Post-Event Notes

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Notes from the round-table discussions.

EV Table Led by Sam Bosson – Table briefing

  • KEY QUESTION is EV charging a benefit in kind. BEIS needs to be clear as the table had mixed feedback.
  • Electric is not considered a ‘fuel’ and tax can be reclaimed at 45p (as opposed to 5p it costs).
  • Lack of standardisation is prohibiting growth.
  • Chargers need to be standardised – older models only work up to 7kW AC and new models are over 22kW DC – Tesla has achieved a good level of charging availability however manufacturer-specific solutions are not the answer.
  • You can only rapid-charge and discharge so many times within a given period – this is an issue with long-distance fleets – and rapid charging stations won’t necessarily solve this.
  • Cultural shift between petrol cars taking car parking spaces. This is known as “being iced”. The word ICE is an acronym for Internal Combustion Engine.
  • Streetlight you can plug your car into at low power is a good option as old halogen bulbs are replaced with LEDs freeing up power – overall power demand is fairly low but it doesn’t matter overnight – see Connected Kerb as a good example.
  • How are we actually going to provide the additional electricity? Current renewables are way off proving the necessary power demand and nuclear is tricky to gain permission for
  • EV charging is not a benefit in kind (mixed opinion) – this has tax implications.
  • If you plug your company car in at work it’s not considered a benefit in kind.
  • Dominant design should be used in EVs – we are before the dominant design period.
  • In LA they use blockchain to reward and penalise users who overcharge.
  • You can use an algorithm to say when you use the car – overcharging is punished with higher pricing next time – may need to be a membership model.
  • BEIS basically need to take a more active role in the standardisation of EV facilities.
  • Idea: to provide EV facilities in car parks is to rent spaces like John Lewis – they make revenue that way in Cambridge.
  • You need to know the footfall and type of cars used in order to produce a business model.
  • The petrol companies need to provide an outlet for their new renewable energy and will offer discounted EV charging.

Estates/ Facilities Management Table led by Kathryn Dapre

Standardisation of solutions – for large estates (e.g. large retail, multi-office, NHS, etc), standardising energy efficiency solutions was seen as useful. Applying technology or solution as a pilot at a single site, and then standardising the specification/ operating procedures so that it can be easily rolled out across other sites.

The need for ‘intelligent clients’ – A lot of technical solutions and financing options are complex and their implementation is hampered by a lack of understanding/ knowledge amongst clients. A potential role for the EMA in providing market intelligence on new technologies and financial routes (e.g. Power Purchase Agreements, Energy Performance Contracting, etc). The need for project teams to have good, independent consultants to advise on technology/ finance.

Behaviour change – a recognition that buildings/ technologies are only as good as the people using and operating them. So new installations or buildings must be accompanied by a robust programme of educating users. The success of programmes such as a ‘Soft Landings’ was discussed. Good operation and maintenance of installed solutions are key.

Recommissioning buildings – a recognition of the importance of recommissioning buildings on a regular basis. Over time, buildings rarely perform as originally designed due to changes in internal layout, operating hours, modes of use, etc. At the worst, this can lead to the installation of remedial solutions like split cooling units that will increase energy consumption. Buildings should be recommissioned regularly to ensure that are operating as designed and to ensure that costly remedial HVAC solutions are not required.

Building sustainability standards need to be more than a PR exercise – schemes such as BREEAM and LEED do not necessarily result in more sustainable or energy efficient buildings. They are seen as a PR exercise and a bit of a ‘tick-box’. It is essential that more robust sustainability/ energy standards are required for new-builds/ major refurbishments that cannot be ‘value-engineered’ out.

Training and Team Engagement Table led by Scott Armstrong

Initial Discussion:

  • The cheapest unit of energy is the unit that you do not use!
  • Equipping team members with the tools to do the job and the knowledge of what to look for has to be the most beneficial start point.
  • Whilst consultancy businesses have the skills, they will never understand your business operations as well as you do and training up your team means that your business retains the skills which are reusable at no additional cost.
  • The Energy Managers Association Levels 2 and 3 were considered the most beneficial levels of training as a good foundation for an internal energy management team.
  • Allocating training funds to energy management should be easy when the potential of savings is reviewed. Alternatively, link training into operational excellence programmes.

Approach:

  • The central push down approach has limited impact, a more diversified network of trained embedded utilities champions works better where ownership is key.
  • Recruit these utilities champions as a volunteer role, linked to their actual roles not by forcing someone to take on the role. This way you are getting the right people who are at least, interested or at best, passionate about the subject.
  • Consideration should be given to linking energy efficiency to a company value or mission statement – this engages all levels of the team including senior members of the Board.
  • Behavioural change and team engagement can deliver significant savings from little if any capital investment. A £ saved is a £ straight to the bottom line.
  • Consider training utilities champions also on behavioural change skills, this will enable them to engage better with others to maximise potential support.
  • Come up with a simple catchphrase that all utilities champions can use – try to link this to your company’s values as it will be more meaningful.

Ongoing Support:

  • The authenticity of both the message and the behaviours of the utilities champions and the senior Board members is critical to any success.
  • Maintain the focus on training regularly, team turnover will mean there is a need to train to backfill and it will be important to keep the focus up throughout the year with incentives and fun challenges linked to usage reductions.
  • Know your audience – be prepared to change the narrative – messages linked to financial savings don’t work for everyone but messages linked to carbon savings may have more impact. Don’t assume everyone’s motivations are the same.

Collaboration:

  • We discussed the benefits of collaboration through events like EMEX EXchange and how beneficial it was for us all to share best practice. We should ensure that collaboration continues and that networks are built and strengthened. A problem shared and all that…….

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