Tag Archives: business energy

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 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.

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npower Introduces New Boiler And Central Heating Care Product

npower is introducing a new boiler and central heating care product.

The new product is one of the most competitive on the market and includes comprehensive cover for a gas boiler, controls and radiators, as well as an annual boiler service and unlimited calls outs with no call out charge. Labour, repairs and parts are included and are guaranteed for 12 months, whilst customers will have 24/7 access to a dedicated boiler care team at npower’s call centre who they can contact for free. npower will also replace boilers less than seven years old if they are beyond economical repair.

The product is available for any new boiler care customer, even if they do not use npower as their energy supplier.

Emily Stagg from npower, commented: “Research shows that 51% of homeowners would feel annoyed at the expense of a boiler breakdown, so investing in boiler care can offer worthwhile peace of mind should anything go wrong.*

“At npower, we’re always looking to improve our customer offering and this competitive product offers good value for homeowners looking to protect their boiler and central heating all year round. As part of the service, we’re able to offer a comprehensive 30-point boiler service and safety check with one of our Gas Safe registered engineers, which means we will ensure if your system is working properly and then be there for you all year round.

“Now is the perfect time to sign-up as it makes sense to get your system checked after the winter to make sure it’s working properly and hasn’t been put under too much strain over the colder months.”

For more details about npower’s boiler and central heating care, interested parties can call 0800 2944 989 or visit www.npower.com/boilercare.

Via EPR Network
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npower Helps 10,000 SMEs Commit To Save Energy

10,000 UK SMEs have had a helping hand to reduce their overheads and become more competitive, thanks to the support of energy supplier, npower.

npower has welcomed its 10,000th customer to its Smart Start scheme, a toolkit and advice service which helps SMEs save on their energy bills quickly, through easy to implement energy efficiency measures. These include turning equipment off and managing heating and ventilation systems, which can save up to 10% off their energy bills.

Patrick Harvey, npower’s head of customer loyalty, said: “Helping 10,000 UK SMEs to save energy is a significant milestone for them and us. The Carbon Trust believes that businesses could save 10% on their energy bills through easy energy efficiency measures: if each of these 10,000 SMEs saved 10% on their annual energy bill, up to £5 million* could have been saved already. This is testament to the impact that simple measures, such as those included in the SmartStart help and advice can have. The ethos behind SmartStart is to help businesses realise the savings they can make by providing the right advice and support. It’s great to see so many SMEs are taking energy efficiency seriously, and realising the rewards that can be achieved through such measures.

“We know from the findings of npower’s latest Business Energy Index (nBEI) that 53% of small businesses do not have any methods in place to manage energy efficiency. I suspect this is because many do not have the resources themselves to research and implement energy efficiency measures, so with toolkits such as SmartStart this is taken care of and cost savings are easily achievable.”

npower’s SmartStart service includes a free energy monitor to help SMEs keep a close eye on how much energy they are consuming, so they can see where they can make savings. In addition, SMEs have access to expert advice via a dedicated helpline (0845 070 4019) enabling them to identify the simple measures which will make a big difference.

More information on how npower can help SMEs reduce emissions and cut costs can be found at www.npower.com/Business/SmartStart.

Via EPR Network
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npower Releases Latest Energy Market Update

npower has launched its latest energy market update, as part of its ongoing drive to help businesses and energy professionals to better understand the UK power market so that they can more effectively manage their price and volume risks.

Delivered from npower’s award winning Optimisation Desk by expert Magali Hodgson, npower’s fortnightly energy market update report details how even though the microeconomic outlook in the Eurozone remains uncertain leaving Brent volatile, the forecast of above average temperatures and high UK storage levels are giving a healthy outlook to the prompt market.

Magali Hodgson commented: “Forecast of above average temperature for the next couple of weeks and the UK’s gas and power system coping comfortably with the start of the winter, have removed some of the risk premium from the balance of the winter prices, giving a bearish sentiment to the prompt for the moment. It is also interesting to note that summer 2012 and Winter 2013 are now back to levels seen before the Japanese disaster indicating that there is maybe some upside to come as buyers come into the market.

“The question is when will the predicted cold temperature come, and will it be as cold as last winter’s?”

The npower energy market updates are filmed on a fortnightly basis by independent news agency, Energy Live News. They are delivered from npower’s Optimisation Desk, which is a unique service that provides businesses using flexible purchase energy contracts with access to information on the UK wholesale energy market and up to date advice on an individual basis.

More information and the updates can be found at www.npower.com/Large-Business/Energy-news/Market-update/index.htm. Those who would like to suggest a market update topic of interest or to discuss its content can contact Magali Hodgson at npower by emailing business@npower.com.

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npower Business Energy Customers Say Energy Red Tape Must Be Scrapped Or Simplified

npower has found that businesses are concerned that current UK energy regulations will not raise the investment needed to ensure the country’s low carbon future, and are calling on the government to either simplify or scrap some existing legislation to ensure targets can be met.

These are the findings of a consultation by npower among business energy users, which found that one in three (32%) do not believe that legislation such as the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC), Climate Change Levy (CCL) and Climate Change Agreements (CCAs), the Renewables Obligation and Feed In Tariffs will help ensure the £200bn investment needed for the UK’s energy infrastructure is achieved.

The results of npower’s consultation, which is still ongoing, will be fed back to government as part of its Red Tape Challenge initiative. The government consultation on the energy sector formally opens on the 25th of November.

Against a backdrop of political debate on how to best regulate the energy industry,npower asked businesses which energy legislation they would keep, which they would like to see simplified, and those they would like to see scrapped completely.

The CRC, perhaps unsurprisingly, received most attention, with over two thirds of businesses (69%) wanting to see the scheme simplified and more than half of business (57%) believing it should be scrapped. Over a third (38%) would like to see it merged with existing regulation.

There was also a call to scrap the Renewables Obligation among some businesses (41%), with nearly half (47%) calling for it to be simplified. Opinion was split on CCL and CCAs, with 29% wanting to see them scrapped, and 32% believing they should stay.

Wayne Mitchell, interim industrial and commercial markets director at npower, commented: “Energy policy ultimately drives British business. But, as the Government recognises through its Red Tape Challenge initiative, there is a mammoth amount of legislative cost burden on British businesses. Groups such as the CBI have been very vocal about how this legislation is not only stifling domestic growth, but also making the UK less competitive on an international scale.

“At the moment the energy market is neither fully regulated, nor fully liberalised and that this ‘in-between’ situation is leaving businesses and investors in a ‘limbo’ unable to make an informed decision. That is why we again urge the business community to make sure their voices are heard. This is a unique opportunity on an unprecedented scale to have a say on energy legislation – and our own consultation reveals a mixed bag of views so far.

“We are committed to ensuring the voice of business is heard, and there is still time to have your say at www.npower.com/redtape.”

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npower ‘What’s Your Goal’ Gives Teens Start In Football Industry

Npower’s ‘What’s Your Goal’ series, broadcast on Sky Sports, has given six UK teenagers their start in the football industry. The programme follows the journeys of six ambitious youngsters as they get to grips with working alonsgide the brightest and best behind the scenes in the football industry.

Aizaz Hussain from Surrey kickstarted a career in the football industry with John Sibley as a sports photographer on national TV. Aizaz beat hundreds of eager young people to win the one-of-a-kind work experience placement. He can be seen being mentored by Action Images veteran John Sibley and completing a challenge set by him.

Renaee Oduro from Brixton was mentored by Sky Sports’ Billy McGinty as a TV producer on national TV and can be seen completing a challenge set by McGinty on the show.

Grace Copley from Leicestershiore was mentored by Lynn Walker, the business manager for Ipswich Town FC, shadowing her for the day as she ‘meets and greets’ important commerical partners. Grace was even given the responsibility of presenting competion winners with their prize in front of a stadium full of fans on the pitch at half time.

Louie Waldock from London can be seen being mentored by Sasa Ihringova, one of the most senior female referees in the npower Football League, and completing a challenge set by her. As part of his mentoring session, Louie was given a one-to-one training session with Sasa before helping her to referee a real youth team game. The camers then followed Louie as he and his mentor arrive at Old Trafford to watch a play-off final where they are given access to the match officals’ briefing, something that has never been allowed before.

Luke Harris, a dedicated QPR fan from Kent, was mentored by the team’s manager, Neil Warnock, as he steered the team into the premiership at Loftus Road. Luke was also given access to the QPR training ground where he was invited to lunch with Neil and took the opportunity to grill him on what it’s like to be a ‘Marmite manager’.

Ollie Marden, also from Kent, spent time with Sky Sports’ David Jones. As part of his mentoring session, Ollie travelled to Portsmouth where he spent the day in an outside broadcast studio at Fratton Park, learning how to research facts and stats under the guidance of David before the game took place as well as writing and presenting his very own piece to camera.

The npower What’s Your Goal initiative was launched earlier this year to showcase the vast and varied careers found in Britain’s national sport and to encourage young people to start thinking about what their dream job would be.

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, said: “‘What’s Your Goal’ offered young people fantastic once-in-a-lifetime experiences that allowed them to get stuck in with the professionals and learn the ropes first hand, so we weren’t surprised by the overwhelming response we got from parents and their children across the UK.

“The TV show will help to spread npower’s What’s Your Goal message even further and we look forward to seeing npower’s What’s Your Goal winners as they make their TV debuts on screen, showing the world how ambitious and talented our teenagers are and hopefully encouraging others to start thinking about what their goal is.”

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npower Teams Up With Sky Sports To Launch Ad-Funded TV Show

npower’s new three part ad-funded TV series, ‘What’s Your Goal’, is set to launch on Sky Sports on Thursday 25th August – the culmination of npower’s successful 2011 campaign of the same name.

The series captures the moments that six children from around the UK discover they are handpicked as winners of the npower What’s Your Goal competition, to be mentored by some of the brightest and best in the football industry.

Viewers will follow the journeys of the young winners as they work side-by-side with their mentors, getting their hands dirty and mucking in with the professionals before being set a challenge relating to the day-to-day workings of the role.

Npower’s ‘What’s Your Goal’ is a football-based initiative launched as part of npower’s title sponsorship of the npower Football League. It was designed to inspire young people aged 12-16 to think about their future careers by showcasing the different roles available behind the scenes of football clubs up and down the UK.

Sky currently holds the broadcasting rights for the npower Football League and teamed up with npower, commissioning production company North One to capture the action. The shows are voiced by Sky presenter Ben Shepherd, who also features in the final episode which airs in September.

Along with Sky Sports presenter Dave Jones and long time Sky Sports TV producer Billy McGinty, the ‘What’s Your Goal’ winners also spend time with Ipswich Town’s business manager, an Action Images sports photographer and one of the npower Football League’s most senior female referees, Sasa Ihringova.

QPR’s manager, Neil Warnock also features in the series to mentor a young QPR fan who joins him and his team amidst talk of possible point deductions by the FA, when the future of QPR’s promotion into the Premier League looked uncertain.

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, said: “What’s Your Goal offered young people fantastic one-in-a-lifetime experiences that allowed them to get stuck in with the professionals and learn the ropes first hand, so we weren’t surprised by the overwhelming response we got from parents and their children across the UK.

“As not everyone could win the mentoring days, we worked with schools and parents to offer lesson plans and content that was designed to educate youngsters about the endless possibilities in the football industry, inspiring them to think about their future careers by looking at what they enjoy and thinking about potential opportunities.

“The TV show will help to spread npower’s What’s Your Goal message even further and we look forward to seeing npower’s ‘What’s Your Goal’ winners as they make their TV debuts on screen, showing the world how ambitious and talented our teenagers are and hopefully encouraging others to start thinking about what their goal is.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Reports Businesses Call For Government Help To Keep The Nation’s Lights On

npower has reported that energy risk – particularly in terms of security of supply and supply costs – has been identified as the top risk major business energy users are facing, above legislation, security and health & safety. Added to this, many believe it is the government’s responsibility to help reduce instability through funding for self generation projects and demand management tools to bridge the supply gap and keep the nation’s lights on.

These were some of the key findings of the npower Business Energy Index (nBEI), an annual report tracking business opinion on energy use, energy risk and carbon emissions.

According to the report, when asked what was of most concern in relation to energy within their business, supply costs came top with a risk ranking of 6.6 out of 10, followed by security of supply with a ranking of 6.1.

However, despite an energy risk being identified as a top concern, one in six major business energy users still do not have a policy in place to manage it – although 91% do have one in place for health & safety, a more ‘traditional’ business risk.

David Cockshott, director of industrial and commercial markets at npower commented: “It is worrying that while businesses have identified that risks associated with energy – from security of supply to cost – pose a real threat to their immediate and future operations, many have admitted to not having a strategy in place to manage it. While many businesses have embraced the benefits of energy management and energy efficiency, when it comes to solutions to manage risk, there is less of a focus from organisations.

“This could be because they don’t believe the two main areas of concern – cost and supply – are something within their control. However, there are ways businesses can mitigate their risk, including investing in self generation or demand management technology.”

Despite their concerns over energy risk, nearly two thirds (62%) say that investing in self generation and demand management technology is not a business priority. While 51% cite lack of finance as a barrier, and 38% say they simply do not have the resource to manage the project.

When asked who should finance investment in self generation, 61% of businesses of all sizes felt that the government should be responsible – only 18% believe it should be self funded. While the government’s proposed ‘Green Deal’ should go some way to assisting SMEs, it would not provide the same help for larger energy consumers.

David Cockshott continued: “While this year’s nBEI shows that more easy-to-implement energy efficiency measures and improvements are happening across businesses of all sizes. When it comes to large scale self generation projects or demand management initiatives, there is still some resistance.

“What is clear however, is that businesses believe that investment in these areas should come from government. While the government is keen to support smaller companies through initiatives such as the Green Deal, the report shows that larger businesses believe the government should also look at ways to help them. For instance, to mitigate risk and reduce instability through incentivising self generation and demand management tools.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Urges Businesses To Have Their Say On Energy Legislation

npower, the energy firm, has announced that businesses need to make sure they make their voices heard when it comes to shaping current and future energy legislation. npower has launched its own consultation for businesses in response to the government’s Red Tape Challenge.

The ‘Red Tape Challenge’ was launched in April 2011 with the aim of engaging with different industries to gather feedback on current UK legislation, to help simplify the regulatory landscape for businesses.

npower’s ‘Red Tape Challenge – Have Your Say’ campaign is designed to give businesses the opportunity to feedback on current and future energy regulation affecting the sector. Businesses can have their say on the energy policies they think should be scrapped, merged with existing regulation, simplified or left.

Once feedback has been gathered, the energy company will submit its findings on behalf of businesses to the government’s Red Tape Challenge, ahead of the utilities and energy sector’s consultation deadline on 27 October 2011.

The campaign was launched in response to the Red Tape Challenge as well as npower’s own research that revealed strong business opinion on current and proposed energy legislation.

When asked about the proposed Electricity Market Reform (EMR) nearly half of companies surveyed believed the EMR would be complex and unwieldy for businesses. Similarly, research conducted to coincide with the first anniversary of the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) found that 45% of businesses want to see the CRC scrapped.

David Cockshott, director of industrial and commercial markets at npower, said: “The UK’s business community has been given a unique opportunity on an unprecedented scale to have its say on energy legislation and we are urging them to get involved and make their voices heard.

“We know from conversations with our own customers that businesses find it difficult keeping track of the legislation or potential legislation affecting them, from the EMR to the CRC. Now businesses can tell the government exactly what policies they think should be scrapped, merged with existing regulation, simplified or left as they are.

“We understand that everyone is busy, which is why we are launching the npower Red Tape Challenge – Have Your Say campaign. It simplifies the process and is designed to provide businesses with a less time-consuming way to air their views on current energy related legislation.

“This type of opportunity to influence legislation does not come along everyday and we urge businesses of all shapes and sizes to take the time now to have their say on the energy policy of the future.”

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New Small Business Energy Rules ‘Confusing’

Ofgem’s new rules for the small business energy market come into play yesterday – Monday 18th January, 2010. While designed to give greater protection to Britain’s SMEs, according to uSwitchforbusiness.com, the dedicated SME price comparison and switching service, the rules are in danger of confusing business owners and put too much onus on them to take action.

Jake Ridge, small business expert at uSwitchforbusiness.com, says:”Ofgem is doing the right thing in offering Britain’s SMEs greater protection in the energy market. However, these new rules have fallen far short of the simple blanket ban on evergreen or rollover contracts that was initially proposed and, as a result, are in danger of confusing busy SME owners.

“Small businesses need to understand the rules quickly to ensure that they benefit from the additional protection being offered. The key thing is that the rules only apply if you are a micro-business so check whether you qualify and let your energy company know straight away if you do. This means that when you come to renew your contract your supplier must provide you with clear written details of the full terms and conditions plus ensure you get suitable notice so that you can shop around for a new deal. Check with your supplier if you are unsure when your current contract will end.

“You also now have the right to opt out of being rolled-over – as soon as you sign a new energy deal let the supplier know you are opting out and this means that you can only be put onto a 28 day notice rollover plan at the end of your contract leaving you free to move to a better deal.

“The rules are complicated and unfortunately put too much onus on SME owners. But it’s a step in the right direction and should hopefully see more small businesses avoid the expensive trap of ‘evergreen’ energy contracts.”

The new rules only apply to micro-businesses, which Ofgem defines as a company that meets any one of the following criteria:
•Consumes less than 200,000 kWh of gas per annum
•Consumes less than 55,000 kWh of electricity a year
•Has less than ten employees (or the full-time equivalent) and an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total of Euro 2 million or less.

Via EPR Network
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