WSP has committed to be a carbon neutral business in the UK by 2025. Whilst business travel is responsible for the majority of our carbon emissions, energy use in our UK offices is still significant, accounting for 25% of our total emissions in 2018. The first place to look for carbon savings in our offices is by improving energy efficiency. However, to do that effectively we need access to robust, detailed and up to date information on how and why we are using energy. Data from the meters supplying the offices is available from our energy suppliers, but only at whole office level and can be days or weeks old when received. We wanted a solution that would provide us with a cost-effective way to generate up-to-date, detailed energy use data by floor, zone or system.
WSP has a strategic partnership with Centrica Business Solutions and we believed their Energy Insight solution, Panoramic Power, could be the answer. We decided to trial it in our Newcastle office and it took less than half a day to fit the sensors on a number of the electrical distribution boards. The solution enabled us to start viewing near live data, i.e. with only a 2-minute lag, the same day. We were also pleased with the flexibility and scalability of the solution, with sensors able to be added or removed easily as we learnt more about energy use in the building, and what information we needed to understand its operation.
Based on the success of this pilot we looked at the business case for a wider roll out and will be installing Panoramic Power at our 14 largest offices throughout the UK during 2019. Together they account for more than 90% of our office energy. The whole system will pay for itself in less than three months if we are able to use it to drive savings of a modest 5% in energy use - and in practice it is cost neutral as it will replace existing AMR services that we currently contract from other providers.
Delivering our carbon neutral commitment by 2025 is a big challenge but we are confident that harnessing the power of digital technology will be a significant step towards realising our ambitions.
By Simon Clouston, Technical Director, Energy and Environment - WSP