The department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – the ministerial department responsible for business, industrial strategy, science, innovation, energy, and climate change – is no more.
In Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s latest reshuffle, energy has been separated from business. The department responsible for this vital portfolio will now be called the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ).
BEIS has existed since 2016 after elements of the business department were merged with the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC). However, it has now effectively been split in three with energy, crucially, having its own department.
It is at least the fourth time that energy has broken away from the broader business department to enjoy standalone status within Whitehall.
Given the challenges that soaring energy prices are having on both households and businesses, many will welcome the change.
It is hoped the move brings more clarity to a complex landscape and leads to a more coherent energy strategy as the U.K. faces the challenges of soaring prices and the drive towards a decarbonised economy.
Grant Shapps, previously business secretary, will head a new Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, a ministry charged with boosting Britain’s energy supplies and its transition away from fossil fuels.
We introduce the newest member of our team as the company continues to grow.
When did you join the company?
I joined Energy Management on the 1 December 2021 so I have now been working here for almost three months which has flown by!
Are you from the area?
I am very local to the office as I live in Bradford-on-Avon, just on the other side of the river, although I haven’t always lived here. I moved here in May 2021 from south Oxfordshire where I was born and brought up.
Do you have a background in the energy industry?
Before working at Energy Management, I worked for Pure Planet, a renewable energy supplier based in Bath. I had worked there for a year when, unfortunately, due to the current energy crisis, the company had to close its doors.
I joined Pure Planet after graduating from the University of Southampton with a 1st class BSc Geography degree. I had always been interested in renewable energy and sustainability, but it was after completing a module on energy generation and the geopolitics of energy that my interest in the sector increased.
Working for an energy supplier, prior to this role, was very insightful and taught me a lot about how the market works, tariff structures, pricing, billing and invoice queries as well as metering and site works. The energy industry is a bit of a minefield when you’re just starting out, with lots of complex terms, so my first few months were a big learning curve.
During my time at Pure Planet, I was involved in various different projects and liaised with lots of different teams within the business, as well as external teams, which helped to broaden my knowledge. I was in regular contact with engineers at our metering partner to raise and check on the progress of meter removals, exchanges or upgrades. Discussions with different teams such as billing and finance within the business also helped me become well versed in all the various technical terms.
What does your role entail at EM and which aspects of the job do you enjoy the most?
My role as a Technical Support Analyst at Energy Management predominantly involves liaising with energy suppliers and customers daily, requesting offers from suppliers and managing and analysing those offers received.
Other responsibilities involve reviewing consumption data, completing and submitting documentation for new supplies and managing and maintaining customer records, spreadsheets and our database.
I have only been here for three months, but I am really enjoying it so far. I love the team-orientated approach to our working environment; we all work collaboratively with a common goal to deliver the highest level of customer service and solutions for our customers which is really motivating.
I am also involved in some of our customers’ big projects such as the rollout of EV chargers across the country. Being involved in such a progressive and forward-thinking clean tech project is really exciting.
The fast-paced, changing environment of the energy market and the need to be reactive to it also really plays to my strengths and makes every day different and exciting, as does the breadth of different things I am able to be involved in.
What energy-saving/carbon zero initiatives have you found yourself doing at work and at home?
At home, I am very conscious of energy-saving and being sustainable through various practices such as ensuring we don’t waste food, through meal planning and only buying what we need. recycling and avoiding single-use plastics, by using reusable water bottles and Tupperware rather than cling film. I also don’t eat meat which drastically reduces my own personal carbon footprint.
At work, I try to make sure I don’t print things unnecessarily and ensure that my laptop and monitors are fully switched off at the end of the day. I have also pledged to walk into work much more often once the weather warms up a bit!
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are divided into three different groups or ‘scopes’ by the most widely-used international accounting tool, the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
For Scope 1, companies need to report on emissions relating to owned and controlled aspects of their business such as company vehicles and fuel consumption.
Scope 2 broadly covers indirect emissions from the purchase of energy that is necessary for a business to function.
Meanwhile, Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that lie outside their own organisation and occur upstream and downstream in the corporate value chain instead.
Scope 3 emissions may represent as much as 80% of a business’s total emissions, from the goods it purchases to the disposal of the products it sells. This means to truly target carbon net-zero, a business will need to assess the emissions through their entire value chain and identify where to focus activities.
In our experience, most businesses are finding it relatively straightforward to calculate their Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions, but meeting the internationally accepted Scope 3 Standard may be a different matter altogether due to the complexity of the process.
That’s certainly the view of John Laban, EU Representative for the Open Compute Project. He predicted: “When businesses start reporting on Scope 3 GHG emissions all of hell will be let loose … Pandora’s box is opened.”
If you need further information on how to best meet the Scope 3 Standard, please get in touch with one of our consultants on 01225-867722.
A pot of money totalling £265milion has been made available by the UK government to support renewable energy projects in the upcoming Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction.
The majority (£200m) will be invested in fixed-bottom offshore wind projects, in a bid to help the UK meets its target of 40 GW capacity by 2030 while floating offshore projects can bid for funds for the first time.
Tidal, geothermal and wave technology fall into this category, with £55m put down. The remaining £10m will be used to support technologies such as onshore wind and solar.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The CfD scheme has helped the UK become a world leader in clean electricity generation and lowered prices for consumers.
“The new plans set out today deliver on the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan and will support the next generation of renewable electricity projects needed to power our homes and meet our world-leading climate change targets.”
The CfD tariff replaced the Renewables Obligation and is designed to help the UK meet its net-zero targets through the low-carbon generation of electricity whilst also ensuring an interrupted supply of electricity feeds into the network.
The government is focused on encouraging green energy procurement, with 12GW of wind and solar energy being targeted through the scheme.
Unlocking Britain’s potential
Environmental Audit Committee chairman Philip Dunne MP said: “I am delighted to see that the potential of floating offshore wind and of the tidal stream has finally been recognised as contributors to our future low carbon energy mix.
“This support for renewable energy will help net-zero Britain, provide welcome demand signals to investors, and give industry the confidence it needs to secure the skills for the future.
“While this investment is extremely welcome, the government must also evaluate the infrastructure supporting renewable energy.
“The investment can only do so much if the infrastructure cannot support the projects hoping to be achieved.
“Our committee has highlighted in our work on technological innovations that the connection of expanding offshore wind farms to the grid must be reviewed and that adequate investment is required for deep water
But a blog written by Ranjit Singh, utility framework sourcing manager at HealthTrust Europe, outlines another advantage – they can help public sector bodies become greener without putting added pressure on already tight budgets.
Singh argues that investment in green technology and energy efficiency measures such as installing LED lighting and carbon compliance monitoring can pay off in the long term.
“One of the most effective ways for public sector bodies to access these high-value goods and services to unlock green energy and utilities lies within developing accessible procurement frameworks,” he reasons.
“Flexibility is the key – allowing public sector bodies more flexibility in selecting the solutions that fit their organisation best will encourage more bodies to make the switch to greener alternatives. Increased flexibility also means the public sector can be more receptive to change and innovation, able to access the most energy-efficient solutions as soon as they are available – putting the public sector at the forefront of cutting-edge green technology.
“Investing in green products will not only enhance energy efficiency but will also generate significant monetary savings, enabling local authorities to focus on other urgent priorities.”
If you would like to benefit from having multiple suppliers to choose from in the energy procurement process, please get in touch with one of our consultants on 01225-867722
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is currently running a consultation process to seek views on government proposals to update and improve the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme (ESOS).
BEIS hopes to strengthen and increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures in a variety of ways, whilst also incorporating some net-zero targeting within ESOS, and has asked for feedback from eligible companies.
The quality of training of assessors and access to ESOS expertise
The net-zero challenge
The transparency of the reporting process
Extending the scheme to a wider range of businesses
Increasing uptake by making action mandatory
Subject to feedback, the government would like to introduce legislation addressing the first four points as soon as possible. ESOS is currently in Phase 3, and UK businesses have until December 2023 to comply.
The proposals to extend the scheme to more businesses and possibly make action mandatory will be considered for implementation, again subject to the findings of the consultation, for ESOS Phase 4 (compliance year 2027).
With wholesale gas and electricity energy prices rocketing ahead of the October peak month for switching, it now more important than ever for businesses to monitor and review their energy consumption and devise an effective energy procurement strategy.
Electricity prices have surged to their highest level in over a decade according to data from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), while average gas prices for Q2’21 are up 30% year-on-year for medium-sized businesses on one to five-year contracts.
According to BEIS’ survey of non-domestic gas prices in Q1’21(3), large and very large companies saw quarter-on-quarter increases of 3.5% and 3.2% respectively and further increases are anticipated in Q2’21 due to tight market conditions and increased demand for gas globally.
It is interesting to note, however, that there have been marginal declines in Third-Party Costs (TPCs) as a proportion of all energy costs over the last three months in both the electricity and gas sectors.
Amid such volatility in the business energy markets, energy management portals such as EM-Powered can be an invaluable resource for monitoring how the overall picture is shaping up in the UK and mainland European countries.
Em-Powered enables users to access historical wholesale gas and electricity price graphs to get a better understanding of whether the current trends are likely to be short or long-term – invaluable when it comes down to energy contract negotiations.
If you would like to find out more about EM-Powered and the many benefits it brings to the energy procurement process, please get in touch with one of our consultants on 01225-867722
Predicting the business energy price markets has been a fairly straightforward exercise over the summer months with the general trend being upward.
However, due to a number of factors directly related to the energy industry or not, this is not always the case.
Geopolitical issues can also play their part in affecting supply and demand for gas and oil, and therefore prices, which makes forecasting the markets anything but an exact science.
Industry knowledge and the right energy market tracking tools and software, however, can mitigate against some of the uncertainty and help ensure companies pay the right price for their business energy, at the right time.
Not all businesses have the necessary in-house expertise or the time or staff dedicated to identifying the peaks and troughs of power prices, which is where reputable energy consultancies come into their own, especially ones with access to bespoke energy management portals such as EM-Powered.
Outsourcing energy procurement to a trusted and reputable energy consultancy can take the pressure away from businesses and ensure they are not paying over the odds for their gas and electricity or signing up to unfavourable terms and conditions that may lead to penalty charges down the line.
With Third-Party Costs (TPCs) now making up the majority of a business’s overall energy bill, an understanding of energy legislation and keeping abreast of all the latest developments in compliance is also vital.
At Energy Management, we have been helping clients with their whole energy services portfolio for over two decades and support clients in a variety of different industries, in both the private and public sectors.
If you would like to speak to one of our consultants about energy procurement, invoice validation, compliance or any other energy-related matter, you can contact us on 01225-867722,
Driven by the Paris Agreement and the need to meet goals on climate change, environmentally-conscious companies across the world are stepping up their attempts to contribute towards a net zero carbon economy.
Understanding the emissions that they generate directly is only half the battle, though. On top of operational emissions, bracketed by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol as Scope 1 and 2, to fully understand their carbon footprint companies need to calculate, and then eliminate, emissions across the supply/value chain – Scope 3 emissions.
Emissions generated by a supplier’s activities may come about through the production of raw materials or components, or through smaller scale day-to-day activities such as business travel and the disposal of waste.
According to Deloitte, these Scope 3 emissions account for more than 70 per cent of their carbon footprint, which underlines how important it is for companies to obtain the necessary information from suppliers.
The detail is in the data
Suppliers that do not have to be compliant with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme may have taken a laissez-faire approach to evaluating their carbon footprint as a company, so the process of gathering this information is not always straightforward.
The willingness of suppliers to lend their support in this issue may depend on their own net zero culture, the relationship between the companies involved, and pressure from outside in terms of environmental transparency.
To sidestep this challenge and reach net zero, companies may decide to review their supply chain and set out to work only with like-minded ‘green’ companies, or even attempt to ‘de-scope’ emissions by outsourcing emissions-heavy activities like manufacturing.
At Energy Management, we understand that measuring your Scope 3 emissions can be complex, even down to simply deciding what should be included.
We can help your business to evaluate the impact of your Scope 3 emissions and your net-zero journey could start with a brief call with one of our energy consultants, who can be contacted on 01225 867722.
If you don’t know where you are, how can you know how to get to where you want to be?
That is the question we put to many of our clients when discussing the Climate Change Agreement’s (CCA) Target Period 5 (TP5).
Progress analysis and monitoring of energy consumption data is crucial if companies, especially those within energy-intensive industries, want to meet TP5.
The final target period of the CCA has been extended by the UK government for two years to incentivise industry to reduce its energy consumption against production in the overall drive towards achieving net-zero.
But by doing that, they have also moved the previous base line, from which data is measured against, from 2008 to 2018, to reflect any energy efficiency measures or improved productivity that may have taken place across the intervening 10-year period.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) has recommended a 6.67 per cent decrease against the 2018 figures.
Raising the bar
Effectively the bar has been raised and companies need to do more if they are to meet the target, whether that is reducing the amount of energy used for the number of units they produce or produce more units but without using any more energy.
Energy Management’s National Account Manager Ian Scattergood has urged companies to address the situation before it is too late.
“The majority of the businesses whose energy data we have analysed will miss TP5 if they don’t act now,” he said.
“It’s a blunt message but they wouldn’t have got to this point had they carefully monitored their energy performance against production output.”
A thorough monitoring process is easy to implement and will pay off further down the line, he adds.
“The greater the granularity of the data, the easier it is to see if there are any anomalies. If you are only looking at a month’s worth of energy consumption, it is more difficult to pinpoint days when there are spikes in energy use. Daily monitoring allows businesses to identify problems more readily.
“How can you fix a problem if you don’t know it exists?”
Once anomalies in energy consumption have been flagged through the monitoring process, companies can then look at what energy efficiency measures need to be taken.
“This could simply be changing work practices or staff behaviour – measures that don’t necessarily need much investment from a financial point of view, just a cultural buy-in from everybody involved,” added Ian.
“Beyond that, companies might consider site surveys which delve deeper into all operational aspects relating to energy use. Recommendations for ways things can be improved will then be put forward.”