Climate change energy revolution prompts Inteb growth plans

URGENT moves among the business community to tackle climate change by driving down their energy usage is playing a vital role in Inteb’s strategic growth plans.

The Birkenhead-headquartered operation of independent energy management experts has begun a new programme of expansion as net zero carbon targets for the built environment become a crucial factor for the UK’s construction and property industry.

To prepare for a surge in business as organisations put plans in place to reduce their carbon emissions, Inteb has already moved to larger premises at the Wirral waterfront site of Egerton House, providing increased capacity for workforce growth.

A new framework launched earlier this year by the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) outlines how developers, designers, owners, occupiers and policymakers can define and deliver a net zero carbon built environment and aims to get agreement on an understanding of net zero emissions, both during construction and throughout a building’s operational life cycle.

It’s a first step towards delivering buildings that are net zero carbon and follows the government’s decision to set a legally-binding target for the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Managing director Colin Jones said: “Businesses throughout the UK must now adopt these targets as one common goal in the battle against climate change.

“This is a vision that we all share and, from our business perspective, now puts a major focus on our immediate plans to supply renewable energy contracts and utilise connected energy consumption data to minimise and optimise energy in buildings, helping our clients reduce costs and reach these targets.”

With the construction and property sector currently contributing to around 30 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, a date has therefore been earmarked for all new buildings to be net zero carbon by 2030 and for all existing ones 20 years later. Reaching these targets will require outstanding levels of energy efficiency alongside zero carbon electricity and heat supplies.

Colin added: “The UKGBC framework is a means of the construction and property industry working together to collectively get results in the battle against global warming.

“By resolving the issue of the decarbonisation of new build projects by 2030, the sector is leading the way to give the rest of the UK economy a chance of achieving a net zero carbon built environment in 2050.

“Our current expansion plans are based on what this framework aims to deliver as many of the UK’s biggest property owners, developers and occupiers are signing up to the framework.

“Inteb’s long-term strategy is based on aligning our services to other elements of the framework, such as advising developers on ways to reduce carbon emissions during their construction processes and carbon offsetting.

“Climate change is the biggest challenge of our times and our part in the energy revolution is to help built environment professionals working in the construction and property industry to play their part in reducing emissions and limiting global warming.”

Inteb’s new headquarters are at Egerton House, 2 Tower Road, Birkenhead CH41 1FN.

Calling all landlords and managing agents: deadline looms to meet heat network regulations

HEAT-SUPPLYING commercial and domestic landlords need to put urgent measures in place to make sure they are compliant with current heat network regulations.

Four years on from the introduction of the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014, the final date for submission of updated notifications is now almost due.

Those landlords who submitted notification for a network when the legislation was introduced in 2015 must now ensure they re-submit their information to the National Measurement Office by December 31, 2019.

The UK-wide Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 are part of the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive and apply to anyone who is a “heat supplier” – those who supply and charge for the supply of heating, cooling or hot water through either a district heat network or a communal heating system.

It is the duty of landlords of multi-let properties and their managing agents to ensure that the regulations, which renew every four years, remain registered.

With the largest share of CO2 emissions from UK buildings coming from space heating and water heating, the aim is to make users aware of how much heat they are consuming and to help them reduce their costs by only using the amount they actually require.

Information gathered from landlords’ submissions is being used to create a national database identifying the level and scope of how much heating is supplied through shared networks. The result is to create a better understanding of the impact of heat networks and can help future policy decisions by government.

The Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 apply to both existing buildings and new builds.

Colin Jones, managing director at Inteb, said: “These regulations were put in place to raise awareness among those being supplied with heating in commercial and residential properties of the implications – both to the environment and from a cost perspective – of the amount of heating they use.

The information-gathering is vital to raising greater understanding of how heat networks impact on the UK’s energy consumption and how vital measures can be put in place to face the challenges in the supply and use of energy. It will also help managing agents who recharge energy use to tenants, ensuring they are billed correctly for what they use.

However, there may be landlords who, although they supplied data in 2015, have not yet re-submitted their information – and the end-of-the-year deadline is fast approaching.”

Inteb and its team of energy managers, surveyors, utility and environmental specialists, who serve a wide range of commercial clients in both public and private sectors, can help landlords meet the Heat Network (Metering and Billing) Regulations 2014 requirements by getting in touch by phone on 0151-601 3476 or by emailing tom.kelly@intebms.co.uk

Inteb expands its talent pool with apprenticeship programme

COMMITMENT to developing “home-grown” talent has put another member of the Inteb team on track for a demanding job role.

Amber McCann, 19, has joined the energy management business as a utilities support assistant, adding to the company’s growing apprenticeship workforce.

She joins Inteb apprenticeship successes Alex Rowley and Luke Balmer, all three part of the company’s drive to take on apprentices where they are being given the opportunity to learn and grow with the business as it continues its programme of expansion.

Colin Jones, Inteb’s managing director, said: “We see huge benefits in taking on apprentices who, with workplace training and development from the day they join us, are being nurtured to attain our specific service culture.

“They are reaping many other benefits too. They are earning while learning and could eventually be further up the jobs ladder than their counterparts who have chosen to spend three years working towards a university degree.

“As our own ‘home-grown’ talent, the business also sees them playing vital parts in the company’s expansion plans as global energy management increasingly becomes a key priority for industry and commerce.”

Amber, who is based at Inteb’s headquarters at Egerton House, Birkenhead, is working towards a Level 3 Business Administration qualification. 

Choosing an apprenticeship over a university or further education college route, she said: “I had my mind set on apprenticeship while I was in Sixth Form. It was the right decision for me as I’m actually working towards a real qualification rather than sitting in a classroom.

“I’m constantly learning something new and every day I’m involved in work that really interests me. And as well as regularly attending college, time is allocated during the working week for me to keep on top of my studies.”

Alex Rowley and Luke Balmer both swapped university courses for apprenticeships at Inteb. Alex had been studying environmental science while Luke was a mechanical engineering student.

Two years on, Alex, 23, has completed the Level 3 Business Administration course he began when he first joined Inteb and has now successfully added a Level 4 to his qualifications. Currently he’s working towards the PRINCE 2 Foundation and Practitioner qualification. 

Twenty-one-year-old Luke, who has also gained his Level 3 Business Administration qualification, is now continuing his studies on a Level 1 Energy Management course and, once that’s completed, will be progressing on to Level 2.

Both have been appointed to operations support executive roles.

Luke (pictured with Colin) said: “During my time with Inteb, I have developed a fairly extensive knowledge of the utilities sector as well as gaining valuable transferrable office skills. 

“Having tried out the university route, I see an apprenticeship as the way to go as it offers hands-on experience in an ‘earn while you learn’ environment and has given me the experience to get ahead in the jobs market.”

Colin added: “Alex and Luke have spent two valuable years at Inteb, learning the job and playing an important part in the day-to-day operations of our head office, working as a team as well as making decisions on their own. 

“In following a similar route, Amber is also being trained in this talent pool for a demanding role as part of a highly-skilled workforce at the forefront of energy management and its increasing impact on our environment.”

Triple ISO accolade confirms Inteb commitment to clients and own workforce

A TRIPLE accolade for Inteb Managed Services has confirmed it puts clients and its own workforce at the forefront of all business operations.

The Birkenhead-headquartered energy management experts have once again been awarded three separate ISO standards, international accreditations which demonstrate the company’s commitment to high levels of service and operation.

Inteb Managed Services received 1SO 9001 certification for Quality Management, ISO 14001 for Environmental Management and the new ISO 45001 – formerly ISO 18001 – for Health and Safety.

ISO 9001 was introduced to show that organisations not only claim they offer a quality service but also actually deliver it while ISO 14001 focuses on the environmental systems a business employs.

ISO 45001 is designed to help organisations improve the health and safety conditions of employees to create a healthier, safer and risk-free workplace.

Certification for all three standards was awarded following rigorous independent external audit.

Colin Jones, managing director at Inteb, said: “Gaining these three ISO standards again is a remarkable achievement and, by meeting their wide-ranging criteria, proves our commitment to our clients, our suppliers and our staff.

ISO accreditations have trust embedded in them and show how much we value the business of our partners in the delivery of our energy management systems and advice.

“They also indicate – via these independent accreditations – that we really mean what we say about the high level of services we offer and, with the consistency of these services, that we are leading the way among energy management consultancies.”

The ISO 9001 Quality Management standard demonstrates that the services Inteb offers are of consistently good quality as well as helping the company to streamline them and make the business more efficient. ISO 14001 Environmental Management provides assurance to management and employees, as well as stakeholders, that the environmental impact of the organisation is not only being measured but being improved.

The ISO 45001 is of major importance to the Inteb workforce and our clients as its purpose is to create a healthier, safer and risk-free working environment.

Colin, pictured with Inteb associate director Les Edwards and the company’s operations director Tom Kelly at the top of this article, added: “We are delighted that our continued hard work to focus on putting our clients first in everything we do has been confirmed and that the health and safety of our staff is seen as paramount throughout their day-to-day operational activities.”

Time running out for businesses to be ESOS Phase Two compliant

TIME is rapidly running out for businesses to make sure they meet the vital requirements of the next phase of the government’s compulsory Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS).

With the compliance deadline now less than four months away, it’s crucial that companies act immediately – not only to get measures in place to make savings on their energy bills but to help to cut the UK’s carbon emissions.

Failure to comply with Phase Two of ESOS by December 5, 2019 could also result in significant fines.

Colin Jones, managing director at Inteb Managed Services, whose team of energy managers, surveyors, utility and environmental specialists serve commercial clients in both public and private sectors from their national headquarters at Egerton House, Birkenhead, explained: “ESOS has been designed to encourage larger businesses to be more energy efficient and its aims are two-fold – to reduce their energy bills and, equally important, reduce the nation’s carbon emissions.

“To meet the second phase of this government initiative – Phase One was completed in 2015 – companies need to get all their documentation in place. And with only a matter of months to get this done, time is running out.

“Leaving it any later could create serious problems as the original first phase proved when almost half of the businesses fitting the ESOS criteria missed the deadline for compliance by many months and were fined as a result, many quite substantially.”

ESOS, which is mandatory and administered by the Environment Agency, requires businesses 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, companies need to comply through an approved route such as:

  • Measuring their total energy consumption – energy used, transport fuel and industrial process 
  • Conducting audits to identify cost-saving energy efficiency opportunities for 90 per cent of the total energy
  • Reporting 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 the organisation’s energy use is certified to ISO 50001.

The first compulsory audit of ESOS Phase One in 2015 saw many companies struggle to work out how to be compliant; 2,800 organisations were late in providing compliant audits and many were fined.

Despite the problems, the benefits of implementing ESOS recommendations made dramatic cuts in energy consumption and carbon production, resulting in significant financial and environmental rewards for businesses. Around a third of businesses implemented at least one ESOS recommendation following the 2015 audit; however, many failed to do so.

Analysts have forecast that businesses may be paying 50 per cent more for power in 2020 than they were in 2016, with non-commodity costs – which make up around half of business bills – and the sharp rise in wholesale markets driving up prices. Added to this is the possible impact of Brexit on sterling along with the increase in the Climate Change Levy.

Colin added: “As well as dealing with these vital issues of saving energy to cut costs and reduce our carbon emissions, ESOS Phase Two is a chance to learn from some of the mistakes of Phase One non-compliance. It’s also an opportunity to take advantage of the opportunities the scheme provides and help organisations reach their financial and environmental targets.

“Many companies were late providing audits in 2015 because of delays in starting the process or being unclear about how to be compliant. However, for compliance with Phase Two – and avoid the pitfalls of the previous process – there is still some time to collate the necessary data before the December deadline.”

Inteb Managed Services and its team of energy managers, surveyors, utility and environmental specialists, who serve a wide range of commercial clients in both public and private sectors, can help large organisations meet ESOS Phase Two requirements by getting in touch with Tom Kelly 0151-601 3476 or by emailing info@intebms.com

Inteb MS client Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust has been shortlisted for a prestigious Sustainability Award!

Following the successful environmental management campaign run during 2017 the Wirral Community NHS Foundation Trust was awarded with ISO14001:2015 certification, one of very few NHS Trusts to hold the standard. Inteb MS acted as environmental consultant for the Trust and assisted with coordination of the ISO14001 Environmental Management System and audit.

The demonstration of the Trust’s environmental credentials, backed up with accreditation to the renowned international standard, is testament to the hard work put in from teams across the organization to coordinate effective management of their environmental performance.

The Trust have been shortlisted for the Procurement award at the NHS Sustainability Awards, with the ceremony being held in London on Thursday 17th May.

Full details of the awards shortlist is available here.

Inteb names Tomorrow’s Women Wirral as its chosen charity

A GROUNDBREAKING and dynamic organisation that helps women to turn their lives around and make a fresh start has become the chosen charity for Inteb Managed Services.

The company will be supporting Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, an award-winning community charity committed to reducing female offending and imprisonment as well as providing assistance to women who have never entered the Criminal Justice System but who want to make positive lifestyle changes.

From its “safe haven” base in Birkenhead, Tomorrow’s Women has for the past seven years been running a full timetable of free educational workshops, courses and social activities to help integrate women from the Wirral community, no matter what their background or issues.

More than 600 visitors use the centre each week. It’s a place where there’s always a listening ear, a cup of tea and a warm, welcoming environment offering fitness, cookery and craft classes, health and wellbeing advice, debt and finance support as well as dealing with issues including domestic abuse and confidential drop-in sessions from police, solicitors and support agencies.

Recycling courses have been set up teaching women to use recycled material for crafts and Tomorrow’s Women Wirral has also developed a Recovery Garden, recycling rainwater, composting and recycling furniture.

A vital part of the programme is putting women on the road to employment by supporting them to gain qualifications and providing them with job-seeking skills such as interview techniques and confidence-building exercises.

Tomorrow’s Women’s chief executive Angela Murphy explained: “Tomorrow’s Women is all about enabling women to share skills to support one another. We engage with more than 160 agencies that offer their expertise to enable women to move forward in their lives, offer support to women who may feel isolated, have low self-esteem or simply want to try something new.

“We provide a safe haven in the heart of the community with our charity designed to benefit all women aged over 18 and we have so many success stories of employment, education and holistic wellbeing.”

Raja Khan, Inteb’s commercial director, said: “Visiting Tomorrow’s Women, I learned about some of the incredible work being done there to tackle and prevent some of the underlying issues that lead women into difficulty.

“It offers a route out of the negative situations some women find themselves in and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Angela and her team, along with volunteers, to help in any way we can with support for employability programmes and with fundraising.”

More about the work of Tomorrow’s Women Wirral here.

Inteb director Tom Kelly appointed to chair influential Energy and Environment Forum

Inteb director Tom Kelly has been appointed to the prestigious role as chair of an influential group tasked with business growth in the energy and environment sectors.

The newly-launched Wirral Chamber of Commerce Energy and Environment Forum has identified significant growth opportunities for these sectors not only locally and regionally but also on a national and international scale.

Part of Tom’s role will be to help shape the direction of the group as well as ensure businesses take full advantage of its benefits to learn, share, collaborate and grow.

Following the announcement of his appointment, Tom said: “I am delighted to be appointed chair of the Wirral Chamber of Commerce Energy and Environment Sector Forum during what is a very exciting time for the development of the sector locally.

“The role of the forum in terms of engaging businesses to encourage a wider reach of opportunities for our members, by working with other businesses and partners across Wirral and the Liverpool City Region, has never been more relevant. Our region is uniquely and ideally placed to benefit from the opportunities this sector will bring and we hope these benefits will be widely felt by Wirral Chamber members and other local businesses alike.

“In this new role, I hope to ensure the forum continues to provide local businesses with information on specific issues relating to energy and the environment and work together to address potential barriers to growth. Together we can then ensure that businesses in the Energy and Environment sector have the skills required to form part of a robust supply chain and look to benefit from supply chain opportunities in the sector.

“There are also many other important and exciting opportunities involving the energy and environment sector where the forum will be looking to take a lead role in business engagement.

“At Inteb we promote pro-active energy management throughout businesses of all types and sizes and, as we move towards a low-carbon economy, the focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy generation is becoming more mainstream. This in turn brings further opportunities for businesses involved in the sector to reach out to a broader client base rather than being the ‘niche’ service offering it has been in the past.

“As a local business and Strategic Partner of Wirral Chamber, it is our role to ensure that our neighbour and partner businesses understand the benefits that can come from improving their approach to energy management and benefit from the cost savings and business opportunities this approach can bring.”

Paula Basnett, chief executive of Wirral Chamber of Commerce, added: “I am delighted that Tom has agreed to be an active member of our Energy and Environment Forum and to chair the group.

“He will provide great expertise, focus and enthusiasm in moving this initiative forward and play a key role in advancing both the interests of our members in sharing information and best practice, as well as working towards improving the quality of life in our region.”

Tom, who is a chartered energy manager and Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) lead assessor, has worked for more than 16 years in energy, sustainability and resource efficiency sectors, building an in-depth knowledge looking at business solutions to utility and waste costs, environmental legislation and gaining a competitive edge through improved sustainability performance.
With increasing awareness around the tightening legislation and cost of carbon emissions, Tom is able to assist organisations meet their present needs while planning for the future, including monitoring, targeting and assessment of improvement opportunities through to managing building related projects.

His specialities are energy management and carbon reduction, CRC, ESOS, utilities metering and data management, construction project management, waste management and legislation, resource efficiency project management and sustainability reporting.

Renewable energy ‘set to be cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020’

Renewable energy will be cheaper than fossil fuels in two years’ time, according to a new report.

Experts predict that investment in green infrastructure projects will lead to decreases in the cost of energy for consumers.

Continuous technological improvements have led to a rapid fall in the cost of renewable energy in recent years, meaning some forms can already comfortably compete with fossil fuels.

The report by International Renewable Energy Agency (IREA) suggests this trend will continue and that by 2020 “all the renewable power generation technologies that are now in commercial use are expected to fall within the fossil fuel-fired cost range”.

Of those technologies, most will either be at the lower end of the cost range or actually undercutting fossil fuels.

Adnan Amin, director general of the International Renewable Energy Agency, said: “This new dynamic signals a significant shift in the energy paradigm. Turning to renewables for new power generation is not simply an environmentally conscious decision, it is now – overwhelmingly – a smart economic one.”

The report looked specifically at the relative cost of new energy projects being commissioned.
As renewable energy becomes cheaper, consumers will benefit from investment in green infrastructure. The current cost for fossil fuel power generation ranges from around 4p to 12p per kilowatt hour across G20 countries.

By 2020, IREA predicted renewables will cost between 2p and 7p, with the best onshore wind and solar photovoltaic projects expected to deliver electricity by 2p or less next year.

Other methods of producing renewable energy, such as offshore wind farms and solar thermal energy, are not yet as competitive as fossil fuels. However, the results of recent renewable power auctions for projects to be commissioned in the coming years suggest these forms too are due to drop in price. Auctions provide a useful means of predicting the future cost of electricity.

Mr Amin added: “These cost declines across technologies are unprecedented and representative of the degree to which renewable energy is disrupting the global energy system.”

The new report comes after 2017 was declared the UK’s greenest year ever by WWF, when data from the National Grid revealed 13 different renewable energy records had been broken.

Inteb joins business leaders in shaping economic strategy

Inteb Managed Services is taking new and important steps to help formulate plans for the economic regeneration of the region where the business has its national headquarters.

Commercial director Raja Khan was among progressive and forward-thinking business leaders who took part in the inaugural meeting of Wirral Chamber of Commerce’s Strategic Place Advisory Forum, a 50-strong group – partnering with the local authority – with a mission to shape a strategy for economic growth and investment.

As a Strategic Partner with Wirral Chamber, Inteb, as well as being at the heart of initiatives for this local sector development, will also be involved in the Chamber’s lobbying activities.

Raja explained: “Our business is a huge supporter of Wirral Chamber and the strides it is making to put the area on the map as a great place to work and do business. As a Chamber member, it was a natural move for us to take on the extra responsibility of becoming a Strategic Partner and join like-minded business people who, with their influence and decision-making, can make a real difference to the success of the local economy.”

At the inaugural meeting of the forum, Andy Snell, head of strategic partnerships at Wirral Chamber, added: “I am delighted with the interest and commitment to this initiative of so many quality businesses from Wirral and the Liverpool City Region – organisations from established blue chip companies to start-ups who are shaking up their industry.”

Future forum topics for discussion will include training and skills, energy and transport infrastructure.