What is Climate Change Levy and how will due increase affect your business?

In response to global warming, the UK government (along with many other countries in Europe) prescribed various environmental taxes and relief schemes in an effort to encourage businesses to reduce their carbon footprint. The Climate Change Levy (CCL) is one of these measures.

The CCL is an environmental tax charged on the energy used by businesses, and applies to the industrial, commercial and agricultural sectors as well as public services. The tax is charged on ‘taxable commodities’ for heating, lighting and power purposes.

Virtually every business in the UK has to pay the CCL but there are a few exceptions: very small businesses, charitable businesses engaged in non-commercial activities, businesses generating electricity from a renewable source and using it exclusively on-site, and businesses investing in Combined Heat and Power (CHP).

If you’ve been in business since 2001 (when the CCL was introduced), likely you’re already aware of all of the above but what you may not know is that rates are set to increase more than ever before! The reason for the increase is to limit the effects of climate change and pollution, which really are negatively impacting our planet.

Typically, the CCL has risen by 3 per cent each year but April 2019 will see a drastic rise in rates, with a 45 per cent CCL increase on electricity and 67 percent increase on gas and other fuel.

This could affect your business’s bottom line – especially if you’re a small to medium-size enterprise! But there are a couple of things that you can do to mitigate the impact of the CCL increase, namely: invest in small scale energy generation or simply reduce energy consumption! Non-intensive, large energy users such as hospitals, supermarkets, and office blocks may see and overall reduction if savings from the abolition of the Carbon Reduction Comittment (as of April 2019) offsets the rise in CCL rates. Businesses (of all sizes) may also need to re-strategise their finances with the inclusion of a bigger levy budget to cover the spike in rates.

For further details on the CCL increase, visit Touchstoneservices.co.uk or Britishgas.co.uk.

For all your energy related question, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or info@chsystems.cc.

Four ways to cut energy costs and grow your business

Following a survey of over 1,000 energy decision-makers around the world, new research by Centrica Business Solutions has found that, more and more, organisations are starting to take control of their energy. Data shows that:

  • 1 in 3 businesses are exploring how energy can contribute to growth, greater efficiencies and reduced business risk.
  • Organisations with a well documented energy strategy are 2.5x more likely to be efficient, well run and financially robust.
  • 40 per cent of companies have significantly reduced energy costs after investing in advanced energy solutions.

In response to this information, Centrica has highlighted four proven opportunities that can be woven into business strategy in an effort to transform energy performance:

  1. Energy Insight – using energy data to create deeper insights and improve operational efficiency. By monitoring equipment with low-cost, wireless sensors, customers can quickly gain deep and insightful energy analytics, enabling them to pinpoint where energy waste is occurring and spots potential equipment failures before they happen.
  2. Energy Efficiency – reduce energy costs with innovative technology and solutions. An example of this is: replacing traditional light fittings with LED lighting, which is 90 per cent more efficient!
  3. Reduce your reliance on the grid with Combined Heat and Power (CHP). Using CHP on-site generation can reduce energy costs by up to 40 per cent, and unlock greater sustainability benefits by using renewable methane rich bio-gas to fuel the CHP process. By providing a stable, secure energy supply your site resilience is enhanced, protecting you from energy supply disruption.
  4. Improve sustainability with Solar and strengthen your brand reputation. Solar energy is one of the most cost effective methods of improving both financial and environmental performance.

Lastly, here’s a nifty little stat to cajole you onto the road of energy transformation: if you cut your energy costs by 20 per cent, you can gain the same bottom-line benefit as a 5 per cent rise in sales.

To find out more about how to implement any of the above energy opportunities, read: “Rethinking energy for better business performance” on Centricabusinesssolutions.com.

For all your energy related question, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or info@chsystems.cc.

Top tips to helping your business reduce its carbon footprint

In a landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – published in October 2018 – the world’s leading climate scientists warned that there are only 12 or so years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people – as reported by Theguardian.com.

It’s thus more imperative than ever that businesses do their utmost to improve their green credentials (whilst also saving money on energy overheads). Here some small but significant ideas:

Use Renewable Energy: Fossil fuels — coal, petroleum, and natural gas — are the main source of energy, producing the vast majority of fuel, electricity, and heat used by people across the globe. It’s these fossil fuels that are the primary contributors to the global warming epidemic. Renewable energy is one of the most important solutions to global warming. You might not be able to build an entire solar field (like Google) but you can ensure that your energy company has you enrolled in the ‘greenest’ programme possible.

Go Paperless – large-scale deforestation is also one of the major contributors to global warming, so why not go paperless (wherever possible)? We have the technology to run businesses on as little paper as possible; embrace this with e-receipts, digital job applications, e-signatures etc!

Recycle and USE Recycled Products – most businesses are on top of recycling, with plastic, cans and paper slotted into the appropriate bins…but what about buying post-consumer recycled products (boxes, cups, packaging, paper etc.) for business use?

Reduce Energy Use – use LED bulbs instead of light bulbs, upgrade appliances to ones that have an Energy Star rating, switch off systems at close-of-day and use a programmable thermostat to keep the office temperature steady – for example. The little things have a cumulative effect and can make a big difference.

It will take everyone doing their bit to combat global warming! Lead the way by reducing the environmental footprint of your business.

For all your energy related question, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or info@chsystems.cc.

Sources: “How to improve your green energy credentials” – Britishgas.co.uk; Renewable Energy Is Critical To Stopping Global Warming” – Cleantechnica.com; Energy and Global Warming – Biologicaldiversity.org

Below ground gas work – Royal Chelsea Hospital

Following on from the enabling and installation work successfully carried out at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, the team at CH Systems proceeded to tackle the final part of the project: below ground gas pipework.

There were a number of irrigation pipes that crossed the tech and made the installation of a 125mm PE pipe quite awkward. To make it work, we had to squeeze off the existing below ground gas pipework on both sides of the site, which was followed by a tightness test on the entire gas carcass. The sheer size of the gas system as well as a lack of valves on location meant that we had to cut into the pipework. (See the below images for how it went down…)

Ultimately, the work was a success. The 200meters of pipe and multiple fittings we used on the job was supplied by Smith Brothers Stores, and went together without a hitch, making for a tidy installation.

Overall the client is very pleased with the work, as are we.

Optimise your business’s energy use with Panoramic Power

All businesses hope to operate as efficiently and cost effectively as possible – to maximise revenue and profit. One of many variables in the process of ‘successful business operation’ is optimising energy use; turning energy from a commodity cost to a value-adding resource could give you the edge over your competition – at least, that’s what Panoramic Power promises.

As an energy insight solution, Panoramic Power allows you see exactly how your business uses energy. It’s comprised of self-powered, wireless sensors that transmit real-time data from your energy-using equipment to a cloud-based analytics platform, PowerRadar. The point of the data is to help your business optimise performance, and also deal with potential equipment failures before they happen as well as reduce energy inefficiencies.

With the exact knowledge of how your energy is spent (per device!) you’ll be able to predict potential equipment failures before they happen as well as curtail business risk by making changes to reduce, if not eliminate, energy waste. This will not only improve operational efficiency but reduce energy bills and enable managers to direct budget.

Panoramic power is an interesting concept and is currently operational in 30 countries, including the UK. It’s ideal for any business looking to gain insights into energy consumption with minimum disruption and maximum cost-effectiveness. For more information, check out Centricabusinesssolutions.com.

For all your energy related question, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or info@chsystems.cc.

Boiler cashback for small and medium sized businesses in London

Heard of the Cleaner Heat Cashback scheme? If you’re a small to medium sized business (SME) based in London, this is something for you! The Mayor of London is funding an offering that will enable SMEs to claim 30 to 40 percent cashback when replacing an older, inefficient heating system with a new, cleaner one. The scheme is part of Sadiq Khan’s £10 million initiative to improve the capital’s air quality.

In terms of benefits; other than a new heating system (that’ll cost you less) and a saving of up to 25 per cent on energy bills, you’ll be doing your bit to help improve London’s air quality and also contributing towards meeting the Mayor’s ambition of a zero carbon city by 2050, through a smaller carbon footprint.

Some interesting environmental facts (just to spur you on) in relation the pollution happening in London:

  • 7 per cent of London’s NOx (Nitrous Oxide) emissions are the result of commercial gas consumption.
  • 40 per cent of carbon emissions in London come from non-domestic buildings.
  • 187 air quality focus areas across London show high levels of air pollution.

As well as reduce harmful gas emissions, the Mayor’s scheme aims to boost commercial energy efficiency across the capital.

The Mayor recognises London’s air quality as a public health crisis. It is estimated that thousands of Lndoners are dying every year from long-term exposure to pollution. In 2010, London air pollution was linked to 3,000 hospital admissions and the economic cost of these health impacts is estimated as being up to £3.7 billion per year.

To find out if your SME is eligible for the cashback scheme, CLICK HERE and do note that the initiative operates on a first come, first-served basis. To apply, you will need to provide:

  • Your business details
  • Information about your current heating system
  • Details about your proposed heating system replacement
  • Two quotes from manufacturer-approved installers
  • Copies of your fuel bills.

CLICK HERE to make an application.

For all your energy related questions or to find out what new heating system might be best suited to your SME, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or info@chsystems.cc.

Gas fired Warm Air Unit – global internet retailer

The life expectancy of a boiler depends very much upon the type of boiler in question but, on average, a traditional gas boiler should last between 10 and 15 years. When it comes to the end if its serviceable life, it’ll need to be replaced – as was the case when we were called to check out some issues a client (global internet retailer) was having with their current heating system at a warehouse in Croydon.

The team at CH Systems discovered that the older gas fired Reznor units had fulfilled their life expectancy and a decision was made to replace the current units with 6no new Reznor UDSA-100 units.

With the roof of the warehouse being 13 meters off the slab, the work had to be carried out on Mobile Elevating Work Platforms (MEWPs) – this was no problem as all of our engineers hold current IPAF Certified Training For Working Height certificates, which enabled us to carry out the work in a much more timely fashion (saving the time and effort of scaffold towers etc). See pics below:

Boiler service and burner replacement – Shoreham Power Station

An existing client that has a maintenance contract in place with us for their boiler room at Shoreham Power Station requested a major service on their 4no Potterton Derwent Prestige boilers.

After completing a thorough clean of the burner, flue ways and heat exchanger we commissioned the boilers back into service but we were unable to get a satisfactory Flue Gas Analysis reading. The Prestige boilers are fantastic units but at 19 years old, time is taking its toll; the decision was thus made to replace all of the burners.

We are pleased to report that following the installation of the new burners and the re-commission of the boilers into use, we achieved the best readings we have ever seen on these units! See below for an idea of what the burners looked like pre-replacement:

Gas line installation – global online retailer

Christmas is around the corner and as one might imagine, retailers are operating in sales overdrive; so when we were commissioned to install a gas line to an existing Lennox Air Handling Unit (AHU) for a global online retailer, the team at CH Systems was prepared to work ‘out of hours’ so as not to disrupt operations (never a problem for us!).

The work comprised the installation of 80 meters of 76mm Geberit Stainless Gas pipework and fittings, which took place at an ‘above level’ working height  that required the operation of scissor lifts to give us access to the gas line. We opted to use the Novopress ACO203XL pressing tool as this meant we did not have any trailing power leads (created by the height at which we were working) and this managed to avoid any potential Health & Safety safety issues.

See below for images of the installation in process:

Plant room installation and pipework – Royal Chelsea Hospital

Having carried out the enabling works for both the East and West Plant Rooms at the Royal Chelsea Hospital, the CH team moved on to carry out the installation of three Worcester GB162 boilers, supplied with frames and low loss headers to each plant room.

Due to the age of the existing system and a need to prolong the life of the new boilers, a decision was made to install a Plate Heat Exchanger, which offers hydraulic separation between the new and old system whilst allowing the necessary heat transfer to take place.

The team was also tasked with finding a suitable location for the associated Vessels and Pressurisation Units within some very compact/tight spaces. Looking at the images below, you’ll be able to see that usable space is at a premium; as such, a great deal of time was spent in consultation with the client over what would be the best and most acceptable use of the space we had.

This was by no means the largest project we have undertaken but the space constraints proved challenging – the team worked efficiently to get the job done and we are pleased with the end result.