Firms urged to review energy as long-term costs rise

By Rick Pendrous

- Last updated on GMT

Energy prices are set to rise in the long-term. Don't miss our free, one-hour webinar on energy savings
Energy prices are set to rise in the long-term. Don't miss our free, one-hour webinar on energy savings

Related tags Energy efficiency deployment Renewable energy

Food and drink manufacturers need to review their energy use in advance of electricity market reform (EMR) measures that will push up costs in the long-term, according to the head of indirect sales at energy company Npower.

If firms moved some of their operations ‘off-peak’ they could save money, said Chris Billing. Elsewhere, refrigeration should be an area of focus as it accounts for nearly 50% of all energy used on site, he added. The Carbon Trust has claimed that increasing frozen food store temperature from -25C to -20C would save between 10% and 15% of energy, he said.

Billing noted that by changing tack over the Carbon Price Floor (CPF) the government was failing to provide certainty about what energy costs would be in the long-term. “The energy legislation itself has caused a lot of uncertainty in the marketplace.”

The CPF is a measure designed to encourage renewables use, which is part of the EMR. In the recent budget it was cut to £18/t of carbon dioxide between 2016 – 17 and 2020 in a move popular with large energy users. It is expected to save firms £4bn of the £7bn predicted energy savings overall.

Save firms on average £50,000/year

While the CPF cut is estimated to save firms on average £50,000/year, and there are plans to exempt the power (as well as heat) generated by those using combined heat and power (CHP) plants from the CPF, in the longer term prices were likely to rise, Billing warned. By 2020, average bills could rise by anything between £3/MWh to £25/MWh “up to 20% of an energy bill; just due to government policy”,​ he said.

According to Billing, Npower offers its customers audits of their energy supplies and procurement, risk management, usage and costs. These look at everything from the potential for onsite energy generation to advice on energy efficiency. The company is in talks with brewery, dairy and poultry companies about installing CHP.

“At the end of the day, if we don’t support UK Ltd, we will not have a ​[energy supply] business,”​ said Billing. “We can help customers with energy solutions, whether that is through onsite generation or how they use energy on site.”

Free, one-hour webinar

Meanwhile, the Food Manufacture Group is staging a free, one-hour webinar​ on the new Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) to take place on Thursday September 18 at 1100 GMT. The online seminar will arm delegates with the information they need to comply with the mandatory EU directive.

Organisations taking part include: the government’s Energy Efficiency Deployment Office, the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), JRP Solutions and Arla Foods.

Speakers will include:

•Martin Adams, ESOS team leader, Energy Efficiency Deployment Office

•Steve Reeson, FDF head of climate change and energy policy

•Arla Foods spokesman

•Jes Rutter, md JRP Solutions

Reserve your free place here​ . The webinar will conclude with a question and answer session and you can put your question in advance to our expert panel by emailing​.

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What! A picture of a guy reading a meter manually!

Posted by Colin Boughton-Smith,

As Jes and others know I used to be an energy consultant and after many years of auditing in circa 1985 realised that for energy auditing to be a useful tool "the devil was in detail" and further IT was coming to the rescue to provide detail by what I used to call Automatic Utilities Auditing - renamed by ESTA 13 years ago as aM&T.

How can we show someone reading a meter manually under the heading of Auditing in this day and age!!!!

A meter is converted from "an idle asset" to a "work horse for energy management" by automatically reading it and automatically analysing the data from it.

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Food & Drink Manufacturers lower Heating Costs

Posted by Alan Rose - Vickers Energy,

Food and Drink manufacturers should also look at reducing the cost of their industrial heating. They could save 30% plus by implementing the right Energy Management System.

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