One of Britain’s biggest investment groups has warned that companies which fail to invest in sustainability, such as in CHP systems and district heating may see a collapse of their financial returns.
Speaking to edie.net, Saker Nusseibeh of Hermes Investment argued that taking sustainability and environmental factors on board mitigates risk for companies. He also suggests that mitigating risk is only part of the equation; understanding the long-term economics of the business is also crucial.
“An investment in carbon which makes you money now, but leads to huge damages further down the line, is not a sustainable economic model. A business model which is based on unsustainable energy or carbon emissions is not a good model because it will not necessarily last for a long time,” he told edie.
Nusseibeh sees a key role for investment fund managers who, he asserts, are starting to buy shares in companies that are looking to adopt more sustainable business models. This, he anticipates, will prompt many companies to look more closely at the long-term benefits of sustainable energy.
Those companies that seek to reduce their carbon emissions and wider environmental impact will need to consider the energy performance of their property portfolio.
One obvious area to address is the financial and environmental cost of heating and hot water in their buildings. Energy usage for heating and hot water in the UK’s building stock, for instance, is estimated to account for 40% of the country’s energy consumption – as well as 20% of its greenhouse gas emissions.
Increasingly, such companies are recognising the low carbon benefits of combined heat and power (CHP systems) for generating both heat and electricity. Such an investment will deliver long-term benefits for the business by reducing energy costs and carbon emissions. The latter being particularly significant for those companies that are subject to taxation on their emissions.
Such an upgrade will often be combined with a heat network serving a building or several buildings. Or the CHP systems may serve a wider district heating network. Indeed, the government has announced plans to supply 14% of the UK’s heat via heat networks.
In all such cases, the design of the system is essential if maximum benefits are to be attained. In particular, they need to be lean on energy consumption. This requires operating at low system temperatures (read more about lean district heating networks).
Efficient performance of heat networks and district heating also relies of effective control of the heating and hot water in all of the spaces served by the system. SAV’s FloCon pressure independent commissioning modules and FlatStation heat interface units are designed to support optimum performance of heat networks.
Contact us to find out more about using CHP systems to make heat networks lean on energy.