Jarmo Kontro discusses how you can get the best benefit from the European Energy Efficiency directive and also asks if energy efficiency improvements could be the next global trend in real estate management, or at least in Finland?
European Union got its Energy Efficiency Directive a couple of years ago. The goal with the directive is to decrease energy consumption in all EU member countries with 20% by year 2020. The directive requires that non-SME companies must perform energy audits to identify and report energy savings possibilities and implement the most suitable energy savings investments. In our discussions with building portfolio owners, some see this just as mandatory reporting, but at the other end of the spectrum we also have those that see this as an opportunity to start energy management procedures in their business to actually improve their energy efficiency. All variants between these viewpoints exist, but done right you could achieve both with similar effort.
There are many service providers that can help you to identify your energy savings opportunities. You have facility management companies, maintenance companies, energy consumption follow-up systems and remote controlling services. All these providers can decrease your energy consumption just by picking up the low hanging fruits. However, energy efficiency is not a question of lower consumption. This is easy to understand by using a car analogy. You can save fuel just by driving smoothly and avoiding quick accelerations, but the energy efficiency of your motor is not improved unless you carry out some structural or design changes, the same applies to buildings.
Energy management requires that the top management understands and is committed to managing energy use. ISO 50 001:2011 Energy Management Systems serves as a good tool. It contains a process that is familiar to most from the Quality and Environmental Management standards. The same principles should be implemented also in Energy management. You can not reach the targets without proper management.
The next trend in facility management – improvement of energy efficiency?
Facilities go through many development stages and trends, why could improvement of energy efficiency not be the next big trend in facility management? Finland as a small country with a strong technology presence and engineering know-how, could be a model country for energy efficiency in buildings. Currently we do no see this, why is that? If we are not lacking technical capabilities, maybe it is a question of leadership and energy management. Previously energy has been seen just as a commodity cost that enables companies to carry out their core business, not something that needs to be managed, this must change in order to reach the goals. In Eneron we have focused on developing an easy-to-use ISO 50 001 verified energy management platform. You can use it to manage your energy management process, calculate energy investment profitability and follow up how agreed goals and targets are met.
Real life energy savings investments need financing, designing and implementation contracts. Improving energy efficiency will not only lead to decreasing costs, but also create new work opportunities and bring know-how, new products and solutions to the international Cleantech-market.
Let’s make Finland a model country for energy efficiency!