Central government HQ buildings - real time energy consumption for five months

Departments have now been publishing real time energy consumption for their HQ buildings for five months.  

Chart 1:

profile of energy consumption, in absolute terms, for the period 01/08/10 - 31/12/10

Chart 1 shows the profile of energy consumption, in absolute terms, for the period 01/08/10 - 31/12/10. From this we can identify the following:

a) As you would expect, most buildings have  experienced an increase in energy consumption as the weather gets colder

b) However, some departments (eg BIS and DECC) seem to have flatter profiles than others (eg DfE and No. 10). We think that thetwo most likely explanations for this are:

i. These departments have buildings which are efficiently run with good insulation so heat demand is minimal; or

ii. Their buildings are substituting energy for cooling in the summer with energy for heating in winter, resulting in a flat profile.  

c) Looking in more detail there has been a downward trend in the energy profile for MoD towards the end of December. MoD has told us that this decrease stems from actions taken to reduce energy consumption during the Christmas break (see our last blog ‘central government HQ buildings achieve energy savings of 30% over Christmas’). This includes switching off the air handling units/chillers, reducing heating levels, switching all lighting to sensor control, reducing the number of lifts, switching off escalators and reminding all staff to switch off IT equipment before they went away for the Christmas break.

We have also looked at how the energy profile for the 5 months in HQ buildings compares to the rest of government’s office estate. (Departments are required to report the energy consumption of their estate every month in order to monitor progress towards meeting the 10% target).

Chart 2 Energy Consumption for HQ building and estate (re-baselined to 1)

Energy Consumption for HQ building and estate (re-baselined to 1)

Chart 2 shows the energy profile for HQ buildings and the entire estate. From this we can observe that while HQ buildings and the wider estate performed similarly from August to September, the increase in energy consumption in HQ buildings occurred later, and was less significant than for the wider estate.

This could be for a number of reasons. It could be that now HQ buildings are required to report energy consumption in the public domain, this transparency is contributing to the lower and later increases in energy consumption in the HQ buildings. Equally, it could simply be that they have a different profile of energy use compared to non-HQ buildings. 


  1. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Why not go for energy efficiency by using solar energy. Many countries are going full tilt towards giving rebates and tax cuts for installing home solar panels so reliance on gas and oil reduces. Why not try alternative energy sources?

    • Replies to Anonymous>

      Comment by Anonymous posted on

      You can use solar energy.if you have enough shiny day. the amount of  solar panel is very expensive

      you must think out side of the "box".and to find alternative sources like wind.

  2. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Is there any way to determine how much of this energy use / CO2 emissions is due to each of these: (a) heating lighting cooling (b) powering computer data servers, networks, etc (and also cooling them).

    That is, how much of this energy is due having to create comfortable environment for people to work in, and how much is due to running computers?

    John Gundry, Malmesbury UK

  3. Comment by Anonymous posted on

    Has anybody ever heard of solar gain?

    why is it not retrofited on government building.

    With al the solar window coatings that can save a lot of energy.

    All building should have solar shades that come down at night and open when the sun shines.

    Use LED lights and the OLED lighting that saves more energy.

    We can save 10% of energy cost just by conserving.


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