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ENERGY EFFICIENCY Empowering Energy Efficiency Briefly put: As pressure on organisations, governments and companies mounts with regards to being ‘carbon conscious’ innovation is being powered by the same pressure in the development of building automation and energy management systems; and national or global energy efficiency programmes and initiatives. With the passing of the UK Energy Bill in December 2013, the British government aims to attract a capital investment of £110 billion for a sector wide overhaul of its ageing power infrastructure, as part of a move toward a low-carbon and energy efficient economy. The electricity reform, spearheaded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), has introduced a number of policies warranting adherence from industrial and domestic segments, thereby ensuring compliance from all stakeholders to fulfil the objectives of the UK’s Electricity Market Reform programme. A primary example of government’s decisive steps in managing carbon emissions is the introduction of a new regulation by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) necessitating companies listed on the London Stock Exchange’s main market to submit a yearly report publically disclosing the level of their greenhouse gas emissions. All affected firms are to appropriate their emissions data to accompany their annual director’s report as per the amended ‘The Companies Act 2006 (Strategic Report and Directors’ Report) Regulations 2013’. with the rise of environmental concern has changed the way corporates do business and will continue to do so, forcing them to change their modus operandi as regulation and adherence to global standards become mandatory for them to operate. Reducing demand for energy is a critical factor if public sector organisations intend to gain from energy cost savings, producing more favourable bottom-line. This is made possible through the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme, a compulsory reporting and pricing scheme to improve energy efficiency in larger private and public establishments, administered by the Environmental Agency. In addition the DECC has posed a number of incentives such as enhanced capital allowances for investment in energy-saving technology and discounts on climate change levies. The EU Emissions trading system, allowing the free allocation and auction of emission allowances to member countries, and the countrywide deployment of smart meters should ensure that the UK is on par with its decarbonisation targets through its proactive energy savvy measures. The UK’s largest data management provider IMServ is among the leading organizations partnering with government in championing the smart meter roll out process. The company’s Ian Wallbank, Head of Legal and Corporate Services, cites the use of smart meters as critical to streamlining energy use and achieving lower carbon output. Despite its accolades, there are mixed emotions surrounding the use of smart meters and their “cost-effective” nature. Concern is shared by the “big six” energy providers – Centrica’s British Gas, EDF Energy , RWE npower, SSE, Scottish Power and E.ON, as well as by the British public as to the capital outlay for metering rollout and the subsequent delay thereof and the reflection of the investment in consumers’ energy bills. According to npower’s managing director Simon Stacey, “The Smart programme is an essential one, but we need to always look to keep its cost down because this cost is ultimately borne by the consumer. Now that we finally have clear guidance of the technology platform that is to be used, we need a more flexible deployment model that allows for current and future technologies to keep costs down.” The general consensus remains that although smart metering is critical to effective energy management, all stakeholders, including regulator Ofgem, will need to work together to ensure that consumers derive the intended benefits from smart metering technology and keep a tight rein on deployment costs. Technological innovation ... is the vehicle by which ... to achieve ... greater energy efficiency As energy usage accounts for a large portion of the commercial sector’s operating costs and significantly contributes to the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the regulation aims to assist investors to achieve a greater degree of transparency in terms of their carbon footprint and managing the latent long-term costs associated with carbon emissions. The overarching goal is the transition to a more efficient and sustainable economy allowing the UK to rely less on imported fossil fuels, and decrease the country’s exposure to higher, more volatile energy prices in the future. Evolving energy legislation and heightened awareness around energy security together 50 Technological innovation and advancement is the vehicle by which the UK government and authorities from around the world will be able to achieve their goals in terms of greater energy efficiency, reducing their carbon footprint and saving billions as a result of decreased energy wastage. Smart Metering is understood to be one of the fundamental components in the upgrade of the UK’s energy infrastructure through a 53 million smart meter deployment, seeing the installation of the smart meter in every business and household by 2020. Communication between supplier and end-user is enabled through the Data and Communication Company. Pivotal industry bodies such as government and utilities form an instrumental part in driving change in energy efficiency and in altering idle and indifferent behaviour by issuing a call to action to those who would otherwise have a “laggard” approach to embracing what is ultimately in their organisation’s best interest. 49M, South Africa’s Energy Efficiency Campaign is a prime illustration of the partnering between the government and utility, Eskom, in an effort to educate and change the way South African businesses and individuals use power. METERING INTERNATIONAL ISSUE - 1 | 2014