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The Importance of Energy Auditing for Net Zero Strategies

March 25, 2021 | Insights,
Sustainability is the Solution

Written by Verdiana Russo, Energy Project Manager, Anthesis Lavola

Diagnosis is the starting point for a Zero-Emissions Strategic Plan

Every day there are more and more companies that boast of having ambitious and firm commitments to the environment, alongside promoting sustainability strategies with the aim of achieving zero carbon emissions.

Avoiding emissions through the reduction of energy demand, reducing consumption through energy efficiency, and using renewable energies are key factors when it comes to achieving the above-mentioned goals. At Anthesis, we work on these key areas as we lead the way towards Net Zero, and the starting point is an energy audit.

Energy auditing: Beyond the regulatory requirements

In Spain, the Royal Decree 56/2016 binds large companies to carry out an energy audit that covers at least 85% of the total final energy consumption of all their facilities every 4 years.

This Decree’s goals are clearly linked with the commitments that European countries have made to fight climate change and reduce carbon emissions.

However, this requirement only asks companies to report on energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and opportunities for energy improvements in audited buildings. There is no requirement to then execute the actions proposed in the energy audit. So, why should companies go any further?

Let’s use a real example

In the last few months, the Lavola Energy team have been working on the energy audits of 30 sport centers throughout the Spanish territory, to comply with the Royal Decree 56/2016.

The results of these audits revealed opportunities for:

  • <9% saving in final energy, 20% reduction in CO2 emissions, and 11% diminution of energy costs compared to last year, through energy billing optimisation and wider energy efficiency measures.
  • Electricity billing optimisation, together with an improvement in the energy contracting conditions, allowing for a 4% global saving, using last year as a reference.

net zero savings

  • The average return on investments is 4 years, with a minimum of less than one year and a maximum of 10 years.
  • The set of proposals would allow an economic saving of around € 150,000 / year, energy savings of 1.1GWh / year and emissions of 340 tCO 2 / year.
  • Contracted powers that were higher than necessary were detected in 80% of the cases.
  • Non-compliance with bonus rights for emergency supplies were detected in 50% of cases.
  • Priority energy improvement actions were identified, which were linked to savings and amortisations: sensors in the lighting system, change of lighting to LED technology, free cooling solutions in ventilation, installation of monitoring systems and improvement of Energy Management Systems installed in the centers, among others.
  • The potential for energy saving and renewable generation (photovoltaic and solar thermal) has been estimated for the centers that had favorable characteristics.
  • A comparative analysis of all the centers was also prepared, utilising key efficiency indicators.

At Anthesis, we offer support services in all these areas. If you are interested in further information, please contact our Lavola expert Cristina Bayés.

What can a company do after an Energy Audit?

A lot.

  • Prepare an action plan, planning investments with energy, economic and emissions saving objectives over time.
  • Define sustainability indicators to apply for sustainable financing.
  • Monitor consumption with an Energy Management System, with the option to certify the company according to ISO 50001.
  • Monitor indoor air quality and solve problems related to users’ health.
  • Carry out a corporate global analysis of CO2 emissions , participating in the Science Based Targets (SBT) initiative with the commitment to define science-based emission reduction targets.
  • Benefit from the use of clean energy through a renewable energy purchase agreement (PPA, Power Purchase Agreement ).
  • Define a zero emissions strategic plan (Net Zero).
  • Define a sustainability strategy at the corporate level, with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) aspects.

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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Finland, Colombia, Brazil, China, Australia, Switzerland, Singapore, the Philippines and the Middle East.