Mitsubishi Electric

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Mitsubishi Electric is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

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1MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE
Branch President Deane Flint
Mitsubishi Electric took its
headquarters from a ‘E’ to
an ‘B’ rating to highlight
how businesses can plan
for carbon reduction and
energy efficiency
With the end of gas and oil on the horizon, there is the
question of how government will help businesses,
consumers and the economy transition seamlessly
to an electric economy. According to Mitsubishi Electric, the
answer to low-carbon energy efficiency can actually be as
easy as ‘ABC’ – that is, assets, behaviour and compliance.
Deane Flint, Branch President for Mitsubishi Electric Europe
(UK & Ireland), tells
The Parliamentary Review
more about the
company’s approach.
Businesses and homeowners in the UK face pressure from increasing energy prices
and tough environmental legislation, but by focusing on their ABC approach
(more on this later), both operating costs and carbon emissions can be significantly
reduced. It really is as simple as looking at assets, behaviour and compliance.
The grid is getting cleaner every year, making the case for an electric-based
economy even stronger and bringing forward the day when we completely phase
out the use of oil and gas for both commercial and domestic heating and hotwater.
While traditional industries are pushing for low-carbon gas as a possible saviour
– because it can utilise the existing gas network – the simple truth remains that
we need to stop burning “stuff” if we are to seriously make an impact on the
significant targets for emissions reduction which the nation has legally signed upto.
Waiting for a silver bullet through new solutions such as hydrogen systems also
offers false hope that does nothing to help now. The technology is unproven
in mass-market situations, and there are also issues with how carbon intensive
FACTS ABOUT
MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC
»Branch President: Deane Flint
»Founded in 1921
»Based in Hatfield,
Hertfordshire
»Services: Energy efficient
heating, cooling and
ventilation equipment
»No. of employees: 600+
»Took its Hatfield headquarters
from an “E” energy rating to a
“B” by improving equipment
efficiency
Mitsubishi Electric
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
2| MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC
production of these fuels is and when
we will be able to produce it in the
significant volumes needed. Instead,
the government should help both
businesses and consumers transition to
low-carbon, renewable technologies
that are proven and available right
now. Technologies such as heat pumps
have been used for decades and, with
the latest R&D, are ready right now to
capitalise on the greening of the grid
and help the nation transition to a low-
carbon economy.
Follow the ABC approach
Asset: The first rule of thumb for any
building is to look at what energy
is being consumed by the building
services (or asset) and how this can
be reduced. In the majority of cases
within commercial buildings, this is to
provide comfort and productive spaces
for staff and customers. Reducing the
need to consume energy should always
be the first thing done. It can’t be right
– and it is certainly not sustainable
– to install bigger equipment than
could be needed if the building is
not made more efficient. Start with
insulation, and look at how to improve
fromthere.
The asset or equipment delivering
the heating, ventilation and air
conditioning (HVAC) needed for
a comfortable and productive
internal space will consume energy,
so businesses need to ensure that
they select the right equipment for
their particular needs and that it is
designed, commissioned, operated and
maintained properly.
At the same time, adequate ventilation
is important, especially as buildings
become more airtight to reduce energy
wastage. Proven systems already exist
which can recover heat energy from
extracted stale air to heat up incoming
fresh air and reduce the energy needed
to bring it up to room temperature.
Ventilation is equally important in the
home, but the primary focus is on
heating, as cooling is seldom needed in
the UK’s temperate climate. Renewable
technologies such as air source heat
pumps are now the viable alternative
to carbon-intensive gas, oil and LPG
heating on the mass scale needed.
Behaviour: Whatever systems are used,
it is important to control them properly
so that they are able to cope with the
different behaviour of people within
Energy efficient
heating and cooling
is bringing modern
levels of comfort to the
refurbished County Hall
in London
The grid is
getting
cleaner every
year, making
the case for
an electric-
based
economy even
stronger
3MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE
the building, regardless of the time of
day or outside weather. Modern HVAC
equipment comes with advanced,
sophisticated controls that will
automate monitoring and reporting,
making it easier to understand where
any waste is happening and do
something about it. These controls
also make it easier to spot trends in
energy use, allowing businesses to,
for example, turn down the heating
an hour before the bulk of staff leave,
thus saving money and energy.
Compliance: There is an increase in
the legislation and regulations that
businesses need to comply with,
so the equipment used, and the
way it is used, will need to factor
this in as well. Whether that is
MEES (Minimum Energy Efficiency
Standards), the Building Regulations
or the London Plan, the pressure to be
able to demonstrate that a building
complies with and can meet planning
requirements is only going to increase.
Tried and tested
None of this can be achieved overnight,
but by taking a planned approach, we
can all make a difference by adopting
what we at Mitsubishi Electric call a
“lean, mean, green”approach:
Lean: Reduce your need for energy
in the first place by making buildings
as energy efficient as possible. This
helps reduce the size of the equipment
needed to heat, ventilate and sometimes
cool buildings, thereby reducing the
amount of energyrequired.
Mean: Use this reduced energy as
efficiently as possible. Use systems
that can transfer heat from areas that
need cooling, such as server rooms, to
occupied areas that need heating. Use
this excess heat from air conditioning
to deliver hot water to a building. Any
area or process that requires cooling
should be seen as an opportunity to
harvest heat to use elsewhere. Use
advanced controls to link building
services with each other so they are
working together efficiently rather
than competing with each other.
Automate via integrated controls with
room sensors that reduce the energy
used to heat or cool empty rooms.
Green: Supply the reduced energy
needed from renewable sources. With
the electric grid in the UK becoming
a lot cleaner due to increased
generation from renewables such
as wind, electricity is becoming the
fuel of choice at a building level.
Supplemented by self-generation
through the use of photovoltaic panels
and enhanced by heat pumps, energy
production can triple by harvesting
“free” heat from the outdoor air.
Adequate
ventilation is
important,
especially as
buildings
become more
airtight to
reduce energy
wastage
Architect and TV
presenter, George
Clarke is Ecodan
Ambassador helping
promote the benefits of
air source heat pumps to
homeowners

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This article was sponsored by Mitsubishi Electric. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.