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Exclusive Speaker Interview with Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust
We met with one of Telco Energy & Infrastructure Efficiency’s supporting associations, ahead of their speaking engagement , to find out why the Energy Saving Trust thinks that telecom operators are ‘definitely’ well positioned to become energy management advisors to vertical industry sectors.
Please could you give a brief background on the EST’s history and how it is positioned to help telecom operators to lower energy costs and carbon emissions?
Formed in 1992, the Energy Saving Trust is a social enterprise group with a charitable Foundation. Energy Saving Trust gives impartial, accurate and independent advice to households, communities and organisations on how to reduce energy consumption, reduce fuel bills, use water sustainably, drive smarter and reduce carbon emissions.
Why do you feel it is now essential that telecom operators address how they can reduce their own carbon emissions?
It’s just not the telecoms industry – all industry must do their bit to reduce their own carbon emissions. With the current state of the economy, it’s easy for industry to consider sustainability a non-priority. The main problem is that businesses often don’t see the link between improving their environmental credentials and improving their financial performance.
At the Energy Saving Trust, we continually strive to highlight the link between energy and monetary savings. Much of our work shows how consumers and businesses using energy differently or being more energy efficient can improve their financial situation, as well as helping the environment. Energy saving figures indicate that the average UK household could save £325 a year through being more energy efficient showing the potential benefits for consumers.
Savings are similar for businesses – one of the key findings from a government funded survey by the Oakdene Hollins consultancy found that using water and energy more efficiently could save British businesses £23 billion every year, whilst protecting the environment at the same time.
How does the EST see mobile operators and ICT development contributing to a sustainable, smart society?
The telecoms industry is at the heart of daily communications in the UK, which is why the Energy Saving Trust sees it as a vital industry in helping to inform and inspire smart citizens toward a smart society. Through mobile and communications technology the possibilities for consumer engagement is endless, one such example would be communicating energy consumption to consumers through their mobile devices during the smart meter roll-out. This will help make the smart meter roll-out more relevant to consumers and help inspire a smarter, more sustainable society that is more aware of the energy they’re using in the home.
Do you think telecom operators are well positioned to become energy management advisors to vertical industry sectors?
Definitely. Practically everyone in the UK now has a mobile phone so it makes sense that an industry that understands communications is heavily involved in engaging with the public. However, what’s needed is trusted, independent and impartial content that the telecom operators can provide to ensure that the UK public is getting the very best advice available. Telecoms operators have the tools, but what’s needed is the expertise, insight and trust.