Stuart O'Brien, Author at Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd
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Stuart O'Brien

Reviewing water contracts could lead to significant cost savings

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By World Kinect Energy Services

The English water market is now the most competitive it has ever been. By switching supplier, you could save more on your water bills than ever before. Ofwat recently revised non-domestic water retail prices, which determined the prices water retailers can charge during the next regulatory period from 1 April 2020, and now is the time to take advantage.

Review your water contract now and benefit from: 

  • discounts on your water bills
  • money savings
  • reassurance you have the best deal on your water.

To benefit from competitively priced water contracts, contact the World Kinect Energy Services water team here:

Government pledges £80 million to help cut emissions from homes and industry

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Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has announced nearly £80 million of government investment to help cut carbon emissions from homes and energy intensive businesses.

The funding will be invested in a wide range of programmes, including pioneering heat network trials and an innovative new programme to bring down the cost of retrofitting residential properties with the latest energy efficiency technologies.

Funds announced include:

  • £30 million towards the first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), which supports energy intensive manufacturers, like car factories and steel plants, to cut their carbon footprint
  • £25 million for heat networks, which reduce carbon and cut heating bills for customers, including one which will harness geothermal water sitting in disused mines to heat 1,250 homes
  • £24 million for innovative projects to help develop energy efficient homes by installing green tech and insulation in houses

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We want to invest now to ensure we continue to propel the UK towards a stronger, greener future. This new £80 million investment will help to reduce emissions across our economy, which will save people money on energy bills and protect jobs in heavy industry.”

Phase 1 of the IETF is worth an initial £30 million in support of the manufacturing sector. The fund allows companies with high energy use to apply for grants to install technology that reduces their energy bills and cuts carbon emissions.

Worth an eventual £289 million in England, Wales and Northern Ireland up until 2024, the IETF also seeks to help bring down the costs of technologies that reduce energy consumption and emissions in heavy industrial processes.

£25 million will go towards heat networks, including one in Gateshead, which will harness hot geothermal water sitting in disused mines to heat 1,250 homes. With thousands of redundant mine shafts criss-crossing the country, experts say that if the mine shaft technology proves successful and economically viable, it could be scaled up to power around 6 million homes around Britain.

The final £24 million green homes investment will comprise of:

  • £7.7 million to install green technology and insulation in over 300 council houses, to bring down the cost of retrofitting homes – with pilot projects in Cornwall, Nottingham, and Sutton
  • £14.6 million to pilot the roll-out of innovative heat pumps to 750 homes in the South East of Scotland, the South East of England and Newcastle
  • £1.8 million to support the development of innovative green home finance products by lenders.

The announcements today form part of the wider efforts to ensure the UK meets its legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Do you specialise in Data Collection & Management? We want to hear from you!

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Each month on Energy Management Briefing we’re shining the spotlight on a different part of the market – and in July we’ll be focussing on Data Collection & Management Solutions.

It’s all part of our ‘Recommended’ editorial feature, designed to help energy management buyers find the best products and services available today.

So, if you’re a supplier of Data Collection & Management Solutions and would like to be included as part of this exciting new shop window, we’d love to hear from you – for more info, contact Lisa Rose on 01992 374077 /

Our features list in full:

Jul – Data Collection & Management
Aug – Waste Management
Sep – Solar PV
Oct – Lighting
Nov Heating & Ventilation
Dec – Utility Management

Attend the Energy Management Summit in person or virtually

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With the increasing amount of challenges that the energy industry is facing, looking for new innovative and cost effective solutions is key.

The Energy Management Summit gives you 1-2-1 access to a range of suppliers and their solutions.

5th & 6th October – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted.

Your attendance is entirely complimentary and includes overnight accommodation, access to LIVE seminar sessions, pre-recorded industry webinars, 1-2-1 meetings with innovative suppliers, all meals and refreshments. 

Plus, you can network with fellow peers who share your challenges, including those from;

Places Leisure
Hitachi Rail
The Royal Mint
NHS National Services Scotland
Bracebridge Holdings Ltd
Sussex Estates Facilities LLP
Greater London Authority
The National Motorcycle Museum

Be prepared for every eventuality – Click here to secure your free place

Virtual attendance options are available.

‘Superfunds’ should drive Britain’s green future, says think tank

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New British pension ‘superfunds’ should be created to invest in infrastructure for country’s green recovery.

That’s the view of the Social Market Foundation, which also says that ministers preparing for a ‘green recovery’ from coronavirus should be ready to take more risks and spend public money up front to support innovative ‘pathfinder’ infrastructure projects and new renewable energy markets in their early stages.

The cross-party think tank says building new roads, power sources and communications networks could create much-needed jobs and make Britain’s economy more productive and resilient, with priority given to “shovel-ready” projects that support domestic supply chains and employment.

In a new report, the SMF identified pension reform as the key to financing and funding new infrastructure.

Ministers should encourage UK pension funds to merge into fewer, larger funds able to invest large sums in big long-term projects, the SMF said, citing Australia and Canada, where such funds have successfully delivered major infrastructure investments.

The government launched consultations on pension consolidation and the creation of “superfunds” in 2018 and 2019, but despite Boris Johnson’s previous support for the plans, ministers have yet to announce decisions.

The SMF said that the need to support an economic recovery with infrastructure projects meant “urgent action” is now needed on pension reform.

Investment rules should also be reformed to allow the new funds to pay the management fees often involved in running big infrastructure projects, the SMF said in a report setting out how to get more private money into big UK projects.

The SMF report was sponsored by Tidal Power Limited, which is pursuing plans to build a fleet of new tidal lagoons to generate power for the UK grid.

The report draws on a roundtable discussion among parliamentarians, former officials, investors and academics. Based on that event, the SMF concluded that politicians must offer much greater certainty and financial clarity to investors about the profits they can make from funding infrastructure projects.

Such profits should be energetically explained to voters as a necessary condition of private financing of public infrastructure, the SMF said. Political pressure to eliminate profits from private finance deals helps deter investment in infrastructure, the report found.

Politicians’ determination to minimise taxpayer costs by asking the market to fund new projects is also limiting Britain’s ability to build new infrastructure projects, the SMF said.

To support the economic recovery, government should be prepared to take more risks by spending directly to support new “pathfinder” projects that would then be replicated by private investors if they succeed.

The SMF also recommended:

  • A cross-party commission with an independent chair should be created to establish a “strategic vision” of the UK’s infrastructure needs over at least the next decade. Parties taking part in the commission should give public commitments to ensure financial and regulatory support for the projects identified in the vision.
  • An urgent review of planning regulations should be undertaken with the aim of reducing planning risk for investors. This could include narrowing the scope for Judicial Review of projects identified as top priorities by the new cross-party commission.

Richard Hyde, Senior Researcher at the SMF said: “The best way to support the infrastructure the country urgently needs in the long-run is to make better use of the billions of pounds held in pension funds that could be profitably invested in helping Britain on its way to a green recovery. Ministers should move quickly to encourage the creation of pension superfunds like those in Australia and Canada.

“In the short-term, ministers looking to get infrastructure projects up and running and providing jobs should be prepared to spend directly to support pathfinders that can prove to investors that it is safe to invest in similar projects. That means taxpayers bearing more of the risk, but the long-term rewards justify that risk.” 

Forum adds virtual events to B2B portfolio

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Forum Events and Media Group, organiser of face-to-face meetings-based events like the Energy Management Summit, is launching a series of new Virtual Forums.

For over 20 years Forum has been bringing together procurement decision-makers with suppliers for pre-arranged meetings and networking at its Forums and Summits. These events have generated £millions of new business agreements between buyers and suppliers over the years.

With live events unable to take place for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Forum has expanded its cutting-edge proprietary software to create a new interface with live video meetings. This has allowed the company to create a virtual Forum platform, taking the events experience virtual. It will allow procurement executives to source new solutions, and give suppliers the opportunity to discover new clients – and ultimately, keep industries talking.

“During this unprecedented time, we have chosen to redirect our focus from live events to virtual so that we can still deliver expectations to our supporting exhibitors and create a platform to meet with high calibre decision makers face-to-face,” explained Forum Events and Media Group MD Sarah Beall.

“We cannot wait to welcome attendees back to our live events from September and have implemented a COVID-safe risk assessment at all our venues, ensuring the two-meter rule throughout, introducing temperature check and reduced numbers, but still creating the same professional and informal atmosphere of buyers and suppliers.”

“We are prepared and ready to kickstart our Forums from this month across four industries via our virtual platform. And we will continue to serve industries’ supply and demand by holding hybrid live and virtual events that are COVID-safe throughout the coming months.”

The first four virtual meeting events from Forum Events and Media Group will be:-

  • Total Security Summit – June 29th
  • Security IT Summit – June 30th
  • eTailing Summit – July 6th
  • Digital Marketing Solutions Summit – July 16th

Forum Events and Media Group is working alongside other UK events industry to promote the #GetBritainMeeting initiative aimed at kickstarting the events sector in a safe and sustainable way. The events industry employs some 700,000 people across the UK and contributes over £70 billion to the UK economy every year.

For more information, visit

Energy Management Summit: Secure your place today!

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We have a place, plus overnight accommodation, reserved for you – for FREE – at this October’s Energy Management Summit.

Can you confirm your attendance? – Click here to save your place!

5th & 6th October – Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted.

  • Full hospitality – Enjoy free overnight accommodation that including all meals and refreshments over the duration of the event.
  • LIVE Seminars – Attend LIVE topical seminar sessions led by industry thought leaders and gain access to additional industry webinars.
  • Industry Webinars – As well as the seminars, your pass gives you access to additional industry webinars, relevant to your role.
  • Prepare for every eventuality – We can build you a bespoke 1-2-1 itinerary of relaxed, no hard sell meetings with innovative and budget savings suppliers who match your requirements.
  • Save time and money – We will handle everything for you, by arranging all your personalised meetings prior to the event based on your requirements, all you need to do is arrive and enjoy.

Secure your complimentary place here.

Social Distancing Measures;
We are abiding by social distancing rules to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our event attendees and staff. The event will have restricted attendee numbers, pre-arranged meetings and clear floor markings throughout. Meeting booths now allow for a 2-meter gap with a clear partition screen between both participants, as well as other forms of prevention.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information by clicking here.

Get back up to speed at the Energy Management Summit

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The Energy Management Summit will take place on the 5th & 6th October at the Radisson Blu Hotel, London Stansted, offering a unique opportunity for you to catch up with the industry post-lockdown.

We have adapted the event layout to ensure we are abiding by the social distancing rule, and therefore ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of our event attendees and staff.

The event will have controlled numbers, prescheduled meetings and be hosted within a safe environment. 

We have increased the size of our meeting booths to allow for a 2-meter gap, and added a clear partition screen between all meeting participants. Plus, there will be clear floor markings throughout.

This Summit will go ahead either as a live or virtual event. Alongside meetings and networking, you can also enjoy a series of seminar sessions, to ensure you don’t miss out on the latest tips and challenges from leading industry experts.

You can also enjoy complimentary overnight accommodation, including all meals and refreshments throughout.

To secure your place and enjoy all the benefits of the Forum, click here to book your complimentary place.

Take the Energy Briefing Industry Lockdown Survey

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Here at Energy Briefing we’re looking for the best ways to keep you connected with the industry during these difficult times, so we’ve created a short survey to gauge your views on lockdown working practices and the kind of virtual events you might be interested in attending – it’s all completely anonymous and will take less than two minutes to complete.

To take part, simply start answering the questions below – if you can’t see the questions, just click here to display them in a new browser window.

Thank you in advance for taking part – your answers will help make our content and events even more relevant to your needs.

Create your own user feedback survey

5 Minutes With… Martin Hamilton, World Kinect Energy Services

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In the latest instalment of our energy management executive interview series, we spoke to Martin Hamilton, Head of Sales UK and Ireland at World Kinect Energy Services, about his company, industry opportunities, the challenges we face with COVID-19 and how new technology can help…

Tell us about your company, products and services. 

World Kinect Energy Services is a global leader in energy management, fuel supply, and sustainability. Our focus is Everything Energy, striving to help our customers buy better and buy smarter. Our core solutions are designed to make fuel, energy, and sustainability easier for customers, including physical supply, energy procurement, price optimisation and risk management, data management and sustainability. 

What have been the biggest challenges the Energy Management industry has faced over the past 12 months?

Covid-19 has superseded all other challenges faced during the last 12 months. The level of uncertainty as a result of the pandemic has had a major impact on the global energy market, particularly on production, commercial and demand. 

From an energy risk management point of view, a level of uncertainty is usually good for the market because it means our expertise is called upon and utilised. But this level of uncertainty has been so unprecedented, it makes it more difficult to determine the accurate level of risk involved across all markets.

And what have been the biggest opportunities?

From a commercial perspective, when the dust settles from the pandemic, the price of oil is going to be incredibly appealing. This needs to be capitalised on in order to future proof market opportunities, which customers will want to take advantage of – particularly financial. 

For those committed to contracts, the global uncertainty has also presented an opportunity to reforecast and make sure everyone gets back to their correct positions. 

What is the biggest priority for the Energy Management industry in 2020?

Commercially, like many, trying to stay in business during the current climate is the top priority. This means continuing to support our customers and making sure they stay in business too. 

Extracting what is best and what is available in the current market and offering contractual set ups will certainly help customers to ensure their futures are protected, do business and employ people. Examining risk policy and securing the supply is also crucial for the months ahead.

What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2020?

Covid-19 aside, the main trend we are seeing in the energy market surrounds sustainability. It is certainly our most expansive division of the business and we are dedicated to recruiting the best industry professionals and strengthening our diverse offering.

This gives us the flexibility to be able to find sustainable solutions for our customers and prospects, and allows us to intelligently speak about the opportunities, pros and cons for products, whilst making sure we deliver. 

What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year?

On the thread of sustainability, electric vehicles are a key technological development. They are rapidly evolving, and will no doubt become more mainstream in the years to come. We’re already working with customers looking to integrate EVs, by creating bespoke strategies, ensuring they secure the best contractual conditions and have systems in place to manage the increased loads on electricity networks. 

Artificial intelligence is also really coming into play for World Kinect Energy Services. There is a lot going on in this area, from weather forecasting to price validation. These technologies are allowing us to increase accuracy on our price determinations, and with various projects in the pipeline, it will continue to have a significant impact. 

In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?

EVs and AI are going to continue to be hot topics, there is no doubt about it. But sustainability is really going to ramp up for us and our customers as we progress towards the net zero deadline. 

Senior level discussions are already taking place with our customers across the globe, and we are developing strategies with specific 2025 goals to help steer them.

Considering that everything will need to be publicised to supply chains and customers via marketing teams, I would imagine there will be reviews taking place on the progression, from targets set in 2020, and serious discussions about the next stage.  

Which person in, or associated with, the Energy Management industry would you most like to meet?

I am intrigued by Elon Musk. I certainly don’t agree with everything he says and does, but I think it would be fascinating to gain insight into the mind of a genius that has driven such high-profile technological advances. 

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Energy Management sector?

How competitive the space has become during my 20 years in the industry – the sheer number of market leaders continues to surprise me every day. 

You go to the bar at the Energy Management Summit – what’s your tipple of choice?

Definitely a G&T…or maybe a dark rum. I’m not too fussy!

What’s the most exciting thing about your job?

The large diverse service offering that I can have conversations about, such as making changes to benefit businesses commercially, but also supporting net zero campaigns. The industry has really shifted from being all about the commercial aspect, with the mindset among the majority of customers and colleagues being to genuinely make things better for the planet. 

And what’s the most challenging?

How competitive the energy market has become is making it increasingly challenging to do the right thing whilst remaining commercially viable. Due to excess competition, it can often become a race to the bottom from a price perspective. Nobody wants to devalue the quality service offered by their company, but the market ultimately dictates the price point.   

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

My grandmother’s motto was “it’s nice to be nice” – she said it to my brother and I all the time when growing up. 

Peaky Blinders or Stranger Things?

100% Peaky Blinders