Covid-19 Client Impact Response

In these unprecedented times, E&CM is here to ensure our clients are as protected as possible, with a plan to return to full strength. We can support you with our three-step approach to mitigating risk & optimising any opportunity:

Protect

Ensure utility costs and responsibilities are fully protected

  • If you’re expecting your consumption to change substantially from your typical usage please get in touch.
  • If sites are shutting down please let us know as soon as possible as this gives us time to manage these changes with suppliers.
  • Also, if you are struggling to pay your bills please contact us as soon as possible, don’t just cancel your direct debit.

British Summer Time is now with us, with clocks having gone forward by 1 hour at 01:00 Sunday 29th March 2020. As a reminder, please be sure timers and controllers are set to the correct times and, for sites with Building Management Systems, please make sure your operator or facilities contractors have made the appropriate time change for your sites.

Your site(s) may be operating at reduced capacity or be closed temporarily.  To ensure operational costs are appropriately managed, it is important to take controller settings into account for the revised operating conditions.  A simple checklist will help to ensure these and any other required changes are addressed. We would advise:

  • Isolate all non-essential plant and equipment.
  • Review operational times on all equipment fitted with any type of time controller that still needs to operate.
  • Review operational temperatures of all plant/equipment/heating systems in light of expected use/occupancy, with minimum setback temperatures being utilised wherever possible.
  • Disable all comfort cooling.
  • Ensure all office equipment (except essential servers) is turned off.
  • Consider emptying any refrigerators and freezers and switching them off.
  • Wherever possible, power off vending and drinks machines.
  • If cleaners are the last people to leave the premises, ensure they are fully appraised of the switch off plan.
  • Utilise any available automatically captured energy consumption data to review the operational status of remote sites and implement remedial action for sites with higher than expected “closed” consumption levels.

Our free Closed Site Monitoring Service will highlight any Half Hourly Sites that are wasting unnecessary power giving you the insight to act.

If you require essential metering and infrastructure works to be carried out, our siteworks project co-ordinators are available to maintain full-service continuity in arranging utility installation, upgrades and removals for emergency work.

Plan  

Execute an approach that mitigates forward risk under your new business environment

A huge reduction in business travel and the closure of several workplaces across the UK have significantly impacted meter operator and data service provider access for all utilities:

  • Elexon’s Performance Assurance Board have suspended the error and failure resolution process to accommodate the unprecedented restrictions to site and meter access.
  • These changes mean many clients will experience more missing data than previously.
  • Some sites will be billed on estimated data by suppliers where half hourly metered data was used previously.
  • If you have NHH meters please submit readings so your bills are aligned to correct consumption.
  • To prevent high estimated billing costs on your water supplies, you can take dedicated meter readings however this may not be possible. There have been some market code changes allowing water suppliers to convert closed properties into ‘vacant’ and provisions to suspend disconnections as well as extended payment terms.

A mix of energy and carbon reporting schemes (voluntary and mandatory) that you may be participating in will prove to be more challenging if you are working to any current deadlines:

  • ESOS (Energy Savings Opportunities Scheme) – The mandatory compliance deadline for circa 10,000 businesses was 5th December 2019. The governing bodies for England & Scotland (EA & SEPA respectively) have been notifying all non-compliant organisations that they intend to pursue. With large fines associated with non-compliance, any organisations attempting to complete ESOS in the current climate will most likely be unable to perform the mandatory site surveys and associated reporting to ensure compliance. You will need to notify the scheme administrators directly if a time extension or consideration is required.
  • SECR (Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting) – The first tranche of almost 12,000 captured businesses are legally required to report key criteria in their company annual report from 1st April 2020 and repeat on an annual basis. Companies House have advised that any business struggling to report as a result of current circumstances can apply for an automatic and immediate 3-month extension to file their accounts so long as the application is made before the filing deadline.
  • EU-ETS (European Emissions Trading System) – Participants in the EU-ETS have been calling for a deadline extension. However this was rejected last week by the European Commission.
  • DECs (Display Energy Certificate), EPCs (Energy Performance Certificate) and ACIs (Air Conditioning Inspection) – In the case of desk-based DEC renewals, these will not be impacted. However, if there is a site survey element, this may be impacted so please contact us as soon as possible. A site visit will be required for any new DECs, DEC Recommendation Report renewals, and all EPCs and ACIs.

Optimise

Optimise – Drive quick savings and profits back into your business through our specialist services

  • A cash injection for your business could be important now more than ever. One way of achieving this is through an Energy, Water and Telecoms cost recovery audit, where our specialist team of analysts forensically review your last six years of charges. This is a much deeper view than standard validation, with a focus on rising non-commodity costs such as DUoS, TNUoS, BSUoS, CCL and more.
  • Have you got a group MOP DC/DA contract? Securing contracts directly with specialist providers can cut costs by as much as 50%. Site additions and removals can be easily managed with co-terminus end dates and a single supplier to reduce the administrative burden.
  • Have you considered looking at future contracts whilst energy prices have reached historic levels? Futureproof your costs now.
  • With a number of suppliers transitioning to home-working, response times have increased. E&CM is managing this through its agreed SLAs – therefore if you have any issues please get in touch so we can assist where possible.
  • It is likely that credit along with any favourable terms or extended payments will begin to be less easily accessible. This, coupled with suppliers pulling back from the new business market, means we need to move fast to secure favourable rates for you.

We’re here to help

Our size and strength bring you the very best support during these challenging times and as we are still functioning as usual, we would be happy to explain in detail any of the recommendations above.

Email us at [email protected] or call 0330 166 4444 or complete our call back form.