The numbers game - 3

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The number 3: When investing in energy efficiency
measures what number should be used?
In the mid 90's Britain's largest bank was one of the first
companies to sign up for the Energy Efficiency Office's
"Making a Corporate Commitment " campaign. Although
subsequently trumpeting its achievements in a glossy
brochure, buried in the text was the admission that only,
"projects with a 3 year or less pay-back period would be
considered for capital investment".
Their energy bill was less than 1% of their costs. They
invested less than 1.25% of this energy bill in energy
efficiency measures. No objective performance indicators
were published in the report, but the reader was left in no
doubt as to their 'green' credentials. If the same criteria
were to be adopted in the domestic sector, based on the
Family Expenditure Survey from the same era, it would
have allowed the average householder to invest 83p per
annum; a sum that was some way short of that needed to
buy one 12W low energy light bulb! Although we know
from Mao that the longest journey must start modestly, is
completing the first step really sufficient grounds for glossy
brochures and triumphalism?
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
No.winter 06-07
Specialist publicationScotregen, Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • energy efficiency
  • buildings
  • carbon


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