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The Energys Group September Horizon Scan: energy efficiency in brief

This month, The Telegraph brings good news, reporting on how businesses are increasingly backing clean energy.

The broadsheet writes that while new technology represents an investment, many businesses that are embracing energy efficiency are doing so with clear commercial imperatives.

It cites the example of Sainsbury’s, which announced last summer that it will deploy brighter, more efficient and more long-lasting LED lighting in more than 450 stores.

And, The Telegraph observes the supermarket chain said it was investing in new aerofoil insulation technology for its fridges, to keep food cool without unintentionally icing customers moving down its aisles.

The upshot is this; business leaders are finally realising that investment in clean energy, and energy efficiency will help to improve green credentials, cut operational costs and contribute significantly to future-proofing their organisations in ultra-competitive markets.

But there remains some way to go. Richard Braakenburg, Senior Vice-President of energy solutions at the Green Investment Group, told the Telegraph:

“The money spent on industrial energy consumption in the UK remains among the highest in the group of 26 countries that make up the International Energy Agency’s membership. That is £1.6bn too much every year on UK plc’s bottom line, by some estimates, all due to energy inefficiency.”

For Kevin Cox, Managing Director, Energys Group, it’s all about the opportunity of energy. “Braakenburg is right, but so is The Telegraph when it points to the great work UK firms are doing.

“Now more than ever is the time for optimism as regards clean, low carbon energy and energy efficient interventions across the UK. We have the knowledge and the expertise. More and more firms are coming onside.

“We are ready to help deliver change. The Telegraph writes that British industry leaders and SMEs are taking action and rethinking their energy strategies. It’s true, and Energys is here to help them.”

Local authorities plan £100m energy fund

The Energyst is reporting on the development of a new fund to enhance energy efficiency in the South West.

A group of local authorities are collaborating to create a £100m fund to invest in energy projects. The South West Low Carbon Fund aims to improve energy efficiency of local building stock, but also invest in distributed generation, storage, demand-side response and EV infrastructure.

As well as cutting carbon emissions, the aim is to create jobs and enable local authorities to earn a return from the savings enabled by funding investments; savings that in most cases will be guaranteed via energy performance contracts (EPCs).

Energy costs worrisome post Brexit

The Financial Times is warning that UK energy suppliers are about to offer long-term contracts without knowing what regulations will apply after Brexit, creating the risk of higher costs for households and companies, an industry body said.

The FT also raises concerns about how energy will function post Brexit, given that the UK is, for the moment, part of a connected system with rules on how energy is traded and managed, effectively balancing supply and demand across the continent.

Drax goes for energy efficiency

Finally this month, Forbes reports that Drax is committed to low carbon.

Drax accounts for 6% of total power generated in the UK, but the Group’s Chief Executive Officer Will Gardiner told Forbes Drax is very much about supporting the UK’s low carbon journey.

Drax is helping its customers with efficiencies by assisting with the usage of less energy. It is also acting as an intermediary for small scale renewable energy generators by helping them sell their power into the system by buying from them via its retail arm.

“Drax used to be about coal. Now it’s about low carbon futures,” comments Cox. “And, this represents the path that, thankfully, the whole of our country is now walking.”


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