Poster 6: People and activities in an energy and resource efficiency program

Posted by on May 19, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every day this week I am uploading a poster taken from the contents of my book on energy and resource efficiency – to help fellow practitioners communicate the benefits and processes that will unlock value in their organizations and sustain change.

This is Poster 6 summarizing the People and Activities in an energy or resource efficiency programme following the my 3M’s methodology (see Poster 1).

This starkly dispels the conventional notion that energy / resource efficiency are an engineering problem. In fact ‘Business Management’ (aka operational or line management) is the role that has most contact points in the process.

Clearly the emphasis will change from organization to organization. You can use this approach when considering your own efficiency efforts. List the task you need to accomplish on each row, and then identify the roles which are critical to its success in the columns. You may be surprised at the results!

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Poster 5: Funding for efficiency projects

Posted by on May 18, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every day this week I am uploading a poster taken from the contents of my book on energy and resource efficiency – to help fellow practitioners communicate the benefits and processes that will unlock value in their organizations and sustain change.

Today is day 5 and I am providing a poster summarizing the sources of funding for energy and resource efficiency.

Far too often “we don’t have the money” is cited as an excuse for inaction. And yet, energy and resource efficiency improvements often yield returns much greater than businesses expect from core investments or individuals would get from their savings.

In Chapter 18 of my book I explore many different options to fund projects, their pros and cons and how to choose amongst them. You may be surprised to learn that it is often not money that is the problem, it is being able to unlock money.

Taken together with Chapter 17 on Financial Analysis, I hope to equip the reader with the ability to make a powerful and compelling business case for investment now.

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Poster 4: Mineral Scarcity

Posted by on May 17, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every day this week I am uploading a poster taken from the contents of my book on energy and resource efficiency – to help fellow practitioners communicate the benefits and processes that will unlock value in their organizations and sustain change.

Today is day 4 and I am providing a poster showing World Mineral Scarcity taken from the National Minerals Information Centre 2016 report.

The table is sorted by reserve years. It is interesting to note that many minerals that folks seem to get all worked up about here on LinkedIn, such as Lithium, Cobalt and Rare Earths are actually not as scarce as one would think with Reserve Years of 371, 60 and 1,273 respectively. There are however problems with most of these minerals (indicated by the red cells) such as low recycling rates in some cases (Lithium < 1%), high US import reliance (60%, 68% and 100% respectively) and production concentration (China had 90% of the Rare Earth production in 2016).

It is important to understand where supply chain risks lie. My book goes into more details, such as the fact that some of these minerals are only extracted as a byproduct of other extraction, so the picture is more complex.

See the sidebar to the right to download your free copy of the book.

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Poster 3: Measurement & Verification

Posted by on May 16, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every day this week I am uploading a poster taken from the contents of my book on energy and resource efficiency – to help fellow practitioners communicate the benefits and processes that will unlock value in their organizations and sustain change.

Today is day 3 and I am providing a flowchart to enable folks to select the most appropriate Measurement and Verification (M&V) technique.

Attracting third-part funding or investment into energy efficiency measures requires us to be able to unambiguously assess the savings that have been made, out of which the repayments are usually taken. This involves being able to calculate what is known as the “counterfactual”, i.e. what would have happened if we hadn’t made the investment.

Fortunately some clever folks at the IMVP, FEMVP and Investor Confidence Project have developed formal methods to undertake these calculation.

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Poster 2: Return on equity

Posted by on May 15, 2022 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Every day this week I am uploading a poster taken from the contents of my book on energy and resource efficiency – to help fellow practitioners communicate the benefits and processes that will unlock value in their organizations and sustain change.

Today is day 2 and I am illustrating how energy and resource efficiency can improve ‘return on equity’ for shareholders:

DuPont Formula: Return on equity = net profit margin * asset turnover * financial leverage

Net profit margin: It is obvious that we can make money if we increase our profit margin on every item we sell, for example by using less energy….

Asset turnover: We can also make money by producing more items from our existing plant, i.e. if we are more productive, for example by increasing capacity through greater efficiency.

Financial leverage: Shareholders can make a greater return if someone else (e.g. a bank) pays for the investment in equipment. However too high a leverage will lead to a worry about the company’s ability to service the debt. An example here is that a highly efficient building will get better tenants which will lead to better ‘covenant terms’ so the landlord can get a higher mortgage…

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Research supports the negative effect of Green Electricity tariffs on corporate energy efficiency efforts.

Posted by on Oct 13, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Those of you who have followed my previous articles on LinkedIn will know that I have a particular bugbear about Green Electricity tariffs.

I have three fundamental objections to these tariffs:

1.      The tariffs are based on a lie. The renewable electricity has been produced as a result of the subsidy paid for by all electricity consumers not from any contribution made by the organisations or individuals falsely claiming it for themselves.

2.      The use of these tariffs to report lower emissions leads to double-counting of emissions reductions. This is because the renewable generation is usually part of the mandatory target for utility companies and so form part of the UK-wide ‘location-based’ grid average CO2 conversion factors, but the same renewable electricity is used by  the “green” tariffs consumers in their own ‘market-based’ calculations to claim zero emissions. As a result, the overall emissions recorded are lower than they actually are.

3.      Most worryingly, is the possibility that that the Green Electricity tariffs disincentivise important efforts to reduce electricity use. After all, why invest additional time and money in the difficult work of energy efficiency if the emissions are already zero?

The latter concern has, until now, merely been a suspicion on my part, based on my own interactions with decision-makers in many organisations. Mindful that I could not find any research on this topic, I was delighted when my son, Connor Enright decided to look into this subject for his Natural Sciences Master’s thesis at the University of East Anglia – with the full support of his School and input of his thesis supervisors, of course.

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UKGBC Energy Performance Targets for Offices: a case study in why over-ambition is not SMART.

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Articles, Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

In this long format article I will explore why a knee-jerk response to the climate emergency can lead to well intentioned but counterproductive consequences. I have heard it said that we are living in a time where political reality is approximating scientific reality – at last policymakers are beginning to grasp what science has been saying for many years. This article explores another critical dimension, which I will call engineering reality, where I believe that much of the hard work and tough choices around climate change will be focused. The broader themes in this article are absolutely central to our success or failure and are offered not as a criticism of one specific response, but as a broader lesson to all those who can influence our responses to climate change.

The climate emergency is real and requires a rapid and effective response. Our success in delivering fast decarbonisation of our economy depends on myriad decisions taken in every sector based on our knowledge of the technologies, skills and finance available. These decisions are intricate and complex, not helped by a large number of uncertainties about the future, inconsistent data and conflicting visions of how to achieve Net Zero emissions.The climate emergency is real and requires a rapid and effective response. Our success in delivering fast decarbonisation of our economy depends on myriad decisions taken in every sector based on our knowledge of the technologies, skills and finance available. These decisions are intricate and complex, not helped by a large number of uncertainties about the future, inconsistent data and conflicting visions of how to achieve Net Zero emissions.

Those of us who have been in the business of sustainability for a long time[1] crave a John F. Kennedy moment: “we will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade”. We fancy the notion of a mobilisation of all resources available to limit climate change, to adopt a state of war where combating climate change become the overwhelming priority in everything we do. We can’t wait to see the many barriers we have faced in the past come tumbling down.

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The profound flaws with Payback

Posted by on Mar 17, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Simple payback, often referred to just as payback, describes the length of time needed for the savings generated by a resource efficiency project to return the initial investment made. It is calculated using the formula:

Thus, an investment of US$1,000 that yields regular annual savings of US$500 has a payback of two years. The annualized saving could be determined by a number of uneven cash flows, e.g. US$250 in year 1 and US$750 in year 2; here, the payback period is determined by adding up successive savings in the cash flow until they match the investment. If we are interested in the payback in months, then we would multiply the annual payback by 12.

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Fear of flying*

Posted by on Mar 14, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I am writing this post from Goa, on the West coast of India. I flew here from Manchester, in the premium economy section of a Tui Boeing 787 Dreamliner. 

According to the ICAO carbon calculator [1] the aircraft will have burned 54 tonnes of fuel on each leg of the journey, which equates to 654kg of CO2 per passenger (2x the standard economy emissions due to the “premium” cabin seating). The plane was full, so I think the calculations are reasonable and, while I could argue that “premium economy” is not really twice the space or mass of standard economy, I don’t quibble with the figures. 

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Lighting Tool Updated

Posted by on Feb 21, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The popular Lighting tool has been updated to version 1.3. Previous versions may fail to return Latitude and Longitude when a user enters a location name, displaying instead “REQUEST_DENIED”.

The reason for this is that Google Maps has started charging for geolocation requests used in our “mashup”, and so SustainSuccess has now opened an account with Google to cover the costs of these requests.

To protect our budget, we have limited the number requests per day, so if you get this message in version 1.3, please try again the following day or enter a Latitude and Longitude manually.

To upload the new version, please follow the link, right.

 

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The UK’s Green Building Council is consulting on what is meant by “Net Zero Carbon”. We need to make sure that the definition is effective.

Posted by on Feb 14, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

 

Hopefully, the definition will be a rigorous tool to help building developers and operators to achieve the maximum affordable onsite improvements in the building’s emissions. Once these onsite improvements are achieved, the definition will further set out how the residual emissions can be genuinely reduced through credible, independently verified offsite activities, leading to “net zero” or event “net negative”.

Alternatively, the definition could be a cheap and nasty fig leaf facilitating another decade of flat-line performance on emissions in the property sector.

In order to avoid the latter it is important that folks respond to the consultation on the meaning on “net zero” in buildings, which closes on the 1st March. Looking at the consultation, I would say that the outcome is finely balanced – so please do make the effort to understand the issues and make your voice heard in the consultation. Filling in a response will take around ½ hour – what better use of your time?

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A tale of two conferences

Posted by on Jan 16, 2019 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Just before Christmas I took part in two very different conferences, which brought into to stark relief the challenges facing those of us promoting a substantial and rapid reduction in global emissions.

The first event was the prestigious “EngTalk – Excellence in Engineering & Factory Management” event in Berlin, which was attended by over 50 very senior global executives in leading manufacturing firms with roles such as “Director of Innovation”, “VP Manufacturing”, “Industrial Director”, “Head of Engineering” from organisations as diverse as Airbus, Bayer, GE,  Philip Morris International, Philips, Pirelli, Magna, Novartis,  Siemens and Volvo. Although there were presentations, it was less of a conference and more of a networking and idea-sharing event taking place over two days with a strong emphasis on one-to-one meetings and discussions.

My role in the conference was to support Arne Springorun the MD of HE Consulting, an efficiency consultancy based in Prague with which I have had a long and enjoyable collaboration on successful projects such as an energy efficiency programme at SKODA CARS Mlada Boleslav Plant in the Czech Republic. I shared a presentation with Arne and it fell to me, as you can see below, to communicate the urgency of our response to climate change.

 

For a conference that was focusing on the major technical challenges facing manufacturing, the critical – dare I say it, existential – topic of “how to do more with less” was conspicuously absent. The big themes were Automation 4.0, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual and Enhanced Reality, Digitilazation and Big Data. With the exception of the pitch from some innovative compressed air systems manufacturers, energy efficiency was not mentioned by other presenters.

In the 20+ one-to-one conversations I held with these senior executives, there was acknowledgement that climate change is part of the manufacturing agenda. But I got the impression that this was very much taken for granted, placed in the “problem solved” or “in hand” category; an issue to be dealt with in due course, but considerably lower priority than responding to the rapid changes coming about due to technological innovation.  And yet it is these folks – the people who help shape the strategic and investment decisions for their organisations –  who have a commanding role in solving the climate change challenge in industry.

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UK Sustainability Expo – shame on you

Posted by on Mar 9, 2018 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

This Monday I received an email from John Bent, Event Manager with the The UK Sustainability Expo.

“I was wondering if you would like to discuss the possibility of speaking at The UK Sustainability Expo which is a conference and expo being held on the 26th June in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry”

I am quite regularly approached to speak at events and make a point of carving out the time to attend a few engagements each year. So I checked the date out and responded that I would be available to speak on that date and would look forward to discussing their requirements and seeing if I could cover the subject-matter. It was an event I was unfamiliar with and I like the idea of speaking to new audiences.

A couple of days later I received a phone call from one of the team and was told that “over 500 people had expressed interest in speaking” and that they could offer me a speaking slot as “part of an exhibition package“.

If the basis for their selection of speakers is who is willing to pay for the privilege, then I suspect the presentation will simply be one dull sales pitch after another. Which is sad given the importance of dialog around many of the challenges facing sustainability and efficiency practitioners.

I for one will definitely not be attending, and I thought it would be helpful to let colleagues know.

 

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EU Energy Efficiency – Governments resist the Commission’s vision

Posted by on Mar 6, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The notion of energy efficiency as an energy resource is now widely accepted. Indeed, since the widespread Demand Side Management programs of the 1970’s, these “Negawatts” (a term coined by Amory Lovins) have been quantified in financial terms and compared with supply-side infrastructure investments and shown in most cases to deliver the lowest cost per unit of energy (LCOE), as well a significant environmental benefits such as lower carbon emissions.

Thus it is with some alarm that I have read this morning that elements within the European Council are resisting formally prioritizing efficiency measures in the EU Energy Strategy. For those unfamiliar with how the EU works, here is a simplifcation:

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Energy Institute

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Blog, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Niall Enright’s contribution and achievements in energy efficiency have been recognised with his election as a Fellow of the Energy Institute and the award of Chartered Energy Manager status.

This is Niall’s reaction to the awards: “It is a real honour to receive this recognition from an organisation that is doing so much to promote the profession of energy management, and I want to thank the folks who supported my application.  For my part, I hope that I can encourage others to participate in the work of the Institute and achieve the continuous professional development that is the key to success in this rapidly moving field. I know that some people may be put off by the idea of getting membership – with the need for sponsor recommendations and evidence of competency – but I would urge them to see these as opportunities. The real reward for me is not the letters after my name, but the ability to connect with fellow professionals worldwide and the reminder that investing time and money in my own development is valuable”.

Follow this link for more information about the Energy Institute.

 

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