ESOS Phase 3 – how will the changes affect you?

In the current energy landscape, Phase 3 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (‘ESOS’) may not be an immediate priority for your business. But while the Phase 3 deadline is not until December 2023, it is still in every business’s best interest to comply as soon as possible.

In addition, the UK government recently released the outcome of its ESOS consultation. The aim of the consultation was to raise the quality of ESOS audits, and ensure that they are consistent with net zero commitments.

In light of this, we decided to take a look at the changes to the compliance regime, and why it pays to get ahead of schedule.

The consultation focused on four core options: improving the quality of ESOS audits by strengthening minimum standards and making ESOS more standardised, looking at the role of lead assessors, how ESOS can address the net zero challenge, and public disclosure of ESOS data to encourage uptake of ESOS recommendations.

Read on to find out more…

What are the changes?

  1. There will be a standardised template for participants to include summary information, such as organisational structure, energy consumption and outlining the route to compliance.


  1. The de minimus is now 5% of total energy consumption (previously it was 10%). The de minimus is the percentage amount of your total energy consumption that can be excluded from your reporting. This is likely to bring more activities within the scope of reporting, which could lead to more energy savings.


  1. Clearer guidance on the requirements around site sampling, including clearer guidance on recommended minimum sampling levels for both number of sites sampled and percentage of total energy consumption sampled.


  1. Collection of additional data for compliance monitoring and enforcement.


  1. The addition of an overall energy intensity metric within the overview section of the report – kWh/m2 for buildings, kWh/unit out for industry and kWh/miles for transport. This also complements existing requirements under SECR and would facilitate comparison between performance in different phases.


  1. Requirement to share ESOS reports with subsidiaries.


  1. ESOS reports will need to provide more information on the next steps for implementing recommendations.


  1. Targets or action plans must be set following the Phase 3 compliance deadline – and they will be required to report against these in Phase 4.


  1. There will be an increased penalty for non-compliance – an initial penalty of up to £50k and an additional £500 per day until the company complies.


  1. From Phase 4 onwards the ESOS balance sheet and turnover thresholds will align with SECR (250 employees, or a balance sheet of £18 million or a turnover of £36 million)

The Environment Agency will also be working with ESOS professional bodies, to identify how further changes could be made to improve the quality of ESOS audits in Phase 3. This is likely to be through active monitoring of lead assessors’ work.

What does this mean for you?

While there are several changes to the compliance requirements, it is unlikely that this will require revisiting site audits that already meet the current ESOS requirements. However, businesses will be required to audit additional sites, in light of the changes to the de minimis.

Participants may also need to implement a net zero element to their audits and the government response to the consultation is that they will develop a methodology for a net zero ESOS assessment. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is currently working with the British Standards Institute (BSI) on the production of a new net zero audit standard, to facilitate this.

Participants can also implement other Phase 4 changes on a voluntary basis, in Phase 3.

What can you do to prepare?

During Phase 1, more than 40% of businesses were still not compliant, four months after the deadline. If this were to happen again, in excess of 2,800 firms would be fined – and suppliers would be forced to raise their prices again. So, it is essential that businesses that wish to comply do so as soon as possible.

The first step towards assessing your carbon footprint is to carry out an energy audit. Energy audits assess a business’s total consumption – spanning buildings, industrial processes and transport usage. You can pinpoint areas of high energy usage, and your business could make significant energy savings as a result.

We recommend that you:

  • Review your business structure and understand any anticipated changes.
  • Review your portfolio and ensure that you have a clear view of all UK responsibilities, including sites where you are a tenant, or where you have operational control.
  • Choose your ESOS compliance representatives – as a minimum, this must include a primary contact and a Company Director for sign-off.

If you have any questions about your compliance, please contact your dedicated team or alternatively contact and a member of the Carbon team will get back to you.

Where does EIC come in?

Our carbon team has extensive experience with complex compliance legislation and we are dedicated to helping you reach deadlines, efficiently and effectively. Our Lead Assessors and highly trained Auditors are on hand to assist you throughout your compliance process.

We have assisted hundreds of clients with their ESOS journey, identifying 4.65 million tonnes worth of CO2 savings. As a result, our clients have avoided approximately £80 million in fines during phases 1 and 2.

You are busy balancing other tasks and responsibilities, and we know that compliance schemes such as ESOS can seem like a hassle. Here at EIC, we can help turn that obligation into an opportunity for you.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you start your compliance journey.

Energy price rises – how can you avoid them?

Energy prices continue to reach record-breaking highs, and industry sectors around the world have been forced to prepare for high prices. Individuals around the country have been forced into energy poverty, and many businesses are teetering on the edge. As a result, businesses are desperately trying to regain control of their energy bills.

Last month our EIC experts, John Palmer (Director of Flexible Procurement) and John Dawson (Energy Trade and Market Intelligence Manager) spoke with Sumit Bose from Future Net Zero. They discussed the current events shaping the energy procurement landscape and tips on how to protect your business in a volatile market.

So, what are the best ways to future-proof your business against rising energy prices?

What can you do now?

Before you look into procurement or switching to a different contract, you should first assess your business’s current situation and how it can be improved. For example, are there any areas of your business that can reduce consumption? Can you generate your own energy on-site?

By not prioritising areas such as accurate data and energy billing management, businesses could face substantially higher, and unnecessary costs. While checking for invoice inaccuracies is essential in being efficient and financial savings, many customers simply do not have the time or resources to spot and resolve errors.

EIC expert John Palmer also pointed out that accurate billing is essential. ‘Another thing to look at is invoicing – are you actually being invoiced correctly for your energy?’ he said. ‘It’s amazing how often you find there are problems with energy invoicing, and certainly our bill validation team have found quite significant cost savings as a result of invoicing errors that have been discovered.’

At EIC, our data solutions and intelligent bureau team provide full invoice checking and bill validation for clients. Each month, we will provide you with a full analysis of your bills. Highlighting any errors, along with the actions we have taken with your energy supplier to resolve these errors. Get in touch to find out more about our bill validation services.

Buy smart

With another year of triads ahead, businesses have the choice to be flexible. Planning for long-term costs and budget forecasting is advisable, particularly when considering aspects such as onsite generation and the payback for energy efficiency projects. However, it can be hard to calculate various rates and charges in relation to a business’s specific budget.

John Dawson spoke about this topic in our recent webinar. He explained: ‘Long-term forecast reports are something that EIC can provide. Also looking at whether you can benefit from asset optimisation and demand-side response schemes, again if you’ve got that ability to be flexible with your demand then you might well be able to save some money or even make an income from those kinds of schemes.’

Accurate budgeting forecasting is especially helpful during these times, where volatile energy markets are very apparent. By building up a realistic and sustainable budget cost, businesses are able to plan further ahead and develop their future strategies more efficiently.

Decide on fixed or flexible

Deciding between a fixed or flexible contract can be difficult. It is advisable to weigh up your desire for certainty, versus the option of flexibility when procuring energy in the fluctuating markets. While a fixed contract works better for a business that wants certainty that their rates will not falter, flexible contracts allow businesses with significant costs to warrant a more sophisticated solution – giving them more fluidity.

Understanding what kind of contract, on what terms, and the timescale are all very important considerations for a business. At EIC, our dedicated energy procurement support team are on hand to manage your utility supplier relationships and ensure accurate and timely consumption data. On which you can base your contract decisions.

John Palmer went on to say that ‘in terms of the way you procure, it’s got to be right for your organisation. If you need absolute budget certainty, a fixed contract probably still is the way to go – it’s about timing when you actually fix that contract. If you’re looking at flexible contracts it’s about understanding what you’re trying to achieve with that contract and getting the right risk management strategy to give you the best opportunity to get what you need out of it.’

Where does EIC come in?

Reducing your energy consumption is a simple and effective solution to reducing costs – if you know how. Finding simple ways around constantly rising prices can often be confusing and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.

At EIC, our goal is to help companies navigate the best routes for themselves and their business plan. We recognise that while there are many reasons as to why energy prices are rising, we can help our clients return their business strategies to normal.

We have a range of guides on topics such as procurement, energy management, fixed and flexible contracts, and many others that can help you to kickstart your journey to a more efficient and cost-effective future. Get in touch today to find out more.

Electric vehicles and the new smart charging regulations

More and more people across the UK are initiating the switch to EVs, and to help encourage this the government are reinforcing the National Grid’s resources. This will ensure that the grid can withstand an increased demand for electricity. But many people are unaware of EV Regulations, and how they are currently changing.

New UK laws will require charge points to respond to periods of high demand by slowing or delaying charging sessions. These new rules will leave drivers and vehicle owners in charge, but steer them towards a future that is significantly more sustainable.

But how will these regulations change the world of EVs, and how will this impact UK drivers and businesses?

The new regulations

The Electric Vehicles (Smart Charge Points) Regulations 2021 requires all EV chargers that are sold for domestic or workplace use across the UK, to be pre-configured. This is to encourage smarter charging behaviours amongst drivers and vehicle owners.

Chargers sold after June 30th 2022 must now have smart functionality. This will encourage drivers to charge their EVs at a time when there is less demand on the electricity grid, or when there is an abundance of renewable energy available. This should reduce the strain on the National Grid.

These functions will come pre-configured on the charger, but owners remain in control with the ability to adjust chargers to their preferred settings. The Department for Transport will review progress after the launch, informing a second phase of regulations due by the end of 2025. Later in the year they will also introduce new cyber security requirements to further protect the charger and user data.

What does this mean for you?

With twice as many plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on our roads in June 2021 compared to the end of 2019, it’s clear that the country needs to adjust to the growing popularity of EVs. But many may worry about how these adjustments will affect them in the future.

While the new regulations will bring changes for charging plans, peak-time charging will not be banned. Owners will have the option to override the settings of their charger if the default scheduling does not work for them, but for the majority of people, charging their vehicles off-peak is the smartest and most cost-efficient option.

And if you already have a charger installed at home, you do not need to worry about upgrading it. As long as it was bought before the 1st July 2022, EV owners will not have to upgrade their charging device.

Where does EIC come in?

It is becoming clearer each day that action must now be taken to protect our environment. And with the government working to make significant movements towards a sustainable future, it is clear that these green plans are being made a priority.

At EIC, we are dedicated to helping our clients make the most of the green energy alternatives on offer. For us to help ourselves, we must help those around us as well. And our green energy solutionscompliance advice, and carbon management plans can be tailored to your business’s needs.

We can also plan and install charge points across your sites. In addition, we also offer advice on converting your current vehicle fleets to electric.

Get in touch today to hear how EIC can assist you in your journey to net zero.

The time is now – why you should renew your energy contracts sooner rather than later

When is the best time to renew your energy contract? While this is a difficult question under normal circumstances, in the current climate, it is imperative. With inflation and energy prices hitting all-time highs, it is crucial to renew at the right time to avoid missing out on significant deals.

Without a clear plan to manage your energy bills, you could be at risk of rising prices. So, it is important that you secure your upcoming contract renewals as quickly as possible.

Let’s take a look at why you should secure your renewals sooner rather than later.

Finding flexibility

Deciding when to renew can be confusing. You will also need to consider various contractual terms, which can be time-consuming. To fully understand the best options for your business, you must first understand your current energy usage and areas of high energy consumption throughout your sites. Factors such as the contract length, fee, and rate should also be taken into consideration.

Securing a fixed contract at the wrong time could mean that your business pays more for its energy, compared to the current market rate. This could lead to you falling behind those competitors that chose to renew their energy contracts at a different point in time, or decided to be more flexible. A flexible energy contract allows your energy bills to mirror the peaks and troughs of the energy market. With a flexible contract, you can also spread out the purchasing points – giving you a wider time frame to spread out any risks of fluctuations in the market.

Avoiding high prices

It’s no secret that energy prices are sky rocketing. Many homes and businesses are now slipping into energy poverty, due to colossal price hikes. Choosing the wrong contract could expose your business to these high price risks.

Looking at the renewal options, and obtaining quotes as far ahead as possible, can help to reduce this risk. While waiting it out until prices go down may seem appealing, it is not advised. Putting in place a consistent and reliable plan of action will free up your time and finances – so your business can focus on other priorities.

Looking ahead

The energy market can be incredibly hard to predict, so securing the right contract is vital. And flexible procurement allows for long-term planning, which can save you time later down the line. For example, putting in place a long-term flexible contract means that you will spend less time assessing the current energy market, while your flexible contract continues – and our experts can handle the price fluctuations for you.

But good risk management is still vital when deciding on the best time to renew your contract. If you are not due for renewal yet then you have time to think about the most advantageous options for your business.

How can EIC help?

Understanding and choosing the best energy solutions for your business can be confusing and tiresome. There are many factors to take into consideration when deciding which contract is right for you – especially in the current energy climate.

EIC has expertise in flexible energy procurement, which can help reduce your costs. Flexible procurement also offers adaptability, in an ever-changing commercial landscape. Budget certainty will become key to your company’s survival, and flexibility will become crucial.

EIC can scan the energy markets to find a flexible energy contract for you, helping you to make savings. You can count on our expert traders, who constantly monitor the markets to find the best prices. We look to engage suppliers on the basis of their contract features and functionality, transparency around the price-fixing mechanism, and the supplier’s account management fee.

Get in touch today to find out more about how EIC can help you find the right contract for you.

The importance of access to energy data

The energy grid is evolving, and systems will have to adapt as we move towards a more flexible energy landscape. Data-driven energy optimisation could be the key to business profitability, as well as deep carbon reductions.

Climate change and net zero targets are at the forefront of the minds of consumers and investors. What this effectively means, is that energy performance is now an operational and commercial priority in building intelligence. Data analytics are crucial for businesses wishing to advance this intelligence.

Let’s take a look at the benefits you can reap from taking control of your data.

Become more efficient

Accessing and understanding data across multiple sites can bring a whole host of benefits. One of the most beneficial advantages is the opportunity to run your business more efficiently.

Efficient energy management can happen anywhere at any time. Energy data and analytics need to be readily available for businesses to obtain the full advantages. Through targeting the data of your sites, you can see where you are using the most energy, when, and for what reason. This makes it easier to identify and remedy areas of waste – making your business more sustainable and future-proofed as a result.

Cut costs

Having quick and easy access to your data is essential for every company. One by-product of becoming more efficient, is the reduction of unnecessary costs. Reducing energy waste in your business automatically reduces any costs attributed to that waste. This frees up money, which can be reinvested in other areas of the business.

Effective data management will help to inform your business decisions, keep your energy costs low and help you to future-proof your sites. Understanding data – not only from your online systems, but also from your bills, for example – can help your business to avoid charges for consumption in peak demand periods, as well as identifying waste usage. Thousands of pounds can be saved through analysing data, as it can identify spikes in wasted energy usage.

Increased transparency

As we move towards a new era of sustainability in business, it is essential for organisations to be as transparent as possible with their clients and potential investors. Transparency about your sustainability efforts can help your business to connect to customers on a deeper level. Offering accountability has been proven to encourage people to opt for certain businesses over their more reserved competitors.

Research has found that 94% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that is completely transparent. With a consumer market that is focused on sustainability now more than ever, transparency in terms of sustainable goals is key.

Where does EIC come in?

Reducing your energy consumption is a simple and effective solution to reducing costs – if you know how. Finding simple ways around constantly rising prices can often be confusing and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.

At EIC, our goal is to help companies navigate the best routes for themselves and their business plan. We recognise that while there is a broad range of reasons as to why energy prices are rising, we can help our clients return their business strategies to normal.

Get in touch today to find out more. Also, head over to our piece on the changes to the TCR mandates to find out more on how this will affect you.

TCFD: how to align your business with mandatory disclosures

In April 2022, the UK government implemented mandatory Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) requirements. These recommendations apply to the UK’s largest companies and financial businesses.

Companies must work with the resources available to them, and get their strategies in place now. Not only will this ensure that they are in a strong position for imminent changes, it will also help businesses to navigate changes within the broader ESG landscape.

Let’s take a look at how you can organise your company to align with the new requirements.

What is the TCFD?

The Task Force on Climate-related Disclosures was established in 2015, by the international Financial Stability Board. It is based upon the growing consensus that climate change has immediate effects on economic decisions. Investors are growing more aware of climate-related risks and turning towards those organisations that are planning ahead in this regard.

As part of a package of environmental measures from the government, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to make the TCFD guidelines mandatory for businesses. This fraction of the green recovery plan aims to bolster the UK’s position as a global leader for green finance.

To that end, the TCFD is a reporting framework with the aim of achieving consistency in terms of the level and quality of climate-related disclosures. Setting a consistent standard will increase transparency and allow for comparability between organisations, in terms of their impact and effects on climate change.

The TCFD reporting framework spans four key areas: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets. In terms of governance, companies must describe how the board maintains oversight of climate-related risks and opportunities. With regards to strategy, they must identify climate-related risks and opportunities in the short, medium and long-term and how this will impact the organisation’s businesses, strategy and financial planning.

In terms of risk management, companies must demonstrate their processes for identifying and assessing climate-related risks, and how these risks are managed and integrated into their overall risk management. Businesses should also disclose the metrics they have used to assess climate-related risks and opportunities. They should disclose Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions and climate-related performance targets.

Know where to start

The mandatory TCFD requirements now apply to large businesses, for accounting periods beginning on or after 6 April 2022.

Starting early is key in implementing TCFDs efficiently and effectively. While points may be altered in the strategy as time goes on, having a roadmap to achieve your TCFD goals within a future business plan is essential in understanding the potential gains, as well as risks. Board members may require training, and communication with stakeholders throughout the process will be key.

Reporting on risk management is also very important when starting out with TCFDs. The starting point is to consider the existing processes within your organisation and build upon these. As well as understanding the tools you already use to help collect and report climate-related information, and consider which additional tools are required.

All information required to meet the disclosure obligations must be included in the company Annual Report and Accounts. Third party information used to assess climate-related risks – such as from data providers – may be included.

Set targets

Identifying targets is a good start when figuring out a strategy. Measuring and reporting on progress, peaks and troughs, can help businesses to understand exactly where they can improve, and how. There are several initiatives that can assist businesses in this regard.

Science Based Targets , as well as industry projects promoting net zero targets for specific sectors, can help businesses to understand exactly how to create ambitious but reachable targets for the future. Emissions must be cut significantly for the UK to reach net zero, by 2050. A ‘science-based’ emissions target stays in line with the scale of reductions required to meet these objectives. These goalposts track progress and give the private sector a clear idea of how quickly they need to reduce their GHG emissions, to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.

You should also consider carrying out a materiality assessment, which will help you to decide which climate-related issues within your organisation are significant enough to report on, and in turn, set targets for. Climate-related targets should be quantifiable and granular, linked to metrics, clearly specified over time and periodically reviewed. They should be understandable and contextualised.

The TCFD recommends using metrics that are ‘decision useful’, clear and understandable, reliable, verifiable and objective, and consistent over time. Categories of metrics include GHG emissions, transition risks (such as credit exposure to carbon-related assets or revenue from coal mining) and physical risks (such as investment in flood zones).

Follow available guidance

Understanding the ins and outs of the TCFD requirements may seem confusing, but there are many forms of guidance that are available to you. The TCFD Hub, BEIS and the FRC have published guidance to help companies with approaches, examples of disclosure and how the mandate interacts with existing requirements. Including SECR and ESOS.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has recently published guidance for businesses that now need to make TCFD-aligned disclosures. You can access the guidance here.

How can EIC help?

Implementing TCFDs comes with a number of benefits for larger businesses. A major one being that they will help companies to identify and assess the risks posed by climate change. They can then address their structural weaknesses, and implement mitigation and adaptation efforts to future-proof their business. Organisations that do this will have a competitive advantage over those that don’t when it comes to future funding and investments.

At EIC we are experienced in helping clients mitigate climate-related risks. Through our unrivalled energy management services, and cutting-edge technology, we can help you with TCFD compliance. Our aim is to guide you and interpret the legislation, keeping you informed and compliant. From resource efficiency and clean energy, through to your carbon compliance, our goal is to simplify your sustainability journey.

Get in touch today to find out more information on future-proofing your organisation.

What is the Targeted Charging Review (TCR) and how will it affect you?

Business owners up and down the country may have heard of Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR). The new rules came into effect from April 2022, establishing a new system for non-commodity charges. This is effectively how network owners charge energy customers, for the use of electricity networks in the UK.

These changes will impact every business differently. So, it is essential that every business understands the effects the new rules will have on their bills, before they enter into their next electricity contract.

Here are some important points you should know about TCR and how it will affect you.

What is the TCR?

The TCR is an Ofgem-led project that assesses how network charges are set and recovered. It was launched to address concerns that the current mechanisms used to recover Distribution Use of System (DUoS) and Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges could lead to inefficient use. It is hoped that the TCR changes will help consumers avoid detrimental effects, and distribute the costs more fairly – particularly for those that consume energy during peak periods.

For customers that are metered half hourly, electricity transmission costs run according to Triads. Triads are the three half-hour settlement periods in the winter with highest system demand. National Grid determines these peaks to set electricity charges, and they are calculated retrospectively in March of each year.

Now Ofgem has introduced new rules, following concerns that the current system distorts the market and is detrimental to businesses of all sizes. It also comes amid concerns that more savvy businesses may try to avoid Triad periods, and not pay their share towards maintaining the grid year-round.

How will this affect you?

Triad periods usually provide larger businesses with an opportunity to make savings through flexibility, by reducing consumption during peak periods. Even those who aren’t able to be flexible in their usage can mitigate the impact of Triads by increasing their energy efficiency. However, under the new system there is less incentive for Triad avoidance and, where it remains, the benefits will be significantly reduced.

TCR changes introduced in April 2022 now mean that non-commodity charges will no longer be based upon peak-time consumption and will instead be based on a standard flat rate. All meters will be sorted into bandings and charges applied to each banding. These bandings will be reviewed every five years.

For some, the TCR will increase their energy costs, as they may fall within a higher banding, but this can be rebalanced within other areas of their budget. But those larger energy users who have not previously consumed energy flexibly and who have been hit with high Triad costs could see significant improvements, and reductions in non-commodity costs.

Where does EIC come in?

Keeping track of your energy usage is important at the best of times, but even more so under current circumstances. With these latest changes to electricity charges, keeping track of your energy costs can seem all the more confusing.

Reducing your energy consumption is a simple and effective solution to reducing costs – if you know how. Finding simple ways around constantly rising prices can often be confusing and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be.

At EIC, our goal is to help companies navigate the best routes for themselves and their business plan. We recognise that while there is a broad range of reasons as to why energy prices are rising, we can help our clients return their business strategies to normal.

Get in touch today to find out more. Also, keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming blog about how access to data could help your journey towards energy efficiency.

A decade of successful Triad calls for EIC

A decade of successful Triad calls for EIC

National Grid have published the three Triad dates for the 2021/22 season, which are listed in the table below. For a tenth consecutive year EIC has successfully called an alert on each of these days.

There was a reduction in the number of Triad calls this year with EIC only issuing 17 alerts in total, nearly a third less than the number called the previous winter. This compares favourably with other suppliers who called an average of 25 alerts across the Triad period.

Confirmed Triad DateHalf hour endingSettlement PeriodDemand (MW)

Source: National Grid

Note: Settlement data published on 29/03/22

What are Triads?

Triads are three half-hour periods with the highest electricity demand between the start of November and the end of February. Each Triad must be separated by at least 10 clear days. This means consecutive days of high demand won’t result in multiple Triads. If consumers are able to respond to Triad alerts by reducing demand, then they will be able to lower their final transmission costs.

Mild winter leads to fall in demand

The Triad season started with a long period of mild weather before a cold spell at the end of November and start of December which resulted in the first Triad. Temperatures returned above seasonal normal for most of December with a particularly mild period between Christmas and New Year. The remaining two Triads occurred in January as temperatures frequently dropped below seasonal normal. In contrast, February contained long periods of mild and windy weather which resulted in a drop in peak demand. Across the Triad season 14 weekdays had an average temperature below 3°C, with 10 of these occurring in January. This compares to 24 the previous winter and only six for the 2019/20 winter.

This winter saw peak demand fall by 1.7GW from last year mainly due to the milder temperatures. There was an increase in demand-side response and a decrease in domestic consumption compared to last winter as there were less severe lockdown restrictions. Average demand also decreased and has now fallen by 9.5GW or 19% in the past 10 years. This has coincided with a 30GW decrease in baseload capacity over the same period as a number of coal, gas and nuclear power stations have closed.

It will be interesting to see whether demand continues to fall next year as baseload capacity is projected to decline further. Three coal and one nuclear power stations are set to close by next winter resulting in the loss of 4.7GW capacity. This will be partially offset by the opening of the 893MW Keady 2 gas power station and the 1GW ElecLink interconnector. However, if margins are tight on cold, still days then this will be reflected by a spike in day-ahead prices. With gas and power prices already at record levels there will be pressure on all sectors to reduce demand in the coming months to lessen the impact of energy bill rises.

Triads granted extra year

In May 2021, Ofgem launched a consultation on the Transmission Demand Residual (TDR) part of the Targeted Charging Review (TCR). The minded-to decision was to delay the implementation until April 2023 which means that there is one final chance for consumers to benefit from Triad avoidance over the 2022/23 winter period. The changes to DUoS charges will still be implemented in April 2022.

The TCR aims to introduce a charge that Ofgem considers is fair to all consumers and not just those able to reduce consumption during peak periods. For the majority of consumers these changes will lead to a reduction in transmission costs. However, sites currently taking Triad avoidance action are likely to face an increase in TNUoS costs from April 2023 as the effect of Triad avoidance is removed. Likewise, sites that have a capacity level set too high are also susceptible to DUoS and TNUoS cost increases as they are potentially placed in a higher charging band.

How EIC can help

With the confirmation that from April 2022 residual charges will be calculated using a capacity-based methodology, now is the perfect time to undertake a capacity review on all of your HH sites. EIC’s Capacity Review service is a fully managed end to end offering. We undertake detailed analysis for each of your sites, outline potential savings and offer clear advice on what action you should take. If we find that your capacity can be reduced by more than 50% it may also be possible to apply for a charging band reallocation which could significantly cut your future DUoS and TNUoS charges.

EIC can also help you accurately budget and forecast your energy prices with confidence with our Long-Term Forecast Report. Our team of specialists work hard identifying trends, examining historical figures and forecasting for the future. The Long-Term Forecast Report is a valuable tool which illustrates the annual projected increases to your energy bills and calculates your energy spend over the next 5, 10, 15 or 20 years. This allows you to confidently forward budget and avoid any nasty surprises. Whilst we can’t prevent the rise of non-commodity charges, we can ensure you are fully prepared for the increases.

Get in touch today to find out more on how EIC can help you future-proof your business.

Lighting solutions for dark winter nights

The past year has seen the world experience incredibly detrimental weather abnormalities. And the UK’s energy supplies have also been put under considerable strain. So now that we are in the midst of darker nights, businesses are left wondering how this will affect them.

The installation of LED lighting in business premises throughout the country has shown encouraging results. But if the UK wants to continue to progress as a sustainability leader, more businesses must follow suit.

20% of electricity generated in the UK can be attributed to lighting. As we approach COP26 and net zero targets, it is essential that we cut carbon emissions wherever possible and fully embrace sustainability. And to do this, we must incorporate innovative systems such as LED lighting.

We take a look at some of the benefits of making the switch to LED lighting for the darker winter months, and beyond.

Reduce emissions

Lighting accounts for around 5% of global CO₂ emissions. If businesses across the world made the switch to LED technology, they could save a whopping 1,400 million tonnes of CO₂. And while there are many benefits to implementing green practices, the reduction of emissions and the corresponding impact on the environment are surely at the top of the list.

Before a business can understand how best to incorporate LED lighting, it must first survey its sites and practices. Once these areas of high emissions have been pinpointed, you can then focus on reducing them.

Making the switch to LED lighting can hugely reduce a business’s carbon footprint. LED lights use 90% less energy than a typical incandescent bulb. And traditional lighting loses almost 95% of its energy, through heat production alone.

Benefitting budgets

LED lighting is the most cost-effective and durable option, for both businesses and households around the world. Making the switch to a different lighting system for buildings, possibly on multiple sites, can seem daunting. But the eventual return on investment will not only be beneficial in terms of time and money, but also environmentally.

These bulbs require far less electricity power and have a much longer lifespan. Sometimes even lasting an impressive 20 years. Aside from the environmental benefits, this will also save money for businesses, as they purchase less bulbs.

Boost corporate social responsibility credentials

Becoming energy efficient will also boost your corporate social responsibility (CSR) credentials. By improving green credentials, businesses can attract new potential clients while cutting utility costs and carbon emissions. Transparency is now essential for businesses, as customers around the world place increasing value on the environmental.

By demonstrating broader interests, rather than simply focusing on generating revenue, businesses can attract a loyal customer base. Prioritising the environment and customer wellbeing can also prompt word-of-mouth referrals and entice a broader range of clients.

How can EIC help?

It is within the best interests of every business to find simple solutions, that are both efficient and effective. The energy efficiency and long lifespan of LED lighting holds the potential to revolutionise the lighting industry. Boosting efficiency across the UK, and the world.

At EIC, we provide audits and a number of services that help businesses to decide upon the most effective and efficient solution for them. Our lighting solutions have helped businesses to upgrade their systems and reduce their carbon footprints.

Get in touch today to find out how EIC can help you to integrate effective and efficient lighting solutions into your business.

Learning at work week – how EIC can help

Our capacity for learning is constantly growing. As we adapt and develop, so does our desire to further educate ourselves. For this reason the Learning at Work Week campaign was created. Since launching in 1999 as Learning at Work Day, the celebrations have now been elongated to a week, and are continuing to grow each year.

The programme focuses on encouraging ‘lifelong learners’ to extend their opportunities to learn by utilising time within the work-place. This will become a vital factor in the UK’s pathway to net zero. For a company to reduce energy, costs and environmental impacts, education and teamwork is vital. While utilising renewable energy sources continues to fast track us towards our net zero targets, continuing to educate ourselves allows us to understand the world around us and what it needs to survive.

We take a look at what the national campaign consists of, how it can help in the long term and how EIC can assist you in learning at work.

What is learning at work week?

Learning at work week is an annual event that spotlights the benefits of learning within the work-place. Running from the 17th-23rd of May, the campaign aims to stimulate curiosity and deepen connections with colleagues.

This year’s theme is ‘Made for Learning’, which has been split into three strands; human = learning, human = curiosity and human = connecting. The campaign works to show that education can carry on at any age, in any place, and that there is always more to learn. The organisers of the campaign offer several online events and activities, from creative pursuits to numeracy challenges. They are also encouraging work places to set their own educational goals depending on their individual teams.

The highly celebrated week is also the perfect time to teach staff about the importance of sustainability. Following the announcement of net zero targets by many countries across the world, the focus on a green future has never been more prominent. Schools, colleges and universities are working environmental studies into their daily syllabus, so why not work-places?

Setting sustainable aims and objectives or implementing green initiatives allows workplaces to reduce energy bills at no or relatively low-cost measures. By simply educating staff on the beneficial impacts lower energy consumption could have, businesses can reduce their energy bills significantly.

EIC’s energy saving training

At EIC, we understand that education can play a huge part in paving the way for a sustainable future. Our vast experience in energy management and team training allows us to further educate employees on the importance of efficiency.

Through training in sustainable strategies, energy management and efficiency, we are able to provide our clients with a comprehensive list of educational options. These strategies allow companies to learn more about how to reduce energy usage and expenditure. We are also able to visit your organisation to train your staff (or in house trainer) on site.

Our goal at EIC is to integrate sustainability and smart energy usage into every part of your business. This is why we offer an online energy awareness course that provides education on saving energy and water in the workplace. This information comes in the form of a handy booklet, gives simple and effective ways to save energy day-to-day. Actions as simple as turning off lights when you leave a room or powering down computers overnight can make a significant difference. Whether they are big or small, every sustainable measure is helping to reduce emissions and preserve the world around us.

Some of our other available sustainable services include:

  • Assessing your businesses situation
  • Monitoring your usage
  • Setting goals
  • Creating communications
  • Measuring and displaying results

Get in touch to hear more about our energy saving training and how we can help you towards your sustainable future.

Greenwashing – what is it and why should businesses avoid it?

As the world shifts towards a more sustainable future, consumers are opting for greener alternatives. And a growing pressure to ‘get green’ means that businesses are desperate to show their values align with environmental issues. This can sometimes result in ‘greenwashing’.

Without the correct knowledge, businesses risk prioritising superficially appealing demands to satisfy conscious consumerism. But as businesses around the world pledge to sustainability, indications of greenwashing can often go unnoticed.

Persistent greenwashing can undermine the importance of sustainability. As a consumer, trying to identify eco-friendly brands can be challenging enough. And with added greenwashed businesses, this task can feel overwhelming and next to impossible.

So, what is greenwashing and how can businesses avoid it?

What is greenwashing?

Coined in 1986 by environmentalist Jay Westerveld, ‘greenwashing’ refers to misinformation provided by a business to falsely present itself as environmentally friendly.

More often than not, greenwashing happens due to a lack of knowledge. While sustainability continues to become a more prominent topic of conversation, so does the pressure to comply. This means companies are increasingly keen to exhibit their sustainable credentials, even if they don’t have environmental expertise.

Greenwashing often distracts from significant environmental issues such as climate change and pollution. It can also misdirect environmentally conscious customers towards dis-ingenuine products. This is because it can be hard to differentiate between well intentioned businesses with those that are performatively green. ‘The six sins of greenwashing’, is a list of indicators that can help consumers spot a business that has been greenwashed.

The six sins of greenwashing

The six sins of greenwashing

No proof: Claims made about a lessening of a businesses environmental impact are not verified by third party certifications.

Vagueness: Broad, insubstantial or convoluted claims such as ‘all natural’, ‘made with recycled materials’ or ‘eco-friendly’, with no further information.

The hidden trade-off: Marketing a product or service as ‘green’ by a narrow definition that disregards other environmental impacts. An example of this was fast food chain McDonald’s switch to paper straws. Although consumers may have welcomed this change initially, it was soon revealed that these straws were still unrecyclable.

Irrelevance: Although the claim may be true, it is unrelated to the company or product.

Lesser of two evils: Touting one good sustainable aspect of the business while ignoring greater environmental harm.

Fibbing: The sin of outright lying, this was seen very clearly in the case of the Volkswagen scandal of 2015. The car company admitted to cheating emissions tests by fitting defeat devices to vehicles in question. This allowed the company to use proprietary software to detect emission tests and in turn reduce levels. Whilst they were knowingly greenwashing their products, in reality they were releasing 40x the permitted limit of nitrogen oxide pollutants.

How can businesses avoid greenwashing?

In the run up to the UK’s net zero commitments, it is within everyone’s interest for businesses to become truly sustainable. Switching to renewables, incorporating low carbon tech and educating staff are some of the ways that businesses can avoid accidental greenwashing.

To promote a sustainable ethos, a business must first achieve sustainability goals. Providing customers with complete transparency not only reassures them of your reliability, but also allows for a wider range of potential clients.

Delivering real change is essential in moving towards a green future. While greenwashing allows businesses to pull in revenue in the short term, it will have serious consequences further down the line.

How can EIC help?

At EIC we prioritise sustainability and transparency. Our expert team are on hand to help your business become as green as possible.

Years of experience allow us to identify the best areas of savings for your business. We believe the future is sustainable and we are dedicated to getting our clients on the right path towards it.

Get in touch to hear how we can help you begin your sustainability journey.

It’s not too early to start thinking about ESOS phase 3

The deadline for the third phase of ESOS is on 5 December 2023, but it is never too early to start your carbon reporting process. Although working on a distant deadline may not seem like a priority, planning ahead may save considerable time and money.

Regulated by The Environment Agency, the mandatory compliance scheme aims to ensure that big energy users are working as efficiently as possible. Businesses that qualify for the scheme must have compliance plans in place to avoid fines and civil penalties.

The first step towards assessing an organisation’s carbon footprint is to conduct an energy audit. Energy audits assess total consumption within a business including buildings, industrial processes and transport usage. This is also crucial for understanding where a business could save money through energy conservation.

Who qualifies for ESOS?

ESOS is mandatory for large UK organisations that meet one of more of the following criteria:

  • Employ at least 250 people.
  • Have an annual turnover excess of €50 million and an annual balance sheet excess of €43
  • Are part of a corporate group containing a large enterprise.

Businesses that qualify must carry out ESOS assessments every four years. While fines differ from case to case, they can include an immediate £50,000 fine or £500 per day for up to 80 working days. Businesses who refuse to comply also run the risk of having their information published online.

What are the benefits of ESOS?

You may be thinking, why should I start thinking about phase 3 so early? Starting work towards phase 3 now means you are able to explore different options before deciding on the perfect one for your business. Becoming more energy efficient now will also mean environmental and financial benefits in the long term.

The two most significant benefits of ESOS lie in the reduction of carbon emissions and lowering of energy bills. If approached correctly, ESOS could bring benefits for both the business in question and the environment, in the form of cost effective savings.

ESOS has been predicted to deliver a total of £1.6 billion in savings to UK businesses between 2015 and 2030. Some of the most common areas in which savings are found include lighting, air conditioning and metering. EIC can also provide intelligent procurement: further simplifying our client’s energy management and reducing their utility costs.

Putting off compliance plans may also leave you vulnerable to price increases. Phase 1 of the scheme more than 40% of businesses were still not compliant 4 months after the deadline. If this were to happen again, in excess of 2,800 firms would be fined and in turn suppliers would be forced to raise their prices again. By identifying areas of carbon reduction, ESOS can also improve your Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) narrative. While they are separate schemes, information gained from ESOS can be used to manage energy efficiency in annual reports.

How can EIC help with your compliance needs?

Our carbon team have extensive experience with complex compliance legislation and are dedicated to helping you reach deadlines efficiently. Our Lead Assessors and highly trained Auditors are on hand to assist you throughout your compliance process.

We have assisted over 550 clients with their ESOS journey, and in doing so have identified 4.65 million tonnes worth of CO2 savings. This has meant that our clients have avoided approximately £80 million worth of fines over phase 1 and 2.

Whilst balancing other jobs and responsibilities, schemes may seem like a hassle. Fortunately, EIC can help turn that obligation into an opportunity for your organisation.  Get in touch to find out how we can help you start your compliance journey.

Our offices will be closed for the Bank Holiday (Monday 29 August 2022).
If you have a query, please contact us from Tuesday 30 August onwards, and we
will be happy to deal with your query then.