Public Sector Carbon Conundrum

Many leading climate experts already believe that the 2030 1.5°C warming limit is already out of reach. As more and more scientific evidence backs this up, the goalposts will move towards the 2°C threshold. Who thinks government policy and funding levels will be implemented in time to stop us passing the 2°C limit? Not me, for one. 

Most public sector organisations work on a budget deficit, with many opting to deliver essential services over net zero aspirations. Who can argue with this: we all pay our taxes, we want our bins emptied, and we want to see a doctor within a reasonable amount of time, right? 

All the while, public sector energy managers utilise already stretched internal resource to help ready funding applications, set their alarms for funding windows to open, fingers ready… only to find out they were unsuccessful, and that they need to do it all again on the next funding window. Wondering when they are likely to see any crumbs from the governments table and get on with the job.

The reality is that when public sector organisations are unsuccessful in these funding windows, they have to draw upon very limited internal budgets for decarbonisation activities.

It might allow for some PV on the roofs of some leisure centres, or the replacement of fossil fuel heating systems in schools, but this piecemeal approach does not allow these energy teams the luxury of how best to tackle full portfolio decarbonisation at lowest risk and best cost.

We understand that you can’t do everything all at once. That’s why IES have a range of digital twin net zero tools that offer a staged energy approach to decarbonising public sector portfolios. 

Our scalable solutions capture all of a clients’ estate and visualise the modelling outputs on one of our customisable information models. The tools create geometry and run energy and thermal baselines quickly, allowing for optioneering studies across multiple years, across building envelopes, heating systems and renewables to understand the impact of these measures, and which order to implement to give best value.

The outcomes from these modelling studies provide the scientific support for government funding initiatives, such as the upcoming PSDS Phase 3c scheme, and the Public Sector Heat Decarbonisation Fund scheme in Scotland.

Next stage is a deeper dive into the high-level models, layering up with further building data, sub-metering, AMS, weather files and IoT to allow for a detailed digital twin in our Virtual Environment software. 

When all building retrofit optioneering modelling studies have been completed, the models can be seamlessly integrated into the network analysis tool to understand how best and in which order to meet the reduced building demand with all types of renewable sources, compare plot specific heat pumps to district schemes, as well as understanding the impact of EV uptake at substation level.

This offers a truly granular picture of which measures to implement in which order, to reach net zero quickest. Essentially, having the gift of hindsight, and de-risking your limited energy budget.

This progressive range of IES solutions has been developed to lower the barrier of entry to allow public sector (non-energy modellers) to complete these net zero studies on their own, and to have a digital asset that they can use to collaborate, engage stakeholders, and to track performance and update their net zero plans.

They allow for combined workstreams such as corporate portfolios, Local Area Energy Plans, SHDF and funding support (PSDS, LCSF, HNES), and can be tailored to each clients’ own priorities and appetite for doing the work themselves.

While we wait for our governments worldwide to come up with a solid plan and finance mechanism to support net zero targets, the leading range of IES products and solutions will at the very least, give you the confidence to spend every penny of your energy budget wisely.

For more information on the technology IES can offer to support public sector decarbonisation, reach out to Craig McKendrick.