Live chat: how energy efficient are you?

LSI Utility Brokers will be participating in a live chat to answer questions on your energy bills, contracts, management and compliance.

As one of our Trusted Suppliers, they can assist voluntary organisations in obtaining the best deal in the energy market. Post your questions below for LSI in the comments section or join us at 1.30pm on Friday 31 October for a live chat where the experts from LSI will be here.

How LSI can help you

Energy bills and contracts

Does your charity know how much it should be paying for energy? Is it paying too much? Should you switch supplier? What’s the best way of doing this? Is there a good or bad time to switch supplier?

LSI can answer these questions and let you know how to manage your energy contracts and what you need to know about them.

Energy management

What’s the best way of monitoring and measuring your energy? Are you efficient in your energy use? Or could you be more efficient and save some money too?

Energy compliance

Are you complying with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS)? Do you need to? What’s the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme and do you need to comply with this too?

Expert panel

Matt Fulford, Energy Reduction and Efficiency Manager, LSI

With over 10 years’ experience in energy and sustainability issues in the building environment, Matt’s expertise is recognised in his positions as sustainability advisor to the Diocese of Gloucester and being a member of the RICS Sustainability Working Group. He is a regular contributor to both Building Magazine and the CIBSE Journal where he shares his insights and experiences in energy management issues.

Matt leads on energy reduction and efficiency at LSI. His projects frequently deliver 20%+ reductions in consumption and he has managed tens of millions of pounds of energy related projects.

Malcolm Spooner, Head of Corporate Accounts, LSI

Malcolm spent 33 years with a national utility supplier in both the public and private sectors, following privatisation. Malcolm has experience in many areas including marketing, sales, tariff administration in the public sector, heating and cooling systems and as a national account manager in contracts sales where he was responsible for the management and negotiation of national supply agreements.

Malcolm heads up the corporate accounts team at LSI managing major national client account portfolios and is a member of the board. He has spent the last seven years at LSI managing the procurement teams and developing LSI’s buying strategies for corporate clients.

Questions and answers

Post your questions below for Matt and Malcolm in the comments section or join us at 1.30pm on Friday 31 October for a live chat with the LSI experts.

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31 Responses to Live chat: how energy efficient are you?

  1. S Sheikh says:

    We have recently had our energy and telephone switched to save money but we have an old building, part of which is listed with old stain glass windows which are vandalised and eye wateringly expensive to fix! Our ventilation is also awful as the windows have been painted shut to stop break ins.
    Any help for community centres in deprived area’s please?! I have general to good knowledge about these issues but they come way down in the list of a community centres priorities unfortunately. we have set timers on the heating now though, which is gas but the boiler is old (and massive!). But we still have electric heaters for the toilets.

    • Matt Fulford says:

      Listed buildings can be a challenge but also a great opportunity. I created the first zero carbon grade 1 listed building a few years ago so don’t let the listed status hold you back.
      There is funding from English Heritage, Heritage Lottery Fund and others which you may be able to access to because you do have a listed building. You may then want to apply for grants from them to replace the boiler for modern gas condensing unit with zone control and locks for your windows rather than relying on a coat of paint as your security measure!

  2. M says:

    Could you recommend any sustainable suppliers?

    • Just to clarify do you mean energy suppliers? if that is the case then most of the UK energy providers have a mix of sustainable energy within their portfolio. Currently Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) are at the for-front with their hydro generation.

  3. Marie says:

    Hello and welcome!

    Looking forward to the discussion today.

    Let’s start with our expert panel introducing themselves.

  4. Hi I’m Malcolm, Head of Corporate Accounts at LSI.

    I am here for the next hour to answer any questions you may have in regards to energy markets, purchasing arrangements and contractual obligations.

    I look forward to receiving your questions.

  5. Matt Fulford says:

    Hi, I’m Matt and happy and interested to answer your questions on energy management and issues you may be pondering on how to reduce your energy costs by reducing the amount of energy you use. May be you would like to share things you have done which haven’t worked at as well as you expected or great successes.
    With the recent issues in the news on power station fires, nuclear plants being off line and the potential energy gap this winter how will you operate if you have no or reduce energy supplies available…..

  6. John says:

    What does it really mean to be sustainable. How can I find out how sustainable we are?

    • Matt Fulford says:

      The definition of sustainability is usually used is to operate in a way ” that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”
      This then tends to have three elements (often called ‘three pillars’ of sustainability), which are social, economic and environment.
      There are a number of measures out there which can be used which score an organisations sustainability covering all three elements or focusing on one or the other. Some wish to focus environmental matters and use carbon emissions as a good proxy for all environmental impacts and therefore look at their carbon footprint….

  7. Lillian P says:

    Are there special deals for small charities???

    • Frederick Wadsworth says:

      Yes. If it’s more expensive is it worth it for us? We need to save as much as possible.

    • Unfortunately no, the only benefit you might achieve is ensuring that you register your charity and pay the correct VAT rate. How many meters (buildings?) does your charity have? Generally speaking a supplier will take advantage of pricing high for customers direct and our role as a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) is to ensure that we achieve a good selection of prices from the entire market. We are then able to negotiate a reduction in the overall cost but this is very dependant on where the wholesale price is at the time of negotiation.

  8. Cait says:

    Hi there
    Have all energy improving grants dried up now? I was hoping to apply for funding to switch to LED lights, maybe get solar panels, but seems like it’s just loans available these days. Are you aware of any ways we can access funding to make improvements to our building?
    Cait

  9. Helen says:

    Hi there,

    I’d be really interested to know if anyone has done any benchmarking on this, and where I could find this information.

    • In regards to energy prices or energy consumption?

      • Helen says:

        Mostly interested in energy consumption within the charity sector. Thanks

        • Matt Fulford says:

          Hi Helen there are a variety of energy saving benchmarks of different types of buildings available from sources such as the Carbon Trust or CIBSE. Ie. if you are looking at energy benchmarks for offices then if you google ECON19 it will come up with a range of benchmarks or CIBSE TM46 for other buildings including offices. These all tend to work on the basis of the annual electricity and heating usage per m2 of floor area. Display Energy Certificates use similar metrics which provide a bench marking guide and also a certificate (like those you see on the side of fridges) that can visibly show how well (or otherwise) you are doing.

  10. Matt Fulford says:

    Hi Cait, The grants mainly disappeared for renewables when the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentives were introduced a few years ago as these incentives provide the income and can currently give a payback of around 8 years. There are companies that will therefore offer to install renewables at no capital cost so long as you allow them to take all or some of FiT/RHI but if you have the fund these are not always the best long term financial option as the incentives last for 20 years so you will be handing them 12 years of profit!
    Various ‘paid from savings’ offers are available for LED lights but these are effectively the same as loans. You need to establish if the savings you will get will pay back in the time of the ‘loan’ so that even though you can’t get it paid for you will still have a net saving each year as the amount you save will be more than the amount you pay back.

  11. Via twitter: We’ve been with the same supplier for years. What would you suggest are the first steps to switching energy suppliers?

    • Hi,

      Your first step would be to send me a copy of you latest electricity bill with an indication of when your contract started and we will undertake a free health check for you and advise accordingly.

      This is something we can do for any organisation who is looking to save money on their energy bills.

  12. Joe Brown says:

    I don’t know anything about energy compliance. What’s the criteria for complying with the schemes?

    • Matt Fulford says:

      Hi Joe

      There are a number of schemes and areas of compliance but as a quick guide;

      Display Energy Certificate – you will need this if you have a building over 500m2 which has a public sector function (this reduces to 250m2 from July next year)

      Energy Performance Certificate – you will need one of these when you sell or lease a building and if you are a landlord you will need to make sure that you achieve at least an E rating from 2018.

      Carbon Reduction Commitment – if you use over 6000MWh of electricity through a half hour meter then you will have to comply with this, you would be spending around £500,000 a year on energy so you are likely to know if you are included in this.

      ESOS – this is the new scheme which is coming in now. You will be included in this if you have over 250 employees (regardless of whether they are full time or part time) OR if you have a large turnover and assets on your balance sheet.

      Air Conditioning Inspection – if you have over 12kW of air conditioning within your site then you will need to get them inspected for efficiency.

      Hope that helps!

  13. Via Twitter
    What are the best energy savers?

    • First step would be to make sure you are on a competitive priced contract with your current supplier. At the time of renewal it is always important to compare the whole market to find the best available prices. This is something that LSI can assist your organisation in doing.

      With regards to energy saving ideas, the top five are:

      1. Review and set your controls in-line with how you use the building (e.g Turn your heating off when your not there)
      2. Turn items off when you not using them (e.g Lights, Computers – not standby!)
      3. Lighting is often a quick win and has improved massively in the last year or two.
      4. Don’t heat and cool at the same time (e.g heating on and the window open or air con on)
      5. Fix the basics including, draft proofing doors/windows and fix leaking taps

      See are top tips at the link below:

      http://blog.lsiutilitybroker.co.uk/2014/07/26/top-5-tips-for-reducing-business-energy-consumption/

  14. Tom Arnold says:

    Hi there

    How can we find out how sustainable my supplier is please?

    Great discussion btw

    • Hi Tom,

      All energy suppliers are mandated to produce annually their energy mix so at any given point we can assess who are the most sustainable providers.

      Who is your supplier? It should be posted on their website, you are looking for the word renewables.

  15. Thank you for all the questions.

    The live chat has now ended but do continue to post questions, we may just take a little longer to reply.

    Do take up the offer from LSI on the free health check!

  16. Thanks for your time and questions, i hope i managed to address your queries.

    If you have any further enquiries or are interested in receiving a free of charge assessment of your current energy contracts pleas feel free to drop us an e-mail at enterprise@ncvo.org.uk and we would be happy to help.

  17. For further on LSI and our services please visit our website http://www.lsiutilitybroker.co.uk/