With so many building operators focused on their carbon emissions there’s a danger that the basic issue of energy efficiency is taking a back seat. This is because it’s possible to reduce carbon emissions while still operating inefficient systems.

That may sound counter-intuitive but it’s because of the fact that many popular ‘green’ technologies – such as biomass, heat pumps, solar thermal and electrical – are classified as low or zero carbon. So the carbon output may be reduced but the operator of these systems won’t gain all of the benefits unless the systems these technologies feed are efficient.

One obvious example is the use of biomass. Biomass is considered to be virtually carbon-neutral because the carbon emitted during combustion was fixed by the plants (e.g. trees or elephant grass) just a few years earlier.  And modern biomass boilers are efficient  But it’s still important to use them efficiently, not least because that saves money and it’s savings that fund such projects on a payback basis.

So building operators who want to be efficient and save money as well as reducing carbon emissions need to ensure their systems are working at maximum efficiency. Should be a no-brainer but can be overlooked.

Paul Haddlesey