Category Archives: News

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UK businesses urged to adopt on-site renewable energy generation

UK businesses of all sizes have been urged to adopt on-site renewable energy generation as one of the ways in which Britain’s business estate can be made greener and the effects of climate change tackled head-on.

The move to undertake measures like installing solar panels on business premises’ roofs was part of the government’s message to British businesses during the inaugural Green GB & NI Week in October 2018.

It coincided with pledges by some of the UK’s biggest businesses to undertake 100% green energy procurement, install solar panels on their roofs, cut waste and transport emissions, and reduce their use of plastics.

Energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry said: “I’m calling on all businesses, from family farms in Herefordshire to banks in the Square Mile, to take action to mark our first ever Green GB Week.”

“Whether it’s getting rid of plastic cups or installing solar panels, everyone in business can play their part,” she added.

 

British businesses embrace renewable energy

Nearly a third of the UK’s total energy is now generated from renewable sources, half of which comes from wind power – which alone produces enough electricity to power over 14 million households each year.

In 2018, the UK clocked up three days of zero coal-powered energy generation, along with record levels of offshore wind generation and solar panel generation – all of which reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by more than 25 million tonnes annually.

This combination of domestic and business renewable energy, on-site and offshore generation, complements the UK’s nuclear energy strategy and other efforts like the target for all new cars and vans to be zero-emission by 2040.

 

Reap rewards from on-site renewable energy generation

On-site energy generation reduces your business’s carbon footprint, which can have direct cost savings compared with buying business energy from the grid, as well as savings on carbon taxes.

But a smart green energy procurement strategy that combines renewables with on-site generation can maximise these benefits as well as accessing any incentive schemes that are currently in operation.

Also, in addition to renewable generation we are seeing a greater interest in sites installing ‘gas fuelled power generation engines’ to produce on-site electricity. This interest is sparked by the relatively recent sharp increase in electricity costs.

Investing in installing on-site generation can quickly pay for itself and start making a profit while also enhancing your business’s environmental profile.

Envantage can help – just call us on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk for our team’s expert help in choosing the best renewable energy generating technologies for your premises.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uks-largest-companies-pledge-hundreds-of-millions-of-pounds-to-tackle-climate-change


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What is SECR? Getting ready for April 2019

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting, or SECR, is due to come into force in April 2019 and imposes mandatory energy and carbon reporting responsibilities on some organisations – so who is affected?

All large UK undertakings are likely to fall within the scope of SECR, with very few exceptions. Only those firms with annual energy consumption of less than 40,000 kWh can avoid SECR completely.

For those with energy consumption over the threshold, two of the three following criteria must also apply:

  • 250+ employees.
  • £36m+ annual turnover.
  • £18m+ annual balance sheet total.

These criteria extend SECR obligations from only quoted companies, to all qualifying large UK incorporated unquoted organisations and equivalent LLPs from April 2019.

 

What does SECR mean?

SECR imposes new rules for your organisation to record and report carbon emissions and energy consumption, including your premises and your transport fleets.

You must disclose your annual energy performance and energy use against an intensity metric and give an outline of energy efficiency improvement actions that were carried out during the past year.

If you are not already aware, it is important to note that the last reporting period ends in March 2019 at the same time as SECR comes into effect – which means this legislation will apply to many organisations that are currently covered by CRC, along with many more which are not.

 

Does SECR apply to me?

CRC applies to around 4,000 companies. In comparison, SECR is expected to apply to 11,900, nearly three times as many – so it is more likely that SECR will apply to you too.

The qualifying thresholds mentioned above are lower, so smaller companies will need to comply with SECR, including some who have never had to report before.

All UK quoted companies already affected by SECR will also continue to fall within the scope after April 2019.

 

What will I need to report?

Affected companies should report Scope 1 and 2 emissions, with voluntary reporting of Scope 3 emissions.

Quoted companies must report based on their global emissions, while unquoted companies must report based on their UK energy consumption.

If you have not yet started to prepare for SECR in April 2019, it is essential that you do so – especially if you need to start reporting energy usage for the first time or make the transition over from CRC.

Envantage can help with energy and emissions quantification and energy efficiency advice – just call us on 0800 054 2577 to find out more about what we can do for you.


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Now is the time to start ESOS Phase-2 energy data collection

The compliance deadline for ESOS Phase-2 is December 5th 2019 – but if you think that gives you a year to start ESOS 2 energy data collection, it’s time to think again.

That’s because you must complete energy data collection for a reference year, and that reference year must include December 31st 2018.

As the final few weeks of 2018 tick away, it’s time to start gathering the relevant data, especially if you are going to be closed over the Christmas and New Year period, or otherwise disrupted by the holidays.

Envantage can still help you to get started with ESOS 2 energy data collection and make sure that you gather appropriate data for the final compliance deadline.

 

Who qualifies for ESOS 2?

Like the first phase of ESOS, the scheme covers energy usage in buildings, transport fleets and industrial processes for organisations of a certain size, and requires audits to be carried for each four year phase.

You are likely to qualify for ESOS 2 if you meet the following criteria:

  • 250+ employees in the UK or overseas or
  • €50m+ annual turnover and
  • €43m+ balance sheet or
  • Corporate parent groups that include a UK undertaking that meets either of the above criteria.

If you are not sure whether you qualify, don’t worry – Envantage will always carry out a no-obligation initial assessment on all new enquiries, to check whether you fall into the scope of ESOS 2.

 

How can Envantage help with ESOS Phase 2?

We always tailor our services to meet your unique needs, but in general our ESOS phase 2 service includes:

  • Full ESOS Phase 2 compliance with evidence pack compiled by our approved ESOS Lead Assessors.
  • Detailed reports on energy costs and opportunities to make energy savings.
  • Recommendations for future energy management improvements and help to implement them.
  • Comprehensive energy audit with typical energy savings of between 10% and 30%.
  • Expert knowledge of the energy sector including impartial advice on government energy schemes.

Envantage have worked with businesses in many different sectors, from heavy industry, to offices, to transport fleets, and with annual energy spend ranging from £100,000 to £4 million.

To find out more or arrange your initial no-obligation assessment of whether you qualify for ESOS 2, call Envantage today on 0800 054 2577 or email us at savings@envantage.co.uk.


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How to make your staff more energy aware

There are plenty of good reasons to make your staff more energy aware, as employee engagement on business energy consumption can help you to tackle:

  • Expenditure on business gas and electricity.
  • Carbon emissions and environmental impact.
  • Maintenance demands (e.g. replacing light bulbs).
  • Brand perception among eco-minded customers.
  • Appeal to environmentally friendly investors.

For many businesses the most compelling reasons are financial, cutting costs and maximising the positive impact of being eco-friendly on sales and investment.

But focusing on reducing business energy use in particular has much wider reaching benefits in terms of sustainability, stable power supplies, energy independence from other countries and fewer greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – some of the biggest issues of our time.

 

Get staff onboard with energy management

A huge amount of business energy consumption is under the direct control of employees, from industrial processes right down to light switches and air conditioning control panels.

With good employee training, you can get staff onboard with energy management in a way that has lasting impact and helps you to move towards a culture of energy efficiency, rather than one of energy wastage.

Envantage have more than 20 years’ experience in this area and we have seen the lasting effects that our workplace training programmes can have – environmental, financial, and in terms of employee engagement in other areas of the business as well.

 

Employee energy engagement training that suits you

Tailor-made employee energy engagement training courses focus on the ways business energy applies to you, so that you don’t risk losing your workforce’s attention by giving them generic advice that doesn’t seem relevant.

Envantage have workshop-style training courses for different types of working environment, so we often have an employee energy engagement programme ready to go that will be highly relevant.

Alternatively, we are able to develop bespoke energy training courses for employees in niche industries, or where you want to address something in particular that may have been flagged up in a recent energy audit or through on-premises energy resource monitoring.

 

Let Envantage help with employee energy training

To find out more about how we can help you to get your employee energy training up to scratch, with direct impact on cutting your business energy costs and carbon footprint, speak to our consultants today.

You can email us on savings@envantage.co.uk or give us a call on 0800 054 2577 with any questions about our energy awareness training and how it could help your organisation over the long term future.

https://www.envantage.co.uk/energy-management/energy-awareness-training.html


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How to procure green energy

Green energy procurement is unfortunately more complicated than just choosing a tariff with ‘green’ in the name, as not all business energy tariffs that claim eco credentials actually meet the standards required to gain credit for your company under greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rules.

To make sure you procure green energy tariffs that actually qualify, you need a certain amount of expertise both in business energy procurement and in GHG reporting – areas where Envantage can help you to maximise your cost savings and carbon emission reductions.

 

Why does green energy procurement matter?

In the past, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, or GHGP, did not take green business energy procurement into account. Instead it only measured savings made in two ways:

  • Improvements in energy efficiency.
  • Direct carbon footprint reduction plans.

However, more recently this has changed, thanks to new rules on reporting GHG emissions and the introduction of a larger number of relevant green business energy tariffs across the market.

But this has also complicated matters, as not all tariffs that claim to be green or clean are up to the specific standards required to qualify towards reducing your calculated carbon footprint.

If you want to make sure your business energy tariff counts towards your GHG figures, you need to factor this in during your green energy procurement process.

 

How to procure qualifying green energy tariffs

This is a complex area, as green energy procurement should not be an ‘at all costs’ process – you still want to obtain green energy tariffs that offer good value for money and raise your brand value rather than harming your bottom line.

But it can be hard to strike the right balance between tariffs that deliver energy at the lowest cost per unit and those that allow for savings to be made in other areas, such as costs associated with your carbon footprint.

At Envantage we work hard to keep abreast of the different green energy tariffs on the market, so that we can identify which tariffs qualify to offset your carbon emissions, and which offer the best value in real terms, and not just in upfront unit price.

 

Get Envantage’s help with green energy procurement

Our experts are here with detailed, in-depth knowledge of the current business green energy market to identify the best tariffs currently available for your company.

To work with us on your upcoming green energy procurement plans, email savings@envantage.co.uk or call us on 0800 054 2577 and we can start the process towards obtaining cleaner, greener energy for your business at a price that offers maximum value.

https://www.envantage.co.uk/energy-procurement/green-electricity-procurement.html


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Envantage take the spotlight

Envantage is in the spotlight this week when we sponsor the drinks reception at the Surface Engineering and Heat Treatment Gala Dinner and Awards 2018. The awards are being held on Friday 12th October, at the Radisson Blu Edwardian hotel in Manchester, to celebrate excellence within the surface engineering and heat treatment industry.

 

The Surface Engineering and Heat Treatment Awards is a high profile event not only for the industry but also for its customers and suppliers. It provides an opportunity for anyone involved with the industry to celebrate with us and spread awareness from anyone outside the industry about the importance of surface finishing in UK manufacturing.

 

This is only the second time the event is being held in Manchester, at the prestigious Radisson Blu Hotel. It will be a breathtaking event attended by many high profile guests, including us! Entertainment will be provided by OKTC and the event is hosted by John Simonett, so we’re guaranteed to have a great time. Tickets are available to all within the industry, so whether you want to support the event or have entered an award we encourage everyone to join us.

 

We hope to see you there!

 


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What are green taxes?

Green taxes are the system of fees, contributions and incentives that encourage businesses to use less energy, reduce their carbon footprint and generally treat the environment more kindly. 

There are green taxes that affect domestic energy users too, for example feed-in tariffs on solar panels, while some green taxes are not related to energy, such as landfill taxes on commercial waste.

Some work by punishing poor behaviour, by charging an extra tax, fee or duty on excessive energy consumption, harmful environmental emissions of excess waste sent to landfill.

Others incentivise good behaviour by offering a discount or the ability to sell any spare capacity to other businesses, as in the case of carbon trading and offsetting.

Together, green taxes have a common aim to improve environmental performance, cut carbon emissions and carbon footprints, improve sustainability and resource security, and generally incentivise businesses to operate as efficiently as they can.

 

Green taxes and energy discount schemes

 

As mentioned, green taxes are not necessarily about charging businesses more – they also incentivise you to make savings, and energy discount schemes are a good way to do that.

Climate Change Agreements, for example, offer discounts on the Climate Change Levy, so if you are in an energy intensive industry, you do not have to pay as much in tax for the electricity and gas you use.

There are also compensation schemes to offset your costs under the Renewables Obligation and Feed-In Tariffs, which can save around 15% on electricity bills too.

 

Green taxes and mandatory energy schemes

 

Mandatory schemes like the Carbon Reduction Commitment and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme for large organisations are closely connected with the amount you pay in green taxes.

The CRC requires you to monitor carbon emissions and purchase allowances for each tonne, incentivising better record-keeping and carbon reductions by applying a direct financial impact to doing so.

ESOS incentivises you to use less energy by identifying ways to optimise your premises, processes and business transport from company cars to delivery fleets.

 

How Envantage can help with green taxes

 

Envantage can help you to understand your commitments under all of the different environmental schemes that currently apply to businesses of all sizes, and to identify your exposure to green taxes and tariffs.

We can carry out the necessary audits under ESOS and other initiatives that require you to benchmark and report your emissions and energy usage, as well as advising on green energy procurement to reduce the level of green taxes you have to pay.

To find out more, call Envantage today on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk to speak to a member of our experienced team.


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UK non-domestic Demand Side Response leads the way

The UK non-domestic Demand Side Response energy market is leading the way on international efforts to increase the use of renewable energy, reduce carbon footprints and combat climate change, according to an article in the upcoming November 2018 issue of the journal Energy Policy

Researchers from the University of Nottingham conducted interviews with experts in energy policy, energy industry organisations of all sizes, academics and third-sector organisations to find out how different communities within the sector are shaping the future of UK DSR.

They found that the UK is an early adopter of DSR on the international stage and that within the UK energy market, non-domestic DSR in particular is healthy compared with uptake by domestic energy users so far.

 

Why is business Demand Side Response in the UK so healthy?

 

UK business Demand Side Response benefits in several ways from commercial organisations adopting new technologies to manage their energy consumption both actively and passively (e.g. using controllers that automatically switch off idle devices) and monitoring their energy consumption to identify areas where more savings can be made.

The researchers write in their Energy Policy article: “Non-domestic DSR was seen to be in good health, with expansion across both industry and larger commercial operators.

“For such operators, using equipment with large but potentially flexible demand (e.g. industry using heating processes, commercial operators using refrigeration), they not only have a clear financial case for DSR due to the scale of their energy consumption, but crucially through well established audit cultures, have the practical means to achieving it.”

 

How are end-users shaping the UK DSR market?

 

End-users – both domestic and commercial – are by definition at the core of the UK DSR market, representing the ‘Demand Side’ part of the technology’s name.

Whereas in the past, end-users consumed electricity whenever they needed it, in whatever quantity they desired, DSR is about moderating that consumption to alleviate pressure on the mains grid at peak times.

This in turn means that power stations – including renewable generators whose output can vary due to environmental conditions – are not expected to simply increase output by a theoretically limitless amount in response to mains grid demand.

“Key to realising DSR’s promise is the end-user,” the researchers write. “Traditionally, whether domestic or non-domestic, the ‘end’ user has been just that – an isolated, terminal node consuming energy as and when required to meet their needs, which the grid is constantly managed to provide.

“By contrast, DSR requires that this actor becomes an integrated, dynamic component in the balancing of supply and demand.”

 

Why is Demand Side Response good for end-users?

 

The power stations still adjust their output as required – meaning that the stability of the grid depends on a combination of both Supply Side Response and Demand Side Response.

And it’s not only commercial users who are being asked to manage their energy consumption more intelligently, as the government-funded rollout of smart meters for domestic properties demonstrates.

Through these concerted efforts, homes and businesses alike are helping to improve the UK’s energy security, insulate against changing energy import wholesale prices, and reduce the carbon footprint of households and commercial premises.

By adopting intelligent DSR technologies, you can meet and exceed your environmental obligations, while reducing your expenditure on energy bills – a win-win scenario for the UK businesses who are leading the way on non-domestic DSR both within the country and on the global stage.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421518304610


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What is ISO 50001 and how can Envantage help your business achieve it?

ISO 50001 is the international standard that applies to best practice in energy management systems, something Envantage can help you to implement along with all of the environmental, reputational and cost benefits that come with ISO 50001 certification.

Energy management systems, or EMS, are a way to monitor and target your energy usage, identify opportunities for energy savings, and take planned action to improve your energy efficiency and cut costs.

ISO 50001 sets out the best practice methods for achieving this, and becoming ISO 50001 certified can help you in other areas too, from ESOS compliance to upholding your corporate environmental responsibility commitments.

 

What are the benefits of ISO 50001 certification?

 

The benefits of ISO 50001 certification include savings on costs and carbon alike, with an estimated annual saving of about 3% on energy bills, which you will start to recoup immediately as efficiency work is carried out.

Other benefits include:

  • Better energy management across all efficiency projects and eco-initiatives.
  • Better industry compliance and reduced exposure to changing energy prices.
  • Better responsibility for energy management within your company hierarchy.

 

How can Envantage help with ISO 50001 certification?

 

As an organisation experienced in EMS and certified under ISO 50001 and ISO 14001 ourselves, we are perfectly placed to provide help with ISO 50001 certification.

We provide joined-up services across areas including energy management and resource efficiency, as well as green energy procurement, so you only have one company to deal with for all the energy advice you need.

Our solutions are bespoke, and are based on your unique circumstances, energy supplies and usage statistics, to ensure we deliver the maximum possible value, whether to reduce your carbon footprint or to cut energy bills.

 

Our ISO 50001 One-Stop Shop

 

Ask about our ISO 50001 One-Stop Shop service, which brings together separate elements including:

  • Energy monitoring.
  • Carbon strategies.
  • Advice tailored to your business.
  • Long-term support.
  • Staff awareness training.

We can also advise you on how our other services can help to maximise the benefits of ISO 50001 certification, even if they are not strictly required under the standard.

For example, this might mean investigating the options of green electricity procurement or improved water resource efficiency, as well as schemes like ESOS, CDP and CCAs.

To speak to our advisors about the elements of ISO 50001 certification and how to get started closing the gaps between your current performance and best practice, contact Envantage today.

You can email us at savings@envantage.co.uk with any initial enquiries, or call our freephone number on 0800 054 2577 to speak to a member of our team directly.


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Welcome Russ Monkman, Senior Energy Consultant

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Russ Monkman as a Senior Energy Consultant. Whilst we’re already delivering a range of energy and carbon services, including CCA management, ESOS and ISO 50001, Russ, a member of the Energy Institute, a Chartered Energy Manager and ESOS Lead Assessor, brings a wealth of experience and technical knowledge to reinforce our growing team of energy and low carbon specialists.

In addition to his proven skills in the execution of EnMS audits to ISO 50001, Russ was shortlisted for the Industry Expert category at the 2018 TELCA awards. He brings more than 30 years’ experience in carbon and energy management, compliance, technical services and the chemicals industry. Russ also has a degree in Electrical Engineering and is a respected and prolific speaker and blogger on a wide range of environmental and energy management topics.

Envantage was incorporated in April 2004 by experienced professionals within the energy supply industry with a vast knowledge of energy procurement, energy efficiency and energy legislation. We have developed our team over the years, building an impressive range of energy management and carbon reduction services. This has been achieved by recruiting highly capable experts, like Russ, in their related field. Welcome on board, Russ.

 


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