Barriers To Energy Efficiency Projects

Barriers To Energy Efficiency Projects

Barriers To Energy Efficiency Projects

Watts-ON consultants core business is to coordinate, implement and operate energy efficiency programmes designed to deliver tangible results for our clients. 

The actual nature of our building management platform evolved to overcome the natural limitation of a typical metering, monitoring and targeting system. We realised that simply monitoring how and where you are using your energy, even with the greatest granularity, was not going to help you save a considerable amount of energy. 

Our core business and ethos is to deliver savings with effective solutions, and as a result of this realisation our proven software and methodology has evolved to become one of the industry’s leading solutions.

There are challenges facing every business, in particular to understand and take action to reduce energy consumption. Some of the most common ones are described below.

Our commitment to finding solutions for our clients and delivering tangible savings is one of the most important areas of our business but it is often the case that clients have quite specific problems and challenges to overcome. This is where our expert consultancy plays a major part in finding solutions for these challenges and ensuring that our clients benefit from our intervention and support.

Lack of awareness

Utility running costs are often below 5% of the total running costs of the business, but this can vary enormously between businesses and on AP pharma sites, for example this can go over 10%.

If the expenditure is below £1M, it makes it difficult for an organisation to appoint a full time energy manager. 

Therefore the management of utilities is overlooked together with the potential to improve the bottom line. To make the issue worse, there is also the risk to miss or overpay for compliance obligations.

Lack of technical knowledge 

The management of utilities is actually an ‘art’ because energy projects have a ‘soul’. 

It is not just about changing a light bulb from fluorescent technology to LED. 

It’s about understanding how the technology works, how it integrates into the existing building, understanding staff behavioural changes and alterations to standard procedures. 

To complicate the picture further, decarbonisation is going to bring new technology into the mix.

Long paybacks

Very often, in many organisations, it is company policy to not pursue investments that have a payback period of over 3 years. 

The latest increase in the energy unit costs have helped projects with a longer payback period to fall below the three years threshold but the cost for implementing projects and broken supply chains have worked in the opposite direction.

Interpretation of investment performance

Measurement and verification is a complex operation. How an energy efficiency project performed is not a simple comparison of how many kWh were used before and after the project as the weather, climate changes and operational issues also have an impact on the use of energy. 

For example, even the impact of replacing lights with the presence of a sub metre to calculate specific consumption is not so straightforward as it’s also important to factor any variation of heating and cooling loads during operational hours – so it’s key to take account of all factors that can have an impact on performance.

Availability of funding 

Above all, lack of funding is the major obstacle in delivering energy efficiency projects. 

This issue speaks for itself and it has been amplified by the effects of Covid as many businesses are still in recovery mode.


Despite these challenges the long term benefits of effective management of utilities for a company’s profitability and sustainable credentials are hugely significant.

Watts-ON Consultants are ideally placed to help consult, guide, execute a plan and provide accurate reporting so as to make a positive contribution to the future of your business.