IOR - How can we reduce the demand for energy?

17th February 2022 4:00 pm

When looking at how we move to ‘Net Zero’ GHG emissions, we often focus on how to improve cycle or system efficiency, make better use of monitoring/data, use alternative technologies and provide better training to the industry. All play their part in the journey but we often overlook why we need to use the energy in the first place and whether this can be reduced or in some cases eliminated.

The Energy Hierarchy, developed back in 2009 and republished by IMechE in 2020, provides a refreshing approach to tackling the challenge of ‘net zero’ by putting energy demand reduction at the top of the list of things to consider when developing a sustainable energy policy for the future. It highlights the need to challenge why we use the energy in the first place and how we can reduce or even eliminate demand. The benefits of doing this are far greater than the incremental improvements that can be made in efficiency and a kWh saved is more valuable than a kWh supplied when trying to meet the ‘net zero’ goal; the impact is also immediate and not something confined to future development. This is true for the HVACR industry where demand is often in response to existing working practices and is applied without any challenge to improving the process or in some cases eliminating it altogether.

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