Energy Management helps local school to ‘grow-it-alone’

Bradford-on-Avon-based firm Energy Management has donated £1,000 to a neighbouring primary school as it continues lay down deep roots within the local community.

In what has become an annual partnership between the energy management consultancy and Fitzmaurice Primary School, pupils were asked to illustrate what the festive period means to them.

Sophia’s colourful depiction of a snowman was declared this year’s winning entry and the design will now adorn the front cover Energy Management’s annual Christmas e-card. Rufus’ reindeer was a close second!

And as a thank you for all their efforts, Energy Management have agreed to fund the school’s latest eco-friendly project.

This year the money will go towards the construction of large new outdoor planters which will be used to grow flowers and vegetables.

Sustainability: Shout it from the solar-powered rooftops!

Companies in the U.K now spend more on so-called third-party energy costs than they do on gas and electricity itself.

Around 70 per cent of a typical energy bill is now made up of charges that help to support the National Grid’s infrastructure and pay for green energy legislation brought in by the U.K government.

Many of these costs are unavoidable but companies can reduce their energy spend in other ways.

Smart business energy procurement involves switching to a supplier that offers a better deal not only in terms of the unit price offered for gas and electricity, but also more favourable terms and conditions that help mitigate against financial penalty clauses being invoked.

Invoice validation is another area where a proactive approach can pay dividends. It is widely thought that around one in five invoices from suppliers contain errors, with the value accounting for anything up to five per cent of the average bill.

Identifying and making good these errors can save companies thousands of ££s over the years.

Carbon conscious clients

Business energy procurement and invoice validation have long been two of the pillars upon which Energy Management has built its reputation and business over the last two decades, but increasingly the conversation with clients is turning towards sustainability.

This is reflected throughout the entire corporate world. Only this week it was revealed that Amazon has become the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.

In a bid to be carbon-neutral by 2040, the multi-national tech company invested in 6.5 GW of wind and solar projects to help supply their operations with more than 18 million megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually, enough to power 1.7 million U.S. homes for one year.

Clearly not many other businesses, if any, have that sort of money to invest in green energy projects, but there is nothing to stop them reviewing their energy consumption data, via energy management portals such as EM-Powered, to assess areas of their operation that can be more energy efficient.

A desktop energy audit helps to uncover times and specific locations on site when energy is being used when it doesn’t have to be. Simple measures like turning off lights or investing in more energy efficient machinery can pay off in the long term.

On-site energy generation, through the installation of solar panels on rooftops, for example, or demand-side response are other steps that can be taken in the drive towards sustainability.

If you would like to find out how you can take greater control over your energy consumption, please get in touch with one of our fully-trained consultants on 01225-867722.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) – don’t miss the deadline

With the disruption caused by COVID-19, it is easy for businesses to overlook compliance issues – such as the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) deadline.

SECR came into effect in April 2019 with the aim of simplifying carbon and energy reporting and to promote energy efficiency.

Whether your business was one of 11,900 UK companies involved in the SECR process in its first year or your entering the scheme for the first time in 2021, it is important that you have all the information you need.

Whilst still just over three months away, SECR involves a lot of data and putting that together in one report can be time-consuming.

As an external energy management consultancy with an expertise in compliance and energy-related legislation, we can collate, analyse and present this sustainability data for you.

Customers of ours have found the Energy Management portal, EM-Powered, to be an invaluable resource in collating and categorising energy consumption data.

Sustainability is dominating the energy agenda for companies at the moment, and will do for a long time ahead as the UK strives towards its 2030 carbon-zero target.

Companies are increasingly being judged by the public on their attempts to become more ‘green’ and completing SECR helps to promote positive achievements in this area.

What is the criteria?

If your business meets two of the three criteria listed below in the financial year being reported on, you will need to comply.

  • More than 250 employees
  • £36m or more turnover
  • Balance sheet total of more than £18m

Still unsure? Find out if you are required to comply by using our SECR checker tool.

At Energy Management, we have in-house CIBSE qualified lead assessors who will be more than happy to guide you through the compliancy process.

If you would like any advice or help in making sure you are SECR compliant, please get in touch on 01225-867722 or visit our dedicated web page

Energy procurement strategy – some key things to consider

An effective energy procurement strategy optimally matches your business needs with the right business energy deal.

As energy is one of the biggest overheads for any business, securing the right price and the right terms for your gas and electricity can make a huge difference to the health of the balance sheet.

Here are a few FAQs around the subject of business energy procurement that may help in your decision-making process.

What is the best Energy Procurement Strategy for 2021?

The best strategy will be determined by your business’ unique needs.

In these uncertain financial times, energy suppliers are being selective about who they deal with and are avoiding perceived high-risk industries, such as hospitality, catering, retail and travel.

Only this week Arcadia Group, which owns renowned High Street stores like Selfridges, Topshop and Topman, announced it was going into administration.

Businesses within those sectors on a fixed energy deal in a market where prices are rising will feel they are in a relatively good position from an energy procurement perspective, as they’ll be protected against the prospect of being hit by increased risk premiums.

However, these are unchartered times, and without a crystal ball, managing risk has never been more important. As soon as prices go up, they can just as quickly go down. Hence, having the correct strategy in place and being able to respond quickly to opportunities as they arise is crucial.

What is the best Energy Procurement Strategy to manage risk?

Simply put, it’s the strategy that’s most suited to the business. But first, you need to understand the role of risk in your business.

Some businesses do not have the option of adopting higher risk for potentially higher financial returns as budget stability might be more important to them.

Your business may have long-term fixed customer sales contracts which do not allow for passing on increases in energy costs to your customers.

In order to protect profit margins, having fixed price energy contracts is preferential to having the opportunity to take advantage of falls in the energy markets. This is because the risks of energy price increases would ultimately be more damaging to the financial performance of the business.

For energy-intensive businesses, in order to compete on price, it’s important that you’re buying energy at the current market rate, so a flexible contract that tracks the market could be advantageous.

As a general comment, a fixed price contract which is renewed when the energy markets are low has historically added value, particularly as they often avoid increases in non-commodity costs.

What is the difference between a fixed and flexible energy procurement strategy?

Most people view flexible contracts as riskier than fixed ones but, in reality, they can be used as a hedging tool to smooth out the volatility of market movements.

A flex contract enables you to fix any amount of energy for any period of time. For example, you could fix energy prices for half your anticipated consumption for the duration of the contract, and let market prices dictate the cost of the other half once you have interpreted market dynamics through the use of helpful energy management analytical tools such as EM-Powered. The price you then pay is the average between the two actions.

Whether a fixed, midi-flex or full flexible strategy is adopted, it is important to have a dynamic approach. By this, we mean fixing contracts when market movements present opportunities and not when you come to the end of a fixed period contract in the blind hope that the markets will be favourable.

How can Energy Management guide you in your Energy Procurement Strategy?

We can assist you by establishing and implementing an energy procurement strategy that best serves the needs of your business.

Once the right products have been selected and delivered, the performance of energy suppliers will be audited to ensure optimum budget management moving forward.

Ongoing invoice validation and budget management are also key in managing your energy procurement strategy.