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New Year, New Challenges: An Essential 2017 Checklist For Energy Managers

2017 looks set to be another year of change and adjustment in the world of utilities, with important deadlines looming that all Energy Managers should be aware of. To get a head start on ensuring your business is prepared and making sure you’re properly equipped to take advantage of new opportunities, here are three upcoming events you should have firmly on your radar as you start to make plans for the year ahead:

1. P272: are you prepared?

April 1st 2017 brings the final implementation date for P272, meaning that all businesses in profile classes 05 – 08 will be switched over to half hourly settlement and billing by suppliers. This change may have already reached your organisation; suppliers have been working against the clock to get the practicalities in place and move affected customers over in line with contract renewal dates. Suppliers are taking different approaches to P272: some have already transferred customers to the new arrangements, others are waiting until the April deadline. If your organisation hasn’t been switched across yet, be aware – it will pay to be prepared. P272 brings with it additional non-commodity costs in the form of Meter Operator and Data Collection charges as well as time of use charges, but it is possible to mitigate this new cost and doing so could mean a significant saving on your energy bills. Find out how here.

2. Open water market: get ready to take advantage

From April 1st 2017, England’s water suppliers will no longer hold a regional monopoly on business water accounts, as businesses of all sizes right across England will gain the power to choose their water supplier. Not only will this give you the opportunity to select a better deal on water and wastewater services for your business, it also means that you will be able to consolidate bills for all sites (throughout both England and Scotland).  Change is already well underway, as water companies merge, restructure and decide how they are going to play in this new marketplace  – and savvy businesses are preparing their data now, so that when the time comes to tender they are fully equipped to maximise on this new opportunity. If you’re not sure exactly what you should be doing or how Open Water will affect your business, you can find out more at www.watermarket.info – where you’ll also see an up to date list of suppliers changing name, joining forces, or exiting the retail market.

3. The advent of the capacity market

The Capacity Market T-1 auction takes place in less than a month, and will decide the cost of the Levy for Winter 2017/18. As the capacity market takes effect, time of use will become a crucial consideration for business customers: charges will be calculated based on consumption during the peak winter period. Find out more about the Capacity Market here.

Adjusting processes and schedules to limit the effect of this is something which can take time and may in some cases require financial investment, but looking ahead and getting strategies agreed now will mean a big difference to your bottom line in the long term. The key to keeping costs down will be finding ways to avoid times of peak demand. For those who can, participation in demand side response schemes will also bring significant benefit in the form of cost savings, as well as the creation of new revenue streams capable of offsetting some inevitable rises on your energy bills.

Check your cost exposure and budgets

Whilst no one can predict exactly what lies ahead over the next 12 months, it is likely to begin as a period of renewed volatility for energy prices – continuing the trends seen during Q4 of 2016. Taking the time to review your market position and discuss your exposure with a trading expert could be a useful exercise, particularly when it comes to reviewing budget forecasts for the year ahead. Broader political and environmental themes, such as Brexit and the continued drive for sustainability, will all most certainly have an effect on commodity prices.

By March, we can expect an update on non-commodity costs for the year ahead, from the new capacity market levy to revised network charges. Combining this with an updated view of commodity cost exposure will be crucial to keep you in control. . If you’d like further advice on this, please get in touch. A chat with one of our energy experts could be your first step to getting 2017 off to a great start.

To discuss your 2017 goals, contact your Inenco account manager. Alternatively, you can call us on 08451 46 36 26 or email enquiries@inenco.com.