Business motors ahead in Electric Vehicle take-up

Affordability and a lack of confidence in the charging infrastructure are two of the factors holding back consumers from buying EVs.

However, due to stronger incentives in the business world, the take-up has been much greater – almost double.

To support organisations looking to install electric vehicle charging facilities at their workplace, the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) provides a grant – The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

Plug-In grants are available to the public but the government has recently been criticised for reducing them by £500.

Analysis of new car registrations in 2020 by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that just 4.6 per cent of privately bought cars were battery electric vehicles (BEVs) – compared to 8.7 per cent for businesses and large fleets.

Consumers registered 34,324 pure electric vehicles in 2020, compared to 73,881 corporate registrations, it was reported at the trade body’s day-long industry conference last week.

The number of fully electric Uber cars in London, for example, has increased from 100 to 1,600. Whilst this still represents a small percentage of its 45,000-strong fleet in the capital, the will to go electric is clearly there.

The SMMT said: “Ahead of the phase out of new pure petrol and diesel car and van sales in 2030, manufacturers have invested billions in new technology, with plug-ins now accounting for one in four of new car models available – with one in 10 powered purely by electricity.”

Given the rising uptake, the installation of more on-site charging points is a top priority for businesses and public sector bodies helping to drive through the green revolution.

If you want to know about the EV infrastructure installation options available to you, please get in touch with one of our advisors or click here to submit a no-obligation enquiry.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) reminder

Verified SECR reports can help businesses move towards carbon net-zero and reduce energy costs. 

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 you’re required to be involved for the first time in 2021, it is important to have all the information you need.

Given the strict targets set by government to reach net-zero by 2050, there is a good chance that carbon reporting regulations will tighten and an already complex task could become even more difficult to complete in-house. If you want to ensure accuracy and compliance, it is always worth having your reports verified by an independent expert.

What we have consistently found in our dealing with clients is that gathering accurate transport data is one of the most challenging aspects to SECR, particularly when it comes to company cars and private cars for business-use only.

Expertise

Not all companies have accurate records of the vehicle type, meaning the calculations are then based on an average not vehicle specific. All of this type of information is discussed during a preliminary call with an Energy Management consultant.

As an external energy management consultancy with an expertise in compliance and energy-related legislation, we can collate, analyse and present all relevant 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 2050 carbon-zero target.

Companies are increasingly being judged by the public on their attempts to become ‘greener’, and whilst there has been no target-setting yet around carbon use reduction, completing SECR helps to promote positive achievements in this area.

What’s 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.

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

A business energy framework that leaves you spoilt for choice!

free-energy-health-check-for-business

With so many different gas and electricity suppliers touting for business, choosing the right one for your business can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.

All offer different tariffs, different contract terms and conditions, and different levels of customer service so making a decision can often be time consuming.

But for public sector bodies unsure about the right path to take, or those that don’t have the time or the resources to dedicate to energy procurement, there is a solution: Energy Management’s Choice Energy Framework (CEF).

The CEF allows for a mini-competition involving up to six energy suppliers, who are based on price, quality and service.

As anyone involved in the OJEU tender process will appreciate, there is a mountain of paperwork to negotiate before securing an energy supplier.

But the CEF cuts through some of the red tape, whilst still being fully compliant with public contract regulations, with just a simple access agreement to complete.

If your energy procurement is renewable energy focussed, this will be open to you if you sign up to the CEF.

The best way to keep track of your energy consumption

Before any business sets about reducing their energy consumption and carbon footprint, they need to conduct an energy review

EM-Powered, Energy Management’s bespoke energy management portal provides a single access point for doing just that.

Users can accurately track and forecast their gas and electricity consumption in different buildings and across multiple sites to understand where costs can be controlled.

As powering a plant and building or machinery accounts for a large proportion of total business overheads, the ability to identify areas where a company can become more energy efficient is priceless.

The portal has been operational for three years and its ability to collect and aggregate live data to an impressive degree of accuracy is particularly popular with customers.

EM-Powered comes with a host of benefits and is easy to use, with ongoing technical available whenever necessary.

If you would like to learn more about EM-Powered or to see a demonstration of how it works, please visit our dedicated web page.

Third-Party Cost Focus: Renewables Obligation (RO)

In the first of our series of Third Party Cost (TPC) guideline articles, we focus on the Renewables Obligation.

The majority of costs now incurred in a business energy bill are not through gas or electricity consumption but by Third Party Costs (TPCs), or Non-Energy or Non-Commodity Costs, as they are often referred to.

Given the rate of increase in TPCs in recent years, it won’t be long before the percentage of the overall bill attributed purely to power usage is down to a third. At present, the split is weighted around 60:40 in favour of TPCs.

A wide variety of schemes are classed as TPCs. Some are government-led, in the drive towards a more sustainable future, while money raised from others contribute towards the maintenance of the National Grid and the supply of electricity in the system.

TPCs can change every year and with energy demand plummeting during the height of lockdown, 2020 was anything but immune to fluctuations in how businesses were charged.

Renewables Obligation (RO)

First set up by the government in 2002 to encourage and support large-scale renewable energy generation as part of the ongoing action against climate change, the Renewables Obligation for new contracts came to an end on 31 March 2017 and was replaced by Contracts for Difference (CfD). However, existing RO contracts will continue to run until 2027.

The RO places an obligation on UK electricity suppliers to source an increasing proportion of the electricity they supply from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro.

The suppliers fund the cost themselves but can recoup that investment through charges passed on to the customer, either as a pass-through cost or as part of a consolidated bill. Both these options are available to Half-Hourly (HH) and Non-Half Hourly (NHH) customers.

Consumers who qualify for an Energy Intensive Industries exemption (EII), by obtaining certificates from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), can receive up to an 85% exemption at source from the RO, Feed in Tariff (FiT) and CfD schemes.

The RO is forecast to account for roughly a fifth of overall business energy bills in 2020/21.

More information on the RO can be found on Ofgem’s website, or you can talk to one of our consultants about any questions you have relating to TPCs.

The Targeted Charging Review (TCR) explained

What is TCR?

Ofgem have launched the Targeted Charging Review (TCR) with the aim to make network charges non-discriminatory between those who can generate their own power and those who cannot.

Suppliers are now forecasting future TCR costs. Customers will be placed into several bands and that will determine how much they will pay in terms of the Transmission Network Use Of System (TNUoS) and Distribution Use Of System Charges (DUoS).

What does this mean for businesses?

Despite the delays caused by COVID-19, the TCR is progressing and changes to the DUoS and TNUoS charges will apply from April 2022.

It is important to bear in mind the ultimate aim of TCR is to ensure these charges are more equally distributed across system users. Although the charges are changing, the cost impact may not necessarily lead to an increase for all customers. 

Energy Management’s team of experts will support you with future tendering and procurement to minimise costs. If you have any questions, please give one of our sales team a call.

e: sales@energymanagementltd.com
t: 01225-867722

Invoice Validation: Only pay for what you use

Energy bills can often be very detailed and complex in their make-up and it is not uncommon for administrative mistakes to be made in the billing process. Industry-wide research has found that as many as one in five invoices are inaccurate.

Mistakes can occur for a variety of reasons – from an IT glitch to wrongly inputted data or the bill being based on the wrong tariff – but the important thing is to address them as soon as possible.

At Energy Management, we estimate that a business can be overcharged by as much as 3 to 5% of the overall bill if these errors continue to go undetected. Depending on the size of the business concerned and the number of sites being supplied with energy, this could run into tens of thousands of pounds.

If time is in short supply or there isn’t the necessary in-house expertise to validate energy bills, a reputable energy consultant will be able to offer this service for you.

The return on investment is obviously dependent on the nature and the frequency of errors made at the supplier’s end, but there is scope to make significant savings.

As your energy management partner, we will check the accuracy of every invoice against known consumption data and create an itemised validation report.

We will then work with the relevant energy supplier(s) to resolve any anomalies and keep the client updated throughout the whole process.

Meet the Energy Management Sales Team – Billy Pryke

Senior Key Account Manager Billy Pryke joined the company in August 2018 direct from working with an electricity supplier for nine years, so he understands the issues on both sides of the fence.

As a life-long (and long-suffering, some would say) Ipswich Town supporter, Billy knows how to take the rough with the smooth and can manage any challenge thrown at him.

As a keen marathon runner, you know Billy is with you for the distance and he prides himself on his excellent client relationships – as well as his fitness.

Fuel for thought – 5 quickfire questions:

Q: Biggest issue facing the energy industry?
Future EV infrastructure

Q: The biggest change you’ve seen in your time in the energy industry?
The increase of Non-Energy costs and how many there are now compared to 2010.

Q: Most-used energy-related phrase?
“The cheapest KWh is the one you don’t use”

Q: Most energy-efficient thing you do (cycle, appliances at home etc.)?
Switch off all the lights/appliances in a room if no-one is using them (don’t leave appliances on standby)

Q: Favourite activity outside of work?
CrossFit and running for my mental and physical health

EM-Powered given star energy management rating by prestigious client

Our energy management portal, EM-Powered, has received top marks from one of its longest users, Restore Records Management.

With 100 secure storage facilities sites spread across the United Kingdom, EM-Powered has been invaluable to the Surrey-based company as a tool to understand and evaluate their energy consumption whilst also tracking their carbon output.

Both user-friendly and adaptable to the needs of clients from a wide variety of fields, EM-Powered has been actively helping clients for the last three years and continues to be upgraded.

“When you have a large estate like us it is key that you manage costs properly. EM-Powered allows you to track trends and flags up any anomalies. It’s a very important tool to make sure you are on budget and if you’re not, how to address that by forecasting appropriately,” said Restore’s Commercial Manager David English.

EM-Powered’s technology and the customer-focused approach at the heart of Energy Management’s DNA make for a winning combination, says Mr English.

“I’m delighted with what Energy Management do, they are good honest people to work with, and the portal has just added even more value to our relationship. I’d rate it 9 out of 10.”