Brent Oil has dropped to an 18-year low

Brent Crude Oil dropped to an 18-year low on 30th March, prompting a knock-on effect in the energy price market.

The commodity’s international benchmark fell by as much as 13% to a low of $21.65 a barrel. Meanwhile, the price of US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell below $20 a barrel and also closed to an 18-year low.

The global oil industry has faced a sharp drop in demand due to countries across the globe being on lockdown due to the coronavirus with prices falling by more than half in the past month.

Despite this, Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to flood the market with oil in April and a rise in the price of energy is expected on the back of this, certainly if you compare electricity prices and gas prices to those in March.

So, if you are looking to get a price for your gas or electricity (or both) while this window of opportunity within the market exists, then please get in touch with one of our sales team on 01225 867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

Missed the ESOS deadline?

For qualifying companies, the deadline for phase 2 of ESOS passed on December 5, 2019.

Some companies have missed this cut-off point after finding the complexities of the compliance process more challenging than anticipated.

Faced with being hit with fines potentially running into tens of thousands of pounds, it is important for those companies to act now.

If you don’t have the time, money or dedicated resource to do this, our highly experienced team can take care of the paperwork on your behalf and help you mitigate those costs.

Here’s a reminder of which companies need to comply:

  • Those that employ at least 250 people; OR
  • has an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and a balance sheet in excess of €43 million.

ESOS assessments are carried out every four years and there are five separate UK regulators: Environment Agency, National Resources Wales, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency and Secretary of State for Business.

For more information please contact us on: 01225 867722 /sales@energymanagement.com

Are you SECR compliant?

As of today (April 1), the first Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) reports are due.

SECR was brought in last year to encourage groups of businesses that fulfil the specified criteria to become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

It replaced the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) with the aim of widening the net and bringing the benefits of carbon zero to more businesses.

The new regulations will require an estimated 11,900 companies incorporated in the UK to disclose their energy and carbon emissions – a far greater number than were required to act under the CRC.

Qualifying companies will need to include information on their UK energy use in line with the SECR framework in their Directors’ Report, or an equivalent Energy and Carbon Report for LLPs, for financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2019.

Where energy use and carbon emissions are considered to be of strategic importance to the organisation, the disclosure may be made in the Strategic Report instead, with a statement in the director’s report to indicate and explain this decision.

Who needs to comply?

Three groups of businesses are affected by the new regulations. Companies that fall within the following definitions must comply unless they meet certain exemption criteria:

  1. Quoted companies of any size that are already obliged to report under mandatory greenhouse gas reporting regulations.
  2. Unquoted companies incorporated in the UK that meet the definition of ‘large’ under the Companies Act 2006 will have new reporting obligations. This applies to registered and unregistered companies. Note that the criteria for ‘large’ differs from the ESOS Regulations.
  3. ‘Large’ Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) will be required to prepare and file a ‘Energy and Carbon Report’.

Unquoted companies or LLPs are defined as ‘large’ if they meet at least two of the following three criteria in a reporting year:

  • a turnover of £36 million or more
  • a balance sheet of £18 million or more or
  • 250 employees or more.

Certain companies that would otherwise be eligible may be exempt if their energy use is low – 40MWh or less over the reporting period.

Whilst not a requirement, external verification or assurance is recommended as best practice to ensure the accuracy, completeness and consistency of data for both internal and external stakeholders.

Energy Management has a proven track record in ensuring companies are compliant with all the latest relevant industry legislation so if you want to find out more about your SECR requirements, you can contact us on 01225-867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

Demand for renewables growing quicker than supply in Europe

The pricing of green energy may need rebalancing if growth in demand for renewables across the European market continues to outpace the growth in supply.

According to figures published in a report from the Association of Issuing Bodies (AIB), demand for renewable energy in Europe – that is tracked and documented with guarantees of origins (GOs) – grew at a rate of 11.7% in 2019, an increase of 61TWh from 2018 levels.

ECOHZ managing director Tom Linberg said: “The growth in the supply of renewable energy tracked and documented with GOs during the same period is estimated to be only 3.5%, resulting in a significantly smaller surplus in 2019 than previous years.”

Spain has the highest growth in GO demand with 38%, followed by France (26%) and Germany (10%), the latter having been the first country to pass the 100TWh mark in 2019

UK impact  

The UK is not a member of the AIB and uses the Renewable Energy Guarantees Origin (REGOs) scheme, although the report found that the UK is still impacting the supply and demand balance across the European market.

The UK currently allows for the import of GOs to the European Energy Certificate System Standards (EECS GOs). Demand has grown year-on-year with the European markets ramping up – export volume is around 20% of the UK’s total import volume.

Due to different reporting schemes adopted, the statistics could be skewed, however, ECOHZ believes the positive trend could lead to a “healthy” price market in 2020.

There are some uncertainties which could impact pricing and surpluses going forward, such as Brexit uncertainty, clarity on the UK policy for GO imports and REGO exports and the Coronavirus pandemic.

With the UK declaring a carbon net zero target of 2050, there has never been a better time to look at renewable energy sources for your business.

Energy Management have years of industry experience with green energy procurement at the forefront of our service offering.

We can tailor bespoke green solutions for your business, meaning you can mitigate market uncertainty whilst securing the best possible contract for your business.

For more information on how we can help, contact a member of the team on 01225 867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

Business as usual

We would like to reassure all of our clients that they can expect the same high standards of service from us even though our dedicated team of employees are now working from home in line with government recommendations.

Normal office hours apply and telephone calls and emails will be answered as usual.

If you have enquiries, whether they are to ask about energy procurement, business electricity prices, invoice validation or any other service included in our extensive energy management portfolio, please get in touch and one of the team will be happy to help.

Contact details: sales@energymanagementltd.com / 01225-867722

The impact of COVID-19 on energy and the environment

covid-19

The Coronavirus is seeming to have a spiralling effect, causing major disruption to people’s lives in one way or another. It is also having multiple side-effects on the energy industry and the environment, including very turbulent market pricing.

So far, we have seen the following direct impacts on multiple suppliers/companies we work with on a regular basis, some of these include:

  • A number of suppliers are now only taking emergency phone calls, meaning regular tasks cannot be undertaken.
  • Suppliers are either not quoting which could result in out of contract rates (OCR) or taking up to 15 working days to quote or not taking on any new clients at all
  • Western Power Distribution (WPD) has stopped all contracting other than emergency work only, with many Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) set to follow suit.
  • If businesses are unable to pay bills, and this, in turn, creates a poor credit rating. Energy suppliers will charge a bond as a result which can disrupt cash flows with the knock-on effects potentially felt over the next few years.

Prior to the Covid-19 crisis, Carbon Zero was a major talking point, however, the conversation has gone quiet as short-term thinking has taken over. Personal income and wealth are the primary concerns for people at the moment.

Sustainability on hold?

Many companies had outlined their plans to Carbon Zero targets prior to the pandemic took a grip, which included green energy, renewable energy sources and Electric Vehicles (EV) and installation.

However, since the Coronavirus began it is now estimated that EV battery demand could be downgraded by 4% and solar installations are likely to be 16% lower than previously forecast. It is also expected that 7 in 10 businesses are planning on partially or fully pausing any sustainability announcements.

Many of us are currently working from home or not able to work at all, and that has affected how we communicate with one another. All key green policy meetings have also been postponed and it will be a minimum of six weeks before any UN climate meetings are held in person.

With 16.8 billion people working from home, domestic energy bills could look to increase by £5.2million – which could put a lot of strain on energy providers as well as individuals/family out of work and with no income.

So how does the rest of the world fare?

China has just announced for the first time since going into isolation that they will be relaxing their regulations slightly and allowing individuals involved in the manufacturing sector to go back to work. This could, therefore, cause problems for the rest of the world in terms of energy usage. As their energy output increases and our work decreases, how will this leave us? Will China have the energy they require? Prior to this, China had seen a 25% decrease in its emissions.

Italy has been one of the country’s worst affected by the Coronavirus outbreak, with energy demand on the 18th March recording at being down by 7.45% week-on-week.

Will this ever end?

We all know drastic measures are needed to combat the pandemic, one of which is the cancellation of flights. On the 24th March, we saw 15,650 flights cancelled – the highest number this year.

Another consideration is the number of people – 4.2 billion at the last count – who do not have access to proper sanitation and are unable to follow World Health Organisation guidelines as a result.

What do we expect to see going forward?

In terms of CO2, we could see a similar scenario to the 2008 recession when there was a 6% increase in year-on-year emissions due to businesses and policymakers making up for a loss of productivity. Much depends on the longevity of the lockdown.

Obviously this could have a detrimental impact on businesses attempts to hit their carbon zero targets and the government’s target of being Carbon neutral by 2050.

Oil industry being pulled in both directions

With a situation where ‘demand is down and supply is up’, oil industry prices continue to suffer in what can only be described as ‘Mad March’.

While the coronavirus pandemic continues to tighten its grip on society leading to a cut in fuel consumption as the global economy slows down, disputes between Saudi Arabia and their rivals has seen the top oil-producing country raise output to full capacity.

Slashed prices

Saudi Arabia slashed export prices and said it would pump at a record of 12.3 million barrels per day, flooding the market with oil that it didn’t need. By contrast, producers in the USA’s top producing state, Texas, have asked for regulatory intervention to reduce production.

International crude oil prices LCOc1 CLc1 have dropped about 45% this month and don’t even cover the cost of much of the world’s production, causing energy companies worldwide to drastically rein in their spending. March 9th witnessed the biggest single-day drop of 24%.

The collapse in demand and a diplomatic impasse between Saudi Arabia, Russia and others have triggered unprecedented responses from governments and investors.

As Reuters reports, it is an industry in distress.

With business energy prices fluctuating wildly, knowing when to strike a deal with suppliers has become an art in itself.

Smart energy procurement is one of the main ways in which companies can save money and our expert knowledge and ability to keep track of the markets in these most volatile of times, makes us very well placed to take care of that side of your business.

If you would like to have a conversation with one of our team of consultants, please give us a call on 01225-867722 or visit our dedicated energy procurement page.

Heavy-emitting firms lagging behind Paris Agreement targets

Emission reduction targets aligned to the Paris Agreement’s 2C global warming limit are set to be missed by the vast majority of the highest-emitting listed companies, according to the Transition Pathway Initiative’s (TPI) annual report.

The report assessed 238 energy, industrial and transport companies on projected emissions intensity and found that just 18% (43 companies) are on track to deliver emission reductions that are aligned to climate science, with the oil and gas industries lagging behind other sectors. Electric utilities and paper companies, for example, are on the right trajectory.

TPI’s co-chair and chief responsible investment officer at Brunel Pension Partnership Faith Ward said: “The IEA has warned that, while carbon emissions will likely decline this year, in the medium term the coronavirus outbreak could slow down the low carbon transition, as green investments are put on hold by cash-strapped governments and businesses.

“It is therefore of deep concern that so few companies were on the right path before the virus struck. Investors must now use their influence to ensure that climate commitments are ramped up, not discarded in the face of short-term financial pressures.”

The report found that heavy emitting companies in sectors like aluminium, steel and shipping are failing to disclose, or simply don’t have, emissions reduction data aligned to the Paris Agreement.

Professor Simon Dietz, research lead for TPI and Professor of Environmental Policy at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said: “Our analysis shows that not only have relatively few companies set emissions targets aligned with the Paris Agreement goals, not all of the companies that have done so are actually on track to meet those targets.

“Particularly in the cement, oil and gas and steel sectors, few companies are reducing their emissions fast enough to deliver their targets. In some cases, companies with targets actually saw their emissions intensity go up in recent years. This shows that investors must not only look at what targets companies have set but also at what those companies are doing on the ground and in the boardroom to deliver them.”

Source: edie.net

Company statement: Covid-19

covid-19

Please see our statement below regarding the Covid-19 outbreak.

“At Energy Management LLP, we are committed to protecting the wellbeing of our staff, clients and suppliers. We are therefore following the recommendations from the Government and World Health Organisation.

We are presently migrating our office staff towards home working from this week onwards. During this time, we’ll be doing our very best to offer our usual level of service. We are finalising testing on our remote working capability as part of our Business Continuity Plan and can confirm that existing telephone lines and e-mail addresses will remain functional so you can still get in touch with all your usual points of contact.

During this period, the office itself will be closed to visitors unless approved by senior management. Please contact us via telephone or email or alternatively we are all equipped with video conferencing facilities.

We’d like to provide you with the reassurance that we can continue to serve your needs should a longer-term solution be required in accordance with Government and WHO advice.

We will continue to keep you informed of any changes and thank you for your continued support.”

Any questions please contact the office on 01225-867722

For information on Covid-19 visit the world health organisation for more information.

Apprenticeship Scheme is a proven pathway to success

Since its introduction in October 2017, Energy Management’s apprenticeship scheme has gone from strength to strength.

Two current employees have graduated from the scheme and now hold key roles within the company, while a third is currently undertaking their Business Administration Level 3 apprenticeship qualification.

Annie Robins and Lewis Payne were appointed as the first apprentices, enrolled through Wiltshire College, and have been shining examples of how the balance of work experience and education can be a win-win situation for employer and employee alike.

Annie is two years into an Account Administration Manager (AAM) role and has recently taken on the responsibility for Supervising the AAM Team’s training and development, while Lewis, in Engineering Support, will be a big loss to the engineering department once he leaves later this year to commence a university degree.

Jac Stone has been promoted from sales support to a Business Development Executive role, whilst undertaking a Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship at the University of West of England.

Callum Parsons has recently been appointed to the role of Engineering Support, to work alongside Lewis until he leaves for university.  After a period of settling into his new role, Callum will embark on a Junior Energy Manager apprenticeship, with Nationwide Energy Training Services.

Meanwhile, Harry Barter is a Level 3 International Business Administration apprentice.

Personal development is a key component of the scheme which spans both the energy management and water management sides of the business and as a result, the company is looking to open opportunities for upskilling through apprenticeships to all existing staff in areas such as Leadership and Management.

Energy Management CEO Steve Retford said: “All of the apprentices that have come through the scheme so far have done themselves and the company proud and it is a source of great satisfaction to see them flourishing in their roles and adding so much value to the company. We hope to announce more apprenticeship vacancies soon.”

-ENDS-