CCL – Energy taxes on the rise

CCL - Energy taxes on the rise When you pay your energy bills, hopefully you’re aware that your business is paying a tax to the government called the Climate Change Levy. Large, non-energy-intensive organisations currently have to purchase allowances for the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they are responsible for, under the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (the Carbon Reduction Commitment). The CRC has been seen as complicated & a burden on business, in that they have to forecast their energy use & financial plans accordingly. With the CRC ending next year, the government needs to somehow recoup this lost revenue. The increase in the CCL Climate Change Levy simply transfers the revenue collection to the energy bill, rather than a separate scheme. It is important that you are aware of this increased levy & how it will affect your energy bills. Many businesses just don’t think much about the cost of electricity & gas – they simply pass the bills on to the...
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Getting Boardroom Buy-In

Getting Boardroom Buy-In - my report back from edieLive Last week I attended the annual conference & exhibition edieLive at the NEC. It was a great mix of exhibitors, speakers, workshops & general networking. I met with clients & contacts - it’s always nice to have a catch up - plus I met plenty of new people - useful for collaborations, referrals, potential clients & simply learning from others. I also had a busy day in the Energy Efficiency Theatre, chairing & presenting two sessions. Here’s a summary of the main points I covered.   Getting Boardroom Buy-In Many environmental professionals have difficulties engaging with senior management, who may be too busy or simply not interested. So I gave some insights for getting boardroom buy-in. I first asked the simplest of questions - who are you trying to reach? This is Marketing 101 - you have to understand your target audience. I floated some ideas of what the Board wants & what’s important to a typical director. Then,...
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Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES)

Are you ready for MEES? From April 2018, rented buildings must meet new energy efficiency standards. It will be unlawful to rent or lease a property with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating below an E. This applies to new tenancy agreements now and in 2023 will expand to include all privately rented property included in existing longer-term leases. New tenancies already must obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which have A – G energy efficiency ratings. Currently 40% of EPCs are rated D or below & 25% are the worst F or G ratings. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard (MEES), coming in to force in April 2018, requires the property to achieve an EPC of E or better. This means that if any of your offices, sites or buildings have an EPC with a rating of F or G, you will not be able to lease that property. You must upgrade to E or above before the lease is completed. There are five Exemptions...
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Making ESOS work for you

Making ESOS work for you We are now in Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) - the energy data review & audits must be completed, & then the notification of compliance submitted to the Regulator, by December 2019. Those companies that know they will qualify for the scheme (they meet the financial &/or staff thresholds) should be thinking about beginning the compliance process now - commission your energy audits early to avoid the rush as the deadline approaches. Although you won’t be able to calculate your Total Energy Consumption yet (it needs to include energy use covering 31st December 2018), the energy audits can be started now using data already gathered to inform them. Last time in ESOS, many companies were unprepared & spent a lot of time trying to locate the energy data needed. This wasted time & cost money, as the ESOS Assessor had to focus so much more on gathering & analysing quality data. One client provided me...
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Energy Efficiency Grants

Energy Efficiency Grants Did you know that there are grants & other finance opportunities available for businesses? Grants of up to £10,000 are available for energy efficiency works & other business development, though these will depend on your size (usually for SMEs), location & sector. Here are two examples of grants schemes that I know of in the South East.   LoCASE – business support for low carbon sector LoCASE is a scheme administered by the University of Brighton’s Green Growth Platform to drive green business growth in East Sussex, Kent & Essex. There are two elements of the grants scheme, firstly to help SMEs in low carbon & environment sectors with business growth & R&D grants. Grants of up to £10,000 covering 40% of the cost, for projects to help grow your business or develop new products & services. Grants can fund: Energy efficiency measures Development finance - to enable expansion of the business (e.g. marketing costs) Plant & machinery - including re-tooling & installation of...
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End of the Road for Halogens?

End of the Road for Halogens? We all know that halogen bulbs are notoriously short-lived – they are forever blowing & it takes time & money to keep changing them. But did you know that halogens are on the way out? Most types of the gas-based bulb are scheduled for phase-out on 1st September 2018. A few will remain on sale - e.g. used for spotlights and floodlights - but in general you need to be thinking now of alternatives & LEDs will be the sensible choice.   LED Savings LED technology has advanced over the years & it’s now available in every household fitting. The energy & cost savings in choosing LEDs over halogen stand to be significant. For example, you have a traditional 100 Watt bulb – the energy costs of replacing this with a 14W LED would be around £2 a year, while a 77W halogen would cost around £11 and a CFL £3. The CFL may be cheaper to buy but it’ll...
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News for 2018

Environment in Business - News for 2018 All companies should be embedding the environment into their business to get the commercial benefits. I work with organisations to identify improvements, calculate carbon emissions & put in Environmental Management Systems (EMS), so that you become more efficient, reduce risk & win new business. This year, you should be aware of deadlines & legislation requirements that may affect your business.   ISO 14001 Deadline Does your organisation have an EMS (Environmental Management System) certified to ISO 14001? If so, then you need to upgrade to the new version of the standard by the deadline September 2018. There are some significant changes required, which need to be ASAP - including context of the organisation, leadership, risks and opportunities, life cycle & evaluation of performance. More info is here. I’ve helped a number of organisations with the transition - making it smooth & successful.   ESOS Phase 2 ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations in the UK....
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Jargon Buster

From Access Economy to Zero Carbon – here’s the Environment A-Z The environmental industry can seem a little cliquey to the outsider. Maybe we talk in TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms!), abbreviations or just use words that are so outside the sphere of ‘normal people’.   For years I have tried to avoid using the term ‘sustainability’ because it immediately turned people off – using ‘environmental’, even though this is only one of the three elements of sustainability, makes it immediately more understandable. As experts we want to get it right, but we do have to consider our audience.   The news site edie has helpfully put together a Jargon Buster.   This helps you cut through complexity and get straight to the definition & then gives you related content (news stories, blogs & features).   Helpfully, for some of the more complex issues (e.g. science-based targets) they provide more in-depth analysis & how to apply it to your business.   So check out the Jargon Buster & get talking about these...
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Huge opportunities for SMEs to save energy

Huge opportunities for SMEs to save energy A survey recently by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) looked into how businesses have been managing their energy consumption.   They found that only 9% of SMEs had ever conducted energy audits on the business, while 69% of large companies had. The numbers ranged from 7% for sole traders to 84% of organisations with >1,000 employees.   This shows that there are huge opportunities for SMEs, particularly, to save energy & therefore save money.   I have found that businesses are put off conducting energy audits because they think they’ll just be told to spend lots of money - that the recommendations will all be about putting in solar panels or other expensive kit.   My approach to energy audits, however, is to look at not only technological options, but also at behavioural & operational changes which can often be no-cost or low-cost activities for quick results.   Back to the BEIS survey, of those SMEs that had done an...
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ESOS – The Challenges Last Time

ESOS – The Challenges Last Time I am Lead ESOS Assessor and was very busy during the first round of ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme legislation). Some of my clients started nice & early, but many came to me very late so I had to work extra hard to get everything done for them in time. Indeed, many companies only started to look at ESOS a couple of months before the deadline, so there was a huge rush and a lot of frayed nerves. Apart from the lack of assessors & short timescales, I noticed trends from ESOS Phase 1. I’m sharing these now, so that hopefully Phase 2 can run more smoothly for you. These are the sorts of challenges I saw: Company structure – this could be a problem, particularly for large groups with complicated ownership structures. Find all the companies in a group, the company registration numbers, all the sites, who is the Board member to sign off. Missed companies – although...
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ESOS Phase 2

Getting Started on ESOS Phase 2 Are you getting on with ESOS? We are now in the Phase 2 compliance period and, although the deadline of 5th December 2019 may seem a long way off, you should now be thinking about the compliance process.   ESOS (the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme) is a mandatory energy assessment scheme for large organisations in the UK. ESOS requires you to Measure your total energy consumption Conduct audits to identify cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities Report compliance to the Environment Agency.   The Agency is urging organisations to act early to help avoid disruption & enforcement action, also to unlock the financial savings brought by greater energy efficiency.   You may choose to conduct energy audits of your sites or choose an alternative route, such as an ISO 50001 Energy Management System.   Start gathering your data now - you’ll need to show energy consumption for a 12 month period covering 31st December 2018.   I am a Lead ESOS assessor, which need to be involved...
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Automatic meters

Automatic meters on the way Are you an electricity-using business? More than likely! Then new legislation probably applies to you.   A new OFGEM regulation called P272 will affect all businesses using electricity meters in profile classes 05 – 08. By April 2017 you must use automated meters, and these meters must send regular half hourly usage data to energy suppliers.   This will mean that you will know what your consumption is by the half hour (like 00 profile meters do now), which is useful for monitoring usage patterns & identifying efficiencies.   As a result, to remain competitive energy suppliers will need to introduce time-of-use tariffs, with lower rates available for energy during off-peak hours.   First check your energy bills to see what profile class you have. This is the first two digits of your S Number, on the uppermost row.   Then, speak to your energy supplier or energy broker who may be able to help you.   Return to Homepage Contact Me or Email Me ...
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Case Study – ESOS – Nellsar

Case Study - ESOS Nellsar Nellsar is one the South East’s leading providers of specialist Dementia, Nursing and Residential Care services for the elderly. Established in 1988, it owns and manages care facilities around the South Home Counties, offering high quality accommodation for up to 700 residents.   Nellsar comes under the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Regulations, which require businesses to carry out comprehensive audits of all their energy usage, including transport, and report to the regulator on a four-year cycle.   As a registered Lead ESOS Assessor, Eshcon supported Nellsar through its full ESOS Assessment.   The first stage was to measure energy consumption for the 13 sites - electricity, gas & LPG data was provided by Nellsar’s energy brokers UK Healthcare. This allowed an understanding of how energy was consumed at the sites, which varied in size, age & construction.   ESOS Energy Audits were then conducted at a selection of sites to further identify energy usages, patterns, plant & equipment, operations, trends & anomalies.   These highlighted...
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ESOS – Time Flies!

ESOS – Time Flies!

Time Flies! ESOS – 2 Months and Counting With less than 2 months until the deadline for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme, businesses need to get going on this urgently. The date to notify the Environment Agency of your compliance is 5th December 2015. Remember even if you’re not a large company, you may still need to participate in ESOS because of others in your corporate group.   There are 3 stages to ESOS: measure energy consumption, conduct energy audits & report compliance.   As the clock is ticking, you should have by now collated energy & transport data for your reporting period (1 year which includes 31st Dec 14). Data should be in kWh for elec/gas, litres for fuels, maybe miles for business travel – and it needs to be validated. Many companies are finding this a bit of challenge, especially transport.   Then schedule the energy audits as soon as possible, these should cover your significant energy consumption and recommend improvements for saving energy.   Most Lead ESOS...
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ESOS

ESOS

Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) Legislation requiring large companies to audit their energy to identify energy and carbon reductions affects up to 10,000 businesses in the UK.  Under the Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), ‘large enterprises’ must carry out comprehensive audits of all their energy usage, including transport. These must be done every four years, with the first completed and reported to the regulator by December 2015. Audits must be carried out by an approved Lead ESOS Assessor.   ‘Large enterprises’ cover any Non-SME, i.e. that has >250 employees or an annual turnover >€50 million & balance sheet >€43 million. Includes companies, partnerships and unincorporated associations, though not the Public Sector. Smaller companies part of a larger corporate group may also have to comply.   Although each audit will result in a set of energy saving recommendations, the business is not obliged to follow them up. DECC estimates that ESOS could save each business an average of £56,400 per year. So this is all...
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ISO 50001 in 12 months

ISO 50001 in 12 months

Get ISO 50001 in time for ESOS So you need ISO 50001 certification in just 12 months? The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requires large businesses (>250 employees or turnover >€50m turnover) to carry out audits of all their energy usage. One route to compliance is an Energy Management System (EnMS) certified to ISO 50001.  But given the Dec 2015 deadline for reporting ESOS compliance, is it possible to implement an EnMS and get it certified to ISO 50001 in time?   Well for those companies that already have a management system in place, it should be possible. If you have an ISO 9001 Quality or ISO 14001 Environmental Management System then you already have over half of the system requirements.   Are we there yet? ISO 50001 has typical ISO clause requirements, such as policy, roles and responsibilities, planning, communication, documentation, internal audit, and management review.  You will have these in place for your existing system, so modifying this to cover the specific energy issues will...
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Env & Energy Awards

2015 Environment and Energy Awards – Enter now! Now in their 16th year, the Environment and Energy Awards are widely regarded as one of the highest accolades for sustainable business practices.   Entries are put before a panel of expert judges who have the extremely difficult job of deciding the finalists and winners. Winners will be announced at a glittering gala dinner and night of celebration on April 22nd at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.   There are 14 categories to choose from: Energy Manager of the Year Renewables Innovation Award Energy Product/Service Award Business Utility of the Year Innovative Energy-Efficient Project Award Environmental Leadership Award for Organisational Behavioural Change Innovation Award for Environmental Technology Environment Product/Service Award Sustainable Business of the Year Award Sustainability Communications Campaign Award Innovative Water Management and Efficiency Award Innovation Award for Energy from Waste Health, Safety and Environmental Skills Development Award Outstanding Contribution to the Energy Industry Award   Previous Winners of the Sustainable Business of the Year Award include: Environment...
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Carbon Trust Standards

Carbon Trust Standard The Carbon Trust Standard (CTS) is the UK’s most recognised carbon management standard. With the addition of two further standards, triple CTS certification demonstrates an organisation’s achievements in managing carbon, water and waste.   As an accredited assessor for all three Carbon Trust Standards, I can help with your application and assessment.   Awarded to recognise best-practice and real achievements in reduction, the Carbon Trust Standard helps organisations measure, manage and reduce their environmental impact, whilst improving their resource management and operational sustainability.   The certification process identifies inefficiencies in resource use and provides a framework for improving management processes, reducing waste and costs.   Over 1,100 organisations have certified to the Carbon Trust Standard. Some of those I’ve assessed include Barts Health NHS Trust, Berendsen, Cisco, Credit Suisse, Friends Life, Gatwick Airport, Go-Ahead Group, Marks & Spencer, Port of Dover, QVC, Telefonica O2, Tesco, Veolia and Westfield.   Certified organisations have saved save a staggering £165m in energy and operational costs and reduce carbon emissions by over...
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ESOS 2014

ESOS 2014

Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) New legislation requiring large companies to audit their energy usage to identify energy and carbon reductions has recently been introduced, affecting up to 10,000 businesses in the UK.   The Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) requires businesses with more than 250 employees carry out comprehensive audits of all their energy usage, including transport. These must be done every four years, with the first completed and reported to the regulator by 5 December 2015. Audits must be carried out by an ‘approved’ Lead ESOS Assessor, either in-house or external.   Introduction to ESOS ESOS is a compulsory programme of regular energy audits for 'large enterprises' to identify energy savings opportunities.   'Large enterprises' cover any Non-SME (small or medium-sized enterprise), i.e. that has 250 employees or more or an annual turnover > €50 million. Not just companies, this also includes partnerships and unincorporated associations, though the Public Sector is not required to participate.   Although each audit will result in a set of energy saving...
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Calculate your Carbon Footprint

Calculate your Carbon Footprint The carbon footprint is used as the first step in your carbon management processes. It is a tool to help you understand your carbon emissions, identifying the most significant emissions reduction opportunities.   There are recognised standards for calculating a carbon footprint, such as ISO 14064 or the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Your footprint, given in tonnes of carbon dioxide (tCO2e), shows your company’s emissions for a one-year period.   How to get started: First, from your objectives, identify the scope of the footprint.   Next gather your data for the previous 12 months: - energy consumption (kWh of electricity or gas), - company vehicles (miles or litres of diesel or petrol), - business journeys (miles by air, car, train, bus or taxi), - materials used (reams of paper or tonnes of raw material) - and other activities (refrigerant gases, waste, water, hotel stays or deliveries).   Use the data gathered to monitor and manage the activity on an ongoing basis.   Calculating emissions for each activity shows where to focus your attention...
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