This month’s BCIA blog comes from Vice-President Terry Sharp who discusses how we can conquer the energy efficiency mountain. Terry also shares his thoughts on the sizable benefits of making #OneSmallChange in your building.
There are lots of people I admire. They usually have the common traits of overcoming challenges to make a difference, however small, and conquer their own mountain. Within the building controls industry, our mountain to conquer is collectively increasing energy efficiency in today’s sophisticated commercial buildings.
In order to meet modern standards, such as the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), designers and potential managers of new buildings will already have targets to work towards to make sure the building is fully compliant with the latest regulations.
Personally, I don’t believe the majority of people in the street care for building regulations but I do think they will be driving the uptake of energy efficient technology because of the expectations of ‘only on when I need it’ and the green issues around global warming that we are all familiar with.
The BCIA has developed the #OneSmallChange initiative to promote the importance of our energy saving actions in our buildings. We’re not saying it needs to be complex or time-consuming changes, both minor and simple methods all greatly contribute. How do we make a sizable impact? Easy, by each and every one of us making a small change to our daily behaviour. It’s not something that we should have to consider, it’s our responsibility to look after our planet for a strong and sustainable future.
Take for example that flickering light that’s left on in a rarely used office – turn it off. Feeling hot on a Summers’ day in the workplace? Perhaps you open two windows but also have the air-conditioning on alongside it – stop! There are so may simple “wins” that if the whole UK population made on a daily basis, we could make a significant difference in energy usage. Never believe your sole efforts cannot make an impact because if we all take positive action – strength in numbers pays off! Once you start making such changes, it becomes a pattern of behaviour for the better.
Sometimes it’s simply a case of being forgetful and not remembering to turn the heating off when you’re in a rush. Prevent such circumstances by taking advantage of the smart technology that’s easily available at your fingertips. Devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant allow you to set daily reminders to turn off lighting etc by voice command. Apps are growing in popularity too, if you leave your workplace in any doubt that the air-conditioning may have been left on by mistake, you can simply check at the touch of a button and take control remotely. It doesn’t involve you jumping back in your car to check or even moving from your armchair – result.
Smart devices and web-based technology not only give us one less thing to worry about in our busy lives, but they also enable us to take control of our buildings and ensure that we extract the full potential of energy efficiency in our commercial buildings.
So, I ask you to take a look around your workplace and consider honestly, #OneSmallChange that you could make to increase energy efficiency in your building. That’s your first and most critical step in conquering the mountain…