Categories assessed in the 2011 survey included Head Offices, Hospitals, Hotels, and Motor Car Dealers, howeverdue to non-disclosure agreements not all winners in all categories may be announced. Three Cities Group of Hotels had three hotels that performed top of the Group and took 1st to 3rd place, whilst Mediclinic in the Hospital category entered purely to assess its own internal portfolio to assist them in making informed energy efficiency investment decisions.
Optimising a building envelope through standards and regulations is only a step in the right direction. The National Energy Barometer Survey encourages companies to become aware of their energy consumption levels when operating a building and to assist them to optimise their energy usage. The results improve profits, contributes tothe national economy, whilst providing a platform for comparison and learning.
The Energy Barometer process poses no risk to a participant as they will never be ‘named and shamed’ and company-specific information remains confidential. It is up to each participant to decide what may be disclosed. The Energy Barometer is a useful tool to steer energy managers in the right direction and is being used by many companies to decide which buildings in their portfolios will deliver the most significant impact from energy management perspectives.
One of the participants, Three Cities Hotels’Group Engineer, Murray Burger, said: “The Energy Barometer Survey offered the rare opportunity to effectively gauge the hotel management company’s understanding of energy management, and clearly identified shortfalls whilst offering some interesting insight into current consumption profiles”. This peripheral benefit seems to be echoed as significant by many participants with medium and large property portfolios where the Energy Barometer is being used so that internal energy strategies and policies can be formulated.
When considering embarking on the energy efficiency road, the question usually asked is “Where do we start?”With building portfolios, the Energy Barometer is the answer to benchmark a portfolio of buildings against each other so that the building with the most potential to deliver energy savings can be identified as a starting point. “At Mediclinic we continuously investigate energy savings initiatives and implement these where possible,” says Petrus Swanepoel, Chairperson of Mediclinic’s Energy Initiatives Committee. He continues, “The results of the Energy Barometer will assist Mediclinic in identifying the hospitals with the highest potential impact for energy saving.”
With support from the National Energy Efficiency Agency (NEEA), the National Energy Barometer was successfully rolled out for the 2009 utility year by the developers of the barometer, Energy Cybernetics. The Energy Barometer Survey for the utility year January to December 2011 is the third survey period since its launch in 2009, when 20 facilities participated. Participation has grown to over 100 for the current survey.
The Energy Barometer Survey runs annually and entries for each utility year open during the first quarter of the following year. The ultimate objective is to create an awareness of consumption levels and the emissions footprint for each facility, with a view to become more environmentally aware and to play a much-needed role in energy conservation.