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1st April 2017

Right Water Launch

 

Touchstone announces the launch of www.rightwater.co.uk.

 

if you are confused about the deregulation of the Water Market in Engaln, then this is the place to find out what is really happening.

8th December 2016

 

Survey on Energy Costs for Businesses

 

It seems that almost half of senior business managers are not aware of how much their companies spend on energy bills.

 

That’s according to a survey by The Telegraph and YouGov that found that although a fifth of firms spend more than £250,000 per year on their gas and electricity senior managers have no idea who is responsible for buying energy.

 

The poll of 760 senior managers stated that 67% of them have no understanding of how their businesses buy energy and even who buys it and nearly half of them confess to have “limited understanding” of costs.

26th October 2016

 

Touchstone have been nominated as finalists in the 2016 Farm Business Innovation Awards.

 

The Farm Business Innovation team are delighted to announce their industry awards for 2016. Focusing on key areas in rural businesses the awards will highlight and celebrate successes across the country. Entries can be viewed prior to the event, and will be judged live by a panel of leading experts at the show itself this November. Farm Business Show

7th October 2016

 

Battery Storage connected to the Grid.

 

A new facility built for UK Power Network has recently been deliverd on time and on budget in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire. The High Voltage, state of the art storage facility provides a test bed for ongoing development of HV battery storage.

14th September 2016

Is Theresa May about to give go-ahead for Hinkley Point nuclear plant?

Reliable sources say that Theresa May will give the go-ahead for Hinkley Point. This is at the very time when a report suggests that renewables are already cheaper than coal and gas with costs set to fall even further by 2020 and several emerging technologies which could spell the end of nuclear as a viable option.

 

Many in the industry consider Hinkley to be an unnecessary distraction and potentially a huge financial burden on UK energy users for years to come.

 

The Prime MInister is having to balance her decision against the potential damage to UK-China relations a cancellation would inflict. At a time when the UK needs all the friends it can find after Brexit, the trade and political implications are probably to big to bear.

 

8th September 2016

 

The drop in the value of the Pound is likely to result in increased energy costs.

 

The depreciation in sterling will have knock-on effects for power costs as developers factor in lower returns due to sterling's fall. There are also many questions to be answered related to the EU single energy market.  With the  projected increase in Euroepean interconnectivity it is stil unlcear whether the UK will be part of the single energy market.

8th September 2016

 

Does Brexit mean increased pass-through charges?

 

Haven Power recently suggested that clients should expect increases in DUoS, TNUos, FiTs, Renewables Obligation and Climate Change Levy (CCL)

Haven's newsletter, which was published before Brexit, project year on year increases for all of these charges which now make up 47% of electricity bills. The commofity cost is down to 34%! 

7th August 2016

 

EU hits energy reduction target 6 years ahead of schedule

Substantial reductions have been reported across all sectors well ahead of the 2020 goal. The question for the UK is whether the UK will reverse the gains after Brexit?

 

It is estimated that the carbon equivalent of 400 power stations has been cut.

 

In 2014, the EU's 28 member countries consumed 72 million tonnes of oil equivalent less than had been projected for 2020, according to a report by the

 

Environmental campaigners are jubilant and described the achievement as "remarkable" and "incredible". The European Commission was less animated but nevertheless happy at the progress.

 

Interestingly energy use in residential buildings fell by 9.5 per cent between 2000 and 2014, which is above projections. The industrial sector saw a reduction of 17.6% over the same period.

 

All this comes with a note of caution about the UK.

 

Energy analysts are concerned that the UK government is dragging its feet on energy efficiency measures and could even begin to backtrack on commitments once Brexit occurs. Some Tory MPs regard energy efficiency regulation, introduced by the EU, as hampering UK businesses. Hopefully narrow minded interests will not prevail and the UK will stay on track to play its part.

 

Ingrid Holmes, the director of the E3G thinktank in London, said: "Brexit creates enormous uncertainty over how the UK will continue to provide affordable and secure energy to its people. Energy efficiency works - and it's time the government committed to at least match the ambition of energy saving actions taken by the rest of Europe."

31st August 2016

A smarter grid will help avoid power blackouts says National Grid chief Nicola Shaw

In an interview she claimed there will be 'real change' in the industry as computers make power use smarter
The "internet of energy" will help stop power blackouts in the UK, the new boss of the National Grid says.
Executive director Nicola Shaw hailed a moment of "real change" in the energy industry, looking forward to increasingly intelligent use of power in homes and offices
Once appliances are online, it will be possible to coordinate them so that they are not all using power at the same time. This could stop 30 to 50 per cent of major energy fluctuations, she told the BBC.
"Smart" appliances could also help with the fluctuations in availability inherent with renewable power sources. A washing machine could be turned on only when it was sunny, for example.
In a major change to tariff structures Shaw said flexible pricing would be key. One energy provider in Cornwall already offers a "sunshine tariff" that tries to persuade households to use cheap solar power when the sun is shining, says the BBC.

She also hailed the rise of renewable energy generated at homes and offices across the country, saying: "We are at a moment of real change in the energy industry.

19th August 2016

DID YOU COMPLETE ESOS?

It appears that up to 1,200 companies that qualified under the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) are currently being investigated by The Environment Agency.
ESOS is mandatory for all large businesses in the UK that qualify under certain criteria. They are required to undertake comprehensive assessments of energy use and energy efficiency opportunities at least once every four years.
Companies that don’t meet the criteria don’t have to participate in the scheme. This includes those that aren’t large enough or are classified as a public body.
The scheme is enforced by the Environment Agency who will send warning notices in advance of any action. Civil penalties can be incurred but only in more serious cases. These are dealt with on a case by case basis.
13th June 2016
UK to double French energy supplies with new cable
A privately funded project has announced it will build a £1.1bn cross Channel electricity cable which will double the amount of energy the UK presently receives from France.
The cable, called an interconnector, will run from Lovedean, near Portsmouth to the Le Havre area.
The developer is Aquind led by Ukrainian businessman Alexander Temerko.
The company said the 150-mile cable would come online in 2021
19th August 2016
Australia blocks Ausgrid energy grid sale to Chinese companies
Australia has blocked the sale of Ausgrid, the country's biggest energy grid, to two Chinese companies over security concerns.
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison officially rejected the bid by the two firms to buy a 50.4% stake in Ausgrid. 31st October 2014
At Last! Russia and Ukraine agree a gas deal thereby lifting the uncertainty surrounding gas supplies to Europe this Winter.
Russia has agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter in a deal brokered by the European Union.
The deal will also ensure gas supplies to EU countries via Ukraine are secure.
"There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,'' said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
European Union energy chief Guenther Oettinger said he was confident that Ukraine would be able to afford to pay for the gas it needed.
DECC Electricity Demand Reduction (EDR) Pilot
What is the EDR pilot?
£20m is being made available to support projects that deliver lasting reductions in electricity demand, e.g. through the installation of a more efficient lighting system, air-conditioning or pumps.
This pilot will test whether EDR could participate in GB’s capacity marke
How will it work in practice?
Projects will bid into an auction and commit to delivering a kW saving. Successful bids secure
funding, that can then be used to support the installation of more efficient electrical equipment.
Projects will need to qualify. This will include submitting a project plan with estimated savings and a plan for measuring and verifying these (a manual will be provided to help with this).
There will be a minimum bid size of 100kW in the auction. This may be achieved by a single
project or through several projects, aggregated into a single application.
Who and what will be eligible?
  • Projects will need to be based in Great Britain and deliver efficiency savings at least during times of winter peak electricity demand (3 - 7pm on weekdays, November - February).
  • Projects which would not be eligible include those that shift electricity demand to other times of the day.
  • Measures benefiting from specified forms of Government incentive (such as Climate Change Agreements, Salix loans
  • Savings made by switching to other energy sources (e.g. onsite generation)
How will the pilot benefit you?
A payment from Government for delivering efficiency savings spread across a payment at installation and on delivery of savings.
This will support your investment case. You will also benefit from all the electricity cost savings.
Your organisation will also benefit from savings outside winter peak time.
“ We’re looking for brilliant organisations with bright ideas about how to lower our electricity use, help cut energy bills and bring down our emissions”
Edward Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change
“ Businesses have a real opportunity here to bid for a slice of a £20 million pound pot and see their project come to life.”
Greg Barker, Minister of State
UK energy costs “most off-putting for manufacturers”
Hefty energy prices are the issue manufacturers are most negative about according to a new survey.
Industry body EEF which carried out the survey said it reveals power costs are a concern for businesses which typically spend millions of pounds on electricity or heat a year.
When asked to rate what was a strong advantage or disadvantage, energy prices appear to have been firmly rated as the latter.
Terry Scuoler, EEF Chief Executive said: “Rising energy costs represent a major threat to growth and could damage efforts to support and sustain long term recovery. The UK cannot afford to pile even more unilateral costs on the manufacturing sector which is key to developing the UK’s longer term growth and stability.”
He added: “Many manufacturers now feel that they are being severely penalised by high energy costs, some of which are being unilaterally imposed and are not shared by competitor nations.”
Ahead of the Treasury’s 2015 Budget which the Chancellor will announce on 19 March, the group is calling for a freeze and then a cut of the carbon price floor – a British tax on fossil fuels generating electricity.
Ofgem proposes new 'Rollover' rules
Businesses being rolled onto a new energy tariff when their contract runs out could be a good “trigger” to act according to a consumer group.
The proposals include shortening the maximum termination notice period to 30 days.
New rules for suppliers to include their current and renewal prices and their annual consumption on renewal letters.
Requiring suppliers to acknowledge receipt of termination notice.
We expect these proposals to be implemented by autumn 2014
Ofgem has shied away from banning rollovers outright, on Friday announcing it will cut the number of days’ notice a business can give to switch supplier to 30 days rather than around the 30-90 days they are currently.
Experts suggested this wasn’t a disaster for businesses.
Andrew Hallett, from Consumer Futures said: “Rollover contracts can offer some protection to customers in that, by definition, they prevent a consumer, particularly the disengaged consumer, from unwittingly ending up on more expensive out-of-contract rates.”
An “evergreen” tariff could avoid small firms having to pay more if their contract expires.
He said: “Many very small micro businesses engage with the market in a similar way to domestic consumers and may find the need to contract regularly onerous and confusing.
“We propose one solution to this would be for suppliers to develop evergreen tariffs at this small end of the market – evergreen tariffs being like most domestic tariffs whereby there is no timeout and in most cases the price can go up and down.”
1st February 2014
Touchstone Energy Management Services are Exhibiting at Bournemouth Hotel & Catering Exhibition on March 11th and 12th
Exciting plans have been announced for the Hotel & Catering Show (11 - 12 March 2014) in Bournemouth with new features and a host of interesting products and interactive exhibits.
Touchstone are introducing the highly successful Energy Buying Group to the Hospitality Industry as well as providing a hands on demonstration of the latest Smart Meter software platform. To round it all off we have a comprehensive range of Energy Efficiency Products.
Call by to claim your Free Energy Audit!
Touchstone announce a New Software Platform
In keeping with the continual development process in Energy Management, Touchstone are proud to announce details of the new Digital Energy platform.
The system, which is to be found on our dedicated smart metering site: www.thesmartmeter.co.uk  is highly scaleable and combines a new Bill Validation module as well as a facility to manage energy efficiency projects. Another popular feature is the ability to add data from manually read meters, a feature that provides full visibility of a full supply portfolio whether there is a complete AMR installation or not.
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