Futureproofing Energy: Blockchain & Sustainable Buildings

Two Green Element staff went along to the CLEMG (Central London Energy Management Group) event Futureproofing Energy in central London on April 17th 2018.

We were treated to a series of short presentations from a dynamic group of energy professionals from different specialisms across the energy management spectrum.

We heard from Martin Fry about the draft ISO 50001:2018 (Energy Management System Standard) revision, including the incorporation of the ‘high-level structure’, which provides for improved compatibility with other management system standards.  Because organisations often implement a number of management system standards, the use of a shared structure, as well as many of the same terms and definitions, helps to keep things simple and also helps those who want a single, integrated management system that complies with the requirements of multiple management system standards simultaneously.

Other improvements in the 2018 50001 version are designed to help ensure that the key concepts related to energy performance are clear for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), and encourage SMEs to update international standards, helping them to build customer confidence and reduce costs across all aspects of their business, including meeting regulation requirements.

The main changes to ISO 50001 are as follows:

  • Adoption of the Annex SL Annex 2, High Level Structure text to ensure compatibility with other management system standards
  • Energy Review has been clarified
  • Normalisation of EnPI(s) and associated EnB(s)
  • Clarification on the energy data collection plan and related requirements
  • EnPI and EnB text has been clarified to provide a better understanding of these concepts

The new standard will be published in November/December 2018.  These changes contribute to futureproofing energy by bringing the standard in line with the needs and changes of the business world.

We also heard from Oenone Scott from Electron, about how Blockchain 3 is revolutionising how we map, track and share energy infrastructure and data to create a decentralised, decarbonised and democratised energy market.  It was music to my ears to discover that this will include mapping suppliers, power stations, power networks, energy storage, MOPS, MPANs and energy users directly, missing out the ‘middlebusiness’.  Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points will also be included.  This multiplicity of energy information would be streamlined, no longer fragmented and endlessly repeated by each stakeholder. What this will mean for facilities managers and those in charge of their organisation’s energy contracts is no more endless phone calls, emails and playing at being a private energy detective to trace invoices, missing meter readings, new supply numbers every time they move building, supplier, MOP or DA/DC provider.

I became even more excited when Oenone explained that Electron has already created the UK’s first such peer-to-peer Blockchain 3 energy asset registration platform, so far incorporating 60 energy suppliers.  The platform will allow machine to machine communication – machines can ‘trade’ on our behalf – bringing the future to our fingertips.  I can’t wait to see it and how it can help energy distribution and transactions for all our clients, and how it’s going to support the transition to a low-carbon energy world. Blockchain is futureproofing energy by building a new kind of grid.

We heard next from Jonathan Cohen from Howard Kennedy who has a particular focus on renewables and low carbon energy transactions. Jonathan explained the work he’s been doing with low carbon district heat networks – last week £320 million funding for heat networks investment projects was granted.  Heat networks avoid the need for individual boilers and have numerous savings in energy and cost.

We also heard from Alex Rathmell of Energiesprong UK about transforming existing houses into net zero energy homes, Chris Bennett of Evora about sustainable commercial buildings and progress in persuading building owners that improved energy efficiency is commercially profitable, Cian Duggan of Carbon Credentials about Big Data and Well Buildings including staff comfort and indoor air quality, and Mat Lown of Tuffin Ferraby Taylor about updates to MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards).

The morning was summed up by Diana Davidson of Vertemis, chair of CLEMG, whose early vision of futureproofing energy she feels is at last becoming a reality.  We were inspired and excited about the fast-changing landscape of energy and sustainable cities, and thinking about how our clients could benefit from the fast-approaching digitised energy world.

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