The Climate Change crisis
Whilst the global impact of climate change is widely acknowledged, experts are divided over the potential extent. The World Bank believes that as many as 150 million people could be displaced by 2050 due to Climate Change; a recent study from an Australian think tank suggests that the true figure could be closer to 1 billion.
The UK has committed to leading the global war on climate change by reducing our greenhouse gases to virtually nil by 2050. Shortly before leaving office, Theresa May stated that there was a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than we inherited”. The government are therefore continually searching for solutions which will provide that much sort-after rarity in politics: a win-win scenario.
So just how far does our individual responsibility extend? And what can we do in our homes, workplaces and shared common areas to help?
5 ways you can do your bit
Have a lightbulb moment
Lighting is usually the biggest cost for communal living areas and is often both inefficient and unconsidered. Consumption may be reduced in a number of ways, from installing LED lighting through to implementing motion sensors that automatically switch off lights when no one is in the room. As with many energy efficiency measures, environmental benefits coincide with cost savings—the return on investment for LEDs can typically be recovered within a few months, with bulbs lasting up to 10 times longer than traditional light bulbs.
Set the temperature to “just right”
Controlling heating is key and should be a mainstay of any energy management plan. Basics such as incorporating seasonality and prevailing temperatures into thermostat settings are key, as is ensuring that the area is equipped with appropriate insulation and ventilation in order that it derives maximum benefit from any available heat source.
Get smart with your metering
What you can’t measure, you can’t manage. The first smart meter was designed in 1977 to provide accurate and automated energy usage readings. Since then there has been a multitude of changes and upgrades, culminating with the latest Smets II meters which were introduced earlier this year. The Smets II meters are the first of its kind in the respect that they are universally supported by all suppliers.
Go Off Grid
There are now a number of readily available on-site generation technologies, the most common being solar panelling. The increased availability of Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) mean that many organisations are faced with an ppetising combination of immediate savings and a reduced carbon footprint, without any capital outlay or associated risk.
Consider an Electric Vehicle
The number of electric vehicles registered on UK roads has increased from 3,500 in 2013 to around 235,000 today. This exponential growth is projected to continue, particularly with supporting infrastructure being continually upgraded and various tax benefits on offer.
Get started today
With many companies now providing efficiency audits for little or no cost, there is every reason to review your options and help the country fulfil its 2050 goal whilst saving money in the process.
Perhaps a win-win scenario for bill payers can be achieved after all.
Janey Brockwell, Senior Utilities Co-Ordinator, Property Management Department at Advantage Utilities