Zero Carbon Energy
The aim of zero carbon energy is to meet our heating and electricity needs without relying on fossil fuels, either through reducing the demand for energy or by switching to renewable energy sources (solar, wind, hydro and nuclear).
How to make a change
- Have a professional conduct an energy survey for office.
- Make the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge.
- Install solar panels.
- Consider an air-source heat pump, as a low carbon means of heating your office.
- Minimise cloud storage, or use physical storage devices, to lower your carbon footprint.
Switch to a ‘Green’ Energy provider
- Or see if your current supplier offers any tariffs with higher ‘mixes’ of green energy.
- Check out uSwitch or Money Saving Expert to see if you can save money by switching.
Replace inefficient appliances
- Only replace appliances when it is necessary to do so but consider whether your appliance works WELL – appliances which are not running properly may drain resources. Appliances over 10 or 15 years old may be both expensive to repair and environmentally damaging. Over time, replacing appliances with more efficient technology can help you save money, whilst also reducing carbon emissions. When shopping for new appliances, pick technology with the highest possible energy efficiency rating (A-rated being the highest) for your budget. Remember to dispose of appliances through the correct recycling routes.
- A simple, low-cost switch would be to start with energy efficient light bulbs.
Use appliances efficiently
- The easiest way to decrease your energy consumption is to turn off and/or unplug electronic devices, chargers, and lights when you are not using them. Items left on standby can use up to 85% of the energy they would when switched on. Do not leave appliances on to charge overnight – most will be fully charged within an hour or two and leaving them plugged in can damage the battery.
Insulate your workspace
- This will allow you to cut down on heating costs and reduce reliance on central heating, whilst maintaining a suitable temperature for staff.
- Fit draught excluders around doors, windows and even the letterbox and key holes, and seal gaps around doors and windows. Keep doors and curtains closed in unused rooms, and have radiators set lower in these areas. Allow space for air circulation around radiators for them to work effectively. Reflectors can be fit behind radiators to maximise heat being reflected into the room – fitting shelves above radiators will have the same effect.
- Loft and wall insulation will make the biggest difference, although can have high upfront costs. Most heat is lost via the roof of a building, so insulating any loft spaces will reduce this.
- Double glazing will also greatly insulate any buildings – you can reduce 50% of your heat loss through windows.
- Install (x) draught proofing measures in office spaces
- Read up on the suitability of solar panels for your organisation
- Switch to a green energy provider
Sign up to the West Midlands Net Zero Business Pledge to receive guidance from the WMCA on reducing your environmental impact, with the opportunity to become a certified ambassador. https://www.wmca.org.uk/what-we-do/environment-and-energy/west-midlands-net-zero-business-pledge/
Act on Energy have a full resource library for energy saving measures, including Air Source Heat Pumps, Solar Panels, Insulation and more. https://actonenergy.org.uk/resource/
The Renewable Energy Hub has a list of Birmingham based solar panel installers, helping you to find and compare supplies. https://www.renewableenergyhub.co.uk/solar-panel-solar-pv-installers-in-birmingham.html
Energy with Confidence by Phil Beardmore offers an advice service aiming to make your home or business greener. https://energyconfidence.co.uk/
Community Energy Birmingham are a Society for Community Benefit, with the primary aim of reducing carbon emissions in Birmingham. If you own land or buildings CEB will look at the opportunities for installing renewable energy technology. https://www.communityenergybirmingham.coop/
EnviroCity Limited specialise in the removal and recycling of electronic waste, aiming to be a ‘zero landfill’ service. Contact to arrange collection of old appliances. http://envirocity.co.uk/