How the Energy Crisis Improves the Case for Energy Efficiency

Last month, the Government announced a £25bn package of support for UK businesses to help them through the next six months. However, the picture once the current scheme ends in April is far from clear, and it is very likely that businesses will continue to face financial difficulties stemming from their energy costs.

One area that the Government was widely criticised for neglecting was energy efficiency. Across the UK, vast amounts of energy are simply wasted, and in many cases relatively small changes can make a significant difference. Simply put, the cheapest unit of energy is the one that you don’t use: improving energy efficiency is probably the most effective single step that most businesses can take to mitigate rising energy prices.

Navigating the Energy Transition

While the current energy crisis has put the cost of electricity and gas into focus, businesses already face a challenging future when it comes to ensuring they have a functional, robust energy strategy in place. It is increasingly vital that careful thought and planning are in place to ensure that, across the short, medium, and long term, your business is able to ensure that it is protected against rising energy costs, while continuing to ensure reliable power and meet your net zero obligations.

Fortunately, better energy efficiency offers improvements across all three of these aspects of what is often termed the Energy Trilemma. As well as reducing overall energy costs, better efficiency in turn helps to reduce Scope 2 emissions, those associated with your energy use. Thirdly, reducing your site’s overall energy consumption helps to minimise the impact of power disruption, both by minimising the risk of exceeding your agreed supply capacity and by ensuring that your on-site generation or power resilience provision is better able to match power demand.

Overhauling Your Energy Efficiency

The first step towards getting to grips with your organisation’s current energy efficiency shortcomings and areas for improvement is to assess how energy is used, and wasted, on-site. There are a host of different factors that impact on overall efficiency, including some that are relatively easy and low-cost to rectify, such as staff behaviour or procedural changes. Shutting off equipment when not in use may seem like a small step, but quickly adds up to a significant reduction in energy use.

Managing energy usage on site is increasingly complex, particularly as more and more businesses invest in on-site generation, energy storage and low-carbon solutions such as rapid EV charging. All of these bring with them potential benefits across the energy trilemma but require careful balancing to get the most out of. Intelligent software management systems are typically required to allow AI to make decisions on how best to utilise available power flows, ensuring that equipment is kept supplied with energy as cost-efficiently as possible.

Voltage optimisation can have a significant impact on the energy efficiency of many business sites, eliminating an often-significant cause of wasted energy that can be difficult to otherwise mitigate. Many sites are supplied with an overvoltage through their grid connection, resulting in excess power being consumed for no benefit, driving up energy costs. Voltage optimisation conditions incoming power to eliminate this unnecessary consumption, as well as providing a more stable, consistent voltage to on-site equipment.

Find out more about how Powerstar’s technologies can help to reduce your energy costs here