Why drinking tap water is good for business

Did you know that two litres of tap water costs less than a third of a penny on average, compared to 45p for a supermarket’s own brand of bottled water or 90p for a named brand, according to Discover Water. So why, then, is your company shelling out cash for bottles of water – especially when the drinking water supplied by water companies in the UK is among the best in the world, according to Julie Spinks, Director of WaterSafe, the UK accreditation scheme for approved plumbers?

In a case for drinking tap water, Spinks argues that the UK’s water undergoes rigorous testing every day to ensure it meets strict guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation; standards that bottled water is not always tested against. Plus, tap water is cheaper. And yet, more than ever, people are drinking bottled water at home and at work.

Around two-thirds (67 per cent) of people now say they drink tap water at home (down from the78 per cent in 2015) with convenience cited as the main reason. Fewer people are also drinking tap water at work (39 per cent, down from 51 per cent in 2015) or in cafés and restaurants (21 per cent, down from 32 per cent) – as per new research published by the Consumer Council for Water.

It makes sense, from a business perspective and even from a health perspective, to promote a ‘tap water culture’ at work but it also means that we have to make sure that our pipes are up to scratch, so to speak. For tap water to be safe to drink in homes, offices and public buildings, it’s not only about the quality of the water but how the water gets to the tap. It’s important to have a great plumber who will only use approved fittings, which will help ensure the water supplied by water companies stays fresh and healthy until it reaches taps.

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Why desktop computers are costing businesses money – when not in use!

Here’s a news flash: the desktop computers that monopolise the office space that many of us call ‘work’ waste a surprising amount of energy when not in use! The problem has been dubbed ‘miscellaneous electrical load, ’ or MEL – referring to all the power use from miscellaneous electronics and other objects that are not major appliances, lighting, or heating and cooling.

Many of these additional devices spend a lot of time in standby mode; others are wirelessly communicating all the time. They use a constant stream of power.

Experts reckon that the problem is not any one device but rather, all of them in combination. Alan Meier, an expert on energy technologies at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, believes that because we’ve got more and more consumer electronic devices, and they are performing more and more wireless communications that require them to be, in some sense, always ‘on’ – as reported by the Washington Post.

“A lot more devices have network connections, so that they’re constantly talking to the Internet in one way or another,” says Meier. And this has a substantial energy footprint.
Now, think, for a second, how many MEL devices run in your office – costing money and affecting the environment as you sleep. Desktop computers are particularly prevalent in offices and commercial settings. In a recent study conducted by the California Plug Load Research Center at the University of California, 125 office desktop computers were monitored and of these machines, 61 per cent were shown to spend most of their time ‘on but user-inactive.’

Another thought is that desktops come with monitors, which adds even more to the consumption of energy.

The solution?

Well, the US state of California has just released a set of draft standards that, if adopted, would increase the energy efficiency of computers and accompanying monitors. A policy oriented solution that would change how manufacturers design many of today’s consumer electronics might just be what it takes, and could have a ripple effect worldwide, but Clemson University’s Joseph Burgett, in Energy Research and Social Science, proposes something less prescriptive; a switch that can wirelessly turn off everything in a home or office. This would require the right set up.

OR…just turn electronics off at the plug. Responsible energy management can save business money and reduce their environmental footprint. Certainly food for thought, if nothing else.

To find out more about MEL and possible solutions, read: Your desktop computer is wasting a surprising amount of energy while you’re not using it and Your home is full of devices that never turn off. And they’re costing you a lot of money.

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Completion of £1.5M Mechanical & Public Health Installation in association with CCS & Area2

We recently completed work on a large project where CH Systems managed and carried out all of the plumbing work on behalf of CCS. The installation included:

  • 2 No AHU’s, a VRF System
  • completely new supply and extract ventilation system
  • boilers
  • Direct Fired Water Heaters
  • CWS Tank
  • Booster Set
  • BMS
  • completely new heating
  • hot and cold water services throughout
  • trench heating
  • installation of all public health services.




For more information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Government axes support for Green Deal!

The Government has announced that it will offer no further financial support to the Green Deal Finance Company (GDFC), citing lack of interest and concerns over industry standards as reasons for the decision.

The Government’s withdrawal of funds will have no impact on existing Green Deal Finance Plans or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers.

The ‘Green Deal’ rolled out in 2013 as an initiative designed to help business and home owners employ more green technologies in and on their properties. Applicants were granted loans that would be paid back through energy bills over a period of time. The scheme also offered cash-backs and incentives on things such as double-glazing, insulation and boilers.

For both home owners and businesses, the building would effectively be responsible for the costs of all the improvements and these costs would be repaid through the energy bill related to the property. Upon the sale of the property in question, the new owner would take over the energy bills pertaining to the previous owner’s Green Deal loan.

There were no upfront costs for the applicant to incur at the outset. The only cost would have been the assessment, which might be waived or enveloped by the provider depending on the deal struck between the provider and the business (or home owner) applying.

The golden rule of the Green Deal was that the expected financial savings must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill. And yet the plug failed to engage.
According to the Heating & Hotwater Industry Council, (HHIC), the news came as no surprise;
“This policy failed to engage with both installers and consumers, and delivered little in terms of energy efficiency. Its demise therefore is expected and understandable.”
Interestingly, the Government has not come up with a replacement scheme to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint. The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has, however, expressed interest in working with the building industry and consumer groups to agree a new “value-for-money approach.”

If you missed out on the Green Deal and are thanking your lucky stars but inadvertently lamenting the loss of the opportunity to eco-up your business and save money in the long term, perhaps this was just a learning curve and the best policy is yet to come. Here’s hoping.

Source: – “Green Deal funding to end, government announces” and – “Government ends Green Deal Finance Company funding”.

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Do business owners really care about energy efficiency? New survey reveals all

New research by YouGov has revealed that 62 per cent of workers believe that their employers are invested in energy saving. Commissioned by British Gas, the survey polled 1,118 workers (individuals in businesses rather than decision makers) across the UK in an effort to find out how dedicated company owners and managers are to being energy efficient.

Whilst the results indicate a positive inclination toward the economical use of gas and electricity, it’s worth mentioning that fewer than half (43 per cent) of workers said that their company or organisation ensures that all lights and computer screens are switched off when not in use and fewer than one in five (18 per cent) said they conduct a regular energy audit.

According to Brian Stewart, Head of Customer Strategy and Insight at British Gas Business (the business arm of the energy company), companies are spending more on energy efficiency but that more could be done to save on energy consumption.

The support of employees goes a long way in businesses attempts to save energy, and good news for employers is that 68 per cent of UK workers take extra care to help make their work place more energy efficient, with 22 per cent saying they care a great deal. YouGov’s survey found that hospitality and leisure workers care the most (82 per cent) about saving business energy. Financial services and manufacturing ranked high, with workers affirming a respective 77 and 76 per cent commitment to helping their employers meet energy efficient targets.

Other than the backing of employees and obvious habits like turning off plugs and electronic devices when not in use, another practical way to be more energy efficient is to introduce a paperless policy. Interestingly, 38 per cent of respondents working in the financial services industry indicated that their companies have gone paperless, which is 12 per cent more than the average (26 per cent). It’s a small thing but it can make a huge difference not only to the environment but to business overheads.

For more information on how to make your business’s energy more efficient and more affordable, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: – “More than two thirds of UK workers say they care about energy saving in the workplace”

Nu-way Enertech receives top safety accreditation

As an approved installer for Nu-way boilers and equipment, CH Systems is pleased to report that Nu-way Enertech has recently been awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for its commitment to achieving excellence in health and safety.

With more than 263 major clients and over 23000 contractor members, Safecontractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme that recognises very high standards in health and safety management amongst UK contractors. The scheme is applicable to most sectors although it is particularly relevant to food manufacture, property, facilities management, retail and leisure sectors, all of which are big users of contracted services.

Under the Safecontractor scheme, businesses undergo a vetting process which examines health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. Those companies meeting the high standard are included on a database, which is accessible to registered users only – via a website.

Nu-way’s application for Safecontractor accreditation was driven by the desire to have a uniform and recognised standard across the business, and accreditation will enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts – as reported on the company Nu-Way website. Nu-way is currently credited as the UK’s largest distributor of boiler spare parts, and supplies 70 countries around the globe. Some of the company’s most recent clients have included major players such as Kelloggs, Shell, Rolls Royce and the M.O.D.

John Kinge, technical director of Safecontractor, said, “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place. More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Nu-way Enertech has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.”

So basically, should your business need to invest in a heating system – gas, oil or duel fuel – Nu-way Enertech is a good option.

If you’d like further information on boiler installation (and any Nu-way Enertech product), feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

What business owners need to know about UK energy policy in the upcoming General Election

The election is drawing near and things are hotting up in the decision making department as business owners scrutinise party policies in an effort to cast a vote that will yield entrepreneurial advantage. Understanding what the General Election means for UK energy policy is of particular significance as it will have a long term impact on business overheads but with politicians not exactly known for their candour, negotiating the vague strategy of party politics can be frustrating if nothing else.

In an effort to help business owners better understand party manifestos and what they will mean for energy using companies, the Association for Decentralised Energy has offered a review of the most prominent party policies. The bad news is that Despite loud concerns over the past two years from businesses on their growing energy costs, there is nothing from any of the parties’ manifestos that shows the importance of improving industrial and business energy productivity or managing their costs is on their radar, which the Association for Decentralised Energy is calling a “missed opportunity for all the major parties.” That said; there are yet some points that might affect the voting choice of UK entrepreneurs:

  • Both Labour and the Liberal Democrat manifestos commit to energy efficiency as an infrastructure priority although there remains limited detail on the proposal.
  • The Conservative manifesto focuses on the cost of energy but the party’spromise to remove relatively low-cost onshore wind subsidies risks undermining this claim.
  • The Liberal Democrat manifesto reflects their experience gained in government and their aim to own the green energy file in comparison to the other main parties. As well as a poignant focus on energy, it is also the only manifesto to properly consider heat.
  • The Scottish National Party (SNP), although understandably focused on Scotland, has a very strong focus on encouraging renewable electricity investment, due to the Scottish wind and tidal resource.

It’s definitely worth doing further research into any of the aforementioned points if they have the potential to sway your vote.

And if you’re a small business owner, listen up! Of particular interest in the upcoming General Election is the ballot to be cast by Britain’s small business community, which has grown by two million firms since the last election in 2010. According to the StartUp Britain tracker, for the last three years record numbers of people have been setting up in business. In just two years, more than a million new companies have been registered with Companies House, and one in 10 domestic properties in the UK is now home to at least one business – as reported by

The ultimate point is this: no matter how small or big your company, energy is an issue and it is important to consider what the people who plan to run the country might offer your business when it comes to entrepreneurial advancement – not only in relation to the overall goal of cutting costs but in terms of energy efficiency and ethical policy as well.

If you’d like further information, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Sources: – “Better Energy Blog | What the General Election Means for UK Energy Policy” and – “Election 2015: Cameron and Miliband can gain huge advantage by winning small business favour”

Could businesses claim VAT reductions on energy efficient materials?

The election is a stone’s throw away and energy issues are hotting up as politicians look to secure votes. Big news of the moment is a statement released by the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA), which is calling on all political parties to set VAT at 5 per cent for all energy efficiency materials and the installation thereof.

Mike Foster, Chief Executive of EUA, argues:

“Successive Governments promote energy efficiency measures, encouraging homeowners to install everything from insulation, new boilers to state-of-the-art controls yet there are huge anomalies in the levels of VAT charged.

Installing a new control, as a one-off job, would attract VAT at the lower rate of 5 per cent, making it attractive to the consumer yet installing the same control, as part of a wider system improvement, would attract VAT at the standard, 20 per cent rate. The current system is inconsistent and sends out mixed messages to consumers and it needs clarification.

Green Deal, ECO and other energy efficiency policies have failed to deliver, simplifying the VAT rules around products and their installation is something that could be done reasonably easily, it would provide real help to hard-pressed consumers.”

Foster’s point clearly targets home owners but what about businesses that have turned their companies into ethical and sustainable entities, costing both time, effort and an initial pay-out? If home owners were to receive a VAT reduction incentive should business owners not be afforded the same privilege?

Company VAT is normally chargeable at 20 per cent but your business may be liable for less if it satisfies certain criteria, namely de minimis (low energy consumption), which is applied to businesses with electricity demands below 33kWh per day or 1,000 kWh per month (on average) or gas consumption below an average of 145kWh (5 therms) per day or 4,397 kWh (150 therms) per month – these businesses will qualify for a reduced VAT rate of 5 per cent. (The assessment of your consumption can be made by you or by your supplier, as a meter reading or as an estimate.)

The next question to consider if businesses were to be made eligible for some sort of VAT reduction is what type of energy efficiencies could be implemented (with the added intention of reducing costs in the long term)? Things like state-of-the-art controls (for heating and hot water), new boilers and insulation (around windows, doors, walls, floors, ceilings lofts) have been mentioned but other ideas that will be relevant to your business in context are:

• Wood-fuelled boilers
• Micro combined heat and power units
• Solar panels
• Ground-source heat pumps
• Air-source heat pumps
• Wind turbines
• Water turbines

Again, businesses have not been mentioned in EUA’s reduced VAT proposal but it’s a space worth watching! And in the meantime, for more information on how to up your business’s energy efficiency (products and installation) feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Sources: – “Reduce VAT to 5% on all energy efficient materials and their installation” and – “Electricity and Gas Bills – Understanding VAT”.

How ‘point of use’ water heating can save your business money

The amount of time, water and energy that is wasted waiting for water to heat up can be a seriously exponential affair, especially if it’s happening en masse; imagine a whole business of people running tap water until it warms – to wash hands or to add hot water to a kettle –it could easily be called a misuse of resources. Translate the waste to cost and suddenly a solution becomes a business priority. Luckily, there is one.

‘Point of use’ water heating systems aim to cut waste by heating water instantly at the point of use. Research by Redring Xpelair Group (the shower, water heating and ventilation solution manufacturer) has revealed that seven in 10 office workers spend more than 10 minutes a day boiling the kettle, with 7 per cent admitting to spending over an hour each day making hot drinks for themselves and their colleagues. Who knew a cup of tea could be so expensive, all things considered? To combat the unnecessary squander of time and money, Redring’s new Sensaboil range is offers an efficient answer to waste. The system is suitable for commercial applications where regular access to instant hot water for hot drinks is required. The boiler tanks are manufactured in catering grade stainless steel to avoid corrosion and taste or taint issues. There are a range of sizes and finishes, and the best thing of all: hot tea on demand.

When it comes to water for washing hands (and no one likes it cold), the product best suited to commercial use is a hand-wash unit, which is a small, electrically powered unit that heats water instantly as it flows through the product. Hand wash units are wall mountable and their compact dimensions offer a small footprint, making them suitable for rooms with limited space.

An estimation by Redring suggests that the world wastes 18 billion litres of water every day waiting for it to get hot. Not only could point of use water heating cut overheads but it is one small step in the immense global warming war the world is fighting to fix, making it great for your conscience as well as your bank account.

For more information on these products and for advice on installation service, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: – “Point of use water heating”

Businesses prioritise energy security when choosing providers, according to new research

With the cold well underway and heaters assuredly on, there is one thing that is occupying the minds of business owners as tariffs tick over, and that’s energy security. According to new research by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 73 per cent of 550 business leaders and 2,300 households rate security of supply as a crucial energy objective for the UK.

The majority of businesses (96 per cent) are concerned about keeping energy bills affordable and, interestingly, more than half of businesses (57 per cent) believe that the UK’s energy security is worse than it was five years ago. The resounding scepticism of UK business owners is emphasised by the fact that 53 per cent of respondents cite ‘energy company profits’ as the primary reason for price hikes. It’s thus no big surprise that a mere 38 per cent of businesses agree that energy efficiency is the best solution to ensuring that energy costs remain affordable (smaller bonuses, maybe?). Another solution hazarded by business leaders who participated in CBI’s research is; more competition in the market – if energy providers are vying for customers, they’ll have to offer the best deal in an effort to sustain their client base.

Perhaps a lesser known fact is that provider profits accounted for only 4.3 per cent of an average bill in 2012, which suggests that other than the solutions already highlighted by business owners themselves, it seems that industry players might benefit from an action prioritising greater transparency and honest conversation. Being real about energy objectives and how they relate to business is a good way to encourage a mutual support network between companies and energy providers.

And how do business owners feel about the UK’s aim to tackle climate change? In spite of the fact that change in policy and the practical implementation thereof might affect energy security, most businesses (70 per cent) support renewable energy initiatives and other such schemes that hope to minimise the country’s carbon footprint. While 60 per cent of business leaders believe that taking action now to cut carbon emissions will deliver long-term economic opportunity, one in three businesses disagree (32 per cent), suggesting more must be done to communicate the importance of, and opportunity presented by, the low-carbon transition.

The research does a great job of drawing attention to some very real concerns relating to energy efficiency – or lack thereof, according to various respondents. The good news is that there’s a lot to be done and everyone has a part to play.

For more information on how to make your business’s energy more efficient and more affordable, feel free to contact the CH Systems team on 0208 302 8149 or

Source: – “Short-term thinking on energy risks damaging investment – CBI”