After listening to James Clear’s book ‘Atomic Habits’ it really did open my mind to spending some time focusing on making those tiny changes. Recently, during a mentoring session my mentee said to me, “I did not realise that a high percentage of energy management could be impacted by people”. Shocked, I replied to her that 50% of energy management savings found within an organisation would be attributed to people. For me that is not a shock, but I have started to realise that this is a shock to the rest of the world. So my question is, “can tiny changes actually create a remarkable difference?”.

Let us do the sums…
On estimate, there are a 125Million businesses in the world (this is very rough estimate.)
If each business says they will save 1kWh of energy every day (which is a tiny saving), that would be 45,625Million kWh of savings which would make an absolutely remarkable difference and is completely achievable. We know though that each company would not just save 1kWh they would actually save more.

This whole impact on the energy industry would be amazing as it would create many opportunities around the world. Obviously the sceptics here would say we would not need coal or oil fired power plants, which will therefore lead to unemployment. My answer here would be to deliver transition and transfer these skills to managing energy rather than generating energy. Industries and people evolve very similarly to how nature evolves and in the words of many spiritual gurus, ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’.

To actually get organisations to complete this task would be very difficult and the logistics to actually manage this task would be near on impossible. However, if we don’t deliver an initiative to drive down consumption soon, we as a world will be dammed. In the US alone 4 Million businesses are newly formed each year. Therefore, our journey to climate change and climate impact is getting closer. We have to start doing something now.

Businesses know that regularly saving energy and reducing all their utilities means a financial benefit so it obviously also means that they need to pay tax on increased profits, but these are minimal to the amount of savings they are going to make. A lot of the time, organisations are seeing these benefits but they are having to spend to save with an ROI to focus on. The ROI isn’t always palatable as the organisation will only sign off ROI’s of about 2 years and below but the major savings that can be achieved are through investment or are they?

Lets take a page out of James Clear ‘Atomic Habits’ book and focus on the 1% scenario and focus on the low hanging fruit of consumption. This can be very straight forward and here there are points that can deliver this, taken from my books of Review, Realign, Reduce and Report. These are very quick ways an organisation can make that ‘tiny change and remarkable difference’.

Review your operational hours and make sure all your time-clocks are correct, there is no uneccessart lighting on, review your building management system, air-conditioning systems and boilers. Make sure they are inline and realign them to your exact operational times (not just before or after). If you already have this in place, find 1kW capacity of load and turn this off for 1 hour everyday.

A flashback for me In 2010 – ‘I once carried out an assessment on some escalators and found they were operating for 18 hours a day every day. I put a logger on the system and found that each unit consumed 7kW. Therefore, my recommendation was to shut the unit off earlier and turn on later. After the facilities manager saw this analysis, he decided only to turn them ON when there was an event and keep them shut off during normal times. The savings were remarkable as there were 4 of them.
The payback for delivering a program like this would be remarkable but imagine what the payback would be if we could do this across the world.
To finish off todays article please think how can we can make that, ‘Tiny’ change and deliver a remarkable impact.
If we make a 1% change to our approach of energy management, renewable supply and our environment, what a remarkable difference that would make to our planet.

Paul Webb MEI Chartered Energy Manager, April 2021, Inspired by James Clear from Atomic Habits
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