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Britain’s biggest energy firms escaped being hit by Labour’s price freeze and have been ordered to cut their bills. The new Energy Secretary Amber Rudd has written to the six energy firms asking them to ease the pressures that they have put on families.

Since Labour threatened to freeze prices if Ed Miliband became the prime minister, gas and electricity bills increased and since he was defeated in the general election, the prices have not lowered at all. The promise by Labour involved an 18-month freeze, which also allowed energy companies to argue that they could not reduce tariffs too much before the election. This was because they could have been forced to keep them at the new low level.

This also meant that the big six energy companies were able to keep prices artificially high, which in turn, dramatically boosted their profits. The new Conservative government has said that energy firms must take action to reduce their charges. This is a result from the companies who saw their wholesale costs drop by 30%, yet they only reduced bills by 1.3% last winter.

Amber Rudd has written to British Gas, npower, EDF, e.on, Scottish Power and SSE to tell them that they should stop keeping their prices artificially high. In one year, the energy firms’ average profits have increased by 32% to £120 per household, according to the regulator Ofgem. This means that the energy firms are seeing an all-time high on their part.

The consumer group Which? estimated that the average family has lost out on £145 a year because the providers have failed to pass on lower costs. The Competition & Markets Authority has decided to start an inquiry into whether the companies have rigged the market by delaying price cuts. The Authority holds particular concern over the 60% of households who are on standard contracts because they pay more than those on non-standard tariffs. Loyal customers are also missing out on up to £234 over one year because they did not switch providers.

Posted by: In: Business, Energy 30 Jul 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , , ,

The new ISO 50001 energy management system was developed by some of the world’s leading energy experts – to help businesses and organisations improve energy performance, reduce energy waste and increase efficiency.

Thousands of businesses in all kinds of industries around the world are using ISO 50001 energy management systems to raise their profit margins and stay ahead of the competition.

Every size of business can improve their energy performance with the ISO 50001 system, as it was designed along universal principles.Commercial Electricity Invoices

Marks & Spencer, Google, Costa Coffee, Bentley Motors, Viridor Waste, Royal Mint, Virgin Trains, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Coca Cola are some of the well known companies using ISO 50001 to help reduce their energy consumption and charges.  Universities, councils, NHS hospitals and the DECC are also cutting electricity and gas bills with ISO 50001.

Energy charges used to be a fairly low overhead, but for many businesses they have become an important consideration with a direct impact on the bottom line.

ISO 50001’s step by step energy management system helps you learn how, why, when and where your energy is being used, so you can discover opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs.

Using the Plan, Do Check and Act process ISO 50001 enables you to take control and use Low Cost and No Cost solutions, introduce energy saving technologies and improve processes to use energy more effectively.  ISO 50001 also helps you measure both your energy improvements and your savings.

ISO 50001 is recognised as the international energy standard in 164 countries.  Gaining certification to the ISO 50001 standard shows customers the high quality of your energy management, irrespective of whether they are in the UK or abroad.

For larger businesses ISO 50001 can also now provide a further significant benefit.

The Government have announced their new mandatory Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) – an energy assessment and energy saving identification scheme for large undertakings (and their corporate groups) across the UK.  This includes businesses employing 250+ staff in the UK, or in corporate groups which include a large undertaking.

ISO 50001 certification can provide compliance for the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS), so there is considerable interest from larger businesses and non-public sector organisations looking to use ISO 50001 to both improve their energy management and to comply with the new ESOS Scheme.

Fenn Utilities help businesses and organisations learn how to use the ISO 50001 energy management system to reduce energy consumption and energy charges.

Stephen Fenn is an MEI Chartered Energy Manager and ISO 50001 Lead Auditor.  Phone him on 01424 858307 or see www.fennutilities.com for more information.

Posted by: In: Energy, R&D 08 Jan 2014 Comments: 0 Tags: , , ,

Hales Water Turbines Ltd have a new Water Flow test and demonstration tank for generating tidal based electricity is built and fitted out in Hastings, East Sussex.  They are currently in the process of commissioning its operation and fitting the test equipment and are hoping for it to be up and running Jan/Feb 2014. The facility is at their Ivy House Lane premises in Hastings.

tidal-flow-test-facility-hastings

The new tidal flow test facility in Hastings will be open for testing and is attracting interest from all over the world.

Some units of their Venturi Duct Micro- sized Hales Turbines are also being built and they intend to have a unit installed within the test tank for demonstrations and also further development and improvements.

Their small prototype lift crane can take 250 Kg items and the test area is 1.5m wide and 1.2m deep, once they have commissioned it  they will have a set of flow rates.

Hales Energy intend to make the Test facility available to any primary tidal stream developers  that needs to get some early reading to their design without the red tape involved with most site locations or the  huge cost of the limited Tow Tank facilities elsewhere in the country.

People around the world are slowly starting to understand the potential of low velocity tidal stream flows, much of the interest seems to be coming from the Asia and Pacific regions and its great to see a local business attracting business attracting global interest.