Category Archives: News

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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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SECR - mandatory under The Companies Act 2006

SECR – THE NEW, BIGGER, COMPULSORY EMISSIONS REPORTING FRAMEWORK – WHAT DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?

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There’s a new Carbon Reporting framework coming into force in 2019: Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting or SECR. What are the basics you really need to know?

  • SECR replaces the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (which you might also know as the Carbon Reduction Commitment).
  • The number of organisations affected by SECR will grow to almost 12,000, compared to just 4,000 for CRC… So, you might be included in SECR even though you’ve never been in CRC.

ARE YOU INCLUDED IN SECR?

All quoted companies (who are already party to Mandatory Carbon Reporting, also known as Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting) will be required to report under SECR rules which have been revised slightly for MCR.

From April 2019 all unquoted companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) will be included if they meet two of the following criteria:

  • At least 250 employees
  • Annual Turnover greater than £36 million
  • Annual Balance Sheet total greater than £18 million

IF YOU’RE ALREADY COVERED BY MANDATORY CARBON REPORTING AS A QUOTED COMPANY

Note that from 1st April 2019 there are new requirements. The rules you may have followed to date will change slightly so you will need to ensure that you know how this might affect your business.

IF YOU’RE NEW TO SECR – UNQUOTED COMPANIES

Reporting your Carbon Emissions may be new to you, but it‘s not new to us. Here at Envantage we’ve been measuring greenhouse gas emissions for organisations for 14 years, working with accountants and auditors since the inception of Mandatory Carbon Reporting to assure compliance for some of the largest business in the UK. Our experience is unrivalled, giving you peace of mind.

There are some exceptions, but very few. If you’re still unsure, or if this is a surprise to you, contact us today to check whether you’re affected.

SECR comes into force on 1st April 2019. In your first accounting period beginning after that date, you will need to quantify your energy consumption from electricity, gases, and business transport. You will also be obliged to report energy against an intensity metric and after the first year compare your performance with the previous year.

All of this information needs to be published in the Director’s report within your published accounts, for the transparent view of your stakeholders. You will also need to publish a narrative about the energy efficiency measures you’ve taken during a reporting period.

ASSURED COMPLIANCE

SECR is an important part of your obligations under the Companies Act 2006, and your published results can be subject to official audit by HMRC. Therefore it’s essential that you know the risks and ensure that your SECR compliance and reporting is in safe hands.

By choosing the right partner you can get on with your day job in the knowledge that your compliance is being dealt with professionally.

CAN SECR BE A BENEFIT?

While SECR is a mandatory scheme with rules to follow, it is a scheme aimed at reducing the carbon emissions of UK organisations. Embracing its values can be a benefit to you. Publishing the required information helps your potential customers and your stakeholders to understand your approach to improving your efficiencies, boosting your brand value. The information used in your submissions can also be invaluable in your marketing literature and tender processes, helping you to win more customers.

Many organisations also use the information required for mandatory submissions as a start point to measuring their own full Carbon Footprint. Why not take the next step and build a complete view of your Carbon impact? The brand benefits of this can be significant: ask us how we can help.

SECR - Transparent and clear emissions reporting
SECR – Transparent and Clear Emissions Reporting

SO… ARE YOU COMPLETELY READY?

SECR will affect your organisation from your first month of your first accounting year after 1st April 2019. Don’t leave things to the last minute.

You will need to have data collection routines in place to make sure you’re protected against the risks of non-compliance. In addition, simple supply-and-demand means that as the 2019 accounting year progresses, help will become more scarce and expensive. A managed process throughout your reporting year is the best approach to SECR. By avoiding last-minute work and last-minute charges, you will be prepared and protected.

As well as a vastly experienced team, Envantage can offer audit support: we’ve worked alongside auditors for many of our clients and will support you with HMRC, if necessary, to provide the evidential records you will need in the event of any audit.  You can rest assured that you have the right partners looking after you.

ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Your Annual Report for financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2019 will need to contain your SECR information, so if you’re not certain what will be required, now is the time to check. Contact Envantage today to ensure that you’re going to be compliant – call free on 0800 054 577 or email savings@envantage.co.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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ESOS Phase 2 Compliance - Checklist

ESOS PHASE 2 – WHAT SHOULD YOU DO NOW?

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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 you be looking at ESOS Phase 2 so early?

(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
ESOS Phase 2 Stress - Early Compliance with Envantage removes it
Secure Early Compliance – Avoid Submission Deadline Headaches

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 consultants, 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 Consultants 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.

WHY USE ENVANTAGE FOR ESOS PHASE 2?

If you’re not already working with Envantage, ask us about our class-leading team and what it can do for you. We have unrivalled experience: our Lead Assessors and Energy Consultants have successfully managed compliance for over 300 ESOS organisations already.

We have worked throughout the UK since 2004 in all business sectors, using our experience to reduce costs and emissions. We strive to not only assure compliance, but we work with you to deliver a positive ROI for your efforts.

ASK US ABOUT EARLY COMPLIANCE

Call us on 0800 054 2577 or email savings@envantage.co.uk today. We’ll talk to you about your options and ease your worries.

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 of 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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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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