NHS must act now to beat deadline for £46m NEEF fund for LED lighting

Lighting and energy efficiency solutions business Energys Group is encouraging NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts to act now in order to take advantage of an additional £46m of funding available for LED lighting upgrades and installations.

The deadline for applications is 30th November.

The funding has been announced by NHS Improvement. It is designed to inject £46m of Public Dividend Capital (PDC) to the NHS Energy Efficiency Fund (NEEF) in order to drive direct energy efficiency in the NHS.

LED lighting will provide better quality lighting for both patients and staff, as well as reducing maintenance and energy costs, and cutting carbon.

Kevin Cox, Managing Director at Energys Group said: “We are urging Estate Managers across the NHS to move swiftly to take advantage of it this funding stream. The clock is ticking – and there are less than two weeks to go.

“This £46m fund will help NHS Trusts to reduce carbon and energy bills as well as deliver a cut to maintenance costs. This frees up much-needed funds which can be put directly back into front line services.”

LED Lighting Framework Agreements

As timescales for applying for and using the funds are very tight, Energys Group is urging Trusts to take advantage of one of the existing LED Lighting Framework Agreements which give Trusts access to pre-qualified organisations, thereby ensuring both an efficient and cost-effective delivery.

Energys Group has recently been approved by the Essentia Framework (for NHS LED lighting) and is also an approved supplier under the YPO Framework. Both frameworks provide a free service to NHS Trusts to support the entire process from bidding for the Grant monies, through tendering the work and delivery of the solution.

Applications for NEEF should be submitted through the NHS Improvement Estates and Facilities Collaboration Hub. However, for an initial energy audit or advice on LED upgrades, NHS estates teams can contact Energys Group direct.

The deadline for applications is 12pm on 30th November.

Energys Group encourages NHS Trusts to take advantage of NEW £46m funding

Energys Group is encouraging NHS Trusts and NHS Foundation Trusts to take advantage of an additional £46m of funding available for LED lighting installations.

The funding has been announced by NHS Improvement, and will inject £46m of Public Dividend Capital (PDC) to the NHS Energy Efficiency Fund (NEEF) in order to drive direct energy efficiency in the NHS.

LED lighting will provide better quality lighting for both patients and staff, as well as reducing maintenance and energy costs, and cutting carbon.

Kevin Cox, Managing Director at Energys Group comments “Estate Managers across the NHS have a huge challenge in striking a fine balance of patient care coupled with operational efficiency.

“The announcement of this additional funding for NHS Trusts across England is great news. This fund will help to reduce carbon and energy bills as well as deliver a cut to maintenance costs. This frees up much-needed funds which can be put directly back into front line services. We strongly urge NHS Trusts to act quickly and secure this additional funding before the deadline and reap the multiple benefits.”

As timescales for applying for and using the funds are very tight, Energys Group is urging Trusts to take advantage of one of the existing LED Lighting Framework Agreements which give Trusts access to pre-qualified organisations – thereby ensuring both an efficient and cost-effective delivery.

Energys Group has recently been approved by the Essentia Framework (for NHS LED lighting) and is also an approved supplier under the YPO Framework. Both frameworks provide a free service to NHS Trusts to support the entire process from bidding for the Grant monies, through tendering the work and delivery of the solution.

Applications for NEEF should be submitted through the NHS Improvement Estates and Facilities Collaboration Hub. However, for an initial energy audit or advice on LED upgrades, NHS estates teams can contact Energys Group direct.

The deadline for applications is 12 pm 30th November 2018.

 

As ESOS Phase 2 begins, Energys Group looks at the scheme’s next iteration, and its success to date

From Jan 1 2018, firms can get to work on auditing their energy usage for ESOS Phase 2. But what has the legacy of Phase 1 been? Has anything changed? And how many companies realise they should actually make the recommendations ESOS provides on energy efficiency?

ESOS Phase 1: the legacy

ESOS is the Government’s corporate energy efficiency scheme. It forces private sector firms above a certain size to audit their energy usage on a four-yearly basis, and provide recommendations on how they could improve energy efficiency.

Overall, Phase 1 of the scheme was not without its challenges. For a start, The Carbon Trust advises that around 2,800 organisations had to tell the Environment Agency, the scheme’s regulator, that they would be late in reporting compliance, and a number were ultimately fined.

Further, of the energy audits conducted for Phase 1, just 16% of participants were fully compliant. Three-quarters of audited participants needed to undertake remedial actions in order to become compliant.

That may not be a fault of ESOS though, in fact, it may simply prove the scheme is doing good, as some companies had to change their energy reporting in order to make the grade.

Firms which tried to duck under the radar were relatively limited; 500 organisations qualified for ESOS in the first phase but did not engage with the scheme. This has resulted in over 300 enforcement notifications sent out to date.

Perhaps most interesting is whether firms are actually making the energy efficiency improvements recommended in reports.

The sense is that many firms took a tick-box approach; to date, those who’ve fully embraced the energy recommendations, installing new efficiency equipment and hence reaping the rewards, have been rather limited.

Which brings us onto the next point, has anything changed for Phase 2?

ESOS Phase 2: has anything been altered?

Save the new compliance dates, and a few minutiae in the ESOS texts, absolutely nothing has changed in the ESOS rules for Phase 2.

For many, this is a disappointment; there were calls for more steps to make acting upon the energy efficiency opportunities derived from ESOS audits mandatory.

But for now, firms must only report on their energy usage; not improve upon it. Stating the obvious, firms must document their energy usage once again in Phase 2; compliance for Phase 1 won’t cut the mustard.

However, the Government is still analysing and consulting on changes to a new overall Carbon Reporting Framework.

There is every possibility that ESOS will be extended into another, future phase, replacing all other corporate reporting elements, and potentially making firms act upon the energy efficiency opportunities.

So what should firms do about ESOS Phase 2?

First and foremost, comply. The requirements are 12 months of energy data, estate wide, across electricity, fuels, transport, buildings, plant and process.

The 12 months of data must include the compliance date of 31 December 2018, so firms can start now.

There are good reasons to do so. Last time round there was a real bottleneck; external auditors were overloaded and hiked prices at the last minute pre-deadline.

Further, if firms want to report on ESOS using internal staff, they need time to do the work. And firms who want to report through ISO 50001, and aren’t yet certified to that standard, need to realise it takes time to get there.

Most importantly, the sooner UK PLC acts on ESOS Phase 2, the more rapidly we can hasten our transition to lower carbon and more profitable business.

The Carbon Trust estimates that from Phase 1 energy-saving opportunity assessments, making cost-effective improvements could usually cut energy costs in buildings, transport fleets and industrial processes by about 20%, on a typical spend of £1.8 million.

This translates into average annual savings of £360,000, with far more being possible in certain industry sectors.

That’s big money; and here at Energys Group we’re on hand to help with any energy-efficiency requirements you would like to make when your reporting is done.

If you’re in any doubt, drop us a line to check whether your firm is affected by ESOS.

If you meet the following criteria, the chances are you must comply, and we can assist.

a) You employ at least 250 people.
b) You have an annual turnover in excess of €50 million and a balance sheet in excess of €43 million.
c) Remember, most public sector bodies are excluded, but other organisations that receive some public funding, such as universities, may qualify.

We hope you enjoyed this article? See more of energy policy articles here. Please drop us a line if you’d like to chat about any of the issues and themes covered or to find out more about our energy saving technologies.

Energys Group works with WSCC Purple Bus team to encourage young people’s passion for engineering, design and racing

The Billingshurst-based energy solutions group has been working with West Sussex County Council’s Youth Service to support two Purple Bus teams from Storrington and Petworth Youth Groups, which have been taking part in the Greenpower Trust F24 international competition.

The teams worked hard throughout the season to design, build and develop two electric racing cars to race against teams from across the region, and ultimately qualify for the international competition at Rockingham Raceway.

Following practice sessions and their first competitive race at Goodwood, the teams had time to refine and develop improvements to the car, and to improve how well they worked together as a team, before entering their second race at Dunsfold Park. There was then a painful wait for results from elsewhere to find out whether they had qualified for the International Finals, over the weekend of 6-8 October.

However, they weren’t content to sit around, hoping for good news. During the wait, the teams researched engine performance improvements; visiting Shoreham’s Ricardo Engineering to get every bit of guidance and information they could to improve their cars’ performance. Then, two weeks before the final, the teams found out that both cars had qualified.

Dan Sneller, Project Manager for the Purple Bus, says, “Having worked with these young people since March 2017 it has been great to see them develop as a group and individually. We set them the task of researching what Greenpower Trust is and what other teams do. We worked with them to explore group dynamics and group roles, looking at what it means to be a part of a successful team.

“One of the team’s tasks was to plan for the International Final, in preparation for qualifying. They had a set budget which they had to allocate for accommodation and food for the weekend. It became very clear to them that the budget provided them was not enough and they had to look elsewhere to gain extra sponsorship. This was something I had planned to develop their problem-solving skills and encourage them to approach local business for support. The Energys Group was amazing at supporting the young people throughout this, helping them to a very successful international final, in which they placed 53rd in the world – which was an outstanding achievement and one they should be very proud of.”

Energys Group’s Managing Director Kevin Cox commented, “We have been thrilled to support the fantastic work done by the Purple Bus kit car teams throughout their design, build and racing in the Greenpower Trust’s annual challenge. We’re so proud of them for qualifying for the international final and for their outstanding result. Young engineers are the future for innovation in so many fields, including ours in energy solutions and we look forward to seeing these pupils develop their careers in science and engineering.”

Energys Group are experts in delivering energy efficient technologies. We’d be delighted to talk about any of the issues and themes covered in this article. Give us a call for a chat.

Energy Institute Report Highlights: Energy efficiency’s challenges and opportunities

000The Energy Institute (TEI) has produced its 2017 Barometer; analysing the pressure on UK energy efficiency. What’s TEI’s professional verdict on the next 12 months for low carbon?

What are 2017’s key challenges?

Energy policy, the investment environment and the need for energy system change are the main challenges for the energy industry in 2017, as identified by TEI members.

Uncertainties

Brexit and wider geopolitics could negatively impact efforts to develop a clear UK energy strategy, to update infrastructure, and to meet demand and climate targets at least cost to end users.

Brexit itself

Brexit is a vast concern to the sector. Negotiators must pay heed to energy policy, regulation and trade agreements, energy costs, and security of supply.

Free movement of labour is key, and skilled engineers and workers could be at a premium. Training and apprenticeships could help prevent a shortfall.

Great Repeal regulations should be informed by existing EU legislation, and continued cooperation with the EU is considered desirable.

UK energy policy

Uncertain energy policy is contributing to a risky investment climate, with immature low carbon technologies most affected. Tech readiness and markets are being harmed. Better business and academia links are needed.

Moderate price rises across primary and retail energy markets are coming in 2017, with exchange rates expected to have a greater influence than in previous years.

Transition to low carbon

The UK will likely fall short of its carbon targets through to 2050. Additional support for energy efficiency and renewables could help close the perceived carbon policy gap. That said, wider environmental concerns, falling technology costs, and rising energy costs are making efficiency more attractive.

Future energy will be more flexible and will involve system-level strategies and new business models. Grid updates, energy storage and new tech will change behaviours and shift consumer demand.

Financial incentives, mandatory standards and community engagement are seen as the best measures for reducing emissions.

Overall, decentralisation and new models will drive innovation, with new tech coming to suit the new direction.

And finally

TEI professionals expect that decarbonisation of the energy system will be the greatest change they witness over their careers. But it won’t come without its challenges, and its winners and losers.

Call us today for an informal chat about the ways Energys Group can help your business improve its low carbon.