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SGS Bridging the Gap to Further Energy Savings

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SGS United Kingdom Ltd is launching workshops to help ESOS compliant companies understand the benefits of moving from ESOS energy assessments to ISO 50001 certification – the only compliance route providing a framework to continually improve energy performance.

Introduced by the government to improve energy performance and meet EU legislation, ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunity Scheme) specifies that businesses with more than 250 employees, €50 million or more in annual turnover and/or a balance sheet exceeding €43 million must undertake an ESOS energy assessment every four years.

Terry Coyle, ISO 50001 Product Manager for SGS said, “Companies needed to comply with ESOS by the end of 2015, but organisations that chose the ESOS assessment route will still need to undertake energy assessments for each future four year phase of ESOS. Accredited certification to ISO 50001 on the other hand, is built into the organisations practises and processes which requires ongoing maintenance by the organisation and monitoring by the certification body, but provided 100% of the energy use is covered by ISO 50001, they are then exempt from future ESOS energy assessments and there is no need to appoint a lead assessor to oversee future compliance.”

SGS have analysed the voluntary questions in the notifications of compliance data released by the Environment Agency (EA); the results of which show a trend that those organisations who complied with ESOS using ISO 50001 energy management systems certification have stronger senior management buy-in for energy saving benchmarks and targets with 54% confirming senior management have discussed the results of their ESOS assessment through ISO 50001, compared to 33% who complied through ESOS assessments. With this senior management buy-in, 97% of the organisations who have complied through ISO 50001 have stated they will act on energy saving measures highlighted through ISO 50001 compared to those organisations who used alternative routes to compliance, which sits at just 11%. This is a vivid confirmation of the benefits of embedding energy management into an organisation’s management practises and processes through the implementation of ISO 50001.

“ISO 50001 provides a more holistic approach to energy management than ESOS assessments and delivers more benefits than any other ESOS compliance route. It’s the only compliance route that is embedded with practices that ensures energy performance improvement and the cost savings that go along with it. If you want to do the bare minimum to meet the ESOS regulation requirements then ESOS assessments will provide this, however, with no requirement to act upon opportunities, organisations may be spending money and not getting anything in return. ISO 50001 is proven to give return on investment,” said Mr Coyle.

The half day workshops offered by the SGS Academy will examine the differences between ESOS energy audits and ISO 50001 – the international standard for energy management systems (EnMS). The workshops will provide participants with an understanding of how to implement ISO 50001 and use their ESOS audit as a foundation to build an EnMS.

Daniel Curling, Manager of the SGS Academy said, “ISO 50001 is the next logical step for organisations that have completed an ESOS assessment and now not only want to realise the cost savings from the opportunities that have been identified, but want to continue to drive energy performance improvement and energy cost reduction. Once a company has undertaken an ESOS energy assessment, a lot of the hard work has been done. Our workshops are aimed at helping delegates figure out where their company fits in and how to bridge the gap to achieve further energy savings.”

Participants who complete the training offered by SGS will learn about how to integrate energy consumption and energy efficiencies gleaned from ESOS assessments into ISO 50001 energy management system. They will also receive a complementary Energy Health Check tool to help them develop an EnMS.

The workshop dates are:

  • 25 May – Heathrow
  • 23 June – Manchester
  • 14 September – Heathrow

The workshops will start at 9am and finish at midday, with the opportunity for networking at the end of the session.

The SGS Academy also offers a range of training in-house, including ISO 50001 introduction and awareness courses, EnMS implementation training, internal EnMS auditor courses and ISO 50001 Lead auditor courses.

For more information about the workshops please visit the following links:
www.sgs.co.uk/esostoiso50001may

www.sgs.co.uk/esostoiso50001june

www.sgs.co.uk/esostoiso50001Sept.

For more information about the other ISO 50001 services that SGS offers please visit www.sgs.co.uk/energy-management.

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Is Wood Burning Sustainable For Your Home?

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sustainable wood burning ideas

Wood is a classic heat source, whether we think about people gathered around a campfire or wood stoves in old cabins, but is it a sustainable source of heat in modern society? The answer is an ambivalent one. In certain settings, wood heat is an ideal solution, but for the majority of homes, it isn’t especially suitable. So what’s the tipping point?

Wood heat is ideal for small homes on large properties, for individuals who can gather their own wood, and who have modern wood burning ovens. A green approach to wood heat is one of biofuel on the smallest of scales.

Is Biofuel Green?

One of the reasons that wood heat is a source of so much divide in the eco-friendly community is that it’s a renewable resource and renewable has become synonymous with green. What wood heat isn’t, though, is clean or healthy. It lets off a significant amount of carbon and particulates, and trees certainly don’t grow as quickly as it’s consumed for heat.

Of course, wood is a much less harmful source of heat than coal, but for scientists interested in developing green energy sources, it makes more sense to focus on solar and wind power. Why, then, would they invest in improved wood burning technology?

Homegrown Technology

Solar and wind technology are good large-scale energy solutions, but when it comes to small-space heating, wood has its own advantages. First, wood heat is in keeping with the DIY spirit of homesteaders and tiny house enthusiasts. These individuals are more likely to be driven to gather their own wood and live in small spaces that can be effectively heated as such.

Wood heat is also very effective on an individual scale because it requires very little infrastructure. Modern wood stoves made of steel rather than cast iron are built to EPA specifications, and the only additional necessary tools include a quality axe, somewhere to store the wood, and an appropriate covering to keep it dry. And all the wood can come from your own land.

Wood heat is also ideal for people living off the grid or in cold areas prone to frequent power outages, as it’s constantly reliable. Even if the power goes out, you know that you’ll be able to turn up the heat. That’s important if you live somewhere like Maine where the winters can get exceedingly cold. People have even successfully heated a 40’x34’ home with a single stove.

Benefits Of Biomass

The ultimate question regarding wood heat is whether any energy source that’s dangerous on the large scale is acceptable on a smaller one. For now, the best answer is that with a growing population and limited progress towards “pure” green energy, wood should remain a viable option, specifically because it’s used on a limited scale. Biomass heat is even included in the UK’s Renewable Heat Initiative and minor modifications can make it even more sustainable.

Wood stoves, when embraced in conjunction with pellet stoves, geothermal heating, and masonry heaters, all more efficient forms of sustainable heat, should be part of a modern energy strategy. Ultimately, we’re headed in the direction of diversified energy – all of it cleaner – and wood has a place in the big picture, serving small homes and off-the-grid structures, while solar, wind, and other large-scale initiatives fuel our cities.

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Energy

7 Benefits You Should Consider Giving Your Energy Employees

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As an energy startup, you’re always looking to offer the most competitive packages to entice top-tier talent. This can be tough, especially when trying to put something together that’s both affordable but also has perks that employees are after.

After all, this is an incredibly competitive field and one that’s constantly doing what it can to stay ahead. However, that’s why I’m bringing you a few helpful benefits that could be what bolsters you ahead of your competition. Check them out below:

Financial Advising

One benefit commonly overlooked by companies is offering your employees financial advising services, which could help them tremendously in planning for their long-term goals with your firm. This includes anything from budgeting and savings plans to recommendations for credit repair services and investments. Try to take a look at if your energy company could bring on an extra person or two specifically for this role, as it will pay off tremendously regarding retention and employee happiness.

Life Insurance

While often included in a lot of health benefits packages, offering your employees life insurance could be an excellent addition to your current perks. Although seldom used, life insurance is a small sign that shows you care about the life of their family beyond just office hours. Additionally, at such a low cost, this is a pretty simple aspect to add to your packages. Try contacting some brokers or insurance agents to see if you can find a policy that’s right for your firm.

Dedicated Time To Enjoy Their Hobbies

Although something seen more often in startups in Silicon Valley, having dedicated office time for employees to enjoy their passions is something that has shown great results. Whether it be learning the piano or taking on building a video game, having your team spend some time on the things they truly enjoy can translate to increased productivity. Why? Because giving them the ability to better themselves, they’ll in turn bring that to their work as well.

The Ability To Work Remotely

It’s no secret that a lot of employers despise the idea of letting their employees work remotely. However, it’s actually proven to hold some amazing benefits. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 95% of employers that allow their employees to telework reported an increased rate of retention, saving on both turnover and sick days. Depending on the needs of each individual role, this can be a strategy to implement either whenever your team wants or on assigned days. Either way, this is one perk almost everyone will love.

Health Insurance

Even though it’s mandated for companies with over 50 employees, offering health insurance regardless is arguably a benefit well received across the board. In fact, as noted in research compiled by KFF, 28.6% of employers with less than 50 people still offered health care. Why is that the case? Because it shows you care about their well-being, and know that a healthy employee is one that doesn’t have to worry about astronomical medical bills.

Unlimited Time Off

This is a perk that almost no employer offers but should be regarded as something to consider. According to The Washington Post, only 1-2% of companies offer unlimited vacation, which it’s easy to see why. A true “unlimited vacation” program could be a firm’s worse nightmare, with employees skipping out every other week to enjoy themselves. However, with the right model in place that rewards hard work with days off, your employees will absolutely adore this policy.

A Full Pantry

Finally, having a pantry full of food can be one perk that’s not only relatively inexpensive but also adds to the value of the workplace. As noted by USA Today, when surveying employees who had snacks versus those who didn’t, 67% of those who did reported they were “very happy” with their work life. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference this could make, especially when considering the price point. Consider adding a kitchen to your office if you haven’t already, and always keep the snacks and drinks everyone wants fully stocked. Doing so will increase morale tremendously.

Final Thoughts

Compiling a great package for your energy company is going to take some time in looking at what you can afford versus what’s the most you can offer. While it might mean cutting back in other areas, having a workforce that feels like you genuinely want to take care of them can take you far. And with so many different benefits to include in your energy company’s package, which one is your favorite? Comment with your answers below!

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