Electric Vehicles – who’s in charge?

Who will charge our electric vehicles?

The UK’s Electric Car (EV) market is constantly growing and the growing demand for charging capacity will be met by dedicated charger companies, utilities and the government, rather than car makers themselves.

Research shows that very few of the 60 plus car brands operating in the UK are putting funds towards charging infrastructure. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders admitted: “We consider it is up to the private operators and the government.”

The boss of the PSA group, which owns Peugeot, has declared he does not see charging networks as a core business activity, even with this potentially affecting the sales of EVs due to concern over the lack of charging opportunities – as well as the EVs lack of range.

Ford buck the trend

However, Ford is an exception and has opened 350kW fast-charge sites in the UK as a plan to mirror the Tesla supercharger network.

Volkswagen, Hyundai, Kia, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Mini and Porsche are all part of Ionity, founded by Ford. Ionity has three sites that are operational with a fourth being built.

In 2012, Nissan became co-funder of the Ecotricity 50kW charging network, which has now got up to 300 charging points. This marked the limit of its public charging investment, though.

If the government aims to expand EV use, with the aim of sales going up 50%-75% by 2030, a significant expansion of the charging network is needed.

Report claims UK has technology to achieve zero carbon

Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions in the UK is said to be achievable with current technology, according to a recent report.

The Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) stated a net-zero carbon Britain is already possible without any future technology developments.

The report claimed that by making changes to buildings, transport and industry, demand for energy could be reduced by 60%. It also stated making more changes to energy, our diet and the lay of the land use could lead to renewable energy being the only source of energy, as well as cutting emissions from agriculture and industry.

The UK government has, however, described the carbon capture technology as “game-changing” when addressing climate change, with the first project set to be operational next year.

So how can we become carbon zero?

Firstly, CAT said new houses being built need to be to a standard where energy costs can be cut to just £15 a year. This would be achieved by using insulated masonry and concrete, triple-glazing, LED lighting and air-source heat pumps.

It is possible that changes could be made to existing buildings to enhance temperature control, with the potential of heating being reduced by 50%.

Meanwhile, transport demand, the report claims, could be reduced by up to 78%, by increased use of public transport, walking, cycling and using EVs. The aim is also to cut flights by two thirds.

Increasing energy supplies

Based on the UK’s energy use figures in the last decade, it appears possible to meet demand with renewable and carbon-neutral energy-based sources.

Wind power would make up half with the rest being generated from geothermal, hydro, tidal and solar. Carbon-neutral synthetic fuels are also an important alternative to electricity.

Transforming land and diets

Diets can help us to reach carbon zero by switching from meat and dairy-based diets to plant-based proteins. CAT has said we can reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions by 57% and cut food imports from 42% to 17%. Three-quarters of current livestock can also be used for restoring forests and peatlands.

Also, as a country, CAT insists, we are currently importing many foods which could easily be grown in the UK.

Plenty of food for thought, I’m sure you’d agree!

Sustainability obstacles holding back businesses from going green

Why are businesses struggling to change sustainability ambitions into actions?

A survey involving over 9,000 businesses of all sizes and sectors found 96% are wanting to improve their environmental and social practices; however, this is becoming increasingly challenging due to minimal resources and budget.

HSBC spoke to 9,131 of the largest businesses across 35 different markets and asked what actions they are currently taking, and what they plan to do going forward.

Key challenge

Of all the businesses whose opinions were canvassed, 96% wanted to make more resourceful and ambitious choices in the future but found they were being held back by at least one key challenge.

Over a quarter of the surveyed respondents are said to be confused about what to prioritise due to the large volume of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) measurement criteria available, and what best practice looks like for a business of their size.

According to a report from the World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the number of voluntary ESG requirements has increased from 10 to 182 in the last decade, with up to 80% being non-governmental organisations.

Need help?

Is this your business? Are you struggling to reduce your business’s carbon footprint with little budget and resources? Then get in touch with our highly-skilled engineering team who will be happy to help.

Whether it’s energy efficiency surveying, understanding legislation and requirements, utility management, SECR or EV, EPC, DEC and TM44, we have it covered.

Contact one of the sales team on the information below:

Email: sales@energymanagementltd.com

Tel: 01225-867722

Food and Drink energy consumption … in a nutshell

Energy efficiency may not be your bread and butter if you’re in the food and drink industry, and why should it be?

But spiralling energy costs brought about by a range of geopolitical factors in 2019 make it a topic that is never far from the top of the agenda.

As the fourth highest industrial energy user in the UK, according to a report by the Carbon Trust, businesses in the food and drink industry are increasingly recognising the need to lower their energy bills, hedge against future volatility and adopt measures that help them comply with green energy legislation.

Non-energy costs

With analyst forecasts suggesting that Decarbonisation and other government social policies will account for the majority share of energy bills in the near future, compliance and energy efficiency will soon be of equal importance to procurement. The phrase ‘the cheapest unit of energy is the one you never use’ is well-liked at Energy Management, and for good reason.

For many organisations, time poverty means that managing the work required to reduce their energy consumption is an undesirable distraction from their core business activities.

To further compound this, there may also be a lack of energy expertise and distinct skills gap creating barriers to finding savings and implementing reduction initiatives. This is where an expert reputable energy management consultancy can step in to remove these barriers and ease the way forward to effective reductions.

No compromise needed

Energy efficiency may mean different things to many of us, for Energy Management LLP it means reducing energy consumption without compromising business throughput, output or thermal comfort and wellbeing of staff.

Energy drivers can be defined under one of the three core areas responsible for consumption: People, Process or Technology.

    • People– Human influences
    • Process– Policies, procedures, protocols and regimes
    • Technology– Energy consuming plant, machinery and equipment and their associated controls.

Energy Management has the expertise to identify, qualify and quantify the opportunities in all three core areas

Invoice validation is also an area which can help reduce costs; did you know that one in five utility bills are wrong?

Discrepancies can occur on energy invoices, as they can on any type of bill, and, more often than not, such errors go unnoticed or unchallenged. Just like a customer of a restaurant wouldn’t leave without checking the bill was correct the same applies to your energy bill, this is when professional invoice validation can prove helpful, with the potential of saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds.

Procurement of Energy is also an important factor to help you reduce your costs when choosing a supplier.

Simply by following “The five Rs”

    • Right price
    • Right time
    • Right contract type
    • Right terms and conditions
    • Right contract duration

Out-sourcing your energy management may seem like a big step but, with energy costs higher now than they have been for the past two years, we believe understanding and controlling these costs are vital to your business’s future success.

Visible consumption

To continue making energy savings, businesses need to have clear visibility of their energy consumption across the whole asset base thus leading to the ability to act. Bespoke energy management portals such as Energy Management’s EM-Powered allow this to happen, whether your business operates on one site or across multiple locations.

As the name suggests, the portal empowers energy managers to compile an instant overview of their organisation’s actual energy consumption, predicted energy consumption and peak loads in an easily downloadable report.

On gaining a complete understanding of your business’s energy performance, informed decisions can then be made on energy efficiency measures.

Worth the energy

So, whilst energy efficiency might not be your bread and butter there are many things as a business you can do towards following a path of becoming more in control of your energy usage and being more efficient. With such a wide array of benefits on offer, beginning even a small review of your business is anything but a waste of energy.

If you would like further information please contact a member of the team sales@energymanagementltd.com or visit https://www.energymanagementltd.com/contact-us/ to see how we can help your business.

What is an energy procurement manager?

Energy procurement is the process in which a business looks for the most favourable energy contracts that enable them to meet their needs.

An energy procurement manager has in-depth knowledge of the industry and spends several hours studying the market on a daily basis to identify price trends and future availability of different types of energy.

Their role also consists of locating vendors, negotiating prices with suppliers, preparing and managing tenders, maintaining customer relationships and managing records.

Monitoring and reporting

Our team continually monitor and report on excess capacity, reactive power charges, kWh fluctuations, VAT issues and mid-contract changes to legislation on behalf of our clients.

On top of this, we produce a Market Intelligence report, monthly insight into all the energy market trends, whilst our bespoke portal, EM-Powered, is another invaluable tool.

This has an in-built early warning system which allows us to protect customers from breaching their contracted and excess capacity levels,  thus avoiding financial penalties.

Change of tenancy/expansion

By changing premises or increasing the energy supply to your existing site, due to business growth, can often be complicated and require a large amount of paperwork.

Energy Management deals with all aspects of the network in an efficient manner in order to find out the timescale involved and the best solution for your business.

Here at Energy Management, we pride ourselves on our capability to manage situations in the best way possible for our client to ensure you are not caught out by a change in circumstances.

Budget management

With over 200 years of combined expertise in the energy industry, our team is highly skilled at providing in-depth analysis of a company’s current and predicted energy usage, supply costs and existing or pending government energy efficiency “taxation” schemes.

Invoice validation

Customers often pay over 5% more than they should for their energy through undiscovered errors on their energy bill. Our invoice checking system is very thorough and shines a light on errors, whether this is down to inaccurate meter readings, wrongly applied correction and volume factors or CCL and VAT charges.

We regularly publish articles and market news on the procuring of business energy and, as energy consultants, we offer our clients market-leading insights.

To sign up to our monthly Market Intelligence report please visit https://www.energymanagementltd.com/energy-procurement/, or to discuss energy procurement further, please contact us on email: sales@energymanagementltd.com or tel: 01225-867722

How does procurement work?

Energy Management are experts in two types of procurement – water and energy.

Water procurement

In April 2017, the department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) introduced major changes to the water and sewage market, opening it up to competition. Our in-house expertise in water procurement, allied to investment in new systems, means we are best placed to help you take advantage of increased competition.

We have a proven track record in negotiating deals however big or small, both in terms of price and improved service level as well as gaining improved control over your water bills.

There are many suppliers to choose from which has resulted in improved service overall and reductions in cost. Energy Management LLP help businesses to make informed decisions that will meet their individual needs.

Water rates are fixed for the year and get reviewed every 5 years (Amp). This is due to be reviewed next April, which could make it more competitive.

What we can do for you?

  • Leak detection
  • Invoice validation
  • Trade effluent
  • Highway surface drainage banding size – this is set by the wholesaler and can be wrong
  • Meter replacement – organising site visits, old and new meters
  • Consumption and leak monitoring:

Water pipe leaks can go undetected for months or years, as a team we can help coordinate on-site leak protection surveys – checking meters buried in the ground, as well as installing remotely accessible metering.

Energy procurement

Energy procurement in the simplest format is the process of finding the best energy recommendation for your business. This considers price, sustainability, renewables and the future needs of your business. We use our own specialist knowledge, analysis expertise and market intelligence to bring you the best solution.

We monitor your contract so that we can be proactive when sourcing you a new deal, whether this is for Fullflex, mid-flex or fixed-price contracts.

What can we do for you?

  • Search once for all the major energy suppliers
  • Extended fixed pricing for up to 60months
  • No sign-up, no commitment required
  • Potentially saving your business £1,000s
  • Business energy procurement specialists
  • Market intelligence:

We make decisions based on hard data and excellent communication between ourselves and the customer. We watch the markets on a daily business, watching trends and technologies identifying opportunities to improve performance above and beyond expectations.

If you want to gain more market knowledge on a monthly basis then please subscribe to our market intelligence report by filling in the brief form found at the bottom of the home page on our website. It provides you with the latest market insights on Electricity, Gas and Water.

To discuss energy procurement with one of our team further please contact via email: sales@energymanagementltd.com or call: 01225 867722

Heat under our feet, Cardiff groundwater study reveals

Natural water in the ground could be used as a low-carbon heat source in many towns and cities, according to research from the British Geological Survey (BGS).

Data gathered from a natural ground-water system below Cardiff has resulted in the BGS calling for more research to see if similar technology can be used on a larger scale.

The findings are based on data from a three-year-long study at one of the UK Geoenergy Observatories, a network of sites being created across the country to research new and alternative energy supplies in the subsurface.

The £300 000 study was funded by Innovate UK, the BGS, WDS Green Energy Ltd and, more recently, the European Commission, to examine the environmental impact of a pilot groundwater heating scheme that heats a school building in the Welsh capital using the warmth stored in the natural water system below ground (an aquifer) and electric heat pumps.

Natural system

Data from the natural groundwater system below Cardiff is being collected by the Urban Geo Observatory, a network of 61 boreholes equipped with temperature and water-level sensors, to build up a picture of the groundwater temperatures in the aquifer found just ten metres below the ground surface.

BGS research lead David Boon said: “We knew that the use of ground-source heat pumps changes the ground temperature by several degrees Celsius. What we didn’t know was by how much.”

A study of the data collected between 2015 and 2018 indicates that the large heat resources stored in the UK’s underground water systems could sustain ‘shallow open-loop ground-source heat pump systems’, which are a low-carbon heating approach widely used in European cities that are being used more frequently for heating the UK’s building stock.

Low-carbon

Boon added: “Our findings prove that groundwater-source heat pumps are a technically viable, low-carbon heating solution in many towns and cities across the UK, providing the geology beneath the surface is favourable.

“Of course, regulation and long-term planning will be needed to manage this emerging energy technology so that larger and more complex schemes can be rolled out in our cities without “draining” the underground heat source.”

While there are physical limits to how much water and heat can be abstracted and reinjected, and regulatory legal limits on temperature drops, the BGS’s findings confirm that even a small quantity of heat from a very large volume of water provides a low-carbon heating solution for many UK towns and cities.

The solution could be applied in district-wide heat networks, homes or commercial buildings.

How could it be used to heat our homes and workplaces?

  • Hot water and steam from deep underground can be used to drive turbines
  • It can also be used to heat buildings directly
  • Potentially a source of renewable energy with no carbon footprint

Mr Boon added: “A well-balanced combination of groundwater-source heat pumps in tandem with vertical, closed-loop ground-source heat pumps and air-source heat pumps will maximise the options for decarbonising heating in UK homes and businesses.”

Image by Roegger from Pixabay

Renewable energy enjoying its moment in the sun

Renewable energy sources are growing quicker than first anticipated and could expand by 50% in the next five years, powered by an increase in solar energy.

A study carried out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) showed that solar, wind and hydropower projects are increasing at the quickest rate in four years. The report also suggests by 2024 solar capacity could expand to 600GW, while overall renewable electricity is expected to grow by 1,200 GW in the next 5years.

At this current time, solar and wind are undergoing huge transformations. Renewable sources currently make up 26% of the world’s electricity today but, according to the IEA, it’s expected to reach 30% by 2024. The recovery comes after a global slowdown last year, due to falling technology costs and rising environmental concerns.

IEA’s executive director, Fatih Birol, has since warned the percentage of renewables in the global energy system needs to increase quicker in order to meet net-zero targets. It is expected that solar will play the biggest part in the growth of global renewable energy, with the expected cost of solar power to further decline by 15%-35% by 2024.

As well as businesses, the number of home solar panels is due to increase to around 100 million rooftops by 2024. Even with this growth, solar will only cover 6% of the world’s available rooftops, leaving scope for further growth.

Meet the Team: Lewis Payne

Energy Management has a proud track record in giving young people real work opportunities through its apprenticeship scheme, and Lewis Payne is a shining example of that.

Here, just shy of his second anniversary with Energy Management, Lewis talks about his transition from business admin apprentice to trainee engineer and how working for the company has been massive for his personal development.

1. How long have you been at Energy Management?
I joined Energy Management LLP on the 30th October 2017 as an apprentice in Business Administration through Wiltshire College. Alongside my college work, I started life as a member of the Water Department before becoming a permanent member of the Engineering team (engineering support).

2. Tell us about your Business Administration apprenticeship – what made you take this step?
After completing my A-Levels I wanted to try and find my feet early in an industry which had room to grow and provided endless opportunities to learn. Having never worked in an office before, the apprenticeship scheme set out by Wiltshire College helped me to settle in quickly. It pushed me to carry out tasks involving interaction with customers, suppliers and my colleagues. The team of vastly experienced specialist professionals at Energy Management LLP helped me to pick up an understanding of the industry quickly and recognise my passion for engineering work. The consistent support throughout from the team made the apprenticeship fly by and I couldn’t recommend it enough.

3. What interests you about engineering?
Being part of the engineering team at Energy Management LLP means I get to contribute to a wide range of interesting and complicated projects daily. For example, we are becoming increasingly involved in the installation of EV chargers, a topic that interests me greatly and I’m passionate about being involved in moving forward. I have enjoyed being able to get out of the office and undertake hands-on work, on-site with our ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) Lead Assessor, to assist with a variety of different site surveys. I have also gained an understanding of the surveying process for lighting reviews, DECs and EPCs.

4. Was the energy sector something you have always been interested in? 
After finally coming to terms with the fact that I wasn’t going to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo/Rory McIlroy, I never expected to be working in the energy industry and to be thoroughly enjoying myself so much at the same time. During my time at school, I found Geography enjoyable and always found myself reading up on the latest renewable energy technologies.

5. What skills have you gained throughout your time at Energy Management so far?
During my time at Energy Management, I have gained a wide range of analytical skills. My job involves a vast amount of data gathering and data interrogation, in order to highlight errors that can save customers large amounts of money. Both my written and verbal communication skills have also improved throughout. This has come from constant interaction with customers, suppliers and colleagues.
Time management is a crucial part of my role and this has improved since the beginning of my apprenticeship. I am managing my own time effectively and able to work to deadlines.

6. What did your Energy Institute level 1 award comprise of?
I thoroughly enjoyed completing my Level 1 Certificate in Energy Management Essentials. In order to complete the course, I had to take an exam and complete an energy audit portfolio which I took great joy in putting together. My portfolio comprised of an energy audit of the office, including air conditioning, detail of carbon reduction opportunities and looking at the current light fittings.
The course covered a variety of topics, my favourites were: energy auditing in practice, energy auditing: report writing and energy management solutions, because they were the most applicable to my job here at Energy Management Ltd.

7. When’s your next certificate?
I am currently working towards achieving my ABBE (Awarding Body of the Built Environment) Level 3 Diploma in Air Conditioning Energy Assessment. After this I am hoping to complete the second stage of my training with the Energy Institute (Level 2 Energy Management Professional). Followed by my level 3 (Advanced Energy Manager); after completing all three I will be eligible to apply to become a chartered Energy Manager.

8. What other training have you taken part in?
I have also undertaken training in ABBE Level 2 Award in Awareness of Legionella, ABBE Level 3 Diploma in Air Conditioning, Energy Assessment and Emergency First Aid at Work. I enjoyed the level 3 award the most as it was a new challenge and I gained further knowledge and skills.

9. What is your favourite part of the job?
Writing our monthly market intelligence report on all the latest geopolitical issues that affect the Power, Gas and Oil markets is my favourite task, as well as being able to share this with our customers.

10. Fun fact …
I jumped out of a plane when I was 18 years old in Salisbury from 10,000 feet, luckily there was a parachute attached to my back!

Thanks, Lewis!

Introducing the Choice Energy Framework

Buying energy has become far from straightforward in recent years, due to the increased complexity and volatility of the energy markets.

However, the negotiating skills of our energy consultants and the outstanding relationships we enjoy with energy suppliers enable us to minimise costs on your behalf, through our energy procurement offering.

For public sector organisations with increasingly tight budgets, reducing energy spend is top priority. As such, we have signed a framework agreement that will allow public sector organisations to access the best energy solutions for their business, called the Choice Energy Framework (CEF).

Using our experience as a leading energy consultancy, Energy Management has put together a shortlist of four energy suppliers.

Each supplier will be invited to offer various contracts of 12, 24, 36 and 48 months.

The four suppliers have been shortlisted for the following reasons: tariff competitiveness, billing accuracy, max/min volume threshold restrictions and terms and conditions.

The right time, price and product

Crucial factors in the purchasing decision are the length, type and timing of energy contracts.

Our market intelligence reports and analysis allows us to look at both long and short-term trends in the energy market and produce a tailor-made solution for your organisation. This could be a full flex, mid-flex or fixed-price agreement which gives you either greater security or allows fluctuating energy prices to work to your advantage.

“Energy Management’s accurate forecasting and measured and sensible advice on buying in the wholesale market has eased supply changes and negotiated the most favourable tariffs possible for us.” – David English, Commercial Director at Restore Records Management.

What are the benefits of the Choice Energy Framework?

  • An increase in buying power equals reduced costs, due to the capped £1.5bn framework and supplier prices with margins reflecting the high volumes of energy used by the public sector.
  • OJEU tendering will be made simple for you. This is down to CEF being fully OJEU compliant, meaning your organisation by-passes the lengthy process, producing savings up to £20,000.
  • It offers a total approach to energy management, this is down to us taking care of your invoice validation, budget management, risk management as well as assisting with legislation and compliance after successful procurement of a contract.

For more information in regards to public procurement and the CEF, please contact us by email: sales@energymanagementltd.com or phone: 01225 867722 / www.energymanagementltd.com

We are also attending the Public Sector FM (Financial Management) event at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, on 12 November. Come and visit us on stand FM12!