Preparing for SECR: tips from the experts at NFU Energy

Phase 2 of the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is now complete, with the next deadline not due until 2023. However, businesses are now preparing to report under the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) scheme. Both are designed to encourage large businesses to implement energy efficiency measures and both have similar data compilation and reporting requirements.

NFU Energy engineers who have been helping farm businesses with ESOS compliance have gathered a wealth of experience of direct benefit to anyone getting ready for the upcoming rounds of reporting.

“Many farm businesses have found that collating the necessary data takes more time and effort than they first think,” says Mike Bond, Senior Engineer at NFU Energy. “They may have several sites with multiple energy usages recorded in many forms, from electronically to scraps of paper: half-hourly electricity, quarterly estimated gas, deliveries of bulk fuels, and forecourt purchases. All of these have to be identified and gathered to cover the reporting period.”

Energy saving opportunities identified by NFU Energy engineers range from basic time switching of appliances that otherwise operate continuously, right up to new heat networks to share CHP heat more effectively and a wide range of options in between.

Common energy efficiency opportunities include:

  • Heating: Replacement of older non-condensing boilers
  • Insulation: Insulate pipework (whether heating or hot water services), glasshouse perimeters,cavity walls, and any surface where heat can be stopped from escaping
  • Lighting: Virtually no applications remain beyond the reach of LED technology
  • Automation: Motors and pumps may be speed-controlled to match the mechanical loads they serve
  • Control: Any energy consuming system requires effective control to minimise waste

“Crucially, anyone who has reported under ESOS Phase 2 must keep their evidence pack carefully in case they are chosen for audit,” says Mike. “We know that audits from 2015’s Phase 1 were still being conducted in 2019, so it pays to remain vigilant even though there is some breathing space before ESOS Phase 3 kicks in.”

Anyone wanting help with SECR or other energy compliance schemes can call the NFU Energy team on 024 7669 6512.

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