As recent issues have highlighted, energy is an essential utility we cannot do without. Yet the way we source and use energy has to change dramatically, as the UK works to map a path to net zero by 2050.
Using less will become an important part of this journey. And the good news is that, unlike other suppliers of goods and commodities, your energy company is likely to be very adept at helping you use less rather than more of their product.
They may even be able to help you generate your own power, meaning you reduce consumption of their product further still. For example, we’ve helped one county council in the north west with an innovative renewable scheme that generates income as well as energy (of which more below).
When it comes to working towards net zero targets, this type of approach can be very helpful. Especially for organisations in the public sector, where funding is tight, resources are often limited and the landscape of providers can be crowded and overwhelming.
Tap into sources of knowledge and know-how
As one of the UK’s largest suppliers, we are keen to share our knowledge and expertise with the consumers we serve. In addition to supporting your organisation to reduce energy costs, our team at npower Business Solutions is able to help you plot a viable path to net zero, taking a strategic approach that covers all bases.
From getting to grips with exactly how and where you use energy and reducing consumption, to utilising energy-saving technologies with the best return on investment for your site and circumstances.
For example, blogs that share insight into funding opportunities, such as phase 3 of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which is open for applications from 6 October to 3 November.
Funding application support
Our team has also supported organisations with successful applications for previous funding rounds, including information gathering, assessments of existing heating systems and suitable replacement low-carbon technologies, plus a plan of works for the energy efficiency measures necessary to reduce heat loss.
Then there are free reports to download on practical topics such as incentives to aid decarbonisation, understanding Scope 3 emissions or the most effective energy-saving measures to consider.
You can also access one-to-one guidance and help from our network of specialists, who can help with practical support such as energy audits, automated energy management systems, energy-saving technologies, on-site generation and electric vehicle infrastructure.
In addition, by being part of a supply framework such as that provided by YPO, you are more likely to be able to access services normally only available to the largest consumers.
This includes access to Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). For example, we’ve recently provided such a solution for Warrington Borough Council.
Warrington sourced suitable land on which to install solar arrays. On some of these, they’ve also co-located battery storage to optimise income from exporting power to the grid during times of peak demand. This is expected to generate millions in income for Warrington to invest in other local services.
Investigate district power
If you don’t have any space suitable to install renewable assets at your sites, it’s worth investigating local district power schemes to introduce into your supply framework, as these could provide a source of low-carbon energy for your organisation.
For example, at Blackburn Meadows in Sheffield, our parent organisation E.ON operates a biomass-fuelled Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant. This powers 40,000 local homes plus local businesses – with opportunities for more organisations to join and source power.
If you work for a local authority with plans to build new housing, district heating schemes are another way to generate low-carbon power locally.
There are plenty of ways to reduce your organisation’s carbon emissions and take strides on your path to net zero. It’s worth remembering your energy supplier can provide help, support and new thinking to help make this journey faster, more strategic and cost-effective.
Gareth has been working with clients in the energy sector for over 20 years. In his current role he looks after npower’s Public Sector team, working with his team to support organisations achieve their net zero goals.