Damming report is good news for UK climate change targets!

A recent report by The Daily Telegraph and YouGov reveals some shocking and damming statistics about how little energy is understood and prioritised by senior managers.

Posted on 23 January 2017.

Of the 760 senior managers surveyed,   

  • two-thirds were in the dark about how their firm bought energy

  • 46% didn’t know what their business’s energy costs were

  • 54% had no idea at all who was responsible for their energy management

  • A significant number didn’t know what their energy bill paid for

Why is this good for climate change targets?

Because it means that there is so much more we can do to prioritise energy, reduce our consumption and emissions and achieve our targets!

The UK government’s 2008 Climate Change Act established the world’s first legally binding climate change target, aiming to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% (from the 1990 baseline) by 2050. 

So how are we doing?

The Committee on Climate Changes’ 2016 Progress Report confirms that the UK has made significant progress with its decarbonisation efforts in recent years, cutting carbon emissions by an average of 4.5 per cent a year over the past three years to ensure emissions are now 38 per cent below 1990 levels.  However, the report notes that the emissions reductions have been achieved almost entirely through the power sector, thanks to record investment in renewables and a reduction in coal use.  It warns that progress on other fronts, including low carbon heat, energy efficiency and transport, has "stalled".  The recent report from the Telegraph and YouGov may shed a little light on why this is so!

Meeting future carbon budgets and the UK’s 80% target for 2050 will require much greater commitment from big business energy users.

So what more can be done? 

Plenty!

ESOS went some way to raise the awareness of energy saving opportunities but we know that many reports were shelved and actions not prioritised for a whole raft of reasons.  Brexit gives our government the opportunity to revisit legislation around energy efficiency and to introduce much more stringent regulations with robust incentives and penalties for business energy users.

But as the Telegraph report highlighted, we really need to get people engaged in the energy saving journey.  From the CEO to every operative on the ‘shop floor’, everyone has a part to play. 

There are over 65 million people in the UK who individually every day have the power to save energy in their homes and their daily lives.  Of these, 38 million people are also in a position to save energy in their place of work.  If we could get these individuals engaged in the energy saving, carbon reduction agenda, surely they can have a massive impact on the outcome? 

Some responsible organisations provide their employees with energy awareness training.  How about making ALL organisations provide energy training for staff?  If the training includes awareness of energy saving in the home environment, the trainee can then take that message home and become an energy champion in the home.  Health and Safety in the workplace is now standard – let’s make energy awareness training standard too!

For more information on energy awareness training, click here.

For the full Telegraph/YouGov report, click here.