Forum Posts

Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Aug 09, 2022
In Contributor Articles
Energy Assessments can really make an impact on an organisations bottom line outlining a big difference to their consumption, their costs and their carbon footprint. They can however, be very resourceful and apply a big cost to the organisation. I have discussed the benefits of carrying out an energy assessment and although the organisation could save considerable energy on the day, we should also be mindful that this can be costly in resources when deploying an expert to survey your property. In addition, I personally recommend that this should be an annual process, as if we were to engage with an energy expert on a weekly basis, the costs would be significantly higher and would out weigh the savings, albeit beneficial. Organisations need to be identifying energy opportunities within a small frequency of time and implement changes faster. What I have found in my experience is that when an energy assessment is deployed, staff initially push back and its not until the midway point that staff really start to buy into the energy efficiency principles of review, realign, reduce and report. I always find that during the initial assessment we will identify many opportunities that can be delivered within the organisation that are categorised from no cost, medium cost and capital cost. We normally find opportunities that I would call the “low hanging fruit”, that could make savings on the day. A great example of this could be an air-conditioning unit found turned on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in an area that is only used weekly, possibly by a member of staff who had boosted this one afternoon as he or she was working late. The maintenance manager will see this and turn it off and the assessor has done their job, making savings on the day. Unfortunately, in a week’s time if someone then does this again, it will be overlooked until the next assessment. This is all well and good but if we were to survey again in one month, the probability of this running again would be high. It is very likely we will find many more opportunities like this on the assessment day that can be pin pointed. If we do not maintain momentum of energy assessing and implementing change, there is a likely chance that the issues and opportunities will re-occur and continue to waste energy consumption (gas, electricity and water). It won’t be long before the assessment becomes a dusty old report sitting on the side. I think reports should be concisely prepared and focused on, with strong indications recommending savings. If we don’t do this we will be in a position where we are wasting our time and money deploying energy experts. I for one, get rewarded by knowing that we have completed an assessment and deployed energy opportunities. My solution to this is very clear regarding our approach to deliver a full energy assessment by creating weekly ‘mini’ assessments that focus on the key points eg. The air conditioner system in our example would be reviewed weekly to ensure it had not been boosted and left running all weekend. The structured review will provide significant savings and focus for the organisation. I have deployed this before with a Hotel Group and we found that it maintained a very good level of ‘energy awareness’. We actually had 18 properties of various sizes and category , that were led by an ‘energy champion’ at the property. This was mainly the role of the Maintenance Manager and over a period of 6 months we saw the engagement of the team gradually grow. The sites that had put the focus into the process saw an immediate response to their bottom line and through producing monthly review reports we could see which champion was making the difference. The benefits to this process change within an organisation and will provide reduced consumption, reduced cost and reduced carbon. The long term benefits would be the erosion of the energy consumption towards NetZero. I feel that we can drive down 25% of an organisations energy demand by this process, inline with regular meetings and reporting. This whole process can then be automated further to so that individuals in the organisation can deliver the full assessment and the energy expert can be deployed every other year. You could also choose to provide a ‘Light Touch’ approach where the energy expert works remotely to the organisation via a dashboard and engages when there is an exception. If we could deploy this low-cost approach in order to see significant carbon footprint savings, this could be recognised across all property sectors with the sector of the Small to Medium Enerprises being engaged fully. I also believe this is a global opportunity, Thank you for reading. Please send me your thoughts or comment below. More Tips on my YouTube Channel - https://www.youtube.com/c/B2BEnergy More from Paul here ... https://linktr.ee/paulwebbenergyexpert
B2B Energy Toolbox Tip No.20 - Mini Energy Assessments  content media
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
May 02, 2022
In Contributor Articles
When you look at your costs and then prioritise these costs you will very quickly understand and appreciate that ‘Energy’ which incorporates all Utilities will aggregate into your 3rd largest expense. When we say utilities, I am combining Gas, Electricity and Water because water can impact on heating costs and electricity costs as well. As business owners’ considerable amount of focus goes into managing both our buildings and our staff to the extent that we even set-up teams to manage this cost. Energy always gets overlooked and we do not deploy a team to focus on energy or we never put the time and effort into this cost. There is a rule I have learnt very quickly in my career that if a business is spending £1M on their energy you should be considering employing a ‘Energy Manager’ and then every factor of £1M = Additional staff or engaged with a partner. On my journey within our industry I very seldom see a department set-up, but I have come a across various retail organisations of significant size that have implemented this structure in the business and I know it had made a significant impact on their energy consumption and on their bottom line. Alternatively, if organisations do not deploy this, they should be engaging with an Energy Expert, to help them, guide them and focus on strategies that will not cost money but will release unwanted costs and drive energy down by using simple techniques that will embrace ‘BEST’ Practices. I’m going to mention a very simple approach that in my eyes all organisations can adopt from a ‘Corner shop to an office block and everything in between’. For me, the important thing here is to have a strategy and focus on monitoring the energy and making a real difference. Your first step is to start to collect the data, bills meter readings and start assessing the properties. The tools you need to do this is simple and just compiling this data on simple spreadsheets. Then look in your organisation for someone to become the ‘Energy Champion’ this person will be the go-to person regarding energy. It is also worth pointing out that if you have a combined energy spend of over £1M there could also be ‘Legislation’ and schemes your organisation need to be aware of for example The Streamlined Energy Carbon Reporting (SECR) and The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS). Both schemes are triggered at 250 employees with turnover values. Each legislation will require an ‘Energy Manager’ or ‘Partner’ to provide the Lead in this process. It really does surprises me that some business owners and finance directors managing costs actually overlook their ‘3rd Largest Expense’ because businesses overall want to get the best value for the money regarding their day to day spend. Energy is seldom challenged - we just PAY the bill… Businesses probably spend more time on : Travel costs Staff selection Selection of insurance. Company vehicles We are always making time to ensure we get the best deal possible, but energy escapes such scrutiny. I really believe that by increasing the focus on the energy management that we can align both energy cost and energy usage. By combining all energy costs and focusing in these areas of gas, electricity, heating oil, stand-by generation fuel and water this would clearly aggregate to around about 20% of the business cost and by focusing on this 20% could ensure a possible 80% saving on costs. As an example, I was invited into an organisation who had been poorly advised on their energy purchasing. On day one we reviewed their bills addressed all billing errors, re-negotiated their agreements and implemented changes with their building management systems. Within the first month of our focus we significantly trimmed back their overall energy costs by an amazing value. It does not take much to put the 3rd largest cost back into line and going forward the cost to manage the process in the future is very straight forward as long as process are implemented I have created many strategies for businesses some of which have been jointly designed by the business owners themselves with forward thinking approaches. In each case they have been very successful. In most cases it will fall back on my other saying of ‘We cannot manage what we don’t measure’ I have developed tools to help us manage energy daily and monthly and that is where our focus needs to be placed. All of our successes have been implemented by working with all parts of the business from the Board to the maintenance team and whether you are a small team and you have an energy spend alignment and savings can be made but more importantly maintained.
Energy is your 3rd largest expense after buildings and people  content media
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Apr 26, 2022
In Contributor Articles
Why not embrace an energy consciousness program to kickstart our net zero program? This article tries to open the minds of businesses to really embrace this concept. This article has been inspired by my recent interviews with Energy Conscious Practitioners within the UK, from the UK initiative of The Energy Conscious Organisation (EnCO). The problem is clear, and that is that many experts around the world know this solution works, but organisations don’t really want to take the initial steps needed to make the difference. I mentioned in my interview with James Brittain, that I was approached by a procurement expert who under instructions from her boss was requested to deploy solar onto their roof in order to go off grid. Experts know that it will mean by the time they finish the net zero program, the solar will be oversized and ready to export back into the grid (at a very poor rate). Sadly, suppliers won’t take energy back onto the grid specifically from solar, as there is no reliability in this supply. My simple answer to the procurement expert was to take a step back and understand that the net zero approach needs a step-by-step process. I always say that energy management is a journey. Before we get too involved with my thoughts about energy consciousness, I want to explain to you what EnCO is. It is an organisation that has been created by UK experts to drive down energy throughout the UK and the rest of the world bringing together experts from around the world. This all came together during an ESTA meeting when Jes Rutter was presenting to his peers, and whilst delivering energy management services to his clients he saw significant savings were being delivered, simply by implementing change and empowering people. He wasn’t sure of the response he would receive from his peers, but soon heard from John Mulholland and James Brittain saying that they had witnessed this as well. I personally wasn’t part of this meeting, but whilst working for a large leisure group, I had to follow the same approach of making savings through people as the board had announced that they did not wish to follow a spend to save initiative. I was amazed that for 3 years running, we maintained a 7% saving on all utilities year on year. This was done gradually, therefore if we had had a focused approach with a group ‘buy in’, we would have seen a 25% saving secured very quickly. These savings did not include the significant savings that were made with the strategy for purchasing the energy more efficiently. The main issues surrounding this whole concept is educating and engaging the right people within the organisation, in addition to building a small team in order to implement this. Another potential problem and one that is my favourite, is the issue of ‘Data’. We cannot manage what we do not measure and even more so, can we manage what we do not document? During my interview with Wendy Cheeseman she said, “when the carbon reduction commitment came out, and you had the incentives to put in AMRs (Automatic Meter Reading) on the metering, there was a massive AMR rollout across the public sector. This was such a game changer, as in the local authority I worked for, every single school had an AMR logger on gas meters, and they could now see what was happening in the school at 3am in the morning on a Tuesday or the kind of shut down procedures being actioned at 6pm on a Friday afternoon. They then saw data regarding their own school, showing their own behaviours, and that's where we made such savings.” The Net Zero deadline is looming in 2050, and if organisations do not start to look at this today they will not achieve this target date. Currently, no one knows whether there will be penalties for this but I’m sure the nearer we get to this date the more focus on the ‘carrot and stick’ will come into action. Countries around the world have been implementing tax breaks which I think actually work. No one likes to pay taxes. James Brittain said within our interview “if we introduce the stick and penalties we would see organisations pushing back, it needs to be positive, not negative for me, if it's negative, because there is teeth with this, you will probably get people begrudgingly doing it. So actions become frosty actions, sustainability is quite overwhelming, particularly for all small organisations”. I will agree with this and I have experienced this with legislation where organisations just want to tick a box for compliance. The EnCO program provides us with a clear solution to take organisations from point one of their journey to the next. John Mulholland explained in my interview that, “ If you are just embarking on a net zero project, you might have to do it by 2030, or 2040, or whenever, but what is the very first thing you're going to do? Well, the logical thing to do is to reduce consumption. And the fastest, and the cheapest way of doing that is to address your people.” The EnCO solution is a clear and concise measure to delivering clear energy management ‘Best Practices’ within organisations and we need to embrace these solutions promptly, if we don’t the consequences long term could be disastrous. When organisatons follow these processes, they really can make a difference and if organisation’s of all sizes can embrace this, real impact can be made. We have been hoping the Government legislation regarding the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) enhances this process in the UK. I’m sure this solution is deployable across the world as we have already seen experts attend this course already. The solution is clear and like all engineering solutions there is a process in place to implement such a solution: · Engagement · Alertness · Skills · Recognition · Adaption This is a process that will support organisations in understanding where the gaps are to deliver this solution. If we implement this program today, the payoff is extreme. We will start to deliver our Net Zero targets easily as 50% of these targets are addressed by reducing demand so we will see our global emissions reduce in line with our journey and organisations will see financial benefits. Call to Action – if you are an energy expert or an organisation and want to learn more, Jes Rutter summarised how you can do this during my interview “Inquire about EnCO, find out about it, there are jobs to be had from this for people. It is really interesting, you need some technical knowledge, but it’s not just about technical knowledge, but you do need enough knowledge to be able to enthuse. If you are looking for a role in the energy field, or whether you are already in the energy field, behavioural change is the bit that you don't know enough about. So when you're talking to your customers, or if you're in a company and there's more that you need to understand then please approach EnCO as there are resources and it is all free.” The full interviews of these four Practitioners can be found at https://www.aumlink.com/podcast-1
An Energy Conscious approach to kick start our Net Zero program content media
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Jan 29, 2022
In Contributor Articles
During my life without actually thinking too much, I have had this affinity of the Bumble Bee, I actually was stung by one when I was 2 years of age and I remember the pain so vividly. I actually knelt on it not knowing what it was, and the bee managed to get his sting into me before it was killed, I believed. This led to my Dad having to go up in the loft to see where they were all coming from. Well my Dad jumped down from the loft within seconds as there was the biggest Bees Nest he had ever seen. Not only was it in the shape of a pillow but it was vibrating immensely. It took a specialist the whole day to get the nest under control and it was removed environmentally to a safer place to become a Beehive. Since then now Fifty-Four Years later and possibly more Bee accidents and Wasp stings I would like to admit, I have gained an increased appreciation of the Bee. Even in the last month and after speaking with Jenny Bailey, Conservationist, Co-Founder and Author at the Tales from Mother Earth, I have learnt even more, and her inspiration has infused my company B2B Energy Ltd to purchase 10 of her books and distribute them to my local schools. I was always aware that the Bee was an important creature in our world but after watching a BBC Programme called “What would happen if bees were extinct” I was totally shocked. If there were no bees in the world there would probably be no world due to the Bee providing a very high percentage of the global pollination and the world’s population of 7 Billion people would not be sustained. Now we all enjoy a simple glass of wine well there would not be grapes so there is one of many luxuries that would go (not that I am a drinker of wine) but I know how we can take all this for granted. When I spoke with Jenny I then really began to take this more seriously and I began to understand that our Bees were declining, and after researching this further found that their habitats are eroding, we are replacing areas with crops which do not support the Bee, there is a Bee Mite which lives on the Honey Bee (surprising small) known as a destructor weakening the Bee by sucking on its blood. It will kill a colony of Bees. This is just half the story we have pectise issues and of course Global Warming. Research has shown that the Bee has been extinct before but there was an Ice Age. Due to evolution we see the return of the Bee. As human beings what can we do to help this decline, can we help it? For me it is like the question of Climate Change we possibly cannot change nature, but we can have a good attempt to slow things down and help the environment we live in. Not everyone will have the appetite for this I am sure even in today’s world when our life is expecting change to our world and we are doing our best to adapt. There are some small things we can do: · Create a small meadow area in your garden · Plant some Lavender shrubs · Install a Bird Bath with pebbles in for the Bees to bath and drink from · Teach and educate tomorrows generation Since speaking with Jenny and reading more of this, I have created a small tub area with a meadow, I have planted some Lavender in pots and built a ‘Bee Bath’ It makes you feel so much better when you have done the right thing by nature. If you want to find out more about Bees and making a difference please go to www.talesfrommotherearth.co.uk
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Jan 04, 2022
In Contributor Articles
These are the key fundamentals to focus on regarding energy management … Over the next 9 weeks, I have set myself a challenge which is to focus on the fundamentals of energy technology within energy management. This will give the organisation an idea of which areas they need to focus their time on with regards to their property. I am often asked which technologies to advise on and where to find them, as when you break a building down into its separate areas, each area will be impacted by these fundamentals. When you are carrying out an energy assessment you need to be aware of the technology that is available and the technology that will best fit the organisation. When I assess properties, I always have the technology in the back of my mind. I call this having the solutions in my back pocket, the same with case studies, datasheets and even brochures. If we are not prepared in this way, the organisiation will not benefit from the assessment and the already time spent could therefore be wasted with more time then being required, which is not beneficial to either party. The more time we spend justifying the technologies the less time we will have to actually make the energy savings. Our approach over the next 9 weeks will be to deliver technology opportunities with Cost, Saving and Payback. When we engage with organisations and deliver a concise energy management process, an energy assessment is vital in order to cover areas such as heating, cooling, power, energy management and water. These are the core areas of energy management, and crucial to investigate when seeking to reduce utility operation costs. It will always follow the 4 principles of Review, Realign, Reduce and Report and when focusing on these areas, we are often subject to further cost. The subject areas will be impacted by ‘best practices’ and possible low-cost opportunity but in many cases, there is a likely chance that we will be uncovering ‘Spend’ to ‘Save’ strategies. Both these processes of best practice and spend to save need to be mapped out on to an action plan. During the winter, the focus should be on the cooling systems and in the summer the focus should be on the heating systems . The reason for this is because both the heating and cooling systems should not be operating at this time and if they do appear to be, there is an error regarding the efficiencies within their controls. I have worked with some great technology providers, which I now refer to as ‘pedigree’ and I have also worked with some ‘new kids on the block’. There are quite a few gadgets on the market that don’t always do what they say on the tin, so always be careful and do your research. I personally have developed a variable point due diligence process. The process goes through clear steps when selecting the right partner or the right product. Many years ago when finding technologies, it was easy to pick the wrong company and the wrong technology and before you knew it, the client and the client’s customers were not happy and would start to complain. When selecting technologies try and trial wherever possible. This is not always easy, but if you can do this, it really is the best process and will help to deliver excellent results. The technology can be eased in with stages and you, as an expert, can closely monitor the systems. It will also create a case study for the board, which will then help drive forward other opportunities. When talking about energy management and reducing utility operation costs, there are the five core areas in which to focus on: Heating, Cooling, Lighting, Energy Management and Power. When you’re carrying out an assessment, technology should not be the driver, it should always be the clients needs. An example of this would be that the seasons should drive the technology recommendation and depending on the season, it will also drive the technology selection. The following table shows the different areas with possible technology approaches: Over the coming weeks, I will be drilling down into each of these specific areas to understand the opportunities and the challenges we face when reviewing these areas.
Heating, Cooling, Lighting, Power, Energy Management and Water content media
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Jan 01, 2022
In Contributor Articles
What can I say but, “what a year!”. Last year, about this time, I wrote an article that set out my goals for 2021 and reflecting on them now, I am shocked to see that there were some goals that stalled, some which were delivered and some that actually evolved. 2021 was a crazy year with stop starts along the way for many, and extremely tough times for individuals and organisations alike. I know the forecast for next year, although it is always the unknown, is possibly going to be much the same as this one. It doesn’t have to be this way though and my thoughts around this would be to set your goals, set up what you want to achieve and focus on these goals. My only advice is that you create SMART goals, and you are prepared for flexibility. This time last year I wrote … Does goal setting really work? I certainly don’t want to be the person to say, “I told you so”, because goal setting does work whether you believe in this or not. I’m going to share with you the 2020 goals that I set and had planned for 2020 (prior to Covid 19 as this wasn’t even dreamt of when I was putting this together). Before I start, I’m not discussing fluffy stuff or hippy thoughts, I’m simply telling you what has happened to me and how it always tends to happen to me every time I set goals for my business and my personal life. If we don’t set goals or create dreams, where would we be? Ask that same question to Edison, to Steve Jobs or maybe some of my close friends and associates and ask where they would be now. We need ‘Goal Setting’, otherwise we will not grow. The goals that I set myself this year have not strictly gone to plan but without these goals, I honestly feel that there would not have been any achievement in what I have been trying to deliver. My overall goal was to have Energy Experts around the world holding hands and collaborating with each other, reaching out to save energy, reducing carbon emissions and saving our planet. This is quite a goal and quite a journey for someone on their own, however, with my office which was really shared with me regarding LinkedIn and my network with The Clean Energy Revolution I have achieved a remarkable network which now exceeds 22,000 contacts and is obviously growing daily. I embraced Zoom and MS Teams and I’m still regularly meeting with experts around the world and although it has been a challenge forming Aumlink Ltd in the last month, I am shocked that this goal is now closer, and will now be transferred into my 2022 goals. My goal for bringing, “energy experts together holding hands” is quite remarkable. According to Leonardo da Vinci, your arm span equals your height. Based on this you would need quite a few Energy Experts, so my mission is long, but nobody said that this mission was going to be easy. My close friends and family know that I will never give up on my dream and if we just have one energy expert in each country that would be a massive step in the right direction. When you google this, it says there are 195 countries in the world. That’s my goal appearing for 2021…. to engage with 195 independent country based, ‘Energy Experts’ . This year I have met some amazing people from all over the world, which I have started to document on my Podcast ‘Energy Speaks Back’. Today, my podcast hit 63 episodes which really is a huge achievement and looking back it has been an amazing journey to which I give my thanks and gratitude to everyone who I have met and engaged with. Over the coming days leading to 2022, reflect on your last 12 months and use this to build yourself new goals and objectives for 2022. Watch them flourish and remember that these goals will, and can evolve to greater things. Find a medium that works for you to document these goals. My medium is my journal or diary where I can record goals, thoughts, and general focus areas. For example, I have a ‘book’ list of material I want to read or listen to, and in 2021 I managed to read and listen to 17 books. My favourite book this year was, Dr Narjes – Grow Your Mind, Grow Your Life as I learnt so much from reading this. One thing I started this year was sketching in my journal. You may think that this is strange, but I find this really does level my mind. The below sketch is my typical style, and it demonstrates ‘goals’ and actually achieving them. You don’t have to be an artist as you can see, and I have drawn a complete portfolio of these for a book I intend to publish next year. Over the next few days while we still have the time to reflect on last year, plot out and document your goals for 2022. I would recommend breaking it down into two areas. Personal and Work I mentioned this previously, but set out SMART Goals - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed. You may think that is going to be straight forward but when you bring in your own dreams, that is when the true goals start to begin. I’m going to share with you my biggest personal goal for 2022 and that is to get myself back into my ‘zone’ of exercise and eating well. There is no excuse for me falling off the ‘wagon’ regarding this, but my 2022 will start by focusing on this. My 2021 goals had this in the mix, but it just wasn’t prioritised as I had placed my focus on my other goals. The focus will change in 2022 as last year’s personal goals were overtaken by business goals and property changes (very stressful but all completed). The last point I wanted to share here is to always apply visualisation to your goals as it will support the process. 2022 will start to unfold this week and I am sure you now have all the tools in place to start focusing on setting your goals or maybe a goal. Don’t let the goals create pressure, enjoy your life alongside your goals, celebrate the success and learn from the failure, good luck. Happy New Year to everyone who reads this. That leaves me with one more thing to say, “Be Safe”. Drawings by Paul Webb 2021
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Dec 30, 2021
In Contributor Articles
When everything around you appears a challenge and you are faced with rising energy costs and the news of ever increasing energy prices, it often leaves businesses considering their way out of a flat spin. Yesterday in the UK there were more announcements from the energy sector eluding to yet more increases. Globally, this is a story shared by everyone, but in the UK with the reliance on gas, the lack of sun and reduced wind, energy prices are set for further increases. Businesses now need to prepare themselves for these increases. All utilities are going to increase so we now really need to ‘Lean-In’. Last year, whilst speaking with Daniel Priestly from Dent, (Key Person of Influence and Author), we discussing business challenges and he reminded me about a analogy which I think fits the world of today’s business. I love winter sports and although I ski and don’t board, I do know what is meant by ‘Lean In’. Many a time I have stood at the top of a mountain and thought, I need to get down this slope and the only way down (in one piece) is to just push myself and physically lean in. The same is also true in business as you just need to get your business down and through the crisis. I have released an ‘Energy Crisis Recovery Document’ which is still valid and you can find it on previous posts or at www.aumlink.com. If you don’t consider some form of leaning in process, energy prices of gas, electricity and water will rise out of control. Your suppliers will have to increase their costs and the demand on energy will increase. The only way to address and beat the costs is to become independent of the energy and generate your own, reduce your consumption and form strategies for your energy purchasing. If you are a business at the top of the mountain, this is my strategy to help get you down the slope, as bringing “Lean In”, to the process will really help businesses, large and small. The solution … is to focus on the four principles of energy management, Review, Realign, Reduce and Report. You could say I’m playing that old record again, but it works and like all tunes, the more you hear them the more you begin to sing them. By following these principles, not only will you survive this slope and the challenge ahead, but it will prepare you for the next stage. By focusing on the above, it will give you financial inspiration and confidence to look at ‘Spend to Save’ strategies and enhancements to really drive down energy consumption. So in the words of Daniel Priestly ‘Lean In’ and get through this challenge.
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Dec 14, 2021
In Contributor Articles
There really is enough cake out there for everyone, one company can’t eat it all… How many times have you met someone only to find that you both overlap with your services or your product? How many times do you then avoid engaging or sharing any knowledge? Let me answer that question …Too many times, I’m sure! You may often hear me say that I don’t have competitors or conflicts within this industry, because as an independent consultant, I boast to be able to work with all competitors and one way or another, find different ways to share knowledge or provide some form of collaboration. An import concept to understand here is that there is enough cake out there for everyone to share and one company can’t eat it all. With regards to the current energy crisis and the future of climate change happening around the world, there really is no place for ‘GREED’. The start of 2020 and throughout 2021 saw me have many Zoom calls around the world. I have spoken to many consultants and many engineers and although there were very clear overlaps with good concise networking skills, I personally feel that I developed more from those that I look up to, like Dr Ivan Misner at BNI. I have established some amazing companies to work with, as well as making some great friends, however, these opportunities don’t just arrive overnight, they derive from conversations which build ‘like’ and ‘trust’, something I have learnt from my time with BNI. If we don’t build the like and trust and work on the collaboration formed by great networking, the cake will become a ‘bun’ and one big bun fight will ensue, where dog eats dog and whoever can eat the most will win. They will however over time, look around and realise that they aren’t really the winners at all. Networking multiplied by Collaboration will actually equal ‘Net worth’ and the approach is simple. You need to apply a strategy in order to network with everyone and to learn from them. I have written a book about sustainability in business and this is an extract from that book giving you an example… Network X Collaboration = Net worth There are 200 million companies in the world today and that figure is climbing, so why challenge each other? Embrace competitors to see how you can do better. Throughout my career I have never felt I have had competitors in the market, and I have always said that there is enough cake out there for all us all to eat. In my experience there are 1000’s of clients in the UK alone that need help to drive down energy but there are not 1000’s of Energy Managers to deliver this. Collaboration is key. Just recently I have been working with a fellow consultant and we have achieved some amazing work and I have learnt a lot from him. Do not see other consultants or energy managers as competitors, embrace the opportunities as a positive. These points come from someone who has been in the industry now for over 40 years. I may have mellowed regarding my approach but I have always embraced competitors. From “Becoming a Sustainable Energy Expert” by Paul Webb is due to be released in 2022. In 1995 I was sent into a very famous ‘old’ building in London, ( I won’t share the name of the building but I was working for Caradon Trend at the time, now Honeywell). My role was an Area Field Services Engineer. On my arrival the Facilities Manager of the building was not happy with the installation that had been completed by a Trend Technology Centre (TTC) . My role was to let the customer reduce me to tears and then contact the TTC and hand it back to them. For me though, the customer was not happy. I spoke with the Managing Director of the TTC and he immediately reported me to my Director saying we had to leave site. I contacted him again and said “Dave, look the customer is not happy, he wants more work done, but he also wants the existing system maintained and supported” why don’t we collaborate and work together. Dave was the MD’s name and I have probably let the cat out of the bag, but Dave and I met and we ironed out our differences. I assured him that all we want here is the maintenance (which I know he didn’t do) and that he could deliver more projects. Guess what? … the customer was happy and I was happy. I had just won a nice maintenance contract for Trend and Dave was very pleased. Collaboration worked really well and it proved to me that there is no such thing as ‘competitors’. The solution is easy. Work together and drive collaboration, ultimately feasting on the cake together. This has been one of our drivers at Aumlink. Our mission is to provide networking and collaborations with knowledge share on one platform. Companies and individuals can work together to address the ‘confusion’ and ‘complexity’ of our industry. Can you imagine how much ‘Net Worth’ Aumlink could create long term? This article has been downloaded on Aumlink and if you are reading it from our platform please explore what Aumlink has to offer.
The Importance of Networking in the ‘Energy World’, even with competitors.
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Paul Webb
Aumlink expert
Aumlink expert
Nov 10, 2021
In Contributor Articles
In 2003 I extended my energy understanding to include the procurement and purchasing of energy and although I cannot say I am an expert, I can safely say I have a good understanding of what makes it tick. The last two years have seen uncontrollable and externally facing conditions that have triggered our industry and although I will now focus my article around the UK, we must be aware that this is a global crisis. This week the global impact has accelerated further with the current demise of driving resources, leading to other consequences which we cannot plan for. The impact of this problem is that we are seeing crazy price increases on the ‘commodity’ which in turn then accumulates the non-commodity prices. These crazy prices are being caused from an aggregation of many different issues and I will use this article to highlight the key areas. Please remember I am no expert in this field, but I am an expert observer, as understanding the cost of energy enables me to manage energy wisely. The first issue we were impacted with is the UK gas storage capacity, which is currently at its lowest level in 10 years heading into the winter months. This situation is actually mirrored throughout Europe and the across the globe. We have seen colder months and a cooler summer, to which I am sure people have used gas in the summer for heating. The government made a decision to stop subsidies to specific storage areas in the UK, and subsequently these were forced to shut down, hence leaving us with limited storage. In the last week this has all been impacted by yet another problem, a fire at the French power connector in Kent. Link https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-09-15/fire-hits-key-power-converter-station-linking-u-k-to-france This outage took many hours to get under control, but it has been said that it could possibly be out of action until 13th October 2021. This is a massive blow and a real contribution to a badly timed incident in our industry. Traditionally c80% of energy contracts are traded at this time due to the delays in the market going live in the 90’s and we are now seeing prices being pulled with no commitments being made by the suppliers to actually provide contracts. This was a message from a supplier last week: All Prices & Contracts Are Being Pulled A large fire at a key power converter in Kent has shut down a major cable that brings power to the UK from France, having a significant impact on energy prices. The winter contract has surged to over £200MWH and consequently we are having to pull all contracts and prices with immediate effect. We will also suspend all pricing until further notice. The implications for this is significant price increases and we have seen a 250% price hike since January and long term sustainability issues. Businesses around the world and households need to brace themselves, while those who have a ‘fixed contract’ are going to be able to ride the price increases but not necessarily any outages we could see. A personal fact here is that I recently downsized my three-bedroom house to a two bedroom apartment. Although I buy my energy smartly, my contract had to start again and my newly negotiated contract is now identical to that of my previous property, with the same costs being paid. What can we do as consumers of energy?..... we can do what I always say: · Review · Realign · Reduce · Report Applying these principles within your home and your business will make an impact on your ever-increasing bills. I have personally written a ‘B2B Energy Crisis Rescue Pack’ for businesses and I’m confident you could apply this to your home. Although the focus is on gas and electricity I always include water. Review your energy contracts but do not commit to a long term contract, speak to an expert who can advise a different strategy to get through this time which will take us to the middle of 2022. I personally feel that we now need to focus on reducing our energy consumption and not just in our original way of simply shutting down a plant or lighting out of hours. It is a time of harsh decisions, do we need this on?... ‘yes’ or ‘no’ (no more maybes) and shut down everything you do not need. Venture round your buildings (and your homes) and unplug unwanted energy waste. Is your phone charger plugged in? Are there lights on in rooms not being used? Are there rooms that are empty and still being heated? My call to action here is to start monitoring your energy and create a harsh drive down to see how much you can actually save. Trust me, when life goes back to normal you may want to continue this harshness… and why not?
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