Energy Efficiency and Entrepreneurship

AR Blog

Becoming an entrepreneur can be challenging, therefore it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Most business owners now recognise the importance of energy efficiency measures and sourcing renewable energy where possible. This is due to the cost savings these options can offer, allowing businesses to reinvest in other activities. Saving 20% on your energy bills can generate returns which are equivalent to a 5% increase in sales1.. Additionally, as consumers are becoming more environmentally aware, there are increasing expectations on suppliers, across all sectors, to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, particularly in relation to renewable energy.

A survey completed by Orsted, highlighted that 73% 2. of consumers would choose a retailer that used renewable energy over one that didn’t. Improving your reputation and becoming environmentally conscious needn’t be something that will interrupt or hinder your businesses operations – it can significantly increase your competitiveness.

Committing to renewable energy:

  • Businesses who want to commit to renewable energy can do so through Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) either from an electricity supplier or direct engagement with a renewable electricity generator, in more recent times this has been referred to as a Corporate Power Purchase Agreement.
  • Alternatively, a business can invest in renewable technology to generate renewable electricity, which satisfies either part or all the businesses electricity demand. On a global scale, RE100 is a collaborative initiative, which some of the world’s most influential companies have joined and committed to 100% renewable electricity. Companies who have committed to RE100 primarily adopt the methods mentioned above to ensure they achieve their targets.

With a steady uptake of ‘green procurement’, which focuses on sourcing and purchasing products and services that use fewer resources and minimises their impact on the environment, there is certainly reason to get your business ‘going green’. In Northern Ireland, the ‘Sustainable Development strategy’ recognises the importance of responsible procurement in the public sector to ensure the effective and efficient use of resources. This was developed to select suppliers who have a sound environmental standing. Therefore, with environmental awareness and targets only set to increase in the future, it stands to sense for businesses to begin exploring their options in relation to sourcing renewable energy, if they have not already done so. This will enable them to ensure business operation remains competitive.

1 https://www.carbontrust.com/resources/guides/energy-efficiency/better-business-guide-to- energy-saving/

2 https://www.energyvoice.com/otherenergy/176726/orsted-claim-73-of-customers-prefer-renewable-energy-retailer/

3 http://there100.org/re100

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Water-Energy Nexus Workshop – Wednesday 7th September 2016

Water-Energy Nexus

The Centre of Sustainable Technologies based at the University of Ulster is an inter-disciplinary research centre, challenging many aspects of sustainability associated with the built environment. Their remit is to undertake ground-breaking activities in a range of areas including architecture, building energy efficiency, clean combustion, construction, highways engineering, sustainability, renewable energy and river hydraulics. Recognising that these areas are of the utmost importance to a rapidly changing built environment reacting to climate change, they cite that their dominant research activity in terms of income and activity is energy.

The centre is hosting an event addressing the Water-Energy Nexus, looking at the challenges faced by the inextricable connection between water requirements and energy resources.  Taking place at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown Campus, the half day event has input from a range of leading experts in the field.

WATER- ENERGY NEXUS WORKSHOP – AGENDA

7th September 2016

Centre for Sustainable Technologies, Jordanstown Campus

Ulster University, Shore Road, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, BT37 0QB

9.45      Arrival and coffee

10.00 – 10:30 Welcome and Introduction

Dr Trevor Hyde, Reader, Centre for Sustainable Technologies

Ms Jane Wall, Project Development Manager, Dublin City University

10: 30-11.30 Reducing the energy demand of water utilities 

Dr Caterina Brandoni, Lecturer in Energy, Centre for Sustainable Technologies

Dr Lorna Fitzsimons, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, Dublin City University

Mr Ian Bingham, Energy Manager, Northern Ireland Water

11.30-11.40 Coffee Break

11.40-12.20 Water and energy in the city of the future

Dr Vanessa Speight, Research Fellow in Integrated Water Systems, Sheffield University

Mr Leonardo Piccinetti, Director REDINN

12.20-13.00 Technology innovation in the water and energy field

Prof Tony Byrne, Prof of Photocatalysis, Ulster University

Dr Patrick Dunlop, Lecturer in Engineering Materials, Ulster University

 13.00-14.00 Lunch

 The workshop will be chaired by Mr Dominic McLarnon, Horizon 2020 Northern Ireland Contact Point for Energy.

Please register your interest by email to Dr Caterina Brandoni (c.brandoni@ulster.ac.uk)

This workshop is funded by Dublin City University and Ulster University through the joint programme “Dublin City University-Ulster University Joint Research Workshops”.