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Derwent fm takes positive action for World Environment Day

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By Derwent fm

Derwent fm are proud to announce the bold steps we are taking on climate action by signing up to The Climate Group’s business initiative on efficient energy (EP100).

Derwent are joining the EP100 project through the energy management pathway. We have committed to reduce our energy consumption by 40% through our energy management system by 2050. This is based on our 2019/20 baseline year.

Derwent fm are one of the first facilities management companies to sign up to EP100. Joining this initiative is a major step towards helping us deliver our strategy and achieve our goals.

Janice Boucher, MD, Derwent fm, said: “Following our implementation of an energy management system and accreditation to ISO 50001, we wish to join other energy smart companies with a commitment to accelerate improvements in climate change. We are passionate about exploring energy efficient technologies and driving cultural change to reduce emissions, costs and combat climate change.”

Can you improve your CHP investment?

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By Onsite Energy Projects

Have you invested in CHP in the last 3-4 years, or are you considering it ? If you haven’t yet, we may be able to provide a zero capex solution delivering significant savings.

If you have already invested, we may be able to help improve returns and reduce your business costs even more by helping you use all the power generated more efficiently.  Likewise if the performance or availability of the CHP has disappointed, we can assist with practical advice and review or renegotiate contract terms.

CCL costs on gas are set to rise by 90% by 2025.  So unless you qualify for an exemption (such as a  climate change agreement), you are going to see your returns eroded.  To those who are “power only” out there, it’s time to think out of the box and ensure you use the heat productively. We can help.

We specialise in making use of the waste heat from CHP or other busines processes.  Technologies to use heat productively now mean that in the right conditions we can use waste heat to produce as low as -40oC (to replace blast freezing, cold stores) or as high as 300oC (furnaces, cooking and frying), and pretty much everything in between, allowing us to reduce energy costs even further.

We can provide a free review of CHP performance, operating costs and options for improvement.

In the right circumstances, we could even purchase your existing CHP and provide discounted power back to you – so you still keep some of the savings and resilience benefits but also release cash for your core business in these challenging times.

This is the reason Onsite Energy Projects exists – we help businesses innovative, and implement the full potential of both energy efficiency and on-site generation measures.  We recognised the challenge of capex availability and can provide a no-capex, off-balance sheet solution.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT: Energy Management from Derwent FM

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By Derwent FM

Energy management is fast becoming the key area of focus in facilities management. As the effects of human impact on our climate and environment become ever more apparent and visible, all stakeholders have their agenda.

We are now seeing real investment in environmentally focused projects such decarbonising heating systems, reducing environmental impact for clients but also crucially saving them vast amounts of money. Therefore, pleasing both shareholders and customers.

This will be the key issue over the years to come, it is crucial that businesses adapt and focus on this today.

For more information on how Derwent FM can help with your energy needs, visit https://www.derwentfm.com/service/full-utilities-management/

Maximise opportunities for your business during Covid-19

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The current Covid-19 pandemic has caused fluctuations in demand and consumption leading to uncertainty around energy procurement. 

While it is unclear what may happen in the coming months, the team at World Kinect Energy Services is on hand to help customers mitigate price risks and maximise opportunities.  

Through continuous, informed market insight and analysis, the global energy expert can identify the latest changes that could impact businesses and offer further guidance on these three top tips:

  • Reviewing your contract tenure
  • Being aware of your hedge position
  • Understanding your credit terms

Click here to find out more, or contact info@world-kinect.com for further advice. 

Don’t let COVID-19 wreck your Net Zero plans

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By Onsite Energy Projects

We all need to refocus on the big issue of climate change, but we are facing a significant recession in the next few years. I predict that capex budgets are going to evaporate, and as a result investment plans are going to be put on hold. The consequence could be to derail our climate change and sustainability plans for some years to come.

At the same time, saving money has never been more important – to be competitive and grow jobs.  So how can you keep up the pace of sustainability gains, energy savings and make your business more competitive ?

Never has there been a better time to look at our zero capex, off-balance sheet solution.  We can help with energy savings ideas, sustainability innovation and develop the business cases for energy efficiency measures.  We can deliver them as an energy supply agreement without any cost to you.  All you need to do is pay for the power we provide (at a discount to what you are paying for grid power).

There is no cost to you for our analysis and recommendations.  We have experience in delivering solutions for complex manufacturing environments. We can particularly add value where you have a lot of use of heat, steam, chill or air conditioning.

In short we can accelerate your plans, not have them beaten back by lack of capital caused by COVID-19.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

How can businesses be more sustainable post Covid-19?

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When faced with great change, we often tend to focus on the negative implications, and in doing so, lose sight of the positive opportunities for our lives and our businesses. These not only help us to protect our businesses and our employees, but allow you to make a positive and lasting improvement to the environment.

Amongst the tragedy and widespread disruption caused by Covid-19, there’s been one glimmer of hope – namely the future of our planet. Carbon emissions have dropped dramatically across the globe, with some reports showing that CO2 levels are 36% lower since lockdown started. But now, as restrictions start to lift, experts have warned that this won’t last unless we start investing in clean energy and continue to galvanise behavioural change across every sector.

But where do we go from here? And what role could SME owners play in ensuring that any environmental gains made during the last few months haven’t been in vain?

Here, Opus Energy, the renewable energy provider to small and medium sized businesses, shares some ideas on how we can take the lessons we’ve learnt from the pandemic and implement them over the long term to reduce our carbon footprint.

Limit the travel of your employees where possible

We have all seen the inspirational images from across the globe of reduced CO2 levels and even wildlife remerging in places we thought they were lost, and it’s disheartening to think that it could all be lost as soon as we begin to mobilise again. As a business owner, it may feel as though this is out of your hands, but as small and medium sized enterprises are the employers of 60% of the UK’s population, supporting your employees to make greener transport choices will make a real impact on the country’s pollution levels.

Even better, if your employees can continue to work from home, consider offering days where your team can do so. Since March, we have seen that businesses can continue to thrive with teams virtually working, and that has been reflected in the reduction in traffic.

There’s no getting away from the fact that transportation constitutes a huge percentage of the UK’s total carbon emissions, with research showing that work-related travel accounts for over a third (37%) of total emissions from passenger transport – 24% from commuting and 13% from travel in the course of business. So, if letting your employees work from home is a viable option, this is definitely something to consider.

Be an advocate for cleaner transport 

For some businesses, it’s not possible for employees to work from home, and as they begin to filter back into the workplace, it’s important to continue the gains we’ve made on reducing the environmental impact.

Public transport or carpooling are usually the go-to option for greener travel, but as we continue to combat Covid-19, social distancing measures will likely impact these forms of travel. With this in mind, options such as cycle to work schemes can work for employees that have a shorter commute, and are a great employee benefit to consider – and carbon neutral. The cycle to work scheme also has tax benefits for your business, as employers can save 13.8% on National Insurance Contributions.

If you have a fleet of vehicles though, consider making the switch to electric. While this might not be available to you immediately due to budget restraints, in the near future, it’s a positive option to explore, particularly as the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars will be banned from 2035 under new Government regulation.

If you offer company cars, incentivise the electric options, for example, installing charging points. We know that range and charging anxiety are still key factors holding drivers back from selecting an electric vehicle, so having the infrastructure in place to allow your employees to charge their vehicles during the day will go a long way to settling that feeling. Electric vehicles solve two problems at once: reducing exhaust-related emissions and reducing the use of fossil-derived fuels – meaning we can keep air pollution down to a safe level.

We saw during the lockdown period the impact that the reduction of traffic had on air pollution across our towns and cities. This showed us that that not only is it possible to reverse the damage, but that we need work together to keep these new-found levels down, and advocating the use of cleaner, more green transport is a huge step in achieving and maintaining this.

Flexibility is key 

Covid-19 has shown us that flexible working means more than just letting your employees work from home: it’s about fostering working relationships built on mutual trust and autonomy, and not being afraid of making bold changes to your business. It’s important for business owners to acknowledge this and to continue to allow their employees flexible working where possible. Not only will this be appreciated by your current employees, but would-be applicants will now, more than ever, be looking for flexibility from employers. It could also help you reduce your energy consumption.  

When the time comes to reintroduce your employees back into your working environment, you should talk to your staff about their needs as many people’s circumstances will have changed. You should also look at how you will allow for social distancing measures, as the safety of your team needs to be at the forefront of all your decisions.

Staggering shifts may be a viable option here. Having half the team work from your premises one week and the other team the next, or even adjusting your opening hours, will go a long way in supporting your team as they return to work. As well as this, adequate space between employees is vital. You’ll need to be smart about your layout, as relocating people to opposite ends of the property or across several floors will only increase your overall electricity consumption.

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to look into installing motion-sensor technology to your office appliances. This can be an effective way to cut your electricity consumption, especially if there are going to be times where there isn’t anyone in the premises or large parts of the building.

Utilising smart meters will help you monitor your electricity consumption during this time. The near real-time data they provide on business energy usage means that you can spot key trends and identify areas for improvement, as well as address any issues swiftly and appropriately. Ultimately, evaluating your habits and identifying opportunities for intelligent change can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

The power of collective action

Although the sharp reduction in emissions we have seen during the lockdown may be temporary, it’s shown us what is possible and what can be achieved through collective action. Together, we should try and continue to reduce our emissions and not slip into old harmful habits.

Saving money on energy using Artificial Intelligence

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Many use BMS (building management systems) to control your buildings. BMS is seen a “smart” in that it automates tasks that would need a human to do (such as changing set points, dead bands etc). Artificial Intelligence is best known for self-driving cars and playing chess against grand masters!! So does it have any role to play in managing our building better and saving money?

At OEP, we are already using artificial intelligence in two very real building and energy management applications and seeing £££ financial benefits:

(A) Energy Management. We can take in half-hourly meter data daily (no hardware needs to be installed), and identify patterns that could indicate a developing fault or anomaly, so it can be investigated before it becomes a cost, adjusting for weather and other inputs. The system self-learns and gets better over time at spotting new real issues. We oversee the results with our experienced energy management team, and interact with the customer.

An example benefit we picked up within 24 hours, was a (human) BMS programming error that would have cost £60,000 had it gone undetected, and probably would never have been picked up in the consumption on invoices.

In practice this also helps identify and monitor “behaviour” issues across an estate.  For example, we could highlight the differences in working practices between one supermarket and another in how they work with their refrigeration systems.

This is an ideal tool for multi-site operations (retail, restaurants, banks etc) with a rapid payback.  It allows over-loaded energy managers to have a proactive management tool, particularly across an estate of meters.  We can provide a THREE MONTH FREE TRIAL for businesses to find out if it works for them.

(B) We are also deploying AI to directly to manage the BMS, and even manufacturing processes. The software “learns” how the building or process reacts over time to different load events and climate conditions (creating a “digital twin”) and can develop its own strategies for how to optimise the building to (1) deliver the climate goals consistently and (2) at least energy cost.   It can even re-commission the building regularly.  Energy saving are typically 25%-40%.

The benefit of using AI is the ability for it to react quickly to changing circumstances, which other systems aren’t able to do. Other applications we are engaged on include compressed air management and refrigeration systems.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required. 

Coping with COVID-19: Waterscan’s Claire Yeates anticipates the long-term impacts for the water sector

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By Claire Yeates, Waterscan

A great deal of good will come from all this. Yes, yes, I know it is an easy thing for an optimist like me to say but I honestly believe it, having attended many day-long, socially distanced, virtual industry meetings over the last couple of months. That is not to say that it will not be difficult: there are obstacles to overcome in all battles and the collective fight against coronavirus in which we are all currently engaged is no different. 

But here is my take on why the water sector will be a better place once we emerge from current trading conditions.

First and foremost, industry regulator Ofwat and market operator MOSL have not deviated from their unified mission to ensure that the customer is paramount. Protecting customers’ interests is absolutely top priority at this time and they have been working at an unprecedented pace and scale to ensure that no-one is left unsupplied or unsupported in difficult times. Whilst this is an unwavering permanent objective, it is their sheer ‘sleeves rolled-up’, can-do attitude that has enabled many measures to be tabled, consulted upon, and implemented in short timeframes, and of course, without face-to-face contact. This flexible, pragmatic, contemporary approach could continue in a bid to speed up performance improvement in the future. 

And here is another positive theme: we are seeing higher levels of collaboration and engagement than ever before. When the self-supply community met for its Spring forum recently, both Ofwat and MOSL thanked attendees for their efficient responses to numerous calls for information to guide decision-making. Long may this level of customer engagement continue.

All of us working in the sustainability arena will be pleased with the positive environmental impacts that have been reported around the world. Emissions of carbon monoxide have fallen by around 50% in New York. Wild kangaroos have been hopping around downtown Adelaide. Venetian canals are clearer than many can remember, and a drop in air pollution has enabled citizens in India to see the Himalayas for the first time in their lives. Is it possible that these wonderful impacts become ‘light-bulb’ moments for the masses: a collective awakening to the possibilities that sustainable, low carbon economies can offer? We can hope. 

So far so good. I mentioned earlier, however, that there would be casualties in the water sector (just as there will be in many others). Several trading parties have been complaining that they are in firefighting mode and have reduced their service levels accordingly, others claim that they are already in need of monetary support to weather the anticipated financial fall-out. 

To me, this raises some really important questions around business continuity: how is it that some trading parties have been operating at the very outer limits of resilience? What we are seeing are weaknesses being exposed: a lack of business continuity planning, inadequate resourcing, an inability to service customers effectively by maintaining data provision and, in some cases, abuse of the very measures that have been put in place to secure their future… it’s not a pretty picture. 

But, is it a bad thing? A competitive market, by definition, is based on the principle of survival of the fittest. If a business is poorly managed, it does not deserve to survive and thrive. The water market could be more sustainable, trusted, and stronger as a whole if all of its constituent elements were run to a consistently high ethical standard.

My biggest concern about the whole situation is that some collaborative work that had begun to drive real change has been halted. As I write, the focus is necessarily on essential work around water supply and the treatment of wastewater. Added value services have largely fallen by the wayside.

In practical terms then, what are the likely longer-term ramifications of all this for commercial water users? 

Market rationalisation through some trading parties going out of business? 

Probably. While Ofwat is working hard to help everyone survive, it is surely inevitable that some businesses in a competitive marketplace will fail. With this in mind, the regulator is absolutely right to keep its focus firmly on the end-customer. 

Higher prices to level-out profit margins? 

There will certainly be a hole that needs filling to shareholder satisfaction. However, I would hope the shortfall will be delivered through efficiencies and innovation and I am confident that any price increases , if required, will be kept proportionate so long as the measures put in place by Ofwat and MOSL are not abused and problems exacerbated.

Greater competition to maintain or regain market share? 

Likely. It is unfortunate that the water retailers that are most at risk of failure are those smaller companies because these tend to be where enhanced services and innovation lie. Regardless of business size though, all suppliers will have to up their game when it comes to customer service and invest in modernisation and improvement programmes to grow market share. 

Administration burden, dealing with a major meter reading and billing backlog? 

Definitely – and this is really unfortunate because it is so unnecessary, especially considering that enabling customers to maintain visibility of their consumption and continue to process payments positively impacts market liquidity. Many thousands of water meters are located where they can be read safely in accordance with social distancing guidelines. I would urge large water users to prioritise the rollout of AMR and data systems in their operations to further alleviate this issue.

Better business continuity planning and higher levels of transparency?

Possible – but this is one thing that really should come out of our experience of Covid-19. 

Amid the chaos of coping with Covid-19 in the short term, I am confident that the market will emerge leaner, stronger, and performing better than ever before as key learnings are highlighted. Just you wait and see… 

www.waterscan.com

Are you getting the most from your CHP?

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By Onsite Energy Projects

We visit a lot of customer sites and am often struck that the heat from CHP is not being used, or that they have operating problems with the CHP and their returns aren’t what they expected.

I equally see CHP vendors and other proposals to customers that advocate a power only solution, but fail to mention the CO2 consequences or IMPORTANTLY the benefits they are missing if they were to achieve Good Quality CHP (GQCHP).

Why is this using the heat important ?

  • 50% of the energy being produced by the CHP is heat – so not using it just wastes it. It also means your CO2emissions will be around 70% higher if you only use the power than just consuming grid power.  If you can use the heat, you can achieve overall CO2
  • If you can use enough of the heat for useful purposes you can reduce your electricity and / or gas consumption. You can also qualify for exemption from Climate Change Levy (CCL) on your gas costs.   For a 2.0 MW CHP that is worth about £160,000 this year – BUT the CCL rates are going up and by 2025 that saving in CCL will be worth £320,000 a year.

So what can you use heat for ?  Well literally you can apply the CHP heat to provide anything from +270oC to -40oC.  So anything from cold stores, refrigerated food manufacturing, cheese maturing, swimming pools to steam intensive manufacturing and even chemicals, ceramics or glass manufacturing with high temperature furnaces can benefit from CHP.

For one of our clients, we have identified a way to save over 2,000,000 kWh of electricity and 12,000,000 kWh of gas using the waste heat from the CHP – with savings of over £450,000.  For another in plastic injection moulding, we can save around 30% of the costs by using the heat.

This is the reason Onsite Energy Projects exists – we help businesses implement the full potential of both energy efficiency and on-site generation measures.  We recognised the challenge of capex availability and can provide a no-capex, off-balance sheet solution.

If you would like to know more email us at info@on-site.energy or call on 0161 444 9989.

Onsite Energy Projects provides energy savings and energy generation solutions to energy intensive businesses, without capex if required.

Are you ready for a sustainable future?

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World Kinect Energy Services provides targeted energy management solutions and support for businesses looking to increase efficiency, enhance sustainability and reduce costs. 

As a consultative partner, the global energy expert can help companies achieve environmental goals through developing and implementing innovative solutions such as sustainability consulting, electric supply valuations, renewable energy services, carbon management solutions and on-site generation assessments.

Working with clients to identify financial and environmental goals, accessing energy market trends and the latest technology, the team’s expertise and experience helps businesses navigate the complexities of distributed and renewable energy resources to find the most efficient and appropriate solutions.

Find out more by clicking here.