More than 4,000 schools, hospitals and businesses could benefit from simple energy efficiency changes that could save 147,671 tonnes of carbon per year and net £45 million in savings. That’s according to EDF Energy, which conducted research on 4,150 sites in the UK, and found that the average organisation could achieve a total saving of as much as £46,316 per year.
Scientists have been calling for every citizen and business to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint and to combat the climate crisis, but this research from EDF Energy shows exactly how much businesses could reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, the added cost savings are a massive bonus.
According to the research, the 147,671 tonnes of CO2 saved per year would be the equivalent to 80,256 flights between London and Sydney, or the amount of CO2 offset by more than 3.6 million sqm of woodland. That’s just on the 4,000 sites surveyed, of course, a lot more can be saved if other organisations followed suit.
EDF Energy analysed energy consumption remotely at locations including schools, hospitals, hotels, police stations and offices, using this data to understand the potential for efficiency and carbon reduction at more than 4,150 customer sites across the country.
Across the vast majority of locations, EDF Energy found that very simple changes such as switching to energy efficient light bulbs could deliver a significant impact:
- As many as 62% of the sites analysed could make huge cost and emissions savings simply by installing energy efficient lighting.
- On average, organisations could make annual savings of £10,800 per site by installing efficient lighting, reducing their carbon emissions by 24 tonnes per site, per year.
- Over 61% could make savings by optimising their operational schedule, which might include turning heating off more promptly when users leave the building.
- Vincent de Rul, director of energy solutions at EDF Energy, commented: “Energy efficiency has been a UK-wide focus for a number of years, but our analysis of these sites shows that the majority of organisations can still make meaningful carbon reductions that result in significant savings – through very simple changes.
“Our data covers a relatively small proportion of the UK’s businesses and public sector organisations – imagine what the impact would be if all UK such organisations made even the simplest of changes, whether that be efficient lighting or occupancy sensors? As the UK has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2050, we want to demonstrate that all businesses can achieve positive results one change at a time.”
Energy efficiency will have to become a priority as the UK transitions to a low carbon energy system and works to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. With phenomena like the growing electrification of transport through electric vehicles, pressure on the energy system will increase. Alongside investment in low carbon generation, energy efficiency will be crucial to support electrification.