If you like to stay on top of any future energy cost changes that could affect your business, you’ll no doubt already be aware of Ofgem’s Targeted Charging Review (TCR). With the new rules starting to come into effect this April, the TCR will establish a new system by which network owners charge energy customers for the use of the electricity networks in the UK.

 

The changes brought about by the TCR will impact every business differently, so it’s vital for every business to understand how the TCR will affect their bills before they enter into their next electricity contract. Here are the main things you need to know…

WHAT’S HAPPENING AND WHY?

The TCR is an Ofgem-led project that assesses how network charges are set and recovered. Launched in August 2017, the intention behind the TCR was to decide whether the system needed to be reformed to make it fairer. It addressed the concern that the current mechanisms used to recover Distribution Use of System (DUoS) and Transmission Network Use of System (TNUoS) charges could lead to inefficient use of the network and create an adverse effect on consumers. The current Triad system sees half hourly (HH) metered customers charged for electricity transmission costs according to their consumption during the three half-hour periods in Winter when overall demand on the grid is at its peak. Ofgem is concerned that this system distorts the market by encouraging some businesses to shift their consumption to avoid Triad periods and not pay their share towards maintaining the grid year-round.

 

Based on the findings of the TCR, Ofgem has decided to supplement the existing Triad consumption-based system for TNUoS with a banding-based daily charging system that should encourage businesses to manage their demand all year round – not just in winter. DUoS tariffs have always had a fixed daily charge component. But as part of TCR, Ofgem has directed that the way DNOs (Distribution Network Officers) set this charge should also change – moving some of the cost recovery that currently comes through the volume-based rates into the fixed daily charge.

 

The banding for each meter on businesses’ site(s) will be based on their agreed supply capacity (if there has been one agreed) or their Estimated Annual Consumption (EAC) if an agreed supply capacity is not in place. These changes were intended to roll out this April, however Ofgem has proposed a delay in the TNUoS changes until April 2023. A consultation on this is currently awaiting a decision by Ofgem and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on any developments. The changes to DUoS tariffs are still expected to go live this April.

   

HOW BUSINESSES WILL BE AFFECTED 

For larger businesses able to reduce or shift energy volumes, winter Triad periods have historically provided an opportunity to make savings through flexibility, by reducing consumption during peak periods. Even those who aren’t able to be flexible in their usage can mitigate the impact of Triads by increasing their energy efficiency. Under the new system, Triad avoidance will no longer be possible for many and, where it remains, the benefits will be significantly reduced. This means that businesses who used this method to reduce their TNUos costs might find their annual energy bills could be significantly increased. For businesses previously able to boost generation revenue by exporting energy to the grid at peak times, the reduction of Triads could affect their bottom line and reduce the benefits of having on-site generation. While businesses who participate in grid-balancing Demand Side Response schemes will still be able to benefit from doing so, they will lose out on the additional revenue available during Triad periods.

 

Another consideration is that the cost of Triads is typically spread across bills over 12 months, until the next Triad period. However, for those businesses whose contracts start in the October before the TCR cost mechanism comes into effect, Triad costs will have to be recovered in half the time. Businesses should therefore work these costs into their budgets now.

 

For some, the TCR will mean a bigger energy bill and a need to rebalance the budget in other ways. But large energy users who have previously been unable to consume energy flexibly and have therefore been hit with excessive Triad costs could actually see a reduction in non-commodity costs – and it’s these businesses that must think most carefully before they choose their next contract.

TOTAL TRANSPARENCY FOR OUR CUSTOMERS

Although the TCR deadline has been pushed back for TNUoS, we know that our customers want to prepare for the changes now, so we’re striving to provide certainty where we can (and total transparency where we can’t). DNOs have published their DUoS charges for 2022, including TCR, and TNUoS charges for next April won’t be confirmed until February 2023.

 

At Bryt Energy, we’re trusted by nature, so we’ve come up with a transparent way to accurately price according to what we know now, to provide our customers with as much certainty as we can while recognising that prices may still change slightly. From September 2020 we’ve clearly stated the TCR banded charges into our new contracts in order to give our customers as much visibility of their costs as possible. And because our operations are built to be agile, our prices will always reflect Ofgem’s latest position and advice.

GETTING READY FOR THE TCR

Every business will be affected by the TCR changes differently, so it’s important to identify and prepare for how these changes will impact your organisation. You can do this by:

 

1. Speaking to your electricity supplier

Ask your supplier the following questions to find out how they will account for the TCR changes and how they will affect your bill if you stay with that supplier:

 

  1. Have you included TNUoS costs in my contract or are they passed-through?
  2. What band has been applied to each of my meters?
  3. In what circumstances would you amend TCR rates?
  4. How are you accounting for unknown costs?

 

2. Making the most of your flexible solutions

If you’re currently using technology or solutions to avoid Triad periods and expensive time of use charges, the benefits might be reduced slightly once we switch to a fixed-rate charge, but they won’t disappear. Now is the time to consider how you use these solutions to optimise your usage more continuously and boost your revenue in other ways. For example, organisations opting for our optimisation solutions are able to offset 20% of their energy spend by allowing us to subtly tweak their consumption (within agreed limits) in line with system needs, without impacting their operations. You can learn more about the benefits of optimisation in our blog, here.

 

If you have any questions around TCR or how we’re supporting our customers through the changes, please get in touch with our team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Here at Bryt Energy, we’re proud to announce that we were the fastest growing business electricity supplier in Britain in 2020*! 

We saw impressive organic growth in electricity volume in 2020 compared to 2019*, suggesting that carbon reduction remains a priority for businesses, despite recent COVID challenges. This is an encouraging sign that businesses are getting behind the UK’s commitment to a green recovery.   

BUSINESSES COMMITTED TO DECARBONISATION 

With business decarbonisation critical to meeting the UK’s goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050, organisations are increasingly choosing energy partners that can help them to meet their carbon reduction targets.   

 

Our Managing Director, Ian Brothwell, said: “Making the switch to renewable electricity is now seen as the first step for businesses looking to reduce their carbon footprint, and Bryt Energy’s growth demonstrates the increasing demand for electricity from zero carbon, 100% natural sources, such as solar, wind and hydro power. At a time when many businesses are facing increased pressure due to COVID-19, supporting their sustainability claims with credible action (such as making the switch to a renewable supply) demonstrates a clear commitment to a low carbon future.  

 

“It’s been a challenging year and I’m proud of how the Bryt Energy Team has adapted to working from home to achieve such a fantastic result. Our growth over the last 12 months has really been a testament to the passion of the Team, who have gone above and beyond to support both new and existing customers throughout the pandemic. This is reflected by our average customer satisfaction rating of 4.9/5 during this time+.”  

SUSTAINABLE BY NATURE 

As part of our own sustainability plans, we became a carbon neutral^ business in 2020 and have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2025 through our ‘Bryt By Nature’ programme. We’ve also committed to several of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as part of this.   

 

Ian Brothwell continues: “We pride ourselves on practicing what we preach – we know that sustainability is about more than just the environment – it’s about ensuring a positive impact on our whole sphere of influence. With the government setting ambitious targets for UK generation of renewable electricity, this year will be a crucial one for businesses to put in place strong sustainability strategies. That is why we are looking forward to working with more like-minded customers to help turn their ambitions into actions.”  

GET SUPPORT WITH YOUR SUSTAINABILITY JOURNEY 

If you’d like to talk with one of our friendly experts about your own sustainability journey, please call us on 0121 726 7575 or email  solutions@brytenergy.co.uk to get started.   

 

 

*Organic growth only, based on Bryt Energy’s 2020 share of national settled electricity volumes in Great Britain compared to 2019 share, versus other business-only suppliers.

 

+based upon all customer responses to all routine satisfaction surveys undertaken by Bryt Energy between April 2020 – May 2021. 

 

^Carbon neutral is defined by Bryt Energy as Scope 1, 2 & 3 for the categories of gas, electricity, water, waste and business travel. The scope 1, 2 & 3 carbon emissions for 2016-2019 were 106.64 tonnes and therefore 110 tonnes of carbon credits from the Bokhol Solar project were retired on behalf of Bryt Energy by EcoAct in August 2020.  

Many businesses are switching to renewable electricity because they believe that decarbonising their operations wherever possible is simply the right thing to do. And after becoming a carbon neutral business* ourselves, here at Bryt Energy, we wholeheartedly agree! What organisations may not realise, however, is that switching to zero carbon electricity can also bring a whole host of other tangible financial and reputational benefits to their business. 

 

When it comes to decarbonisation, opting for a zero carbon, fully renewable electricity supply is a fairly simple step many businesses can take to reduce their carbon footprint. So while it’s important for businesses to review all of the contract options available to them before they agree an electricity contract, they should also consider the other business benefits associated with a zero carbon supply. 

DO YOU WANT TO EXPAND YOUR CUSTOMER BASE?

A recent survey revealed that 50% of customers only buy from brands that try to be eco-friendly1 – so if your business isn’t focused on reducing its impact on the environment, you could risk alienating customers. However, customers are also increasingly savvy about companies that are simply ‘greenwashing’, or claiming to have ‘green’ credentials in their marketing rather than actually taking action to reduce their impact on the environment. Greenwashing could seriously harm your business’ reputation, so it’s crucial to support any sustainability claims you make and be transparent. 

 

Switching to a zero carbon electricity supply can be a great way to show that you’re committed to reducing your emissions. Plus, with more and more companies obliged to report on their carbon emissions through schemes such as the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme, it can be an important first step. 

DO YOU WANT TO ATTRACT THE BEST CANDIDATES TO YOUR ORGANISATION?

‘Millennials’ now make up over 50% of the workforce, and when it comes to choosing who they want to work for, it’s clear that they favour sustainable businesses. In a recent study, 70% of millennials said that they were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda2 

 

This is certainly something that we’ve seen within Bryt Energy – although a passion for sustainability isn’t limited to just our millennial employees! Many of our team members have made their own individual sustainability pledges, such as reducing their use of single-use plastics, alongside our overarching business commitments to sustainability. If you’re looking to secure the best talent within your business, you need to ensure you can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability – and switching to zero carbon electricity is a great first step. 

ARE YOU SEEKING INVESTMENT?

If your business is seeking funding from investors, then switching to a zero carbon electricity supply could be a good first step in boosting your business’ investment appeal. Investors are increasingly using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria when considering whether to invest in a business – examining how a business impacts the environment and the wider society it operates within. In fact, a 2019 survey of global institutional investment firms found that ESG issues are now almost universally front of mind for investors3. 

 

And don’t underestimate how much of a difference decarbonising your electricity supply can make – our own carbon footprint would be almost 20% larger if we didn’t source all of the electricity powering our Birmingham HQ from zero carbon, 100% renewable sources4. 

DO YOU FIT INTO A SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN?

With businesses increasingly realising the value of sustainability, those at the top of the supply chain aren’t just looking to reduce the carbon emissions they create directly. Many are now focusing on their Scope 3 emissions, which cover all of the indirect emissions that occur within an organisation’s value chain 

 

So if you’re looking to stand out from the competition when buyers are seeking suppliers, then you need to focus on reducing your own emissions as far as possible. If you’re not making simple changes, such as switching to zero carbon electricity, then it’s unlikely that sustainable buyers will be willing to expand their Scope 3 emissions by working with you. Make sure you’re not missing out on these opportunities by switching your energy supply as soon as possible – it’s a good first step to show you’re committed to a low carbon future. 

MAKE THE SWITCH TODAY

At Bryt Energy, we only supply zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, solely from natural sources (wind, hydro and solar power). This means that by working with us, you can completely eliminate any carbon emissions associated with your electricity supply – which could make a substantial difference to your carbon footprint and help you to access all of the benefits we’ve mentioned above. 

 

Wondering how much difference zero carbon electricity could make to your business? Use our carbon calculator to find out – then call us on 0121 726 7575 or email solutions@brytenergy.co.uk to start your journey to a more sustainable future today. 

 

*Carbon neutral is defined by Bryt Energy as Scope 1, 2 & 3 for the categories of gas, electricity, water, waste and business travel. The scope 1, 2 & 3 carbon emissions for 2016-2019 were 106.64 tonnes and therefore 110 tonnes of carbon credits from the Bokhol Solar project were retired on behalf of Bryt Energy by EcoAct in August 2020.

Sources

https://www.marketingweek.com/brands-sustainability-convenience/

https://www.fastcompany.com/90306556/most-millennials-would-take-a-pay-cut-to-work-at-a-sustainable-company

https://hbr.org/2019/05/the-investor-revolution

https://www.brytenergy.co.uk/media/2113/bryt-by-nature-report.pdf

 

WHY WE’RE VOLUNTARILY REPORTING UNDER SECR

Bryt Energy isn’t one of the almost 12,000 companies legally required to report under the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme – but we have just published a voluntary report anyway. And we think more businesses could benefit from voluntarily reporting, too.

 

When you’re working within a busy organisation, choosing to report under an energy reporting scheme like SECR when you’re not required to may seem like extra work. But if your organisation is serious about improving its sustainability, voluntary reporting can help you to get the most out of your efforts.

 

If you’re looking at reporting under SECR, here’s what you need to know:

WHAT IS SECR?

The Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting scheme, also known as SECR, is a relatively new energy efficiency reporting scheme that first came into force in April 2019. It was designed to replace the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, which many businesses found complex, with a simpler reporting process. SECR also extends energy reporting obligations to far more businesses than the CRC did – around 11,900 businesses must now report under SECR, whereas only 4,000 reported under the CRC.

 

By expanding the number of businesses required to comply with SECR, the Government is striving to encourage more companies to calculate their carbon footprint. Companies must submit their SECR report within their annual Director’s Report, which means that their sustainability progress can be analysed by their stakeholders, staff and customers. This is intended to encourage them to not only understand their carbon emissions, but also take action to reduce them.

WHO’S AFFECTED BY SECR?

SECR applies to all UK quoted companies, as well as UK registered businesses that meet two or more* of the following criteria within the financial year that they are reporting:

 

a) 250 employees or more

b) £36m turnover or more

c) Balance sheet total of £18m or more

 

*There are some exemptions to this, and you can read the full government guidance, here.

REPORTING REQUIREMENTS

Every company must report their Scope 1 and 2 emissions, whilst unquoted companies are also required to report on their emissions from business travel in Scope 3. These are:

 

Scope 1 – includes emissions from activities owned or controlled by your company that directly release emissions into the atmosphere, e.g. the gas used to heat your building.

 

Scope 2 – covers your indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity.

 

Scope 3 – includes emissions which you do not have direct control over, but that you can influence, for instance through your supply chain or the stakeholders you work with. An example of Scope 3 would be the emissions associated with your employees commuting to work.

 

Your SECR report must also include commentary on the energy efficiency measures you have implemented within the reporting period, as well as your methodology for calculating your emissions.

CHOOSING AN INTENSITY RATIO

You will also need to provide at least one intensity ratio, which expresses your annual emissions in relation to a standard business metric, such as your turnover or number of full time employees. At Bryt, we chose four intensity ratios to track our performance as we grow, and we’ve explained why below. We report in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emitted per year (kgCO2e):

  • GWh of electricity supplied to our customers – an industry specific measure that is most relevant to our business output.
  • M2 of office space that we occupy – allows us to compare our performance to other companies in the service sector.
  • Million pounds of turnover – will show how we’re decoupling our carbon emissions from our economic growth; a key principle of decarbonising our economy.
  • Full Time Employees – allows us to compare our performance with a wider number of companies beyond the energy sector.
BENEFITS OF REPORTING

By reporting under SECR, your company could benefit in the following ways:

1. Identify areas for improvement

If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. You can only begin to effectively reduce your emissions once you are accurately tracking your carbon emissions. At Bryt, for example, we learnt that Scope 3 business travel is our largest area of emissions – and now we’re taking actions to address that.

 

2. Focus on energy efficiency

SECR compliance requires you to report on the actions your organisation has taken to improve its energy efficiency, year-on-year. This should encourage you to take action to ensure you’re making continual progress towards greater sustainability.

 

3. Engage your team in your sustainability efforts

Your SECR report must include an intensity ratio that’s appropriate for your industry – this makes your report much easier for stakeholders, staff and customers to understand and engage with, and creates benchmarks to compare to other businesses’ efforts to reduce their carbon emissions.

WHY WE’RE LEADING THE WAY

While SECR gives companies a simpler approach to energy reporting, it still involves time and resources, so you might be wondering why Bryt has chosen to undertake this additional work voluntarily?

 

Well, we want to be more than just a supplier – we want to be able to help our customers along their sustainability journeys. It wasn’t easy for us to produce our SECR report. For example, it was difficult for us to get some of the key data we needed because we share our offices with other businesses. But by going through the exercise of producing and publishing our report voluntarily, we can better understand the challenges involved and provide better support to our customers that are required to report under SECR.

 

We’re also producing our report because we simply believe it’s the right thing to do. SECR provides businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors with a universal template for transparently reporting their progress, making it easier to compare organisations’ efforts to reduce their carbon emissions.

 

As this is our first SECR report, we have used the template provided by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). We’re keen to learn along the way, so we’re looking forward to seeing more companies’ reports and getting to grips with what best practice will look like.

READ OUR SECR REPORT

Interested in reporting under SECR, or just curious about what’s involved? We’ve already done all the hard work – and now our report is complete! So if you’re wondering what a final SECR report looks like, you can check out our first one here.

 

We always welcome feedback, so if you have any thoughts on our first SECR report, get in touch with us at marketing@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environmental-reporting-guidelines-including-mandatory-greenhouse-gas-emissions-reporting-guidance

Many businesses are switching to renewable electricity because they believe that decarbonising their operations wherever possible is simply the right thing to do. And after becoming a carbon neutral business* ourselves, here at Bryt Energy, we wholeheartedly agree! What organisations may not realise, however, is that switching to zero carbon electricity can also bring a whole host of other tangible financial and reputational benefits to their business. 

 

When it comes to decarbonisation, opting for a zero carbon, fully renewable electricity supply is a fairly simple step many businesses can take to reduce their carbon footprint. So while it’s important for businesses to review all of the contract options available to them before they agree an electricity contract, they should also consider the other business benefits associated with a zero carbon supply. 

DO YOU WANT TO EXPAND YOUR CUSTOMER BASE?

A recent survey revealed that 50% of customers only buy from brands that try to be eco-friendly1 – so if your business isn’t focused on reducing its impact on the environment, you could risk alienating customers. However, customers are also increasingly savvy about companies that are simply ‘greenwashing’, or claiming to have ‘green’ credentials in their marketing rather than actually taking action to reduce their impact on the environment. Greenwashing could seriously harm your business’ reputation, so it’s crucial to support any sustainability claims you make and be transparent. 

 

Switching to a zero carbon electricity supply can be a great way to show that you’re committed to reducing your emissions. Plus, with more and more companies obliged to report on their carbon emissions through schemes such as the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme, it can be an important first step. 

DO YOU WANT TO ATTRACT THE BEST CANDIDATES TO YOUR ORGANISATION?

‘Millennials’ now make up over 50% of the workforce, and when it comes to choosing who they want to work for, it’s clear that they favour sustainable businesses. In a recent study, 70% of millennials said that they were more likely to choose to work at a company with a strong environmental agenda2 

 

This is certainly something that we’ve seen within Bryt Energy – although a passion for sustainability isn’t limited to just our millennial employees! Many of our team members have made their own individual sustainability pledges, such as reducing their use of single-use plastics, alongside our overarching business commitments to sustainability. If you’re looking to secure the best talent within your business, you need to ensure you can demonstrate your commitment to sustainability – and switching to zero carbon electricity is a great first step. 

ARE YOU SEEKING INVESTMENT?

If your business is seeking funding from investors, then switching to a zero carbon electricity supply could be a good first step in boosting your business’ investment appeal. Investors are increasingly using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria when considering whether to invest in a business – examining how a business impacts the environment and the wider society it operates within. In fact, a 2019 survey of global institutional investment firms found that ESG issues are now almost universally front of mind for investors3. 

 

And don’t underestimate how much of a difference decarbonising your electricity supply can make – our own carbon footprint would be almost 20% larger if we didn’t source all of the electricity powering our Birmingham HQ from zero carbon, 100% renewable sources4. 

DO YOU FIT INTO A SUSTAINABLE SUPPLY CHAIN?

With businesses increasingly realising the value of sustainability, those at the top of the supply chain aren’t just looking to reduce the carbon emissions they create directly. Many are now focusing on their Scope 3 emissions, which cover all of the indirect emissions that occur within an organisation’s value chain 

 

So if you’re looking to stand out from the competition when buyers are seeking suppliers, then you need to focus on reducing your own emissions as far as possible. If you’re not making simple changes, such as switching to zero carbon electricity, then it’s unlikely that sustainable buyers will be willing to expand their Scope 3 emissions by working with you. Make sure you’re not missing out on these opportunities by switching your energy supply as soon as possible – it’s a good first step to show you’re committed to a low carbon future. 

MAKE THE SWITCH TODAY

At Bryt Energy, we only supply zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, solely from natural sources (wind, hydro and solar power). This means that by working with us, you can completely eliminate any carbon emissions associated with your electricity supply – which could make a substantial difference to your carbon footprint and help you to access all of the benefits we’ve mentioned above. 

 

Wondering how much difference zero carbon electricity could make to your business? Use our carbon calculator to find out – then call us on 0121 726 7575 or email solutions@brytenergy.co.uk to start your journey to a more sustainable future today. 

 

*Carbon neutral is defined by Bryt Energy as Scope 1, 2 & 3 for the categories of gas, electricity, water, waste and business travel. The scope 1, 2 & 3 carbon emissions for 2016-2019 were 106.64 tonnes and therefore 110 tonnes of carbon credits from the Bokhol Solar project were retired on behalf of Bryt Energy by EcoAct in August 2020.

Sources

https://www.marketingweek.com/brands-sustainability-convenience/

https://www.fastcompany.com/90306556/most-millennials-would-take-a-pay-cut-to-work-at-a-sustainable-company

https://hbr.org/2019/05/the-investor-revolution

https://www.brytenergy.co.uk/media/2113/bryt-by-nature-report.pdf

 

Health and beauty giant, A.S. Watson, owner of Superdrug, The Perfume Shop and Savers, have recently confirmed they will be extending their zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply contract by 12 months, after celebrating a year and a half since switching to us.

Since 1st April 2019, all 1400 retail sites nationwide have been supplied with zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, sourced solely from Wind, Hydro and Solar power. In the first 12 months on supply, A.S. Watson saved over 19,000 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium with CO2 almost three times! In addition, the 12-month contract extension strengthens our growing partnership with A.S. Watson.

 

A.S. Watson had been looking to gain an understanding of their energy usage across their retail portfolio, as well as reduce their carbon footprint as part of their sustainability and corporate social responsibility programme. Offering them a unique package of renewable electricity, with the opportunity to install solar and storage technology, optimisation controls and smart data portfolio analytics, we became the ideal choice of partner. Having the trust in our ability to take on and manage the entire site portfolio in a complex and dynamic market was a key factor in the final decision making for A.S. Watson.

 

Our Managing Director, Ian Brothwell, said: “We are continuing to develop a long-term partnership with A.S. Watson to provide retail portfolio solutions that allow them to understand, monitor and reduce their consumption, work more sustainably and future-proof their energy supply. The switch demonstrates their confidence in Bryt Energy and, more broadly, the market’s move to purchasing from renewable sources.”

 

Nigel Duxbury, Property Director at A.S. Watson UK, said: “Being a responsible retailer is vitally important for us and our customers, and we are pleased to use renewable energy in our stores. This is a change which has a positive impact on the environment, being made across our business to be more sustainable.”

 

 

For more information on how we can support your business on its carbon-reducing journey, get in touch at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575. You can also follow us at:

 

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/bryt-energy/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BrytEnergy

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/brytenergy/

What is flexibility?

The energy transition is opening up a new world of opportunities to businesses. As the UK works towards net zero, increasing amounts of renewable energy are included in the grid mix, meaning that the way we use electricity needs to adapt. You might have increasingly heard the term ‘flexibility’ recently, but what actually is it, and how could your business benefit from it?

 

Put simply, it’s a way to automatically adjust when devices use electricity in order to save money and help the UK transition to a zero carbon energy system.

Beyond green

If you’re already on a renewable supply contract, you might be wondering why you need to further reduce and optimise your energy usage, if it’s already ‘green’. Buying renewable energy is an excellent start, but we still have a long way to go to achieve net zero. To get there, we need to synchronise our energy usage as much as possible with natural power to avoid any going to waste. That means going ‘beyond green’ and being more flexible with your energy usage to help the grid, the environment, and your business along the way.

Good for business

 Being aware of your energy usage and how you can optimise it can help your business save money. Flexibility services can provide you with insights into your usage and automatically shift your device consumption away from expensive times of the day, during peak demand. This can reduce the cost of running flexible devices and protect your business against any rising network costs, without affecting your business operations.

 

 Being flexible could not only help you save money, but actually generate revenue! There are various schemes in the UK that will pay you to be on standby and offer your flexible load to the grid in times of need, such as responding to a balancing event.

Good for the grid

 A resilient, flexible grid system can better handle the fluctuating electricity demand that comes with low carbon technologies, such as EVs, and therefore enable a faster roll out.

 

 Having more flexibility makes it easier and quicker for the grid to respond to fluctuating demand and generation. This makes the network more resilient to changes in demand and helps avoid blackouts.

 

 Being more flexible in how and when you use electricity will avoid the need for continual infrastructure upgrades. In a bid to decarbonise and reach net zero by 2050, many businesses and industries are making the transition to be powered by renewable electricity rather than fossil fuels. As demand for electricity increases, the UK’s distribution infrastructure (such as cables, pylons and substations) will struggle to cope. Using flexibility services and being smarter with your electricity usage will enable everyone to get the most out of the existing infrastructure and avoid continual, expensive upgrade programmes.

Good for the environment

 A flexible energy system can better manage the intermittency that comes with natural renewable power, and therefore allow more renewable energy on the grid, helping the UK accelerate towards net zero.

 

 Having a flexible load can help balance the network during peak periods and reduce the grid’s reliance on fossil fuels during these times.

Could my business benefit from flexibility?

Whatever type of energy contract you are on, you can still access all the benefits that come with optimising your usage. If your business has refrigeration, HVAC (heating, ventilation & air conditioning), energy storage, heat pumps, or any other form of flexible load, you have the potential to optimise your usage and save money.

 

Previously, opportunities to access flexibility were reserved for larger, tech-focused businesses. Many smaller businesses have struggled to participate, as they neither have the time nor in-house resources to focus on their energy consumption or efficiency.

 

However, through our collaboration with Qbots Energy and their QEnergy™ platform, our aim is to empower small-medium businesses to manage their energy consumption and costs with ease. Currently in trial phase, the QEnergyTM platform can provide valuable insights into your business’s energy demand patterns and makes tailored recommendations to improve your energy efficiency measures.

 

Due to launch fully in 2021, the platform can automatically adjust your equipment, such as turning it off or down, to help your business make behaviour changes, reduce your energy usage, and save on energy bills. The project can also offer your business the necessary funding to support any investments in energy efficiency technology.

 

Louis Heywood, Project Manager at Qbots Energy, said: “The QEnergy Project is dedicated to reducing the UK’s carbon output by helping SMEs to become more energy efficient. For this reason, it made perfect sense to get Bryt Energy involved in the project, a future-focused, zero carbon electricity supplier on a mission to help businesses become more efficient.”

Get in touch

If you’re looking for advice on flexibility or would like to take part in Qbots Energy’s trial, get in touch with our team of experts at sales@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7570. Not a customer yet? You can get an instant online quote for our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply, here.

 

Learn more

https://www.qbots.ai/

https://es.catapult.org.uk/impact/projects/q-energy/

https://www.ofgem.gov.uk/electricity/retail-market/market-review-and-reform/smarter-markets-programme/electricity-system-flexibility

With more choices than ever, car owners are increasingly choosing the sustainable option and going Electric. However, despite their critical role in reducing emissions and reaching net zero, electric vehicles (EV) numbers are still relatively low compared to those fuelled with petrol or diesel1.

 

We know that during the height of the current pandemic, human activity slowed to reduce the spread of coronavirus, emissions dropped, and nature bounced back2. Inevitably these effects are likely to be temporary when the world returns to the new normal, and EV’s may offer a realistic way to rebuild whilst reducing travel emissions more permanently.

 

As we, thankfully, see a return to normality we can begin to review current behaviours and look to the future. Could a boost to EV’s be part of the sustainable road to recovery following COVID-19?

 

To find out more, we caught up with our colleagues at Grønn Kontakt (also part of the Statkraft family) to see what an EV future might look like. Anthony Hinde is Managing Director at Grønn Kontakt.

 

So Anthony, what led you to choose an EV? And what do you think an EV future would look like?

“EV’s are a key part of a more sustainable and healthier future. The WHO estimates that pollution is responsible for an estimated 4.2 million deaths globally per year3, with up to 36,000 of these within the UK alone4, and vehicle emissions are a significant part of this. In fact, the UK transport sector is responsible for 28% of UK COemissions5. Provided EV’s are charged using a renewable electricity supply, they can dramatically reduce pollution, particularly for urban areas.

 

For me, this is just so incredibly important. You may be familiar with the case of 9-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah in 2013? She died, potentially as a result of unlawful levels of air pollution along her walk to school6. And this isn’t an isolated incident – Unicef’s Toxic School Run report really highlights the particular risks posed to children, with an estimated 11,000 new daily child-asthma cases worldwide7. If we can prevent this, surely, we must?

 

It’s also important to remember that emissions pose threats beyond the immediate impact on human health; the links between emissions, increasing global temperatures and climate change are well known. Climate change may already be responsible for 150,000 deaths a year alongside increasing biodiversity loss8. With ethical sourcing and a Circular Economy approach, EV’s can reduce pollution across the whole supply chain. And, with reduced fossil fuel use, chances of damaging leaks or spills are also lessened9.

 

One other benefit that has been particularly highlighted recently is the potential reduction in noise pollution, as EV’s are quieter than petrol and diesel cars. With the recent reduction in traffic due to COVID-19, the world has been quieter – I’ve heard more birdsong in the last few months than in several years! With more EV’s, less traffic noise from vehicles could become the norm.”

 

As an EV owner, what can you tell us about the experience of driving one?

“For me, the biggest part of the experience is that my driving feels guilt-free. Driving is now a pleasure without a caveat and recharging without carcinogenic fumes and traces on pump nozzles is a much more pleasant experience than traditional re-fuelling!

 

Otherwise, EV’s are quiet and they accelerate quicker. Unless on a racetrack, it doesn’t realistically matter how fast your car can go, but how quickly it can get there really affects the driving experience – no more moving up gears! On average, an EV would only need to be charged once a week. Mine charges from 0% to 80% in about 40 minutes with a regular rapid 50kw DC charger, and I’ve found that I can easily do this whilst out shopping!”

 

So how might EV’s and charging points affect businesses? Are there any revenue opportunities?

“EV’s and charging points offer a great opportunity for businesses! With the right renewable electricity supply, converting your fleet to electric can immediately reduce your carbon footprint. Not only would this make your business more compliant with emissions regulations, but being sustainable is good for revenue, operational efficiency, and even stock value10.

 

Having an EV charge point on-site can really boost footfall and how long customers stay, meaning more shopping, more meals, more entertainment, and increased revenue. It’s also a great way to create added value for your customers. Charging points can be a real draw for desirable clients, offering a chance for them to charge their cars or fleets whilst on-site – a potential advantage over competitors.

 

Charge points are also likely to affect employee retention. Increasingly, employees are finding they like to work for organisations they feel are doing the right thing and, as EV’s become more popular, more employees may expect charging facilities. Offering this is a great chance to attract and retain motivated and high-performing individuals.”

 

There are clearly many benefits to EV’s, but the uptake has so far been slow. What do you feel are the main barriers?

“In my opinion, the biggest barriers to EV uptake seems to be the existing misconceptions around their cost and convenience, and the, very human, reluctance to change. However, these misconceptions are increasingly being recognised as no longer accurate.

 

Misconception 1: They’re inconvenient and difficult to charge.

As I said (and despite widespread belief), charging is not required every day and, for average users, is likely to only be once a week. Whilst there are some areas with less charging points such as Wales and the North East, new points are frequently added and plans for more charge-points were outlined in this year’s budget11. And, as popularity increases, so will pressure upon businesses to offer these facilities to visitors and employees.

 

For any businesses interested in installing a charge point, understanding your users’ needs and optimising for their convenience will be key to getting the full benefits. With 3 primary types of charger, rapid, fast and slow available, providers will need to understand whether a faster charger for shorter client visits, or a slower one for employees (whose cars can be charged across the day), is most suitable.

 

And there is grant support available to encourage charge-point installation and make EV’s more accessible, including:

 

Misconception 2: They’re expensive

Undeniably, many EV’s are currently on the pricier side initially and this can, understandably, deter many. However, to really understand their cost compared to a petrol or diesel car you need to look at the total cost of ownership (TCO). This includes initial purchase, repairs and maintenance, insurance, and energy (fuel or electricity), and when all of these are taken into account, even with the higher purchase price, the TCO of EVs is extremely competitive to that of petrol or diesel vehicles.

 

Miles Per Pound (MPP) for EV’s can be up to 3 times cheaper than that of regular cars, and pure EV’s are exempt from road tax costs12. And further savings are now possible with changes to the Business In Kind (BIK) tax applicable for company cars. This rewards EV use but penalises more polluting cars13.

 

Other costs can also be less. Whilst insurers are wary of more expensive parts (primarily the batteries) with fewer moving parts (20 compared to 2000), EV services are cheaper and less frequent.

 

And EV’s retain their value well, with batteries capable of being reused for Solar PV14 alongside generation projects. This successful implementation of a Circular Economy keeps EV value high as well as maximising resources.

 

It is also important to remember that there will be new restrictions for petrol, diesel, and hybrid cars due by 203515. This is likely to make EV’s a much more economical option over the next few years, avoiding potential financial penalties.”

 

SUMMARY

“With the country looking to boost the economy post Covid-19, I really believe that EV’s will play a key part in ‘rebuilding better’ and creating a more sustainable, healthier future. They offer a great opportunity for businesses to become more resilient and stand out from competition in an increasingly difficult marketplace. And, when combined with the right renewable electricity supply, they offer a real chance to reduce air pollution and meet those net zero carbon targets, meaning you can boost your business whilst doing the right thing for the future.”

 

 

Bryt Energy and Grønn Kontakt are both part of the Statkraft Group, a leading international hydropower company and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.

 

Bryt Energy, part of the Statkraft Group, is a passionate, future-focused electricity company, on a mission to take their community on a carbon-reducing journey.  Bryt Energy’s power is zero carbon and 100% renewable, using only Wind, Hydro and Solar energy sources to power British businesses. Whether it be on-site generation, battery storage or optimisation controls, Bryt Energy are at the forefront of the clean energy technology revolution with solutions that maximise value from customers’ electricity supply contracts.

 

Grønn Kontakt is an electric vehicle charging company that offer public and workplace EV charging. From the end of April 2021, Gronn Kontakt will become Mer. Mer is the consolidation of Statkraft’s EV charging companies across Europe under one new identity which will reflect their vision and sustainable background.

 

To find out how we could help your business, get in touch at 0121 726 7575 or solutions@brytenergy.co.uk.

Sources

1. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/electric-car-sales-sales-diesel-brexit-business-a9271041.html

2. https://www.brytenergy.co.uk/knowledge-hub/learnings-from-covid-19-a-glimpse-into-a-low-carbon-future/

3. https://www.who.int/health-topics/air-pollution#tab=tab_1

4. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/public-health-england-publishes-air-pollution-evidence-review

5. https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2020/02/uk-emissions-fall-as-coal-power-shut-off-date-brought-forward/

6. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-48132490

7. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/10/vehicle-pollution-results-in-4m-child-asthma-cases-a-year

8. https://www.who.int/heli/risks/climate/climatechange/en/

9. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-53831687

10. https://www.brytenergy.co.uk/knowledge-hub/how-zero-carbon-electricity-can-help-you-win-more-business/

11. https://www.brytenergy.co.uk/knowledge-hub/uk-budget-2020-looking-to-a-more-sustainable-future-in-an-uncertain-present/

12. https://www.motoringresearch.com/car-news/electric-cars-cheaper-to-run/

13. https://www.whatcar.com/advice/owning/company-car-tax-bands/n1255

14. https://www.pv-magazine.com/2020/05/25/used-ev-batteries-for-large-scale-solar-energy-storage/

15. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51366123

Over the past few months, we’ve all experienced the effects of Covid-19 in different ways. We recently discussed how changes to daily life have impacted the environment around us, but how has the pandemic affected the grid mix, in particular, renewable energy?
RENEWABLES AND LOW CARBON POWER INCREASE IN 2020

Renewable energy has been the only energy source to grow globally this year, as the pandemic has caused demand to reduce on a scale not seen since WW2! In fact, industry electricity demand in the UK has fallen by 5%, whilst domestic demand is down 1.5%1. On a global level, electricity consumption is expected to fall by 5% in 2020, although the impact on demand will be heavily dependent on the duration and speed of recovery following the lockdown measures taken in each country2.

 

The continued growth seen in renewable generation during this period is set to have a long term influence over our energy future. Proving their resilience, wind generation increased by 40% compared to the same period last year and in total, low carbon energy made up 60% of the UK’s generation in the first quarter of 20201.

FOSSIL FUELS DECLINE

In contrast, there have been major reductions in electricity generated from oil, coal and natural gas. Generation from coal fell by a massive 24% last year and now contributes less than half of what it did in 20073In fact, the UK went 67 days without coal generation, with help from carbon pricing and national coal phase-out policies4.

 

In addition, gas production is down by almost 30% in the last quarter, bringing an end to a decade of uninterrupted global growth1.

IMPACT ON EMISSIONS

Coal’s decline has had a dramatic impact on pollution. EU power sector emissions have fallen by nearly 30% in the last six years. Last year they fell by 12%, the largest single year reduction since 19901.

 

The more recent collapse in fossil fuel demand is predicted to lead to a further reduction of 3 billion tonnes in carbon emissions, equivalent to 8% of the global total1. This is broadly in line with the reduction required every year, if the net zero emissions target is be achieved by 20501.

 

 

The resilience of renewables and their growth during this period is an important milestone as we work towards a low carbon future. However, many caution that the government’s funds for the UK’s economic recovery should also be linked to the Paris Agreement. This is crucial to avoid a resurgence in emissions, like those which followed the Credit Crunch 2, and to ensure we rebuild in a better, more sustainable way.

 

If you’d like to understand how we can support your business on its sustainability journey, get in touch with our friendly team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575.

Sources

1. Energy Trends

2. International Energy Agency

3. Ember Climate

4. The Guardian

As the UK looks to rebuild its economy following the effects of Covid-19, there is a question of whether the pandemic, with all its social, health and welfare implications, will propel businesses faster down the sustainability route. Or will the best of intentions get overlooked in a rush to return to economic growth at any cost?

EARLY SIGNS ARE ENCOURAGING

Many agree that the pandemic recovery plan should put us on a path to a cleaner, greener future. Early signs are encouraging, at least for the UK and Europe. Our Prime Minister talks about creating a fairer, greener, and more resilient economy, whilst the EU is in the process of spelling out its green recovery programme.

 

However, there is much scope for progress for both. Before the pandemic, Britain ranked a moderate 12th in the international league table for meeting the UN’s target of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 20301. These are integrated goals that balance social, economic, and environmental objectives, including ‘Climate Action’, ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’, ‘Reduced Inequality’ and ‘No Poverty’2.

CALLS TO EMBRACE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

The Government has been encouraged to embrace the SDGs in its recovery programme. In this way, we can achieve a recovery that balances the economy with the environment. Many businesses, academia and charities have united to call on the PM for a ‘Green, Fair and Healthy Recovery’ and their recommendations include:

  • Use the SDGs in the recovery programme to unite all sectors behind a plan to build a stronger and more resilient economy3
  • Prioritise the most vulnerable in our society and level-up regional and societal inequalities3
  • Build coherent policies for a healthy planet and aid the transition to net zero3
  • Make climate risk disclosures mandatory for businesses4
  • Ensure financial support for business is conditional on their plans and action to align with the UK’s net zero target and the 1.5°C goal4
  • Strengthen the UK’s economic competitiveness and productivity through investment in the sectors and technologies of the future5
  • Deliver critical public goods, including clean air, better health, and improved financial resilience to future environmental shocks5
  • Enable UK businesses to be competitive providers of low carbon goods and services, ahead of G7 and COP26 summits5

 

It’s clear that industry groups and businesses are acknowledging how important it is for the recovery programme to benefit the economy, society, and the environment, equally.

TAKEAWAYS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

The lockdown has shown what clean air can mean for city dwellers and returning to old habits built around ‘take, make and waste’ now appear to make little social, as well as environmental, sense.

 

So, what thoughts can we draw together at this early stage in terms of what these may mean for your business in the future? And how can your business become more sustainable during the recovery?

 

   1. Demonstrate your credentials

The ability to prove your company’s sustainability credentials is becoming more important, as businesses look for competitive advantage whilst satisfying consumer demand. A good place to start in becoming more sustainable is adopting the ‘circular economy’ approach – addressing your business’ processes and looking at how to optimise them. Based on the principles of re-use, repair and recycle, the EU already has a Circular Economy Action Plan6. Products to be sold on the EU market in the future will need to last longer and use recycled materials as much as possible.

 

So, if you have operations in the EU or simply sell into the area, then you will need to find out what the implications of the Circular Economy Action Plan could mean for your business. Good places to look include the EU’s websiteand the Ellen MacArthur Foundation website7. Adopting circular economy practices will form an essential part of achieving net zero, and you can calculate how well your business is transitioning towards more sustainable behaviours, here.

 

   2. Check your reporting requirements

As we’ve seen from examples earlier, further reporting requirements seem only a matter of time. These are likely to require more extensive reporting on your energy consumption and emissions, financial and environmental risks, and your net zero commitments and progress. Your organisation could be one of the 11,000 covered by BEIS’ Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme8. If not, you may well be included in the future as consumption thresholds are expected to reduce. The scope of emissions covered could be extended and plans remain to create a publicly accessed portal at some point, where reputational performance comparisons could be made. To learn more about how reporting requirements could affect your business, there’s a useful guide to SECR on Carbon Trust’s website8.

 

Public pressure is also mounting for companies to declare how they intend to achieve net zero. Now is the time for your business to consider adopting science-based targets to achieve net zero, especially if you are looking to qualify for future financial support. A useful introduction to what’s involved can be found on the Science Based Targets website9.

 

   3. Create boardroom action

UN Global Compact maintains that whilst commitment to sustainability is high in businesses, more needs to be done if SDG goals are to be achieved by 2030.

 

A survey of Chief Sustainability Officers conducted between February and May 2020 found that, whilst 84% of companies are taking action to advance the SDGs, only 46% are currently embedding them into their core business10. Plus, whilst 39% say they believe their targets are sufficiently ambitious to achieve the 2030 deadline, only 15% have targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

 

A good starting point for understanding how sustainability can truly be embedded in your organisation is to look at the report ‘Uniting Business in the Decade of Action‘ from UN Global Compact10.

 

 4. Make the most of a unique opportunity

The next 18 months are set to be high profile for sustainability and climate action, both in businesses and across the public at large. Not only will there be the pandemic recovery measures to digest in terms of what opportunities and incentives it may bring, but there’s also the UN’s World Energy Summit, COP26. Rescheduled for November 2021, the delay means that it can now take on an even greater significance, providing a platform for governments to showcase the green steps to recovery that they are taking, as well as their progress on the Paris Agreement.

 

In the meantime, there are many things your business can do during the recovery to ensure you become a more sustainable, resilient, and competitive business on the other side.

 

Here at Bryt Energy, we can support your business on its sustainability journey, providing you with zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, sourced solely from wind, hydro and solar power. If you have any questions on how we can help you towards a low carbon, sustainable future, please speak to our friendly team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575. Let’s make a difference, together.

Sources

1.  Institute for European Environmental Policy

2.  United Nations

3.  United Nations Global Compact

4.  The Climate Coalition

5.  The Aldersgate Group

6.  European Commission

7.  Ellen MacArthur Foundation

8.  The Carbon Trust

9.  Science Based Targets

10. United Nations Global Compact

The University of Sheffield has recently made the switch to our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity!

The signed contracts will ensure the entire University’s estate will be supplied with our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, sourced solely from Wind, Hydro and Solar power. This covers all the University’s buildings, including their central campus, accommodation, and all other facilities.

 

With electricity being the largest component of the University’s on-campus carbon emissions, their switch to renewables will have a dramatic impact on their carbon footprint and shows the University’s commitment to sustainable development.

 

Our Managing Director, Ian Brothwell, said: “We are looking forward to developing a long-term partnership with The University of Sheffield to support them on their low carbon, sustainability journey. The switch highlights their confidence in Bryt Energy and sets a positive example to the rest of the higher education sector.”

 

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are absolutely committed to addressing climate change via our research, our education and our institutional actions.
“Switching to a 100% renewable electricity contract is an important step in our sustainability work and follows our work to completely divest from fossil fuels and incorporate sustainable development into our education.

 

“We look forward to working closely with our students and staff on the next phase of our sustainable development.”

 

 

For more information on how we can support your business on its carbon-reducing journey, get in touch at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575. You can also follow us at:

 

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/bryt-energy/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BrytEnergy

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/brytenergy/

As every area of the globe feels the effects of coronavirus, daily life has changed dramatically. Now several months into this crisis, the world has been given a view into how the environment reacts in the absence of normal daily human activity.

 

As keen as we are to return to normality, what can we learn from this crisis and how can we use this insight to build a healthier, more sustainable future?

HOPE FOR A LOW CARBON FUTURE

As our daily lives and behaviours have adapted dramatically for coronavirus, the world is noticeably quieter, cleaner, and wilder. Reports show that human activity is at its lowest on record1, and demand across industries has plummeted2. This lower demand, with greater proportion of renewables in use3, has resulted in lower emissions and thriving nature. Through this, we’ve had an unprecedented glimpse into what our world could look like. It’s demonstrated that radical behavioural change can rapidly reduce emissions.

 

Reduced emissions

Worldwide reductions in travel have resulted in a fall in emissions. There was an estimated 5% global CO2 reduction for Q1 20203.

 

Figure 1: Global energy-related CO2 emissions, 1900-2020 – International Energy Association

 

During their virus peak, it’s estimated that China’s carbon emissions dropped by 25%4 whilst carbon monoxide emissions fell by 50% during one week in New York5. Similarly, methane and nitrogen dioxide levels have fallen in Italy6 and the UK7. Clearly, rapid emission reduction is possible, but we will need extensive, worldwide changes if we are to see this going forwards.

 

Nature bounces back

There have also been widespread reports of nature flourishing. Deer in Haridwar, wild boar in Barcelona and the Llandudno goats8, all show wildlife extending into quieter cities. Bees are thriving on the wildflowers of uncut vergesand, with less traffic noise, bird song can be heard.

RISK FALLING BEHIND IN SUSTAINABILITY ACTION

Whilst offering a hopeful glimpse into a more sustainable future, such news shows that action is needed now more than ever.

 

The changes are temporary

It is neither desirable nor realistic for recent behaviour changes to be a method for reducing emissions and they will inevitably rise as we return to normality. China is showing an increase in emissions as restrictions have been liftedand it is likely that we will begin seeing the same in Italy and France.

 

Sustainability on pause

Understandably, attention has been pulled away from sustainability action during the crisis, but this poses long-term risks for climate change. Over a third of sustainability professionals in the UK have reported a pause on projects and investments10 and the postponement of COP26 may mean a pause on global policies with far-reaching consequences.

 

For biodiversity, an important aspect of preventing climate change and reducing emissions, there is a serious risk of future loss. Fire prevention work in the Amazon has been negatively affected11 and many ecological initiatives reliant upon tourist revenue now face failure12. With such uncontrollable factors affecting our efforts, it is particularly important to consider the sustainability actions within our control.

 

Risks from new habits

Behavioural changes have created new habits, some with increased emissions. Predictions from 2019 showed an 80% increase in data centre traffic by 202213, with data use expected to account for 14% of global emissions by 204014. With remote working being effective for many companies during the crisis and employees seeing work-life balance benefits, this is only likely to increase. As new practices develop it is important to consider any impacts and ensure that efficiency and sustainable options are considered.

HOW CAN WE LEARN TO ACHIEVE A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE?

So, how can we continue our efforts and achieve the sustainable future we now know is possible?

 

1) Mindset change

In the last few months, the world has moved together to put people before profit. This is a monumental mindset change that highlights how, when needed, we can ‘be the change’. The current situation and its damage to our wellbeing and economy cannot continue, but nor can unethical business growth without thought for the long-term impacts. We must balance people, planet, and profit, for the sake of each.

 

2) Be smarter about our consumption

Recent reduced consumption will not continue, but we now have a unique opportunity to reflect, learn and change. Societies have been forced to think about their consumption on global, industrial, and personal scales15. Many are considering working from home as a longer-term option, whilst reduced accessibility has made us more aware of how we consume products, what we need and potentially how much we waste.

 

Energy use accounts for a substantial proportion of global emissions. With populations expected to grow16, this is likely to increase. Being more aware of our consumption, more efficient and less wasteful would be a big step towards reducing emissions and preventing climate change.

 

3) Rebuild in the right way

Whilst the International Energy Association (IEA) have proposed that this may be the end of coal power3, there is a risk of a move back to traditional investments in fossil fuels as countries rebuild. Instead, a continuation of last year’s sustainable investment movement17 would offer an economic boost in a way that helps everyone. Choosing sustainable products and services will be more important than ever, and there is both opportunity and responsibility for businesses within this.

 

4) We can do it together

The one overwhelming message from Covid-19 has been that we can do more when we are united. We have seen this in the collaborative efforts of governments, international organisations, businesses, and individuals world-wide in response to this crisis – together we really can make a difference.

 

Let’s do this

We have all faced loss and disruption over the last few months, and it will take time to recover. But let’s not forget this glimpse into what could be. Let’s rebuild to a healthier, happier future. Together, we’ve already proven we can make a difference, so let’s do this.

 

To understand more about our commitment to helping British businesses achieve a low carbon future, get in touch with our friendly team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575.

Sources:

1. BBC

2. Financial Times

3. International Energy Agency

4. Carbon Brief

5. BBC

6. BBC

7. ESA

8. Newsflare

9. The Guardian

10. Edie

11. The Guardian

12. The Guardian

13. IEA

14. The Guardian

15. Bryt Energy

16. The UN

17. Bryt Energy

Images:

Figure 1: 2020 Global Energy Review: International Energy Association

Given the current Covid-19 outbreak, we understand that many businesses will be adapting their usual routines to navigate through these unprecedented challenges. The government’s intervention and support will go some way to assisting you but what can you do lessen the impact on your business from an energy perspective?

 

As your day-to-day routine changes and some of your buildings are temporarily vacated or even closed, there are several simple actions you can take to optimise your electricity usage, avoid unnecessary costs and ensure valuable renewable energy is not wasted. These changes could be adopted at any time to help your business all year round but really could have a significant impact right now.

 

We’ve put together 5 top tips to get you started:

Know Your Usage
  • We encourage you to regularly provide meter reads to your supplier so that you receive accurate billing during this time. This is particularly important if your business is making changes to your normal operations, as standard estimates could easily overstate (or understate if your operations have increased) consumption.
  • If you are currently experiencing unpredictable cash flow, ensuring that bills are accurate could help your business manage accounts more effectively.

 

Switch it Off

  • If your business is temporarily vacating sites or reducing operational hours, is there anything that isn’t being used that could be switched off?
  • Heating, lighting, computers, fridges and freezers are just some examples of appliances that may temporarily not be required and could be switched off.
  • An air compressor will only run at or near full capacity between 60-100 hours in a full working week. As businesses’ routines change, reducing your compressors usage or turning it off completely during evenings and weekends could reduce your energy bills by up to 20%.1
  • Most buildings will have a fridge or freezer, especially in the hospitality sector, and these can be difficult to moderate as they’re running 24 hours a day making up a large proportion of your electricity bill. Your freezer works most efficiently when packed as full as possible, whilst a refrigerator needs air circulation to keep food at an even temperature. Prioritising freezing for food storage will allow you to turn off some of your fridges, reducing costs and helping energy efficiency.2

 

Turn it Down

  • If there are appliances you can’t switch off, are there any you can turn down?
  • Reducing your room temperature by 1°c can save you between 8-10% on your heating bill, minimising your energy wastage and therefore reducing your energy bills.3
  • Likewise, any machinery that will be running in your absence should be reviewed. Can it be turned down or run for a shorter period of time? Even a small reduction in your energy consumption could have a notable reduction on your electricity bills.

 

Get your Staff Engaged

  • As your business changes its routine and employees begin to work remotely, it’s likely some of your business’ electricity consumption will now take place at their home. So how can your employees avoid an unnecessary increase to their electricity bills?
  • Even the smallest changes to electricity usage can have a noticeable effect on bills. For example, by replacing all bulbs at home with LED alternatives, could save about £35 a year on electricity bills.4
  • Encouraging your employees to be more energy efficient, such as switching lights off when they’re not in the room or turning off devices when not in use, could contribute to a reduction in their electricity costs. These could also become practices you can apply to your business when work is back to normal.

 

Look to the Future

As businesses and individuals navigate through the challenges of this outbreak, the need to be innovative and make changes to our daily routines has been paramount.

  • In a short amount of time businesses and their employees have adapted, becoming more energy efficient, reducing consumption to decrease unnecessary costs and prioritising appliances that need to be used.
  • These changes, whilst necessary presently, can continue to have positive effects when business is back to usual, helping your business become more energy efficient, reduce costs and help the environment.

 

Here at Bryt Energy, our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity helps business reduce their carbon emissions all year long. A few simple changes to how you use your energy could make a positive impact to your business, your energy costs and the environment.

Sources:
  1. 1.https://www.cagi.org/working-with-compressed-air/benefits/10-steps-to-savings.aspx
  2. 2.https://carbontrack.com.au/blog/reduce-fridge-running-cost/
  3. 3.http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=33442
  4. 4.https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/lighting

Covid-19 has affected individuals, businesses, and industries in an unprecedented way across the world. Now many governments, including our own, expect Covid-19 to be with us for many months, if not years, ahead. So what impact is the virus having on the business electricity market and what do we need to look out for?  

 

From the signals by the government on its energy policy, to the impact we have already seen in the market, here is a quick run through of the effects we’ve seen so far and the implications for you and your business. 

Effects on policy

Industry sources estimate that electricity demand has fallen by between 15-19% since the lockdown compared to a similar period last year when there were no restrictions1. A drop in demand on this scale was unprecedented and could have long term effects for all. Not the least for the government, which has been forced to delay the flagship UN Climate Summit, COP26, scheduled for Glasgow in November. It must now work even harder in pursuit of its net zero emissions programme to regain the momentum and achieve results in time for when the Summit reconvenes next year. 

 

The push to reduce emissions is unlikely to be affected in the long-term, beyond the inevitable delay caused by the virus. We are told we can soon expect the government’s keynote Energy White Paper, sketching out its strategy for the 2020s2A new Transport Decarbonisation Plan will also appear later in the year and progress is planned for Carbon Capture & Storage and decarbonising heat; it seems that achieving net zero by 2050 is still a key priority for the government. 

 

We may also be expected to follow the EU’s lead in putting clean energy investments and sustainability at the heart of the UK’industrial and business recovery from the virus3. Consequently, you would be well advised to ensure your organisation’s net zero aspirations remain in focus as recovery plans get underway. 

 

EFFECTS ON THE MARKET

Whilst the government is to provide financial relief for domestic customers that are most in need during Covid-19, the same cannot be said for business users4. Therefore, we have summarised the two main changes to the electricity market triggered by Covid-19 so far, to help your business navigate through these changing times: 

 

1. Wholesale energy prices have taken a dive. Prices were already on a downward trend at the end of 2019, with price competition in the oil market feeding through to gas and electricity. The recent reductions in national demand have compounded this, forcing market participants into selling back volumes their customers no longer require and weighing the price down further. The positive news is that renewable energy generation now accounts for a larger share of the reduced market, leading to less carbon-intensive grid mix and more volatile short-term prices (including more frequent negative prices). The challenges this poses in keeping the system in balance5 means that any flexibility you have, either in the ability to adjust your demand to pricing signals or provide demand response services to the National Grid, should be more valuable. 

 

2. In contrast, the nonenergy elements of your bill can be expected to rise. Thecover delivery and balancing costs, as well as several government schemes encouraging low carbon generation. Nowadaysnonenergy charges are likely to make up the greater proportion of your bill and your supplier is obliged to settle these and will include them in your rates or pass them through to you. If energy demand does not meet expectation, non-energy charges will need to go up so that industry costs and revenuecan still be recovered across a lower overall level of consumption. Thiprinciple has been embedded in the workings of the power market since its inception and is something you need to understanif you are expecting changes in your delivered prices to match those in the wholesale market. 

 

IMPLICATIONS FOR BUSINESSES

Finally, it is worth noting that business closures, cutbacks, and cash strains from Covid-19 are affecting businesses from all industries, as well as their energy contracts. You will need to review your energy demand projections, which may well differ from those in your contract. Seeking new contracts or hedging volumes further ahead maalso prove difficultas demand appears more unpredictable over the coming monthsAbove all, working with your supplier as a team to address what lies ahead is more important today than ever before. 

 

 

We will be keeping you posted on future developments in the electricity market through our monthly newsletter, Bryt Insight 

 

If you are a customer of ours, you can read our full statement on how we are supporting you during this time, hereAlternativelyif you have any questions, you can speak to our friendly customer service team at heretohelp@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0330 053 8620. And if you’re not a customer but would like to know how we can help you on your sustainability journey, please get in touch with us, here.

Sources:

1. https://www.elexon.co.uk/article/coronavirus-temporary-derogations-to-improve-settlement-accuracy/

2. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/beis-aiming-to-publish-energy-white-paper-in-spring-despite-covid-19

3. https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20200419IPR77407/eu-covid-19-recovery-plan-must-be-green-and-ambitious-say-meps

4. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/government-agrees-measures-with-energy-industry-to-support-vulnerable-people-through-covid-19

5. https://www.current-news.co.uk/news/summer-outlook-covid-19-could-cause-20-demand-drop-resulting-in-different-set-of-challenges

Amidst emergency budget responses to COVID-19, climate change and the net zero challenge still hold a key place within the 2020 Budget.

 

Understandably, the immediate thoughts of businesses over the last few weeks have centred on the challenges posed by COVID-19. As this seems likely to continue over the next few months, some have been concerned that, amongst this, the sustainability movement from the last year might lose momentum1. However, it is positive to see that climate change, addressing prevention, impact and achieving net zero, still feature prominently within the 2020 Budget.

Preventing climate change

Biodiversity has an important role in preventing climate change. Encouragingly, the Budget announced the Nature for Climate Fund which builds on the existing 25 Year Environment Plan2, promising £640 million to plant trees covering an area larger than Birmingham. Alongside this, the Nature Recovery Network Fund and The Natural Environment Fund aim to encourage more partnership work.

 

Waste and the role of circular economies were also included in this year’s budget. In support of the ongoing Plastic Packaging Tax consultation3£7.2 million will be invested in a system to track and reduce waste across the economy. Meanwhile, an Extended Producer Responsibility scheme aims to encourage responsibility within IT waste.

MITIGATING THE IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Funding for flood prevention was expected following the February storms, but the mitigation of climate change impacts alongside their prevention reflects wider business approaches. Committing £120 million to repair the damage done by the storms, the Government also plans to invest £5.2 billion in flood defences over six years, to reduce flood risk across the UK by 11%. Alongside this, £200 million is available for further initiatives to prevent flooding and coastal erosion in high-risk areas.

 

In the face of future climate change impacts, the government has also committed to investing £39 million in water supply assets to maintain resilience.

 

As some level of climate change now seems unavoidable4, businesses are increasingly expected to risk assess the impacts of climate change5, and it seems the government is too.

CREATING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE

An additional £10 million of funding for net zero policy support indicates that this remains a key objective for the Government, with infrastructure and accessibility as the key targets. With strategies for improving energy, heat and transport and an emphasis on innovation and digital connection, it seems likely that businesses will be encouraged to be more future-focused and data-driven in their sustainability journeys.

 

Energy

To enable the decarbonisation of energy, the Government has committed to doubling the Energy Innovation Programme and investing £900 million in new technology, including fusion and electric vehicles. With Carbon Price support frozen to encourage decarbonisation within the energy industry, there is also a commitment to prevent the potential intermittency caused by increased renewables through further development of nuclear, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS). The new CCS Infrastructure Fund indicates that, at least initially, CCS might be expected to be key amongst these.

 

Both business and domestic supply are being incentivised towards more sustainable choices. The Climate Change Levy is to be raised on gas whilst being frozen on electricity, and the Climate Change Agreement scheme is to be extended by 2 years, supporting large energy users in their sustainability efforts. In addition, the Green Gas Levy aims to encourage more biomethane on the grid.

 

Heat

Strategies regarding heat focus primarily on domestic and small businesses, with schemes to help invest in heat pumps and biomass boilers. However, the Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Initiative received some support, aiming to protect larger projects.

 

Public transport

Decarbonisation of transport is also tackled, as the Budget outlines several ways local transport connections are to be improved whilst achieving net zero. Continued investment in the Midlands Rail Hub, as well as the allocation of funds from the Transforming Cities Funds, aims to see new and redeveloped cycle freewaysbus routes and metro systems across the country. With £50 million dedicated to improving accessibility at railway stations, increased travel via public transport seems to be important in reducing emissions.

 

Electric vehicles

Alongside a boost to public transport, the Budget aims to incentivise low emission vehicles, making them more accessible. With the ultimate aim of a fast-charging station within 30 minutes of every UK driver, the Office for Low Emissions Vehicles will be undertaking a review and development of current infrastructure. To encourage the uptake of these opportunities, the Rapid Charging Fund will offer financial support to businesses, whilst Plug-in Grants are being extended for vans, taxis and motorcycles to 2023. Altogether, this aims to make electric vehicles a more accessible and reliable option and therefore encourage their uptake.

 

 

Climate change and sustainability have clearly been recognised within the 2020 Budget and have remained important despite other current challenges. With sustainable development apparently likely to continue, and clear links between net zero, innovation and growth, there is huge potential for businesses willing to take advantage of the opportunities that will appear over the next few years.

 

To find out more about how Bryt Energy can support your sustainability journey, get in touch with our friendly team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575.

 

You can read the 2020 Budget in full, here.

Sources:

1. https://news.sky.com/story/sir-david-attenborough-hopes-coronavirus-crisis-will-not-hinder-uk-climate-change-summit-11955590

2. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/25-year-environment-plan

3. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/871368/Plastic_packaging_tax_condoc_template_final_1.0.pdf

4. https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/16/is-it-too-late-to-prevent-climate-change/

5. https://www.iso.org/standard/68507.html

Statkraft, our parent company and Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy, have just released their annual report for 2019. From a strong financial performance to their reinvestment into renewables, we’ve summarised the key findings and what they mean for your business.  

A SAFE, SECURE AND SUSTAINABLE COMPANY

Statkraft achieved record-high earnings in 2019 of 17.6 billion NOK (£1.5 billion) before interest and taxes (EBIT), the highest result in its history. Their net profit ended at an impressive 11.3 billion NOK (£930 million), all whilst retaining their A- credit rating1. 

 

Other highlights in 2019 include selling their first data centre site to Google, ensuring energy-intensive industries are powered by renewable energy. Statkraft have also confirmed their position as leaders in the European power purchase agreement market by signing several new long-term power contracts in 2019. 

 

INVESTING IN A RENEWABLE FUTURE

Statkraft have continued to reinvest in renewable energy generation and technology. They invested 3.7 billion NOK in 2019 (£300 million), developing new renewable energy production in Norway, Europe, South America and India.

 

As part of this, over the year they maintained, upgraded and expanded around 140 hydropower projects in the Nordic regionCombined, they create Europe’s largest reservoir capacity and a fleet of flexible power plants that can be optimised to meet demand.

 

Statkraft have also continued to grow their solar and wind generation, acquiring nine Irish solar projects as well as UK onshore wind developer Airvolution Clean Energy. Three more wind farms have opened in Norway whilst another three will be in full production during 2020, helping to complete the largest onshore wind project in Europe! Together, they help Statkraft towards their target of 6 GW of onshore wind and 2 GW of solar power by 2025.

 

In addition to renewable energy, Statkraft have expanded their electric vehicle charging business, acquiring German EV charging company E-Wald and increasing their ownership of Grønn Kontakt, a Norwegian EV charging company.

SUSTAINABILITY IS IN OUR DNA

Statkraft are a member of the UN Global Compact and have committed to several UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to ensure their work has a positive impact on the world around them. Their particular focus is on providing affordable renewable energy (Goal 7) and taking Climate Action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Goal 13), however their activities impact a variety of the 17 connected goals.

 

As well as the SDGs, Statkraft are continually working to reduce the negative impacts renewable generation can have on biodiversity & ecosystems. Whilst renewable energy is crucial for reducing C02 emissions, Statkraft are working to understand, manage and reduce any of their impact on landmarine and aviation life.

 

HOW DOES THIS BENEFIT YOUR BUSINESS?

Statkraft’s recent developments and financial performance reinforces our parent company as a secure and growing business, with sustainability at its heart. As a customer of Bryt Energy, backed by Statkraft, you can have the peace of mind that you’re with a safe and trusted zero carbon electricity supplier.

 

You can also be confident that you’re working with a company who are continually reinvesting in renewable energy generation. These investments help to tackle climate change, reduce emissions and work towards the UK’s net zero by 2050 target.

 

By being a customer of Bryt Energy, you are part of a much bigger picture, helping the move towards a low carbon, sustainable future.

 

To read Statkraft’s full report, visit here.

Sources:

Standard & Poor’s credit rating

THE WINDS OF CHANGE ARE BLOWING THROUGH PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FINANCES

With low carbon sources surpassing fossil fuels in the UK generation mix, mentioned in one of our most recent blogs, things are moving fast in the world of finance. Supporting coal, oil and gas projects is fast going out of fashion. Coming into favour are projects aligned to the Paris Agreement of keeping global warming to 1.5 °C.

 

Leading the charge is the European Investment Bank, which says it is going to make available €1Trillion during the 2020s for clean energy innovationenergy efficiency and investment in renewables1. The new lending policy will see an end to supporting fossil fuel-based projects by the end of next year. There will also be an increase in funds available for decentralised energy production and innovative energy storage and e-mobility, as well as for low or zero carbon generation and grid investments to support.

 

Offshore wind could well be one of the major beneficiaries for these investments. The European Commission is looking for between 230 and 450GW of wind generation by 2050, scaling up from the current 20GW today. A new report from Wind Europe, representing the turbine manufacturers and suppliers, confirms the feasibility of achieving 450GW – the level considered necessary to reach Net Zero Carbon in Europe by 20502.

 

The Net Zero Asset Owners Alliance is another ground-breaking development which will shape the direction of future finance for energy projects. Launched at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September, the Alliance is made up of pension fund and investment company members, such as Aviva, Axa and Allianz. Alliance members have nearly $4 trillion in assets under management and will now be transitioning their investment portfolios to be aligned with achieving Net Zero Carbon by 20503.

THE VALUE OF SUSTAINABILITY

The direct impact climate change will make on future company asset values has been underlined in a new report prepared for Principles for Responsible Investment, an independent organisation representing over two thousand assets owners, investment managers and service providers. The report concludes that the most carbon-intense companies could lose over 40% of their value whilst the least carbon-intense businesses could increase in value by 1/34.

 

Meanwhile the UK as a potential home for these investments has risen according to the latest survey from Ernst and Young’s Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index5. We’re up one place in the overall global ranking to seventh behind China, USA, India, France, Australia and Germany, scoring particularly well in offshore wind, marine energy and onshore wind.

 

BUSINESSES TAKE NOTE! 

Looking after your personal investments is increasingly aligned with looking after the planet. As a business, make sure you consider:

  • Where and what your pension, stocks, or shares invest in.
  • Do the funds and organisations you invest in have good green credentials?
  • Are these organisations adapting to a sustainable future or are they slow to change? The future success of your investments could depend on their speed.

With the world of finance moving towards a more sustainable future, your business can’t afford to be left behind.

Sources:
  1. 1. European Investment Bank
  2. 2. Wind Europe
  3. 3. Net-Zero-Alliance
  4. 4. Principles for Responsible Investment
  5. 5. Ernst and Young

Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2oC and pursue efforts to keep to 1.5oC, reached at the UN climate meeting in Paris, is driving businesses at home and abroad to take action. Businesses are adopting targets in their push to becoming more sustainable – here are some of the best, most recent examples of these commitments in action:

INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES COMMIT TO PARIS CEILING

According to the global research organisation the World Resources Institute, 87 companies based in 27 countries are now committed to working towards the 1.5oC target across their operations and value chains1. The We Mean Business Coalition employs over four million staff and includes many well-known names such as Astra Zeneca, Hewlett Packard, Unilever and Vodafone. Adopting science-based targets, the companies plan to reach Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 at the latest, saving direct emissions that are equal to the output from 73 coal-fired stations1.

 

UK COMPANIES STEP UP TO THE PLATE

But achieving Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 is going to need more than converting to renewable energy sources and boosting energy efficiency, according to a new report from the Ellen Macarthur Foundation3. The report believes that energy measures will achieve 55% of the emissions reduction necessary. Achieving the balance will need to be tackled separately, focusing on the continuing need for food production and manufactured goods.

 

THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY

This is where the Circular Economy comes in, working on the three principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use and regenerating natural systems. Based on work in various industries, including plastics, food, cement and steel, the Foundation calculates that adopting a Circular Economy Framework would eradicate a further 20% of global emissions, leaving a balance of 25% to be achieved through emerging technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, and changes in diet and lifestyle3.

 

PLASTICS ARE A PRIORITY

The need to keep plastics in the economy and out of the ocean lies at the heart of the Global Plastics Commitment, which now contains over 400 signatories including 200 businesses representing over 20% of all plastic packaging used4.  They have a combined annual revenue in excess of $2 trillion and include well-known names such as Coca Cola, Nestle and Mars.

 

Their objectives for 2025 include increasing the use of recycled plastic five-fold and eliminating problematic plastic packaging, equivalent to leaving 25 million barrels of oil in the ground. The vision remains to achieve a Circular Economy for Plastics in which plastic never becomes waste, by re-using, re-cycling or composting.

THE BRYT FUTURE

Our parent company, Statkraft, has recently joined with two other major electricity companies in Scandinavia, Vattenfall and Fortumto issue the Nordic Coalition Declaration5. It requests that the European Union raises its climate ambitions to match the Paris Agreement and set Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050 into European Climate Law.

 

These examples of how businesses are responding to the Paris Agreement, and Climate Change in general, show just how fast industries and economies are changing.

 

Your business can play its part too with a simple switch to a zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply. To find out more about how Bryt Energy can support your sustainability journey, get in touch with our friendly team at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575.

Sources:

World Resources Institute

YouGov

Ellen Macarthur Foundation

New Plastics Economy

Nordic Coalition Declaration

Protecting the environment for future generations is now commonly seen as the most burning issue of our time. Recognising this, politicians of all parties are nailing Climate Change and a Cleaner Energy Future to their campaign masts from the outset. With so much going on, we’ve summarised the key environmental plans parties have committed to ahead of the election, to make it easy for your business to understand.

WHAT THE PARTIES SAY

In the Conservative Party, the Treasury has just announced the launch of a Net Zero Carbon Reviewwhich will evaluate how best economic growth can be maintained during the transition perioto 20501.

 

Labour wants to create a million jobs to kick start their Green Industrial Revolution and cut the ‘substantial majority’ of the country’s carbon by 20302. The Liberal Democrats are committing to insulating all low income homes by 2025 and to have renewables providing 80% of the UK’s electricity by 20303. The Green Party wants to invest £100 billion a year for the next decade to ensure Britain is fully carbon neutral by 20304.

 

And it’s only early days. Campaigning has hardly begun! 

NEW IDEAS

The Conservative Party’s new Environment Bill contains distinct echoes of the Climate Change Act. Proposals include a new Office for Environmental Protection and Statutory Environmental Improvement Plans with legally binding targets in four priority areas: air quality, waste & resource efficiency, water and nature 5. Progress will be reviewed every five years.

 

Labour’s Warm Homes for All plan would involve £60 billion grants for low income households and interest free loans for all to improve the nation’s 27 million houses. Installing double glazing, loft insulation, heat pumps and solar panels would provide 450,000 new jobs and require, it is thought, some £250 billion in 10 years. All new homes would be net zero carbon within three years and gas central heating boilers would be banned2.

 

The Liberal Democrats want a Government Department specifically for Climate Change and Peoples Assemblies throughout the country to advise on ways forward3.

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Other measures taken outside parliament are also starting to bite. Early results from London’s new Ultra Low Emissions Zone show harmful emissions are already 4% lower in the capital than before the scheme was introduced only six months ago.

 

Public outcry through the actions of Extinction Rebellion and others is clearly making its mark on the politicians. And with the UN Climate Meeting scheduled for Glasgow towards the end of next year, “Climate Change and What We Are Going to Do About It” seems set for high profile, not only through the election but continuing into the beginning months of the new government.

 

All this is welcome news for industrial and commercial energy customers. In particular, the statement in the Treasury Net Zero Carbon Review that emissions need to be cut without exporting them elsewhere – recognition that the needs of industries and business generally must be taken into account.

 

Parties’ environmental plans have now surfaced, and it’s clear that businesses’ reputation and economic performance are aligned. A clean energy future must be cost-effective for businesses and progress needs to accelerate to reach our net-zero emissions 2050 goal.

Sources:

1. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/net-zero-review-launched-to-support-uks-world-leading-climate-commitment

2. https://labour.org.uk/press/full-text-of-jeremy-corbyns-speech-in-northampton/

3. https://www.libdems.org.uk/plan

4. https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/images/national-site/eu-2019/eu-manifesto-online-19-05-07.pdf

5. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/environment-bill-2019/environment-bill-policy-statement

Electricity supplies from renewable power, including Wind, Solar and Hydro, were greater than those from Gas, Oil and Coal-fired stations for the first time ever during the three months ending this September1! This positive news is a welcome achievement and comes at a time when National Grid predicts that we should have more than enough power this winter to meet national demand2.

WIND AND SOLAR POINT THE WAY

Wind farms in the North Sea are chiefly responsible for renewables passing this landmark in the electricity industry’s history. During the third quarter of 2019, Wind power provided 20% of the UK’s power supplies, with all renewables making up a total of 40%1. This is just ahead of the combined output from the traditional fossil-fuel stations, which are now mainly gas-fired.

 

Adding an expected 20% contribution from Nuclear across the year confirms National Grid’s belief that ‘carbon free’ supplies are now firmly in the majority and will continue to grow rapidly. Coal plants, responsible for just 1% of the total, are on the way out and will be gone altogether in the next few years1.

Renewable energy has more than quadrupled over the last 10 years whilst energy efficiency and structural changes to the economy have brought consumption levels down1. For some years to come, Gas will remain the balancing fuel within the mix, although its role will need to be reduced if the UK’s net-zero emissions target is to be achieved.

RENEWABLES SECURE SUPPLIES FOR WINTER

National Grid’s Winter Outlook predicts that peak demand will fall whilst available supply, including from renewables, will increase 2. This means the grid is expected to meet anticipated peak demand on the system this winter.

WELCOME NEWS FOR BUSINESSES

The smooth transition to low carbon generation sources, whilst maintaining security of supply, will be welcome news to business customers. These figures confirm that those who have not already gone ‘low carbon’ can now do so both cost-effectively and secure in the knowledge that they will be buying from a grid dominated by renewables.

Sources:

1. Carbon Brief

2. National Grid Winter Outlook  

Here at Bryt Energy, we are pleased to announce that our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply product has once again been assessed, verified and assured by an independent third party, to give our customers the confidence they require when reporting their carbon emissions.

The audit was undertaken by EcoAct, who verified our supply product against the ‘Quality Criteria of the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance (2015)’ and assured that our customers could report the electricity they purchase as zero carbon. 

WHO IS ECOACT?

EcoAct is an international advisory consultancy and project developer that works with clients to help them succeed in their climate ambitions. They believe that climate change, energy management and sustainability are drivers of corporate performance and they help to address business problems and opportunities in an intelligent way. Learn more at https://eco-act.com/

 

Mark Chadwick, CEO of EcoAct, says: “By independently verifying and assuring its product as 100% renewable and backed by guarantees of origin, Bryt Energy gives its customers confidence that the electricity they purchase is zero carbon. This provides clients with the proof they need to report zero emissions as part of their environmental strategies.”  

THE VERIFICATION PROCESS

EcoAct reviewed and tested the design, implementation and operation of our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity product. From the design and marketing to the sales and operational systems, EcoAct studied our processes and visited our site to meet the team involved.  

 

The audit also involved evaluating our GoO (Guarantees of Origin) and REGO (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) balance for the Fuel Mix Disclosure period of 1st April 2018 – 31st March 2019. These are certificates which prove that we purchase electricity produced from renewable sources, as defined by Ofgem, on behalf of our customers.

 

After a rigorous assessment, EcoAct confirmed that our product is exactly what we say it is – zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, sourced solely from our wind, hydro and solar portfolio. 

 

Chairman of Bryt Energy, Dave Cave, commented: “The mission to become zero carbon is becoming more important to businesses, as changes in legislation encourage us all to be more transparent with our Fuel Mix. Bryt Energy’s customers are one step ahead, as they continue to work with a pioneering, trusted and certified energy supplier.” 

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

If you’re a customer of ours, EcoAct’s Assurance Statement and Stamp allow you to report your related electricity consumption as zero carbon, with confidence. 

 

It reinforces our trusted and transparent relationship with our customers – doing the basics brilliantly at the highest of ethical standards. 

 

To learn more about our EcoAct audit and how it benefits your business, please contact us at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575. 

STATKRAFT’S 2019 LOW EMISSIONS SCENARIO SHOWS HOW FAST THE ENERGY WORLD IS CHANGING

Confining global warming to the new target of 1.5°c from the Paris Climate Agreement will cost much less than allowing temperatures to rise relentlessly this century. This is one of the key findings from this year’s Low Emissions Scenario report by our parent company, Statkraft, Europe’s largest generator of renewable energy.  

 

It’s the fourth year the Low Emissions Scenario report has been published and once again the main change, Statkraft says, has been the need to bring down the future cost estimates for solar power. 

 

Other key findings from this year’s Low Emissions Scenario report, which is based on a 2°c pathway, include:

LOWER COSTS WILL HELP EMISSIONS FALL

Statkraft predicts that, by 2050, energy-related greenhouse gas emissions should be 44% lower than now, driven by rapidly reducing costs for solar PV (down 50%) and wind (down 40%). 

 

As costs decline for renewable energy, the report expects electrification to become the most important climate measure for buildings, industry and transport. Statkraft also believes the bill to keep to the 1.5°c will be within 1% of GDP in 2050. This is far less than the 5-10% of global GDP calculated to be the cost if temperatures are allowed to rise by 3°c over this century.    

PURE ENERGY TO DOMINATE

Statkraft’s report predicts global solar PV capacity will increase by a factor of 30 and wind capacity eightfold, making the power sector 80% renewable by 2050. It notes that renewables can now be profitably installed in most countries where new capacity is required and should soon be able to challenge existing plants on costs. 

 

The pace of technological development into the future remains key. The Low Emissions Scenario assumes the cost per MWh will continue to fall steeply and capacity to expand rapidly until around 2030. After this, the decline in costs is expected to slow down, firstly for wind and then for solar. 

SUSTAINABILITY TO TAKE CENTRE STAGE

Increased climate awareness is largely due to the consequences of global warming becoming more visible. The report points out that 62 million people were affected by natural disasters in 2018. Floods displaced 35 million while over nine million were impacted by drought. Two hurricanes in the US cost $49 billion and, in northern Europe, the record-breaking hot summer led to major losses in food production.

 

Statkraft’s report also notes that we have already reached a global average temperature that is around 1°C higher than in pre-industrial times. The last four years have been the warmest in history and the effects of climate change are being felt in more and more areas.    

 

Highlighting the impact sustainable practices and a circular economy are having on businesses, the report calculates that energy intensity will fall by 42% between now and 2050, showing that businesses will continue to use energy much more efficiently. 

THE TRANSPORT REVOLUTION IS HERE

Electricity demand for transport is expected to grow twenty-fold by 2050. The report also predicts that electric and hydrogen trucks will be competitive with diesel within the next five years and the cost of combined solar PV and battery installations is set to fall by over 60% by 2050. 

 

Battery-electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles with fuel cells are expected to offer complementary solutions. The Low Emissions Scenario report estimates that the percentage of electric and hydrogen vehicles of total new sales worldwide will approach 100% for passenger cars and 60% for heavy vehicles by 2050. 

TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE

Statkraft’s Low Emissions Scenario shows just how quickly the world energy order is changing and how important it is for not just Great Britain, but for the World, to keep up. Only last month, the Commons Science and Technology Committee urged greater action to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, setting out a series of recommendations including: a strategy for decarbonising heat, a timetable for bringing forward the ban on conventional cars and vans, and the need for strong policy support for onshore wind and solar power.  

 

The report also calls for much earlier action from governments and businesses, noting that global emissions rose by 1.7% last year on the back of rising demand for oil and coal, particularly in Asia and the United States. 

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR YOUR BUSINESS

2020 holds out the prospect for energy policy initiatives to finally come forward after some delay. Energy and carbon reduction will soon return to the forefront when Glasgow hosts 30,000 delegates in the United Nations Climate Summit next year. 

 

Businesses need to stay ahead of the game, follow upcoming events carefully and be proactive on their sustainability journey. To stay within the 1.5°c limit, businesses need to double their current actions, and quickly, particularly improving their sustainability efforts and reducing their carbon footprint; as the report highlights, there is significant advantage in doing so. With the falling costs of renewables, there needs to be a much quicker and wider uptake of renewable energy and technologies within businesses, as well as more proactive and collaborative activities from organisations.  

 

Statkraft’s full report contains interesting insights into a changing energy landscape, including a comparative cost analysis between the 1.5°c and 2°c pathways. 

In this constantly changing and challenging economic landscape, businesses are being asked to reduce their costs whilst at the same time make more money. With that in mind, here’s why a move to renewable energy could not only help you save money but provide you with more opportunities and help you win more business. 

CUSTOMERS WANT TO BUY GREEN

In a 2017 study, Unilever investigated consumer’s buying habits. They found that consumers “would actively choose brands if they made their sustainability credentials clearer on their packaging and in their marketing”, and 1/3 of consumers are now buying from brands based on their social and environmental impact. That’s a potential £860bn market available to brands who show off their green credentials [1]. 

 

But what about businesses who are in the B2B space, working with companies driven by their head, not the heart? Well, it’s not just B2C companies that are benefitting from sustainable culture.  

 

There’s the RE100, a group of leading companies across multiple sectors, such as Apple, Facebook, Ikea, Kellogg’s, Lego, M&S and BMW, who have all committed to 100% renewable electricity. In 2017, Capgemini found that “globally, RE100 companies are financially more profitable than their competitors in each sector” [2]. These businesses are clearly on to something if they are outperforming competitors in each sector. Even B2B companies, not driven by consumer wants, are still benefiting on their bottom line. 

 

The RE100 are now looking at their Scope 3 – their Supply Chain’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), ensuring they demonstrate their sustainability and act ethically. Get ahead of the game and differentiate yourselves by addressing 1 of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – Clean Electricity. That means if you want the competitive edge to supply to these giants, zero carbon, renewable electricity is the way to get it.    

YOU NEED TO REPORT ON IT

How, and what, companies need to report on emissions is changing. You may have heard of the Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting (SECR) framework. If you haven’t then you might want to see if you are one of the estimated 11,900 businesses that will need to report on your energy consumption and Greenhouse Gases in your annual report for financial years beginning on or after 1 April 2019 [3].  

This reporting has been introduced in place of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) report and aims to make reporting easier, whilst increasing the transparency of emissions to investors and encouraging businesses to act on climate-related risks. Check out your own business’ carbon emissions on our Carbon Calculator. 

YOU CAN STILL CUT COSTS

Most suppliers will offer renewable energy contracts backed by GoOs (Guarantees of Origin) or REGOs (Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin) that guarantee that what you have brought comes from a renewable generation source. The catch is there is usually an extra cost attached to this, which is one of the reasons green energy has been thought to cost more than brown energy (generated by fossil fuels). 

However, suppliers like Bryt Energy are offering all the benefits of a zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity supply at a competitive price. 

BE AWARE OF WHAT YOU’RE BUYING

Not all green energy is created equal and if your supplier is offering a low-carbon product it is worth checking the fuel mix behind the supply. For example, Nuclear generation is often quoted as green and low-carbon, but it comes from a finite resource with the added impacts of radioactive waste. Plus, whilst Bioenergy is classed as ‘renewable’, it requires combustion to generate electricity and is linked to an increased carbon production. 

 

At Bryt Energy we only supply zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, solely from natural sources: Wind, Hydro and Solar 

 

If you are currently looking into your electricity supply, get in touch to see what we can do to give your business the competitive advantage and win more business. 

Sources

1. Unilever Study https://www.unilever.com/news/press-releases/2017/report-shows-a-third-of-consumers-prefer-sustainable-brands.html 

2. CAPGEMINI https://www.capgemini.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/RE100_POV.pdf 

3. SECR https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/729586/SECR_Govt_response_Final__1_.pdf

THE ISSUE

Businesses have a big issue. Electricity costs have risen by 32% in the past year [1], with moves towards the electrification of transport and heat expected to place more demands on the grid in the future.  

 

For commercial energy users, electricity is more expensive between the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm, particularly in the winter months (also known as the Triad and red band period). This is because the higher the demand on the National Grid, the higher the price of electricity; and it’s businesses like yours who feel the pinch. 

 

Whilst on-site renewables are the way forward for many businesses, the sun doesn’t always shine, and the wind doesn’t always blow. 

 

By installing a battery storage system, your business can potentially move your electricity load out of the expensive times of day, save money, smooth out renewable energy sources and help the environment along the way. 

FIRSTLY, WHAT IS A BATTERY STORAGE SYSTEM?

It is simply a large battery that allows you to store electricity and then release the stored energy at the time you choose. A battery storage installation helps your business better manage its electricity consumption and could be used to avoid expensive peaks of the day or when little power is being generated from on-site renewables. Read on to find out how a battery could benefit your business.

 

HOW WOULD A BRYT ENERGY BATTERY HELP MY BUSINESS?

1. Save money 

Load shifting is a way your business can utilise your battery to save money. Your business can reduce electricity costs by charging the battery when electricity is cheap (such as at night or when you get excess power from on-site generation) and ‘shifting’ this power to use when electricity from the grid is expensive (i.e. during the day and peak periods). Operating the battery this way will alter your company’s pattern of electricity demand from the grid and save you money – a simple solution that could revolutionise your business’s energy consumption.  

 

    2. Make the most of your on-site generation 

If you combine storage with a source of on-site generation, such as solar panels, the potential to save money is enhanced. 

 

By incorporating battery storage, your business can create a controlled output and a smooth generation profile by storing your excess renewable energy/solar generation in the battery rather than exporting it for lower rates to the grid. This electricity can then be discharged from the battery and released back into your business when you need it, such as when your solar panels aren’t generating as much, or when energy demand is highest.  

 

   3.  Back up your business  

Shutting down your business due to power cuts or intermittent grid connections can be costly, and some industries need to work 24/7. Batteries offer a back-up solution, separating you from the grid in the event of a power cut or poor connection, giving you resilience and the peace of mind that your business can keep on going.  

 

  4. Access new revenue streams 

Having a flexible asset like a battery could not only save you money but actually help you earn money too! You could earn money by providing electricity back on to the National Grid at times of high demand. 

 

You can also get paid to use your battery storage system to help balance the frequency of the grid (known as Fast Frequency Response). By charging from the grid when the frequency is too high and discharging when the frequency is too low, you can help avoid damage to equipment and infrastructure and get paid whilst doing so.  

 

  5. Intelligently works with our Virtual Power Plant 

We’re currently moving from a static centralised world to a dynamic decentralised world; in this low carbon space, energy costs depend on when the wind blows and when the sun shines. With Bryt Energy’s Virtual Power Plant, you can use your battery intelligently to minimise costs and optimise revenue. Just think of our Virtual Power Plant as a super brain. Working alongside our specialist traders, it can make the most of your assets. It decides the best time to use your generation or storage assets (when prices would be high from the grid) and the best times to sell your energy back to the grid. Relax whilst we do the work for you! 

 

  6. Help the environment along the way 

Our climate has a curfew. To limit increasing temperatures to a maximum of 1.5°c, drastic changes need to be made by 2030. This includes renewables needing to supply 70-80% of global electricity demand [2]. So why not charge your battery with Bryt Energy’s zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, sourced solely from Wind, Hydro and Solar, to be part of a low carbon future. 

WHY NOW – SHOULDN’T I WAIT?

With the growing uptake of electric vehicles (EV) increasing demand on the grid, the future of batteries is now. In addition, recent advances in battery manufacturing technology mean prices for large scale storage systems have fallen dramatically whilst performance has improved, making them viable for many commercial operations. Certain batteries have reduced by 24% since just 2016 [3]!

WHY BRYT ENERGY STORAGE?

At Bryt Energy Storage, we offer a range of storage solutions to give you full control over your electricity supply. We’re technology neutral and don’t automatically recommend one battery technology over another – we just recommend what is best for your business. We’ve carried out pilot tests on a range of battery types and recognise that each has its advantages. Our dedicated team of engineers constantly assess the market for any new developments so you can be confident you’re getting the best advice. 

 

For a no obligation conversation on how a storage solution could help your business, get in touch with our team of experts at energystorage@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0330 058 0700. 

Sources

[1] Bryt Energy 2017-2018 statistics 

[2] https://www.ipcc.ch/ 

[3] Aggregation & lithium-ion batteries update – Bloomberg New Energy Finance

The IPCC Report was released on 8th October 2018 and gives an insight into what our world would be like if global warming exceeds the new target of 1.5°C above pre-industrialised levels. It came to a rather damning conclusion.
The cost of doing nothing

The report warns that if we continue along our current pathway, global temperatures will increase by 3°C by 2100. Sea levels and temperatures will rise, having devastating effects on small islands and coastal areas, and coral reefs will die as the ocean becomes more acidic. 

 

Extreme weather, such as storms, heatwaves and drought, will become more common and intense. Plus, with current Arctic temperatures already two to three times higher than the global annual average, there will be far less ice and snow to reflect solar radiation, causing temperatures to increase even further. 

But the IPCC report suggests that minimising global warming to 1.5°C will lessen the negative impact on biodiversity and ecosystems on both land and sea. 

What needs to happen?

To cap global warming to 1.5°c, big changes need to be made by 2030, including cutting emissions by 45% and using renewables to supply at least 70-80% of global electricity demand.  

5 things your business can do to cap global warming limits

1. Go electric – Cars, shipping, transport and buildings are all on their way to becoming electrified. Non-renewable electricity sources, such as Coal and Gas, will only make up less than 10% of all global energy generated by 2050, so it’s time to get on board the electric train! 

 

2. Switch to zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity – As the world becomes more electrified, it’s important that your energy comes from a zero carbon, 100% renewable source. Bryt Energy’s portfolio is solely made up of wind, hydro and solar, so you can run your business with peace of mind. 

 

3. Travel smart – Reduce your carbon footprint by taking less business trips and using video conferencing instead. If possible, walk or take public transport to work, or if that’s not an option, see how electric vehicles could work for you. 

 

4. Create a more sustainable office – Offer your staff the chance to recycle, compost their food and use reusable plastics in the office, to reduce your total waste and carbon footprint.  

 

5. Get your supply chain involved – Being part of a supply chain commitment makes your business more desirable to work with! Encourage your suppliers to follow best practice, work more sustainably and lower their carbon emissions.  

 

 

Together, we can all do our part in capping global warming. You can read the full IPCC report at www.ipcc.ch. To learn more about our zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity, speak to our dedicated team members at solutions@brytenergy.co.uk or on 0121 726 7575.