London challenge sets out to recognise energy savers and gather data

London’s businesses have until 9 September to enter the Business Energy Challenge awards and win recognition for their energy saving initiatives. The challenge rewards energy saving in business and crucially helps to gather performance data from London’s commercial building stock. The data collected from last year’s award entries has been used by University College London to inform the development of London specific, up to date energy benchmarks for office and retail buildings.

Businesses submit energy usage data and are assessed on the carbon intensity per square metre of their properties, so both medium and large businesses are put on an equal footing. Gold, silver and bronze awards are distributed to the businesses that are most successful in reducing their carbon intensity.

Last year 58 businesses entered the challenge with reductions achieved through a range of innovative methods, providing previously uncollected data on energy consumption for more than 1000 locations in London. When added together, the 27 award winners achieved an 18% reduction in carbon emissions, and used 181,892 megawatt hours less energy. The energy saved equates to £12.5m in energy bill reductions.

The 58 businesses participating in last year’s challenge included household names such as Boots, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Marks and Spencer. Global law firm Linklaters, one of last year’s gold award winners, reduced emissions from electricity and gas use by 27% and 51% respectively through measures including using their office space more effectively, installation of sensors for lighting and air conditioning and investments in more energy-efficient IT.

This year a new category of award will be added for small and micro businesses which employ fewer than 50 people.

More information can be found at www.london.gov.uk/bec.

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