Green Outlook

The recent emergency budget presented challenges for businesses across the UK, with the chancellor making some significant changes that will impact on many aspects of business life. Having thought how these changes will affect my own business, I started thinking how the increases and cuts outlined by the new coalition government could help businesses make a significant change for the better by thinking smarter about their energy management.

While many of us consider our business forecasts for the remainder of the financial year, particularly with the increase of VAT to 20% on 4 January 2011, we all will no doubt look at more ways to cut operational costs as a first port of call. But, I believe these new measures present a very ‘green’ opportunity for businesses to look deeper into their operational activity – specifically their building management – and not overlook how they could cut costs with an immediate as well as long-term positive impact on their overheads.

At times of financial uncertainty it is normal to look for the obvious immediate cuts which deliver quick, visible saving. It is human nature. For most when reducing expenditure they cut what we know can save us money now – getting rid of plants, cutting down the water supply or even maybe laying off staff. But, if you are reviewing your expenditure it is important to look at the wider costs incurred by the organisation which are unnecessary and are pure wastage, and can be avoided but often overlooked.

Of course I am referring to our use of buildings their operation and the costs involved in actually running them. This is usually detailed in monthly bills that are, unfortunately, rarely reviewed or compared. This is where most of us will find savings.

Simply taking control, and centralising the control strategy of a building by limiting set-points on air conditioning, ensuring the heating is not in competition with air conditioning, staging lighting controls, and having an alert system on consumption peaks can all significantly produce financial savings for any business. By using a building management system to do this anyone can develop a more cost effective approach to managing operations which will be both beneficial in the short and long run.

Cost savings as a result of controlling energy use are exactly what I encounter every day working with companies from all different sectors that have chosen to manage their energy consumption using t-mac’s building management system. By installing technology like this, businesses are reaping the rewards financially – many seeing much appreciated immediate results. And the environment is winning too.

Although any initial financial outlay may need careful budgetary consideration, especially in the current economic climate, the savings will always far out way the cost incurred. Some of our customers have experienced an average saving of up to 30% on their energy bills, with a return on investment within 6 months – a shorter ROI than average building management systems (BMS). Our customers have also found we are 60% cheaper to install and maintain than standard BMS systems, with many additional features available.

It is worth thinking about how new changes implemented by our new coalition government in an effort to decrease the country’s deficit can indeed provide opportunity for a business to ‘spring clean’ its operational systems and procedures making significant savings which will last well in to the future.