The year of 2019 is expected to bring about changes to the way in which we purchase, use and save energy. Although we advise this should be a regular consideration for all those involved in the Built Environment industry, there are five key dates in 2019 that we think you should be aware of.
This consultation looks to review the costs of electricity and the way in which it is delivered to homes, public organisations, and businesses. More businesses and homes are now generating their own electricity through renewable sources, which will impact the remaining national grid system. It is anticipated that the most notable rise in charges will be during the half hourly peaks through the winter months (November – February).
If you don’t already have renewable generators on your home or business site, consider installing them. They do carry a substantial initial investment in most cases, and the payback may be a few years, but once paid back, they provide you with free electricity, and will create much better energy security as the demand for energy rises at a greater rate than capacity.
The impending closure of the FiT scheme (31st March 2019) means the government needs to explore new arrangements for small scale energy generators. The outcome of the consultation is predicted to mean the government would legislate for suppliers to remunerate small scale generators for electricity exported to the grid, offering a new opportunity for house holders and businesses to make money from the unused electricity they produce.
For those businesses or households looking to invest in renewable energy but wanting to ensure a guaranteed payback return, or for those involved in the design and construction of the built environment, it may be beneficial to provide your views to this consultation.
Unfortunately, despite all our ongoing research efforts, nobody actually knows for certain what will happen to our energy networks after Brexit. In an ideal world, nothing much would change, but householders and businesses should be prepared for all eventualities. There is always the possibility of energy shortages, power outages and price increases.
In the short term, businesses and householders should be considering what energy efficiency and energy savings you can make. Educating staff to minimise their energy usage and wastage, and implementing low cost changes such as changing to low energy light bulbs or installing PIR occupancy sensors. In the longer term, energy efficiency and sustainability needs to be a top consideration when designing, constructing and planning the operation of buildings.
One of the objectives of the UK governments Clean Growth Strategy, released in October 2017, was to enable businesses and industry to reduce energy use and carbon emissions and improve their energy efficiency by at least 20% by 2030. From 1st April this year, the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) Framework is being launched to help reach this target, and will replace the current CRC Scheme. The allowance costs associated with the CRC scheme will be moved to the Climate Change Levy which will increase in April as well.
Under SECR, large UK organisations, including the quoted companies who already take part on Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting (MGHG), will be required to report on their energy use, carbon reporting and energy efficiency measures in their annual reports from April 2019. The scheme will work alongside MGHG reporting, and the existing ESOS framework to improve the visibility of energy and carbon emissions, and assist companies to recognise where energy and cost savings can be made.
Elmhurst Energy Consultancy has assisted in ESOS compliance since the scheme started in 2014, and will be starting to assist with SECR from April 2019.
Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme is now underway following the qualification date of 31st December 2018, with regulations mandating large businesses conduct a four yearly audit of their energy use before the compliance deadline of 5th December 2019. Our consultants and ESOS Lead Assessors are able to provide you with all of the guidance your business will need, as well as managing the audit on your behalf, but for now, here is an overview of what is required:
For further information on any of these key dates and what you may need to do, please contact our experienced consultants on 01455 883 259 or visit our website.
Article published 4th February