and by not installing PV panels or wind turbines every year then an organisations is not committed to reducing their carbon footprint. However, there is little point in installing renewables until you have done all you can do to reduce demand and improve energy efficiency levels otherwise you will have an oversized and overpriced solution.
Not having the ability to show the impact of trials or small energy efficiency projects can make it difficult to get authorisation on expensive larger scale rollouts of a particular measure. It may seem trivial, but by not publicly advertising what the University was doing towards energy efficiency, the significant reductions in its carbon footprint and examples of good practice were missed by staff and students. When deciding which energy efficiency project to fund, the University’s EMT always refers to the energy hierarchy – first reduce the energy demand, then invest in energy efficiency, and then finally research the advantages of using renewables or low carbon technologies.
THE EMA MAGAZINE • ISSUE MAY—JUNE 2018
The ‘energy hierarchy’ is a fundamental weapon in the Energy Managers’ armoury and should be adhered to and highlighted to those seeking the quick renewable wins
The ‘energy hierarchy’ is a
efficiency projects and their impact. It also charts the University’s progress towards reducing its carbon emissions by 20% by 2021 – as dictated in the 2016/2021 Carbon Management Plan. For example, the University’s Multi-faith Chaplaincy had a set heating schedule of 6AM – 10PM all week. To reduce the building’s natural gas consumption, the EMT liaised with building staff to organise a weekly heating schedule which reflected the occupancy rates. This “no cost” approach reduced gas consumption by 50%. Additionally, rather than replacing a set of pumps in the Meston building, the EMT proposed installing a set of variable speed drives (VSD). When calculating the impact of this project, the Team used the Affinity Laws to predict energy savings and carried out an experiment to prove the theory – the theory’s calculated savings were within 5% of the experimental results.
fundamental weapon in the Energy Managers’ armoury and should be adhered to and highlighted to those seeking the quick renewable wins that more cost effective solutions might be more appropriate.
that more cost effective solutions might be more appropriate. This is especially significant when you consider that most renewable technologies are carbon intensive to install and/or manufacture. Providing formally written project proposals that detail the challenges, solutions, and impacts can provide assurance that a generic saving figure hasn’t been used and the EMT has fully researched a project. Once funded and installed, an effective M&T programme allows the EMT to show the University community the impact of the energy efficiency projects and helps inform saving predictions of similar future projects. To help keep staff and students apprised of what the University is doing about its carbon footprint, the yearly Energy Report, which is written by the Energy Management Team, highlights the number of completed
A final thought on this issue is that without an effective energy management team, it would have been near impossible for the University of Aberdeen to produce the solutions and impacts listed. Underinvestment in Energy Management teams is quite common but it is important to build the support. An effective team can help to reduce the potential for single fail points – the reporting requirements and compliance aspects of energy management in today’s environment is onerous, so being able to share the load is vital and provides essential support regarding cross checking and reviewing of submissions. Author’s profile: Roederer Rose Lyne is a Graduate Energy Engineer in the University of Aberdeen’s Energy Management Team. She started in the team as a summer intern in 2016, then worked part time while she finished the final year of her Mechanical Engineering MEng (Hons) Degree before starting full time in June 2017.