Interview: Colin Bebbington, Bord Gáis Energy

30 Sep 2020 | 11.29 am

Interview: Colin Bebbington, Bord Gáis Energy

Intelligence is key to cutting carbon footprint

30 Sep 2020 | 11.29 am

Bord Gáis Energy retail director Colin Bebbington (pictured) explains that reducing energy use can be a winning investment for businesses

Are SMEs generally more open now to looking at their business with a view to lowering their energy-related emissions? How is this being manifested?

We know from talking with our customers that there is a growing interest in sustainable products, services and providers. Saying that, businesses may reasonably question what the returns are likely to be for their investment. 

The reality is that with a few small changes, most businesses can significantly reduce their energy use, generate savings and boost their brand’s reputation. For those willing to take it further they can generate a substantial return on investment. 

We’re seeing increased interest in products such as Energy Insight, which provides business managers with the intelligence they need to reduce waste of power, improve operational and energy efficiency and create a comprehensive energy strategy. 

Are there significant savings to be made if they do reduce their carbon emissions or energy use? 

At Bord Gáis Energy, we have a range of innovative energy solutions which helps our business customers to identify cost reductions and improvements in operations. Having access to these tools can bring to life new ways of working, and having this energy insight can lead to increased efficiencies. Large businesses can optimise operations and processes which can transform their energy footprint.

Consider a large multi-storey office building which uses a significant amount of power on lighting daily, and this in turn leads to high energy bills. Technologies like Energy Insight allow the facility or business owner to monitor energy use of all equipment and devices through a cloud-based solution on a tablet or mobile. 

The solution offers real-time visibility and can provide a better understanding of a business’ productivity, and ultimately lead to reduced energy consumption and lowered carbon emissions. 

They can also ensure business managers avoid costly down time through the early detection of equipment failure. For one manufacturing company using Energy Insight, the solution was instrumental in detecting malfunctions which would have resulted in a day’s loss of production. 

Technology and smart solutions can help a business manage their energy use. What solutions in particular, and why? 

Through our sister company Centrica Business Solutions, we offer an unrivalled suite of end-to-end energy management solutions that help businesses remain in control of their energy and turn their energy footprint into a source of competitive advantage. 

Our Energy Insight products provide users with real-time visibility of their energy usage, from overall site level down to device level. The solution includes easy-to-install self-powered sensors which are attached to wires that feed each device at a site. The data can be accessed through an online portal on a computer, tablet or smartphone and this helps optimise performance, lower the risk of equipment failures before they happen and reduce any inefficiencies or wastage.

For larger businesses, we offer Combined Heat and Power (CHP), a highly efficient source of onsite energy generation as well as demand side management, which enables organisations to turn their energy usage into a source of sustainable competitive advantage. 

The Bord Gáis Energy team can also advise and facilitate businesses with: 

  • EV Enablement, an integrated package of charging infrastructure, on-site energy and software solutions which makes a sustainable transport future a reality for businesses; and 
  • Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels which enable businesses to unlock value from existing assets like their roof, parking lot, or ground space to generate their own efficient energy supply instead of drawing more expensive energy from the grid. 

It’s also worth noting that as part of the National Smart Metering Programme, ESB Networks is upgrading all electricity meters in homes and businesses across Ireland. These new meters will use smart technology to give businesses access to accurate information on energy usage. This can in turn lead to increased efficiencies and cost savings. 

What’s your key message for Irish businesses that are looking to reduce their energy footprint and adopt greener energy?

Take it one step at a time. It’s a good idea to first speak with an energy expert to understand where and how best you can improve your energy usage and increase energy efficiency and realise cost savings. 

Businesses are increasingly expecting higher standards from their suppliers, including around environmental sustainability, and rightly so. To help deliver the best solutions for a business, after an initial consultation, we carry out a site survey and once a customer is happy to go ahead, we can project manage the entire installation. 

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