Energy management

Energy consumption is our second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions (9%). We use a multi-faceted strategy to minimise related environmental impacts, comprising:

  • Purchasing 100% renewable energy
  • Investing in Power Purchase Agreements – learn more
  • Reducing our consumption through investing in energy efficiency measures
  • Offsetting any remaining emissions, year-on-year – learn more

Measures we use in our buildings to minimise energy consumption include:

  • Building management systems to optimise consumption
  • Thermostatic office temperature control
  • LED lighting installations with zonal passive infrared (PIR) controls
  • Upgrades to cooling, fan coil unit (FCU) and air handling unit (AHU) systems
  • Energy efficient IT monitors with stand-by mode
  • Destination lift control software
  • Print devices utilising sleep mode when not in use
  • Vending machines that ‘sleep’ during low-demand period

Since 2018, we have invested over £6mn in energy efficiency projects across our UK estate, saving more than 700 tonnes of CO2e per year.

Performance against our FY20 targets

Target #1: Reduce total energy (kWh) consumed by 5% per m2 (base year FY2019)
In FY20 energy (kWh) consumption per m2 (electricity and gas combined) fell by 5.5%% compared to the base year (FY19). Total absolute energy consumption (kWh) also fell by 7.8%.

While some of this reduction is attributable to the effects of COVID-19 and subsequent closure of all UK sites from March 2020 onwards (i.e. covering the last 3 months of reporting period), this was also the first full reporting year in which EY has procured 100% biogas for its UK sites. There was also a significant programme of capital investment in energy efficiency initiatives which are expected to deliver future energy savings of approximately 1.6mn kWh per annum at a capital cost of circa £6mn:

  • All fluorescent fittings replaced with LED lighting throughout our UK HQ building
  • Lighting controls replaced with a Digital Addressable Lighting Interface (DALI) based system to switch off lighting to non-occupied areas and dim down when natural lighting is available
  • A new building energy management system (BEMS) to provide refined control of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems and operate systems to suit occupancy times
  • FCUs upgraded, fan motors changed to EC type and automated speed control installed to operate the FCUs on minimum speed when possible

Even if and when occupancy levels in our buildings move closer to pre-COVID-19 levels, we expect future reductions in energy intensity from continuing investment in upgrades to plant, equipment, lighting etc. in line with our refurbishment and workplace improvement programme. Future initiatives will involve reviewing office space usage out of non-core office hours to reduce energy expended on heating, ventilation and cooling.

Target #2: Procure 100% of energy from renewable sources (where consumed in EY controlled buildings and appropriate ‘green’ tariffs are available to purchase from suppliers):
In FY20, 99.97% of all electricity purchased direct from energy providers was under a Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin backed renewable electricity tariff. The deviation from achieving 100% occurred due to the firm acquiring a new subsidiary business in Q3 with a pre-existing non-renewable energy procurement arrangement. We will aim to move this to a renewable tariff when the existing supply contract allows. All other energy (including biogas) procured direct from energy suppliers in the UK is from certified renewable sources. This approach will continue for the foreseeable future as part of our overall energy procurement strategy.

See a full summary of our energy consumption data and related emissions.