27 October 2010

New Energy Survey Shows doubt over effects of climate change

Survey reveals that while more of us are adopting better energy habits, scepticism remains about global warming and the extent to which individuals make a difference

Hampshire 26 October 2010: A new domestic energy survey by Current Cost, the largest global provider of energy monitoring real time displays (RTDs), has shown that while most householders in the UK are generally concerned about the environment, negativity about environmental responsibility and the view that the ability of individuals to make much of a difference is limited still prevails.

When asked ‘do you believe that you can have an impact on reducing the global carbon footprint,’ 75% of respondents agreed that they could, while 26% either disagreed or were unsure, indicating a significant level of scepticism and confusion.

When asked about their views on global warming, the majority (52%) claimed that they did what they could to minimise their impact on the environment and 19% said that they were concerned about the effects of global warming. A further 20%, however, said that they believed global warming and its likely effects have been exaggerated.

More positively, the survey, which was conducted amongst a range of domestic electricity users from across the country, showed that people in the UK are becoming increasingly more responsible when it comes to reducing energy wastage, with 67% of us claiming to always switch off lights when we leave a room and 80% always waiting for a full load before switching on the dishwasher. Our worst habits are sometimes boiling more water than needed (51%) and leaving appliances on standby (60%).

Current Cost, who commissioned the survey, manufactures simple, inexpensive real time displays that highlight the amount of energy being wasted around the home, allowing householders to take immediate steps to cut back on unnecessary usage and cut the cost of their electricity bill.

“It’s great that more people seem to be making an effort to make energy savings,” says Current Cost managing director, Martin Dix. “The aim of the real time displays is not to change the way you live but simply to provide information so that you know when and where you are wasting it. Cutting back on the amount of electricity that you use unnecessarily can really help to cut the cost of energy bills.”

9 June 2010

Alva Launches In Sight for Energy & Utilities

A daily industry report analysing the news and social media for the latest emerging reputational issues, risks and opportunities.

Alva launched In Sight Energy & Utilities, a sector-based report drawn from traditional and social media. Delivered daily and weekly on a subscription basis, the service provides organisations in the Energy & Utilities industry with an analysis of emerging reputational risk issues.

Designed for Board-level executives, corporate communications directors and frontline business departments, the latest Alva In Sight analysis shows that Renewable Energy dominated traditional and social media discussion over the past month with 23% of all Energy and Utilities talk on the issue. With the oil industry facing a substantial reputation spillover effect from the BP Deepwater disaster and the new UK coalition government outwardly supportive of renewables, coverage of all forms of renewable power is likely to increase substantially in the coming weeks. Infrastructure issues (12%) are closely linked with renewable issues and as such are likely to yield a large share of coverage largely thanks to the divisive nature of wind turbine installations and government policy on the future of the UK’s ailing nuclear reactors. Corporate news (16%) focused on the soaring profits for gas companies as a result of the cold winter as well as ongoing concerns over billing transparency, with consumer dissent increasing via social media channels. This will help boost consumer readiness for smart meters, but the issue itself is likely to be pushed off the media agenda, particularly as its seasonal boost has passed.

Commenting on the new service, Alberto Lopez, CEO and founder of Alva, said: “In the current regulatory and economic environment, the UK Energy & Utilities sector is increasingly under close scrutiny from a multitude of stakeholders. Now is the perfect time to launch our In Sight service, a service to ensure business decision-makers and frontline staff can stay on top of emerging reputational issues and spot potential risks and opportunities as they happen.”

Following Alva’s launch of In Sight Automotive in May 2010, Energy & Utilities is the second In Sight service from the corporate reputation and risk analysis firm. Services are planned for 32 industry sectors in total.

In addition, Alva will provide a range of complementary services designed to allow organisations to build reputational risk assessment and analysis into their day-to day business processes to ensure reputation is managed in the same way as any other business asset. These services will include a near real-time dashboard to analyse an organisation’s reputation, bespoke reputational research and consultancy, as well as sector-specific forums for professional development and networking.

For the latest updates on emerging Energy and Utilities issues follow Alva on Twitter @AlvaUtilities

2 June 2010

Battersea Power Station owners enjoy 30% savings on energy costs thanks to Power Efficiency

Battersea Power Station owners enjoy 30% savings on energy costs thanks to Power Efficiency

... New contracts secured with no security deposit through Power Efficiency’s energy procurement expertise …

London – 2 June 2010 – Power Efficiency, the UK’s leading energy procurement and carbon strategy consultancy, today announced that it has achieved energy procurement savings of over 30% for Real Estate Opportunities plc (REO), the international real estate company and owners of Battersea Power Station. REO is proposing the regeneration and redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, which will be the catalyst for the creation of a new quarter of Central London in Nine Elms.

Rob Tincknell, Managing Director of Treasury Holdings UK (development managers for REO) said; “We had been on excessive energy supply contract rates when we brought in the Power Efficiency team. The expertise of the Power Efficiency team in securing such low energy costs has already resulted in cost reductions beyond our expectations, and will result in significant cost savings for us going forward.”

Using its collective experience of over 100 man-years in the energy markets and its constant monitoring of wholesale energy pricing, Power Efficiency was able to secure contracts with suppliers for REO that resulted in cost savings of over 30% on electricity. In addition, Power Efficiency took on high level credit negotiations on behalf of REO and as a result was able to secure the new low cost contracts without the need for any kind of security deposit – a practice that has become the norm for energy suppliers and that is crippling commercial energy users of all sizes.

Bobby Collinson, managing director of Power Efficiency, commented; “Achieving these kind of savings is only possible through close and continuous market monitoring, and we’re very proud of what we have achieved for Real Estate Opportunities. Security deposits are having a dramatic impact on the cash flow of all large energy users, and their broad introduction during the downturn exacerbated this – all organisations should negotiate hard with their energy suppliers to reduce the impact on their business.“

About Real Estate Opportunities plc
Real Estate Opportunities (REO), is a listed real estate investment and development group, active in the UK and Ireland. REO's investment and development portfolio includes land, development and investment properties in all of the major sectors of the property market including office, retail, industrial and residential. REO owns prime office and retail assets, such as Central Park, Dublin and the Lafayette Building, 22/25 Westmoreland Street, Dublin, with high quality blue chip tenants including Vodafone, Merrill Lynch, KPMG and Marks & Spencer.

REO also owns Battersea Power Station, which is being developed by Treasury Holdings. Rafael Viñoly’s masterplan for the 40 acre Battersea Power Station site includes a CCHP energy centre, generating 30MW of electricity, which, together with other energy efficiency measures, will enable the Power Station to become zero carbon and the rest of the development to be low carbon, saving around 65% of CO2 emissions across the whole site.

About Power Efficiency
Founded in 1999 with the prime objective of bringing a fully-rounded, strategic approach to the business of energy management, Power Efficiency is one of the UK’s leading consultancies in helping businesses define and achieve successful energy procurement and carbon strategies. With a management team that has over 100 years experience in energy markets in both the UK and overseas, covering core areas such as energy procurement, energy reduction, auditing and the introduction of new technology, Power Efficiency constitutes a known and respected voice with every key supplier in the utilities markets, and also with legislative bodies, including the UK and EU governments.

28 May 2010

The Oil leak and BP

When we use our Planet's resources as we tend to do,we rarely think of the consquences.
We need gas for our cars,we need electricity for our homes,businesses,for our modern lives.
We want,we need,we get.

Yet at what price? At what cost to our planet,our environment , our fellow animals and creatures?

Do we care?

It takes a severe oil leak off the American coast to make us think.BP are the criminals in this case,they are the ones to be blamed.A greedy company,who wanting to please shareholders ,don't do the safety checks needed to avert such a disaster-one might accuse them? Maybe it wasn't their fault,freak accidents can and will happen.
Its just easy for us to point the blame away from ourselves.

Yet it is us ,the people who crave the planet's resources.We need the oil,we buy the oil and we increase the need for more oil.

It is now time to think about how we can harness what our planet has given us,not to plunder it.
We need to be in harmony with our planet.We need to use energy sources that do not damage our environment.

This is the lesson to be learned from BP and the Oil leak.

15 February 2010

Accurate carbon reporting automated, reducing internal administration and improving accuracy…

Monday 15th February 2010 - Greenstone Carbon Management, the global specialist carbon solutions company, today announced that reporting for the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)* can now be done at the press of a button. Greenstone’s carbon management software, Acco2unt, makes managing and reporting carbon emissions effortless through the provision of strong data acquisition, analytical and monitoring functionality.

More than 2,500 organisations in 60 countries around the world now participate in the annual CDP. Launched in 2000, the CDP requires organisations to measure and disclose information on their greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies. To assist organisations that participate in the CDP, Greenstone has included the latest CDP report requirements into Acco2unt, enabling clients to produce a CDP report that covers the entire organisation. Acco2unt reduces the administrative burden by automatically maintaining emission factors and providing the capability to analyse emission, consumption, financial and comparative data. As a result, organisations are able to concentrate on reduction targets and performance improvements.

Matthew de Villiers, CEO at Greenstone Carbon Management comments, “We find the CDP’s quantitative reporting requirements can be a time consuming exercise for reportees. To address this we have now included the latest CDP report as a standard report in Greenstone’s Acco2unt enterprise software. This enables CDP reportees to complete all quantitative elements of their CDP report at a touch of a button – ensuring accuracy and saving significant time.”

23 January 2010

Tioga Energy uses @RISK from Palisade to predict financial savings on solar energy agreements in California

Tioga Energy (www.tiogaenergy.com), a leading supplier of renewable energy services to commercial, government, and non-profit institutions, is using @RISK from Palisade to illustrate to customers in California the potential financial benefits of signing up to a solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

Tioga provides project financing through its SurePathSM Solar (PPAs), and maintains and operates solar systems on behalf of its customers. Tioga’s offering delivers predictably priced power and enables organisations to to both 'green' their operations and reduce energy costs. In order to illustrate the benefits of solar, Tioga needs to estimate future electricity prices and make comparisons by showing the savings from a new solar system.

To forecast possible price increases, Tioga Energy inputs California's historical electricity rate data into a model developed using Palisade's risk analysis software, @RISK. This generates a probability distribution for electricity rate rises over the 20-year PPA period, which shows that there is a 25 percent likelihood that price increases will be less than 4.8 percent, and a 25 percent chance that rate rises would be more than 8.7 percent.

The @RISK model therefore helps Tioga Energy evaluate the likelihood that a customer will save money for a variety of PPA scenarios (i.e. the rate at which electricity would initially be charged and the amount by which it would then increase each year). It also calculates the magnitude of savings for the different combinations of first year costs and subsequent rises. Consumers are therefore able to better understand the pricing and make an informed decision about whether to sign up for a PPA.

“Using historical data and @RISK's modelling capacity, we can offer consumers a robust view of the potential benefits of a solar PPA. This enables them to hedge against rising electricity rates, as well as feel confident that they are playing a part in tackling global warming,” explains Kristian Hanelt, VP Project Finance for Tioga Energy.

Hanelt confirms: “@RISK is a flexible and technically adept tool that, in addition to enabling in-depth analysis, makes it easy for us to present relatively complex ideas in an easy-to-understand graphical format. As a result, it plays a key role in helping Tioga Energy to differentiate itself from its competitors.”

Tioga Energy's full report on its study, 'Hedging Against Utility Rate Fluctuations with a Solar PPA' is available to download here: http://www.tiogaenergy.com/tioga-energy-reports.php

21 January 2010

Greentech investment leading to career opportunities say Altium

Waste management and recycling is fast losing its rough and ready image. Many of the businesses that grew from roots in haulage and scrap metal have now developed to be sophisticated companies with professional management teams that can hold their own in any sphere. Many are now successful public companies.

Cleantech generally is becoming sexy. Recent figures from the Cleantech Group and Deloitte show that the venture capital community invested over £5bn in the sector in 2009, with 557 firms receiving fresh venture capital funding. As global environmental imperatives making the sector look like a good long term career bet, the cream of finance, management and technology professionals are being drawn to this sector.

As executive recruiters who operate exclusively in this area, Altium Associates are particularly aware of the increase in demand for the best. Altium was formed by a group of experienced executive search and HR specialists to work primarily with early stage and fast growth businesses in Cleantech. Our clients include venture capital backed businesses in renewable energy, recycling and nanotechnology. Over the past year we have been asked to recruit a raft of senior talent, equipped with the skills to make these companies global players. This is partly due to the fact that ‘Green’ investment is perceived as sexy and that there is a queue of Cleantech businesses waiting to IPO. So whilst these businesses are the brain-children of technologists and entrepreneurs, backers are insisting that they beef up the management teams with impressive, high-calibre finance and operational managers to wow brokers and entice new investors.

Some of these hires come from other industries, particularly those that have similar business models or KPIs. For example, operations managers with a heavy manufacturing or chemical engineering background can adapt to the recycling sector and managers from conventional energy businesses can establish themselves in renewable energy companies without breaking sweat. Generally however, the most sought after candidates possess both sector experience and first class management credentials. Even in the recently troubled venture capital and investment banking industry, investment professionals who have the ability to combine the skills and knowledge to evaluate cleantech prospects technically as well as financially are attractive recruitment targets. Make no mistake, Cleantech will continue to offer hot employment opportunities in 2010.

7 January 2010

Baxi welcomes boiler scrappage scheme details

Baxi welcomes announcement by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband that they are supporting the boiler scrappage scheme as details of how the scheme will work are revealed. The scheme, announced by the Chancellor in his December Pre-Budget Report, will help to improve energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty by offering £400 for up to 125,000 households to upgrade their old boilers to the latest efficient models.

Mark Kelly, CEO Baxi Group UK and Ireland, said: “The boiler scrappage scheme gives a real opportunity for households to upgrade their current boiler to the most efficient available. Whilst considerably lowering the carbon footprint of each household it will also save families over £200 per year in fuel costs.

“Baxi is pleased with the timing of this announcement as we have just launched a high efficiency version of the old Baxi Bermuda back boiler, which is one of the G band boilers. Previously, a replacement meant re-siting the boiler, re-routing all the pipe work and redecorating; the new high efficiency model is a genuine, simple replacement which fits into the same place with minimum disruption.”

The Energy Saving Trust (EST) will administer the scheme. The grant will be available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis and will be payable directly to the homeowner. Details of the scheme and how to apply can be found on the EST website http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Home-improvements-and-products/Heating-and-hot-water/Boiler-scrappage-scheme

According to the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council (HHIC), there are approximately 4.5 million SEDBUK Band G rated boilers still in use in the UK, each working at less than 70 per cent efficiency. Changing to a Band A high efficiency boiler could save you around £235 a year in energy bills, as well as reducing your carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by a staggering 1.2 tonnes.

It is worth checking to see if you are eligible for the grant if you have a back boiler, your boiler has permanent pilot ignition or if it was installed before 2005 when legislation was changed to ensure all new boilers were high efficiency, condensing boilers.

You can find an easy to use guide on the Baxi website www.baxi.co.uk/boiler-scrappage-scheme to help you identify whether you have a G rated appliance. We have also included a simple product comparison so you can see at a glance which A-rated boiler to consider as a direct replacement.

Baxi has a range of SEDBUK Band A rated boilers suitable for every application. The Baxi Duo-tec Combi HE was voted CORGI Boiler of the Year 2008 by installers and was awarded Best Buy by Which? in 2007, when it achieved 5-star ratings for efficiency, low NOx emissions (Nitrogen Oxide), features and installing. Baxi has also introduced the brand new Baxi Bermuda BBU HE, the only A-rated appliance on the market suitable for use as a direct replacement.

And you can also find your nearest Baxi installer on the website. Simply type in your postcode and hit the Find an Installer button for a map showing the 10 closest Gas Safe Registered Baxi Installers, along with their names, addresses and Gas Safe registration numbers.