In December 2011, we asked you to complete a survey regarding the energy management systems that were used within your organisation. A total of 26 organisations replied; 24 local authorities and 2 NHS Trusts. Here are the results and a brief analysis.
1) Where is your data mainly stored for CRC?
At first glance, it is obvious to see that the most popular choice of software for respondents is Systemslink, with roughly a third of the total. This is twice the number that uses either TEAM or Carbon Counter, and almost 4 times the number of organisations that use Stark.
A closer inspection will note that roughly a quarter of organisation use either Excel or an adapted Environment Agency (EA) Excel spreadsheet to record the CRC data. This would suggest that many organisations have built a system internally which is specific to each organisation.
It is also worth noting that 8% outsourced their CRC obligations, which is something that many organisations were reluctant to do in previous years.
There were 6 different systems identified (and possibly more depending on what systems the outsourced consultants use), which suggests that a number of methods available to manage the CRC. Whatever system is used must be kept transparent for auditing purposes.
2) What, if any, additional software is used for data storage and reporting for CRC?
Excel, unsurprisingly, is used by an overwhelming majority of organisations as either their primary or secondary data storage system.
What is more interesting about the answers to these questions is that the majority of organisations that put down “Stark”, “Systemslink”, or “TEAM” as their additional software used Carbon Counter as their main software.
It’s also worth noting that 19 of the 26 respondents (73%) have additional software, and 4 out of 26 (15%) have 2 additional data storage software.
3) Changes in software over the last year.
Whilst Carbon Counter and Systemslink have had organisations starting to use their software over the last year, TEAM and Stark have lost some of their clients. The comments relating to software sheds some light on this:
Overall perception of:
Although some people consider the EA Source tool to have no real problems, there is no feedback suggesting that this is a good choice. There is an issue that it has “numerous versions, with version monitoring on them,” which is considered to be “very time consuming”. Furthermore, it isn’t thought of as especially user-friendly and the support from the EA has been sub-standard.
Across the board there was a very positive response. (3 out 10 responses simply said “excellent”).The Systemslink team “try to be as pro-active as possible”, notably by developing the CRC module (at no extra cost). It’s also user-friendly, and they maintain a high level of client support.
Described as “ok but poor support”, “unreliable” and “appalling!”. The main issue seemed to be the TEAM was slow in adapting to the new requirements of councils and as such many people simply switched to an alternative EMS. It’s also worth noting that TEAM’s CRC module has an additional cost and doesn’t seem to work as well as Systemslink’s CRC module.
Everyone has been happy in the flexibility of Excel, and in many instances this has been the basis of their reports for a number of years pre-CRC.
Whilst new to many organisations, most responded by saying (tentatively) that Carbon Counter was “good so far”. It’s also considered relatively easy to use.