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CRC – Don’t just monitor...implement energy savings now!

Author : Suzanne Gill

Following on from my comment last week about the announcement of the final version of the The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, I have just spoken to Steve Ruddell, general manager, Drives & Motors at ABB, who is urging business and public sector companies affected by the CRC scheme to be an early investor in energy saving technologies as part of their CRC planning strategy.

CRC – Don’t just monitor...implement energy savings now!

"The time and money needed by business and public sector organisations to introduce carbon emission monitoring measures to meet the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), could put a strain on future investments in technology that can actually lower the energy bill," warns Ruddell.

The CRC is a cap and trade scheme introduced by the Government and aimed at reducing the carbon emissions by one-third by 2050. The scheme requires some 5,000 organisations which consume over 6 GWh/year and who operate half hourly metering to join and participants will be required to purchase carbon allowances based on the Information Packs they receive from the Environment Agency.

Initially organisations need to ensure they accurately monitor their energy use emissions and capture the information into a database designed to perform all monitoring and targeting functions.

While some organisations have chosen to outsource their carbon emission monitoring to property partnerships or facility management companies many are reporting that collecting the energy data is resource intensive particularly where manual readings have been required. Installation of many automated meter reading (AMR) systems has been a lengthy process.

"Although revenue neutral to the Exchequer, CRC will have cash flow implications for qualifying organisations. An energy saving of up to 5% will be needed to cover the average cost of administration within an organisation," warns Ruddell.

"It is essential that the correct monitoring and targeting measures are in place," he said. "We are urging all organisations to promptly move beyond this stage. The real energy saving and carbon reduction benefits come from implementing technologies that lower the actual energy consumed and therefore the carbon dioxide emitted. This is where the ongoing focus needs to be."

One of the biggest contributors to energy consumption in buildings, for example, is the numerous fans and pumps used in HVAC systems. ABB has created a 6-step CRC plan which includes details on its free energy appraisal, aimed at identifying which fans and pumps could benefit from variable speed drive control.

Variable speed drives are used to regulate the speed of the electric motor driving the fan or pump. Saving up to 60% of the electricity bill is possible with payback as short as 6 months.
"While organisations may believe they have sufficient time before action is needed, the Government has rather cunningly introduced a few incentives of its own to motivate action now," Ruddell told us.

A league table will publicly show those companies that are being good environmental citizens and those who have some way to go. At the end of each year, company performance, mainly based on absolute carbon reductions since the start of the scheme, will be summarised in league tables outlining the best and worse performers in terms of carbon emissions and reduction.

In order to avoid creating an additional financial burden, the auction revenues generated through the initial sale of credits will be recycled back to participants, with companies receiving payments back from government in relation to their first year emissions, plus or minus a bonus or penalty dependent on their position in the league table.

To help companies win a favourable place in the league table ABB has identified several applications within buildings that can immediately benefit from variable speed drives including liquid cooler fans, condenser water pumps, chiller compressors, chilled water pumps, supply fans and return fans.

Suzanne Gill

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