34 Maximising Solar Returns for Social Housing INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Pump maintenance â€“ three tips to prevent hidden cost rises
Goodlight T8 LED tubes payback in 8-months for Quorn Foods
Aura Light introduces easy-upgrade LED tubes
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Maximising Solar Returns for Social Housing See Page 34
34 Maximising Solar Returns for Social Housing INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
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Pump maintenance – three tips to prevent hidden cost rises
Goodlight T8 LED tubes payback in 8-months for Quorn Foods
Aura Light introduces easy-upgrade LED tubes
MSL Offer Tips On How To Reduce Energy Bills
New project transforms social housing into energy efficient smart homes
PrefectDirect Take direct control of your heating project
Easydis makes new LED lighting 45% more energy efficient with Nedap light management
Top Tips for Local Authorities Considering Boiler Hire
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Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
BSRIA ANNOUNCE EXTENSION OF HIGH TEMPERATURE FAN STANDARD & HEAT PUMP STANDARD UKAS ACCREDITATION
SRIA is delighted to announce it has extended the scope of its UKAS (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) accredited testing to include the latest version of the high temperature fan standard BS EN12101-3:2015 and the heat pump standard BS EN14825:2016. Following over a decade of testing to the original version of 12101-3, the move to the 2015 version demonstrates BSRIA’s commitment to supporting fan manufacturers in CE marking their continually developing product ranges. Further enhancements in testing capability are planned to ensure operation with inverters can be demonstrated when required. BSRIA operates a specialist heat pump test facility offering clients testing in
accordance with a range of UK and European incentive schemes, quality labels and directives. BSRIA already provides accredited heat pump testing in accordance with BS EN 14511, BS EN 12102 and BS EN 14825:2013. Tom Garrigan, Test House Manager, BSRIA, said: “The extension of our scope complements our existing UKAS accredited testing services and provides the customer
with the assurance they are getting internationally recognised quality test data. Independent laboratory testing gives confidence to customers and consumers and plays an important role when delivering a product to market. We are delighted both the high temperature fan and the heat pump test standards were approved simultaneously.”
Read more about the Standards: http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030218111 http://shop.bsigroup.com/ProductDetail/?pid=000000000030323335 More information at www.bsria.co.uk
New EU research tool makes energy planning for governments easier
n EU-funded research project has launched a tool that allows European governments, businesses, consultants, academics, planners and energy enthusiasts to assess thermal resources and thermal demand in any given region. The Pan-European Thermal Atlas (Peta4), launched today in Brussels, is an interactive online map of the heating and cooling demand, efficiency and supply in Europe. Created by the Heat Roadmap Europe (HRE) project, it provides visual and technical data for heating and cooling projects, giving users an appropriate analysis tool and easier access to relevant data. David Connolly, HRE project coordinator, said: “For years, power plants, industry, and waste incinerators all across Europe have been throwing away enormous quantities of heat and for the most part, this has gone unnoticed. Peta4 enables policymakers, planners, suppliers and researchers to identify hotspots so they can replace the energy created by fossil fuel boilers with this excess heat instead.” Connolly added: “It’s amazing how much heat is being wasted in cities that currently spend millions on natural gas to heat their buildings. This tool will help save money, carbon emissions, and energy consumption. Cities can meet their EU
energy targets while also cutting costs for consumers.” Peta4 covers the 14 EU member states that are part of the Heat Roadmap Europe project. Developed by project partners at Halmstad University, European University Flensburg, and Aalborg University, it creates maps with specific and realistic data on the location and scale of heat demand and excess heat, which will facilitate the development of energy system solutions across Europe. Users can search for a specific location, to analyse the feasibility of a project in an area and assess where, for example, district heating or heat pumps could be economically viable. Peta4 contains a 100 m resolution grid of the modelled heat
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
demand in 2015, which visualises where district heating networks could be implemented. This is combined with a layer presenting the excess heat supply available from various large-scale plants and industries, to show how these new district heating networks could supply their heat demand. The maps use openly accessible spatial geo-data from the European Commission, the European Environmental Agency and Eurostat. They are produced and funded under the framework of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. To access the Peta4 maps, visit: www.heatroadmap.eu/maps.php
Social housing ‘state of the nation’ retrofit survey highlights data is key to success doing more of what it does very well – innovating in the field of energy efficiency to overcome the challenges. •
report analysing the results from a new ‘state of the nation’ survey carried out by the National Energy Foundation, Capita and the University of Salford highlights the UK social housing sector’s views on opportunities, challenges and progress in energy-efficient retrofit. Conducted in September 2016, as a follow-up to the 2010, 2013 and 2015 surveys, the respondents were responsible for the management of an estimated 2 million properties; around 50% of the total UK social housing stock. The survey was conducted in light of the growing market challenges: • Need to cut social rents by 1% per annum until 2020. • Welfare Reform (Universal Credit, benefit cap changes, Pay to Stay, under occupancy). • Reduced local authority funding for supported living. • Right to Buy. • Uncertainty of a post-Brexit UK. • Pressure to increase new supply. The survey results identify a series of insights and findings: •
Social housing providers are willing and able to deliver The social housing sector is clearly investing in retrofit, with £120 million having been injected in the last 12 months from the survey sample alone. In addition, as reliance on funding for retrofit continues to diminish and volatility in the sector increases, it is
The importance of good data to make a sound business case for retrofit Better data underpins intelligent asset management, and a more holistic and integrated approach to strategic thinking facilitates:
• • •
A clearer business case for retrofit. More robust investment strategies. Better energy efficiency through the optimisation of work programmes and exploiting new technologies.
Technology adoption and performance monitoring and evaluation The demands placed on social housing providers and their assets have evolved considerably in recent years, with providers needing to think far more strategically about how they monitor performance and invest/divest in their portfolios. The sector must ensure that the foundations and infrastructure are in place for analysing the ever-growing volume of data. This is an area where the National Energy Foundation can help. Its iAIM service enables social housing providers to better understand their assets’ performance, target investment and strategically improve their portfolios.
Other highlights The survey results also showed that only 40% of social housing providers felt that retrofit is actively championed at board level, which is a disappointing decline from the previous survey result of 60%. With energy prices and the general cost of living looking set to rise, it’s as important now as it’s ever been for social housing providers to provide residents with warm, affordable homes. This is reflected in the survey by the fact that the overwhelming
driver for retrofit was reducing fuel poverty and improving affordability for tenants, with 85% of respondents citing this as their primary motivation. This finding is consistent with the previous survey result of 83%. Organisational commitment was given as the second reason with 55%. The two least quoted reasons were generating income from renewables (12% of responders) and resident demand (14%).
Shape of things to come In an effort to gain insight into the future direction of the sector, the survey also asked respondents to identify whether they were “interested but not delivering”, “not interested”, or “already delivering” against a list of ten new technologies and approaches. The highest scoring areas for “interested but not delivering” were: “Collaborating with other registered providers and local authorities to deliver community wide retrofit” and “Working with the health sector to deliver retrofit” (each cited by 73% of responders). In both cases, a number of respondents identified that they were already delivering in these areas. Commenting on the results of the survey, Principal Energy Specialist, Luke Smith, said: “It’s very encouraging that the social housing sector is undertaking some excellent retrofit work, and is willing and able to deliver. In a positive response to uncertain times, it is clearly investing in retrofit, and innovating in the field of energy efficiency. “It’s vitally important that the sector is capable of coping with, and interpreting, an ever-increasing amount of data. The better use of data is key - in order to provide the best asset management possible, and ultimately the best possible service for tenants. We are pleased that our iAIM service is available to help social housing providers tackle this issue, enabling them to: develop a better understanding of their data; strengthen their strategic thinking; enhance their asset management; and improve their ability to produce more robust business cases.”
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Lloyd’s Register Technology Radar – Low Carbon
he drive towards sustainability has never been more urgent – and technology will continue to play a crucial role. The Lloyd’s Register Technology Radar – Low Carbon, published today, examines the outlook for renewables, nuclear, grid and infrastructure, and energy storage. The research sought the insights and opinions of leaders across the sector, as well as the views of almost 600 professionals and experts around the world – from utilities and distributors through to operators and equipment manufacturers. Respondents were asked to rate a number of technologies in terms of their potential impact, the amount of time it would take for these technologies to hit the market, and how likely they are to be adopted once they do. Respondents were also asked on reflect on the pace and success of innovation in their sector and what they see as the major drivers and blockers.
Key findings include: •
Low carbon generation technologies are cost competitive. Nuclear is one of the cheapest options for power generation when lifecycle costs are taken into account. 70% of survey respondents say that renewables are now reaching cost parity with fossil fuels.
Solar cell technology is likely to have a major impact, and soon. Renewables respondents are most optimistic about the potential of advances in solar cell technology - and the likelihood of adoption.
The potential contribution of Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) is unclear at this stage, although its impact will most likely apply to smaller grids and isolated markets. However, the underlying modularisation technology is expected to have a major impact on the sector.
Nuclear will continue be part of the solution to climate change long into the future. Although public acceptance is a major challenge in some countries, nuclear is likely to contribute to the energy mix for the foreseeable future.
Low carbon technologies are now cost competitive with fossil fuels and innovation is gathering pace across the sector, finds a new report by Lloyd’s Register. But which technologies will have the most impact on the industry? •
Software advances will be instrumental in transmission and distribution. They are seen by respondents as the innovation that will be the quickest to arrive and the most likely to be adopted. Blockchain could reshape the way we think about the transmission and distribution of power by enabling a new era of peer-to-peer low carbon generation.
It is electrical technologies that will transform storage, rather than mechanical storage or chemical technology innovations. In particular, respondents expect supercapacitors, which will rapidly speed up charging times for large batteries, to have the greatest impact on storage.
Deployment is a major barrier. Implementation of technology in both nuclear and renewables is hindered by deployment, and each sector faces its own distinct challenges. However, 71% of respondents agreed there had been an increase in the scale of deployment of renewable energy sources.
Standardisation is a much-needed development for the low carbon sector. Industry experts agree that regional and global consensus on regulations could speed up deployment and further reduce costs.
“We are very encouraged by the findings, which highlight not only a growing optimism across the industry but a vigorous and intelligent debate about the pathways to decarbonisation,” says Alasdair Buchanan, Energy Director of Lloyd’s Register, a
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
leading provider of integrity, compliance and specialist risk consulting services. “Clearly, there are many uncertainties about exactly how the industry will evolve, but what is inarguable is that the conversation is no longer about “should we?” but “how should we do it?”” This is the third year Lloyd’s Register has conducted its award-winning Technology Radar research. Whilst earlier editions have focused on the oil and gas sector, this time around, the research concentrates on the low carbon sector, with particular attention to nuclear and renewable energy, energy storage and infrastructure. The timing of this report will help to inform government debate and energy policy across the world. The research is presented as a set of two reports: the Lloyd’s Register Technology Radar – Low Carbon, which provides a comprehensive review of the findings about renewables, nuclear, energy storage and infrastructure. Its sister report, the Lloyd’s Register Technology Radar – A Nuclear Perspective – offers a closer look at the findings as they relate specifically to nuclear power. Go to info.lr.org/techradarlowcarbon to download the Technology Radar – Low Carbon, and Technology Radar – A Nuclear Perspective, as well as additional material such as infographics. If you want to ask a question about the Low Carbon Technology Radar reports and survey, email email@example.com
Technology’s role in a low carbon future
of respondents from the renewables sector believe they are reaching cost parity with fossil fuels
Lloyd's Register's Technology Radar – Low Carbon shows the technologies that the industry believes will unlock the potential of low carbon power.
The next generation of solar cells will focus on improving energy conversion efﬁciency. Further off, new wind turbine technologies will lead to ever more powerful wind capacity
Energy trading will be boosted as high voltage direct current (HVDC) advances improve the distances that low carbon energy can travel between communities
Software advances will soon improve the efﬁciency of existing battery storage – in the long-term, expect to see new types of supercapacitors to store even more energy, and for longer
Blockchain could play a major role in the way individuals trade energy between one another
What is the rate of technological innovation you are currently seeing in each of the following areas?
Transmission and distribution
• Low or very low
Energy storage 62%
• High or very high
Welsh Government invests over £7million to help local authorities become energy efficient and reduce carbon emissions
he Welsh Government has approved over £7million investment funding as part of an initiative to help Local Authorities become more energy efficient, reduce carbon emissions and save money. Monmouthshire Council will receive £4.5million funding through the Welsh Government’s Invest to Save Green Growth Fund, allowing it to run its own solar park on council owned land. The Oak Grove Solar Farm in Monmouthshire has the potential to generate enough electricity to power around 1,400 homes. It will also save over 2,000 tonnes of CO2e per year by generating clean, renewable energy. Flintshire Council will receive £3.13m for an ambitious project to upgrade 11,000 street lights to LED equivalents, saving the local authority around £360,000 and 1,387 tCO2e annually.
The change will also improve lighting levels and reduce the number of faults occurring on the network each year, cutting down maintenance costs as a result. The approved funding brings the total investment by the Welsh Government through its Green Growth Wales initiative over the past year to £14million. This funding is helping Local Authorities to become more energy efficient and save money. Incomes and savings generated by the Local Authorities from the projects will be used to repay the investment, support local community projects and leave the council with a net income. The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said: “Through our Green Growth Wales initiative, we are supporting the development of public sector energy efficiency and
renewable energy projects. I am delighted we have been able to support these ambitious projects, which will save significant money for the future. These projects have huge potential and all public bodies should be developing green growth projects like this to deliver decarbonisation in Wales.” Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Mark Drakeford said: “At a time of reducing budgets, public services need to think and work differently. I’m very pleased to see the fund will not only enable the council to generate savings but also become more energy efficient, improving the well being of communities across the county.”
MSL Offer Tips On How To Reduce Energy Bills S aving energy in the workplace has huge benefits, in fact the DECC’s recent guidelines states that businesses could save over £250m, and 3TWh of energy per year if they achieve just 5% of the cost-effective energy
efficiency potential ESOS audits should identify.
health and safety and offers a kinder working environment.
Upgrading to the latest energy efficient lighting makes sense. It will also improve light levels, reduce glare for improved
To ensure energy saving claims are accurate, appoint a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) to measure the energy use before the new installation and verify the savings post installation. Choose a lighting supplier that understands the lighting needs of your sites, and can offer advice on savings, such as reduced maintenance costs and long lamp life. Finally, consider a regular maintenance service package. This will ensure you can identify problems before they become bigger, allow for speedy re-lamping, and make sure your lighting is compliant. For more information on how you can save money on your energy bills contact, MSL Property Care Services.
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
RESTORE COMPETITION TO FIX THE ELECTRICITY MARKET – LORDS COMMITTEE
onstant intervention by successive governments in the electricity sector has led to an opaque, complicated, and uncompetitive market that fails to deliver low cost and secure electricity. This is one of the key findings of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee’s report The Price of Power: Reforming the Electricity Market. The Committee identifies two key failures in the current market. •
First, although security of the supply is the most important objective, there is currently a narrow amount of spare capacity. Growing concerns about the deliverability of new nuclear further puts further pressure on this margin in the longer term. Second, costs to consumers and businesses are rising. Since 2003 consumer prices have risen by 58% and industrial prices are the highest in Europe.
Commenting on the report, Lord Hollick, Economic Affairs Committee Chairman, said: “Poorly-designed government interventions, in pursuit of the decarbonisation, have put unnecessary pressure on the electricity supply and left consumers and industry paying too high a price. “Domestic electricity bills in Britain have gone from being second cheapest in Europe in the mid-2000s to the seventh cheapest today. Britain’s high industrial electricity prices have led some energy-intensive industries to relocate abroad. Low-carbon policies are a factor in these high prices. “Hinkley Point C is a good example of the way policy has become unbalanced and affordability neglected. It does not provide good value for money for consumers and
Reduce and remove Government
there are substantial risks associated with the project.
interventions in the market. The best way to do this would be to ensure that electricity generating capacity is secured through a single, technology-neutral, competitive auction for electricity supply. This auction would ensure that consumers are paying the lowest prices for low-carbon electricity.
“The Government must make sure that the security of the UK’s energy supply is the priority of its energy policy. Affordability must not be neglected and decarbonisation targets should be managed flexibly. “We would like to see the Government step back from the market and allow all generating technologies to compete against each other. It should establish an Energy Commission to ensure competitive auctions have independent oversight and are scrutinised carefully. “Renewables play and will continue to play a crucial part in energy policy. Costs have been reduced and efficiency has improved. New clean technologies must be supported to be commercially viable. A new National Energy Research Centre would also help the UK to catch other countries up in the race to find cost-effective solutions to the challenges the world faces on energy.” In order to address the failures in the energy market the Committee recommends the Government should: •
Ensure that security of supply is always the first and most important consideration in energy policy. Affordability and decarbonisation must not be prioritised ahead of security.
Ensure that decarbonisation is achieved at the lowest cost to consumers. Decarbonisation policies accounted for around 10% of the average domestic bill in 2013. This may mean waiting for the development of new technologies which can reduce emissions. The Government should make sure that the pace of reductions is flexible and not a rigid path to be achieved at all costs.
Establish an Energy Commission to provide greater scrutiny of energy policy decisions. This independent advisory body would report to the Secretary of State and advise on the best way for all the objectives of energy policy to be delivered.
Create a world-class National Energy Research Centre which would search for new methods of producing cheap, clean energy and translate them into commercial applications.
Outline its ‘Plan B’ in the event Hinkley Point C is delayed or cannot produce the anticipated power. firstname.lastname@example.org www.parliament.uk/lords www.lordsdigitalchamber.co.uk
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
NORTHERN POWERHOUSE CAN LEAD THE NATION’S ENERGY AGENDA
he North has the opportunity to lead the nation’s energy agenda and ensure the “lights stay on”, according to leading energy experts at the UK Northern Powerhouse International Conference and Exhibition. The panel, which included representatives from Drax Power, The Energy Innovation Centre, British Gas, Cuadrilla, Iona Capital, Cumbria LEP and Northern Gas Networks, said the North contains the geographic assets and infrastructure to heat and power the nation’s next generation. According to George Beveridge, Chair of Cumbria LEP, the North of England is already leading the way on renewables with nearly half of all renewable power generated in the region. As well as offering extensive scope to scale up off-shore wind and tidal schemes and being home to extensive nuclear capability and bio-mass energy generation. Innovative energy solutions being trialled in the North of England already include an extensive system of salt caverns which could be used for energy storage and the substantial Shale Gas opportunity which could be exploited through fracking. “With these capabilities across the North there is no good reason why the Northern energy sector shouldn’t be a key place to build an industrial strategy,” according to Mr Beveridge. Energy innovation remains a major issue and piloting new schemes is vital to keeping the systems balanced and consumer costs down. “The cost of maintaining the energy system is going
up and the cost of balancing the system is going up, and this will inevitably feed through to consumer’s bills unless answers are reached”, said Andy Koss, CEO of Drax Power. One of the energy schemes currently being trialled in the North is Northern Gas’s HS1 Leeds proposal, which plans to convert significant parts of the UK gas grid to be 100% hydrogen. The scheme is being supported by all of the gas networks in the UK and is currently being trialled in Leeds before planning to extend to other parts of the country. Dan Sadler, Special Adviser at Northern Gas Networks, said that converting the UK gas grid to hydrogen will be a major step towards meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. He said: “The technology of today made it possible to undertake this conversion. We need to provide some more compelling evidence around elements listed in our report, which is publicly available, but if we can unlock the prize of hydrogen in the gas networks we can make a big dint in the climate change act.” British Gas representative Andy Manning agreed that hydrogen could offer a solution: “This is a possible route. It is too early to say whether it is the solution, but it is definitely worth exploring.” The panel also discussed the major opportunity shale gas presents for the North of England. George Beveridge, Chair of Cumbria LEP, commented that there is 800 million cubic feet and 300 years’ worth of supply potentially available, which could be distributed across the whole of the
country. According to Mr Beveridge the big question is how much of that is extractable. “I think we need to get some projects going to build an evidence base and determine how much of that 800 million cubic feet is extractable and at what cost. We know there is lots there what we don’t know is how much of it we can get out”. Francis Egan, CEO at Cuadrilla added: “Until we drill and test floor rate we can’t say for sure if it’s going to be commercial, but if it is then we are looking at multi-decades of gas supply and multi-billion pound investment opportunities in energy across the North of England.” The audience also heard from Denise Massey, Managing Director of The Energy Innovation Centre about the importance of integration and collaboration across the energy industry. She said: “It is only collaboration between the different sectors making up the energy industry – renewables, oil, gas, nuclear etc. – which will allow us to meet the challenges. Yet at the moment there seems to be little appetite for actually taking action on developing this collaborative approach nationally. “This is where the Northern Powerhouse could come in. We’ve got an incredible asset base in terms of energy – nuclear, gas, electricity, renewables, offshore – and a comprehensive network of SMEs primed for innovation. It’s all right here in the region. We could provide a framework for how the different strands of the sector could work together and provide part of the blue print which could, over time, be rolled out nationally.”
Smart products and services headline in ABB’s biggest ever UK product guide
oT-enabled drives, motors and controls together with application-specific packages feature in ABB’s new 120-page guide. Smart sensors, apps and services that enable users of motors, variable speed drives (VSDs) and controls to tap into the opportunities offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) headline in ABB’s 2017 catalogue. These include the world’s first affordable sensor for tracking the
performance of low voltage (LV) motors. The ABB smart sensor for LV motors is simply attached, without wiring, to the frame and monitors key parameters such as temperature and vibration. The data is drawn into a central cloud-based dashboard to provide maintenance crews with a real-time view of key performance indicators, showing which motors need servicing and when. Advanced apps for VSDs that provide access to cloud-based services and
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
information throughout the product’s life cycle are also featured. The Drivetune app enables service engineers to commission and tune the performance of VSDs via wireless Bluetooth connection. Meanwhile, the Drivebase app allows plant personnel to access ABB’s vast drive knowledge base via the cloud, to assist with installation and troubleshooting, simply by scanning a dynamic QR code generated by the VSD on its control panel. The catalogue includes VSDs and motors
News designed for use in specific industries. These include the ABB drive for water and wastewater, ACQ580, and the ABB HVAC drive, ACH580. Also featured are IEC stainless steel washdown motors, which meet the strict hygiene standards demanded by the food and beverage industry. The motors’ stainless steel casing, which is rated to IP69K, means the motors can resist direct water sprays at 100 bar and 80 degrees centigrade, allowing food production equipment to be cleaned in place. ABB’s range of motor-drive packages aimed at specific industries and applications are also detailed in the guide. As one of the only companies manufacturing both VSDs and low voltage AC motors, ABB is able to offer customers perfectly designed, tested and approved matched pairs. ABB’s extensive range includes synchronous reluctance motor (SynRM) and drive packages for industry, water and machines and an enhanced range of ATEX-compliant motor and drive packages for hazardous areas. Other products include extensions to ABB’s general purpose drives offering, with ratings now available to 500 kW, and the ABB general purpose medium voltage drive, ACS580MV, a cabinet-built drive designed to control pumps and fans across multiple industries. The guide contains detailed information and specifications for the full range of ABB drives and controls, motors and mechanical power transmission products all in one place. For a free printed copy of the guide email email@example.com or call 07000 DRIVES (07000 374837) or to download a PDF of the guide go to www.abb.co.uk/energy
CARSHALTON SCHOOL WINS ECO-SCHOOLS ENERGY COMPETITION A Sutton academy is delighted after being named as the Autumn Term winner of the Eco-Schools Energy Efficient Schools Competition
s winners, Carshalton High School for Girls are set to have a £2,500 energy efficiency upgrade from competition sponsors, UK Energy Partners. This national competition is open to all schools who are members of Eco-Schools England, part of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, where more than 17,000 schools are registered and 1,200 schools currently hold the top award of Eco-Schools Green Flag status. After a number of fantastic entries, Carshalton High School for Girls were selected as the first competition prize winner of the year. The Eco-Schools competition will run over the 2016-17 academic year over three terms, with a winner at the end of each term, and an overall winner announced in June 2017. Their prize of a bespoke metering solution will provide Carshalton High School for Girls with a clear view of their energy consumption and cost, in real time, bringing their energy to life. This prize will be a great educational tool, providing the academy with a dashboard to show them how their energy consumption is affected by behaviour, for example when their lights are turned on or off. And as the results are very easily interpreted, it will demonstrate quite simply how energy consumption can be influenced. The Spring Term prize is now open for entries, and the overall winning school will win £5,000 of energy saving LED lighting! Carole Petty, School Business Manager, Carshalton High School for Girls said, “I was delighted to hear that our entry won the Autumn Term prize of the Eco-Schools Energy Efficient Schools Competition. Over the years we have strived to make our school a greener more energy efficient site, but often have not had the funding needed to make the improvements. Undeterred we have introduced creative practical solutions that are low cost but made an impact on our energy consumption and were really pleased to see the improvements to our
DEC (Display Energy Certificate) ratings. This prize will now allow us to introduce a monitoring and metering system to help inform us where we need to target further improvements going forward. I know it will have a massive impact across our whole community.” Sam Moore, Head of Energy Solutions, UK Energy Partners said, “It’s been a great pleasure to be able to support Eco-Schools and their members through this joint competition so far. Having received so many positive entries for the Autumn Term competition, we revelled in reading the positive impacts that schools are making on their learning environments, for both teachers and pupils, mixed with the important notes of saving cash and carbon. This really is a superb result for Carshalton High School for Girls, winning £2,500 of metering and monitoring equipment. Good luck everyone with your next round of entries!” http://www.ukenergypartners.co.uk/ 2016/09/eco-schools-energy-efficientschools-competition/
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
New project transforms social housing into energy efficient smart new pilot scheme transforming social homes Ahousing into energy efficient smart homes has seen energy consumption slashed by over 80 per cent T he project, known as Retrofit Plus, has been carried out by Beattie Passive alongside Birmingham City University, InteSys Ltd and iZDesign to see how changes made to houses could cut heating energy bills and lift low-income households out of fuel poverty. Two semi-detached houses in the Shard End area of Birmingham were handed over to the project by Birmingham City Council last year. Residents were able to continue living in the properties while the changes were carried out. The process saw a range of energy efficient measures introduced including fitting the houses with Beattie Passive’s innovative TCosy Deep Retrofit system. TCosy wraps entire buildings with a new insulated layer by installing a timber frame structure completely around the homes and injecting insulation material into the walls and roof cavity. This creates a continuous insulated layer around the building, eliminating heat loss and making the buildings draught free – forming a process which can be ‘retrofitted’ to refurbish existing homes. As part of the retrofit solution, new triple glazed windows and doors as well as a mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system were installed. The whole system
was built to low-energy Passivhaus standards, offering advanced energy and comfort levels. They were also fitted with high-tech sensors and controls which automatically regulate the houses’ temperatures as well as learning and reacting to residents’ patterns of use. Since work began in September the results have shown an 80 per cent reduction in the use of energy and residents have reported major improvements: • “I did not need heating when the outside temperature dropped below freezing yesterday.” • “The house feels like home now – no damp, no dust, no noise.” It is hoped the scheme could increase the value of housing stock for councils and regenerate areas of deprivation by also fitting homes with high quality new facades. Ron Beattie, Beattie Passive said: “This project took our TCosy innovation forward to an offsite manufactured panel. This has greatly increased the speed of works and with further innovations we expect to
see the process become quicker and more affordable. “We have received many positive comments from the tenants of our retrofitted properties who are already enjoying a warmer, healthier Passivhaus living environment as well as reduced energy bills.” Birmingham City University provided simulation design analysis of the houses, tracked their carbon outputs and InteSys Ltd developed a predictive control system which learns physical characteristics of the building and delivers the right amount of heat at the right time. Thermal imaging and 3D laser scanning formed a part of detailed pre-retrofit survey that enabled the creation of design simulation models to help plan the best way to achieve a zero-carbon rating and monitor the changes in energy consumption. Professor Lubo Jankovic, Head of the Zero Carbon Lab at Birmingham City University’s School of Architecture and Design, said: “Retrofit plus has been shown to reduce heating energy consumption and carbon emissions by 80 per cent, saving money for residents and providing a process suitable for a UK-wide scaling-up. “Our experience from this project shows that there is a behaviour change with occupants with increased internal temperatures and fewer warm clothes needed in winter. This approach improves health and wellbeing of occupants and positively changes their lives.” The houses have now formally been handed back to Birmingham City Council but their energy use will continue to be monitored until later this summer. (Left to Right) Professor Lubo Jankovic from Birmingham City University and Ron Beattie from Beattie Passive, handover the building to Birmingham City Council
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Public Sector Scotland hemorrhaging millions of pounds due to lost savings and overcharging on water bills
ince the water industry in Scotland opened its doors to competition many years ago Public Sector Scotland have been literally hemorrhaging £millions on incorrect charges and losing out on potential savings and reductions on water bills due to poor administration of water supply contracts, lack of water consultancy expertise and zero control. Even now a massive Public Sector Scotland water contract went out to tender to the retail water suppliers worth a reputed £350 million over the contract term, but why did the public sector procurement take this route? Lack of knowledge and expertise prior to this water supply contract that was awarded to an English Water supplier Anglian Water. It seems a very large number of water flow data loggers were fitted to many public sector sites around 3,000 according to information I received. Water flow data loggers are an essential tool for producing a visual flow profile of water use over time and is particularly invaluable in identifying water losses and water leaks where water is passing through the water meter when the site is unoccupied or in the early hours of the morning, if continual flow is recorded this is known as the base load. In the hands of a water audit expert this data is invaluable in reducing water costs, yet since these data loggers were installed many years ago the valuable water flow data has never been expertly used! Resulting in a massive lost water saving opportunity and substantially higher water bills as a result, all down to poor contract administration, lack of applied knowledge and expertise. The water supply contract expired with Scottish Water Business Stream and the £350 million water supply contract was won by Anglian Water on a retail contract and again Public Sector Scotland will not be maximising the potential water savings and refunds as there was and still is a massive water cost reduction opportunity. Maximising potential reductions in water
costs is very unlikely to happen as the appointed water supplier Anglian Water will not give advice in certain keys areas for example, Water Self-supply. A large portion of the public sector estate should commission a water self-supply feasibility report and should not sign up to the appointed water supplier until they have evaluated water self-supply. In my expert opinion a great many public sector organisations would financially benefit from water self-supply as at the moment they are paying needlessly a water retail margin when in fact they could cut out the retail margin and procure their water supply contract via the water self-supply route and save £millions on procurement alone.
I bet neither the Scottish Public Sector procurement or any of the water retailers pitching for the recently let water supply contract even mentioned water self-supply. The Public Sector organisations in Scotland will not maximise savings and refunds on their water bills until they take impartial, independent expert advice. Want to know more about cutting out the water retail margin and procuring your water supply contracts direct from the wholesaler? Call the “Water Audit Experts” at H20 Building Services on 01924 387 873 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Public Sector Scotland deserves more.
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Why is the energy transformation so slow?
lobal warming is a fact. There is now no doubt at all that CO2 emissions, caused mainly by fossil-based energy, are the villain. Melting ice from Greenland and the world’s polar regions will likely, within 2-3 generations, lead to sea levels rising by 6 meters. Unfortunately, this pace is likely to accelerate, to the extent that both the North and South Poles will melt completely. If the ice on Antarctica melts, sea levels will rise by 60 meters. Even at a 6-meter sea level rise, the consequences are disastrous, enough to make millions of citizens, for example in New York, Tokyo, Shanghai, Singapore and London, homeless. Low level countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam and the Netherlands risk being wiped out completely. The accompanying climatic and oceanic changes will make the situation even worse: the Mediterranean and the Middle East could both become uninhabitable, resulting in huge refugee flows and crises. The global food supply is threatened because vegetation simply does not now have enough time to adapt to a new climate. Globally, nations take action through international climate plans, such as the Kyoto and Paris agreements. And there is certainly agreement that we urgently need to change our energy systems. Yet rising global energy consumption, combined with low energy prices, fosters wastefulness. The real battle between the countries responsible for climate change has not even begun. Understandably, the least developed countries are pointing at their right to prosperity and at the affluent world’s historical responsibility for CO2 emissions. Energy consumption is therefore likely to continue to rise. The late Professor Hans Rosling’s conclusion is that we must develop and provide technologies such as refrigerators, automobiles and washing machines that require a maximum of 10% of today’s energy needs, in order to realistically meet environmental objectives. Such restraints may feel a deceptively long way away to us at the moment. How can we explain the discrepancy between the clear risk of the increasing momentum towards a collapse of the climate, and the lack of commitment to activities to solve the problems? There are two important reasons: Psychology: If a threat seems too daunting, then denial of the threat is a
By Dr. Joachim Karthäuser
built-in reflex, especially if the threat is linked to an addiction. A smoker or alcoholic tends to ignore warnings from doctors, against their better judgment. We depend on energy for comfort, air travel and prosperity. In the same way that a smoker denies the threat of lung cancer because the pleasure of nicotine is so strong, we ignore the fact that rising sea levels are threatening the very existence of mankind. The pleasures that energy gives us in the short term are simply too powerful. The same psychology applies in politics and business: our decisions are usually short-term. Drastic decisions require broad consensus and often only come about when we have the knife at our throat. It is tempting to take the easy way out and commission yet another investigation of the threats of climate change, deferring the time when the sitting government or board will have to deal with the problem. But there is hope. Most governments are using means of control such as alcohol and tobacco tax with great success to mitigate the effects of dangerous behaviors. We will return to means of control shortly. Understanding: Far too few people remember basic physics that easily shows that energy today is in fact absurdly cheap. 1 kilowatt hour (1 kWh) is the amount of energy required to lift a large car all the way up to the top of the Eiffel Tower! We consumers can purchase this enormous amount of energy for about 0,1 € or 1SEK, either in the form of electricity or as one deciliter of petrol! The alternative to lifting the car with a crane is to ask say 50 Frenchmen to do the job with ropes and muscle power: this would surely cost hundreds if not thousands of euros. Is there any other product where we get so much value for so little money? (One could argue here that access to cheap energy made it possible to abolish slavery.) Other comparisons: With 1 kWh, one can in half an hour of vacuuming move a few grams of dust from the carpet into the filter bag. The comparison with the car on the Eiffel Tower shows that our vacuum cleaners and other electric gadgets are far from efficient - there is lots of room for improvement for future engineers! As for global conflict management, as Daniel Yergin writes so persuasively in “The Prize”, historically, there are hardly any wars where oil, gas or coal are not there in the background. Unless future solutions are reasonable and fair for all stakeholders, war is inevitable.
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Much deeper knowledge of politics, history, physics and psychology of energy is required if we want to take the right decisions going forward. Is there hope that we can manage the energy transition? Yes, but it is extremely urgent. In fact, there is inspiring progress that showcases human creativity in response to this serious situation. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) regularly identifies “Climate Solver Technologies” (see www.climatesolver.org). Winners include projects transforming desert into farmland, new ways to save, produce and store energy, to distribute food and goods efficiently, and many more examples. Electric and hybrid cars are reaping success. Passenger ferry Viking Line has a new ship in operation driven by natural gas or biogas, which only uses 50% of the energy that a similar vessel needed just 10 years ago. China, California and Germany are leaders investing in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources. We can build zero-energy houses, as well as technology to reduce energy consumption dramatically in existing houses. Sweden is one of the world leaders in clean energy innovation. Companies such Greenely have developed methods to reduce energy consumption with the help of psychology. ABB provides frequency controlled motors that cut electricity requirements. Uppsala University is a leader in solar cell innovation. And the company I started, Climeon, can produce clean electricity from waste warm water. The world as we know it can build smart grids. We can store energy in all possible forms. All this is hugely positive and inspiring, but it is not enough to stop climate catastrophe. How, realistically, can we increase the pace? Many nations have opted for a passive, cautious stance - we keep old technologies and sources like nuclear power longer, arguing that these assets have many years of life left to go, and that there are many jobs involved. There is logic in this, and it obviously saves money. The problem is that the money saved is not invested in new technology. A green tax seems very urgent. Taking Sweden as example, 10 SEK (ca. 1 €) extra tax per liter of fossil fuel petrol or diesel would provide 100 billion SEK. An additional electricity tax of approximately 1SEK/ kWh could be passed
on to consumers resulting in consumer prices of approximately 2 SEK/ kWh. This approach is already enabling German citizens to help finance their country’s energy transition. Renewable energy must of course be taxed less. The $100 billion SEK revenue through fuel and ca. 40 billion SEK from electricity consumption, can be used in part to reduce other taxes, and in part to stimulate environmentally friendly investments, both proven technology and promising developments. Such a green tax would sharply raise the incentives for all of us to review our energy choices - for example, the choice and usage of car and household energy consumption. Renewable energy sources - which are already economically competitive - would receive a huge and very necessary boost. Green tax reform is not a zero-sum game, but does lead dynamically to new jobs, businesses, employment and tax revenue. This is already the case in Germany, where a whole new industry around wind, solar, smart grid, biomass based power plants and similar has been developed, and which is gearing up for global exports. Norwegian based Scatec Solar is globally installing photovoltaic systems (so far, nearly 600 MW installed!). Their success will surely lead to fresh industrial growth in the Norwegian solar cell industry. American Solar City, owned by Tesla’s founder Elon Musk, has also done a tremendous job of making solar panels trendy and accessible. The transport sector, households and industry are the major producers of CO2. Within the transport sector and for private citizens, it feels like a green tax shift will quickly produce the desired effect. For global industries, however, this is not likely. Globally, higher prices for energy would promote savings, in that the repayment period for environmental investments will be shorter. We therefore need international agreements, replacing e.g. the CO2 certificate trading schemes such as ETS which basically have collapsed. For most industries, energy pricing is one part of the equation, but assuming companies are competing on equal terms, it is not decisive whether oil (or the nearest equivalent) costs 30, 100 or 200 dollars per barrel. In summary, we must come to terms with the fact that our planet is seriously threatened. We do not have a Planet B - nor on a smaller scale, do we have an Amsterdam B or New York B. We must recognize that we have wasted energy because it was and is far too cheap. Technology can solve the problem. The future need not be so daunting, indeed there are great opportunities. Huge investments are required going forward, but the longer we wait, the bigger they become. The challenge is obviously global, but that should not stop individual countries from taking their own initiatives. Politicians must show leadership and make full use of policy instruments. This is becoming more and more crucial, and it is immensely important that Sweden does not fall behind.
Old Lags or new
often see pictures of installations posted onto sites like Linkedin by their proud creators. The trouble is given my experience I can often see something wrong from the picture; it might be that the gas meter is fitted too near bends and would therefore be inaccurate, it could be that the boiler would be impossible to service or maybe a simple filter change would require significant dismantling and hours of downtime. But most often it relates to pipework insulation. When I’ve pointed out that it would not be possible to lag the bare pipe of the picture easily or properly I sometimes get abuse on the lines of “it’s in a domestic premise, Duh!” or “Why would I lag it it’s in the heated space?”. Now once upon a time that might have been sensible but now when there is a need to avoid wasting energy and thereby minimise carbon emissions is it still? If pipework is not properly insulated (or the insulation has degraded with time) heat is being lost from the pipe into the space. Was that included by the designer in his heating (or cooling it works the same) calculation? And if it was, have you now decreased the effectiveness of any thermostatic radiator valves and the like by creating an uncontrolled emitter in the room? Are the occupants going to roast? That could be even worse if the pipe carried domestic hotwater which will be required in Summer when the occupied space may actually have the air conditioning running! Is this a real world problem? Well I have often seen pipework uninsulated in occupied spaces where the inhabitants complain they are too hot even when they have turned the TRV off. I also remember a Leicestershire school I visited once. An old historic school its heating system had originally been coal fired and (like many systems of that time) gravity based. Some of you used to more modern gas and coal systems where the heated water circulates by the action of electric pumps, may not be aware that in the past the natural buoyancy of hotter water over colder was used to move the heat around and avoid pumping (some systems were even before electricity!). This weaker force meant that the distribution pipework had to be MUCH larger and in the school this was 8in diameter cast iron (there are also
issues in design and slow response before anyone thinks about using “gravity systems” to save on pumps and electricity). There had been multiple modifications to the heating over the years with additional radiators, side legs a gas boiler and PUMPING but the main pipework remained the same! The trouble was it still didn’t work properly. The problem was that classrooms near the boiler got warm quickly (and soon overheated) while the ones at the end of the line never got to an acceptable warmth in winter. Effort was spent trying to balance the system to no avail. So a sensible heating engineer looked at it an realised that once each room was satisfied he needed to drive the heat to the next one. So reasonably he fitted Thermostatic Radiator Valves to all the radiators – to no real success. What he had failed to allow for was that the surface area of the 8in cast iron pipes passing through the rooms far exceeded that of the (admitted also large) radiators, so isolating them from the water flow made virtually no difference to the heat entering the rooms and the being lost from the pipe. The warm rooms got hotter and the cold rooms still froze. The answer – insulate the large diameter pipes. (I did suggest using them as sleeves and inserting a smaller preinsulated pipe up their middle but no-one liked that idea!). Insulation (of pipework and building fabric) looks like an initial unneeded cost that can be avoided – maybe as part of “Value Engineering”- but the admittedly small savings it generates will be there passively through the life of the installation – and retrofitting is EXPENSIVE! Andy Clarke BSC CEng MEI And now a committee member of the UKAEE
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
“There’s only one thing wrong with the Capacity Market – and it isn’t the price”
n truth, there are many things wrong with the Capacity Market (CM) – the UK Government’s flagship policy for the security of national electricity supplies. Among these is not whether or not the CM will work. It will – the lights will stay on. Probably. Nor is it the somewhat disappointing price in the first CM auctions, which this week hit a historic low of £6.95/kW per year. Admittedly, this was for the ‘bonus’ early auction for delivery from October 2017; the four year ahead market managed a more respectable £22.50/kW in December’s auction. Prices like that will delight Government: the consumer is getting supply security for only a modest hit on bills. The lesson is that auctions discover prices, and Dutch auctions discover low prices. Government made a shrewd pick of auction format for the CM. Most of my thousand gripes about the CM are details which are eminently fixable. Flexitricity’s demand response portfolio is made up of a broad mix of flexible loads, combined heat and power (CHP) generators, critical power supplies and small hydro generators. This diversity is a massive part of its success, but the CM wasn’t designed to recognise that. Fitting flexible customer-side assets into the CM is like playing chess in boxing gloves. It can be done, but it’s pointlessly awkward. The basic structures of energy policy aren’t wrong either. We live on an Atlantic archipelago that’s sometimes windy, sometimes wet and sometimes sunny, and which is surrounded by tidal and wave energy. We should be doing all we can to use our free resources in preference to burning commodities which come loaded with financial and environmental risk. We pay renewable resources to churn out the megawatt-hours as much as they can. We don’t pay them for reserve or capacity services, because that’s not what they do best. This means that the balancing capacity – traditionally gas, coal and oil burners, but now also demand response and batteries – isn’t going to make all of its living selling energy. So we pay such ‘despatchable’ resources for the security they provide. Taken as a whole, and setting aside Westminster’s recently acquired fear of a wind turbine that anyone can see, this combination of policies – for green energy and reliable capacity – makes sense. Back to those lights, and their staying on-ness. Secretaries of State don’t get to use the word “probably” in this context. But that’s government policy. Perfect security costs infinite money, and no-one wants an infinite electricity bill. The UK is in good shape when it comes to
raw megawatts, if we count – and we should – energy efficiency and flexible consumers. They are part of the mix. Our Loss of Load Expectation (LoLE) sits at around 0.5 hours each year – that’s the number of hours in which we expect somebody, somewhere in GB, to be going without electricity because there isn’t enough. Government’s target LoLE is three hours. That’s what politicians mean when they say “the lights will stay on”. They mean probably. This winter, France suffered the nightmare of all those concerned with reliability: a type fault. Type faults are faults affecting many different stations of a similar type. In this case, it was the discovery that many of France’s nuclear reactors had been made with the wrong type of steel, and were at risk of ageing disgracefully. Prior to the discovery of this fault, the French grid operator RTE had estimated LoLE at a respectable 1.25 hours. 2016/17 is the first winter I can remember in which we regularly exported power to France during our weekday evening peak. Diversity is important in security, and being technology-neutral, the CM has the potential to encourage a broad mix of resources to participate. It has largely delivered this in all but one category – new build generation. It is in this category that the CM’s real flaw is found. The CM is buying the wrong stuff, and it’s doing it because it’s a single-issue policy that joins up with nothing. Under the CM, it’s possible to get a 15-year contract if you’re building a new generation site, but everyone else must take shorter contracts. This means that the CM strongly favours low-capex projects. This delivers one thing: engine farms – rows of reciprocating engines, gas or diesel, in shipping containers. It is a post-hoc rationalisation to claim that engine farms are what’s best for the consumer. They win where today’s capital cost is the only consideration. It’s also a calumny to claim that engine farms are there to balance wind. This is nuts: wind generation varies, but over timescales of hours and days, not minutes and seconds, which is where engines have a place. We do sometimes get storm shutdown events that result in a fast drop in renewable output. For that, engines are fine. But we’ve got enough – there are more megawatts of standby diesels already installed in the UK than there are of wind farms. December’s auction saved some face, but not enough. Centrica’s repowering of King’s Lynn A will give us a nearly-new combined cycle gas turbine CCGT. Intergen’s Spalding extension will produce a large open-cycle gas turbine (OCGT), which
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
will probably compete with engine farms on efficiency, but not with a new CCGT. An engine farm might manage an efficiency of 41% if it’s gas, or 38% if it’s diesel. That means around 60% of the energy put into an engine farm is blown into the sky as waste heat. Compare that to a new CCGT at 61% or more, or, better still, a CHP in a district heating network with a total efficiency approaching 85%. If the CHP has a heat store – a big tank of water – it provides all of the flexibility needed to balance renewables. Add a large-scale heat pump, and the site can switch from generation to beneficial consumption as renewable generation ebbs and flows – a virtual battery, without the lithium. One of the huge problems faced by the energy industry is consumer engagement. Insiders know that energy would be cheaper, greener and more secure if the top deck of the Clapham omnibus buzzed with discussion about the merits of low-energy light bulbs, or whether to keep the washing machine off until after this evening’s peak. CHPs score over CCGTs because their natural home is in the community, and community ownership is a real possibility. Nothing captures attention better than skin in the game. The Capacity Market misses all that, and instead floods the market with single purpose peakers. There are only so many peaks to go round, and sending engine farms off hunting the role that CCGT and CHP could hold in the bulk energy market is environmentally and economically daft. Government knows that, but its efforts to control the problem have been tangential, and the damage largely collateral. Even this is an easy problem to fix. All that’s needed is an insistence that anyone wanting a 15-year contract meets the Government’s own Emissions Performance Standard or qualifies as Good Quality CHP, both of which are established Government schemes. So why was the price in last week’s auction so low? In a word, P305 (note: in the GB electricity market, that qualifies as a word). It’s now over a year since Ofgem put the fizz back into prompt electricity markets with its reform of imbalance prices. No-one knows how long the fun will last, but for now, old power stations clearly find it worth staying at the party a little longer. That’s not a disaster; it’s the market doing what it’s supposed to do. Meanwhile, the Capacity Market marches on, doing the one thing that it’s designed for, and optimising that at the expense of everything else.
By Dr Alastair Martin, founder and chief strategy officer at Flexitricty
LPG heat pumps –
the sustainable off-grid heating option
or off-grid organisations juggling environmental commitments with profitability, renewable LPG-driven gas absorption heat pumps could be just the solution to achieving low-carbon heating, says Mike Hefford, Product Application Manager at Remeha The UK has a legally binding target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 through the Climate Change Act 2008. UK buildings are big users of energy, with non-domestic buildings alone accounting for 17% of total energy use and 12% of greenhouse gas emissions. So to achieve these goals, we need to address the energy performance of our building stock. As a large user of energy, heating is a good starting place for efficiency measures. Replacing any inefficient heating equipment with a high-efficiency technology will significantly reduce an organisation’s energy costs and its carbon footprint. But for the 11.5% of UK organisations located off the gas grid there is more to consider than just the technology. Energy managers in these organisations have the additional pressure to consider switching from oil or coal to a more environmentally-friendly energy source. And one renewable technology that could provide a high-performance, affordable solution to low carbon heating in these off-grid buildings is the gas absorption heat pump (GAHP). Not only does it easily meet the low carbon requirements of Part L of Building Regulations, but it can operate on either natural gas or low carbon liquefied paraffin gas (LPG). This makes it perfectly suited for use in off-grid locations.
Simply efficient How do they work? GAHPs capture energy from the surrounding air, which then converts to higher temperatures with the aid of an ammonia and water refrigeration cycle. By combining this free renewable energy with a highly-efficient condensing heat generator, GAHPs can achieve outstanding seasonal gas
utilisation efficiencies (GUE) of up to 165% under ideal conditions. The more realistic GUE of around 130% still significantly outperforms conventional methods of heating buildings and delivers payback in around four years.
Low running costs Energy managers will be aware that electricity prices are continuing to rise. But while the initial outlay for electric and gas-driven heat pumps is approximately the same, LPG is typically just two thirds the price of electricity – delivering reduced running costs. And the spread between electricity and LPG prices is only widening. All of which makes a GAHP running on LPG an attractive sustainable option for low carbon heating and hot water in off-grid locations.
Sustainable technology So what about the carbon factor? When it comes to energy source, LPG has the lowest carbon footprint of all the off-grid fuels, around 20% lower emissions than oil per kWh. GAHP also use the fuel extremely sustainably. By using LPG directly at the point of use, GAHPs can provide 98% of usable heat energy for off-grid buildings. That’s more than double the 45% of usable electrical energy from electric heat pumps. They also achieve low levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by using a condensing heat generator with a premixed modulating gas burner. Reducing these gases has risen up the agenda recently due to the focus on air quality. By offering high GUE and low NOx, LPG heat pumps tick all boxes for a sustainable route to reliable, cleaner, greener heating. The sustainable operation of GAHPs is reflected in five BREEAM credits. By using ammonia, a naturally forming chemical, as the refrigerant, this technology gains two credits for zero ozone depletion potential and zero global warming potential. Further points come from the absence of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) refrigerants, its status as a low carbon technology and its ability to achieve low NOx levels.
Easy installation Equally suited for use in new and existing buildings, LPG heat pumps are straightforward to design and install. Flexible design options mean that they can be installed as a single unit, in cascade arrangement or in a hybrid system with LPG condensing boilers. As LPG heat pumps require only an extremely low electrical running current to operate – just 1.09kW for a single 35kW unit – there is no need to increase the electrical incoming supply. This feature makes them a practical retrofit option. Maintenance and servicing is also risk free as the fully sealed ammonia circuit means there’s no need for any contact with the refrigerant.
Reliable and practical solution Using LPG heat pumps for low carbon heating and water provides numerous benefits for off-grid organisations across the public sector. Firstly the performance – our data proves that GAHPs deliver high efficiencies all year round in a well-designed system. So even at low outside temperatures, LPG heat pumps deliver reliable operation and continuous heating even in defrost operation. Then the safety aspect – LPG is both safer and cleaner than oil with none of the associated contamination or spillage risks. Finally the convenience factor – as LPG heat pumps are sited outdoors along with the LPG storage tanks, they can save valuable indoor space. Decarbonising heating from buildings doesn’t have to be complicated when supported by in-depth product knowledge and technical expertise from manufacturers or suppliers. Correctly designed and installed, LPG heat pumps offer organisations a practical solution to reliable heating and hot water in off-grid buildings – one that meets both financial and environmental commitments. Mike Hefford, Product Application Manager, Remeha - www.remeha.co.uk
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
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Pump maintenance – WATER TIME TO SWITCH three tips to prevent hidden cost rises Charley Maher, managing director of water2business, explains how businesses across England will soon be able to choose their water and sewerage retailer.
ow is a common time ofyou opt and importantly,will be prolonging witching energy suppliers and formore one that truly understands yourthe year for maintenance life of the system. shopping around for the best deal business. to come to “Secondly, it’s important that your is a given these dayscontracts for businesses All will maintenance be aiming toand attract new customers an end; many are on service programme seeking to drive down costs and become and while price will playsituations. a part it isIf unlikely auto-renewals, which can covers emergency your more eﬃcient in the way they operate. deciding factor forcarrying many out mean hidden cost increases because to be the provider is adequately And now there’s to be choice whenfor a businesses switching. That’s because the peopleabout tend not to shop around services which help prevent against deal. It can emergency it comes tobetter water,all-round with businesses of also any meanmargins set by thesituations, industrycontracts regulatorshould Ofwat a ticking time-bomb work onof emergency size being able to choose theirthreatening water and system are sliminclude - an average 2.5% netsituations, margin or failure ifIt’s the not carried minus additional costs. sewerage retailer. allmaintenance part of OpenisWater, 6% gross for retailers. out sufficiently well. “The third thing to remember when which has been introduced by the Therefore it’s likely to be the quality of this theis Owen Ford, Managing Director at Dura choosing a servicing provider, and government and Ofwat. customer service, investment in innovation,
The IE3 motor legislation applies to motors from 0,75 kW to 375 kW, and came into force from 1st January this year. The European Union has introduced this directive to make sure all pumps are of premium efficiency. Similarly, ESOS requires large companies to prove their commitment to saving energy throughout their businesses. With a combination of proactive maintenance and energy efficiency measures, you can ensure you stay compliant with laws and ultimately save money on energy and the cost of breakdowns.
Pump, an engineering firm specialising in the case with most servicing; it’s important and the added services oﬀered to prices, pump design, installation and maintenance, tovalue shop around for not only the best So what does this mean? advises three simple things to look out for but the best quality and customer service. your business which will set the retailers Well from 1 April 2017 any large or small www.durapump.co.uk when you look at your contracts and If you are looking for reliability and apart from each other. business, council, hospital, school or even So whether you’re looking for help on best deal: reduced cost the answer is regular charity can evaluate choose the their water and reducing water consumption – which in At water2business we oﬀer leading “Firstly, does the contract include full proactive maintenance.” sewerage retailer. While the water supplied turn could reduce energy costs too – or customer service and tailored water and servicing that completely covers all areas of As well as these key principles for will still be provided by your local water ﬂexible, consolidated billing for multiple wastewater management that will help to the pump and pump system?For example, maintenance, Dura Pump actively promotes company and travelpump to your premises sites, we can help. andefficient deliversolutions savings.for withstill sewage stations, the pumps improve theeﬃciency most energy along the same pipes, mostcleaned of yourand unblocked should be raised, to pump Energy efficiency Unlike others,requirements. we’re not a newcomer to is You can ﬁnd out more about our interaction ensure will bethe with your build upretailer. of debris is removed. currently a huge priority for governments, the market, instead we’re a company with other added value services by calling us Regular and proactive maintenance means as illustrated by the IE3 motor extensive industry knowledge thatdirective has a While a number of water retailers will be today on 0345 850 0714 or visiting you are reducing the risk of breakdownsprovenintrack the EU, and the ESOS energy efficiency record and already provides oﬀering this service, it’s really important www.water2business.co.uk legislation in the UK.
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PrefectDirect Take direct control of your heating project
oordinating trades, disruption for students, access to rooms and mess are just some of the reasons why the decision to upgrade student accommodation heating systems may be kicked into the long grass. But those that do are losing out on the energy cost savings and other benefits associated with investing in student comfort. Prefect Controls, design, manufacture and supply heating control systems and for the past 5 years have been developing, in conjunction with leading universities such as Bristol and Cambridge, a new, unique service that knocks down these hurdles – Prefect-Direct.
“Easier and more convenient” Direct specification; Direct purchase; Direct installation and Direct commissioning means that the right controls are installed by the manufacturer, efficiently during term time when rooms are occupied without any unnecessary costs, delays or disruption. Christ Jones, Sustainability Manager at the University of Bristol commented “It was both easier and more convenient for us to deal directly with Prefect”. Most universities schedule works to be
carried out during summer months when rooms are vacant, but this causes ‘trades congestion’. However using PrefectDirect means work can be completed during term time, as Chris explains “Most of the rooms were occupied during this project, We have a comms plan which includes initial e-mail, a notice on the door the day before installation then instructions are left when the job is finished”.
Keeping students happy He continues “Student feedback has been very positive because the resulting system is always better than what was there before so most are happy to be able to turn their heaters up or down. The vast majority of this work has been stand alone, separate from other building works so therefore we feel more in control of each phase”. Prefect-Direct has honed its service so that they are in and out of rooms swiftly leaving most students unaware any work has been carried out, apart from the tell tale ‘On-Message’ sheet and bag of sweets left by the engineer to explain why work has been done. Operating in this way means that refurbishment work that does require empty rooms, such as decorating, can be scheduled, uninterrupted, for the summer months.
Chris explains “Because the system was being installed in occupied rooms it needed to work first time, Prefect took all the responsibility and so we found it to be quicker and less disruptive because they just got on with the job”.
Complete confidence The benefits of having the same team specifying, installing and commissioning the system are obvious – one point of contact, total control, cost effectiveness and shorter lead times. When the installation is complete the same team are on hand for commissioning and this saves time and helps the whole process run smoothly. The Prefect-Direct Team comprises qualified installers trained in all aspects of the system, they comply with health and safety legislation and are all DBS (CRB) checked. They are also obsessive when it comes to tidiness and always leave rooms just as they were found (in some cases tidier!). Chris concludes “Prefect-Direct are one of the best contractors we deal with, we can let them get on with it and they understand students!”. For more information contact Glen Golding on 01787 320604
RINNai BUILDS BUSINESSS with O’Neil’s
innai, manufacturer of the Energysaver energy efficient range of gas fired wall heaters, recently pulled out all the stops in collaboration with Ayr-based installer O’Neil Gas Services to keep the congregation warm at St Mary’s Church in Saltcoats, Ayrshire. O’Neil Gas Services with mission statement: ‘Big enough to cope. Small enough to care’ – is a family-run company founded by John O’Neil and now presided over by his son Brian O’Neil. It has 22 employees, 15 of them fully qualified Gas Safe registered engineers. The company offers domestic and commercial services covering the whole of Ayrshire, East Kilbride and South Glasgow and has four separate divisions – installation, service and repair, care and retail. O’Neil’s also operates a fireplace and bathroom showroom, designing and planning bathrooms from start to finish. The O’Neil client list is impressive and includes NHS Scotland, North Ayrshire
Council, Cunninghame Housing Association, SRUC Auchincruive Estate, Klin Holdings as well as various hotels, surgeries, churches and commercial businesses all over Ayrshire. More recently the company won the Irvine Housing gas maintenance contract for five years.
O’Neil’s installation manager Ross McWhirter. “We have used Rinnai heaters in many churches – for example St Mary’s – because of their efficiency and ease of installation.
The company has built a reputation for quality, reliability and value ensuring that its 14,000 domestic and commercial customers return time and again for their gas and plumbing needs. They have retained thousands of customers, year after year, confirming the quality of their customer service.
“We have installed Rinnai continuous flow water heaters in Adeli Foods for the same reasons. We choose Rinnai products in such installations simply because no other product could provide the result we and more importantly our customers expect and want. This along with the excellent customer service provided by Rinnai, mean that their heaters and water heaters are always our choice.”
O’Neil’s install Rinnai heaters for its commercial customers in a range of applications. “We choose Rinnai heaters because they are reliable, and easy to work on, as well as being efficient. O’Neil’s use only the best as call backs can be expensive and so installing the Rinnai heating range within commercial installations is an obvious choice, and makes for happy customers,” says
McWhirter first made the decision to go with Rinnai’s 1004T gas fired wall space heater for the St Mary’s Church, Saltcoats project and it is a decision he is pleased he made. “We used six Rinnai 1004T units siting them in the best location for effectiveness and for the convenience of the customer. The biggest part of the job was lifting the floors and running gas and electricity supplies to the units. “Everyone I have spoken too at the Church since we completed the installation has said that it has never been as warm as it is now. The Church should also see a big difference in gas usage as the Rinnai units are more economical to run than the previous system. “This was the first time we have used the Rinnai heaters and I was very impressed with the outcome of the job. They are very quiet while running and get the Church up to temperature very quickly,” says Ross. O’Neil’s has the stamp of approval from Gas Safe to provide all gas services and has recently been awarded the prestigious ISO 9001, a certified management system for organisations proving its ability to provide services that meets customer’s needs. In addition, O’Neil’s has CHAS accreditation for its Health and Safety policies and PAS 2030. For more information on the RINNAI product range visit www.rinnaiuk.com
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
MVHR: A NATURAL CHOICE
s Building Regulations continue to move us towards more airtight homes, Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR) systems are increasingly being considered the ideal choice in new properties - and an increasingly popular one in refurbishments too. Lee Stones, category manager for Xpelair, looks at the factors which are driving a surge in the specification of heat recovery technology in the home. It will come as no surprise to those working in the public sector energy environment – particularly social housing - that specifying a good ventilation system has become as prevalent to property owners as efficient home heating. With increasingly stringent Building Regulations, a drive towards energy efficiency and increased insulation options for existing properties, homes have become more ‘wrapped up’ than ever before. Whilst these measures are ideal for reducing monthly heating bills, the lack of adequate ventilation can increase the presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), mould and damp within the home, contributing to poor IAQ.
Whole House Ventilation Where the choice of ventilation is concerned, it’s no secret that whole house ventilation wins out in the efficiency stakes, and certainly for new build properties it’s a no brainer for housebuilders and architects to opt for whole house systems like Mechanical Ventilation with Heat Recovery (MVHR). MVHR is ideal for new builds where insulation levels are high. Available as a centralised, whole-house system or single room units, this proven technology extracts moist, stale air from inside the property and replaces it with fresh, incoming air. Crucially, it uses heat from the outgoing air to warm the incoming air and high efficiency systems can recover up to 90 per cent of the heat that would have been lost through normal extraction.
The good news local authorities and housebuilders is that compliance is easy. Current Part F regs single out MVHR units, such as Xpelair’s new Natural Air 180, as the most sophisticated ventilation systems available. Provided it is specified and installed properly, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery will ensure housebuilders can meet Building Regulations for new properties, whilst also improving SAP ratings.
Energy credentials One of the most obvious benefits of MVHR is its energy saving potential. Using waste heat from the outgoing, stale air to warm fresh, incoming air can reduce heating bills, of course, and for those organisations with a large stock, it can deliver significant carbon reductions. For the best results, MVHR systems - such as the Natural Air 180 - can play a vital part in a whole-house approach to energy saving and carbon reduction, which includes an intelligent active humidistat that reacts in real-time to rapid increases in humidity – providing a boost, on demand. The flow rate in the Natural Air 180 is boosted only as needed, minimising energy costs and further reducing acoustic output.
Boost your IAQ It is also important to note that we spend more than 90 per cent of our time indoors and whilst there is a global understanding of outdoor air pollution,
few people realise that indoor air can be as much as 50 times more polluted than outdoor air. The importance of IAQ should not be underestimated. Mould or condensation in the home can aggravate pre-existing health conditions such as asthma and eczema, whilst high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from everyday household items such as polish or air fresheners can also lead to symptoms including fatigue, rhinitis, dizziness, headaches, coughing and sneezing. The key, of course, is to ensure adequate ventilation in the home, reducing the build-up of condensation, black mould and the spores which it releases. The solution? A constant volume MVHR system. Xpelair’s Natural Air 180 uses Intelligent Adaptiflow Sensing to deliver constant volume performance. The motor operates by constantly assessing the performance of the impeller and, when there is a consistent change in airflow - caused by back pressure - the motor adjusts the speed of the fan to maintain a constant volume of extracted air. What’s more, with the Internet of Things changing the face of the heating and ventilation industry, we can expect to see some exciting add-ons and integrations to MVHR systems in the coming months. By working closely with leading manufacturers such as Xpelair, architects can stay ahead of the game and take advantage of an exciting change for the industry. Tel: 0844 372 7761 Email: email@example.com Web: www.xpelair.co.uk
Meeting regulations with ease While following the Passive House model is voluntary, the design principles deriving from the pilot project set unprecedented standards of energy efficiency in residential building design.
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Behind-the-Scenes Look at Global Monitoring Solutions
highlight of this year’s European Temperature Controlled Logistics Conference at ExCel London was a behind-the-scenes look at how British monitoring solutions were bringing world-class control of temperature, humidity, shock and vibration to operations as diverse as a horticultural project 4000 feet up a Malaysian mountain and the conservation of warship The Mary Rose after 400 years on the ocean bed. The IMC Group’s Marcus Stacey-Bradbury explained to delegates how stock losses had been significantly reduced and quality improved at a client’s salad and herb-growing business in Malaysia. While the mountain location was chosen as affording some shelter from the area’s 35C 85% humidity climate, ultra-reliable temperature monitoring is still vital both for production and for the challenges of road distribution where vehicles are away from base for several days, experiencing a very wide variety of potentially damaging conditions on their way to restaurants and retailers. Damage of the high-quality load from temperature fluctuations was a very real problem before the installation of Hanwell iSense GPRS transmitters where innovative self-contained units now enable remote monitoring of diverse parameters via wireless GPRS technology, ideal for the trucks in remote locations.
Marcus also shared some of the key work his team was carrying out to help conserve The Mary Rose warship and how the ship’s hull was contained inside a sealed ‘hotbox’ with 30 environmental monitoring sensors installed on and near the hull, continuously checking and recording temperature and humidity. Eleanor Schofield from The Mary Rose added: “It’s a vital part of the conservation programme…measuring and reacting to how changes in weather, visitor traffic and so on affect the ship will continue to be crucially important to the Mary Rose.”
Explaining the diverse uses of monitoring technology, Marcus concluded with a look at how DKSH Pharmaceutical maintain temperature integrity across their whole operation from storage to delivery, revealing how they used Hanwell high-powered radio technology to tackle the challenge of finding a system that could successfully transmit real-time critical temperature data wirelessly to their local PC/Network from inside a steel and concrete drugs medicines safe almost two feet thick! See the presentation here www.the-imcgroup.com/TCLPresentation/ IMC has also given an extra boost to their well-known international customer service by adding a digital ‘just-in-time’ ordering facility for Group’s Hanwell, IceSpy and ShockWatch and IMC brand products. Customers are now able to browse, select, order and pay for a vast range of
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Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
environmental monitoring products 24/7 with ultra-fast delivery when requested. Anything from a box of Impact Indicators to temperature and humidity Data Loggers are now only the click of a mouse away! IMC has a worldwide reputation for providing the heritage, healthcare, industrial and food sectors with intelligent monitoring and control solutions via tailored technology brands Hanwell, IceSpy, ShockWatch and IMC that deliver vital data, ranging from environmental parameters such as temperature and humidity through to the condition of goods and infrastructure during operation, storage and transportation. “The new digital ordering portal has opened up new opportunities for customers to explore our products,” said Managing Director Ian Robinson, “and given an extra boost to our sales. Our products and solutions surpass the strict regulations enforced upon many industries and are supported by our global dealer network.” For more information, visit www.the-imcgroup.com/shop/
Goodlight T8 LED tubes payback in 8-months for Quorn Foods
ED Eco Lights today announced that Quorn Foods, a leader in meat alternative produce, has replaced the fluorescent tubes at its 13,000 sq. ft. Stokesley, North Yorkshire manufacturing site with high-performance, energy efficient T8 LED tubes from the Goodlight™ range. Quorn Foods achieved a payback on the installation of the Goodlight T8 LED tubes in just eight months, significantly reducing their carbon footprint. The Stokesley site is its principal manufacturing site with six hundred staff operating four production lines that create Quorn’s well known range of healthy meat free foods. Commenting, Derek Passmore, Electrical Engineer at Quorn said, “Goodlight gave us a four-fold advantage. We’ve reduced our costs, reduced our carbon footprint, reduced the maintenance workload and improved the working environment for our staff. It’s rare to make everyone happy, but replacing fluorescent tubes with Goodlight LED light fittings has pleased management, staff and made our lives easier. It was also quick, easy and economic.” Goodlight T8 tubes draw just 22W, giving Quorn Foods a direct energy saving of 60% compared to the 55W fluorescent tubes that they replaced. On top of this, Quorn achieved significant additional energy savings from the reduction in the load on the air conditioning systems. As a food manufacturing site, Quorn Foods needs to maintain the temperature on the production floor at a consistent 10 degrees C. Even when the outside temperature is below this figure, the heat generated by the machinery and the lighting means that air-conditioning is required. For Quorn Foods management, the environmental impact matters as much as the economics. Quorn believes its meat alternative food products improve the health of both its customers and the planet, and it was the first global meat alternative brand to achieve third party certification of its carbon footprint figures. The reduction in carbon footprint delivered by the Goodlight T8 LED tubes was therefore extremely attractive.
Installing the Goodlight LED tubes was simplicity itself, according to Derek Passmore. “The Goodlight tubes were an exact replacement for the fluorescent lights that we took out. We were fitting about ten an hour. In a food production environment, getting access to replace failed tubes is always awkward, but the Goodlight tubes are guaranteed for five years and rated at 50,000 hours, so we won’t need to look at them again for a long time. We will also no longer need to replace the diffusers. In the past, these have gradually deteriorated, become brittle and broken due to the exposure to heat from the lights – but with the efficient Goodlight LED tubes this should no longer be an issue.” Quorn Foods selected the daylight colour temperature, and were delighted with the improvement in the ambiance on the production floor. Derek Passmore concluded, “Goodlight T8 LED tubes give
a much cleaner, whiter light than the fluorescent tubes that they replaced. Our staff really appreciate the improvement in their working environment. For example, it is much easier now to assess the colour of food samples. The fact that Goodlight LED tubes are glass-free is an added advantage.” LED Eco Lights Goodlight T8 tubes are a direct replacement for standard T8 fluorescent tubes, and are available in daylight, natural and warm white colour temperatures. They feature rotatable pins for precise focussed lighting, and are available with frosted or clear polycarbonate diffusers. Goodlight LED T8 tube lamps are available in emergency versions for use with battery back-up and are fully dimmable. www.ledecolights.com
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
HAGER SURVEY ILLUMINATES WAY FORWARD FOR LIGHTING CONTROLS MARKET
ommissioning ease, system usability, energy efficiency and the growing influence of ‘Internet of Things’ to help connectivity, are cited as the primary drivers across the industry A survey of electrical industry professionals by Hager, in conjunction with Electrical Review, looking at issues driving the lighting control market has revealed a number of key findings. These include: • The growing importance of system usability and ease of operation when it comes to demonstrating product solutions to clients.
The influence of interface design and easier commissioning as important factors when it comes to system specification. • The need for consultants and clients to work closer together on system design at an earlier stage of the specification process. Opinion was also sought around what the industry thought to be the most important factors for a client looking to commission a lighting project. These were highlighted as the length of time it took for a project to complete and the cost of skilled labour. Government initiatives in support of improved energy efficiency performance and the impact of BREEAM (a world leading sustainability assessment method) were also cited as important factors, though there were low levels of awareness associated with other schemes such as EPBD (Energy Performance of Building Directive) and ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme). A supplier’s sustainability policy was also placed down the list of priorities when clients looked to select a partner on projects. Finally, ‘The Internet of Things’ was highlighted as a key driver for future industry and product development. While
Survey reveals key influencers for lighting control market connectivity and data access solutions are set to play increasingly influential roles to help optimise system performance, according to respondents. Ian Smith, Marketing Manager for Hager comments: “This survey of electrical contractors and engineers, thanks to the help of Electrical Review, provided some interesting pointers for how they see both the current and future outlook for the sector. With commissioning of lighting now an integral part of requirements for new buildings and major refurbishments, it was perhaps no surprise to see this cited as an important aspect when it comes to fully realising the potential of any lighting system. “However, looking ahead the growing influence of connectivity and data management is also beginning to find real traction and will affect all parts of the supply chain from installers and design consultants through to system solution manufacturers.”
Easydis makes new LED lighting 45% more energy efficient with Nedap light management
asydis, French retail organisation Casino’s logistics subsidiary, deploys Nedap’s IoT light management platform to make new LED lighting even more economical and more sustainable. Using Nedap light management, the energy consumption of the lighting at the Easydis location in Reventin-Vaugris, France, has been reduced by 45%. The Nedap light management system provides wireless, demand-driven control of the lighting, so luminaires are only lit when and where needed, without unnecessary waste of energy.
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Future-proof lighting system Using the new intelligent lighting system, Easydis has taken a big step in the implementation of their sustainability strategy. Because the system provides continuous insight into the actual consumption costs, new and improved cost-saving strategies can be deployed. Moreover, maintenance costs can be demonstrably reduced.
AURA LIGHT INTRODUCES EASY-UPGRADE LED TUBES
ura Light has introduced a new energy-efficient, easy-install LED light source to replace traditional fluorescent tubes. The OptiT8 is one of the latest additions to Aura Lightâ€™s diverse range of products that offer excellent light quality and significant energy savings. Designed to be a quick solution to reduce costs of existing luminaire installations, the OptiT8 is a retrofit solution to replace T8 fluorescent tubes operated by magnetic ballasts. This allows facility managers to safely upgrade the existing lighting scheme to LED technology with minimal effort and no expensive installation costs. With a high output of 4000 lumens and efficacy of up to 160 lumens per watt, Aura Light has designed the OptiT8 to deliver a high quality of light to improve the light levels within the room. It is also a particularly versatile option and can be used for applications in offices, supermarkets, retail, signs and cold
refrigerated areas, or anywhere where fluorescent lighting is currently being used. With excellent thermal and electrical design features, all applications will benefit from a full 50,000 hour system lifetime, supported by a five year guarantee, which eliminates all frequent maintenance or replacement costs. The tubes are also equipped with 90Â° rotatable end caps so users can fine-tune the direction of light once it is installed. Aura Light has used the latest LED technology to ensure the OptiT8 achieves its maximum performance and capabilities. The tube incorporates a reliable LED engine which helps to promote the long life as well as an integrated driver and heat sink which help to maintain the quality of light throughout the lifetime.
The OptiT8 tubes are available in 1200mm and 1500mm lengths and a range of colour temperatures, including 3000K, 4100K and 5000K with a CRI of more than 80. This range of colour temperatures allows users to match their new light source to the desired appearance, including matching the same colour temperature as the previous fluorescent tubes whilst generating significant energy savings. Further information is available from Aura Light on 01952 250800 by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting www.aura-light.co.uk
Solar-powered PC unveiledat eco-friendly Merseyside school
school in Merseyside has unveiled a new solar-powered PC, courtesy of an award winning North West technology firm. Extreme Low Energy (ELe), based in Formby, completed the installation at St
Elizabeth’s RC Primary in Litherland ahead of an event this week hosted by the school’s Eco Council. The Eco Council is made up of pupils at St Elizabeth’s and they meet to discuss how they can be greener and save energy in the school. In partnership with Barden Energy, ELe has provided the school with an Intel Celeron mini PC, a 19in LED monitor, keyboard and mouse along with the mini-solar panel which powers the technology. Caroline Clayton, operations director for ELe, said: “ELe first heard about the school’s Eco Council last autumn and wrote to them to say how fantastic we thought their projects like cycling to school and recycling waste were.
“With help from Barden Energy we were able to supply a PC and the solar panel which will allow the students to harness the sun’s energy and power the computer. “It was great to see the faces of the children and parents as the machine was turned on for the first time, powered only by the sun’s energy.” St Elizabeth’s is the first solar-powered PC ELe has fitted, although the company is in talks to potentially install many more in schools both here and in developing countries. For more information visit the website: www.extremelowenergy.com
One fifth of local authorities look to invest in solar, but cite lack of Government incentives as the main barrier
lthough demand is high, local authorities across the UK are having their hands tied by reduced government incentives, a Freedom of Information request from the electronic and solar specialist, LG Electronics has revealed. This is against a backdrop of slowing growth in solar deployment across the UK, despite the cost of solar panels dropping to an all-time low. According to government figures*, solar installation growth has reduced from 43% in 2015 to 21% in 2016. Nearly half (47%) of local authorities said that reduced government incentives over the last few years has been the main barrier to solar investment. The next most citied reason was the lack of capital to front investment (23%), followed by a lack of internal stakeholder buy in (6%). Looking ahead, a concerning majority (71%) of local authorities have no strategy or plan towards solar investment whatsoever. These councils do not have solar technology incorporated within their current environmental strategy and have no specific targets or direction towards to a solar deployment.
Additionally, most local authorities (70%) have no plans to add to their solar capacity for the next five years. In the next six months, only 19% of local authorities plan to invest, while 76% are not investing in solar. Demand for solar power is clear, with 84% of local authorities owning solar panels. However, the research shows that government cuts have had a severe and long-lasting impact on the future deployment of solar power across the public sector. Several local authorities, including Swindon, Cambridge, Barnsley and Hounslow have proved solar projects can be successful. In 2016, Hounslow Council completed a solar installation project on the roof of Western International Market - in the first year alone, the project is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 50% and earning the council £255,000 each year. Bob Mills, UK Senior Sales Manager, LG Electronics said, “Local solar projects have been remarkably successful – saving money and benefitting the wider community. In today’s energy market, a 14% commercial return on solar technology is consistently met and therefore represents a no-brainer
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
for public sector decision-makers. These projects can also set the wheels in motion for future investment in renewables and renewable technology. To find out that lack of government support is the main barrier to further investment, is deeply saddening. Our research has revealed that the Government’s policy towards solar is ineffective and in some cases, completely non-existent. Until there is a clarity on solar strategy, we will continue to see public money wasted on out-dated and overpriced energy projects.” Charles Pipe, Energy Manager at London Borough of Hounslow stated, “While the Government’s dramatic cuts will impact solar deployment, there are still options available to local authorities. All energy installations must meet specific criteria and have as close to a seven-year payback as possible. Solar can meet this and more – offering immediate savings and the potential for more in the future. For our project at Hounslow, we expect to make several million in the next 20 years. It can and does work, councils simply need to understand that solar investment is no longer a risk.” *National Statistics ‘Solar photovoltaics deployment’ report
Boilers & Burners
Top Tips for Local Authorities Considering Boiler Hire
ith tight budgets and a fluctuating demand for heating and hot water throughout the year, local authority premises such as schools, libraries and social housing, can save a significant amount of
energy and money by considering hiring heating equipment. While some local authorities install oversized heating systems to cope with peaks in demand throughout the year, others may have an older and unreliable heating system which is unable to cope. However, there
Balancing the books Hiring equipment means its associated costs can be kept off the balance sheet as the equipment doesn’t technically belong to the local authority. This can go a long way to finding a fast solution, especially when budgets are tight. Hiring equipment avoids capital expenditure which is an attractive option for businesses lacking the funds for large upfront costs of equipment. What’s more, hire packages tend to cover the cost of maintenance and repairs (in most circumstances), ensuring money is saved and freed up to spend elsewhere.
Planned maintenance A hire solution is ideal for back-up cover when planned maintenance is taking place, such as in school holidays, and will provide peace of mind that normal operating conditions will be maintained while work is scheduled for existing equipment.
Contingency planning for emergency breakdown situations You never know when an emergency may strike or what type of incident it may be. Being prepared is therefore very important and knowing the key contacts for hire solutions to meet heating and cooling needs should be an important component of a contingency plan for local authority sites.
are efficient and affordable ways to tackle the problems. Russ Baker, UK Sales Director of the hire division at ICS Cool Energy, outlines five key tips for local authorities considering boiler hire as an alternative to an upfront purchase.
Changes in demand Whether it’s the changing of the seasons, fluctuating occupancy levels or additional demand for events such as hosting a sporting competition at a leisure centre, the need for heating and hot water in local authority buildings changes throughout the year. A hire solution can be installed to boost an existing heating system to ensure that any increase in demand is met, and the equipment can then be removed when it is no longer required. This can be arranged on a planned or emergency basis, with the equipment sized depending on the individual need.
Sustainable solutions Maintaining consistent conditions in an efficient way is fast becoming a key priority for local authority buildings such as schools, as well as any facility which is coming under pressure to meet strict energy efficiency targets. Hire equipment tends to be the most efficient technology available, especially when compared with pre-existing and sometimes outdated installations, and is regularly maintained to ensure it is running at optimum performance. With one contact for the supply and maintenance of temperature control, it is possible to source equipment that can cope with peaks in demand as well as the troughs. Whether on a planned or emergency basis, hire should be seriously considered by local authorities.
For more information about ICS Cool Energy, please visit www.icscoolenergy.com
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
is water supply procurement within your remit? With the English Water Retail Market now open for business you may switch water supplier and negotiate better rates for your water supply going forwards
f your business is a large water user and therefore your annual water spend is substantial the deals within the first 3 years of market opening will be in low single digits. Large water uses will fall in many categories for example, Leisure Parks, Hotels, Leisure Clubs, Manufacture and production facilities, Hospitals, Universities these sites use anything from 30,000 cubic metres. Which ever way you look at it single digit discounts are of little significant value and for the first 3 years of the UK water market opening the discount will not make any real tangible difference. Forgetting of course any so called added value services which the regulated water companies will bundle in such as water efficiency consultancy in an effort to encourage you to switch and distract you from the low discount offers, their hands are well and truly tied until at least the next OFWAT price review in 3 years time. So what do you do? Take the best deal on offer? Sit and wait for 3 years and meanwhile continue to pay a high price for your water. Paying for a large costly creaking water supply infrastructure, leaking millions of a valuable resource into the ground on a daily basis, water that travels miles through old copper, lead and iron pipes, its a very costly operation.
There is another way!
A more environmentally friendly way, no leaking pipes along the way to your site, water that only travels a few metres in most cases and is a minimum of 25% less cost than the existing regulated water companies can supply you and that’s just for starters.
The Alternative Water Company www.thealternativewatercompany.co.uk was set up to initially supply large water users providing a national water supply service at 25% less than your incumbent water company – yes you read it correctly 25% less!
Where does the water come from? Exactly the same place as the water companies get it, below ground from stores called aquifers.
What are aquifers? Rain falls onto the ground and is gradually absorbed by porous underground rocks such as chalk, limestone and sandstone. Once the water us stored within these sponge like rocks the water can move through pore spaces towards springs, rivers or to the sea or it can be pumped to the surface by drilling boreholes into the aquifers and effectively abstracting the water. So you see the majority of the time the water The Alternative Water Company supply is from the same source, accept its 25% – 30% less cost. A few facts for you to consider.
What is water like straight from an aquifer?
When the rain falls on the land it soaks through travelling through rock formations deep below the surface and filters to a very high standard naturally and most of the time water from these naturally purified sources can be consumed immediately
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
without any chemical additives.
Why is this water so clean? Three reasons, all life requires light, oxygen and warmth, deep underground there si no light and with an average temperature of 6 degrees and very little oxygen leads to pure natural water.
Why consider an alternative water supply ? • • •
Costs far less than your existing water supplier. More environmentally friendly. Most of the time chemical free, no additives such as chlorine, fluorosilicate acid, aluminium sulphate, calcium hydroxide, sodium silicofluoride.
Now consider switching water supplier to The Alternative Water Company – What is the process ?
Scan and email copies of your last 12 months water bills to email@example.com, shortly after receipt you will receive contact from The Alternative Water Company team. A desktop feasibility study will be completed and a preliminary water supply offer will be sent to your for your consideration. So when you are considering switching water supply consider an alternative email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01924 387 874
Reducing water and waste water costs “It’s simple when you have the knowledge”
Water Strategy Water Audit Water Procurement
Centralise billing data Compile a water and waste water database Clean data base Complete a water audit by identifying any historical water company overcharging and undercharging Identify and implement “low hanging fruit” – fixed and none variable charges Water management – Drive down water consumption, benchmark sites, compile high users list Complete site surveys where applicable, compile written report containing recommendations for reducing water costs Implementation of recommendations The Scottish and English water retail markets - procurement of Scottish and English water supply contracts Future water strategy – ongoing monitoring and water bill validation
Tel: 01924 387 873
New paper released: What happens when our taps run dry?
n the developed world, expectation is nothing less than a right. We open the tap, and we expect clean drinking water to flow. We switch on the lights, and bulbs must illuminate. We swim in waterways that must be safe and free from bacteria. Many resources that are critical for life are taken for granted with little regard as to how the water came to be in the tap or how the power got to the bulb. But beneath the surface hundreds of thousands of kilometres of pipes and wires, connected by a myriad of pumps and valves make our cities habitable. Demand on these systems is rising ever higher. Communities typically give little consideration to much of this critical infrastructure until it is no longer available. This occurred to 1.7 million residents of South Australia on the evening of 29 September 2016 (ABC 2016), when severe storms toppled power transmission towers and left their state in blackout. The resource supply systems supplying our cities are currently pressed from numerous sides. Many cities are facing the possibility that their infrastructure will run close to breaking point unless a shift in thinking is embraced. The confluence of urbanisation coupled with climate change, all superimposed on infrastructure that is decades old, is demanding new thinking. The sustainable water activist website, Growing Blue, puts it like this: “Water is critical to future growth. But it can also become the major limiting factor to growth. For instance, businesses in water-scarce areas are already at risk, and so investors are increasingly taking water supply into consideration during their decision-making processes. Given today’s approach to water management, there is only so much growth that can be sustained. Gains in efficiency and productivity in water management and utilisation can reduce these risks and enable higher levels of sustainable growth, but how much higher? How far-reaching do those gains have to be?” (GrowingBlue 2011) Ongoing demands for upkeep and expansion are expensive. As urbanisation increases in the coming 20 years, a relevant question is how can governments and water authorities manage the
Digital technology allows us to step back and ‘smart up’ around the current cycle of water consumption and wastage
compounding pressures on limited resources, coupled with the adverse effects of climate change? About 40% of the world’s population currently lives in water-stressed areas (GrowingBlue 2011). With three billion more people added to the planet by 2050 (United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2015), water scarcity will soon become a matter of life or death (India 24X7 2016). Ongoing demands for upkeep and expansion have an eye watering price tag. Water infrastructure is a multibillion-dollar asset that, if we were currently to overhaul and redo, would likely drain an entire city budget. Sydney alone will spend $2.2 billion on water infrastructure in the next four years. As the tidal wave of urbanisation increases in the coming 20 years, how can Governments and water authorities manage the compounding pressures on limited resources, coupled with the adverse effects of climate change? The public purse and taxpayer pool will have to somehow satisfy the living standards and expectations to which communities have become accustomed. Water cannot be seen as an isolated utility, but an integrated variable in the quest to solve societies’ major problems. The world of water in a decade’s time will see people expect exactly the same level of service (if not better), yet the problem will have grown in complexity. More pipelines are only a part solution. It’s a paradigm shift that’s called for: the utility authorities will need to change people’s behaviour through better digital interaction with water. If we fail to address the social mindsets driving city planning up until now, our problems will only get worse. But if we can use the digital world to sidestep this static analogue problem, we can turn crisis into opportunity. Digital technology allows us to step back and ‘smart up’ around the current cycle of water consumption and wastage. We can begin to see the grim reality of limited supply as the ‘dark room’ of innovation, whereby bold new ideas can be born to secure societal welfare in future uncertain times.
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
Method: Moving from point a to point b Up until now, we have lived in an analogue-based society. Our infrastructure is essentially ‘dumb’, marked by physical variables that function independently of one another. But as digitalisation and mobile technology continue to evolve at pace, the systems and spaces we inhabit will begin to catch up. Autonomous vehicles represent 1%of the automotive market worldwide today, but autonomous vehicles will secure a 35% advantage by 2040, and that will continue to rise (McDonnell 2016). Equally, the flow of water through a city’s network of steel and copper waterways will someday be analysed and controlled by smart grids. Our analogue world will become digitised. Current ‘unintelligent’ analogue systems must be progressively transformed in order to change user behaviours through their enhanced interaction with the resource they are consuming. Real-time predictive analytics can draw the best out of our limited water supply by offering simple, intuitive, and meaningful insight into unique infrastructure. This, in turn, can be transferred into optimal and cost-effective management strategies that keep the water cycles healthy.
Getting one step ahead Installing predictive maintenance applications also offers a possible solution. While the demand for freshwater is increasing by 64 billion cubic metres annually, the U.S. alone loses 2.1 trillion gallons of treated water every year due to pipe breaks, leakages and mismanagement. This economic loss amounts to trillions, with a consequential impact on food prices, health and sanitation. Connecting these assets into a realtime monitoring network would reduce the time it takes to discover and solve problems that historically appear only when a leak is
Water Management physically identified. Data can be applied to motivate preventative maintenance and mitigated risk into the future. Smart meters, high-tech leak detection devices and water data software are starting to offer sophisticated and granular information on how to maximise profit, impact and environmental sustainability within water management and distribution systems (GE Water & Process Technologies 2016). Imagine H2O’s annual global Water Data Challenge (Furlong 2016) sees promising startups that deliver water focused data and analytics solutions compete for $50,000 in cash awards. “It will be impossible to tackle the global water challenge without basic data about our water resources,” said Tom Ferguson, VP of Programming for Imagine H2O. “These companies address some of the most pressing data problems in water, from utility process control to high accuracy weather forecasting.” (Furlong 2016, para. 2) He went on to comment about this year’s challenge: “A lack of actionable data poses significant challenges to businesses, landowners and governments managing water resources globally. Entrepreneurs responding to this problem are applying advancements in sensors, artificial intelligence, enterprise software and other IT applications to the water sector.” (Ferguson 2017, para. 2) The 2016 finalists provide an incredible demonstration of the power of water data to change how we manage this resource now and into the future. Here is what each is doing in this space: ANDalyze, an Illinois-based company that produces water contamination testing products that use catalytic DNA technologies to detect and quantify chemical levels. APANA, which is developing a water efficiency solution with analytics and reporting functionality to help businesses save money by saving water, reducing compliance risk, and strengthening operational sustainability. Ayyeka, a startup based in Israel that offers “plug-and-play” water, wastewater, and environmental kits for the management and cyber-secure protection of infrastructure and resources. Ceres Imaging, a startup currently operating in California and Australia that is offering end-to-end capture, processing, and delivery of high-resolution spectral imagery to help growers make important resource allocation decisions by demonstrating plant health without selling them hardware. FarmX, which monitors soil, plant and environmental variables using its FarmMap Soil Probe and provides real-time
analytics and precise recommendations to increase productivity and reduce costs by leveraging multiple data sources and the use of advanced machine learning processes. FLUID, which is developing a water meter and corresponding app that helps people identify their water consumption levels, progress toward reduction goals, and detect leaks. Ignitia, a Swedish startup working in Ghana and elsewhere in West Africa to deliver the most accurate forecasting technology for tropical weather, which can increase farm income by up to 80 percent. Mapistry, a company offering a comprehensive environmental compliance platform for enterprises and facilities, including a centralized dashboard, State-specific forms, automatically configured notifications, and other features. NJBSoft, an Arizona-based company offering regulatory compliance software tools and needs-specific software development, customization, integration, training and implementation services for civil and environmental engineering activities. Sourcewater, which is building an online marketplace where energy operators, service companies, and landowners can buy, sell, recycle, treat, and dispose of water. Water authorities that adopt programs of retrofitting these technologies on to their existing networks will gain the benefit of future-readying their infrastructure in the face of ever increasing demand.
managing issues as complex as water resources, tomorrow’s challenges are already at our door. Only by changing today’s approach to future water management and water productivity (economic output per drop) can we ensure a prosperous future.” (GrowingBlue 2011) We need to harness the power of technology like never before if we want to outwit ever increasing demands. www.aurecongroup.com
Acknowledgement is given to John McGuire, Chief Innovation Officer at Aurecon, for his inputs into the thinking that went into this paper.
Results and Discussion: Contextualising the issue An incremental approach to problem solving is no longer viable within the context of our interconnected digital world. The water networks needs to be designed and planned under the bigger theme of climate change and urbanisation. A drying climate and increasing demand from population increase will not ultimately be solved by throwing water solutions at them. If we are to ensure waters sufficient supply into the future, we have to adopt new ways of designing, using data and adopting digitised solutions to existing networks to manage the network intelligently. Smart cities are the only solutions to buffer the oncoming high tide of overpopulation.
Conclusion: The sustainable water activist website, Growing Blue, makes a compelling point: “Given today’s accelerated pace of human development and the slow pace of
Airoldi, M, Biscarini, L & Saracino, V 2010, ‘The Global Infrastructure Challenge’, BCG Perspective, viewed 15 Jan 2017 www.bcgperspectives.com/content/articles/ engineered_product_project_business_public_sector_ global_infrastructure_challenge/?chapter=2 Bruce-Lockhart, A 2015, ‘Which are the world’s most crowded cities?’ World Economic Forum, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017,www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/which-arethe-worlds-most-crowded-cities/ Ferguson, T 2017 ‘IH2O Accelerator Announced’, Imagine H2O, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.imagineh2o.org/ blog-1/2017/1/9/2017-ih2o-accelerator-announced Furlong, H 2016, ‘10 Startups Selected as Water Data Challenge Finalists’, Sustainable Brands The Bridge to Better Brands, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/startups/ hannah_furlong/10_startups_selected_water_data_ challenge_finalists GE Water & Process Technologies 2016, ‘Building a sustainable water future’, GE Power, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.gewater.com/emerging-trends/digital-water ‘Human Population: Urbanization’ Human Population Bureau, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.prb.org/Publications/ Lesson-Plans/HumanPopulation/Urbanization.aspx India 24X7 2016, Matter of Life and Death: Water Scarcity, online video, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1UeAlSdaO0 McDonnell, T 2016, ‘The Bright Future Ahead for Electric Vehicles, in 4 Charts’, Mother Jones, viewed date month year,www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2016/02/ electric-vehicles-oil-prices ‘New “hottest year” global warming data reinforces the need for a shift to net zero emissions’ 2017, The Climate Institute, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.climateinstitute.org.au/articles/new-hottest-yearglobal-warming-data-reinforces-the-need-for-a-shift-tonet-zero-emissions.html/section/397 ‘SA weather: Power outages hit as storms sweep across state’ 2016, ABC, September 9, viewed 15 Jan 2017, www. abc.net.au/news/2016-09-29/adelaide-residents-warned-togo-home-ahead-of-bad-weather/7888826 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 2015, ‘World population projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050’, United Nations, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/ 2015-report.html Water in 2050 2011, GrowingBlue Water. Economics. Life, viewed viewed 15 Jan 2017, http://growingblue.com/ water-in-2050/
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
The MEES guidelines are finally out and it was well worth the wait
n 23rd February 2017 the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published the guidance for landlords and enforcement authorities on the minimum level of energy efficiency required to let non-domestic property under the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015. This long awaited guidance details the requirements against which compliance of the minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) will be measured and gives clarity to the numerous unanswered questions many have been asking since the legislation was passed two years ago. The Energy Efficiency Regulations aim to tackle the least energy efficient properties in England and Wales – those rated F or G on Energy Performance Certificates (EPC). The Regulations establish a minimum standard of an E rating for both domestic and non-domestic privately rented property. By increasing the energy efficiency of non-domestic stock, the Government aims to increase energy security whilst the demand for energy efficiency measures is expected to support growth and jobs within the green construction industry and the wider supply chain for energy efficiency products. The guidance document has seen several drafts before the final document was published. There has been a great deal of discussion around the interpretation of the requirements of the regulations taking into account the cosmic array of scenarios under which a property can be leased. It is great to see that many of the situations that were put forward as potential lettings have been addressed.
Some key areas that have been the topic of much debate and are now included in the guidance as a direct result of industry feedback are as follows: • EPC Requirements – Where a building is required to have an EPC due to a sale, letting or modification the landlord will be subject to non-compliance penalties for not registering a valid EPC. Where a building is exempt from requiring an EPC, or the need for a new EPC has not been triggered, the building will not be subject to the minimum standards. There is no requirement to obtain an EPC to comply with MEES. • Multiple EPCs for Buildings and Demised Spaces – With regard to multi-let properties, there are many situations where EPCs are registered and valid for both the entire building and demised spaces within a building. In such circumstances, the EPC for the demised space will be the relevant one. Where there is an EPC for the whole building only and the demised space does not require an individual EPC, the certificate for the whole building will be the relevant one. • Listed Building Requirements – It is a popular misconception that all listed buildings do not require an EPC. This is only the case where the character or appearance of the property would be altered by compliance with the energy performance requirements; for example replacement glazing or solar panel installations. It is for the owner of such a property to seek appropriate advice on the requirement for an EPC for the building. • Responsibilities of Landlords and Superior Landlords – It is clear that anyone who lets a building or part of a building on a qualifying lease must comply. There will therefore be occasions where tenants are also landlords. In addition public bodies and local authorities acting as landlords will also be responsible for compliance. • Green Deal Availability – There is minimal reference to the Green Deal in the guidance documentation. However, there is clarification that as the Green Deal funding was never
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
extended to commercial property sector, it is not applicable to comply at this time. • Lease Exclusions – The guidance is clear that leases are exempt if granted for six months or less where the tenant has not been in situ for twelve months or more and there is no provision for renewal beyond six months. In addition leases granted for a term certain of 99 years or more are also exempt. • Validity of EPCs – Where there is no requirement to renew the EPC and the EPC expires during the tenancy, the property will not be required to comply with MEES. This will become of particular interest in 2023 as, if the EPC has expired and there is no legal trigger to renew it, the requirement to comply with the minimum standards will not be applicable as the regulations state that compliance is required where there is a valid EPC in place. The PRS Exemption Register will open on 1st April 2017 and will be available online for public viewing with non-compliance also being published through the platform. Melanie Kendall-Reid, Compliance Director at Carbon2018 commented: “We have facilitated numerous debates with our real estate clients on the requirements of MEES, questioning the areas which lack clarity and challenging requirements that were impractical to comply with or enforce. We provided the Government with evidence-based feedback with practical scenarios and case studies to reinforce the messages. It is really positive to see the Government have listened to the feedback. The result is a guidance document which is not only extensive in its explanations, but also offers landlords the precision to effectively make decisions relating to the development of buildings and future proof the value of their assets.” The publication of the guidance is welcomed at this time as it enables landlords to take action now to ensure compliance or register any exemptions by the 2018 deadline. www.carbon2018.com
Maximising solar returns for social housing • •
n pursuing their efforts to address fuel poverty, many social housing landlords face some unique challenges in tackling the pressures to keep rental and energy costs as low as possible while complying with increasingly stringent energy efficiency standards. Stirling Council is a case in point. Scotland has introduced higher energy efficiency standards – the Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH), to which social landlords must comply by 2020. “Solar PV is the only viable technology that will get us over the pass mark,” said Gregor Wightman, Property & Private Sector Housing Manager at Stirling Council. “Our aim is to roll out solar PV to as many properties as possible – although we are limited by the challenges we face mixed tenure tenements and stock located within Conservation Areas.” Stirling has already installed over 1,500 systems, giving it a portfolio of almost 4.8 MW to manage. The council is planning to install PV to another 2,000 of its properties, funding the project by supplementing its Solar PV Capital Investment budget with the feed-in tariff (FIT) payments it receives. Residents who have solar arrays on their properties save around £270 per year with solar switch devices being installed in off-gas areas and battery storage being trialled in a number of properties.
Minimising downtime Stirling Council launched its solar programme in 2012, and was clear at the outset that it would need to implement remote monitoring to maximise returns and minimise maintenance costs. It is crucial that the solar arrays work at peak efficiency to recoup the council’s expenditure. From the outset of the solar PV programme, its appointed contractor at the time recommended PassivSystems’ products and services, and Stirling has used its smart meters and associated services on all installations since then. “We depend on the PassivPro service to alert us to when a PV array goes offline so
PassivPro solar monitoring platform minimises downtime to boost yields by 5% Metering helps tenants maximise self-consumption to reduce bills that we can fix problems with a minimum of downtime. Using its automated metering facility removes the cost of having to send staff to each property every three months to get a meter reading,” continued Gregor. “We also depend on the automated weekly reports we generate to verify that individual systems are performing to our expectations and with the use of PassivPro Dual Element Generation Meters, we can also remotely monitor the self-consumption rates in each property.” As a result of using automated monitoring, Stirling Council now includes response times in the service levels it agrees with its O&M partners.
Advanced metering PassivSystems offers Stirling a choice of meters, with its latest dual element meter able to measure the power generated and how much energy is exported and calculate on-site consumption. Using the dual element meter – predominantly on its new properties, allows Stirling to provide feedback to their tenants about self-consumption levels and can aim to maximise their benefit from the free solar power they receive. Because of the wiring implications, Stirling can’t physically fit the dual element meters to some of its older properties – there simply isn’t enough wiring room within the distribution board. “As a social housing provider we’re more accountable than private housing developers,” stated Gregor. “Having accurate information from the smart meters enables us to report back to our tenants and explain how they are benefiting from our solar investment – that’s a significant benefit to us.”
FIT Automation Services Stirling Council has also benefitted from the Feed-in-Tariff automation services delivered by PassivSystems and sister company and FIT Licensee, arto.energy Limited. The benefits of the service were clear from the beginning to Stirling Council. It enables both a simplified cloud-based registration process for new solar PV installations and fully automated quarterly FIT meter read submissions for their entire portfolio. The results – a significant reduction in workload by alleviating the administration of
Energy Manager Magazine • March 2017
managing FIT claims and registering new systems have been quite tangible. Managing multiple FIT licensees, read submission dates, read failure resolution and financial reconciliations was taking a significant amount of time and resource each month; switching to arto.energy has almost eliminated this burden. The system ensures that copies of all documentation for new registrations are stored securely and are verified. Furthermore, meter reads are submitted completely automatically without the need for intervention from the council each quarter. Potential failed reads are communicated to the council for remedial works. This ensures that at the end of each quarterly levelisation period, the maximum FIT revenue can be claimed.
Measurable results Solar PV incorporates inherently reliable technology – systems rarely break down. Where automated monitoring really helps is in identifying issues brought about by tenants. Common faults include tenants letting their pre-payment meters run out, or not re-setting trip switches after a circuit fault, or sometimes turning off the isolator switch in error. “As a result of using PassivSystems’ platform we’re probably getting another 5% out of our whole portfolio,” claimed Gregor. “That’s a financial benefit on top of the cost savings we get from automating the meter reading and streamlining the FIT process.” “We’re very happy with what PassivSystems gives us. As well as providing good products, it also offers excellent technical support. We can pick up the phone and immediately talk to an expert who will be fully up to speed with the product. PassivSystems also understands the commercial pressures that we work to and have come up with a volume-based business model that suits our needs.” “PassivSystems is constantly developing the product to improve its feature set – and it has shown that it clearly understands the unique challenges we face as a social landlord. Investing in these technologies and services is essential if we are to get the best out of our microgeneration portfolio. It also gives us a platform to develop new approaches in the future. For example, going to market with a power-purchase agreement model where we forego the diminishing FIT and instead sell power back to the grid on the open market.”
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