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This is Energy Helpout

Damian (00:05):

I am Damian Burton from Tricarbon, and this is Amaad Ahmed, from Encope, and we are here in Spaces, in central Manchester today. And we are here for the first ever Energy HelpOut video blog. Energy HelpOut is going to be for anyone who is involved in energy in their organization, and involved in managing it, and figuring out ways how they can use their curiosity to find out reductions in energy and carbon. So Amaad tell us a bit more about what we’re going to be doing with Energy HelpOut.

Amaad (00:36):

So the intention of Energy HelpOut is a casual conversation between any energy manager such as us, but also the intention is to include energy end-users. So some of the clients that we’ve got, and also some suppliers, if they want to showcase any of their technologies, highlight energy efficiency technologies, or renewable energy technologies. We’re looking to speak with them as well. Essentially it’s just to shine a spotlight on things that we’ve seen, we’ve come across, we want to point out, and that’s essentially it really.

Damian (01:17):

So for this first Energy HelpOut, we’ve decided to look at ESOS. ESOS phase 2 is just finished. And there are a lot of businesses out there who’ve been through it, and have a lot of lovely shiny audit reports sitting on their shelves in the office of the minute, with a lot of recommendations in there about what they can do to save energy. And one of the pieces of feedback we both get, is that they don’t really know what to do with it next. So we decided to let this first video be focused on ESOS.

Amaad (01:47):

So like you said, people have got the ESOS report sitting on their shelves now, or in their drawers. One of the things people can do, is look at the no cost and the low cost opportunities first. These are essentially the low hanging fruit of the business, not a lot of capital investment would be required, and there could be significant energy savings to be had. And on the back of those energy savings, business cases can then be built up to implement larger energy saving projects. So I think both of us felt the metering, monitoring and targeting was lacking in a lot of-

Damian (02:25):

It was woeful in some places.

Amaad (02:27):

Organizations and in general, metering is a low cost opportunity. There’s not a lot of capital investment required to undertake regular monitoring and targeting.

Amaad (02:39):

So what have you found in terms of metering?

Damian (02:42):

I just think if there were businesses with a million pound electricity bill, and they had one meter for the entire place and they go in 12 monthly invoices throughout the year, you can’t manage an energy spend in that way. Energy’s not a fixed overhead. So you need to monitor it to understand it, what gets measured gets managed, as they say.

Amaad (03:06):


Damian (03:06):

If you don’t do it, it’s going to stay the same. Energy prices are only going to go one way. So you need to start tackling it.

Amaad (03:13):

So just to pick your brains a little bit then. In that scenario, where there is one fiscal meter, what can such a company do to, in the low cost way, to improve their monitoring?

Damian (03:24):

Okay, well one thing they could do is, if you’re spending a million quid, or even if you spending a fraction of that amount of money, the chances are if you’re a moderate sized business, you can be on a half hourly meter, which means that your electricity consumption is measured every half hour, across a 24 hour period throughout the year.

Damian (03:42):

So that means that you can find out what’s going on in the evenings and weekends where you work.

Amaad (03:50):

Yeah, you can also gauge what the size base of consumption is.

Damian (03:52):


Amaad (03:53):

And out of hours consumption as well. You can identify energy waste essentially.

Damian (03:59):

Then you can start figuring out, “We’re using electricity at this time of night, everything should be shut down or nearly everything, why is that?” And then you can start investigating why. But until you start figuring out, and interrogating your data more, you’ve got no chance.

Amaad (04:14):

Exactly, and a more agricultural route, is just to take weekly meter readings. If you have just got one non half hourly fiscal meter, you can send someone out to take a meter reading every weekend.

Damian (04:27):


Amaad (04:28):

At a set date and that will help you get a much better understanding of your energy consumption as well. So aligned to metering, we found, or certainly I found, I don’t know if you felt the same, the energy consumption data around transport was lacking as well.

Damian (04:45):

Yes absolutely.

Amaad (04:48):

Actually it was varied from organization to organization. There were organizations which were very good at it, and these ones that who mainly operate heavy goods vehicles, where they’ve got fuel cards, they optimize their routes, et cetera, et cetera, and then there’s companies who have a large company car fleet, a large gray fleet as well, who don’t have any sort of monitoring in place for the transport related consumption. Did you find the same?

Damian (05:17):

I found exactly the same thing. There were quite a lot of instances where gray fleet, so that’s members of staff using their own cars, were just making the odd monetary claim every now and again. But it might be for hundreds, thousands of pounds.

Damian (05:39):

Some people were waiting and just doing it once every six months or whatever. So you can’t tell the first thing about the consumption of that. And if you multiply that against a gray fleet of hundreds of cars, then that’s a huge chunk of energy that you’re using, that you’ve got no management over whatsoever, no oversight over. So unless you get your staff to start monitoring that more effectively, no chance.

Amaad (06:01):

And that’s been a benefit of resources, it’s prompted people to start collecting that data now.

Damian (06:06):

They’ve had no choice, because they’ve had to go and find it.

Amaad (06:07):

Exactly, so at least there’s been that benefit, if nothing else is going to come out of ESOS.

Damian (06:13):

What my fear is that people will now just kick that into long grass, and forget about it, and not realize or not go and find those savings that are there, staring them in the face.

Amaad (06:23):

So this segways us nicely on to SECR.

Damian (06:28):

It does.

Amaad (06:28):

Because transport is also required SECR. And that’s an annual recurring thing now for four yearly quadrennium. So segwaying from that, in regards to transport consumption, it’s something that needs to be collected annually now for most companies due to the SECR legislation. And that needs to be done on an annual basis. Do you want to just explain what SECR is?

Damian (06:50):

Yes. If you’ve not heard about CECR yet, it’s called Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting. It is a new piece of legislation came live in April last year, and it asks businesses, well it requires businesses to report their energy consumption and their greenhouse gas emissions in a director’s report, alongside the normal financial metrics.

Damian (07:12):

So it brings in about, I think it’s about 11 and a half thousand businesses in the UK, that weren’t reporting any energy or carbon information before, and now they have to report it annually.

Amaad (07:28):

And like you said, it requires you to report your electricity, natural gas and transport as a minimum. So again, it’s going to prompt businesses to keep on top of their consumption. Try and collate it in a better fashion now, more regularly. And I think only good can come out of that, once you know what you’re using and you can then manage it better.

Damian (07:53):


Amaad (07:56):

That pretty much rounds up our first episode, in relation to ESOS.

Damian (08:03):

So we scratched the surface there, on this first video with ESOS. There is a lot more that can be said, and we’re very happy to talk to you about it. In fact, we’re going to talk about it a lot more, because we’ve got a whole channel of videos for Energy HelpOut planned in the coming months. And we’re going to be exploring all sorts of different areas of energy consumption and management, and carbon and greenhouse gases, and all sorts of stuff like that, that are facing businesses in 2020 and beyond.

Damian (08:32):

We’re going to put a call out now for people to get involved. So if you’ve got a company who wants to get involved in this video, who wants to showcase anything? If you’re an energy manager.

Amaad (08:43):

Any good work they’ve been doing.

Damian (08:44):

Absolutely. Financial director, whoever you want to be, and want to come and share your insights or expertise, we’re going to take Energy HelpOut on the road. We’re going to be visiting factories, offices, you name it, and we’re going to be getting our hands a little bit dirty, and looking under the bonnet of some of these businesses, and figure out, and share with you ways that we can save energy better.

Amaad (09:06):

Yeah, and some of the pitfalls that are associated with implementing these projects as well, because a lot of people don’t like talking about things that have gone wrong when they’ve implemented a project. So we are going to try and learn from other people’s mistakes essentially.

Damian (09:18):

Yeah, absolutely. So we’ll be coming out to you. Energy is not a fixed overhead. It really isn’t. If you want to contribute then, you can have a look down there, our contact details are below, and they’ll be at the end of the video as well. So thanks for listening.

Amaad (09:32):

Thank you. See you next time.

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