Blog by Julie Plunkett – Consumers due to save billions, thanks to energy reduction

by 01 August 2017

Smarter Flexible Grid

Customers in the UK could save billions of pounds thanks to major changes in the way electricity is made, used and stored, the government has said.

The rate that householders and businesses pay for their electricity varies throughout the time of day and year depending on their consumption in various periods, especially during peak demand. Aside from wholesale costs for your commodity, the charges that are added on are increasing.

It is true by managing your electricity usage more effectively and keeping out of peak demand periods, you can reduce your costs significantly – especially as we move into an energy market where the subsidisation of renewable generation and the increased need to reduce stress on the grid at peak periods. The costs that are built into energy contracts are forecast to increase year on year to a point in 2020 where wholesales commodity is predicted to make up only 35% of energy invoices.

There are a number of ways in which you can take control of your energy consumption and work with National Grid to reduce stress at peak periods, thus generating a revenue stream from doing so. See below the stages of reducing costs designed to help you manage and reduce your usage.

Monitoring

With all automated meter reading (AMR) and half hourly (HH) meters, you will have the ability to monitor your consumption and understand when and how much you use. This is the starting point to see exactly how much your energy is costing you, not just as a wholesale cost but also the non-commodity charges that are built into your contract for purchasing your energy at different times. Most of all, suppliers and consultants can provide you with this type of monitoring to help you understand how to benefit from the cost reductions by being more flexible with the way you use your energy.

Once you have calculated that, you can potentially save on your energy spend. There are a number of different technologies available to help you do so, starting with the quick fixes to a more sustainable energy reduction plan for the future.

Quick Fixes

Building Management System Control
Behavioural Changes

Energy Solution Technologies: Assets designed to reduce your consumption

LED Lighting
Solar PV
Smart cooling

Upgrading of old energy intensive assets

Boilers
HVAC Units

Demand Management

Battery Storage
Onsite Generation

Demand management technologies help you manage your usage and enable you to reduce or generate consumption at peak demand periods to ease stress on the grid. Understanding when the peak periods are and helping ease stress on the grid at these times do have a revenue incentive from National Grid but also embedded benefits of reducing the charges associated with consuming your energy in those periods.

The list could go on and on with many new entrants of energy reduction technologies – but understanding which technology is going to benefit you the most is key.

Now that you have understood the value of what you could save from reducing your energy and using your energy in a smarter way, what is the cost of installing the technology?

How is it going to be funded and what’s the payback?

Funding

Capex
Loans

There are funding products that release capex to you to fund energy reduction technologies which are built into your energy contract. This spreads the cost across two to three years and is included in your monthly energy invoices, tax free.

Payback

This varies with the different solutions and ranges between two to five years. With solutions installed, you see the benefits and can start saving straight away.

Utility Team can provide you with free, impartial advice on ways of reducing energy and cutting costs. Please feel free to give us a call on 02476 997 901 and we can help you understand what is available in a way that is easy to understand. Energy management doesn’t have to be over complicated, just provided to you in a way that makes sense with clear cost benefits.

Julie Plunkett is Business Development Manager here at Utility Team.