Manchester’s Commitment to Net Zero

By Ian on Tuesday 14th November 2023

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Energy independence is becoming more important than ever. Global factors are influencing the supply and price of gas and electric to local households and businesses alike. The UK government is pushing ahead on its targets for net zero emissions by 2050 and commercial property owners are already having to adapt their properties to comply with energy legislation through the minimum energy efficiency regulations. Manchester City Council have created a Climate Change Action Plan which aims to reduce the organisations carbon output to net zero twelve years sooner than the 2050 central government target. This will not only about hitting targets, but it will enable them to vastly reduce their energy costs and reduce their reliance on national infrastructure and the unpredictability of prices impacted by global factors out of their control.

Reducing Energy Spend in Businesses

Buildings make up a huge 68% of all of the councils carbon emissions. While the main goal of the cities action plan is focused on environmental stability, a welcome by-product of reducing these emissions will be a substantial cost saving.

One of the initiatives within the plan is to replace all street lighting with LED alternatives. Whilst the council are unique in the scale of lighting that they manage, many businesses can take utilise this strategy on their own scale. LEDs have lower energy consumption and a longer lifespan than traditional lighting. This will significantly reduce cost as well as, in most cases, providing a higher quality light. When performing a commercial EPC in Manchester, LED lighting is often a recommendation highlighted on the EPC report.

MCC have identified that their heating systems are also a large contributor to their energy costs. By upgrading these systems to more efficient alternatives less waste will be generated. Additionally, beyond the physical boiler, controls play a huge part. By having an intelligent system, waste can be reduced dramatically. A BEMS (Building Energy Management System) uses information such as occupancy levels and outdoor temperatures to control things like:

  • When the heating turns on or off
  • Which areas to heat
  • How hot to heat each area

These systems are not just for large businesses. They are inexpensive and work with most heating and cooling systems.

Whilst measures such as replacing heating systems has an upfront cost, they can provide substantial long term savings and a solid return on investment.

MCC’s actions underline a critical point. Upgrading their systems and services in not only an environmental initiative, its a strategic financial decision. By adopting similar measures, commercial property owners can enjoy a reduction in operational costs, contributing to the overall financial health and competitiveness of their businesses.

Energy Security & Independence for Businesses

The concept of energy security for business is more crucial now than ever before. Prices are fluctuating heavily and are trending in one direction only. Profit margins are being eroded and consumers are taking a hit too. But what can businesses do?

A knock on effect of Manchester City Council’s Climate Change Action Plan is that they will be less reliant on the traditional supply methods of energy. Primarily, they are reducing the amount of energy they are using through using it more efficiently and wasting less. Upgraded services like highly efficient boilers and low energy lighting, consume much less. Through the implementation of additional insulation and smarter control of their systems, they are also wasting much less. When advising our clients, these are the first steps that we recommend.

In addition to improving efficiency and reducing waste, another important factor in energy security is self generation. The city council is drawing up plans to build a solar farm. Whilst this would be a tad overkill for most businesses in Manchester, many could benefit from using the same technologies.

Commercial premises in Manchester can install solar panels or wind turbines to generate their own electricity. If you get the right system installed you can also expect to be able to sell excess energy back to the grid or store it in on site batteries ready for your own peak demand.

Solar water heating can replace traditional hot water systems like immersion heaters. Using the suns energy to heat refrigerant, they work differently to solar PV panels.

Similarly, Air Source Heat Pumps use ambient air to heat a refrigerant and provide both heating and hot water to businesses.

By implementing these measures individually or combining them, commercial buildings can become independent of the nations energy demand and infrastructure as well as global price fluctuations.

Commercial EPCs in Manchester

Energy efficiency, cost savings and energy independence are a key role of the Commercial Energy Performance Certificate for businesses in Manchester. Its a unique insight into how, and how well a property uses energy. Providing a rating on a scale from A (best performing) and G (worst performing) the EPC is a crucial tool for businesses and commercial property owners looking to understand and control their energy usage.

The EPC for businesses provides structured and specific recommendations. This could range from upgrading insulation and lighting to more complex solutions like installing renewable energy systems or modern heating controls. By following the advice property owners can make informed decisions about where to invest in their property to maximise energy efficiency.

To book your EPC for a commercial property in Manchester, give us a call on 01925 699 321.

About the Author

About Ian Kay

Ian is a seasoned energy assessor helping his customers, reduce energy usage and save money on their bills. He holds qualifications from both City & Guilds and ABBE for Domestic EPCs and Commercial EPCs (Level 3 NDEA and Level 4 NDEA). With a background in the building trade he can provide his customers with a unique perspective and advice. Ian combines his deep industry knowledge with practical advice to create blog posts that help visitors understand the complexities of energy performance certificates and reducing operating costs. When not immersed in the world of energy assessments, Ian enjoys exploring the great outdoors and spending quality time with his family.

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