EconomyEnergyEnvironment

Dalkia: achieving sustainable efficiency

Tony Doherty explores the issues at stake for public establishments striving to achieve sustainable energy efficiency.

Public facilities have long since recognised the critical role that providing a comfortable environment plays, by maintaining appropriate levels of heating, cooling, lighting and air quality within buildings – from hospitals to schools and government offices. At the same time, growing budgetary pressures and rising prices are putting a focus on reducing the cost of providing these services.

These cost and efficiency drivers necessitate the delivery of more energy services for less energy input, at a lower cost – through investment in more efficient technology, more efficient operating practices, improved controls and monitoring and management to ensure sustained benefits are delivered and to take corrective actions when they are not.

The issue of ageing and inefficient energy infrastructure can, in parallel, be a serious concern to many establishments, distracting from their core priority. A partnership with an energy services provider, whose core focus is energy efficiency and guaranteed saving reductions, can deliver these benefits. Partnership would bring security of energy provision with cost, energy and carbon savings through overall efficiencies and improvements in the site’s running costs, allowing a healthcare provider for example to concentrate on their primary goal. To illustrate, the provision of lighting, heating and cooling, while critical, is non-core, and presents an opportunity to outsource delivery.

For success, organisations need the support of energy management professionals who understand that energy efficiency can only be achieved through a full energy cycle approach with delivery know-how. For any site to do this sustainably, they need firstly to take a long-term view of their business, their site and their relationship with the energy and utilities management company they work with, as the required contracts can last anywhere between 5 and 25 years.

Securing the supply of input energies such as oil, natural gas, biomass or electricity is the first and vital step in terms of comfort and care; however, it is not the end goal. These input energies need to be transformed (e.g. converting oil into heat, electricity into cooling etc) into useable forms, distributed (for example hot water through piping networks) and then consumed at the point of customer need (radiators, light fittings etc). Efficiencies and cost savings can be made by focusing on one of these steps. However, it is through the integrated management, measurement, monitoring and targeting of the entire energy process in a co-ordinated, structured approach which delivers the maximum benefits to the establishment.

Dalkia customers benefit from:

• Operational improvements (security, availability and reliability of utilities supply, energy efficiency, risk transfer)

• Cost & financial efficiency

• Carbon reduction

To discuss what your organisation could look at towards achieving sustainable energy efficiency improvements, contact: Tony Doherty, General Manager at Dalkia Energy & Utilities Services, at 07879036270 or email infoni@dalkia.co.uk or info@dalkia.ie

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