Author Archives: Envantage Marketing

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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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How do I reduce carbon emissions for my business?

Taking the decision to reduce carbon emissions from a business is a sensible step in the current climate – both the business climate and the environmental one too.

Envantage offer a highly effective carbon management programme, based on real understanding and measured evidence of your greenhouse gas emissions, and a comprehensive suite of solutions to reduce carbon emissions from your business.

Our services include:

  • Carbon footprinting.
  • Carbon emission reduction.
  • Greenhouse gas emissions quantification.
  • Carbon Disclosure Project reporting.
  • GHG inventory verification.

We work to the highest of standards, adhering to global conventions to not only provide you with the best data, but also the reassurance that our results are verified under ISO 14064.

 

What is carbon footprinting?

Carbon footprinting a business is about understanding the total quantity of carbon emissions generated by your business activities, from on-site energy usage, to transportation and supply chain emissions.

By taking demonstrable action to measure, monitor and target your carbon emissions – and particularly to target business carbon emission reductions over the long term – you meet the expectations of modern consumers and adhere to your own corporate responsibility pledges.

Envantage can help by using robust methodology and accurate techniques to yield the most reliable figures possible in your compiled reports.

 

What is ISO 14064 verification?

ISO 14064 is an independent standard that applies to quantifying and reporting greenhouse gases at organisation level.

By adhering to this standard, you can make bold claims about the size of your carbon footprint and any reductions in business carbon emissions that you achieve.

You can do this because your data is in line with independent verification standards, and therefore directly comparable with that reported publicly by other businesses.

If you have existing GHG inventories, it is quite possible that these already meet international standards. Envantage can verify this for you, giving you an even more stable platform on which to reduce business carbon emissions in the immediate future.

 

What is the Carbon Disclosure Project?

The Carbon Disclosure Project was founded in 2000 and is a UK-based, globally applicable reporting scheme under which many organisations around the world voluntarily disclose their GHG emissions, carbon footprint, climate change strategy and/or carbon reduction achievements.

Participants report on an annual basis and while the scheme is voluntary, failure to participate generally reflects badly on larger organisations.

Envantage have a track record of achieving above-average scores when working with firms that disclose under CDP.

To find out more about how we can help you to reduce business carbon footprints while boosting your CDP score above the average for your industry, email savings@envantage.co.uk or call us on 0800 054 2577.


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Do I need a water strategy for my business?

It’s easy to talk about energy savings in terms of reducing business electricity bills and, where applicable, reducing business gas use too – but an efficient business water strategy is often overlooked.

Yet there are several very good reasons why you should include a focus on your business water consumption alongside any energy efficiency measures you implement, or even as a new water strategy in its own right.

These include:

  • Compliance with environmental legislation and industry-specific regulation.
  • Reduced water bills and reduced business wastewater bills.
  • Improved sustainability and demonstrable environmental commitment.
  • Reduction of unnecessary excess use and water lost through leakage.
  • Opportunity to reclaim historic water charges.

Envantage can help by providing a suite of solutions to measure water consumption, identify potential water savings, and meet your targets on sustainability, environmental commitments and cost savings alike.

 

What makes a good water strategy?

There are several components that can work together to create a good water strategy. It is not always necessary to use all of these, but in general combining multiple approaches can unlock even bigger savings.

Examples of the methods that make a good water strategy include:

  • Metered and monitored water usage alongside energy monitoring.
  • Leak detection, repair and ongoing minimisation.
  • Installation of water limiting devices and employee engagement.
  • Borehole technology and rainwater harvesting.
  • Integration of water strategy into overall environmental planning.

Envantage can help you in these areas; we can also set up ENMAT, our cost-effective solution to profile, meter and monitor all of your utilities and energy supplies on a continuing basis.

 

Better business water procurement

The deregulated market for business water procurement means there are often direct cost savings to be made simply by switching supplier.

If you have not switched business water supplier since before 2017, you could stand to make immediate cost savings of up to 8% or more.

Again, Envantage can help with business water procurement by lodging water tenders with multiple suppliers to attract the best possible price for your specific business activities and needs.

 

Reclaim historic water charges

Finally, it is worth looking into whether or not you can reclaim historic water charges made in error by your past supplier.

It is thought that one in four companies have been wrongly charged for their past water supplies, ranging from incorrect tariffs and meters, to charges for leakages and surface water run-off.

By reclaiming historic water charges for your business, you can recover much of this money – and again, Envantage can help you to compile the factual evidence required to support your claim.


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What is SECR and do I need to take action?

From April 2019, Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting – known as SECR for short – comes into effect, and is likely to affect all large organisations in the UK.

It’s new legislation that changes your obligations to report energy use and carbon emissions, with particular significance for:

  • Energy use in buildings.
  • Carbon emissions from transport.
  • Recent energy efficiency improvements.

The new rules come into effect to coincide with the end of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC), also in April 2019, which will lose the government nearly £800 million in tax revenues.

Also at that time, the Climate Change Levy is due to increase to recoup those ‘missing’ tax revenues from the end of CRC, so it’s important to know how the changes to CRC, CCL and SECR will affect you in combination.

 

Does SECR apply to me?

SECR reporting will continue to apply to all quoted companies but from April 2019 will also apply to large UK incorporated unquoted companies and LLPs that meet at least two of the following three criteria in a financial year:

  1. At least 250 employees.
  2. Annual turnover greater than £36m.
  3. Annual balance sheet total greater than £18m.

The only exclusions for organisations meeting these criteria, are for those with very low energy consumption of less than 40,000 kWh per annum. There are no exemptions or exclusions for companies holding Climate Change Agreements (CCA) or participating in EU ETS.

Naturally those companies already affected by ESOS and/or CRC can expect to be directly affected by SECR too, but the total number of qualifying firms is predicted to almost triple from 4,000 under CRC, to nearly 12,000 under SECR.

 

What are the SECR reporting requirements?

If you are familiar with MGHG (Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Legislation) as it applies to quoted UK companies, then that forms a good starting point to understand what the SECR reporting requirements are too.

There are a few important differences to note though:

  • MGHG-compliant quoted companies must still disclose global Scope 1 and 2 emissions and include an intensity metric in annual reports, but should also report global energy use. Scope 3 of MGHG remains voluntary.
  • Unquoted companies must (where practical) report UK energy use, Scope 1 and 2 emissions and an intensity metric. Scope 3 remains voluntary. Energy reports should include electricity and gas, as well as all transport activities from road and rail, to air and shipping.
  • Quoted and unquoted companies should comment on their energy efficiency measures from the previous financial year. This means all qualifying companies under SECR must have an energy efficiency action plan in place and ready to be shared.

 

How to prepare for SECR

We are rapidly approaching the final six-month countdown to the April 2019 introduction of SECR, and it takes time to collect and report data as well as to ensure compliance with the various rules and mandatory disclosures.

If you have not yet started to prepare for SECR – or you still don’t even know if it applies to you – it’s crucial to make swift progress on this as soon as possible.

To get our help, call us on 0800 054 2577 to find out more about how our energy and emissions quantification services can help you to comply with SECR in time for its April 2019 introduction.

“Please note that this information is the result of a Government consultation and final legislation is yet to be published. Envantage Ltd is passing the current information and is therefore unable to take any responsibility for subsequent changes that may arise as a result of new or amended legislation being passed and published.”


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How can renewables and microgeneration help me and my business?

Renewable energy and on-site microgeneration have huge significance for British businesses in topic areas as diverse as carbon costs, climate change and energy security, not to mention preparedness for any unwelcome economic impacts of Brexit on cross-border energy supplies.

On-site generation allows you to capitalise on the environmental benefits of your location – whether that happens to be solar, wind, biomass, anaerobic digestion and gasification, or combined heat and power – to supply your premises with electricity, heating and hot water, without paying for energy from the mains grid.

Envantage can help you to access any relevant incentive schemes, for example the Renewable Heat Incentive, Feed-In Tariffs and the Renewables Obligation market, plus any future initiatives that are made available by the UK government.

We can also help you to maximise the economic advantage of on-site microgeneration by selling surplus power generated on your premises back to the grid for use by other local businesses and residents, allowing you to contribute to the energy security of your community and the UK as a whole.

This naturally ties into the broader topic of renewable energy in general, allowing you to meet your environmental responsibility commitments, reduce your net carbon footprint, and avoid paying expensive tariffs for fossil fuels and any associated costs per carbon kilo equivalent.

 

How to choose the right renewable energy technology?

The various incentive schemes, energy technologies and power purchase agreements all add up to a complex decision when choosing which types of on-site microgeneration to use on your property, which stems both from the financial impact of installing the technology, and a consideration of its potential energy output.

Envantage can help you to decide, working closely with the relevant manufacturers, investors and installers to make sure you get the correct renewable energy solution, which will provide you with the most positive economic impact over the long term.

We work with a long list of installers and manufacturers of renewable energy generating equipment, and have worked on substantial projects with output in excess of 5 MWp (megawatt peak, a unit that describes the maximum theoretical output of the system).

If you need external funding to cover the upfront costs of buying and installing renewable power equipment, we can advise on those aspects too.

To find out more, contact us today to speak to one of our renewable energy and microgeneration consultants on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk and we will arrange a discussion or on-site audit of your renewable energy needs.


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What is metering, monitoring and targeting?

Energy metering, monitoring and targeting is all about knowing what energy you use, where you use it and how much you could stand to save – both in terms of energy consumption and the price you pay for it – by optimising the different areas of your premises.

To understand this better, ask yourself two questions:

  1. How much energy do you use?
  2. How much energy would you like to save?

Most businesses would likely claim to know the answer to the first question, based on the bills you receive from your utility provider, whereas far fewer have an immediate answer to the second question.

But there are a number of problems with this:

  • What if your supplier’s meter is poorly calibrated?
  • What if you could generate your own energy on-site?
  • What if different areas of your premises use different amounts of energy?

Energy metering is about knowing exactly how much energy you use across each location on your site – from energy intensive industry and manufacturing, to the lights and computers in your offices – and making sure you are only charged for the energy you use.

 

How energy monitoring can help

Energy monitoring in itself does not aim to reduce your energy usage, but merely to refocus attention on how much you use – a kind of mindfulness and self-awareness surrounding your on-site energy consumption.

However, this naturally has an effect to make yourself and your staff more aware of when energy-consuming systems and machinery are switched on, and can instantly start to reduce energy wastage.

This is even before you take any actions designed to specifically reduce your energy consumption, or to make your systems and processes more energy efficient – making monitoring a useful first step in any cost-cutting exercise.

 

Taking targeting to the next level

Once you know what you are using and have trimmed immediate energy wastage through careful monitoring, you can start to identify deeper efficiencies in specific areas of your site, for even greater economic benefits.

In the first year alone, overall savings of around 5% are realistic just through energy monitoring and targeting – not to mention any savings made through more accurate metering of the energy you use.

To find out more about how Envantage can help you to meter, monitor and target your energy use effectively, contact one of our consultants today on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk for a prompt reply.


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Meet your Carbon Reduction Commitment with Envantage carbon management

Envantage’s carbon management services help you to meet your environmental obligations, including the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment, as well as reporting under the Carbon Disclosure Project, carbon footprinting and quantification of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Together, these carbon management services provide you with a comprehensive suite of tools and solutions to optimise carbon footprints across all areas of your operations, not only to meet regulatory and legislative environmental commitments, but also to achieve cost savings wherever possible.

 

CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme – the Carbon Reduction Commitment

 

The Carbon Reduction Commitment, now officially the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme but often just referred to as CRC, is mandatory for large energy-intensive businesses in both the private and public sectors in the UK.

 

It is ambitious – with long-term goals to reduce carbon emissions in the UK by 60-80% by 2050, compared with baseline levels from 1990.

 

By 2020, an interim goal aims to cut carbon emissions by at least 1.2 million tonnes, and achieving this depends on concerted efforts from private businesses as well as from those in the public sector.

 

In the early days of the scheme, a league table was compiled showing the best performing brands – with the major supermarkets among these along with Manchester United FC, this provided an indication that cutting carbon is not just for industrial operators, but has broad reach across many sectors including retail and sport.

 

Carbon Disclosure Project

 

The Carbon Disclosure Project, or CDP, is a global, voluntary scheme – unlike the CRC which is mandatory for large, energy-intensive organisations – but participation makes good sense if you want to send a positive message to your shareholders.

 

At Envantage we have been working on CDP reporting for many years, and typically achieve quantifiable above-average results compared with CDP participants as a whole.

 

Like our other carbon management services and environmental services as a whole, we can offer joined-up thinking on your approach to carbon measurement and disclosure, helping to maximise the CDP points awarded to you, for the best possible positive impact on customers and investors.

 

Carbon Footprints and GHG Quantification

 

Along with the specific services mentioned above, we have a wealth of experience in carbon footprinting and greenhouse gas quantification, which means we are able to measure and meter your carbon and GHG emissions from the outset as a precursor to making quantifiable progress in those areas.

 

This gives you direct insight into any carbon reductions or GHG reductions made, and means that you already know how well you are performing before you send your data off to the CDP or CRC for their verification.


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What is the Min-Met CCL Exemption Scheme?

Climate Change Levy (CCL) charges are set to rise again in April 2019, which means even organisations with a Climate Change Agreement (CCA) in place are likely to see an increase in energy bills.

 

As announced in the spring 2016 Budget, the Carbon Reduction Commitment scheme (CRC) will run until the end of the 2018-19 compliance year, when phase 2 concludes. Businesses will be required to submit their last CRC report by July 2019 and to surrender allowances for the final time in October 2019.

 

The government wants to end what is a complex, bureaucratic and costly scheme and streamline the business energy tax landscape, by moving to a system where businesses are only charged one energy tax, so allowances will be replaced by an increase in CCL from April 2019.

 

This could be as much as 45% for electricity bills and a punishing 67% for natural gas – but thanks to the Min-Met CCL Exemption Scheme, manufacturers in mineralogical and metallurgical industries can qualify for total CCL exemption.

 

How the Min-Met CCL Exemption Scheme works

 

Since 2014, the Min-Met CCL Exemption Scheme has existed to ensure that businesses operating in these energy intensive industries are not unduly punished by CCL and are able to continue to compete not just in the UK, but internationally.

 

However, many qualifying businesses still have not yet claimed their exemption – and could stand to benefit substantially by submitting a backdated claim for the four years of the Min-Met Exemption Scheme up to now.

 

Even if you have not previously made use of the scheme, with the end of the CRC in sight and an increase in CCL charges set to take over from it, there has never been a better time to make a first backdated application and start saving for the years ahead.

 

How Envantage can help you

 

Envantage can help you to verify that you are eligible for the full CCL exemption and submit your claim, allowing you to:

 

  • Claim 100% exemption from CCL under the Min-Met Exemption Scheme.
  • Claim back up to the past four years’ exemptions since the scheme’s introduction in 2014.
  • Avoid costs arising from carbon buy-outs and additional fees.

 

We will of course ensure that you are eligible for the Min-Met scheme, and this is based on standardised NACE codes.

 

For mineralogical businesses, that means manufacturing that falls under NACE Division 23, including ceramics.

 

For metallurgical firms, it includes NACE (rev 2) Division 24, 25.5 and 25.6, which covers casting iron and steel, light metals and non-ferrous metals.

 

There are further rules to assess qualifying energy usage outside of these areas, which requires formal documentation, but no more carbon reduction targets to satisfy within the exemption scheme after that.

 

Should I use the Min-Met CCL Exemption Scheme?

 

If you are eligible, we can help you to decide if the Min-Met CCL Exemption Scheme is the best solution for you.

 

You can replace any existing CCA with membership of the scheme; or alternatively, you can join the scheme while still retaining a CCA in place, giving you good flexibility of options.

 

Envantage have highly qualified staff with the knowledge, expertise and economic awareness to calculate the net financial benefits of the different options, so you know which makes most sense for your bottom line.

 

Initial enquiries are no-obligation and we will support you through every step of the process, from compiling your data to obtaining full membership and a 100% exemption from CCL.


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