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ThinkFM 2014: Saving your energy

Redesdale

Energy shortages and price hikes over the next few years will present FMs with challenges and opportunities, say an energy management expert


16 May 2014

With energy prices predicted to double over the next five years, there are opportunities for FMs to take on the role of energy managers – according to Lord Rupert Redesdale, chief executive at the Energy Managers Association (EMA)


Speaking at last Tuesday's ThinkFM conference, Redesdale said that the EMA would assist this process by offering training opportunities for FMs to qualify as energy managers who, once qualified, would enable their organisations to be recognised as a Low Energy Companies (LECs). This LEC status could soon become a requirement to win contracts, he said, meaning a suitably qualified FM would play an essential role in their business.


Energy cost hike
With a fifth of our power stations due to go off-line, and the government having failed to make sufficient investments in alternative energy sources over the next two years, we could be down to a half-percentage point difference between energy supply and demand, warned Lord Redesdale. This means the UK could be facing brownouts on the grid by 2015. 

Members of the EMA have predicted that energy prices will double over the next five years, which means energy prices will soon become a higher cost per square metre than rent. 

If all this isn’t enough, by 2018, new legislation will come in that means that landlords will not be allowed to rent out a building that is not F and G rated. 

And the way in which we work isn’t helping either. What is the cost of an email, he asked? Because if you’ve more than 10,000 on your system that’s the equivalent of a family’s winter fuel bill in carbon emissions. Working styles could also be affected. For instance, flexi-working might not be as attractive to businesses because if you keep buildings open longer their energy costs will be higher.

So Lord Redesdale’s question to FMs was: “How are you going to keep your business alive and how are you going to win contracts?” 

The answer is to call on the expertise of the energy manager, which, given the cost of calling in an external consultant, could be the FM.

“Reducing energy use will become mandatory over the next four years and we see FM as key to this,” he said, which is why the EMA will be working with the BIFM among others to develop a series of energy management training courses.  

Summary

  • Organisations must find ways to reduce energy use;
  • The government will make energy saving mandatory;
  • FMs with energy management qualifications will be in demand; and
  • www.thecma.org.uk for more information.

Register your interest in next year's ThinkFM conference here.