Can you tell if your energy supply is green or greenwashed?

Renewable energy sources are growing in popularity; the need to protect our planet by cutting our carbon footprint is certainly influencing its rise, but how can we be sure that our tariffs are as green as they are meant to be?

There are several renewable tariffs on the market, and consumers buy from suppliers on a trust basis. That is, they believe that they are getting exactly what they are paying for.

However, there are suppliers who may claim to be green who in fact are not as green as they claim.

Whilst some companies do buy directly from generators thus being able to demonstrate that they do indeed supply ‘clean’ energy to consumers, many do not and; although they claim to be providing Carbon friendly energy by using terms such as ‘low carbon’, this does in fact include gas and so therefore isn’t accurate.

Indeed, most energy suppliers who promote 100% renewable energy tariffs are not very green at all.

These types of supplier buy “REGO” (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) certificates from renewable energy providers. Most tariff providers are not actually producing renewable energy themselves and the REGO certificate enable providers to buy the right to put an ‘eco’-label on their tariffs. 

This is all above board (according to Ofgem), nevertheless, this can be misleading consumers into a false sense of security where many of them will believe that their tariffs are carbon-friendly, the truth is; they are something quite different. 

Providers who are purchasing cheap REGO certificates instead of generating or buying genuine renewable energy are charging consumers the same as the providers who are producing renewable energy; they are therefore not investing in technology to make cleaner, carbon neutral energy, something that would help our planet considerably.

So how can we be sure that we are using real renewable energy? We all want to play our part in improving our environment, and we should all be scrutinising our energy supply and usage to combat climate change.

UK Energy Management have the knowledge and experience which helps to cut through the jargon. We know the suppliers that are actively generating renewable energy along with those that are ‘labelling’ their energy as renewable and therefore not considering the environmental cost of climate change.

If you are unsure about your tariff and want to look deeper into where your energy supply comes from, contact UK Energy Management. We help businesses reduce their carbon footprint and reduce their overall cost of energy consumption, not only by reviewing their current tariff, but also by providing helpful advice on how to reduce energy usage in the workplace.

UK Energy Management – a reputable Energy Consultancy is actively educating businesses on how to purchase energy and reduce consumption. Benefitting your bottom line as well as the planet. Help your business by contacting us today.

Pay Me to Take Your Oil!

For the first time in history the price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI – US oil) turned negative, falling as low as MINUS $37.63. This came about as a result of two main factors, first until recently the leading exporters of oil – OPEC and Russia – had been in dispute about production levels and had actually increased the amount of oil that they were pumping out of the ground. This has then been coupled with the huge fall off in demand caused by the lockdown across the planet to combat the spread of the virus.

The cause of the fall to negative pricing is not just a simple case of supply and demand. As oil needs to be stored, which costs space and therefore money, when you run out of space to store oil you end up with a demand for oil storage… that’s putting the story into very simple terms, but what does this mean for the world of energy?

Put simply, its cheap. You will not have seen a drastic fall in prices at the pumps (as demand is low as we are all locked indoors!!) this fall though definitely benefits business energy buyers, cheaper gas as a result of cheaper oil which also leads to cheaper electricity as in the UK it is one of the larger components of our electricity generation mix while we shun coal and turn more towards greener, environmentally friendly sources…

With ongoing volatility in prices given oil producing countries rarely can agree on the actions they need to take, and the fact that oil production in some countries may no longer be commercially viable, we say take advantage of the current low pricing and secure energy contracts NOW. Contact us for any assistance or advice you may need.

Talking with Henry Bennett of Wokendon Wealth he comments from the perspective of a Financial Planner “What we have seen with oil prices is extremely unusual but we are going through a time of uncertainty. The key in such times is to focus on what is important to you, what you can control and where needed make changes taking appropriate advice. With my clients we have reviewed their planning making changes only if appropriate and considering the effect on their long-term plans.”

Perhaps the breath of fresh air the planet has had over the past weeks can be followed by a move to away from the addiction we have as a planet to carbon-based energy.

Here at UK Energy Management we view the current crisis surrounding the Coronavirus as a time where our clients need our advice MORE THAN EVER. Reducing cost is one part of what we do, but regulations still need to be met for many businesses and now is an optimal time to instigate energy and carbon reduction opportunities. We can also help with claiming rebates from energy suppliers, potentially freeing up some extra cash, which is helpful to many businesses NOW.

Contact us for more information, assistance, and advice on all your business energy needs.

Finally, we would like to wish all of you the best in these difficult times. May you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe.

Is Now The Best Time To Secure Your Energy Future?

 THE IMPORTANCE OF TWO METERS (before and after the virus)

Without the TV, internet, radio, and even shop windows, would we have been able to know and understand how vital the two metre rule is? In only three weeks, from children to pensioners, the world has made the two metre rule a big part of its necessary precautions against disaster.

A swift paradigm shift has and continues to occur. People feel things are not going to be the same on the other side of the virus crisis; most business owners know a return to how their business was is unlikely, be it speedy or not.

UK Energy Management cannot cure the virus – the NHS and other key workers are delivering a commendable service in very challenging times; we thank them all.

Our services are focused on your company’s well being. We are able to improve and remove items from your To-Do List which is now top-heavy with sudden weighty issues: cash flow, lay-offs, and basic survival. UK Energy Management helps by applying The Two Meter Rule.

Our Two Meter Rule exposes invisible dangers which can potentially have a harsh impact on your company’s bottom line and work space.

As with most complex solutions, the solution is simple to explain – The Two Meter Rule is based on your electricity and gas meters.

With a copy of your energy bills and your written consent, our team will unlock previously unseen data about your business, and provide the following services FREE OF CHARGE:

  • Energy Contract Prices – Are you paying too much? Are you paying what you agreed? Are there any hidden charges?
  • Energy Metering and Data Costs- D0 you know you pay for metering and data collection? Do you know you can reduce this cost?
  • KVA Analysis – Are you getting enough power? Are you paying for excess capacity or being penalised for not ordering enough?
  • Power Factor Review- A general check of your buildings’ efficiency can be assessed with a quick look at your data
  • Consumption Report- Identifying patterns in use. Does your usage match your business hours?

Contact us TODAY for a FREE bespoke outsourced solution working for your company now and in the future.

Stay Safe.

How does your business manage its Carbon Footprint?

We all have a responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint by being more aware of our impact on the climate, so what can we do to reduce this and be more environmentally aware of the world around us but also prepare our businesses for the change?

What is a Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint is defined as the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans, businesses, the production of food, manufactured goods, transportation, buildings, the list is endless but essentially it is anything that produces carbon dioxide and methane and through the emission of burning fossil fuels.

It is difficult to measure our exact footprint with so many variables to consider, however there are a few ways by which we can reduce this in our businesses by using (for example ) insulation to reduce energy waste and switching lighting to LEDs, these are just a few ways to quickly and easily achieve energy reduction and thereby reducing your carbon footprint.

How can I make my business energy efficient?

Talk to an expert about reviewing your energy supply, getting advice on how you can switch to renewable energy is one of the easiest ways of making a big reduction to your energy bills and your carbon footprint.

What about the equipment we use on a day to day basis?

All businesses will use equipment that helps them run, however have you thought about the footprint these machines make? Replacing devices such as computers and printers to more energy efficient ones will greatly help reduce this and save you money in the long term.

Use timing devices to optimise your heating and cooling systems. Energy can be wasted if these systems are not being used correctly, costing you more money. Consider installing a building management system to regulate temperatures in different areas of your business such as an office space and server rooms.

Recycle and Reuse

Put a sustainable plan into practice and engage your employees by encouraging them to reduce water and lighting by turning taps, switches and devices off when not in use. Purchasing recycled paper reduces carbon emissions and refurbished phones and IT equipment is another way to reduce your carbon footprint. Deceasing single use plastic is another easy way to help you stay sustainable.

So, are there ways your business can reuse or recycle plastic?

There is a lot to consider and to action on the path of being carbon friendly, it can be overwhelming for a business to implement changes and gaining the full support of everyone involved. Seek help from an experienced broker who can help and provide you with an achievable plan.

We could all do more to make our planet a better place to live and work and taking a few steps to make positive changes is one way we can reduce our footprint and help our climate.

Take advice from a reputable broker who can guide you through government legislations and provide you with ideas on how to make your business more energy efficient as well as save your business money on its energy bills.

UK Energy Management have been providing businesses with expert advice and guidance since 2010. Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you with energy efficiency.

Renewable Energy Sources – What are they and how are they converted?

Welcome to our first blog of 2020, in this post we wanted to explore some of the different types of renewable energy sources out there and how they’re converted to the everyday energy we use.

We tend to only think of electricity being generated through oil, coal and gas but renewables are fast outpacing traditional sources. So, let’s look at how renewables are paving the way for cleaner, greener energy.

According to new research, renewable sources provided more electricity to homes and businesses than fossil fuels for the first time last quarter, it is the first time that electricity generated from windfarms, renewable biomass plants and solar panels from the UK have surpassed fossil fuels since the first plant opened in 1882. It is testament to the effort that is being put into reducing our carbon footprint and making more use of natural resources.

So let’s take a look into some of the forms of renewable sources.

Wind Power

Wind turbines capture the natural wind in our environment, this in turn is then converted into mechanical energy. Wind farms are strategically placed in areas where it can generate the most energy. The turbines convert air motion into electricity, the blades on the turbine are connected to a electro magnetic generator and electricity is generated when the wind causes the blades to spin. These blades are connected to an electro-magnetic generator that produces the electricity we use.

The energy produced from wind is clean and has no direct carbon emissions and plants can run on low operational and maintenance costs.

Solar Power

Solar energy is the most plentiful source in the world, solar technology converts the sun’s heat or light into a form of energy. It is a renewable resource that doesn’t emit any greenhouse gases in its generation process and its popularity has grown over the years with many businesses and homes adopting their surroundings to accommodate the technology that allows them to produce cleaner energy. The panels work by absorbing the sun’s heat and light with photovoltaic cells which generate direct current (DC) energy, it is then converted to usable alternating current (AC) energy which in turn through an electrical panel is then distributed through our homes and businesses.

Water Power

About 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered in water and the energy harnessed from moving water is to create electricity. The two most common water technologies Hydropower and Tidal Power

Energy produced from water is considered a renewable source as it uses the Earth’s water cycle and gravitational pull to generate electricity. A Hydroelectric power plant would use a dam to store water in reservoir. The water would then be released, flow through to the spinning turbine activating the generator to produce electricity.

Energy derived from this source does not emit greenhouse gases but is scarcity and conservation can be a challenge that the energy industry faces.

These three sources of renewable energy are gaining more popularity and as we continue to use them more, we encourage others to follow and reduce their carbon footprint too.

Here at UKEM, we embrace greener and cleaner energy sources and champion their use to our clients who can see not only see a positive environmental impact but also a financial one. Get in touch with one of our experts to find out how we can help you achieve this.

Building Management Systems – Using them to effectively control your business

There are a lot of ways that you can make small incremental improvements to your business, processes that over time would make cumulative gains and can be hugely significant to how you manage your company. Energy for example is one process that can greatly benefit from effective systems and controls, allowing you to ensure that you only pay for the amount of energy your business has used.

Small changes equal big savings

All businesses from manufacturing to clerical will use energy intensive equipment, whether it’s machinery or computer servers, this usage adds to the building’s overall energy consumption. By integrating controls and systems together, you can optimise business performance and reduce the energy usage whilst still maintaining business integrity.

How much should we spend to optimise our business output?

Talk to an expert who can guide you through the options, they’ll be an initial outlay but seeking advice from a professional can be beneficial, they can assist in finding a system for you or even suggest changes that can be made to your current environment. Your energy manager will even be able to suggest government grants that your business may be eligible for. Taking the right advice will reduce costs and energy usage and improve productivity.

Some simple changes can go a long way

There are a few changes you can make that can benefit your business such as linking your heating, and air conditioning systems. When managing your internal environment, consider the external conditions, ask an energy expert to look at your tariffs as day and night rates differ and it might be beneficial to your business to utilise energy intensive processes at the most cost-effective times.

Which system should I use?

Sourcing a BMS system to meet your specific needs and business goals can be a time-consuming process and it is far more practicable to speak to an adviser who can assess your needs and provide you with a tailored solution. Ongoing monitoring is also essential, and your adviser will be able to manage the installation of the system as well as provide ongoing support to make sure that it delivers your business objectives, reduce your energy consumption and maximise performance.

Is your business looking for a business management system?

Talk to us about your needs and we will arrange for a professional who will make an assessment on your requirements and suggest the right BMS for you. By choosing the right system, you can access real time data, take control of your energy consumption and make analytical decisions based on accurate information.

Get in touch with us today to find out more.

The UK’s rapidly changing electricity system and how it could benefit you!

Over the years, the way we use electricity has changed, we’re more conscience of our own obligations to the environment and are using electricity which is generated using low carbon sources such as nuclear and wind power. Moreover, we are now able to generate our own electricity for our homes and businesses by using solar panels. With all this technology making it easier for us to use energy, how do we keep a track of how much we’re using?

“Accurate data could save the UK billions”

The introduction of smart meters has helped consumers take back more control of how much their homes and businesses are using and as we look to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, we then turn our attention to other ways of using clean energy such as running our vehicles. The popularity of electric cars places new demand on the grid, which is why it needs an effective data and communication system that could save the UK £40 billion by 2050 and meet its carbon reduction targets.

Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation, working with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, has up to £1.9 million to invest in the development of products and services that will modernise data services in the energy sector. Now this is a competition with many stipulations, rules and regulations such as showing regard for data security and to be flexible and easy to use (among other things), but essentially it aims to solve the fundamental problem of exchanging digital energy information between energy organisations and with other stakeholders by supporting the development of products or services which can later be commercialised and employed to solve similar problems elsewhere.

“An ambitious project but one which will help the energy sector greatly”

With £1.9 million up for grabs, projects that are being put forward must demonstrate how they can accelerate the development of tools and processes which will not only modernise data services for the energy sector but also help the UK to meet it’s target of achieving net zero emissions by further reducing our reliance on using carbon for heat, power and transport. An ambitious project but one which will help the energy sector greatly.

This investment and the eventual development will lead the UK into a future where we can meet our climate obligations by providing cleaner energy to businesses and homes alike but also accurately measure the amount we are using. Its an exciting time for the energy sector and here at UKEM, we’re keen on helping businesses take advantage by providing assistance to ensure that they’re billed accurately and are also compliant with new legislation.

Talk to our experts for help and guidance on how UKEM can help save your business money.

How AI can help with Energy Management

Have you ever thought about how AI can help your business? This would have seemed impossible in years gone past, but more and more companies are looking at technology to help them control the infrastructure of their businesses.

I don’t know about you but when someone mentions AI to me I think of Skynet and Terminators crushing human skulls underfoot. NB: this blog hasn’t been written to coincide with another new Terminator film!

But the key point of those films, that humanity should fear Artificial Intelligence, is a real fear for many, even if it is more related to the loss of their jobs as computers are able to do them faster, better and cheaper!

Take energy management for example, using a program to monitor energy usage would in turn mean that your business only pays for the consumption it uses. It can learn to control and predict energy usage that can help save money on one of the largest outputs of any business.

So what is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is any technique that enables a computer to copy human intelligence but also learn statistical techniques to enable a computer to perform a task more efficiently so that it processes data more quickly.

What do we think?

Here at UKEM we feel that technological advancements are positive, indeed a necessity, to provide us with the sustainable, clean and cheaper energy that we all want. Computers have been a key part of energy efficiency for many years and are now fully embedded in the way we analyse energy usage and indeed predict our behavioural patterns towards our consumption.

In the future when AI has truly arrived, we could have near perfect use of our energy resources guided by computers able to analyse and direct in milliseconds and to design more efficient production and storage of energy. However, that is the future, a future which won’t happen instantaneously overnight but rather by gradual progression.

And this is the real key point for us to consider, that AI doesn’t just mean what we hear in the movies but rather the ongoing development of smarter computers and programming that will make it easier for you to meet your energy needs in a green and cost-efficient manner, as well as being ready to meet the tougher legislation that governments are already introducing to reduce carbon emissions.

At UKEM we see our understanding of the technology available both now and going forward as one of the key pillars of the service we provide to our clients. Through understanding your needs and circumstances we will make you aware of the options available to you now and which offer your business value for money.

However, any energy strategy we put in place is reviewed to take into consideration your changing needs, changes in legislation and of course technological advances. That’s why we build long-term relationships with our clients as one of the key advisors to your businesses.

We can provide you with free impartial advice on how to run your business in a more energy efficient way so why not get in touch?

Energy – Only Pay For What You Use

As your business grows so does the expense of keeping it running so how do you make sure that you’re paying the correct amount to your suppliers?

Take energy for example, bill calculation errors can be very costly for businesses and consumers alike and there is a high probability that checking bills manually can lead to mistakes, meaning you could be paying for more than you should.

So how does bill validation work for businesses?

Your energy broker will provide you with a service whereby your bills are checked against your consumption, energy contracts, government taxes and levies; making sure that you pay the correct amounts and for the correct use . But it is also essential that historic charges are also checked and any amounts that have been overcharged are reclaimed through audit checks. We spoke to a few businesses to understand how it has helped them.

“Bill Validation has saved us so much money”

“An essential part of our business was establishing and utilising energy management services. Using bill validation has really helped us save money and time.

Our bills are checked to make sure that we are only using the exact amount our business has consumed and any discrepancies are then dealt with through our broker and the energy supplier. Like most businesses, our time is limited to dealing with our customers and ensuring the smooth running of the company so to have someone completely independent who knows what they are doing and is able to efficiently expediate matters on our behalf really has helped. We’re completely focussed on our business without the added distraction of dealing with the utilities because we have left these in the hands of an expert

“Our bills just piled up and we hadn’t realised how much we had been overcharged”

“We hadn’t thought about using an energy management company before, everything was dealt with in-house. However, running a business and dealing with the back-office processes, specifically utilities always ended up at the bottom of the pile. We hadn’t realised how much our energy was costing us until we had an independent review done by a reputable firm who undertook a thorough audit of our historical bills. We soon discovered that we had been paying for energy we hadn’t even used and were delighted when we were told we could reclaim a refund from our supplier. Had we not had this review done, we would never had realised that we were paying too much and since then our broker has been able to negotiate a better deal for our energy supply and we now know exactly what we’re paying for, thanks to the ongoing monitoring undertaken by our broker”.

These are just a few of the clients we have helped, it is vitally important that a business of any size considers using services such as bill validation and auditing, not only can it help you obtain better energy deals but it can monitor and provide ongoing support. Energy prices fluctuate greatly and it can be difficult to understand the terminology which is used to describe your usage, using someone who understands this and who is able to secure the best rates only proves invaluable to your business.

UK Energy Management have assisted businesses with bill assurance, historic audits and ongoing monitoring, our expert knowledge in this field has helped many companies secure better energy deals by utilising these services.

Contact us for assistance and guidance on your business utilities. Our advice will cost you nothing and we could save you money in the future.

Why is Energy Expensive?

Whether for our businesses or our homes, we all want a good energy deal. One that not only supplies cost effective energy but also with a company with a proven track record and good customer service.

“So what factors should we take into consideration when looking at switching suppliers?”

Since Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to cap prices, all of Britain’s top energy suppliers increased their prices. Wholesale gas prices spiked to their highest level in at least 10 years, thanks to the ‘Beast from the East’, while the heatwave had the opposite effect and led to higher than demand electricity.

Weather plays a major part in the way we consume gas and electricity, our consumption for gas peaks during the winter months whilst when we do have spells of a heatwave, our need to cool down by means of air conditioners and fans puts pressure on suppliers to generate more and keep up with the demand hence price hikes.

“What key factors are contributing to the increase of wholesale energy?”

We’re more reliant on gas imports from liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships and imports from Europe whereas previously we used our own storage facility to inject gas in the summer for us to use in winter which reduced our need for imported demand.

Brexit has also impacted prices, with a weak pound against the Euro, Europe has a greater advantage to import energy from the UK which puts more pressure on supply and demand and increases prices in the UK.

“What about renewable energy?”

Whilst renewable energy is cheap to operate it can be expensive to build and facilitate a functioning plant, location is also a factor to consider (for example special consideration is given to areas where wind can be generated constantly). Choosing the right location helps to maximise the amount of energy we produce. It has taken some time but governments are slowly starting to implement more policies in favour of greener energy with increased growth in renewables, take a look at the renewables obligation as an example of one such policy.

“So what is the cost of going green?”

Green energy tariffs are designed to promote renewable sources, but as we have established, green energy isn’t cheap to run and green tariffs will naturally cost more, however it doesn’t mean to say that there isn’t a good deal out there and we should pay particular attention to when wholesale renewable costs drop because naturally so will the price of green energy tariffs.

“How do I interpret my tariff?”

To the trained eye, checking tariffs is a simple process but for those who are less inclined to look over the small print, it can be a daunting task, especially if you are considering switching supplies or looking to make changes to your current supply. It can be even more of a time constraint if you have multiple premises supplied on different tariffs. A reputable energy broker can provide you with impartial advice and seek better and alternative suppliers for you.

Always consult an expert before you make any decisions about your energy supply. UK Energy Manager has helped businesses across many different sectors secure better energy tariffs and provided them with advice on how to make savings on their bills by making incremental changes to the way they use energy.