Government urged to provide eco-target details

Business energy comparison could be on the cards if the government lays out clear environmental targets, which one designer has called for.

Kevin McCloud, who presents the TV show Grand Designs, has said that legislation motivates invention and that legal requirements push industry to develop new products.

However, he added that the government is not being clear about its environmental goals and this is affecting manufacturers and inventors.

British Gas owner hints at price rise

Centrica's Ian Peters tells energy and climate change committee that gas prices will have to go up, but refuses to give details

Centrica, owner of British Gas gave a clear hint that it was preparing to put up prices after telling the stock market that six-month profits in the division that supplies customers will be "around half" those reported a year ago. It would be the first company to announce a price rise since Scottish Power said it would increase gas prices by 19% and electricity by 10% from August, much to the anger of consumer bodies.

Firms to embrace simple energy efficiency savings

On Green Corporate Energy event in London a new research was unveiled showing that 51% of companies estimate they have tapped into less than a third of the potential energy savings that can result from improving their buildings or processes. This is despite the fact that more than half of the companies surveyed thought potential energy efficiency improvements would pay for themselves in less than three years.

Helping small businesses get the most out of the energy market

To help small businesses to engage in the energy market, Ofgem’s ( ) introduced new rules that apply to only directly to micro-businesses

Micro-business is defined as a company which:

·         consumes less than 200,000 kWh of gas a year, or

·         consumes less than 55,000 kWh of electricity a year, or

·         has fewer than ten employees (or their full-time equivalent) and annual turnover or annual balance sheet total not exceeding €2m

The New Rules

How to manage business energy in small to medium business

Carbon Trust launched a new scheme that could help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to reduce their business energy.

The online guide set up by the organisation has been created to help SMEs manage their emissions, year on year, which could lead to them attaining the Carbon Trust Standard.

The Growing Business' Guide to Managing Carbon will show the most effective ways to record data and reduce business energy.

Climate change levy increases

From the 1st April 2011 the Government is raising the climate change levy (CCL).

For electricity the present CCL rate is 0.47p per kilowatt hour (kWh) this is set to rise to 0.485p kWh.  The rate for natural gas will also increase, rising from 0.164p kWh to 0.169p kWh.  The rate for liquid Petroleum gas will increase from 1.050p per kg to 1.083p per kg.

Budget summary

For major energy users, the key element of the budget was the introduction of a carbon floor price – a worlds first. 

From the 1st April 2013 companies generating electricity must pay at least £16 per tonne of CO2 they produce.  Currently the market price for carbon is decided by the price of permits within the EU’S Emissions Trading Scheme.

However, this can lead to price uncertainty, which could deter investment in renewable energy, while some believe prices are too low at times, which doesn’t incentivize power generators to reduce their CO2 production.

Bindin renewal energy targets demanded by the wind energy industry

The European wind energy industry has today called on the EU to adopt a binding renewable energy target for 2030 in order to help secure long-term investment in the low carbon energy market.

The European Wind Energy Associaion (EWEA) released a new report, titled EU Energy Policy to 2050, at its annual conference in Brussels calling on the EU to drive investment in the sector by setting renewable energy targets for the period after 2020, moving forward with proposals for Emissions Performance Standards and tightening the bloc's Emissions Trading System.

Energy Efficiency is the key to being competitive

At a time when cutting costs is imperative for many businesses, utility costs can be a significant and unavoidable overhead. Energy costs can account for up to a fifth of the average business' expenditure and this is compounded by a volatile energy market and an increasing amount of complex regulation on the horizon.

However this threat can be turned into an opportunity to cut costs and gain competitive advantage if businesses are willing to transform their approach to managing their energy use.

Could Britain lead the world in offshore windpower

Business is brisk at Belfast’s Harland & Wolff shipyard, where the Titanic and her sister ships were built. A century later it is the booming offshore wind-power industry that has taken centre stage.

“People know us as a shipbuilder and that accounted for almost 100pc of our business as recently as 2003. Now we are 75 per cent offshore-renewables based,” said David McVeigh, the firm’s sales and marketing manager. “We’re working on our third offshore windfarm and on a tidal energy device. It’s very high-value, hi-tech, value-added work.”