Energy Saving Opportunities


To identify the opportunities that could lead to savings, you first need to have a reasonable understanding of:

  • The on-site energy consumption
  • The factors affecting consumption (resources, the people using them, and when they are being used)
  • The options in term of affecting consumption
  • Energy efficient technologies that could be implemented
  • Energy management data – what is available?

Energy Data


Energy data comes in many forms with varying accuracy as follows:

  • Poor accuracy: billing information, as this includes many estimated readings
  • Meter readings can be a good start, but dates and readings are usually not regular
  • Aim for at least monthly consumption data
  • The most useful is periodic data – half hourly electrical consumption or automatic meter reading (AMR) for gas

Many organisations have an Energy Bureau or portal where data can be downloaded. This can provide the top level periodic data that gives the accuracy needed to really understand energy use.

Is the building using too much energy?


Now that you have the data, are there signs that the building is currently using too much energy? Ways to identify this are:

  • Comparing this year’s data to previous years
  • Note if bills are higher than normal at a particular time
  • Comparing the data to that from other similar sites
  • Comparing to benchmarks (see below)
  • If there are spikes in energy use, when do they occur?
    • Knowing whether it is during the daytime, night, lunch, weekends etc. can help you identify what might be causing the spikes

Energy management


On average, a business can reduce its annual energy costs by 20% through improving energy efficiency and energy management.”

A Guide to Implementing Energy Savings Opportunities, DECC, 2015


Once you have reliable energy data, you can begin effective energy management. Energy management is the use of management and technology to improve an organisation or site’s energy performance. The key elements for successful resource management include:

  • Senior management leadership on the issue and staff responsibility
  • Monitoring resource consumption over time (possibly against turnover or another metric)
  • Analysis of monitored data to identify changes
  • The development of a formal policy and supporting strategy (if appropriate)
  • Regular progress reports to management (especially finance) and operations staff



Benchmarking is key to the energy management process, as it allows energy consumption to be compared and for any exceptions to be consequently identify. Benchmarking utilises a normalisation factor. You can use an industry defined measure of energy consumption which is typically kWh/m2/year.

The Chartered Institute of Building Service engineers offer good sources of benchmarking information under these headings:

    • CIBSE TM46: Energy Benchmarks
    • CIBSE Guide F: Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Behaviour Change


Simple changes to behaviour could cut business energy costs by as much as 10% per year, and it makes sense to go for the simple stuff first! When tackling behaviour change, think about:

  • ‘Switching off’ – Focus on the action required rather than aiming to raise awareness
  • Encourage staff to give suggestions of changes that can be made to ensure they are engaged and feel empowered
  • Link behaviour change to monitored energy use and targets set


Members can access the full range of resources from this energy auditing event in our member’s area. If you are not a member but would like to find out more about the network and how to join, get in touch, or read more about what we do.