];
- “For anyone interested in a practical guide to improving resource and energy efficiency, this is the one and only book you need to own” [Dr Steve Fawkes – Managing Partner, EnergyPro, author of “Energy Efficiency“];
- “A very practical book which covers all the bases for practitioners and students of energy and resource efficiency alike.” [Tim Sullivan – Director Energy & Property Compliance, Rolls-Royce.];
- “An authoritative and comprehensive book that will help any organisation justify and implement an effective energy and resource efficiency programme” [Ray Gluckman – former President of the Institute of Refrigeration]
- “Niall Enright has produced a remarkably comprehensive manual for energy efficiency, which combines high-level insights and practical tips for developing and implementing projects and programs” [Donald Gilligan – President NAESCO]
You can get the free PDF easily. Simply go to the store, add the book to your basket and check-out. You will not be charged for the book, and on completing the check-out process, will received a download link to the PDF (17 MB).
The combined print version retails for £59.99 in paperback and £79.99 in hardback – including free postage options to most markets. The print versions also include free access to the companion files, for which there is a very modest charge for PDF version readers.
Please do feel free to:
- Share the link to this post on your own social media pages. The shortened link is: http://bit.ly/2rqzfL7
- Share the PDF with others (although it is better that folks download the file from the shop as they can be informed about updates to the text or additional materials)
Please don’t hesitate to give me feedback on the book. The beauty of print on demand (and PDF) is not only that this is a resource-efficient method of publication but also that the content can easily be updated regularly. You can also award the book between 1 star and 5 stars in the store, so please do come back and give it a rating!
All the best,
Please feel free to add feedback on my book (positive or negative!) by clicking on the heading “Feedback” and then adding comments in the box below….. Unless otherwise requested, I may quote positive reviews received….. 🙂
“For anyone interested in a practical guide to improving resource and energy efficiency, this is the one and only book you need to own.” – Dr Steve Fawkes, Managing Partner, EnergyPro, author of “Energy Efficiency“
“A very practical book which covers all the bases for practitioners and students of energy and resource efficiency alike.” – Tim Sullivan, Director Energy & Property Compliance, Rolls-Royce.
“Niall Enright has produced a remarkably comprehensive manual for energy efficiency, which combines high-level insights and practical tips for developing and implementing projects and programs” – Donald Gilligan, President NAESCO
“An authoritative and comprehensive book that will help any organisation justify and implement an effective energy and resource efficiency programme” – Ray Gluckman, former President of the Institute of Refrigeration
“Niall Enright’s ‘Energy and Resource Efficiency: Without the Tears’ may be the definitive resource for making sense of energy efficiency and all of its attendant benefits. Niall resists issuing imperatives or moral ultimatums. Instead, he begins with the practical wants and needs of decision-makers, and shows how energy efficiency satisfies those priorities. Accordingly, the reader is rewarded with discussions of investments instead of costs, solutions instead of projects, and opportunities instead of distractions. A timely alternative to searching through thirty years worth of literature.” – Christopher Russell, Visiting Fellow, Industrial Programs, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, author of “Managing Energy from the Top Down“
I am deeply humbled that such experienced practitioners – people who I greatly admire – have felt able to give such a positive judgement on this work.
Very early proofs of the book Niall Enright has been working on for six years have now arrived!
The opinions of colleagues and family have been sought on whether to publish the print edition as one volume or two. The advantage of 1 volume is:
- There can be a single index so that all references to a topic are in one place
- Internal cross-references make better sense as the two volumes are closely linked
- The cost will be lower than for two separate volumes
The disadvantages of the single volume approach are:
- Only the lightest paper can be used for the paperback version (so there is some “show through”)
- It is heavy, so no exactly a cover-to-cover read, more of a reference book.
It is now looking very much like the publication date will be in Q2 2017. The intention is to release a free PDF. The print copy will be published via IngramSpark which is the most resource-efficient method of publication since they print in three continents (so the shipping distance will be minimised) and only the required number of books (1+) are produced so waste or “pulping” of unsold copies will be eliminated.
See the section on My Book for more details.
Asking for Management Commitment to an energy or resource efficiency programme can be daunting. After all management folks are important, and busy, and showing why greater efficiency is material to the organisation can be difficult. Here are a few simple tips that can make “The Ask” easier and more successful.
The first thing to bear in mind is that almost all management folks, like everyone else, would agree with the proposition that efficiency is fundamentally “a good thing”. The main barrier to getting approval is usually whether the effort and cost associated with delivering a programme now is worthwhile given the other priorities of the business, uncertainty about the outcome and limited resources. With this in mind, my tips are: (more…)
Many energy and resource efficiency audits fail to properly address opportunity interdependency in their recommendations, which can greatly reduce the credibility and impact of the audit. This article aims to shed light on this critical aspect of auditing which is also one of the most creative and enjoyable parts of the process.
This post complements an earlier item on the value of involving management in the audit process: “The purpose of a resource efficiency audit”. (more…)
The illustration left, shows, from top to bottom, 7 resource efficiency methods with decreasing cost-effectiveness and increasing environmental impact. (Click on the thumbnail for a more detailed version of this image).
Clearly the most desirable and value-creating approach is to remove the need for a resource, or to reduce or minimise use as far as practicable. The next method, to “re-source“, meets the remaining need with a material with a lowest ecological impact. We then get into how we handle waste. Reuse in the same process is better than recycling or “down-cycling” into a different process. If neither can be achieved, it may be possible to recover some part of the waste – for example converting embedded energy into heat by burning waste. The least desirable option is to reject or dispose of the waste into the environment. (more…)