Carbon net-zero heroes

The only zeros most business leaders used to concern themselves with were the ones added to a long line of figures on a balance sheet.

However, mention the word zero nowadays and it’ll mostly be included in a conversation about sustainability.

This is not smoke and mirrors stuff, anything but, the mind-shift can be seen in all business sectors as the world economy strives for a greener future.

Emission reduction is no flight of fancy

The budget airline, Ryanair, doesn’t always get the best press but the recent appointment of its first director of sustainability has to be applauded. Blue sky thinking indeed.

Thomas Fowler is the man responsible for the company meeting its own target of reducing emissions per passenger per kilometre from 66g at the end of 2019 to 60g by 2030.

Crucially, they now publish monthly emissions data on their website. “Once you publish [pledges and data], you have to stand over them,” Fowler said. “Transparency and disclosure are going to become a bigger play for us in the next few years.”

Following in its slipstream are Etihad Airways who have started to make long-haul flights free from single-use plastic.

Fossil fuels are history

Another company changing the narrative, this time in the financial world, is Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager. Blackrock has already made strides on its stance to remove fossil fuels from its portfolio and is committed to embedding climate action into its investment decisions.

Elsewhere, the drinks are on BrewDog, in celebration of the trendy craft beer firm’s pledge to give customers an equity stake in the company if they recycle beer cans.

And Heineken-owned cider brand, Old Mout, have unveiled a new partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), aimed at uniting young consumers in a drive to protect natural habitats and save endangered species from extinction.

The green machine

All these efforts are just the tip of the iceberg – admittedly not the best turn of phrase given the threat to Antarctica by global warming – as figures released by BloombergNEF (BNEF) show that there has been a large increase in new corporate sustainability commitments.

For example, BNEF’s 1H 2020 Corporate Energy Market Outlook found that corporates purchased 19.5GW of clean power through power purchase agreements (PPAs) last year, up from 13.6GW in 2018 and more than triple the levels recorded in 2017.

BNEF’s lead sustainability analyst Jonas Rooze said: “Corporations have purchased more than 50GW of clean energy since 2008. That is bigger than the power generation fleets of markets like Vietnam and Poland. These buyers are reshaping power markets and the business models of energy companies around the world.”

Small steps to sustainability

Of course, not all companies are big enough to warrant having a director of sustainability on their books or write open cheques to charitable causes, but there are plenty of small measures, such as those listed below, that can be easily implemented in an affordable way.

  • Green energy procurement
  • Power Purchase Agreements
  • Self-Generation Schemes
  • Electric Vehicle incentives
  • Waste to Energy Recycling
  • Staff training – behavioural changes

Energy Management has a new Net-Zero business model that helps clients reduce their carbon emissions.

If you’d like us to help you join some of the biggest global companies and be at the forefront of the climate change agenda, you can get in touch with us by email sales@energymanagementltd.com or call 01225-867722.

How will leaving the EU affect the UK energy market?

Energy Management’s Senior Energy Consultant, Malcolm Barrington, gives his verdict on what the immediate energy landscape may look like following the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 January, 2020.

We do not expect Brexit to have a dramatic impact on the energy industry overnight. This is principally driven by the ongoing progress of change following the conclusion of the “Electricity Market Review” and the UK’s drive to renewable energy generation.

The UK has already effectively phased out coal from our generation mix, and offshore wind is currently the flagship of our decarbonisation strategy. This has resulted in the UK Green House Gas Conversion Factors for Company Reporting reducing from 0.41205 CO2e/kWh in 2016 to 0.2556 CO2e/kWh in 2019.

A Brexit deal is likely to ensure that we remain in the European carbon market, (EU Emission Trading Scheme ) until at least the end of 2020. This is a bullish driver for EU ETS allowance prices, and for the market as a whole. All the uncertainty surrounding Brexit last year led to no auctions of UK-issued carbon allowances. The allowances will now need to be traded, along with the 2020 allowances, and the flood of UK-origin ETS allowances may at least temporarily depress carbon prices in the EU.

We are closely watching the future of Hinkley Point’s new nuclear power plant build. The agreed price for electricity generated at Hinkley Point is twice the price of energy generated from offshore wind. We believe that Hinkley Point electricity should be subject to a renegotiation and failure to do this could possibly lead to the project being cancelled.

To talk to any of our team about this issue or any other matter relating to energy procurement and water management, please give us a call on 01225-867722.

SECR – do you meet the compliance criteria?

For the past two decades at Energy Management, we have helped all our clients reduce their energy consumption as well as ensuring they remain compliant with the relevant energy reporting regulations.

From April 1st, 2019, Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) comes into effect with the aim of simplifying carbon and energy reporting and to promote energy efficiency.

SECR involves reporting energy and carbon emissions on a yearly basis and is mandatory for those businesses who meet certain criteria. This includes businesses that have an annual energy consumption of more than 40,000 kWhs.

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? Why not try our free to use SECR checker tool to see whether you are required to comply.

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

For more information on SECR or any other form of compliance, get in touch with a member of the team on 01225-867722 or email sales@energymanagementltd.com.

Energy Procurement – the key things to consider

With so many external factors determining the price of the fuel we pay, from international trade disputes to extremes of weather, procuring gas and electricity at the right price and at the right time can seem like a daunting task at times.

Here, we list some of the key things you need to consider before entering into negotiations with energy suppliers.

Be pro-active

Prices can fluctuate wildly in a matter of hours so extra vigilance when it comes to monitoring markets is key. What seems like a good deal one minute may not be so good the next; nobody has a crystal ball so set triggers/alarms in your monitoring process to minimise risk.

Having access to software such as EM-Powered, our bespoke energy management portal, certainly helps in this respect.

Time of contract

It’s important to get familiar with your Contract End Date so you can weigh up your options well before it is time to put pen to paper on a new deal.

You can fix a contract in advance depending on the level of budget certainty you want. Doing this ensures guaranteed payments, or alternatively, you may wish to choose a flexible contract to access market-reflective prices and gain potential rewards.

Signing a Purchase Power Agreement, for example, is a great way to get ahead of your competitors, showcase your commitment to sustainability, and plan for risks while leveraging value for your organisation.

Terms and conditions

Get down to the detail and ensure the terms and conditions are suitable for your business, otherwise unwanted penalty charges may occur, or you could be locked into a contract that no longer works for you. Volume Tolerances and Max/Min thresholds are two examples of areas that can get overlooked.

Invoice validation

Check your supplier bills are correct. On average, 20% of them are wrong, amounting to 5% of the overall bill value, simply because data may have been entered incorrectly. Only pay for what you use!

Negotiate

Remember, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s a simple adage but one that rings true in all facets of a business. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this because of a lack of expertise in energy procurement, you can always employ an external energy management consultancy to get the best deal on your behalf.

EVs sales hit record high in 2019

More electric cars were registered in the UK during 2019 than any other year to date, as diesel car registrations fell by more than one-fifth on a year-on-year basis – but EVs still make up a very small percentage of overall car sales (1.6% market share).

That is according to new industry data released today (6 January) by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMTT).

The data reveals that the number of new car registrations fell by 2.4% between 2018 and 2019 – a trend the SMTT attributes, in part, to environmental concerns and anticipation around incoming clean air legislation. The largest fall was recorded in diesel cars – 21.8% fewer were registered in 2019 than in 2018.

While noting that registration of new petrol vehicles rose slightly (2.2%) on a year-on- year basis, the SMTT’s data reveals far more rapid growth in the electric car space, with year-on-year registrations up 144%. The figure covers solely fully electric vehicles. 6

Hybrid electric vehicles, meanwhile, experienced a 17.1% year-on-year registration increase, despite Government cuts to the Plug-In Car Grant (PICG) scheme.

The SMTT said in a statement, “While the huge increase in battery electric vehicle demand is welcome, their 1.6% market share is still tiny and underlines the progress needed to reach the 50-70% share the government envisages in the next 10 years The body has additionally voiced concerns that the national car market experienced its third consecutive annual decline in 2019, which it attributes to “weak business and consumer confidence, general political and economic instability and confusion over clean air zones.”

It is calling for more national policies to buck this trend in the face of Brexit, claiming that Government action is crucial to unlocking further investment in the electric vehicle (EV) transition.

“A stalling market will hinder industry’s ability to meet stringent new CO2 targets and, importantly, undermine wider environmental goals,” SMTT chief executive Mike Hawes said. “We urgently need more supportive policies: investment in infrastructure; broader measures to encourage uptake of the latest, low and zero- emission cars; and long-term purchase incentives to put the UK at the forefront of this technological shift.

“Industry is playing its part with a raft of exciting new models in 2020 and compelling offers but consumers will only respond if economic confidence is strong and the technology affordable.”

Of the 90 new car models due to launch in the UK in 2020, the SMTT has listed 23 as fully electric and 11 as plug-in-hybrids.

The findings from the SMTT come after Dyson axed its electric car project, which would have seen a new model manufactured and assembled in the UK, ready for a 2021 launch. Similarly, hybrid and fully electric models sold in the UK by the likes of Nissan, BMW and Vauxhall are now manufactured or assembled – either in full or in part – outside of the UK.

As sales grow, who takes ownership of charging capacity is a question that largely remains unaswered.

If you would like to know more about our EV infrastructure installation service, please visit our dedicated page by clicking HERE.

Article source: Edie.net

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 Energy Management 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!