Time to act now for ESOS Phase Two compliance

The countdown has begun for businesses to meet the requirements of the next phase of the government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

Although the deadline of December 5, 2019 may seem a long way off, it’s vital for companies to act now – not only to get measures in place to make significant savings on energy bills but to help to cut UK carbon emissions.

Failure to comply with Phase Two of ESOS could also result in significant financial penalties.

Raja Khan, commercial director at Inteb Managed Services, explained: “Even though the deadline for compliance with ESOS Phase Two is two years away, it is crucial for businesses to act now and start putting measures in place to make sure they are compliant in time.

“Leaving it too late can cause challenges, as the original Phase One proved when a large number of organisations – almost half – failed to achieve compliance until months after the deadline.

“Also at stake is the chance to make energy and cost savings now, by implementing energy-saving initiatives. With electricity prices forecast to rise substantially over the next three years, the earlier businesses start to comply with ESOS, the better.”

ESOS is a mandatory UK energy assessment and energy saving scheme which requires compliance by large organisations. It was introduced to incentivise these businesses to implement energy-saving measures and help to cut UK carbon emissions.

Businesses need to carry out an audit of their energy-consuming activities and identify cost-effective energy-saving measures once every four years.

Companies need to comply with ESOS if they have:

  • More than 250 employees
  • An annual turnover of more than €50m
  • An annual balance sheet of more than €43m
  • Before the deadline date of December 5, 2019, businesses need to comply through an approved route to compliance such as:
    Measure their total energy consumption – energy used, transport fuel and Industrial process
  • Conduct audits to identify cost-saving energy efficiency opportunities for 90 per cent of the total energy
  • Report compliance to their national scheme administrator – the Environment Agency in England, SEPA in Scotland, NIEA in Northern Ireland and NRW in Wales.

Alternatively, organisations can comply automatically when 100 per cent of their energy use is certified to ISO 50001. This requires early action as it often takes well over a year for companies to implement an energy management system and achieve certification.

However, the one element of ESOS compliance that businesses are not yet formally able to complete is collecting the data for reporting their total energy consumption. The earliest this can begin is the start of 2018 as ESOS compliance requires a 12-month period of total energy consumption data which includes the qualification date of December 31, 2018.

In the meantime, Inteb Managed Services recommends organisations confirm if their legal entity will need to comply. If a participant, plan for compliance through data collection and undertake ESOS compliant energy assessments of the largest energy consuming elements of your organisation.

This early action is key to a smooth operation for ESOS compliance. Apart from the potential consequences of fines for non-compliance, it will also help to avoid some of the bottlenecks and challenges that occurred during the first phase of ESOS when around 2,800 organisations sent notifications that they would be late reporting compliance.

Compliance audits for the first phase revealed that only 16 per cent of participants were fully compliant and 75 per cent needed to take remedial actions to become compliant. Therefore instructing an experienced Lead ESOS Assessor and experienced advisory team will be beneficial to your organisation in Phase 2.

Inteb Managed Services is able to help large organisations meet Phase Two requirements of ESOS. Please get in touch with Suzanne Roberts via 07983 020402 or suzanne.roberts@intebms.co.uk to discuss your organisation’s needs.

Avoid energy waste during your business Christmas shutdown

Companies shutting down for business over Christmas and New Year are being urged to pay close attention to energy saving measures during the festive break.

To avoid energy waste which could amount to huge sums of money, Inteb Managed Services has produced a checklist which, with some simple tasks and ideas, can result in financial and environmental gains.

Raja Khan, commercial director at Inteb, explained: “It’s that time of the year when many companies are working through their to-do lists before shutting down for Christmas and New Year and it’s easy to overlook energy saving measures.

“That’s why it’s important to think now about getting your business ready for winter. Some of the steps to take are simple and maybe obvious – but added together these moves to reduce energy consumption can have a massive cost-saving impact.”

Before shutting down for the Christmas and New Year break:

  • Turn off all lights, including lamps, desk lights, external lights and any Christmas lights.
  • Fully shut down and turn off all computers and printers. A single monitor and computer left on 24 hours a day will cost around £45 a year.
  • Turn off all machinery and equipment, including kitchen appliances.
  • Turn off all fans, heaters and air conditioning units and set radiators to freeze protection mode. This will ensure they are off for the duration of the break and not wasting energy and should also stop pipes from freezing.
  • Turn off all vending machines that do not contain perishable goods.
  • Close all windows and both external and internal door.
  • Empty, defrost and switch off freezers.
  • Check all taps are turned off.

Get all staff involved. Ensure everyone knows they are responsible for their own personal equipment, such as computers and desk lamps, and nominate a couple of members of staff to do a final walk-round before everyone leaves for the holiday.

Earlier this month the UK’s gas and electricity network companies launched a Be Ready for Winter campaign aimed at helping the public better prepare for power cuts and gas emergencies that may result from bad winter weather.

The campaign encourages everyone to make note of these free emergency numbers – in a power cut dial 105 or, for a gas emergency, dial 0800 111999.

UK in top ten for world’s cleanest energy

The UK has the seventh cleanest electricity generation in the world, according to a new league table.

The latest Electric Insights report revealed that the UK moved 13 places up the rankings to reach seventh spot.

Britain’s rise up the league table was the largest while the Netherlands posted the biggest fall, dropping eight places.

The UK now only lags behind Norway, Sweden, France, Canada, Brazil and Venezuela, according to the report compiled by Imperial College London and power station operator Drax,

While France relies on nuclear power, the other five nations use large amounts of hydro-electric power; the UK’s shift to low-carbon sources has been triggered by its carbon price.

Iain Staffell, a lecturer in sustainable energy at the Centre for Environmental Policy in Imperial College London, said: “Since we started Electric Insights a year ago, we have seen a number of ‘firsts’ across the power sector and this quarter is no different – Britain has entered the world’s top ten low-carbon power league for the first time.

“Britain is reducing its carbon emissions from electricity faster than any other major country and this has happened because the carbon price and lower gas prices have forced coal off the system – the amount of coal-fired power generation in Britain has fallen 80 per cent between 2012 and 2016.

“In the Netherlands, coal-fired electricity output has risen 40 per cent over the same period as generators only have to pay the much lower European carbon price.”

Energy swappers top 600,000 in past month, figures reveal

More than 600,000 customers took steps to save on their energy bills this winter by switching electricity provider in October, the latest figures from Energy UK reveal.

Switching continues to surge with October’s figure showing an increase of 11 per cent on last month, taking the total number of customers changing supplier so far this year to more than 4.5 million. It is also only the second time the monthly figure has topped 600,000.

A third of those changing providers in October moved to small and mid-tier suppliers.
With recent research showing that that nine in 10 energy switchers were happy with the process of changing suppliers and with the reassurance provided by the Energy Switch Guarantee – a series of commitments ensuring switches are simple, speedy and safe – more and more customers now appear confident when looking to move.

Lawrence Slade, chief executive of Energy UK, said: “Switching continues to surge with over 600,000 customers changing supplier to find a better deal last month. Many more will have made savings by checking they are on the best deal with their current supplier.

“With more than 55 suppliers across the market, there’s never been more competition or choice.”

Raja Khan, commercial director at Inteb Managed Services, welcomed the news and said: “Businesses and individuals are now better informed when it comes to making their energy purchasing options and realise there’s no need to pay unnecessarily high bills if there’s a choice to to otherwise.

“Energy management technology, lower prices and better customer service – along with a generation looking to greener energy solutions – all contribute towards a ‘can do’ attitude of change.”

Professional management qualification for Inteb’s Natasha and Janet

Paula Basnett presents the CMI certificates to Natasha and Janet

PRESTIGIOUS professional accreditation has been achieved by two members of the Inteb Managed Services team who have been awarded their Level 3 qualification in First Line Management.

Operations Manager Natasha Edwards and Operations Team Leader Janet Walton were among the first to successfully complete the Chartered Management Institute course run by Wirral Chamber of Commerce.

After completing practical assignments in Management Communication and Improving Performance, they then had to demonstrate how they can now apply what they have learned into their workplace.

Wirral Chamber’s Chief Executive Paula Basnett said: “It was great to see them develop their skills and learn not only from the course but also from each other by sharing best practice and how they have been able to apply their new knowledge and skills.

“The role of the First Line Manager is crucial in getting the best out of people to improve efficiencies and productivity so that the investment companies have made in developing their managers at this level will certainly be returned by seeing real changes in how they manage their staff.”

Inteb Director Tom Kelly added: “The benefits of the qualification to Natasha and Janet is that it provides them both with a wealth of knowledge around the principles, methods and effectiveness of management communication techniques. It also means they can assess the impact of an individual’s performance on teams, recognising performance behaviours and implementing improvement measures.

“The experience and qualification gained from the CMI training will be invaluable to them both going forward and will help them in their management of personnel and projects.”

Survey shows how smart meters impact on energy-saving behaviour

Research has shown that around 86 per cent of people who have had a smart meter installed make significant changes to their energy-saving behaviour.

Smart Energy GB – the government body tasked with ensuring customers understand smart meters – surveyed 2,332 people’s energy attitudes and usage before and after upgrading to a smart meter and found, in most cases, this enthusiasm is maintained during the months and years after installation.

The results also show nearly four in 10 people fitted energy efficient lightbulbs immediately after having a smart meter installed, increasing to more than two-thirds of those who have had one for more than two years.

Claire Maugham, director of policy and communications at Smart Energy GB, said: “This research shows that smart meters are bringing real changes to people’s bills and that we’re using them to make positive changes to our energy behaviour the longer we have them.”
How much will it cost to have a smart meter installed?

You will not be charged separately for a smart meter or for the in-home display. Under current arrangements, you pay for the cost of your meter and its maintenance through your energy bills; this will be the same for smart meters.

Do I have to have a smart meter?

While government and Ofgem believe that all consumers will benefit from having smart meters, they aren’t compulsory and you can choose not to have one.

Choosing not to have a smart meter installed may mean you don’t have access to all the available tariffs on the market, some of which could be cheaper.

If you do not want to have a smart meter installed now, you will still be able to have one installed free of charge at a later date.

Smart meters and switching

If you have a smart meter, you can shop around and switch supplier as before.

During the foundation stage of the smart meter rollout, a number of suppliers are installing first generation smart meters. Consumers with first generation smart meters can realise, at an early stage, many of the benefits of smart metering. If you switch supplier and the new supplier cannot operate the meter in smart mode, they will need to operate it as a traditional meter with meter readings taken manually.

Suppliers are expected to start installing second generation smart meters in late 2017. All suppliers will be able to operate second generation meters. This is because the government has appointed a company – the Data and Communications Company (DCC) – to establish a new national infrastructure that will enable communications between smart meters and all energy suppliers.

In time it’s planned that first generation smart meters will be part of the DCC system too. This will give everyone the flexibility to switch between suppliers without losing smart features.

Smart meters in rented property

If you directly pay your energy supplier for the gas or electricity in your rented property, you can choose to have a smart meter installed. However, it is recommended you tell your landlord before you get one. There may be rules in your tenancy agreement about how energy is supplied to the property, including the type of meter that can be installed. If the landlord pays the energy bill for the property, then the decision to get a smart meter is up to them.

If your tenancy agreement says you need your landlord’s permission to alter metering at your property, your landlord or letting agency should not unreasonably prevent it.

Smart meters and your data

You have a choice about how your energy consumption data is used, apart from where it is required for billing and other regulated purposes.

You will be able to see your real-time energy consumption data on your in-home display. You will also be able to download detailed historical data from your home network, should you wish to.

Your energy company, and the energy networks, can access appropriate data to enable them to send you accurate bills and carry out other essential tasks. For example, suppliers can access monthly consumption data for billing purposes.

Suppliers will have to get your consent to access half-hourly data, or to use data for marketing purposes. They can access daily data unless you object.

You will also be able to share data with third parties, such as switching sites, if you want them to give you advice on the best tariff for you.

Efficient boilers can help to cut energy bills

Heating accounts for about 60 per cent of what you spend in a year on energy bills – so an efficient boiler makes a big difference.

Modern boilers are more efficient for several reasons but their main advantage is that they are all condensing boilers. All well-maintained boilers burn their fuel very efficiently but they inevitably lose some heat in the hot gases that escape up the flue. A condensing boiler has a larger heat exchanger so it recovers more heat, sends cooler gases up the flue and is more efficient.

Sometimes the flue gases get so cool that the water vapour in the gas condenses out – hence the name – and even more energy is recovered from the condensing vapour.

What should I consider when replacing my boiler?

If it is time to change your boiler, you need to decide what type of boiler is right for you. Here are some things to consider:

Fuel type – If you have mains gas, a gas boiler is likely to be the cheapest heating option. Fuel prices as of May 2017 suggest that oil heating is currently a cheaper option; however, historically oil heating has been more expensive.

If you don’t have a gas supply to your premises, it might be worth considering a form of low carbon heating such as a heat pump or biomass. With the renewable heat incentive, these may be a cheaper overall. Alternatively, you may want to get a gas connection to your premises. The company that owns and operates the gas network in your area may be able to help with the cost of getting a new connection – and it may even be fully funded.

Boiler type – Most old gas and oil boilers are regular boilers that have a separate hot water cylinder to store hot water rather than providing it directly from the boiler. When you replace your boiler, you can buy a new regular boiler – and keep your hot water cylinder – or buy a combi boiler that doesn’t need a cylinder. A regular boiler is more efficient than a combi at producing hot water in the first place, but then some heat is lost from the hot water cylinder, so a combi may be more efficient overall.

Space at your premises – Combi boilers don’t need hot water cylinders and so require less space.
Compatibility with solar water heating – If you’re thinking of installing solar water heating, it’s worth noting that many combi boilers are not compatible with this heating system or cannot use it so effectively.

Finding an installer – For a list of registered installers visit the Competent Persons Register, SNIPEF OF HHIC. For gas and LPG boilers, the installer must be Gas Safe registered. For oil boilers, an OFTEC registered installer is recommended. It’s worth getting three quotes from different installers. Your registered installer will ensure that your system complies with current building regulations and will make sure you get all the documentation to prove this. Keep these documents safe; you will need them when you sell the property.

Source: Energy Saving Trust

Inteb applauds inspirational people who make a difference to communities

Raja Khan at the awards ceremony with Sandra Kirkham, managing director of Progress to Excellence Group

Inteb Managed Services has applauded the inspirational people and their dedication to others by its support for a major awards ceremony celebrating the people and businesses who make a difference to their customers through training and education.

As a sponsor for the Progress to Excellence Training and Education Awards 2017, held at Liverpool Crowne Plaza, the company joined civic dignitaries and 300 specially invited VIP guests from across the region at the day of celebration to honour the individuals, employers, training providers and charities for the huge contribution they make to their communities, gained from their commitment to training.

Inteb’s commercial director Raja Khan said: “Playing a part in the Progress to Excellence Training and Education Awards was important to us as we take great pride in providing first class training for our employees along with exceptional leadership and support.

“We see job satisfaction as vital and so we work tirelessly to create a working environment that’s enjoyable to produce beneficial partnerships with our customers.

“A shared ethos with Progress to Excellence – that developing and nurturing employees is the key to the creation of a fulfilled workforce operating with the right service culture  – makes us proud to be associated with this event.”

Damian Burdin, chief executive of national training provider Progress to Excellence Ltd, added: “Without our generous sponsors, this event – the fifth in the history of our company – would simply not be possible.

“Like us, they all share the values of a commitment to the training and development their own staff and the businesses and organisations they deal with on an everyday basis to make a marked difference to the communities in which they operate.

“That’s why we were delighted to have an organisation like Inteb Managed Services, which shares our values of commitment to its own workforce and the businesses it deals with on an everyday basis, as a partner at our awards.”

Keynote speaker at the Progress to Excellence Training and Education Awards, held at the Liverpool Crowne Plaza, was Steve Rotheram, Liverpool City Region’s Metro Mayor, who told guests: “People are our most precious economic resource and if we cannot nurture and develop their skills to the full, then we are stifling human potential and, at the same time, limiting our capacity for growth and prosperity.

“All our economic ambitions are predicated on the need for a highly skilled, productive and well-qualified workforce.”