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5 Opportunities to Reduce your Energy Costs

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By Centrica Business Solutions

In today’s challenging economic climate, it’s more critical than ever to control and reduce business costs.  As a major overhead, energy is a good place to focus. In fact, a 20% cut in energy costs can represent the same bottom line benefit as a 5% increase in sales.

However, many businesses are unclear how best to achieve energy cost efficiencies without jeopardising carbon reduction targets or spending large sums of money.

Centrica Business Solutions has published a new guide that details five opportunities to help businesses manage energy costs to balance commercial success with environmental responsibility. 

The guide explains how advances in technology, digitalisation and new financing models are opening up affordable new opportunities to make long-term energy savings. These methods can help businesses to work towards their net-zero ambitions, while also improving operation efficiency and resilience.

Our energy cost reduction guide shows you 5 proven methods to:

1. Drive energy efficiency through data

2. Unlock revenue opportunities from your energy estate

3.  Create energy independence by generating your own power

4.  Become a sustainable business and gain competitive advantage

5.  Use finance solutions to invest in new energy technology

Centrica Business Solutions partners with organisations to deliver integrated distributed energy projects. We help you to balance commercial success and environmental responsibility to take a cost effective pathway to a low carbon future.

Benefit from our international footprint, expertise and flexible finance – to improve your cost, environmental & operational performance.

Download the new guide: ‘5 Opportunities to manage energy costs’

The importance of ventilation in controlling COVID-19

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By ETS

Looking to the future, property teams will also need to consider how they will reopen sites again once staff start coming back to the workplace. 

As we look forward to the eventual reopenings –it’s important for building managers to keep up to date with the latest government guidance. In particular, information coming out from groups such as the Environmental Modelling Group. As their recently released paper highlights, the role that ventilation systems have to play in controlling Covid-19 transmission throughout buildings is becoming increasingly clear.

The Role of Ventilation Systems (H2)

Ventilation is obviously an important factor in mitigating the risk of virus transmission. As a result, optimising ventilation operation should form an integral part of a wider Covid-19 mitigation strategy for all multi-occupancy spaces. 

This should include investigation into the current ventilation performance in all parts of a building, and implementation of a strategy which is adapted to ensure that ventilation is adequate throughout. For example, multi-occupant spaces that are reused regularly and are poorly ventilated (i.e. those that have a ventilation rate of below 5 l/s/person or a CO2 level of above 1500 ppm) should be identified and prioritised for improvement.

Measuring for elevated CO2 levels in indoor air is an effective method of identifying poor ventilation performance in multi-occupancy spaces. However, it should be noted that in low occupancy or large air volume spaces, a low level of CO2 cannot necessarily be used as an indicator that ventilation is sufficient to mitigate risk of transmission.

Part of an Encompassing Solution (H2)

While ventilation is one of the primary factors when it comes to Covid-19 mitigation in multi-occupancy spaces, it should form part of a wider strategy. 

Ventilation should be balanced against other aspects – in particular, thermal comfort. This may pose a challenge in naturally vented buildings, however strategies such as intermittent airing and partial window opening to compliment background ventilation may enable this to be achieved (or enable sufficient ventilation to be achieved whilst limiting the impact on thermal comfort.)

Overarching guidance from the Government recommends that organisations identify where they may need to secure additional financial or technical support to enable them to take appropriate actions to ensure the safety of the space they provide or occupy. 

How can ETS help? (H3)

Energy & Technical Services have a long history of improving HVAC system performance across all sectors – ensuring appropriate ventilation rates whilst maintaining a firm grip on cost and carbon. We also offer a technology-led Indoor Air Quality solution, to measure internal conditions for a wide range of parameters, and subsequently control building services operation to ensure optimal internal conditions for occupants. 

To discuss your requirements, get in touch. You can contact us by calling 0117 205 0542 or drop us an email at enquiries@energy-ts.com.

www.energy-ts.com

Realise your net zero ambitions through SECR compliance

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By ENGIE

Businesses have a major part to play in helping the UK reach its target of becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) legalisation requires organisations to publicly report energy use, carbon emissions, and energy efficiency, and it can be an important first step to achieving your carbon reduction targets. 

What is SECR?
SECR came into force in April 2019 and is a set of sustainability regulations requiring large organisations to report energy and carbon emissions as well as energy efficiency measures taken throughout the year, on an annual basis. It affects almost 12 thousand companies putting more responsibility on them to choose how they measure and report their emissions.

Do you need to comply?

Large UK incorporated companies are required to comply with SECR if they have two of the three qualifying conditions; 

  • at least 250 employees, 
  • an annual turnover of more than£36m 
  • an annual balance sheet total over £18m

Achieving SECR compliance 
Specialist energy consultants such as ENGIE can support your business by providing end-to-end assistance for all your SECR obligations. At ENGIE we will calculate accurate emissions, produce your SECR report and provide a template that fits your business for future use. We will identify the most appropriate metrics to measure your business against and express your emissions as a ratio of activities chosen specifically for you. We can carry out all necessary audits to ensure you are fully compliant, all with minimal disruption to you. 

Already SECR compliant?  – take the next step with ENGIE Certify  
Our ENGIE Certify service covers all your compliance requirements  – If you’re already SECR compliant that is a great first step to achieving your carbon reduction targets, ENGIE can help you progress by  working with you to produce a net zero roadmap. By looking at energy efficiency, renewable generation and energy sourcing we can show you how you can make your business net zero, and we can help you achieve it. 

Find out more about how ENGIE can support your SECR reporting and help you achieve your net zero ambitions here

ENGIE specialises in the production and supply of low carbon energy, services and regeneration supporting the net zero carbon transition.

Picture Credit: Main image by Thinkstock

Can you afford (not to do) energy efficiency and onsite generation ?

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By OnSite Energy

The four main barriers to implementing energy efficiency and onsite generation are:

  1. Payback too long  
  2. No capex available
  3. Commercial Terms
  4. Internal priorities

(1) and (2) can both be addressed by using a third party (such as www.on-site.energy who fund the measures, enabling items with a payback up to 10 years to be realised. The arrangement is called an Energy Supply Agreement (ESA)

The barriers to ESA in my experience are in (3) and (4), where aligning interests, building confidence and being adaptable on commercial terms are key.

Our ESA is short, written in clear English and is fair.  There are no surprises or additional costs and we are flexible to the needs and constraints of the customer. Most ESCO providers are funded by institutions, who fix their criteria (which often don’t suit businesses). Examples are the contract length is too long and “take and pay” clauses which shift all the risk to the customer.

#energysavings #ppa #energysolutions #energyefficiency #netzero

How to turn sustainable energy targets into action: a leadership guide

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By Centrica Business Solutions

Sustainability and profit are two sides of the same coin, which is why CEOs must build back greener from the global pandemic. But how can senior executives turn their decarbonisation ambitions into action to deliver on both their environmental and economic goals? 

Long-term carbon reduction plans will quickly falter without the backing of senior leaders. These individuals are in a unique position to drive sustainability by setting a clear direction, nurturing team collaboration and managing cultural change.

There’s a groundswell of commitment to decarbonisation from businesses and investors alike, with many of the world’s best known brands setting net-zero targets. However, delivering on these long-term targets is complex and challenging. 

Centrica Business Solutions is helping organisations to overcome these challenges. We have published a new guide to show business leaders  ‘How to Turn Ambitious Sustainability Targets into Effective Action.’

To accelerate the delivery of ambitious sustainability goals, CEOs and their executive teams  need a clear, dynamic action plan that de-risks commitments, shows tangible progress and reassures stakeholders.

The sustainability leaders’ guide explains how business leaders can create a carbon reduction plan that aligns fully with business strategy to deliver results, while demonstrating progress along the way.

This involves developing a sustainable energy pathway – broken down into  manageable, incremental steps.  Using this his methodology,  organisations can  translate both short and longer-term goals into feasible, detailed action plans that balance both economic and environmental priorities.

Download our guide to how senior executives can deliver on sustainable energy ambitions

Reflections on 2020 and Predictions for 2021

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By Carl Ennis (pictured), CEO Siemens and Smart Infrastructure, GB&I

Since becoming CEO in December, most of my life has been dominated by Covid-19.  But despite causing many difficulties, the pandemic has brought some good. It has accelerated the pace of change and given us valuable insights into where – and how – we will work in the future, the skills we will need, and the environmental challenges we face.

It has also provided distraction from Brexit, which I hope will move the discussion away from its rights and wrongs to focus on how the country can maximise any opportunities in the year ahead.

In the new future many people will continue to work from home if they can do so effectively, while offices will become places to meet. At Siemens, like much of the UK business community, we have found that intercontinental flights and getting together in person is not as essential as we thought. We now run strategy workshops and town halls online, and even festivals where we engage with all our employees. I predict that these ways of communicating with each other and groups of people will continue.

One of the many benefits of this working model is accelerated decarbonisation, which we urgently need. Our economy was almost crippled during the first lockdown, yet CO2 emissions reduced by just 20% and NOX by 40%. Strategies to increase decarbonisation will be central to discussion at next year’s UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, in Glasgow, in which I hope President-elect Biden’s administration will play a crucial role. Having the US agree that climate change is a real risk, with its scale and ability to influence global policies, will help the world address the issue.

My worry for the UK is that in the government’s enthusiasm to kick-start the economy, we will do what is easy or cheap rather than what is right. But instead of trying to generate short-term jobs we must “grow back green” and invest in long-term jobs that help decarbonise.

The government is also focused on identifying a couple of big things it can do to achieve the decarbonisation targets. These large-scale projects, such as investing in wind power and hydrogen, are important. Wind power is already generating more than 20% of the UK’s electricity, and hydrogen has huge potential for fuelling vehicles and trains and for replacing natural gas in home heating systems and industrial turbines.

But local initiatives are also essential if we are to meet our net zero carbon targets. That’s why Siemens has been helping local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) and local governments address energy challenges in transport, industry and infrastructure. Individuals need to get involved too. The old adage of environmentalists is “reduce, reuse, recycle.”  Reducing consumption requires all 66m people in the UK to participate.

I believe the shock that the virus has delivered to our economy will speed up digitalisation across industry. We will build a digital environment which will become central to everything we do. Unfortunately it will be painful for many sectors and businesses, but in the mid to long term it will be positive. History shows that when countries go through industrial revolutions there are winners and losers, but overall in the end everyone’s a winner.

We know that our businesses will be very different 10 years from now. A statistic that always astounds me is that 80% of the employees that we will have in 2030 are with us today. So while entry-level skills for apprentices and graduates matter, the existing workforce will need to re-skill too.

Adult learning is crucial and has gone unaddressed in the UK for too long. Covid-19 and Brexit have reinforced the need for us to develop and change our skills. This is not just about technical expertise — soft skills and vocational work will become increasingly necessary.

The fact that the virus pushed Brexit down the hierarchy of news was probably helpful. Anybody who’s been involved in negotiating a big deal knows you don’t want to do it on a public stage. The challenge is how to unlock the benefits people wanted without causing damage in the short term for individuals, society and business.

The negotiating teams have been trying hard to do that, and while time is short, most deal-making is done in the eleventh hour, so I remain hopeful. The gap between both sides is probably quite narrow, but a deal is essential for stability. Anything that goes above WTO arrangements will be positive.

President-elect Biden has been clear on his desire that the UK government does not implement changes that destroy the Good Friday agreement. We must not put that at risk. My father was from Dublin so I know first-hand how important the island of Ireland is to the Irish and our shared culture.

It’s going to be tough. From a business perspective, erecting barriers to trade is never a good idea. Brexit is likely to result in friction between us and our biggest trading partner, mainland Europe. That will present a challenge, but we’ll have to make the best of it. Luckily, as a nation we’re pretty good at triumphing over adversity and our business people are entrepreneurial.

Meanwhile, Brexit hasn’t stopped Siemens investing in the UK. In Hull, we partnered with Associated British Ports in a £310m investment to build a wind turbine blade manufacturing facility creating 1,000 jobs. And now we are spending £200m in Goole on a train facility to build the next generation of underground trains with 700 new jobs.

We still see the UK as a vibrant place and will continue to invest. While we would rather the added level of complexity of Brexit wasn’t there, it’s not stopping us from doing business.

But it will make life difficult for those of our suppliers and partners with vertically integrated supply chains in continental Europe and those who are trying to sell their products there. A brave person might make predictions about where they will be in a year’s time. But I will put my crystal ball aside for now.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Future Motors

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By Future Motors

Future Motors is a young, vibrant business revolutionising energy consumption with an electric Switch Reluctance Smart Motor. It is designed for easy retrofit into existing HVAC, refrigeration, pumping and equipment currently using an induction motor.

With payback less than 3 years, this energy efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly, patented design features a bespoke, intelligent IoT-driven software controller, for a supremely controllable motor at a much reduced lifetime cost.  It’s built-in software and connectivity provides constant real-time monitoring of energy use, speed, torque, and temperature which allows automatic diagnosis of HVAC system issues. This connectivity can be via your existing BMS or via the cloud.

Contact us to learn how Switch Reluctance Smart Motor systems can energise savings for your business.

www.futuremotors.co.uk

You’ve done as much as you can with short payback, what else can you do?

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By David Kipling, OnSite Energy

Many companies have by now committed to energy reduction targets either through sustainability policy, net zero goals, CO2 emissions reduction targets or via CCA agreements. Further energy efficiencies are going to be needed, as the targets are getting tougher. For CCA, renewables don’t count, it is only efficiency that is eligible.

Where efficiencies can be found will depend on your company’s existing processes and sources of energy. 

The good news is there has never been so much innovation in energy technology.  Costs are falling and the range of applications and efficiencies are improving.   So if you appraised a technology three or more years ago, its probably worth revisiting that appraisal to take account of current pricing and improved efficiencies.  

At OEP, we take a data-led, technology agnostic approach.  We can often add-value by introducing technologies and solutions that hadn’t been considered, from artificial intelligence & internet of things sensing, to the latest heat recovery, absorption chillers, or wind technology.

If this sounds interesting then please get in touch with David Kipling at david@on-site.energy or call him on 07824 018991.  OEP specialises in supporting energy intensive industry.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Future Motors electric Switch Reluctance Smart Motor

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Future Motors is a young, vibrant business looking to revolutionise energy consumption in the UK and EU. We are doing that with an electric Switch Reluctance Smart Motor designed for use in in HVAC, refrigeration, pumping and most equipment that currently uses an induction motor.

Energy efficient, cost-effective and environmentally-friendly, the patented design features a bespoke, intelligent IoT-driven software controller, for a supremely controllable motor at a much reduced lifetime cost.  Its built-in software and connectivity provides constant real-time monitoring of energy use, speed, torque, and temperature which allows automatic diagnosis of HVAC system issues. This connectivity also allows remote controllability to maximise energy efficiency and enable demand-side management to avoid higher energy tariffs and enjoy demand side response revenues.

Don’t just take our word for it. wilko, one of the UK’s largest family owned DIY, homeware and garden retailers, is rolling out a nationwide upgrade programme for all the electric motors that drive HVAC air conditioning systems in its stores. Following an extensive and successful trial period, the retailer has invested in nearly 400 patented Switch Reluctance Smart Motor systems, manufactured by newly rebranded Silicon Valley-based Turntide Motors. An audit of motors performance during this roll-out measured average energy savings of 42% which outperforms the expected savings and gives a simple financial payback of less than 3 years.

The average C02 saved per unit in the trial equated to 2.4 tonnes, with a kilowatt saving per unit of 7,780 KWhrs, when compared to the incumbent electric motor systems. When scaling these savings across wilko’s total install base of electric motors, the estimated savings are substantial – 918 tonnes of C02 and 2.97 gigawatt hours throughout the lifecycle of the motors.

Adopting this approach to energy saving also enables operations to work towards the UK government’s goal of Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. It promotes the view that creating a better future for society is a better future for business.

To learn more about why we agree and how Switch Reluctance Smart Motor systems can energise savings for your business book your one to one meeting.

www.futuremotors.co.uk

How would your business benefit by achieving net zero earlier than its competitors?

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By Onsite Energy Projects

Customers, investors, the planet want business to be more sustainable and to achieve net zero. Achieving net zero will require energy efficiency, a strategy based on data, innovation and funding.  

The start point is data –what is causing your energy consumption, how is it controlled, how is it bought, what is its carbon footprint, what is the baseload, the peak, when does it happen ?  Also how does your consumption compare to similar businesses … what are your kWh consumed per m2, per m3, is it affected by outside weather ?  Could that indicate outdated plant ? Data is the start point to identify opportunities.  

We can provide a free review of your energy data and provide those insights that can help you start the net zero journey.  We can also help with innovation and even funding the measures, to enable you to achieve net zero sooner.  How would your business benefit if you could achieve net zero earlier than your competitors ?

If this sounds interesting then please get in touch with David Kipling at david@on-site.energy or call him on 07824 018991.  OEP specialises in supporting energy intensive industry.