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Energy Efficiency: a journey, not a destination

In our rapidly evolving world, energy usage has become a hot topic of discussion. The recent energy crisis has increased the need to find sustainable solutions to reduce and responsibly source our energy supplies. With over 250 businesses here at MediaCity, we’re committed to raising awareness of energy efficiency to our occupiers to help them to establish better energy saving habits. In this blog, we will explore the effects of the current energy crisis, provide practical tips for businesses and show how working in partnership with Equans delivers a greater impact.

Energy Crisis: Causes, Effects, and Rising Costs:

The current energy crisis is a result of various factors, including population growth, increased industrialisation, and limited resources, though this is not an exhaustive list. Fossil fuels, which have been the primary source of energy for many years, are ultimately finite and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change. As demand continues to outpace supply, energy costs have soared. According to the Office for National Statistics, electricity prices have risen by 66% and gas by almost double that, to 129% in the 12 months leading to March 2023.

The effects of the energy crisis are far-reaching. Businesses have seen decreases in profits due to high operating expenses, while the general public faces the financial strain of rising utility bills. It’s important now more than ever for us all to take action and address these challenges head-on.

MediaCity’s M&E contractor – Equans, have been involved in our energy journey for many years and have detailed knowledge of the buildings for which they are responsible. Alongside the essential maintenance services provided, the partnership has helped MediaCity to achieve significant energy and cost savings, with Equans bringing its technical management and energy expertise to support our sustainability initiatives and delivery of our ISO 50001 compliant energy management system. Throughout this campaign, we will hear more from the Equans team and how you can engage with them.

What Can Businesses Do?

Businesses play an incredibly important role in driving sustainable change and can significantly reduce their energy consumption by implementing tailored strategies. In fact, MediaCity has the highest cluster of Net Zero Carbon buildings in the UK, showing our continued push and dedication to make MediaCity not only a great place to work, but to reduce the impact we have on our environment. This is one action we are taking to demonstrate how we are creating a more resilient neighbourhood and decarbonise our buildings to meet the Greater Manchester target of net zero carbon by 2040.

Our aim is to provide MediaCity properties with the best possible foundation for optimal energy management. Vigilant maintenance of our equipment is key, and this extends to the infrastructure throughout MediaCity’s private network. Of course, we encourage everyone to minimise their energy usage through actions such as choosing the stairs over the lift where possible and providing information on active travel routes as an alternative to cars or buses. This keen awareness of reducing emissions extends to reducing the amount of time our plant is functioning – optimising energy production vs use by only producing what is necessary. For example, Equans recently installed new LED lighting with microwave sensors into the Garage multi-storey car park which means that the lights come on when they detect movement and turn down when not in use to ensure no excess energy is being wasted, whilst also providing increased safety measures for those using the car park.

Multiple members of the Equans team have highlighted this as a favourite case, so we’re proud to share it here.

We are in this together. Whether big or small, we can all make meaningful change.

Here are some tips for different types of businesses:

Retail: If you are a retailer, you can optimise energy usage by adopting energy-efficient lighting systems, such as LED bulbs, and installing smart sensors to regulate lighting based on footfall and opening times. Additionally, utilising energy management systems to monitor and control heating and air conditioning usage can lead to substantial energy savings. Studies show air conditioning alone can account for around 40% of annual electricity consumption, a number which can be massively reduced.

Workspaces: Offices can encourage energy-conscious habits among employees, such as turning off lights and electronic devices when not in use. Where possible, relying on natural lighting and optimising office layouts to maximise daylight can reduce reliance on artificial lighting. Introducing dedicated energy champions across your business is another great way to get employees actively involved, as it encourages them to share their own ideas and incentivises action. Energy champions allow employees to feel valued whilst offering them an opportunity to learn about a topic they may be passionate about.

Residential buildings: Property owners and managers can focus on improving insulation and weather sealing to reduce heating and cooling energy requirements. Promoting energy-conscious behaviours, like setting thermostats at optimal temperatures and encouraging efficient use of appliances, can go a long way.

We’re all stakeholders in the sustainable energy movement. By implementing energy-efficient practices, we can all contribute to conserving energy and we know it can be done. Across MediaCity, we are continuously identifying energy saving opportunities and working in partnership to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions to create a brighter and cleaner future for generations to come.

Over the next three months, watch out for more resources to support your energy reduction journey including helpful guides, training, events and advice from our experts at Equans.

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