Technology Record - Issue 28: Spring 2023

47 landscape-hugging solar farms and towering wind turbines. The business and political worlds are yet to realise the multiple benefits of energy efficiency which can be achieved through relatively cheap and easily deployed tools. These include digital building management systems with real-time data analytics that can detect and address energy waste, automation software that can optimise energy usage in factories and across supply chains, and electric heat pumps and vehicles, which are not only cleaner but also far more energy-efficient than their fossil-fuelled counterparts. These are all technologies that exist. They’re the fastest way forward to the clean and affordable energy transition that the world urgently needs. They also come with a much quicker return on investment (ROI) than many realise. When we work with customers to install digital energy management solutions in existing buildings, we see an ROI of between two and five years. It’s clear that businesses should pay more attention to the often under-appreciated, cost-effective and technically straightforward adaptations that can be deployed to optimise energy consumption. Our advice to businesses, developers and households worldwide is to get acquainted with the range of digital technologies that allow you to reduce costs and carbon emissions. When combined with clean energy procurement, this can make net-zero goals a reality much more quickly and cheaply. And our recommendation for policymakers: don’t limit your legislative initiatives to clean energy generation. Provide more of the regulatory incentives that will bolster consumers’ and other end-users’ demand for digital energy efficiency and electrification, with less cost to taxpayers. Electrification and energy efficiency are quick wins. Let’s not risk our futures on the flip of the energy coin but embrace both sides. Olivier Blum is executive vice president of energy management at Schneider Electric For Helsinki’s Lippulaiva complex, developer Citycon partnered with Schneider Electric to install intelligent and efficient energy management systems