Category Archives: Heating

npower Reveals Opportunity to Save for SMEs Shutting Down Over Christmas

npower research has revealed more than half (55%) of the nation’s small and medium-sized businesses will be taking an extended break over Christmas by shutting down completely from Christmas Eve until the New Year.

However, more than one quarter (28%) of those planning to shut down have no measures in place to avoid unnecessary energy wastage during the holidays, reveals new research released today from npower.

A significant amount (59%) of SMEs also say they will be reducing their operating hours, but nearly one third (31%) will not be adjusting their building systems to reflect these changes, meaning they could miss out on potential savings.

The research undertaken among more than 300 SMEs across the UK also revealed energy efficiency will increase as a business priority in 2013 for nearly one third (30%) of businesses.

Phil Scholes, SME Markets Director at npower, commented: “We undertook research among SMEs just before Christmas to highlight the opportunities for businesses to save energy. There are some simple measures such as ensuring lights and equipment are switched off and that heating systems are set to reflect the changes in opening hours, which can really make a big difference.

“We’d encourage those SMEs looking to take a break this year to fully embrace this great opportunity to make some savings, and with our research revealing energy efficiency is set to increase as a business priority in 2013, why not get the year off to a good start?”

While a significant number of SMEs do not have plans in place to manage energy waste over the shut down period, some businesses have planned ahead and the research shows that switching off equipment and lights are the most popular energy saving measures for forward-thinking companies. In addition, more than two thirds (69%) of those who will be reducing their operating hours over Christmas said they will change the settings on their building systems such as heating and lighting to reflect these changes, ensuring they will be able to use energy as efficiently as possible.

Phil Scholes continued: “It is great to see some businesses are ensuring they don’t waste energy over the Christmas break. Most organisations can save up to 20 per cent on their fuel bills by better managing their energy use and investing in cost-effective measures, so there is a real opportunity for more SMEs to save in 2013.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Installs Solar Power To Save Carbon

A large-scale project to install solar panels across eight of its key UK sites was completed by npower between April – July 2012.

Approximately 200 photovoltaic panels, which generate a total of 50kW of electricity, were installed at each site by npower’s Business Energy Services division, while battling the wet and windy weather this summer. The installations ensure that the range of buildings, from one of npower’s power stations at Little Barford in St Neots, to one of its main call centres in Houghton-le-Spring, just outside Sunderland, will benefit from reduced carbon emissions.

As solar PV is an ideal renewable energy technology for most buildings, it suited the npower premises which differed in age and location types from urban to rural surroundings and featured varying roof styles.

The new technology will help npower achieve its target of reducing the carbon emissions from its offices by 38% by 2014. It will also allow npower to generate electricity during daylight hours and export any that is unused back to the Grid, thereby saving both energy and costs. The solar PV is already having an impact on the amount of electricity the offices are taking from the Grid for power. Birch House, an npower office in Oldbury in the West Midlands, which houses around 500 employees has already seen a 16% reduction in power used from the Grid when compared to the previous year thanks to the solar PV and other measures implemented across the site.

The installation of solar PV technology is part of the company’s wider commitment toenergy efficiency. Other measures have included the installation of energy efficient air conditioning units, motion sensor lighting and new recycling facilities.

Dave Horton, property sustainability and capital investment manager from npower, commented: “npower is committed to reducing the environmental impact and carbon footprint of our sites. This project is designed to help us meet these aims. It is great to see the significant results achieved already at Birch House and across our other sites.

“The comprehensive planning that went into the project was really important to make sure it was completed on time and as efficiently as possible. It was particularly essential as not only did we have to install the solar PV on a variety of buildings and roof styles, we also had to contend with all the elements the great British summer weather threw at us. The project was completed swiftly in less than two weeks and it was crucial disruption was kept to a minimum as the sites were fully operational throughout.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Reports A £330bn Investment Needed In UK Energy Infrastructure By 2030

The urgent need for up to £330bn of investment in the UK’s energy infrastructure to ensure a secure energy supply, meet carbon emissions reduction targets and protect the UK economy by 2030, is highlighted in a new report from The London School of Economics and Political Science.

The npower Future Report – ‘Energy and the economy: The 2030 outlook for UK businesses’ – reflects upon the need for a balanced focus on economic growth and investment in the energy infrastructure to deliver a low carbon and strong UK economy. It also calls on businesses to act now to ensure they are protected for the future.

Three potential scenarios for the 2030 energy and economic landscape and the implications for UK business are examined in the report; from continued austerity to a sidelining of carbon emissions reduction targets in favour of cheaper energy sources to power the UK and businesses. The report shows how a number of factors will shape what 2030 will mean for UK plc.

Professor Samuel Fankhauser, author of the npower Future Report, Co-Director of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at The London School of Economics and Political Science and a member of the Committee on Climate Change, commented: “This report shows how fragile and delicate the equilibrium of factors is for protecting the future of the UK energy industry. A slight change of emphasis in policy, a weakening economic picture or a preference for cheaper energy sources over low carbon energy generation could result in very different operating environments for UK businesses. It is crucial UK businesses take action now to overcome the potential challenges they may face.”

Volker Beckers, CEO of RWE npower, commented: “£200bn by 2020 has been the long-held figure recognised as being key to a secure energy future. However, this report shows that almost the same amount again is needed just 10 years later to provide the right environment to balance cost, carbon and continuity of supply. It is therefore crucial that the UK energy industry, Government and businesses work collaboratively to ensure this level of investment is secured and foundations are set for economic and environmental prosperity by 2030.”

Via EPR Network
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Local Museum Gets Juiced Up With Help From npower

Staff from npower and Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery are celebrating the installation of a new £300,000 biomass boiler; replacing the museums two old, inefficient, oil fired boilers, which had come to the end of their useful life after 20 years of service.

The new biomass boiler is expected to give the museum at least 30 more years of heat and power, as well as saving energy and money.

The new boiler has been jointly financed by the npower Juice fund and Doncaster Council with npower financing over two-thirds of the overall cost. The project has been managed throughout by Doncaster MBC Construction Services Team.

Since the npower Juice fund was launched in 2001, it has raised more than £2 million and the money has helped to support renewable energy and community based projects all over the country. The Juice fund also helped three other community based projects over the summer holidays by installing renewable technologies which include solar panels and another biomass boiler.

To help with the celebrations, npower has invited Woodfield Primary School to the museum for a Climate Cops Academy day and a mini energy treasure hunt. Installing the new biomass boiler will help keep the museum warm and safe for many years, keeping Doncaster’s treasures safe for generations to come.

Councillor Cynthia Ransome, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “Of the two boilers that were in the museum, one had broken and the other was beyond the end of its economic life, so we are delighted with our new biomass boiler.

“It will help keep the museum powered for many more years to come and enable future generations to enjoy its fantastic exhibitions in warm and comfortable surroundings.”

Matthew Cole, npower’s Project Manager, added: “It’s fantastic that we were able to help Doncaster Museum as it’s a real asset to the community here. Not only will it enable the museum to stay open for at least another 30 years, but it will also save them money.”

Rosie Winterton, MP for Doncaster Central said: “It’s fantastic to see Doncaster Museum, npower and the council working together on this project. The new energy-saving measures will provide the museum with years of heat and power using renewable energy.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Has ‘Grand Designs’ On Saving Energy

Consumers looking to take control of their energy costs will be able to get the latest energy efficiency advice from npower at this year’s Grand Designs Live.

Visitors to Grand Designs will be able to meet with npower’s energy experts, receive energy efficiency advice, discuss what renewable technologies are available to them and sign up to receive more information about the Government’s new Green Deal initiative, as it progresses.

npower is inviting visitors to the stand to learn more about how to create a warmer home, including how the Green Deal might help them to achieve this. The aim of Green Deal is to revolutionise the energy efficiency of British properties and reduce carbon emissions. With the Green Deal, households will be able to receive finance in the form of a loan, to help pay for energy efficiency improvements, such as loft, cavity or solid wall insulation. It works on a ‘pay as you save’ principle allowing consumers to repay the loan in instalments via their energy bill. As well as avoiding potentially large up front costs, which can be a massive barrier, consumers can take comfort in the knowledge that repayments should not exceed the estimated savings on their energy bills – the so called ‘Golden Rule’.

Visitor’s who sign up to receive more information about the Green Deal and request an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for their home from npower, will automatically be entered into a free prize draw for up to £5,000 worth of energy efficiency improvements.

David Titterton, npower’s Director of ECO and Green Deal Delivery said: “Saving energy for consumers is key to running a successful energy services business. There are significant changes to government legislation taking place which, in principle, should make access to key energy saving improvements easier for everyone. The Green Deal is a fundamental shift in the way that people can finance energy efficiency improvements for their home.

“While the final details are still being worked on, we want to encourage as many people as possible to find out more about the Green Deal and energy efficiency. So why not come down to Grand Designs and visit us at our stand.”

Grand Designs Live is taking place until October 14th at the NEC and is the UK’s leading home show. The event will have over 500 exhibitors, across six different sections, covering interiors, gardens, home improvement, renovations and technology. Visit npower on stand B550.

Via EPR Network
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RWE npower announces opening of Pembroke Power Station

RWE npower has announced that its 2000MW flagship power station in Pembroke is now fully commercially available. RWE now operates the largest and most efficient gas-fired power station fleet, as well as the largest renewable energy portfolio, in Britain

A group of officials and industry leaders joined John Hayes MP, Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Peter Terium, Chief Executive Officer, RWE AG,and Stephen Crabb MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales to open the new Pembroke Power Station at a ceremony at the site.

The £1 billion state-of-the-art station is one of Europe’s largest and most efficient combined cycle gas turbine plants. At 2000MW, it will have an important role to play in the UK’s energy supply, able to respond quickly to the market to provide a highly flexible and reliable source of energy to over 3.5 million households.

Volker Beckers, Group Chief Executive Officer, RWE npower, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Pembroke Power Station into our portfolio of operational plants. This addition means RWE npower now has the largest and most efficient gas portfolio as well as the largest fleet of renewable energy technologies in the country.”

Minister of State for Energy, John Hayes MP, said: “The opening of Pembroke Power Station is great news for our energy security.

“Every new power station built is a real strategic asset for our economy. This billion-pound investment will play a vital role in our energy mix, providing a flexible, reliable energy supply for homes and businesses across the country.”

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, Stephen Crabb said: “As a Pembrokeshire resident and MP, I have been fortunate enough to see first-hand how the strong collaboration of RWE npower, local businesses and the wider community has led us to where we are today. I am delighted to be here to see all that hard work come to fruition.

“Apart from the long-term jobs this state-of-the-art facility will create, it will also play a significant role in promoting the wider economic development of the local community – and Wales as a whole – for generations to come.

“With the ever-increasing demand for energy production, the UK needs new sources of power generation. I have no doubt that this facility will play a vital role in maintaining the UK’s energy supplies for the future and make its own contribution to creating economic prosperity for Wales.”

Control of the final unit of Pembroke was handed over to the station team last week, marking the end of over three years of construction, in which over 10,000 contractors worked 7.4 million man hours to complete the state-of-the-art facility. The opening ceremony was also a chance to thank all of the people have been involved in the successful construction of the plant for their commitment and hard work.

RWE has invested over £1 billion a year into the UK over the past few years. As well as the £1 billion Pembroke station and the £650 million gas-fired Staythorpe power station which opened last year, RWE is also the UK’s leading investor in renewable technologies, with more installed renewable capacity and more investment than any other major energy company in the past five years.

Via EPR Network
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npower Urges Businesses To Plan Ahead For Winter Energy Management

npower is advising large energy users to start planning their winter energy management strategy now to ensure they are well prepared to take control of their energy costs.

One key step businesses can take is to put systems in place to better manage Triads and the transmission fees that result from them.

Each year, three half-hour periods of peak energy demand, known as Triads, are called by the National Grid, and the demand in these periods is used to set transmission fees (TNUoS), which can be part of energy bills. Triads fall between November and February, usually between 5-6pm during cold weather spells, when industrial demand coincides with the high domestic tea-time period.

However, businesses that have TNUoS as a pass-through charge on their bill can actively manage their consumption, and therefore their costs, during these times as part of anbusiness energy management strategy. npower offers a Triad warning service for customers, issuing a prediction of when a Triad period is likely to occur a day in advance so that businesses can make an informed choice on how to manage their consumption and reduce the impact of National Grid fees. Businesses can estimate how much they could save by responding to Triad warnings using npower’s free Triad savings calculator tool athttp://bit.ly/TriadCalculator.

Wayne Mitchell, npower’s industrial and commercial markets director, added:
“We’re always working to help businesses take control of their energy costs, and planning to manage Triads is a key part of an integrated energy strategy. npower not only issues Triad warnings a day in advance, to enable businesses to incorporate any measures into their usual energy management plans, but our online savings calculator can also help businesses work out the cost benefits of signing up to the warning service.

“npower has offered a triad warning service for over 15 years and has an excellent track record for accuracy. We would urge businesses to sign up as soon as possible, so they have the alerts in place before the cold weather begins. Only then they will be able to take full advantage of the benefits offered.”

For more information on npower’s Triad warning service and how your organisation can save money visit www.npower.com/triad.

Via EPR Network
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npower Reveals iPod Generation Makes Up 40% Of All UK Volunteers

Npower has released new research which reveals 18-24 year olds are the most likely age group to give up their free time to help in their community with 85% willing to commit time to voluntary projects.

The study of 2,000 people, carried out by one of Britain’s leading energy providers, npower, shows that the iPod generation is holding up David Cameron’s vision for the Big Society, as 40% of people in this age group say they have volunteered recently compared to just one in six older adults. 41% of Brits who claim to have volunteered did so when they were under 24.

The research reveals Britain’s youth are charity champions with half of all 18-24 year olds saying that everyone should volunteer at least once in their lifetime, compared to just 38% of other ages. Putting their elders to shame, 42% of over 55s, the age group most associated with voluntary work, have never volunteered.

Despite a perceived desire to help, with 60% of all Brits saying that volunteering is important, more than one in four people aged 25-65 say they have no interest in volunteering.

This lack of action is perhaps not surprising as more than half (56%) of those questioned think people in full time employment have busier lives than those of previous generations. A staggering 60% of Brits say work commitments, their employer, or lack of time, is preventing them from getting involved in their community, whilst a third (36%) are holding off until they retire.

Bev Frain from UK volunteering charity, CSV, explained: “npower’s survey highlights that Britain’s youth are not worthy of their bad reputation and actually need to be applauded for the work they are doing. However, the research also highlights a gap in Britain’s voluntary sector, where people of working age haven’t volunteered since they were younger, citing ‘lack of time’ as the main obstacle for not getting involved.

“There is a significant appetite for volunteering in the UK and that’s why it’s important that businesses like npower encourage volunteering through the workplace and get other age groups involved. In fact, grouping together with colleagues can be the easiest way to make a big difference without committing a huge amount of time.

“Spending just one day a year supporting a local community group, or half an hour a week mentoring young people or helping primary school children improve their literacy and numeracy skills makes a huge difference to the lives of others without taking up too much time. There’s a tremendous reservoir of skill, talent and energy out there, and we want to empower people and businesses to maximise these skills to help others.”

A survey of npower volunteers in 2011 revealed that 96% of those who had taken part said they felt they had made a difference and 83% felt more positive about working for the company. Meanwhile, 74% said they’d feel more motivated at work in the future.

For more about volunteering, visit www.csv.org.uk

Via EPR Network
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npower Reveals UK Homes Turning Up The Heat This Summer

Npower research has revealed that many homes across the UK resorted to switching their heating on to deal with this summer’s unseasonal weather.

Findings from energy company npower reveal that 50% of UK homes had used some form of heating in the last four weeks, and this figure rose to 58% for residents over 55 years of age. With the summer weather yet to make an appearance and boiler systems usually switched off in spring still in operation, npower is encouraging Brits to ensure their boilers are operating efficiently and safely.

To help homeowners keep their heating systems in good working order, npower has launched a combined energy tariff and central heating care package, meaning that new customers signing up to the Bill Saver energy tariff can take advantage of discounted central heating care.

Npower’s new offer combines the Bill Saver tariff, which offers annual charges discounted at 7%* until August 2013, with an exclusive central heating care offer, only available to new dual fuel customers taking this tariff.

Npower’s central heating care includes unlimited callouts as well as parts and labour**. The service also includes an annual boiler service and safety check giving homeowners peace of mind that everything is operating efficiently and safely. An additional bonus is that npower’s central heating care has no call out charges.

David Bond, Customer Marketing Manager at npower, commented: “The weather over the last couple of months has seen many people in the UK reaching for the heating controls and so it’s important that heating systems are well maintained so they are ready to spring into action when needed.

“Signing up to a central heating care product now will keep systems protected over the summer and, crucially, ensures that come winter residents have access to a team of qualified engineers and a 24/7 helpline should anything go wrong. This is a limited offer so we’re encouraging homeowners to sign up now to take advantage of our Bill Saver tariff and our cheapest central heating care together.”

Npower’s central heating care offer is available until 30th July 2012. For more information please contact 0800 229 999 or visit www.npower.com.

Via EPR Network
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npower’s Burntwood Office Powered By The Sun

npower’s Burntwood office is reaping the rewards of installing renewable energy technologies, saving hundreds of pounds on its energy bills and significantly reducing its carbon emissions.

Based on the Burntwood Business Park in Cannock Chase, npower’s three-storey office is home to 100 employees. With 196 light fittings, 96 computers and six printers in constant use throughout the day, the building uses a lot of energy.

npower installed 54 solar photovoltaic panels 18 months ago onto the south-facing roof of the building. The system generates 11 Kwh of electricity and offsets more than six tonnes of carbon each year. Being able to use electricity as it is generated onsite has already saved more than £1500 on energy bills.

The solar panels generate all the electricity needed, and the building owners, J.E. Dillon Properties, also receive Feed-in-Tariff payments from the government. Feed-in-Tariffs (FITs) offer landlords or residents who have had solar panels installed payment for every unit of electricity generated, regardless of whether it is used onsite or not. If the electricity is not used, it can be exported back to the grid generating additional payment*.

Helen Booker, solar expert for npower, commented: “The npower office in Burntwood is perfectly suited to solar panels, as it has a large south-facing roof which is not shadowed by larger buildings nearby. Also, because it is in constant use throughout the day, all the electricity generated can be used onsite, making the system incredibly efficient.

“We were really pleased that our landlord decided to install solar PV panels on npower’s offices. Now, 18 months on, not only are we benefitting from significant money and carbon savings, but we can lead by example and show how successful the technology is in action.

“Clearly, businesses have an important role to play in helping the government meet its carbon reduction targets and using renewable energy technology such as solar PV is a positive step towards this.”

Mr Dillon from J.E. Dillon Properties explained: “We chose to install solar panels on the Burntwood site to benefit both npower, as our existing tenants, and also future tenants. Businesses are looking for premises which allow them to reduce their carbon emissions and energy costs while providing a visual sign of their commitment to a low carbon future.”

npower’s website includes guidance for businesses on solar PV installations. Anyone interested can also speak to one of npower’s dedicated solar experts by calling 0845 600 2039.

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npower Reports Lack Of Funding A Key Barrier To Improving Energy Efficiency Of Social Housing

The youngsters from Oldfallings Youth Group were delighted to learn that their annual residential visit to the Camas Centre, on the Isle of Mull, was still going ahead, despite initial promises of funding having fallen through. Youth helper, Andy Brown (24), who lives in Oldfallings, decided to ask his employer, npower, to help out.

Around 14 youngsters were scheduled to go on the week-long trip and had been looking forward to it for some time. Andy explained: “We stay in an old fishing hut without distractions like mobile phones and TV; there is no electricity or gas and we all find out how easy it is to get along and the pleasure of being outdoors in such beautiful countryside.

“The withdrawal of funding was a huge blow to us and put the group’s finances into a precarious position. I applied for a donation from npower’s Community Volunteer Award programme and the cheque for £500 recently came through. The news was welcome relief for us all.”

The members of the youth group, who are all aged 13 to 18, take part in outward bound activities including walking, sailing and fishing. Andy, a former member, started to help the group leader, Richard Lockley, six years ago, volunteering to run activities for the youngsters at the club’s weekly Sunday evening meeting.

Michelle Barron, npower’s Charity and Volunteering officer, said the financial support is in recognition of Andy’s commitment to his youth group: “This award has meant the youngsters from Oldfallings Youth Group could enjoy their planned visit and reduce the financial burden on their leaders. We have several employees, like Andy, who give their time to help others and we are delighted to be able to support their contribution to their communities.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Reports Newcastle Teens Spending More Time Watching Sport Than Playing It

npower research has revealed that a quarter (24%)of teens in Newcastle spend more time watching sport on TV than playing sport outdoors. Even more revealing is that one in four (25%) of children in Newcastle admitted they have no one to take them out or there are not enough facilities for them to enjoy the great outdoors.

The research, commissioned by npower to celebrate the launch of its No Power Hour Road Show 2012, reveals that half (50%) of Newcastle kids admit they’re addicted to TV, the computer or video games.

However, the unprecedented number of sporting events and national celebrations this summer may be inspiring a newfound wave of patriotism, uptake of sport and community spirit, with over a fifth (21%) of Newcastle’s children attending their first ever street party or picnic this year. One in four (24%) has also been inspired to take up a new sport or hobby this year, with athletics, track and field being the most popular choice (70%), closely followed by football (30%) and then swimming and/or diving (20%).

As the title sponsor of The npower Football League, the energy company is treating kids in four major cities to yet another fab free summer event with a football-tastic display of themed activity zones, including a penalty shootout area, keepy-uppy contests and a dribbling zone to practice footie skills. The npower No Power Hour. Road Shows aim to show how football can be just one of many activities kids can take part in if they just turn off their gadgets and technology for an hour each day.

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, says: “Our research shows that there is a real desire amongst children to spend time outdoors but they are constrained by being constantly switched on to video games, TV and the computer or have no one available to take them outside.

“This summer’s spectacular series of events is providing inspiration for young people to switch off technology and spend time with friends, family and neighbours, learn new sports and hobbies and get out and about within their communities.

“Our npower No Power Hour Road Show will visit four of the UK’s major cities to energise families and show just how much fun can be had outside, away from gadgets, using their own energy.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Research Reveals Notts Teens Spend More Time Watching Sport Than Playing It

npower research has revealed that one in three (30%) teens in Nottingham spend more time watching sport on TV than playing sport outdoors, with all (100%) of the young people surveyed stating they would like to spend more time outside. Even more revealing is that two-thirds (60%) of children in Nottingham admitted they have no one to take them out or there are not enough facilities for them to enjoy the great outdoors.

The research, commissioned by the energy provider to celebrate the launch of its No Power Hour road show 2012, reveals that four out of 10 (40%) Nottingham kids admit they’re addicted to TV, the computer or video games, as Nottingham’s kids are growing up increasingly cut off from their community.

However, the unprecedented number of sporting events and national celebrations this summer may be inspiring a newfound wave of patriotism, uptake of sport and community spirit, with over a fifth (22%) of Nottingham’s children attending their first ever street party or picnic this year. One in five (20%) has also been inspired to take up a new sport or hobby this year, with athletics, track and field being the most popular choice (43%), closely followed by football (29%), cycling (15%) and gymnastics (15%).

In light of Nottingham’s desire to get outdoors and capture their sporting enthusiasm, npower’s No Power Hour road show recently returned to Nottingham for its hat-trick year. Robbie Savage and the No Power Hour roadshow visited Nottingham’s Old Market Square for a family fun football day.

Npower’s No Power Hour is a UK-wide football road show, hosted by former Premiership and Welsh national midfielder and Strictly Come Dancing contestant Robbie Savage, designed to encourage kids to spend more time outdoors with friends and family and saveenergy at the same time.

Robbie Savage commented: “If you can pry kids away from video games and television, there is a whole world of new things to discover and enjoy. When I was a young lad, I definitely spent more time outdoors than today’s kids. It’s how I learnt my footie skills and it was the only way to improve, as well as keep fit and healthy. It definitely kept me out of trouble and gave me the head start I needed to get into top flight football.”

As the title sponsor of the npower Football League, the energy company is treating kids in four major cities to yet another fab summer event with a football-tastic display of themed activity zones, including a penalty shootout area, keepy-uppy contests and a dribbling zone to practice footie skills. The npower No Power Hour road shows aim to show how football can be just one of many activities kids can take part in if they just turn off their gadgets and technology for an hour each day.

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, said: “Our research shows that there is a real desire amongst children to spend time outdoors but they are constrained by being constantly switched on to video games, TV and the computer or have no one available to take them outside.

“This summer’s spectacular series of events is providing inspiration for young people to switch off technology and spend time with friends, family and neighbours, learn new sports and hobbies and get out and about within their communities.

“Our npower No Power Hour road show will visit four of the UK’s major cities to energise families and show just how much fun can be had outside, away from gadgets, using their own energy.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Donation Helps Ensure Local Youth Group’s Outboard Bound Course Goes Ahead

The youngsters from Oldfallings Youth Group were delighted to learn that their annual residential visit to the Camas Centre, on the Isle of Mull, was still going ahead, despite initial promises of funding having fallen through. Youth helper, Andy Brown (24), who lives in Oldfallings, decided to ask his employer, npower, to help out.

Around 14 youngsters were scheduled to go on the week-long trip and had been looking forward to it for some time. Andy explained: “We stay in an old fishing hut without distractions like mobile phones and TV; there is no electricity or gas and we all find out how easy it is to get along and the pleasure of being outdoors in such beautiful countryside.

“The withdrawal of funding was a huge blow to us and put the group’s finances into a precarious position. I applied for a donation from npower’s Community Volunteer Award programme and the cheque for £500 recently came through. The news was welcome relief for us all.”

The members of the youth group, who are all aged 13 to 18, take part in outward bound activities including walking, sailing and fishing. Andy, a former member, started to help the group leader, Richard Lockley, six years ago, volunteering to run activities for the youngsters at the club’s weekly Sunday evening meeting.

Michelle Barron, npower’s Charity and Volunteering officer, said the financial support is in recognition of Andy’s commitment to his youth group: “This award has meant the youngsters from Oldfallings Youth Group could enjoy their planned visit and reduce the financial burden on their leaders. We have several employees, like Andy, who give their time to help others and we are delighted to be able to support their contribution to their communities.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Reports Medium-Sized Businesses Losing Out On Energy Savings Due To Lack Of Expertise

npower research has revealed that medium-sized businesses in the UK are missing out on significant energy savings each year by not having trained staff in placed to procure energy.

Only 4% of medium-sized businesses in the UK have a dedicated energy specialist, despite the average business spending over £180,000 on energy per annum. Of those businesses with an energy specialist, nine in ten (88%) say the introduction of the role has saved their organisation money.

The npower ‘Energy Matters’ report surveyed over 200 people responsible for energy procurement – including finance, procurement and office managers – in medium-sized businesses to assess how energy buying is managed and whether it is valued within the business. The report examined what impact having a dedicated energy specialist has on a business.

npower’s research found that just one fifth (21%) of businesses have a formalised energy strategy and over three quarters (81%) of those responsible for procuring energy say they spend more time on administrative duties than procurement.

Wayne Mitchell, industrial and commercial markets director, npower, commented: “We undertook this research into medium-sized businesses to further understand their needs when it comes to energy, following recent CBI and government campaigns to offer greater support to this sector.

“The research found that the person responsible for buying energy can have a significant impact on a business’ revenue yet the importance of this role is undervalued across the UK. Businesses are missing a trick when it comes to having a positive impact on the bottom line by not positioning energy as a board level concern and having a strategy in place to manage its procurement. This is despite findings from our previous research which showed that medium-sized businesses rank energy as the second highest business risk they face, above cash flow, legislation and security.”

The ‘Energy Matters’ research also showed that more than half (57%) felt that energy purchasing is not a valued role within their organisation and fewer than one in 10 (7%) has received any kind of formal energy procurement training. As a result, over a quarter (27%) of respondents have remained on the same contract because they haven’t had time to review it and one in five (19%) said they don’t have the expertise to switch contracts.

In those businesses that do have a dedicated energy specialist the picture was very different. As well as saving their businesses’ money, it was in this role that the most amount of time spent was spent on energy purchasing, the presence of a formalised energy strategy was highest and the value placed on the role by the business was felt to be above average.

Wayne Mitchell continued: “With office managers and not energy specialists accounting for the majority of those responsible for energy procurement in medium-sized businesses it is easy to understand why the role can be undervalued, as these people will be juggling a wide variety of tasks to keep the business afloat. Through better managing energy procurement, costs can be kept to a minimum by ensuring energy is purchased at the correct times, namely avoiding peaks in the market, and with a little knowledge businesses can take control of this themselves. Anyone wanting to find out how should source this advice from their supplier and act now to start saving.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Employees Prepare To Run For Charity

npower employees in Solihull have been limbering up as they prepare to pound the pavements for charity.

More than 110 employees from npower’s offices in Solihull will be undertaking a ten kilometre run to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. They’ll be racing against each other to try and reach their fundraising target of £4,000. The race will start at Tudor Grange Park and participants will make their way around the surrounding area.

Ruth Worton, Charity Manager at npower, said: “This is the first time that we’ve organised a run for Macmillan in Solihull and it’s great to see so many people signed up to take part. Whatever their ability, everyone has been training really hard in the run-up to the event. Macmillan is a charity close to many of our hearts and we can’t wait to get out on the track and start raising money for such a good cause.”

Over the last eight years, npower’s partnership with Macmillan has reached more than £5 million. This has been achieved through large scale fundraising events and through individual efforts from staff who have run marathons and climbed mountains. This year there will be a number of 10K runs and charity walks taking places at npower offices throughout the UK.

Ruth continued: “We’re proud to have such a long term partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, which is valued at more than £5 million. It’s a cause that is close to home for many of our employees and this event is another example of their passion to make a difference and help people affected by cancer.

“I’d like to wish everyone taking part good luck and thank them for their enthusiasm and support for the fantastic work that Macmillan does.”

Via EPR Network
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New Energy Consulting Firm Finds Tax Credits For Building Owners

John Schultz has launched Schultz Energy Consulting, LLC, to help homeowners, developers and other entities take advantage of tax credits for meeting federal heating and cooling energy consumption requirements.

Schultz Energy Consulting conducts assessments to determine if building owners are eligible for tax benefits under the Energy Efficient Home Credit program (known as Section 45L), which was established through the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

According to Schultz, individual home owners, apartment complex owners, developers and contractors, as well as partnerships, corporations and trusts, can qualify under the 45L program for a $2,000 tax credit per unit for using energy efficient construction measures.

Eligible buildings must have had construction substantially completed after Aug. 8, 2005, and before Dec. 31, 2011. Construction includes renovations and rehabilitation.

“Most recently built homes and multi-unit residences already exceed the standards and qualify for these tax benefits,” Schultz says.

Schultz adds that eligible buildings must meet heating and cooling energy consumption requirements of Section 45L(c) and be certified in accordance with guidance from the Internal Revenue Service.

“Typical buildings that qualify for the tax credit include traditional homes, apartment complexes, condominiums and assisted living facilities,” Schultz says.

Schultz is a Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) certified Home Energy Raters (HERS) rater. He is a longtime resident of Stevens Point and was previously employed in the commercial real estate and financial services industries.

More information is available by contacting Schultz Energy Consulting at (715) 340-2970 or at www.schultzenergyconsulting.com.

Via EPR Network
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RWE npower Energy Challenge won by Birmingham undergraduates

A team of undergraduates from the University of Birmingham has won the prestigious RWE npower Energy Challenge by coming up with an innovative energy solution for future generations.

RWE npower Energy Challenge is an international competition which tasks students with devising a solution to the biggest challenge facing the energy sector: “How can an energy company respond to climate change, maintain a secure supply and more importantly ensure that energy bills are affordable?”

The Birmingham-based team, calling themselves Green Grid Consultancy, won the competition for their innovative idea to use a hybrid wind and wave generator. The project involved combining two forms of generation at the same site, this could reduce operating costs, improved power output and has no carbon emissions. Each member of the winning team was awarded £1,250, and £5,000 for Birmingham University.

The RWE npower Energy Challenge has been running for five years. With hundreds of students across the UK taking part, this year the competition had an international feel with two teams from Eindhoven University in Holland making the final.

Ayekame Tseja, captain of Birmingham’s Green Grid Consultancy team said: “We’re thrilled to be winners of the RWE npower Energy Challenge, and that our ideas stood out against such a strong field of competitors. Taking part in a competition that’s challenged us on such an important topic has been a great experience, and we’re thrilled that our hard work has paid off.”

The judges, comprising of senior board members from RWE npower including Volker Beckers, CEO of RWE npower were impressed with the unique nature of the team’s solutions.

Volker said: “The Green Grid Consultancy presentation was excellent and stood out due to the original way the team tackled the challenge of cutting emissions, whilst ensuring clean energy provision for the future. We’d like to congratulate them on winning the competition.”

“Among the goals of the Energy Challenge is encouraging and rewarding young people studying engineering and science, and attracting new students to these important topics. We’ve been impressed with all the entries to this year’s challenge, but special congratulations must go to our winners.”

Recent research from the Science for Careers Expert Group report has indicated that there could be a major shortage in science-skilled workers in the UK workforce, with a shortfall of 324,000 workers with the relevant skills by 2014. npower believes competitions like the Energy Challenge can play an important role in helping science undergraduates into industrial jobs and filling this skills gap.

Via EPR Network
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npower’s Fanpower Stadium Launched by Robbie Savage and Chris Kamara

Two of football’s most colourful characters gave office workers a “lift” while filming a fun video for Football League sponsors npower.

ESPN Pundit Robbie Savage and Sky Sports favourite Chris Kamara took workers by surprise as they performed a chorus of terrace favourite ‘we are going up’. However, rather than singing in the stands, they were in the unconventional setting of a lift.

The hilarious footage was captured to promote the launch of npower’s new initiative ‘The Fanpower Stadium’. Hosted on Facebook, this app will give Football League fans the chance to win a range of prizes including cash prizes for their club.

On the video, Savage said: “I think football chants can be best described as the language of football fans, but taken out of the natural context of a football stadium they become slightly surreal, as today’s reactions show.

“The Fanpower Stadium, which has prizes for fans and clubs up for grabs, will get everyone talking about their team in the right place, so it’s a winner for me.”

Chris Kamara added: “It was unbelievable stuff today. Nowadays I’m only in the stands to report on the games, so it was great to get my chance to chant. Hopefully us two chanting in the wrong place, will remind people that it pays to show your support in the right one.

“Robbie should definitely stick to the dancing, I clearly out sang him and it’s this sort of competitiveness we want to see in the Fanpower Stadium.”

npower are inviting fans to show their support for their Football League team at facebook.com/npowerfootballleague by grabbing their seat in The Fanpower Stadium.

Once ‘inside the stadium’ there are two pots of money available for clubs to win; one cash prize of £10,000 will be awarded to the club in each League who hits their real average attendance figure first, with a second pot of £20,000 up for grabs to the club in each League whose fans talk the most about their club on Facebook.

Fans can score points for their club by sharing content or mentioning keywords such as club name or manager and player names on Facebook or in their Twitter feeds. Fans also have the chance to win spot prizes every week which include signed shirts, balls and mystery prizes.

The competition closes on 1st June however the stadium will be “reopened” at the start of the 2012/13 season.

Via EPR Network
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npower Employee Organises Fundraising Music Extravaganza

npower employee Lee Judge is organising Judgestock 2012, an annual, one day musical extravaganza that will feature students from the George Salter Academy Saturday School and out-of-hours performing arts playing with professional bands and musicians at The Public in West Bromwich on July 7.

Rus Smith, Extended Schools Manager, has around 200 youngsters taking part in music and performing arts activities every Saturday and is hoping that around 150 of them will be helping make the annual fund raising music festival, in tribute to local man, Simon Turton, who lost his battle with brain cancer last year, when he was just 36 years old.

Lee Judge is hoping around 2,000 visitors will come to this year’s event, helping raise more than £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. In 2011 the Collections Specialist, at npower’s offices in Kingswinford, dedicated the day to his best mate, Simon; the two friends had grown up together in West Bromwich.

Lee said: “When Rus approached me I thought it was a brilliant idea. Already we have nearly 30 bands lined up for the day from metal through soul to tribute bands; giving talented local youngsters a chance to play in a proper music event with professional bands would give them valuable experience for their future. Linking with the school is going to add a new dimension to the charity fundraiser.”

Rus is delighted with the work experience opportunity, saying: “The students are excited at the thought of being able to showcase their talents to a wider-than-usual audience. We hope to have three or four dance acts and a similar number of music acts plus two drama groups as entertainers on the day and there will be students helping with programme design and shadowing the organisers to gain experience of how a professional event is staged.”

The Public has donated its venue for free and Lee’s employer, npower, has said it will match funds up to £1,000. There will activities for kids during the afternoon including Punch and Judy, a bouncy castle and face painting. Fifteen market stalls have already signed up for visitors looking for a little retail therapy.

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Public box office with under-12s admitted free. Students of George Salter can get their tickets direct from Mr Smith.

Via EPR Network
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