The latest findings suggest building controls are scaling corporate priorities. Intriguingly, the new emphasis on demand side response, and the UK smart grid shakeup explain why.
According to the Energyst Directors Survey, more than half of corporate leaders now plan to invest in building controls.
‘Buildings are becoming ever more efficient and often incorporate renewable/shared energy generation as well as that improved efficiency,’ the report explains.
Growing interest in building controls for carbon benefit
The survey notes that although building controls can initially be more expensive than other technologies, there are big paybacks. This shows companies are thinking long term in terms of carbon reduction investments.
This trend is hugely positive; it means carbon reduction is being taken seriously and gaining strategic focus. The very best building controls offer a holistic approach to energy management, and this holistic attitude is being mirrored in a shift in attitudes towards long termism over immediate cost.
Tweaking the benefits with demand side response
Crucially, the Energyst’s investigation says that, ‘Small tweaks to building controls, particularly around HVAC, can make a significant difference to bills and make return rates for any required investment relatively quick.’
The Energyst places its comments within the context of red zone avoidance. It argues firms operating during the day can struggle to avoid peak electricity charges. But, they can easily mitigate cost with better building energy control.
“It’s vital that we get the message out there; building controls are an almost tailor-made solution for firms that can’t shift peak energy usage easily,” says Gareth Barber, Managing Director, BG Energy Solutions.
“Many firms must operate between 4pm and 7:30pm in the winter; they will always get caught by peak charges. But with better building controls, they can vastly reduce the power being consumed during these hours.
“That can effectively mitigate the higher energy costs. Plus they will achieve additional CSR benefits. And the buildings will be better managed, more pleasant places to work.”
Three way win
‘The three main elements of energy efficiency are energy efficient product, building control systems
and behaviour change,’ argues the Energyst’s analysis.
It calls this the 40:20:40 split. And, it continues; ‘With power cuts at peak times around the corner this might just happen. In a meanwhile, give the 40:20:40 ratio a genuine thought, will you?’
BG Energy Solutions endorses this view; consider buildings controls now; arm your company up against future energy uncertainty.
BG Energy Solutions delivers turnkey solutions for energy efficiency to industry and the built environment. The company’s roots lie in building controls, and as an ‘open systems house’, offers expertise as a Trend, Niagra Systems, Tridium, Honeywell and Delta Controls integrator.