Energy price crisis focuses businesses on long term improvements – Lord MD

With businesses facing tough decisions on their future energy usage, Stuart Smith, Managing Director of award-winning commercial heating and ventilation specialists Lord Combustion Services advises leaders on practical steps to consider during the current crisis.

Across the board, the most pressing current concern for all businesses is the impact of rising energy prices on their costs outgoings. 

The government’s Energy Price Guarantee, unveiled recently, means price rises will be limited for 24 million households in England, Wales and Scotland on variable domestic energy tariffs. Businesses were promised “equivalent support” with energy costs but the details have not been shared yet.

At Lord we do not have the expertise to give companies advice on managing their bills or navigating the options around energy tariffs. As a Platinum member of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, you could contact the Chamber to access support or contact recommended specialists through trade organisations.

As leading commercial heating, hot water and ventilation specialists who have served the Black Country and West Midlands for 40 years, we can assist clients on “engineering down” their energy usage.

We are working with clients who are considering their options for reducing their energy consumption. They want to look at the potential impact of utilising renewables, including heat pumps, which reduce fossil fuel consumption and offer lower running costs than traditional systems.

Hybrid option

We are also designing and installing hybrid heating and hot water systems, utilising a combination of both traditional and renewable technologies generating heat together as a low carbon alternative. Hybrid systems may typically consist of a condensing gas boiler and an air to water heat pump.

With both of these options, upfront investment is needed but many believe this is worthwhile to reduce the reliance on energy consumption at traditional levels. More immediate improvements can come from implementing new controls, which allow site managers to prioritise usage.

A turnkey boiler project can not only ensure you have a heat source proportionate to the scale of your business needs, additional energy saving measures can include fitting variable speed drives to pumps and air handling units. Not all savings require a large company investment, a heating specialist can work with you to review the level of demand in your current business operations in line with occupancy and control and advise on practical measures to save energy.

It may be as simple as using your premises in a different way. With zoning projects a heating partner can look at equipment but also the way your building is occupied and the times for peaks in demand. 

During the Covid pandemic there was a focus on keeping people apart, which changed the way we all occupied premises. You can now look at the building usage to consider zones where people can work together and receive corresponding levels of heat.

Looking ahead to the winter months and prioritising key areas where your people can work together will help your operation to run more efficiently. Ventilation is also a consideration including the volume of fresh air supplied, the tempering of inlet air temperatures and maintenance of equipment. 

As the prices rise, it is normal to feel a sense of panic. Taking the first steps with practical measures or investing in a more efficient system can bring significant payback for businesses of all size. Getting expertise will support you in the months and years to come.

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