Our energy use presents a significant financial and environmental cost, with our electricity bill alone totalling over £60 million a year, and accounting for 70 per cent of our greenhouse gas emissions.
We already generate some of our own energy from biogas at our wastewater treatment works, and have some hydro-electric generation too - but there’s much more we can do.
To drive these efforts, we recently created a new energy team. Headed up by a director of energy and commercial strategy, the team is tasked with helping our business use less energy, generate more of our own, and to use our assets more smartly.
Some of the ways the team will help us meet our energy ambitions include:
Being more energy efficient on site: by reviewing operational approaches, and by working with the Major Energy User Council to improve energy awareness among colleagues.
Going solar: 19 solar schemes are under development, with a potential roll-out well into 2015. Installations at Prescot Water Treatment Works and Lostock Water Treatment Works are already up and running.
Wind power: seven sites have been earmarked for wind turbines – one of which already has planning permission.
Generating even more biogas: by optimising our treatment processes to obtain more biogas and managing our Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines more effectively.
Smarter electricity use: by switching to our own generators at peak times, for example, and by exploring better ways of forecasting and monitoring our energy use.
It’s still early days for the team, but we are confident that these energetic individuals will help us to reduce our carbon footprint, and save the business money.
If you would like to send us a comment about this report, please email our Head of Sustainability, Chris Matthews