Public Sector Must Improve Energy Efficiency
UK public sector organisations are fighting against a rising tide of energy costs and need to focus on energy efficiency to win, according to Tim Pryce.
Pryce, Head of Public Sector at the Carbon Trust, writes in the Local Government Chronicle that public sector organisations who are unable to reduce energy demand quickly enough through energy efficiency will end up unnecessarily spending taxpayers’ money on inefficient public buildings and street lighting.
Pryce comments that the UK public sector has been at the forefront of reducing energy demand and cutting carbon, reducing its own energy use by 46% between 1990 and 2011. For this to continue the public sector needs to continue to invest in energy efficiency, even in the challenging times they face. However, without the right finance, guidance and incentives, public bodies are in danger of cutting “good” spending – such as invest to save projects – as well as “bad” spending.
He reasons that public bodies often argue that they are unable to afford cost-effective investments into energy efficiency and other invest to save projects. They may tender contracts on the basis of the lowest upfront costs, rather than procuring on the basis of lowest project lifetime costs, meaning lower costs now, but higher costs in the future.
Pryce highlights though that there is often a clear and compelling business case and a quick return on investment for energy efficiency. It can free up other budgets for delivery of frontline services, help meet carbon reduction targets, and help to mitigate future costs of climate change.
What Pryce says is vital not only for UK public sector organisations, but public sector organisation globally.
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Picture of Bedford Town Hall by Simon Speed (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Thursday 20th February 2014