Tag Archives: energy suppliers

npower Helps 10,000 SMEs Commit To Save Energy

10,000 UK SMEs have had a helping hand to reduce their overheads and become more competitive, thanks to the support of energy supplier, npower.

npower has welcomed its 10,000th customer to its Smart Start scheme, a toolkit and advice service which helps SMEs save on their energy bills quickly, through easy to implement energy efficiency measures. These include turning equipment off and managing heating and ventilation systems, which can save up to 10% off their energy bills.

Patrick Harvey, npower’s head of customer loyalty, said: “Helping 10,000 UK SMEs to save energy is a significant milestone for them and us. The Carbon Trust believes that businesses could save 10% on their energy bills through easy energy efficiency measures: if each of these 10,000 SMEs saved 10% on their annual energy bill, up to £5 million* could have been saved already. This is testament to the impact that simple measures, such as those included in the SmartStart help and advice can have. The ethos behind SmartStart is to help businesses realise the savings they can make by providing the right advice and support. It’s great to see so many SMEs are taking energy efficiency seriously, and realising the rewards that can be achieved through such measures.

“We know from the findings of npower’s latest Business Energy Index (nBEI) that 53% of small businesses do not have any methods in place to manage energy efficiency. I suspect this is because many do not have the resources themselves to research and implement energy efficiency measures, so with toolkits such as SmartStart this is taken care of and cost savings are easily achievable.”

npower’s SmartStart service includes a free energy monitor to help SMEs keep a close eye on how much energy they are consuming, so they can see where they can make savings. In addition, SMEs have access to expert advice via a dedicated helpline (0845 070 4019) enabling them to identify the simple measures which will make a big difference.

More information on how npower can help SMEs reduce emissions and cut costs can be found at www.npower.com/Business/SmartStart.

Via EPR Network
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Npower Employee Attempts To Reclaim The Recumbent Cup

Rob Webb did not take losing the Recumbent Cup, a couple of years ago, lying down. He got back on his bike, determined to reclaim it following completion of his latest ride, the world’s longest and oldest long-distance cycle race, the Paris – Brest – Paris.

The intranet manager at npower’s offices in Worcester, Rob (48) started his training back in January, with the intention of reclaiming his old record. The Recumbent Cup is awarded by Audax UK (AUK) to the rider of a recumbent bike who gains the most points during a season.

Long-distance rides are called Audax rides, from the Latin word for ‘audacious’. Audax UK organises and validates rides and is affiliated to the governing body, the ACP (Audax Club Parisienne) in France. The shortest Audax ride is 200km (125 miles) for which two points are awarded (one point per 100km/62 miles cycled). Standard ride distances are 200km, 300km (185 miles), 400km (250 miles) and 600km (360 miles).

The Paris – Brest – Paris challenge, which pre-dates the Tour de France, involved more than 5,000 cyclists and covered 1,200km. Rob added another 1,000 km riding from Worcester to Paris and back. Riders have to complete the race within 90 hours. Rob took part in the PBP in 1999, completing it in 85 hours and again in 2003, when he knocked ten hours off his time.

However, it was well worth the pain and effort, as he explained: “The ride itself was very hard – even by PBP standards; weather conditions went from blazingly hot (you should see my suntan), to epic thunderstorms of biblical proportions, and really dense fog climbing the Roc Trévézal, the highest point in Brittany.

“The support of the local people was amazing. Thousands of people along the route cheered the riders on all day and all night, with many offering free food and drink and the essential top-ups for empty water bottles. On all long-distance and ultra-distance rides there are times when you are at a physical or mental low point and a cheery “bon courage” shouted as you pass a family, at the side of the road, in the middle of the night really helps lift the spirits.”

Rob’s vehicle of choice is a Bacchetta Giro 20, which he has spent both time and money modifying and upgrading, so that both he and the bike were prepared for this year’s challenge.

He has now reached 94 points (5828 miles), beating the current Recumbent Cup holder by twelve points. When Rob last held the title he had 72 points, meaning he will have added a further 1,364 miles to his cycling total this season. But the title is not yet in the bag; Rob will have to wait until the end of the season to see whether he has beaten his rivals to the title.

Via EPR Network
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Npower Reports Over Half Of UK’s SMEs Failing To Realise Energy Cost Savings

Npower has revealed new research that shows over half of small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) have no measures in place to monitor energy efficiency, despite many of them seeking ways to manage the bottom line in tough economic conditions.

The findings from the latest npower Business Energy Index (nBEI) show that 53% of the 4.8 million* SMEs in the UK have no methods in place to manage business energy efficiency, and nearly one in five (18%) didn’t know if they had reduced their energy consumption over the past 12 months.

This is despite figures from the report showing that where energy efficiency is being measured, 50% of SMEs reported savings of up to 10%, showing there is huge scope to make significant business savings, while also reducing carbon emissions.

Statistics from the Carbon Trust also highlight the potential for SMEs to reduce emissions further. The Trust found that SMEs have a potential energy saving opportunity of up to 20%, compared to 8% for large businesses.

Patrick Harvey, head of customer loyalty at npower, said: “This year’s npower Business Energy Index found that for SMEs, the greatest driver for increasing energy efficiency is cost, rather than the environment. This is why it is surprising that so many are still not measuring the positive impact that implementing energy efficiency measures can have on their business.

“The results of the research show the huge untapped potential for SMEs to both reduce emissions and increase savings.”

However, encouragingly, overall the nBEI found that the importance SMEs place on energy management and efficiency is at its highest level since 2005. When asked to rate the significance of energy management to their business out of 10, SMEs gave an average score of 6.7, which is up from just over 5 when the Index began.

Coupled with this, many reported to be proactively measuring their energy usage and recognising the payback of low-cost, quick-win measures such as turning equipment off, which was ranked as the most popular action over the past six months. This was followed by regularly monitoring consumption and reducing heat loss.

Patrick Harvey continued: “It is really encouraging that energy efficiency is working its way up the business agenda but there’s still a long way to go.

“More businesses need to realise that through simple to implement and low or no cost measures, they can lower their bills by around 10%. In today’s tough operating environment this is a saving that SMEs can’t afford to over overlook. This is why we’ve developed SmartStart – a toolkit and advice service which helps SMEs get energy saving measures up and running and gets them saving on their bills quickly. Smaller businesses don’t have to rely on their landlords or have a big team in place to identify and implement energy saving measures.”

For more information on how npower can support SMEs reduce emissions and cut costs please visit www.npower.com/Business/SmartStart.

Via EPR Network
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npower Partners With Vokèra To Offer Ten Year Boiler Warranty

npower, one of Britain’s leading energy suppliers, has signed an exclusive deal with Vokèra boilers, to offer customers a ten year warranty on all of its boilers products.

The partnership will mean that npower is the first energy supplier to offer a ten year warranty, which is more than twice the standard warranty offered on most new boilers. Products covered under the offer include domestic gas boilers and the warranty includes replacement parts and free reparation services. Customers can take advantage of the offer through npower’s hometeam, which installs, services and repairs boilers.

Joan Coe, npower marketing manager, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with an industry leader like Vokèra to offer a ten year warranty on all new boilers installed by npower. The average lifespan of a boiler is around 10-12 years,* so this is a significant offer that will benefit thousands of homeowners by protecting their new boiler through most of its working life.

“As one of the most expensive items in the home, the partnership will offer anyone choosing Vokèra boilers through npower added reassurance and peace of mind when it comes to keeping their homes warm and their showers hot.”

Steve Cipriano, managing director, from Vokèra boilers, added: “There are three elements to this partnership that bring great value to the customer; one, the customer gets a superb quality product, two, it is expertly installed by npower, one of the UK’s leading boiler installers, and three, it is backed by npower’s exclusive ten year warranty, providing customers with complete peace of mind.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Reveals Birmingham Teens Spend More Time Inside Than Outside

npower has revealed that over two thirds (67%) of Birmingham teens are spending more time inside than outside, with seventy per cent preferring computer games over an outdoor activity, according to the research commissioned by the energy supplier.

In stark contrast, their parents admit to spending most of their time in the garden whilst growing up (63%) and over three quarters (76%) of the parents questioned felt children who spend time outside have a better awareness the environment.

The findings come as npower’s ambassador Ben Fogle visits Birmingham’s Think Tank to act as a judge for its Climate Cops SOS Finale, an initiative designed to encourage young people to make a real green change in their area, and to urge the young people of Birmingham to get active and get green by signing up for 2011’s Climate Cops SOS where they could win a week of adventure with Ben himself this November, with entry closing on 30th June 2011.

At the event, Ben will be discussing the importance of preserving the great outdoors and presenting the winning school with a green make over, plus ten brand new Netbooks for the students.

Clare McDougall, npower’s head of education and community, said: “Growing up for me was all about being outside with nature, playing in the garden and camping in the countryside, but after npower’s recent research it seems that Birmingham kids could be turning into ‘generation x-box’.

“We want Birmingham teens to show us their green credentials and adventurous side by entering this year’s Climate Cops SOS so that next year we can hopefully crown them as 2011’s ‘green-agers’ and present them with a fantastic week of adventure alongside a real life explorer.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Launches ‘Every Shirt Has A Story’

Npower, the title sponsor of The Football League, has launched a new campaign for fans called ‘Every Shirt Has A Story’.

npower is asking fans from across the 72 Football League clubs to reveal the memories behind their team’s seasonal colours and share their shirt stories with other fans via www.everyshirt.co.uk.

Sharing stories that talk about both the highs and lows of the sport, as well as personal tales surrounding the beautiful game, entrants will have the chance to win several competition prizes. These include the chance to be one of six ‘face of the finals’ winners who will see huge images of themselves displayed at either Wembley or Old Trafford – two of the world’s most iconic football stadia. The football fans will be honoured with 16 by 24 metre facia boards as well as seeing their name emblazened on a giant football shirt that will cover the pitch as their team prepare to contest the play off final. Season tickets and signed shirts can also be won.

‘Every Shirt Has A Story’ is fronted by football legend Dion Dublin. Dion and a whole host of other footballing heroes and celebrity fans will be revealing the stories behind their most cherished football strips .

The initiative supports npower’s Football Saver tariff which rewards Football League fans when they switch energy suppliers. Along with offering a discounted tariff designed for fans who want value from their energy prices, npower is also giving away a £45 voucher to spend at any official npower Championship, npower League One or npower League Two club shops. The Football saver tariff uniquely offers discounted energy, which is a reward for fans but also supports the clubs with the money from the vouchers going straight back to the clubs.

Via EPR Network
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npower Celebrates ‘Consumer Supplier Of The Year’ Award Win

npower is celebrating after being presented with ‘The Consumer Supplier of the Year’ award at the first ever Energy Event Awards. The award recognises the supplier that has excelled in providing industrial and commercial consumers with an outstanding service, product or innovation.

The awards are a new addition to the annual Energy Event, which took place at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham on 8-9th September 2010. The awards recognise and reward achievements in the energy industry, celebrating the suppliers and businesses that are bringing new ideas and innovations to how energy is used and managed.

The award was presented to David Cockshott, director of industrial and commercial markets at npower. He said: “It’s brilliant that npower has been recognised as ‘The Consumer Supplier of the Year’. We are particularly proud of the accolade because we were nominated by our own industrial and commercial business customers, and we’d like to thank them for their support.”

David continued: “Offering our customers the best service is at the forefront of everything npower does and we strive to give businesses flexibility in how they buy their energy and to work in partnership with them to meet their energy needs.

“The judges also highlighted our Optimisation Desk as a key element of winning the award. This unique service allows our customers to access market developments, price analysis, trading information and updates and gives them a clear understanding of their position to help them to make more informed purchasing decisions.”

Via EPR Network
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npower Braces For England Vs Slovenia Power Surge

npower is bracing itself for a huge surge in demand at 3pm on 23rd June, as thousands of businesses turn on TVs across the country to watch England take on Slovenia in the final crucial qualifying match in South Africa.

According to new research from npower, official supporter of the England 2018 FIFA World Cup Bid, 58% of businesses plan to let footie fans watch the big game, with over a third (39%) planning to screen the match at their places of work to boost morale.

Data from National Grid shows that England’s last crucial match on a working day, against Brazil in the 2002 World Cup, created the second biggest TV pick-up of all time at 2,570MW, as the nation tuned into to see if England could beat the eventual winners.

To save energy while watching the game, npower is now urging businesses to turn off computers, copiers and other non-essential equipment to keep energy consumption to a minimum.

Office equipment is responsible for approximately 20% of energy use in most offices and half of this stems from PCs and monitors at a cost of £300 million per annum to businesses, according to the Carbon Trust. Switching equipment off for even just a few hours will stop energy waste and save money.

Via EPR Network
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npower Celebrates Football League Partnership With New Football Saver Tariff

npower has announced that it is providing customers with the chance to opt for a 7% saving by choosing to switch to npower’s new Football Saver tariff.

npower Celebrates Football League Partnership With New Football Saver Tariff

Launched to celebrate npower’s new partnership with the Football League, its appeal will go beyond football supporters as it’s the cheapest direct debit deal available offline for dual fuel customers*.

npower Football Saver‘ is on average £68 per year cheaper than the British Gas standard monthly direct debit dual fuel offering, and over £90 cheaper than the Scottish & Southern Energy equivalent.

In fact the new npower tariff guarantees to be 7% cheaper than standard direct debit dual fuel prices, including any decreases and / or increases to standard monthly direct debit prices until 30 September 2011.

The npower Football Saver is also available for new customers who pay by Quarterly Variable Direct Debit as well as single fuel off-gas grid electricity customers who pay by direct debit.

Via EPR Network
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npower Urges Businesses To Make CRC A Board Level Priority

npower has launched a plea for businesses to make the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) a board level concern and develop a strategy to manage participation to avoid financial loss and reputational damage.

npower Urges Businesses To Make CRC A Board Level Priority

This is the message of a new film – Understanding the CRC from energy firm npower, designed to help businesses prepare for the scheme and avoid potential pitfalls. npower’s film provides guidance on qualification for the CRC, the importance of managing energy and carbon emissions to succeed under the scheme, and the reputational implications of the CRC league table that will name and shame those participants failing to reduce emissions.

It also points out the potential financial benefits of the scheme. DECC calculates that the CRC will stimulate £1bn of cost savings for participants through better energy efficiency.

A further message coming through loud and clear from the film is the importance of having a board member responsible for the CRC. Annual ‘evidence packs’ detailing participants’ energy consumption must have board level sign off. The CRC will also require enterprise-wide investment and behaviour change to improve energy efficiency, which typically can only be sanctioned at the highest level.

Dave Lewis, head of business energy services at npower said: “A lot of businesses are turning to us for advice on the CRC and it’s clear that many are still unclear on the obligations it places on them, and the opportunities and challenges it presents. Our film answers these questions and will hopefully go some way in addressing the concerns that some organisations have. Those affected by the scheme only have until the end of September to register, so it’s important they understand what they need to do and how they can make the CRC benefit their business. This must be driven from the very top if businesses are to realise all the advantages the CRC offers.”

npower helps companies monitor and manage energy consumption to bring commercial and environmental benefits. To help achieve this, npower has developed a monitoring and targeting (M&T) tool – encompass. A web-based system, encompass gives businesses accurate and timely information on their energy consumption, providing them with the data they need to implement cost and CO2 reduction policies. The system automatically collects data from half-hourly and smart meters, providing a detailed report on a business’ energy consumption behaviour, and the related cost and environmental impacts of this. With this data, benchmarks can be set and consumption tracked, alongside mapping of carbon use and cost.

Via EPR Network
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Only 52% of Energy Customers Satisfied with Customer Service

A year of price cuts has seen the energy industry improve its image in the eyes of consumers, according to the latest independent Customer Satisfaction Report published today by uSwitch.com, the price comparison and switching service. 65% of energy customers are satisfied with their supplier – a 6% increase on last year when suppliers’ popularity suffered because of eye watering price hikes totalling 42% or £381.

However, while overall satisfaction levels have improved, there are still some key areas for concern, including customer service which remains a thorny issue with consumers. In fact, little over half of energy customers (52%) are satisfied with their supplier’s customer service and, tellingly, only 45% of people would recommend their supplier to somebody else. Despite price cuts averaging out at 4% or £54 in total this year, only 51% of customers think their supplier is giving them value for money. Although a 6% improvement on last year, it is still 5% lower than in 2007 when suppliers last cut prices.

Suppliers are engaged in an online price war, bringing out increasingly competitive new plans. But consumers are sceptical about whether their supplier has their best interests at heart. Only 40% of customers are satisfied that their supplier has them on their best deal.

The report, based on responses from over 5,000 energy customers in the UK, suggest that suppliers are gradually getting back on track, with satisfaction levels almost as high as those of October 2007, another price cut year. However, there are clear differences between the big six suppliers. While Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) satisfies almost three quarters (73%) of its customers, poorest performer npower only satisfies 54%.

npower has been rated bottom for satisfaction by consumers for the second year running, but despite this has still seen an 8% improvement on last year. British Gas, which previously held the bottom slot (in 2007), has seen an 11% improvement in customer satisfaction this time.

Ann Robinson, Consumer Policy Director at uSwitch.com, says: “Last year’s hefty price increases damaged the public’s perception of energy suppliers. As a result, the industry saw a noticeable drop in satisfaction levels. This year, suppliers are starting to get back on track, winning customers over by cutting prices and bringing out increasingly competitive new plans. But if they are to make a real dent they have to focus on customer service – just 52% of people are happy with customer service, which is poor by any industry’s standards.

“With such clear differences between suppliers there is no excuse for consumers putting up with bad service. If you are not happy that you are on the best deal or getting value for money – speak to your supplier. Only around 1.3 million or 5% of households are on online energy plans and paying the cheapest energy prices in the market – consumers can do something about this. If you are still unhappy with the service you are getting, then it’s time to look around for a new supplier. There’s some good news here. Not only could you save up to £425 on your energy bill, but switching is also the one thing that suppliers consistently do well. Almost three quarters of customers (74%) are satisfied with this part of suppliers’ service.”

Via EPR Network
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Consumers Will Welcome News That Small Energy Suppliers Are Challenging Their Bigger Rivals With Market Beating Plans

The move will give more choice, especially for those looking for an alternative to the big six energy suppliers who dominate the market.

Two challengers - OVO Energy and First:Utility – have launched highly competitive online energy plans. OVO’s plan averages out at GBP978 a year, while First:Utility’s plan is market beating, averaging out at GBP967 a year. This makes it GBP16 cheaper than EDF Energy’s online energy plan, which costs GBP983 a year on average and is the cheapest plan offered by one of the big six.

First:Utility’s plan is available in 12 out of 14 energy regions and, unlike its other plans, does not require consumers to have a smart meter installed. In the remaining two regions, its smart meter online plan is available and it has just announced that it is dropping the price on this too. OVO’s plan is a fixed price plan, which means that customers will continue to benefit even if prices go up during the duration of the plan. However, there is an exit penalty attached.

Will Marples, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “This is the first time that a ‘challenger’ energy provider has gone head-to-head with major suppliers on price and beaten them. This is because their size works in their favour – they are quick and nimble and able to react to falling wholesale prices quicker than their bigger rivals. It’s good news for those consumers who have been looking for a viable alternative to the big six, but who are concerned about paying more for their energy as a result.

About uSwitch:
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

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Baffling Utility Bills Leave Consumers Confused, Bemused And Definitely Not Amused

Consumers are being left confused, badly informed and potentially vulnerable to debt because of the poor quality of some major household bills, according to uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service. The warning comes after new research revealed stark differences in the standard of bills being issued by different industry sectors. While some are simple and straightforward for people to understand, others are leaving consumers totally confused.

Energy suppliers, water companies and home telephone and broadband providers are responsible for the most confusing household bills. Of these, energy bills appear to be the most complicated – three quarters (75%) of consumers find them confusing. Other utility providers are not doing much better either – 59% of consumers find their home telephone, broadband and DTV bills confusing, matched by those left confused by water bills (59%).

Worryingly, 68% of consumers find energy bills harder to understand than other household bills. On average households are spending £1,243 a year on energy bills, but only four in ten consumers (40%) find it easy to work out how their energy company has calculated their bill. Suppliers also seem to be failing to communicate on a basic level with their customers – only 39% of people think that their energy bills are written in plain English. Less than half (45%) think that the name of their energy plan is easy to understand.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are banks and building societies, where almost three quarters (72%) of consumers find their bills and statements simple and straightforward to understand. Personal finance companies generally seem to be issuing customer-friendly information in a format that most people can understand – just 41% of consumers find credit and store card bills confusing.

The findings suggest that the energy industry is lagging behind other sectors in being able to communicate simply and clearly with customers. This could leave consumers disadvantaged as energy bills account for a sizeable chunk of the average annual household budget. Experts also predict that energy bills will quadruple within the next 10 years. If consumers are to be able to manage this aspect of their budget, and be able to make an informed decision when switching, they need to be able to understand basic information such as their consumption, spend and tariff details.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “Nobody likes bills, but they do play a fundamental part in the relationship between a company and its customers. A well-written, clear and concise bill should leave consumers feeling empowered and in control, not bemused. This is why it is so worrying to find that three quarters of us are confused by our energy bills.

“Ofgem has signalled its intention to work with suppliers on improving energy bills. This is a vital piece of work if we are to see well-informed consumers taking full advantage of the competitive energy market. If Ofgem is to succeed in making energy bills simpler, clearer and easier then it has to look outside of the energy industry for ideas on best practice. Judging by our research, it could do far worse than look to banks and building societies, which seem to be leading the way in providing consumers with bills and information they can easily understand.”

About uSwitch:
uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

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CO2 Reduction Not A Business Priority In Current Economic Climate Reports Npower

Npower has released data that shows more than eight out of ten businesses feel that Government targets to reduce CO2 emissions are unrealistic, with many not seeing the benefit of a small carbon footprint and relegating carbon reduction measures to concentrate on managing costs.

These are among the findings of the npower Business Energy Index, an annual report tracking business opinion on energy use and carbon emissions.

In this latest index, the majority of businesses (83%) said the target to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 was unrealistic. Attitudes on the potential commercial opportunities of a small carbon footprint are equally downbeat; only 31% think new business will occur as a result of reducing emissions, compared to 47% in npower’s 2008 index.

The findings also reveal that the economic downturn is leading businesses to prioritise finances over CO2 reduction; 97% said they are currently more concerned with reducing costs than emissions.

68% of businesses believe it is still important for the UK to take a leading role in reducing global emissions. This is a drop f r o m the 2008 index in which 88% of businesses backed the Government’s emission reduction plans.

Despite these opinions the Business Energy Index reveals a renewed focus on energy efficiency measures, with the importance attached to energy efficiency at its highest level since 2005. Furthermore 80% of businesses say they are likely to increase energy efficiency initiatives and, while this was primarily for cost benefit, the same measures would also lead to emission reduction.

Energy efficiency was also rated as the most popular action for businesses to take to reduce emissions, with 43% giving this answer ahead of changing processes (22%) or switching to a green tariff (18%). However, the Index suggests that more needs to be done to support businesses, with 51% of those questioned saying they thought the Government did not offer enough useful advice on the issues of carbon reduction and energy efficiency.

Julia Lynch-Williams, director of energy services at npower, said: “The Index shows that most businesses do not see the commercial benefits f r o m having a small carbon footprint, but we can’t escape the fact that climate change legislation and the strength of public feeling means that CO2 reduction remains important. The Government has set the UK on a path toward a low carbon economy and must now continue to stress to businesses the opportunities that will come f r o m low carbon operations.

“Energy efficiency is an excellent way to save money and it’s encouraging that many businesses are looking at this to reduce costs. While it’s understandable that businesses are more focused on the bottom-line in the current economic crisis, we would encourage them to see energy management as an effective means of reducing emissions as well as costs.

“Our advice to businesses is to make energy efficiency a priority now and in the long term.”

In-depth telephone interviews were conducted in January 2009 with a representative sample of 300 UK businesses, comprising 200 small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with significant energy usage and 100 major energy users (MEUs).

The npower Business Energy Index (nBEI) is sponsored by npower, in association with the Major Energy Users Council (MEUC) and Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The nBEI is designed and executed by Moffatt Associates, an independent research consultancy.

About npower:
npower is one of the top energy suppliers to the UK business market, serving over 230,000 small to medium sized enterprise sites and around 15,000 industrial and commercial customers, with over 100,000 sites.

npower is dedicated to helping UK businesses use energy more efficiently and therefore spend less money on their bills. 

Via EPR Network
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An Industrial Process Flow Control System Built By Npower Students

Npower, one of the UKs largest energy suppliers, has revealed that its modern apprentices have completed the building of a live Process Flow Control System at Bridgend College. The system, which took just three weeks to complete, replicates a process distribution and conditioning system that can be applied to many different disciplines within industry.

In training to become a qualified RWE Npower engineer students must be able to distinguish different components within automated process systems and recognise the maintenance and service requirements of these particular components. This can be achieved through drawings and specialist interactive software but the students at Bridgend familiarised themselves with the process by creating a live Process Flow Control system.

The installation of a complete line of water systems is extremely beneficial, not only to the modern npower apprentices at Bridgend, but also to other students who run similar systems. It can be utilised for delivering industrial based skills and competencies such as safe shut down procedures, safe isolation, maintenance requirements, fault diagnosis procedures, dismantling techniques and overall process control and monitoring.

The basic design structure was presented to the npower modern apprentices as part of the PEO (Performing Engineering Operations) qualification. Responsibility for different sections of the system was given to different groups within the class, replicating the practice that would be adopted by company employees or contractors.

Brian Cowen, Section Head of Engineering and Maintenance training at npower said: “I am very impressed with the wide range of skills implemented to install this system. It provides a platform for real-time work. It is outstanding practice and is what sets Bridgend College apart from other Colleges. Indeed, this system is of such a high standard that it could be used to assess NVQ level 3 candidates.”

Amy Chandler, an npower Advanced Apprentice, said: “The project was good fun and brought the team together. It took a lot of planning but we gained a lot of knowledge along the way.”

The next stage is to introduce a temperature control system, which will support process monitoring and environmental issues connected to process plant and process conditioning systems. A basic airline system will also complement the maintenance centre and again be used as a delivery tool to support student learning.

About Npower:
Npower is one of Britain’s largest electricity supplier and supplies gas, electricity and related services to 6.6 million customers across the UK. RWE npower has been awarded the prestigious CommunityMark from Business in the Community (BITC). npower is the only utility business, amongst 21 other companies in the UK, to receive this accolade. The CommunityMark is a new BITC standard which has been created to recognise companies that are good investors in local communities and who have brought about real and positive changes.

Via EPR Network
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