The focus this month is on GRESB, once again. The countdown to the opening of the GRESB Portal on the 1st of April is
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Until recently, I have been working in the EHS sector helping some of the worlds largest companies select, implement, and maintain some of the leading Environmental, Health & Safety solutions.
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The interest in ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) investing has really accelerated in the last few years — this Google Trends graph shows that quite clearly:
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Profile analysis was the first thing I learned as an energy analyst. It is the foundation of all other forms of energy analysis. Without an understanding of how buildings use energy on a half-hourly basis, everything else is just noise.The mass adoption of smart metering and AMRs has meant that ‘energy profiles’ are widely available. Back in the day, they were recorded by an energy profiler that was temporarily installed for a couple of weeks. This meant analysts were dealing with a very limited time period for a limited number of data points. Thankfully, this is no longer the case.
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In the world of energy efficiency and sustainability, we very rarely make decisions based on data. In a sector filled with experts and specialists, most decisions are made on gut feel and intuition. You may think because you use data in your decision-making process that you’re data-driven. But that’s not the same thing.Being truly data-driven means putting data at the heart of the decision-making process. It really comes down to a ‘data first’ approach instead of going by gut feel. It means constantly questioning your beliefs and assumptions to form new mental models. Referring back to the data time and time again and continually asking “Why?”.
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Energy efficiency has gone out of fashion. A quick check of Google trends will confirm this. A 15 year-long steady decline in search volume. But why?
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I live in a mid-terrace house that was built early in the 20th Century using solid brick construction. It's one of those typical suburban houses with nice bay windows and a small gas fireplace in the lounge, the sort you find all over the UK. Like most houses of this type, it is draughty, badly insulated and very inefficient in its energy use. I am starting a project to fix that and I would like to have the primary improvement works done under the Green Deal. The Green Deal is a new initiative by the UK government that became effective at the end of January and that aims to reduce the number of buildings that require high energy spendings in order to operate. It is designed so that it can benefit landlords and tenants alike, as well as owner occupiers. The primary way in which it does this is through easy financing that is linked to the property rather than the owner or occupier: the idea is that once the works are done, the energy bills of the property will go down. So the loan that finances the project is repaid against savings on the electricity bill. If the property is sold, the remainder of the loan is sold with it and keeps being applied to the electricity bills of that property. This has a number of advantages for tenants and landlords: An initial survey of the property is done by an accredited assessor who will identify what are the most cost effective measures for that property based on its characteristics and the way the people live in it, There is no upfront cost apart from the cost of the initial assessment, As the loan is made against the property rather than a person, there are no credit checks, which makes the finance and the whole scheme much more accessible to people who typically find it difficult to obtain credit, such as people who are self-employed or have bad credit history, You can receive cashback repayments against particular measures, You can have additional works that are not covered by the Green Deal carried out at the same time, as long as you finance them separately.
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