Act now: Applications for Salix HE ‘Revolving Green Fund’ close in October 2017

In the Higher Eduction (HE) sector, energy efficiency has a huge amount to offer.

After all, the Carbon Trust estimates that through efficiency, UK schools and institutions could reduce energy costs by around £44 million per year, which would prevent 625,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere.

That’s to say nothing of the benefits to children and teachers from more efficient, comfortable buildings to learn and work in.

Salix Fund extended

Given efficiency’s remarkable potential to help its encouraging news that the Salix Fund, which offers a number of financing solutions, is calling for applications for  interest-free funding for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in England through the Revolving Green Fund, with applications being accepted until 27th October.

Energys is delighted by this news. Almost half of all HEIs in England worked with Salix on energy efficiency projects in the last financial year, resulting in the completion of projects utilising over £20m from Salix managed programmes.

As well as impressive carbon emissions savings, these projects will see annual energy bill savings of £4m annually and £63m over the lifetime of the projects.

What kind of work can Salix cash catalyse?

Crucially, Salix money can go towards over 120 energy efficiency technologies, and Salix is able to support programmes of work spanning multiple years.

The work might cover building management systems, boiler improvements, or LED retrofits, all technical solutions which, here at Energys, we can help with.

“HEIs might want to look at suites of work, across the varying retrofit requirements they might have,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Energy efficiency can make a massive difference in HEIs across the country. Historically, the challenge has been getting the cash upfront to make the improvements happen.

“That’s understandable; those tasked with managing HEI budgets have a complex role, with many disparate elements battling for priority.

“Therefore, the right funding and financing streams make such a positive difference. We’re delighted to already work with HEIs and Salix, so we have the experience that counts.”

HEI funding; don’t hesitate

There really is nothing to lose from investigating what scope Salix has to benefit your HEI, so Salix advises interested parties to follow the link to the application page.

Or, simply contact us at Energys, for help on the opportunities available.

British Gas price rises: How the industry can help mitigate energy price rises

Earlier this month, a storm of media interest resulted from the latest energy price increase, announced by Centrica.

“British Gas has raised electricity prices by 12.5%, in a move consumer experts warned could kick off a new round of price rises from rival suppliers this winter,” wrote The Guardian.

The Government is determined to tackle energy costs as part of its overhaul of UK energy as a whole; promising the lowest energy costs in Europe is a key Conservative pledge.

Rising costs then are not only a consumer worry, but an issue in Downing Street too.

Energy price flux; the lowdown

“The company [British Gas], owned by Centrica, left its gas prices unchanged, which means the average annual dual fuel bill will rise by 7.3%, or £76, to £1,120,” noted The Guardian’s analysis on British Gas.

“The increase, which takes effect on 15 September, will affect 3.1 million customers. The company said it would give a £76 credit to more than 200,000 vulnerable customers to protect them from the increase.”

Shadow Energy Minister Alan Whitehead called it a “whopping rise” and said the Government should take further action.

Iain Conn, Centrica’s Chief Executive, defended the move, saying the electricity price rise was the first since November 2013 and reflected a 16% rise in the cost of energy and delivery to customers’ homes since 2014.

Actions to manage energy costs

Reading between the lines of wholesale costs, Centrica profit and realistic energy charging is hard, especially for the layman. The cost of wholesale electricity, which impacts on prices, has fluctuated by about £20 per MWh over the past four years.

“UK energy prices are nigh-on impossible to understand for those outside the sector,” comments Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys.

“Thankfully, energy efficiency is simpler. By using more efficient technologies, we can reduce energy usage in the UK as a whole and that, by definition, reduces how much we pay.

“Efficiency will save money no matter what the actual bottom line price on energy is. It’s a game changer and it couldn’t be easier to understand either.”

A raft of solutions

Energys offers a number of efficiency solutions covering LED lighting, boiler controls and more, all ready for installation across UK schools, libraries and hospitals.

“By getting efficient technologies into such places, we can tackle the impact of rising costs in a sustainable and long term way, building a lower carbon, less expensive future,” Cox concludes.

The Government’s latest Energy Tracker is out. What’s energising the UK public this year?

 

The Government surveys UK energy opinions every March, with three shorter surveys in June, September and December.

The trackers offer insights into UK energy issues among the public, providing fascinating glimpses into everyday understanding of energy. What do the latest numbers show?

The public’s views on energy

On energy security, levels of concern remain consistent with those a year ago, though they have decreased considerably since the last survey. Meanwhile, those of us who give genuine thought to saving energy remained very stable since last year.

On renewables and nuclear, renewables support has been consistently high, with 77% expressing support. The latest figures report 35% support nuclear energy with 21% opposed.

Elsewhere, relatively fewer people are worried about energy bills, and on suppliers and switching, numbers planning to switch energy supplier in the next year remained stable compared with last year.

Shale gas remains unpopular; 48% neither supported nor opposed it, but of those who did offer an opinion 33% opposed it, with 16% supportive.

The most common reason for supporting fracking was the need to use all available energy sources (42%).

Deeper insights

The proportion of people that like saving energy in the home remained very stable since last year. 23% claimed to give a lot of thought to saving energy at home, whilst half claimed to give it a fair amount of thought.

Worries over paying for energy bills have dropped to their lowest since the tracker began, with only 20% either very or fairly worried.

The level of worry was lowest among those with household incomes over £50,000 (12%), 16-24 year olds (13%) and social grade AB (14%). It was highest among social renters (27%), 45-54 year olds (27%) and those in social grade DE (26%).

On billing itself, we remain likely to trust suppliers to provide a bill which accurately reflects energy use (69%), and to provide a breakdown of the components of bills (70%).

The Energys opinion

“Energys welcomes every comprehensive UK energy survey; it’s essential to act on and understand data that shoes how consumers are reacting to energy issues,” says Kevin Cox, Managing Director, here at Energys Group.

“The Energys Group viewpoint remains that low carbon, energy efficient technology remains crucial to the UK’s energy futures. The megawatt that isn’t used is clearly the cheapest.

“If anything, we would like to see more questions on efficiency and low carbon. This would help spread awareness in addition to generating valuable insights.”

Click to find out more about Energys Group’s expertise in low carbon solutions.