Category Archives: News

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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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How Envantage can help with ESOS Phase 2

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory energy saving scheme for large businesses and corporate groups that aims to help protect the environment, while cutting business energy costs by as much as £1.6 billion by 2030.

 

For most large organisations it should be familiar already, and many businesses throughout the UK will have already carried out at least one detailed energy audit, and may have followed up on some of the suggestions made to cut business energy use and reduce energy costs as a result.

 

Envantage have worked with businesses to audit energy budgets ranging from £100,000 to more than £4 million, helping them to achieve ESOS compliance and make energy savings to cut costs and carbon alike.

 

If you are large enough for ESOS to be mandatory, then it requires you to carry out energy assessments at least once every four years, including audits of your industrial processes, along with energy consumed in your buildings and by your transport fleet.

 

For ESOS to be mandatory, you must fall into one of the following categories:

 

  • A UK company with more than 250 employees based in the UK and abroad.
  • A UK company with less than 250 employees but which has:
    • Annual turnover of more than €50 million.
    • A balance sheet of more than €43 million.
  • Belong to a corporate group in which one entity meets either of the above criteria.

 

If you are affected, then the upcoming deadline to comply with ESOS Phase 2 is coming sooner than you might think.

 

When is the ESOS Phase 2 deadline?

 

The official deadline to comply with ESOS Phase 2 is December 5th 2019. However, it is worth remembering that your reference year for that data will include December 5th 2018 – so you can start collating that data immediately.

 

Envantage can help with this. We have qualified Lead Assessors who can provide a free assessment to check whether you qualify for ESOS or not, and can then support you through ESOS compliance as necessary.

 

We will recommend efficiency improvements that not only protect you against fines and penalties under ESOS 2, but which are commercially viable to deliver cost savings over the long term too.

 

The sooner you act, the better – our Lead Assessors will be in considerable demand as the deadline approaches, and we are keen to work with as many companies as possible ahead of time to be able to deliver the best possible efficiency improvements.

 

What our ESOS 2 compliance service provides

 

Our ESOS 2 Lead Assessors are approved by the Environment Agency to compile evidence on your behalf, and to prepare this as an evidence pack that is fully compliant not just with ESOS, but specifically with ESOS Phase 2.

 

This means we can:

 

  • Carry out an ISO 50002 audit by one of our Chartered Energy Managers.
  • Identify energy savings typically in the region of 10-30%.
  • Make recommendations that support your future energy management plans.
  • Help you to implement any recommended changes that we make.

 

Our advice is impartial and based on extensive knowledge of the energy sector, but always on your side when driving cost savings and ESOS 2 compliance as the December 2019 deadline approaches.


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Avoid energy inaccuracy with Envantage’s Bill Validation Service

Our Bill Validation Service is an essential investment for large organisations to ensure you pay the right amount for the energy you use and do not fall victim to unnecessary costs due to errors either in-house or by your suppliers.

A comprehensive Bill Validation Service looks at energy consumption across your entire business, auditing and verifying all of the different utility invoices you receive to make sure that you are not paying twice for the same energy, and that your usage is being tracked accurately.

We do this as a fully outsourced service – so there is no administrative burden on your own in-house team, and we are able to provide the same standard of service for clients no matter how small or large your operations may be.

If you have struggled in the past to keep a close enough watch on multiple utility bills from different providers, or across different areas of your operations, an outsourced Bill Validation Service is the ideal way to get your utilities back under control and identify any unnecessary outgoing costs without changing tariffs or suppliers.

 

What is Envantage’s Bill Validation Service?

Our Bill Validation Service comprises a number of different steps and stages:

  • Collect energy usage information from all areas of your operations.
  • Audit energy figures and utility bills.
  • Query inaccurate invoices directly with your suppliers.
  • Identify and query inaccuracies in tariffs and standing charges.
  • Report back to you any anomalies we find.

We use advanced software to do this, allowing us to manage even very complex, large-scale and widespread bill validation projects, to create an overall utility bill profile that covers gas, water and electricity for each of your sites.

This profile can be broken down into each individual utility, each individual site, and also by contract terms, giving you unbeaten visibility into all areas of your operation’s utility usage and expenditure.

We can provide feedback on a monthly basis – giving you something similar to a credit report that shows you how well you are performing on utility costs, and confirms that we have eliminated any inaccuracies.

Best of all, as an outsourced service, we can liaise directly with your suppliers and take care of the on-site admin too, freeing up your own team to focus on your core business activities.Find out more in our Downloads section or contact Envantage today to discuss our Bill Validation Service on 0800 054 2577 or by email to savings@envantage.co.uk.


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ESOS Compliance – How Envantage Can Help

ESOS compliance should not be a burden – in fact when it is done well, ESOS compliance carries considerable added value as a way to reduce your energy spend and also your carbon footprint.

This in turn can unlock even more savings particularly for firms operating in energy-intensive industries where carbon offsetting costs are a concern.

But it is important to enter into your ESOS assessment with the correct approach in mind, so that you benefit from the maximum possible energy savings, and don’t just face added costs due to ESOS compliance.

Either way, it is important to make sure you comply with ESOS if you are a large UK-based organisation or a corporate parent group, as ESOS compliance is likely to be mandatory for you.

 

About ESOS

ESOS is the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and is mandatory for large UK firms and corporate groups. Failure to comply can lead to civil penalties and costly fines.

An ESOS audit will quantify the energy used by your company, from your premises to your transportation and any energy-intensive industrial processes, all with a view to identifying possible areas to make energy savings.

These savings are designed to be cost-effective for participating companies – you should not lose money overall – with a projected total saving of nearly £2 billion for UK businesses by 2030.

 

Envantage help with ESOS

Our expert team have already audited around one billion kWh of energy usage to ISO 50002 standard and we can help you with ESOS compliance too.

We can confirm that you qualify for ESOS and make sure that we add as much value as possible to your ESOS audit and compliance, with full support on any recommendations we make.

Our approved lead assessors take a business-focussed approach to minimise any fines you face and maximise cost savings and energy reductions, typically achieving in the range of 10-30%.

Clients benefit from our high-quality ESOS reports, delivered in a timely manner, to help tackle the most demanding of timelines when you need to catch up with your ESOS compliance obligations.

Find out more about ESOS and other energy efficiency schemes on our Compliance Management pages or visit our Downloads section for our PDF guides.

You can contact Envantage directly on 0800 054 2577 or savings@envantage.co.uk to arrange an ESOS audit or to ask for our help in determining whether or not your company qualifies for mandatory ESOS compliance.


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Demand Side Response – What is it and why?

Demand Side Response, or Demand Side Management, is a form of energy demand management that ultimately aims to make sure demand does not exceed supply at peak times.

This is in contrast to the more traditional technique of Supply Side Response, in which power stations increase their output at busy times.

In domestic energy terms, examples of the two different methods might include:

  • Supply Side Response: Power stations increase output at the end of a popular TV show when most households put the kettle on.
  • Demand Side Response: Tariffs like Economy 7 that charge households less for power used overnight, and so encourage them to use their heating and other utilities in these non-peak hours.

For businesses, of course, the stakes can be much higher, with financial incentives worth much more if you operate in an energy-intensive industry.

 

Why use Demand Side Response?

You might ask why businesses and even domestic energy users are being encouraged to use Demand Side Response tariffs for business energy and household supplies – and why the energy networks do not just adjust the supply as necessary.

The short answer to this is that it is more effective to combine both Demand Side Response and Supply Side Response methods so that supply and demand meet in the middle, rather than simply trying to provide as much energy as physically possible at peak times.

For businesses, DSR tariffs are a great opportunity to make substantial savings. By showing willingness to work with the energy suppliers on moderating your level of energy demand at peak times, the financial incentives you can receive in return are well worth looking into.

 

DSR as part of overall energy procurement

DSR tariffs do not have to work in isolation; they are part of a variety of ways to moderate your electricity demand, which can also reduce your reliance on fossil fuel derived electricity.

For example, you might want to prioritise DSR tariffs for your mains business energy power supply, while also incorporating green energy into your overall procurement plan for business electricity and other resources.

In this way, you can meet your environmental responsibility commitments, increase your use of renewables and decrease your demand for fossil fuels and business energy from the Grid – helping to improve your overall energy stability for the coming years, at a time when the margin between supply and demand in the UK is becoming tighter than ever.


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How Envantage can help you with energy procurement

The best energy procurement services can save your business huge amounts of money over the long term, with those savings starting from day one in a climate of high wholesale energy prices.

At Envantage we can help with business energy procurement by suggesting the best business energy tariffs currently available on the market and the kinds of deals that are worth making to lock in those prices.

If you want to retain some flexibility and freedom, that’s fine too, as we can offer flexible business energy procurement to give you the option of changing to a different tariff or supplier if your circumstances change.

Fixed energy procurement

Fixed business energy deals allow you to lock in the best business energy tariffs currently available on the market, by agreeing to a minimum term contract with your new supplier, or switching to a fixed tariff with your existing supplier.

This can help with long-term business expense planning, as you gain peace of mind that your wholesale energy unit price will remain the same for the duration of your deal.

Business energy procurement recognises that you will be buying in bulk – so with the right negotiations, backed by a fixed energy contract over a specific term, there can be substantial savings made by switching supplier.

Flexible energy procurement

We appreciate that not everybody wants to be bound by a long-term business energy supply contract, so if you prefer, we can arrange fully flexible contracts too.

These still allow you to benefit from the cheapest business energy tariffs at the present time, as well as negotiation over the amount of energy you will use and the best unit price.

But they leave you with control over when you switch again in the future – perfect for businesses with changing energy demands or if you don’t want to be tied to a single supplier for the foreseeable future.

Green electricity procurement

Finally, we can focus on green electricity procurement if you want to improve the environmental profile of your business energy use.

With the correct clean electricity procurement, you can arrange a supply that qualifies as certified low-carbon or even zero-carbon for the purposes of greenhouse gas reporting.Not all business energy products that claim to provide clean energy actually meet the reporting requirements – so to get the help of our experts on this and any general business energy procurement, contact Envantage on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk.


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Mandatory Carbon Reporting – what is it and does my business need to worry about it?

Mandatory Carbon Reporting dates back to mid-2012 when Defra announced that all business listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange would be required to report their greenhouse gas emissions, starting from the following financial year.

It was the latest in five years of efforts to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in the UK, since the then climate change secretary Ed Miliband had set an ambitious target to cut total GHG emissions by a massive 80% between 1990 and 2050.

The Carbon Reduction Commitment for businesses was part of this too, and with the addition of Mandatory Carbon Reporting, the UK became the first country in the world to require its biggest businesses to calculate and report such data.

A further five years later, as the Climate Change Act 2008 marks its first decade anniversary, businesses of all sizes are now subject to a full raft of reporting requirements both mandatory and voluntary, covering everything from energy use and carbon footprint, to total GHG emissions.

How do I know if my business is affected?

Envantage can help you to decide which mandatory reporting requirements apply to you, as well as any voluntary reporting commitments you might want to sign up to.

Subscribing to voluntary reporting schemes can be beneficial for your business – it sends a clear message that you are committed to environmental concerns, and it can help you to make efficiency improvements in your energy and water consumption, as well as to identify the best green energy tariffs for your usage.

The exact reporting requirements that affect you typically depend on the size of your business, but there can be other factors too, such as whether you are listed on the LSE, or if you operate in a particularly energy intensive industry that has been singled out by the government to receive extra support.

Reducing energy consumption via ESOS

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme is a further mandatory energy audit for large British firms, which requires you to reduce carbon emissions while cutting operating costs where possible.

By 2030 it is expected to achieve almost £2 billion in energy savings, while those firms that do not comply could face fines and civil penalties – so it’s worth being on the right side of this trend too.

To speak to our experts about ESOS, CRC and whether you are affected by Mandatory Carbon Reporting, contact Envantage today and we can arrange the necessary energy audits to help you meet your commitments while improving your energy procurement and usage and cutting costs for the future.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/leading-businesses-to-disclose-greenhouse-gas-emissions


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Go-ahead given to Manchester CHP tower

An £18 million ‘tower of light’ that will provide combined heat and power (CHP) to iconic buildings in Manchester city centre received the go-ahead on March 8th.

Manchester Evening News political and social affairs editor Jennifer Williams tweeted from the council’s planning meeting as they debated the proposal, dubbed the Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network.

If carried out as planned, it would see a 40-metre CHP generating tower built above ground adjacent to Manchester Central, the former GMEX exhibition centre behind the Midland Hotel.

This would then transmit hot water and electricity via two kilometres of pipes underground to the exhibition venue and the hotel, as well as to Bridgewater Hall, Manchester Art Gallery and Manchester Central Library.

Manchester Town Hall, currently closed for refurbishment, could also be connected to the CHP Tower of Light’s output as part of its redevelopment.

The structure itself, meanwhile, would also serve as a kind of public art installation, a link back to the city’s industrial heritage capable of being illuminated in different colours using LED lighting.

In the March 8th meeting, planning officer Dave Roscoe called the plans “quite spectacular”, noting how the open design of the tower would allow passers-by to see its inner workings.

Councillor Mary Watson admitted that she did not understand how a CHP tower works, but loved the application anyway, calling the tower “beautiful” especially for its illuminated colour-changing ability.

And Councillor Basil Curley echoed her comments, expressing his own love for the pipework and an interest in learning more about how the tower would function.

With no objections from statutory bodies responsible for any of the nearby listed buildings – many of which would benefit from the eco-friendly heat and power generated by the CHP tower anyway – the application was granted approval.

Construction work is likely to begin quite soon, with the initial build of the tower expected to start in spring 2018, although the underground pipework could take up to 18 months to complete.

A £3 million contribution from the UK government will go towards covering the costs, while Manchester Town Hall will pay the rest before recouping the outlay in full from the heat and power generated on-site.

The 40-metre CHP tower should eventually stand sentinel to the left of Manchester Central’s front entrance, adjacent to the Metrolink line as it runs up to Deansgate-Castlefield.

Importantly, as the land is alongside the track, work should not mean interrupting Metrolink services, allowing the trams to continue running throughout the Manchester Civic Quarter Heat Network project.

If you have any questions about CHP or other energy topics covered in this blog, please call Envantage on 0800 054 2577.


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