Long-term success is built on exemplary customer service

At Energy Management, ensuring the highest possible standards of customer service is critically important to us and explains why our client retention rate is so high.

So it is always pleasing to hear that what we do is validated by our clients, many of whom have been with us for years, some from the very outset of the company when energy management was in its embryonic stages as an industry.

Read our Howard Tenens Case Study

Whether it’s energy procurement, invoice validation, legislation and compliance, ESOS Phase 3 or SECR, or any other services in our energy management portfolio, the same exacting standards apply in terms of customer service.

Each client has a dedicated and highly knowledgeable account manager on hand to deal with any concerns and queries, to ensure they are in safe hands.

We always make it our mission to get the right business energy procurement deal for clients, not what’s best for us as a consultancy, and go the extra mile to deliver on that.

As well as the human touch, Energy Management clients benefit from having access to our bespoke energy management portal, which arms energy managers and facilities managers with accurate, almost-live data to make informed decisions around energy management strategy.

EM-Powered has been universally praised for its functionality and the array of features that add real value to the relationship between ourselves and our clients.

David English, commercial director of the leading records management company, Restore until his recent retirement, is a big advocate of the portal.

“I’m delighted with what Energy Management does, they are good honest people to work with, and the portal has just added even more value to our relationship,” he said during his time with the company.

EM-Powered – a tool to help you take back control of your business energy costs

EM-Powered - Monthly Consumption

In the four years it has been fully operational, Energy Management’s bespoke energy management portal, EM-Powered has become an invaluable tool for companies with regard to their energy procurement strategy.

With the business energy markets as high as they currently are forming a sound energy procurement strategy is more challenging than ever but one thing companies can do is ensure they know exactly how much energy they are consuming and when are the peak times.

EM-Powered collects and aggregates live data to allow end-users to monitor and analyse their business energy consumption to a very high degree of accuracy, which in turn is massively beneficial when it comes to budgeting.

Put simply, EM-Powered gives control back to its users at a time when energy markets are extremely bullish in their behaviour.

Focusing on consumption rather than energy procurement at such times is crucial because, as the time-worn phrase goes, the cheapest unit of energy is the one that is never used. Knowing how much energy is being consumed, and when and where, is key to that energy procurement strategy.

Amongst the many add-on benefits listed here, an alarm system has been built into EM-Powered to help customers avoid exceeding their Excess Capacity Allowance and potentially fall foul of punitive penalty charges.

As well as energy reporting, EM-Powered speeds up the reporting process in other areas such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), where the savings being made can be monitored regularly rather than waiting for the traditional annual report.

For further information on EM-Powered and how it may help your business, please get in touch with Ian Scattergood is@energymanagementltd.com or call: 01225-867722.

EV Charging – a structured approach

At the end of February 2022, there were more than 780,000 plug-in electric vehicles registered in the UK.

The growth in consumer demand brought about by the greater availability of vehicles and government support is having to be met by a UK EV charging point infrastructure that continues to develop as companies seek to play their part in decarbonising the economy.

Take the Motor Fuel Group (MFG) as an example, the UK’s leading independent forecourt operator is investing c.£400 million in Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV Chargers (“Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV Chargers”) across its network (currently 918 sites) in the next decade.

MFG will install a total of c.3,000 Ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV Chargers at c.500 sites by the end of 2030.

London has Lion’s share of EV Charging points

Overall, more than 50,000 charging points exist in the UK at nearly 19,000 different locations, a third of which are in the Greater London Area, according to zap-map.com.

Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) are inundated with enquiries to add load to their networks and it’s important to ensure they are armed with the right information to understand the needs of the consumer and facilitate any subsequent supply upgrade requests.

At Energy Management, we have a dedicated team that has proven experience in the rollout of EV charging infrastructure for businesses.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to the process:\

Pre-installation survey/review

  • Identify site locations where EV chargers will be installed, please provide plan of site showing charger locations
  • Identify how many and what size chargers are to be installed at each site
  • Confirm charger make and model. Data relating to harmonics may be required by some DNOs
  • Confirm operational mode 1, 2, 3, 4
  • Calculate the extra electricity capacity required to install EV chargers
  • Confirm constrained or unconstrained operation (capacity limited at certain times of the day)
  • Identify the “Available Capacity” for each site (this will be taken from the “Connection Agreement”)
  • Download HH data for each site and calculate the maximum demand in KVA
  • Calculate if there is enough capacity to install EV charging using the existing connection agreement
  • For many sites, we will need to request extra capacity from the DNO
  • For some sites a new dedicated supply might be the better option

What next?

Electricity Supply – No Capacity Upgrade Required

If an existing electricity supply can be used to feed the EV charger/s, there will be no requirement to request a change to the connection agreement; however, an Energy Networks Association (ENA) Notification form will need to be submitted to the local DNO to confirm it can be connected to the network regardless of capacity. 

Electricity Supply – Capacity Upgrade Required

Where a connection agreement requires uplifting to a level where EV charging can be supported, we will submit an application to the local DNO and also complete the ENA form. A request will be made to see if the extra power calculated to support the site can be secured and how much the upgrade will cost.

The quotation will provide the cost for “contestable work” such as trenching and “non-contestable work” such as connecting to the electricity network. To date, we have received quotations ranging from £3,500 to £80,000 depending on the scale of the job.

This would also be applicable should the EV charger have its own supply from the DNO rather than a connection from the existing supply.

Connection of New Supply

To enable a larger capacity agreement, the amount of work to secure this will vary, as highlighted below.

  • Paperwork exercise – no physical works
  • Fuse upgrade – the DNO will increase incoming fuse sizes, there could be upgrades to customer switchgear required to match.
  • Complete upgrade of DNO’s incoming mains position, this will require physical works for both DNO and customers electrical contractor.

The final option is almost certainly going to result in the disconnection of the old supply and the installation of a new one. 

Where this is the case, the old supply identification number (MPAN) will be replaced with a new MPAN. A meter operator contract, data aggregator/collector contract and a new electricity supply contract will be procured a minimum of 8 weeks before the electricity supply is to be connected.

Even if the old electricity supply contract has a long duration left to run, a new contract will be produced using current wholesale energy rates and non-commodity costs. At present this can be an uplift of 90%.

If you would like to know more about our EV installation infrastructure service, please get in touch with Stuart Newbury on 01225-867722 or email sn@usrjonn

Staff profile: Helena Clay (Technical Support Analyst)

We introduce the newest member of our team as the company continues to grow.

When did you join the company?

I joined Energy Management on the 1 December 2021 so I have now been working here for almost three months which has flown by!

Are you from the area?

I am very local to the office as I live in Bradford-on-Avon, just on the other side of the river, although I haven’t always lived here. I moved here in May 2021 from south Oxfordshire where I was born and brought up.

Do you have a background in the energy industry?

Before working at Energy Management, I worked for Pure Planet, a renewable energy supplier based in Bath. I had worked there for a year when, unfortunately, due to the current energy crisis, the company had to close its doors.

I joined Pure Planet after graduating from the University of Southampton with a 1st class BSc Geography degree. I had always been interested in renewable energy and sustainability, but it was after completing a module on energy generation and the geopolitics of energy that my interest in the sector increased.

Working for an energy supplier, prior to this role, was very insightful and taught me a lot about how the market works, tariff structures, pricing, billing and invoice queries as well as metering and site works. The energy industry is a bit of a minefield when you’re just starting out, with lots of complex terms, so my first few months were a big learning curve.  

During my time at Pure Planet, I was involved in various different projects and liaised with lots of different teams within the business, as well as external teams, which helped to broaden my knowledge. I was in regular contact with engineers at our metering partner to raise and check on the progress of meter removals, exchanges or upgrades. Discussions with different teams such as billing and finance within the business also helped me become well versed in all the various technical terms.

What does your role entail at EM and which aspects of the job do you enjoy the most?

My role as a Technical Support Analyst at Energy Management predominantly involves liaising with energy suppliers and customers daily, requesting offers from suppliers and managing and analysing those offers received.

Other responsibilities involve reviewing consumption data, completing and submitting documentation for new supplies and managing and maintaining customer records, spreadsheets and our database.

I have only been here for three months, but I am really enjoying it so far. I love the team-orientated approach to our working environment; we all work collaboratively with a common goal to deliver the highest level of customer service and solutions for our customers which is really motivating.

I am also involved in some of our customers’ big projects such as the rollout of EV chargers across the country. Being involved in such a progressive and forward-thinking clean tech project is really exciting.

The fast-paced, changing environment of the energy market and the need to be reactive to it also really plays to my strengths and makes every day different and exciting, as does the breadth of different things I am able to be involved in.

What energy-saving/carbon zero initiatives have you found yourself doing at work and at home?

At home, I am very conscious of energy-saving and being sustainable through various practices such as ensuring we don’t waste food, through meal planning and only buying what we need. recycling and avoiding single-use plastics, by using reusable water bottles and Tupperware rather than cling film. I also don’t eat meat which drastically reduces my own personal carbon footprint.

At work, I try to make sure I don’t print things unnecessarily and ensure that my laptop and monitors are fully switched off at the end of the day. I have also pledged to walk into work much more often once the weather warms up a bit!

Annie Robins wins customer service award

Annie Robins has been presented with the “Delight our Customer” award and a bunch of flowers by Zenergi Group COO, Polly Halliday for her outstanding customer service.

The Delight our Customer award was awarded to Account Administration Manager Annie “in recognition of delivering on our purpose and most important promise. Every team and every role within the group all strive to delight those we serve but you have been selected as the best.”

Annie has been with Energy Management, now part of the Zenergi Group, since October 2017 having graduated from the company’s successful apprenticeship scheme, which is run in connection with Wiltshire College.

Annie said: “Now being part of a bigger company, it is lovely to be recognised for my hard work in the team.”

If you would like to join a company that truly cares about its team and its customers, a couple of job vacancies are currently available in Account Administration management, based in our Bradford-on-Avon offices.

Details of both positions and how to apply can be found here: https://careers.zenergi.co.uk/careers/

Why are energy prices at an all-time high?

Our Market Intelligence bulletin for January breaks down the reasons why it is costing us so much to power our homes and businesses.

Gas

The tension between Russia and Ukraine is likely to have significant consequences for the UK and the rest of Europe in terms of gas supply, as severe market volatility and price spikes continued towards the end of January. 

UK annual gas demand currently stands at 74 billion cubic metres, with 47% of this demand met domestically, 22% from LNG imports and 31% from European imports (via Norway, Netherlands, and Belgium).  

A halt in gas flow from Ukraine would impact nations like Germany which sources over 40% of their gas from Russia. Sweden and Finland source an even higher percentage, while Norway is at its limit in terms of the amount of gas it can export.  

This means there would be less surplus supply in mainland Europe, ultimately resulting in reduced exports to the UK, therefore, the difference would have to be made up domestically, or by additional LNG deliveries. 

This possible supply crisis is expected to result in a surge in prices, with consumers already expecting a large increase from April when the energy price cap will be lifted by Ofgem. 

Electricity

Electricity prices are likely to mirror gas prices, with gas-fired power generation still vital to the energy mix, especially on days when renewable energy production is not sufficient.  

Both domestic and commercial consumers should prepare for prices to soar even further in the coming months, as the geopolitical situation involving Russia, the lifting of the UK energy price cap and economic uncertainty caused by the Omicron variant has all combined to create an extremely bullish outlook.  
Meanwhile, expectations of a prolonged winter is another factor that has added to the current situation.  

Oil

Oil prices have already increased by 10% in 2022, rising to around $85/b, with analysts predicting that prices could climb above the $100/b level for the first time in eight years. 

However, there is one country that could have a major say on whether prices reach triple digits… Iran.  

Iran has reopened negotiations in regard to its nuclear power programme which was blocked by sanctions imposed by the West. Talks are currently taking place in Vienna between Iranian officials and China, Russia, the EU, the UK, and other major economic nations, with direct negotiation with the US rumoured to be in the pipeline.  

The sanctions are in place to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons – in order to do this Uranium would need to be enriched to 90% to achieve ‘weapons-grade’ levels. 
Instead, Iran is requesting to increase Uranium levels to above 60%, if approved, the country may be able to increase Crude oil exports to help balance the global oil market. 

Market Info 

Economic confidence is at its lowest point since the winter lockdown imposed by the Government one year ago.  

This pessimism has been further fuelled by Ofgem’s decision to lift the energy price cap in April 2022 which is expected to result in a sharp rise in wholesale prices from the 1st of April.  

The likely consequence of this is that the annual energy bill for each household in the UK will rise by hundreds of pounds, at a time when inflation is already pushing up the costs of things like food, broadband and TV subscriptions, while Council Tax is also open to a 2% increase. 

The current price cap is set at £1,277, but this could rise to almost £2,000 in April.  

This extra financial strain on the general public and businesses will doubt be felt in almost every sector and organisations of all types are advised to budget accordingly.  

We’re hiring! Administration Manager and apprentice sought

Working in partnership with Wiltshire College, Energy Management Ltd is currently offering an apprenticeship in Account Administration Management.

Tasks will be interesting and varied and previous apprentices have graduated to full-time employment within the company upon completion of their apprenticeship.

Applicants should have a minimum of 3 GCSEs at grades A*-C including Maths and English (or equivalent).

Energy Management is also recruiting an Account Administration Manager due to steady business growth.

This position is also based in Energy Management Ltd’s waterside offices in the delightful town of Bradford-on-Avon,

Details of both positions and how to apply can be found here: https://careers.zenergi.co.uk/careers/

Energy procurement in the NHS

IAN SCATTERGOOD, BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER – HEALTHCARE FOR THE ZENERGI GROUP, GIVES AN INSIGHT INTO THE ENERGY CRISIS AND THE IMPACT ON THE NHS

Energy procurement within the NHS is complex, with many different risk strategies. The majority of NHS sites in England will be covered by the requirements of the Public Contracts Regulations, meaning they have to conduct an open tender or become part of a procurement framework – the latter being the more likely.

The relatively low wholesale cost over the last 4-5 years (with the occasional blip) hit multi-year lows in the spring of 2020 and from the autumn of 2020 wholesale costs began to rise.

From the start of April 2021 to today the wholesale cost of gas has increased by 241% and power 184% (year ahead prices) so regardless of the procurement strategy employed by each NHS Trust in England the impact will be felt, either now as they forward hedge or as they look to renew a fixed-term contract.

The majority of the invoiced cost of gas is the gas itself, whilst power has many other non-energy charges applied. At the beginning of 2021, the non-energy charges equated to about 60% of the overall cost (environmental levies, transmission, distribution charges etc.) but that balance has now swung the other way.

Carbon Costs – whether EU ETS or since last year UK ETS has also seen the carbon cost rocket, and this cost will be passed on to the end-user.

Weather can play a big part in the energy requirements and the long cold winter of 2020/21 will have seen an increase in comfort heating requirements. A long hot summer switches that demand to comfort cooling.

With an estimated spend of over £630 million for the 2020/21 financial year, it’s easy to see how much of an impact even a small change to the wholesale cost will have.

However, the increased invoice price of power now makes the cost-benefit analysis of installing renewable generation much more attractive. Power Purchase Agreements are becoming more commonplace across sites within NHS England, and it is likely we will see this accelerating over the next few years.

NHS has committed to being Net-Zero by 2040 and has spent over £50 million installing LED lighting, which when expanded over the entire NHS would save over £3 billion over the next 30 years.”

Energy crisis will send NHS bill soaring past £1 billion

Back in 2019, research conducted by Energy Management estimated the energy costs of the UK Public Sector to be around £500m.

Taking hospitals in England into consideration alone, that figure is now calculated to have more than doubled when today’s sky-high energy prices are applied to the last set of figures published by NHS Digital.

The NHS Estates Return Information Collection (ERIC) 2020/21 reveals the true extent of hospital operating costs, with energy accounting for a large percentage of the overall spend.

In the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021, over £630 million was spent on gas and electricity.

Since the end of March, wholesale gas prices have more than doubled (240%) and electricity has gone up by an equally staggering 184%.

Those soaring energy costs will only add to the pressure the NHS is under in the current COVID-19 pandemic but, unfortunately, there is still no light at the end of the tunnel.

Assuming energy consumption has remained consistent since April, based on today’s prices overall energy costs will have rocketed to £1.2 billion when the next ERIC report is published.

Hospitals with the biggest bills are in the East and West of England

Out of the 1,200+ hospitals that make up the NHS Estate, three hospitals had an annual electricity spend of over £5 million.

Addenbrooke Hospital, part of the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was top with £6.8 million spent on lighting buildings and powering equipment, followed by the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Birmingham (£5.9 million) and Southmead in North Bristol (£5.1 million).

St James’ Hospital in Leeds and St George’s Hospital in South London spent most on gas (£3.5 million) with the Royal Victoria in Newcastle-upon-Tyne the other hospital to go over the £3 million mark.

As many hospitals are based on different sites, there may be multiple energy supplier contracts involved with different start and end dates and keeping track of energy costs can be problematic as a result.

Also, the NHS estate is a real mish-mash of state-of-the-art modern facilities and Victorian hospitals that are no longer fit for purpose, and the energy efficiency of some buildings will vary drastically to others.

Energy Management’s portal, EM-Powered, helps to tackle such issues and give a proper overview of how much energy is being consumed and where, to a high degree of accuracy.

If you would like to discuss the full range of benefits of EM-Powered or would like to talk to one of our consultants about energy procurement or the other uk energy management services we offer, please get in touch on 01225-867722.

5 ways to help your business achieve net-zero

With climate change hot on the agenda and businesses becoming increasingly aware of their social and environmental responsibilities, net-zero status is a goal that many are working towards in 2022.

Being net-zero means the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced through your business and related supply chain are not greater than those taken away from the earth’s atmosphere.

Some of the world’s leading brand names have pledged to meet this target by a certain date in the coming years. But it does not always need a large decarbonisation budget to achieve net-zero.

Some of the measures below will all contribute to businesses, whatever the size, making progress in the journey.

1) Green energy procurement

Business energy suppliers will offer green energy tariffs where either some or all of the energy supplied to your business will be generated from renewable sources as opposed to fossil fuel or other carbon-heavy sources.

2) Become more energy efficient

Nearly half of all business energy consumption happens outside of normal working hours. How so? Equipment that is left on standby or not turned off at all still uses energy. Ensure all your staff follow guidelines that encourage them to get into the habit of shutting down their equipment properly and become more energy efficient.

Smart heating controls and LED lighting are also two obvious and affordable measures that can easily be implemented.

3) Set up a ‘green team’

Establishing a net-zero culture is key to getting everyone on board and bringing about behavioural changes. Consider appointing a member of staff to lead this initiative and make sure standards are upheld.

4) EV charging point installation

The more access staff have to EV charging points the more likely they are to use this mode of transport for their daily commute. With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars being banned in the UK from 2030, the need will only get greater.

5) Remote working

Business transport is a major contributor to carbon emissions so, where viable, arrange for meetings to be held online instead of in-person, particularly if flights are involved. Striking the right balance between home and office working could improve productivity as well as your carbon footprint.