This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

From Supply to Advice

10 September 2010

APRIL 2010 SAW THE introduction of two notable pieces of green legislation – the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) and Feed-In Tariffs (FiTs) that raised the profile of sustainable energy substantially. However, four months on it appears that organisations are struggling to adapt. For example, of the estimated 5,000 organisations to which full CRC registration and reporting applies, to date (only weeks from the deadline) only around 1,250 companies have registered their data with the Environment Agency.
The current low level of compliance with regulation such as the CRC scheme is likely to be due to the complexity of reporting. Organisations are required to present all electricity consumption records, as well as an organisation chart showing the legal structure of the business and how much energy each part of the business uses. What’s more, each business is required to nominate a board level director to be responsible for overseeing the CRC process, plus a primary and secondary invoice contact. Failure to register, or failure to present accurate information, carries not only the risk of a fine, but also the reputational risk of a low ranking from the subsequent league table.
For many organisations adapting to the demands of such complex legislation can appear a daunting task.
Energy companies, with experience in translating legislation and carbon targets into low carbon energy solutions, are responding with a wide array of services designed to help businesses cope. However in many cases such offers of assistance are falling on deaf ears with some organisations seeing energy providers as just that, a source for their day-to-day energy needs rather than as a value business partner. To showcase the advantages of sustainable energy generation to clients, E.ON has installed one of the UK’s largest combined solar thermal and photovoltaic arrays on the side of its head office in Coventry. Not only does the installation give a real example of what a large commercial array can generate in revenues (were it eligible for a Feed-In Tariff), it also demonstrates to existing and potential customers the advantages of fully adopting low carbon energy solutions. I believe it is only through the ‘carrot’ of such rational business decisions that UK organisations can be persuaded to comply with the ‘stick’ of new legislation to reduce their carbon emissions.
A rapid return on investment is key but, in the current strained economic times, for some organisations such capital investment is simply not possible. In these cases E.ON’s Sustainable Energy consultants have developed an alternative financial model that is proving popular. Created to meet the needs of facilities managers for a rapid and simple fix to the demands of the CRC scheme, E.ON has worked with Self Energy to launch the Energy Performance Guarantee (EPG) – a ‘no gain, no fee’ service to help business drive down costs while meeting Government energy targets. The novel financial model shifts the risk of investing in sustainable generation from the client to the energy provider, with future savings on energy bills subsidising the initial upfront costs whilst still delivering a saving.
Higher Education is another sector that has to adapt to not only the demands of the CRC scheme, but also the requirements of the Department for Education’s goal to reduce carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2020. Again the energy sector is stepping up to the mark with consultancy services to help achieve these stretching targets without compromising budgets that are under intense pressure and scrutiny. King’s College, London - is a good example of such counsel. Here the FM team was advised to install a 1MW trigeneration solution to provide heat, power and cooling and an onsite renewables system to serve several of the College’s campuses, including the Strand in central London.
It is clear that the traditional model of energy provider and client is changing, but it is going to take time for such thinking to enter the mainstream of business decision making. For organisations able to adapt to a world where energy generation is a partnership rather than a service, the business benefits are compelling.
● Michael Woodhead, Managing Director of E.ON’s Sustainable Energy business

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page


View more articles
Article image

Zero carbon increasingly influencing contractual agreements

With the UK continuing to increase its efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, these efforts can be seen to be increasing their influence on ...
Article image

Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the r...
Article image

PFM Partnership Awards 2021 winners

Last night saw the first live presentation of the PFM Partnership Awards since 2019 and the evening was hailed as a great success....
Article image

PFM Awards 2021 - Overview of the FM industry's favourite awards event

Click on the video below to view the reaction of attendees and the sights enjoyed by attendees to the PFM Partnership Awards 2021 evening of celebration....
Article image

Global standard for reporting of carbon emissions in buildings published

Launch of the International Cost Management Standard (ICMS3) universal standard for the reporting of carbon emissions resulting from the construction and l...
Article image

UK wellbeing deficit drives RCA and Gensler research into workplace design

Milliken, the international floorcovering company, is one of the leading organisations behind a major new research project to explore the links between wor...