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How to save money on energy for your care facility

Energy usage can’t be avoided for those in care facilities, but the costs can be reduced, and here is how:

Tariffs and contracts

Selecting the appropriate tariffs is vital to ensure that you’re paying for what is suited best to your business. They’re many tariffs to choose from such as standard, fixed energy, dual fuel and pre-payment, to name a few.

It’s also essential that you don’t end up on out of contract rates which are rates you have to pay when you haven’t signed a contract with your energy supplier. This can happen when you have told your supplier that you wish to terminate your contract but haven’t arranged another supplier for when the current deal ends. It can also happen if you’re trying to switch supplier and it takes longer than you had expected, meaning that your contract ends before you’ve been able to move over to a new supplier.

Heating your care facility

Making a switch to central gas heating from electric heaters can save you a lot. An electric heater can cost two-three times more per unit of heat than just one unit of heat from one of your radiators. Thermostatic radiator valves are devices which are fitted to the radiators and reduce the amount of water which passes through the radiator, enabling you to choose what temperature you want for each room.

Maintaining your care facility building

Keeping up on the maintenance of your care facility building such as ensuring the roof is well insulated. An uninsulated roof can lose a quarter of heat, by keeping on top of it can save you over £100 a year. Included in the maintenance of your care facility is taps. By having just one dripping cold tap fixed can save you as much as £100 on your water bill, and even more for a hot tap.

Also, ensuring the windows are closed, leaving open a window overnight can waste as much energy as a small car driving 35 miles.

Lighting around your care facility

Switch to LED lights. LED lights have a long lifespan, are energy-efficient, operate at full brightness the minute they’re turned on and have many more advantages. Changing to motion sensor lights will save money as it avoids the possibility of lights being left on when people have left a room.

Solar panels

Another option which can save you money is solar panels. Flame UK is in partnership with Amelio Solar Energy which means we can provide you with solar panels to help reduce your electricity bill. A reduction in your electricity bill isn’t the only advantage to solar panels; they are a renewable energy source and have low maintenance costs.

For any help and advice on the information in the blog, contact a helpful member of our team on 0115896 5460 or visit our website flameuk.co.uk

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Care home

How Flame UK can support Care Facilities

Managing waste and energy correctly for our Care Facility Partner is a priority to us. We share the same goals and aspirations as our Care Facility partners, ensuring you have the necessary support long term.  The nature of care is that waste is created and energy is used, but why should your business suffer.
How can Flame UK support Care Facilities?

Offensive & Clinical Waste

We understand that these waste streams are sensitive to care; we will support you to find the very best solution for your business.  We offer Orange, Tiger, Yellow and sharps waste services to suit your business and volumes.

General Waste

Do you know what items should only be disposed of as general waste? It’s polystyrene, floor sweepings, plastic bags and contaminated plastic packaging. No other type of waste should be included in your general waste. We offer a wide range of container sizes, service frequencies and technology to help reduce vehicle movements. Waste to energy is our preferred method, and we would always advise food waste be separated to lower your costs.

Food Waste

Collected as a separate waste stream, we will support you to put this in place and take advantage of lower processing costs. The food waste collected is treated and turned into energy and fertiliser.

Packaging

We can help you to become more efficient with packaging waste materials created from deliveries and food processing such as cans and plastic bottles.  We can offer you a solution that suits your business, whether that be large wheeled bins, or if your volumes are high, we can supply baling equipment.

Clearances

We can provide skips / large container or on-demand collection service for your large seasonal volumes of waste around Christmas, or clearances.  We can also offer electronic waste collections, mattress clearances and furniture clearances.

Wash Rooms

We can provide air fresheners, hand dryers, sanitary bins and services, soap dispensers or water management to help reduce your water usage. Flame UK can support you and complete a comprehensive service package.

Energy

Did you know that if you do your laundry at night, you will save money because of cheaper night tariffs? By choosing Flame UK to manage your energy, we will make sure that you know about all of the tips and tricks to saving money. Such as how you can switch to LED lights and get renewable and green energy at no additional cost, making your care home more energy-efficient.

Flame UK will ensure that you get the right contract for your care facility which is up to date with the latest energy compliance and that the supplier terms fit with your needs. You can even find out how much money you can save by using our price comparison. 

PAT Testing

PAT Testing may not be on everyone’s mind when it comes to compliance but it is crucial, not only to ensure that everyone remains safe and worry-free but to also conform with the below regulations:

  • Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
  • The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
  • The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999

Electricity usage is unavoidable for care facilities, from powering lights, nurse call systems, CCTV systems, and so on. If poorly managed, it can have devastating effects.

PAT Testing involves the testing, both visual and full electrical tests, of all electrical appliances that are powered through the sockets and could cause any potential dangers. With our highly trained, professional team, Flame UK offer a reliable and cost-effective service that will ensure your business is compliant to the before-mentioned legislations.

Allow us to help you be sustainably strong in a competitive and developing market.

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What you need to know about MOP contracts.

What is a MOP contract?

A MOP (Meter Operator) agreement is a contract that’s separate from other electricity agreements where you will be invoiced directly from your Meter Operator. They provide a much more accurate measurement of your electricity consumption. This is then passed over to your chosen energy supplier or a DC/DA provider of your choice. MOP contracts are a legal requirement for those affected by P272 legislation. Or those with a half-hourly (HH) meter (when your meter transmits a read to your supplier every 30 minutes either via a sim card or hard phone line connection). A HH meter is a requirement for sites that have a maximum electricity demand of over 100KW.

Why choose a MOP contract?

If you don’t choose a MOP yourself, your supplier will provide one for you at their default cost – which can be double the price. So, instead of supplier estimates, you’ll receive more accurate prices for just the energy you use because your Meter Operator will be passing accurate data to your electricity supplier. Your Meter Operator will take care of all installation and maintenance requirements for your HH meter, including the communication line between you and your supplier or DC/DA (Data Collection and Data Aggregation, a mandatory service linked to your HH meter) so that data is being continuously passed on.

Contract length can range from 1 to 10 years, and costs can vary significantly based on the contract term.

If you have a Half-hourly meter (you can tell by having a look at your MPAN on your bill – there will be a ‘00’ within the top left box of the MPAN) and are not aware of these charges and are being charged a default rate by your supplier, please get in touch with our experts on 0115 896 5460. We’ll gladly help.

 

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The Future of Electricity Usage

As we move towards a low carbon economy, there will be fundamental shifts in the way that we all use electricity.  This presents opportunities for businesses that move quickly to reduce costs and gain competitive advantage…but it’s about thinking laterally.

In the first of a series of articles Richard Jones, Managing Director of EV Camel and of Amelio Solar Energy, explores some of the challenges and opportunities that will face business and also in our wider lives outside work.  He will also bust some common myths and misunderstandings as our pattern of energy usage changes.

For example, there is commonly thought to be a very limited supply of electricity in the UK, often alongside particular concerns around the move to electric cars.  However whilst we may have an electricity grid that is creaking at the seams in part, the National Grid seems quite comfortable that overall we produce enough electricity – the issue is really sorting out the peaks and troughs of contracted demand and actual demand.  Smoothing demand curves will enable us all to make better and more efficient use of electricity.

Electric car charging

Electric car charging

So what does the future hold for businesses?

There are opportunities to reduce bills through the use of Solar PV – as an example, a food producer paying £10,000 a month for electricity was found to be able to reduce electricity demand by up to 30% by investing in Solar PV – a significant reduction on business overheads.

Other opportunities lie in more flexible tariffs – businesses that can shift electricity usage to off-peak times could pay substantially less and in industries where margins are tight, innovative ways of doing this could prove pivotal to profitability.  Careful advice on such tariffs from experts such as FlameUK will be important in this respect.

Costs of electricity will rise, particularly at peak times and so the incentives to be more flexible as to times of electricity use will become increasingly important.

The Internet of Things (IoT) will assist with managing loads and intelligently shifting and managing demand peaks.  We are moving towards everything being ‘smart’…not just our phones but charging for our cars, our kettles and fridges.

Battery storage will also become more viable and important at both a grid and behind the meter level.

On the day that the Department for Transport produced its strategy towards the decarbonisation of the transport, it’s clear that vehicle manufacturers are rapidly moving into the delivery phase of the transition to electric vehicles.  In the UK, the company car tax regime will change from 1st April 2020 and many commentators see this as a pivotal moment in the transition process.  There will be challenges and opportunities as a result of this – the locations where we rest ourselves and refuel our vehicles will surely change and the British entrepreneurial spirit will create new possibilities with this.

Overall, the shape of electricity usage is set for a major step-change in the coming years and as ever the opportunities for businesses that are fleet of foot will be there for the taking.

For more information on the topics covered in this and subsequent articles please contact your usual contact at FlameUK.

Watch out for a more in-depth analysis of one of these issues from Richard Jones next time…

© R D H Jones; Amelio Solar Energy; EV Camel; 16.10.19

 

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Watt you can do to reduce your energy costs.

Did you read our blog – How can you save energy and water?

Now, we’re going to focus on energy and give you a few tips to how you can reduce your energy costs.

One of the easiest ways is to switch energy provider. It sounds like it will be a lot of hassle, but by using Flame UK, we will make sure that the process is easy and as hassle-free as possible. You can even get your energy comparison quote in under 90 seconds by clicking here.

Energy comparison quote

Energy comparison quote

Understand your business, and it’s requirements, Flame UK will look at a cost reduction plan in line with your future business aspirations. And you will be provided with an account manager so that you will have full support through your ongoing requirements.

Person at computer

Account manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allow and encourage staff to layer up in winter. In a three bedroom semi-detached house, turning down the heating just by one degree can save £85 – £90 a year, imagine what it would be in a place of work!

Thermostat

Thermostat

Do you clean your air conditioning filters? Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower the energy used by your air conditioning, by between 5% – 15%.

Air conditioning unit

Air conditioning unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A final tip is to spend some time educating your employees on how to save energy. Encourage them to turn off appliances when they aren’t in use and explain the benefits of energy-saving.

Off button

Off button on laptop

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How can you save energy and water?

 

Want to know how you can save your energy and water? Well, keep reading. We’re going to share some easy every day changes you can make to help you save energy and water.

 

 

 

 

First off is a super easy one. Turn off your lights when the room isn’t in use, or when there is enough daylight to be able to see everything. It is that simple! Did you know that if you turn off just 4 lights every night for a year, you can save as much CO2 as produced by 20 car trips from London to Paris?

Image of Big Ben in London to the Eiffel Tower in Paris

London to Paris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great way to save energy is by opting for motion sensor lights. That way, you don’t need to remember to turn off the lights as you leave the room.

 

You could also switch over to energy-efficient bulbs. While they are more expensive than traditional bulbs, they do save you money because they last so much longer and use much less energy.

Typically, about 25%-80% less energy in fact!

 

 

 

 

One great way to save water at least twice a day per person is to make sure that you turn off your tap while brushing your teeth. This can save up to 3 or 4 gallons of water per person, per day. Did you know, 1 in 3 people leave the water running while brushing their teeth?

 

 

 

 

Another great way to save water is by not washing your dirty clothes until you have a full machine load by doing this you use less water and energy than you would in 2 half loads.

A final great way to save water in your workplace is to replace single-flush toilets with dual-flush toilets which allow you to choose whether you use a partial or full flush.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out how much we could help you save on your business energy by getting a comparison quote in under 90 seconds today!

 

Don’t forget to give us a like and a follow! And if you try any of our suggestions, let us know how you get on.

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Choosing the Right Energy Contract

What type of energy contract should I have?

Energy is a necessity, and everyone must have it to operate their business.  It can be a big chunk of a business’s spend normally ranking within the top 3 expenses and needs to be reviewed effectively to ensure the business is not only on a competitive rate but also the right type of contract.

There are many types of businesses, consumptions, meters etc. across the industry which can contribute to how a decision is made and what contract is best. There are many factors to take into account like budgets, requirements, systems, and even political unrest i.e. Brexit for when a contract is agreed.

It is difficult to know what type of contract to go with due to the uncertainty of the market, however, if you can make informed decisions that are right for your business it helps to make the procurement process a lot easier.

The contract types are below and how they tend to work;

Fully Fixed

This is the most common and suits all business types looking for security and will have their prices fixed throughout the duration of their contract regardless of how long the contract length.  The suppliers build in an element of risk into the overall unit rates to ensure the rates are viable and sustainable.

This type of contract will protect you against any mid-contract price increases and provide full budget certainty for the duration of your contract. This does not necessarily mean your monthly payments will be fixed as this is determined by the kilowatts used.

Fixed (Partial Pass Through)

This works in a similar way to the fully fixed option however, the prices can be changed at any point if a certain threshold is met or there are extreme bullish movements within the wholesale markets. The thresholds/ terms will be set by a supplier as to when the prices change and any increased is passed on to you.  It is always recommended to get a firm understanding of exactly what has been set which can include any number of the third party charges and varies from supplier to supplier.

 

Pass-Through

Pass through contracts differ from the fully fixed/fixed options as it is only the duration and the wholesale commodity cost of the energy that is fixed with the remainder of the price (third party costs) being passed through to the end user at cost rather than the fully fixed contract as these charges are higher as there is a risk factor built in to them. With the pass-through contracts, the third-party charges as variable and can change at any time so there is only a commodity cost budget certainty for the business.

The passed through / third party are listed below and can vary from supplier to supplier;

  • AAHEDC – Assistance for areas with High Electricity Distribution Costs
  • BSUoS – Balancing Use of System charges
  • CM – Capacity Market
  • CfD FIT – Contracts for Difference Feed-In Tariff
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Capacity
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Excess Capacity
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of Systems Fixed
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Reactive Power
  • DUoS – Distribution Use of System Unit
  • FIT – Feed InTariff
  • Meter Rental
  • Metering & Meter Reading
  • RO – Renewables Obligation
  • TNUoS – Transmission Network Use of System

Flexible

Flexible contracts have become a more popular tool to manage risk in electricity purchasing.

Compared to a fixed contract which has the cost essentials locked in for the contract, including the commodity cost, a flexi contract doesn’t have the energy part included when the contract is signed.

Non-Commodity Costs can be Fixed or Pass-Through in a Flexible energy contract, but the energy pricing is done throughout the duration of the contract – you will always be supplied energy and you have the ability to set the price of your energy through trading. You can buy at times the market is looking favorable according to your knowledge/expertise.

This is typically for businesses on a very large scale who usually have a dedicated employee/department overlooking the whole operation.

There are many factors before agreeing on a flexi contract, the main ones you’ll need to decide are;

  • Duration
  • Portfolio management – you can add and remove meters.
  • Energy purchasing – Exactly how you are going to buy the energy
  • Non-energy costs – Fixed or Variable?
  • Billing

There are also deemed contracts/variable contracts or ultimately no contract in place at all which means typically you’ll be paying above market average prices for your energy and need to be looking to agree one of the above which will depend on your business type and energy purchasing strategy and adversity to risk.

Within each contract type, each supplier offers multiple variations and options, so it is important to have a strong knowledge of each suppliers’ products as you are unable to make an apple for apple decision without this.

Whatever the contract, our experts can help you – just call 0115 896 5460.