Author Archives: Envantage Marketing

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ESOS Phase 2 – WHAT can you do?

If you’ve been keeping up to date with ESOS, you’ll know that the deadline for submitting your notifications of compliance is 5th December 2019. So, why should be looking at it now?

(If you haven’t been keeping up to date, keep reading: you probably need to know this.)

THE NOTIFICATION PORTAL IS NOW OPEN – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

On 8th February 2019, the Environment Agency’s ESOS notification portal opened, meaning that qualifying organisations can already complete all the steps needed for full compliance. If you’re not sure whether you are covered by ESOS, the qualification criteria are listed below.

By submitting your notification of compliance early, you will:

  • Be able to spend the rest of 2019 managing your business, without worrying about compliance submission deadlines
  • Avoid fines for non-compliance which can be up £50,000 plus £500 per day, and the risk of being ‘named and shamed’
  • Be best placed to make the savings identified in your ESOS reports

WHAT SAVINGS CAN YOU MAKE?

Typically our clients can make at least 10% saving by implementing no-cost or short payback recommendations from our work with them. Working alongside our experienced energy engineers, our clients are saving up to 30% against energy and emissions as a result of savings opportunities we’ve identified and prioritised.

DON’T MISS OUT – SECURE EARLY COMPLIANCE

Now that the qualification criteria have been fixed and the submission portal is open, let us help you to complete your compliance. Our highly experienced Lead Assessors and Energy Engineers have already managed over 300 ESOS compliance journeys for organisations like yours.

Simply call us on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk today to start making savings and stop worrying about compliance deadlines.

Alternatively visit our website to find out more information on how you can comply here: https://www.envantage.co.uk/esos-phase-2-what-should-you-do-now.html

IS YOUR ORGANISATION COVERED UNDER ESOS?

The UK Government’s own guidance defines those organisations covered by ESOS as “large undertakings”, which are:

  • Any UK company that either (a) employs 250 or more people, or (b) has an annual turnover more than 50 million Euro (£44,845,000) and an annual balance sheet total more than 43 million Euro (£38,566,700)
  • An overseas company with a UK registered establishment which has 250 or more employees who pay income tax in the UK

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Cut costs by 10-20% with energy efficiency improvements

Energy efficiency and sustainability are a complex collection of issues, with a potentially huge burden of compliance. However, there are huge opportunities to make savings for the organisations which embrace them.

But just how much can you stand to save by implementing economical energy efficiency improvements across your company’s operations?

At Envantage we find that the companies who implement our recommended energy efficiency improvements are able to reduce their total energy costs by between 10% and 20%.

This is across all areas of operations, from buildings and mains utilities, energy used in your processes, to emissions from your transport fleets.

How to make energy efficiency improvements

There are many energy saving solutions for processes with, buildings and vehicles alike. Where these are part of mandatory reporting schemes like ESOS, we can help you to make your energy efficiency improvements in an ESOS compliant way for maximum benefit in regulatory terms too.

Working in this way, you not only save up to a fifth on costs, but also meet the environmental demands placed on your organisation too.

This joined-up approach is how Envantage works with clients – not only to assure compliance and accurate, on-time reporting but to identify, prioritise and realise savings which contribute to your bottom line.

Financial help for energy efficiency improvements

You are not alone when it comes to making energy efficiency improvements in business, as there are many forms of funding available to help cover the upfront costs.

These can take a number of different forms, which may be appropriate to your organisation, including:

  • business improvement loans that must be paid back;
  • energy efficiency grants that are not repaid;
  • various incentive schemes and economical green business energy tariffs.

Whatever efficiency improvements you make, it’s important to ensure they are economical – that the savings will pay for themselves – and that the carbon reductions you achieve can be included in any mandatory carbon footprint reports you make. We’ll work alongside you to build a plan that works for your organisation, in practical business terms.

In many cases substantial savings can be made simply by choosing the right suppliers, and our green energy procurement services will help you to get the best green business energy tariffs while reducing or offsetting your carbon footprint as much as possible.

By working with Envantage on energy efficiency improvements, you benefit from the full range of our expertise, access to trusted suppliers and competitive green energy procurement, ISO 50002 energy audits and fully monitored energy usage to verify any savings made.
To find out more or to make an enquiry, call Envantage on 0800 054 2577 or email us at savings@envantage.co.uk and a member of our team will get back to you promptly.


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Green electricity procurement in 2019

Green electricity procurement is not a static market – much like the wholesale energy market for traditional fuels, the cost of green electricity procurement continually varies and there are some excellent deals on business energy to be had if you are in a position to negotiate.

There are of course certain long-term benefits to green electricity procurement:

  • It supports corporate environmental responsibility commitments.
  • It can help to enhance the energy security of the UK against energy imports.
  • It is sustainable for the future rather than depleting fossil fuels.

In practical terms for businesses subject to climate change levies and mandatory greenhouse gas reporting, green electricity procurement can now usually be used to offset your emissions, if you procure a green electricity product/tariff that meets certain requirements.

 

The falling cost of green electricity procurement

One way in which the green electricity procurement market is developing faster than expected is in the falling cost of green electricity generation using certain sustainable technologies.

For example, the Solar Trade Association reports that five years ago, solar electricity costs were forecast to hit £80 per MWh in 2019, but that figure has actually dropped to £50-60 and may continue to fall to below £40 per MWh in the coming decade. (1)

This is set against ongoing rises in the cost of fossil fuels like oil and gas, and represents a significant opportunity for businesses to renegotiate green energy tariffs in 2019 in light of the current market position.

 

Finding green energy tariffs that qualify for carbon offsetting

One of the main challenges in 2019, as in previous years, is simply knowing which green energy tariffs can be used to offset GHG and carbon emissions.

At Envantage we assess the energy market to filter out the green energy tariffs that do not comply with the qualifying criteria for carbon offsetting, and to make sure that our green electricity procurement service focuses only on those that do.

This means when you procure green energy through Envantage, we can make sure that the tariff or tariffs recommended to you are fully compliant with any mandatory reporting schemes, carbon footprinting schemes and industry-specific climate challenges you face in 2019.

With regular review, we can continue to drive further cost savings by taking full advantage of the rapidly developing wholesale market for green energy procurement to bring your business costs down even further, all while continuing to support your commitments to corporate social responsibility and the environment.

  1. https://www.solar-trade.org.uk/cost-of-uk-large-scale-solar-could-drop-below-40mwh-by-2030/

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ESOS 2 is ready to go – are you compliant yet?

The second phase of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, known as ESOS 2, is now ready to go, so if your company is caught by this piece of legislation, it’s essential at this point to make sure you comply with ESOS 2 regulations and requirements.

You should now have your required 12 months of data, allowing you to assess your business energy usage, identify energy saving opportunities and start planning to respond to these in accordance with ESOS 2 compliance.

If you haven’t already signed up with a Lead Assessor, now is the time – this puts the necessary experience and expertise in your corner to ensure not only that you comply with ESOS 2 but that you do so in a way that is cost-effective for your business.

 

Why ESOS 2 delays can be costly

The final deadline for ESOS 2 compliance is December 5th 2019 and while that might seem a long way away, remember that you need 12 months of correctly compiled data in your ESOS 2 report, so it’s not something you can leave until the last minute.

But beating the final ESOS 2 deadline is not just about compliance – it’s also a matter of cost, and every day we move closer to December 5th is another day that the total cost is likely to rise.

As with all processes like this, many businesses do wait until the last minute to compile their ESOS 2 report, and that means Lead Assessors will get busier and busier as 2019 proceeds.

This imbalance of supply and demand drives costs up as those with the necessary expertise face greater and greater time pressures – just as we saw with the first phase of ESOS.

You can be one of the companies that avoids these unnecessary costs in the 2019 ESOS 2 reporting year, just by engaging Envantage as soon as possible to compile and file your report.

 

Energy saving and cost cutting

The good news is that if done right, ESOS 2 should actually save you money in the long run – and it’s worth genuinely identifying areas for possible energy saving and the associated cost cutting that this delivers.

We have seen typical savings of between 10% and 30% under ESOS so far and will aim to maximise the reduction in operating costs that you are able to achieve when you implement the recommendations made in your report.

It’s rare that compliance and cost cutting go hand in hand – but under ESOS 2 and with Envantage’s help, the savings are there to be made for businesses that act promptly in 2019.

https://www.envantage.co.uk/energy-savings-opportunity-scheme-esos.html


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When and why to challenge water companies’ charges

Reclaim historic water charges and you could stand to recover thousands in business expenses you should never have been charged.

As a metered utility, you might imagine that business water bills are more likely to be accurate, but this is not always the case.

There are many reasons why the amount you are charged might not be a fair reflection of what you have actually used.

Some examples of this include:

  • Loss due to leakage that is not your liability.
  • Incorrect meter size and poor calibration.
  • Incorrect tariffs and consolidated accounts.

We find that companies have been charged incorrectly for their water usage in around one in four cases – a significant percentage that makes it well worth checking.

 

Reclaim unfair wastewater charges

As well as the water you use, businesses are routinely charged for the wastewater they produce – but the two quantities are unlikely to be exactly the same.

For example, if you use water in manufacture, routinely recover rainwater or grey water for reuse, or sell water as part of your products for transport off-site, your actual wastewater output might be much less than the amount of fresh water you draw from the mains.

There are a host of similar reasons why you might be mischarged for wastewater, including:

  • Surface run-off charges.
  • Trade effluent.
  • Non-return to sewer.

You can potentially claim back large amounts of money your business has paid out in previous years on wastewater charges, even if you were billed correctly for your fresh water consumption.

 

How to reclaim historic water charges

There are a few things to remember regarding how to reclaim historic water charges – and the most significant, probably, is the fact that the onus of evidence is on the customer.

Because of this, you need to prepare your case with good proof of why you have been mischarged in the past, which is something Envantage can help you with.

Water companies can also place certain limits on the refunds they offer, but again with Envantage’s help, we will seek to maximise any returns paid back to you.

We are able to reclaim historic water charges dating back over a number of years – so if you feel you have been mischarged routinely for a period of time, the total refund you might be able to claim could be considerable.

If you believe you have been unfairly charged for business water consumption, fresh water usage and/or wastewater disposal, call Envantage today for a consultation.

https://www.envantage.co.uk/water-savings/challenging-water-companies.html


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2019 heralds the end of CRC and the start of SECR

A change is coming in April 2019 as the Carbon Reduction Commitment comes to an end, to be replaced by Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting.

The move comes as the government seeks to simplify the various policies that apply to business energy efficiency and decarbonisation, of which CRC is one, along with policies requiring mandatory reporting of energy use and carbon footprint calculations.

Under SECR, a streamlined approach aims to reduce the administrative burden on businesses, while encouraging them to improve energy efficiency, cut carbon emissions and reduce their energy bills.

The move should also have an indirect effect on air quality, as fewer emissions helps to reduce localised air pollution, for the benefit of wider society as a whole.

 

ISO 14064 carbon footprint

Envantage also offer ISO 14064 carbon footprint assistance, a way to quantify your carbon footprint in a standardised and comparable way – giving you data that is meaningful in context against other organisations and industry averages.

Using a recognised standard helps you when calculating your carbon footprint, which in turn helps you to make a stronger brand-positive statement in your environmental responsibility policies and related marketing materials.

SECR is due to be introduced in April 2019, so there is not much time to make significant changes to how you measure, compile and report your carbon footprint and GHG emissions data.

Envantage urge all new and existing clients in this area to make the necessary changes as soon as possible – not only to beat the expected last-minute rush, but also to ensure that by the time April arrives, you are already well underway with collating the required data ready to compile your first mandatory SECR report.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/streamlined-energy-and-carbon-reporting

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/658046/Final_Consultation_Impact_Assessment_-_SECR_framework_-_20171016.pdf


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2018 – a landmark year for green energy

As we welcome 2019 and move ever closer to the major environmental targets and deadlines of 2020, it’s a good time to reflect on a pivotal year in business energy, sustainability and especially green energy.

We see more and more companies opting into green business energy procurement as part of corporate social responsibility policies and environmental commitments – so it’s no surprise that green energy infrastructure and generating capacity continues to grow in the UK.

Here are some of the headlines we saw through the course of 2018 and what they mean for green energy for businesses.

 

ESOS Phase 2 energy data gets underway

Data collection for ESOS Phase 2 began on January 1st 2018, as the 12-month total energy consumption figures reported must include December 31st 2018, the qualification date.

This of course means businesses could start compiling that data later in 2018 if they wished – and those that opted to do so will continue to tally up their energy usage long into 2019 as a result.

ESOS Phase 2 requires proof of compliance to be filed by December 5th 2019, so although it won’t run quite to the end of the coming year, it will still be a big 12 months for affected businesses.

 

Solar power peaks in summer 2018

A major milestone in the move towards renewable energy and sustainable electricity production occurred on June 30th when, albeit briefly, the UK’s number one source of mains electricity was solar power.

On that date, solar power hit 27.8% of the nation’s energy mix – topping the table of energy sources ahead of all other types including gas.

However, it is worth noting that peak solar power also means peak sunlight, and in the summer of 2018 that meant record-breaking heat waves and hosepipe bans for many parts of the UK.

 

Environment tops the Statistics of the Year shortlist

As 2018 drew to a close, the Royal Statistical Society announced its winners of Statistics of the Year, and both the UK and international categories had an environmental theme.

The global statistic of the year was 90.5% – the proportion of all plastic waste that has never been recycled, instead going into landfill sites or incineration.

For the UK, the winning statistic was slightly brighter, as the society chose the 27.8% solar power figure from the summer as the most significant of the year.

Dame Jil Matheson, former national statistician who was on the judging panel, said: “2018 was a landmark year for solar-generated electricity in the UK – as well as for renewable energy more generally.”

https://www.statslife.org.uk/news/4026-statistics-of-the-year-2018-winners-announced


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Business building certification – what is it and why?

Business building certification is a way to measure the energy efficiency of business premises and certify this in a consistent and comparable way – and for many companies it is now a mandatory requirement.

The two main types of business building energy certificates are Display Energy Certificates (DECs) and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).

You may have heard of these in relation to domestic Home Information Packs (HIPs) and domestic EPCs in particular, and while non-domestic energy certificates are different, the principle behind them is the same.

 

Why does my business need an EPC?

A business EPC or DEC gives you a useful analysis of how energy efficient your commercial property is – this is particularly required when building new premises, selling a business building or renting out commercial property.

Large buildings that are open to the public must display their energy certificate where it is clearly visible, and Envantage can help you to decide if this applies to you.

EPCs last for ten years, so although this is something you will need to renew in the future, it also lasts for a relatively long time, unless you make significant changes to the building in the meantime.

 

When should I get a new EPC for my business?

You should get a new EPC for your business if any of the following apply:

  • You want to sell or rent out premises that don’t have a valid EPC already.
  • You build new business premises (an EPC is required on completion).
  • You change significant parts of the building e.g. HVAC systems.

You should make sure to display your EPC in a visible location if all of the following apply:

  • The building has over 500 square metres of usable floor space.
  • The building is normally open to members of the public.
  • An EPC has been produced for the building during construction, sale or rental.

 

What happens if I don’t get an EPC?

The cost of a new non-domestic EPC depends on the size of your building and Envantage provide qualified commercial energy assessors to carry out a detailed assessment of your premises’ energy efficiency.

Without this, you could find you are unable to sell or rent out your commercial property and you should not consider newly built business premises to be ‘complete’ as, again, they are technically unusable.

The penalties for attempting to rent or sell business premises without an EPC can be steep – between £500 and £5,000, depending on the value of the building.

Don’t get caught out by this, especially on new-builds, properties that have never had an EPC, or where an existing EPC is expired or invalidated by substantial changes.

Call Envantage today on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk and our team will help you to understand your obligations regarding commercial energy performance certificates.

https://www.gov.uk/energy-performance-certificate-commercial-property

https://www.envantage.co.uk/energy-management/business-building-certifcation.html


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Corporate responsibility and carbon footprinting

Consumers and stakeholders increasingly expect businesses – especially big businesses – not only to have a CSR strategy in place, but to make that strategy public knowledge.

Many firms in various industries also face a mandatory requirement to calculate their carbon footprint/greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts.

To keep up with these requirements and expectations, it’s important to adopt a rigorous and reliable methodology, which is why Envantage offer standardised carbon footprinting to give you a result that you can show to regulators, stakeholders and customers alike.

 

Why does carbon footprinting matter?

Carbon dioxide, or CO2, is just one of a number of greenhouse gases (GHGs) generally associated with a warming effect in the atmosphere, so reducing CO2 emissions can help in the fight against climate change.

But along with other GHGs like carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide, measuring your emissions can give an insight into other parts of your business, from energy efficiency to sustainability and pollution.

This is what matters to many customers, who want to see that you have adopted a corporate environmental responsibility strategy that tackles greenhouse gas emissions head-on as part of broader sustainability principles and a commitment not to pollute the area in which you operate.

 

What is standardised carbon footprinting?

Standardised carbon footprinting uses globally recognised methods to ensure your results are comparable with others from all over the world.

ISO 14064 is the international standard for this – it is part of the ISO 14000 series of environmental management standards and enables consistent reporting across large regulated and voluntary schemes such as carbon emissions trading, SECR and Mandatory Carbon Reporting.

Envantage provide ISO 14064 standardised carbon footprinting, giving important independent and robust calculation of GHG data for publically reporting organisations that require it.

 

Why is standardised carbon footprinting better?

Standardised carbon footprinting increases the credibility of your carbon footprint report and improves the integrity of the claims it makes regarding carbon emissions and other GHGs.

It gives you a solid platform from which to embark on reducing carbon emissions and tackling climate change within your business and in collaboration with others in your industry.

By sending customers a message that fits in a global context, it demonstrates your commitment to corporate social responsibility and boosts your brand value on a global stage.

Call Envantage today on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk to find out more about our standardised carbon footprinting and what we can do for your company.


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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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