COP26 is coming to Glasgow – What should we expect?

What is COP26? 

COP26 is the name of the upcoming international conference on climate change. COP26 stands for Conference of the Parties; said “parties” consist of upwards of 30,000 people, coming together in Glasgow. The 30,000 represent over 200 countries, businesses, NGOs, faith groups and many more. The countries attending will be those that signed the

Due to coronavirus, the conference was postponed from its original dates in November 2020 to 1st and 12th November 2021. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994.

Why is COP26 in Glasgow? 

This is the most significant summit the UK has ever hosted, and it will be held in Glasgow, a city that is internationally recognised for its progressive steps in combatting climate change. The official COP26 site states that Glasgow has been chosen because it is one of the greenest cities in Europe. It is aiming for carbon neutrality by 2030. It has recently been given Global Green city status as of 2020. The award, which the United Nation’s Environment Programme supports, puts Glasgow on the same level as previous winners such as Vancouver, Vienna and Yokohama. 2020’s award was shared with Changshan, Zhejiang Province, China. Glasgow won this award due in part to the Climate Emergency Implementation Plan that was published by the city council. This extensive 94-page PDF details to the public their 52 point plan for battling climate change and their proposed steps towards 2030 carbon neutrality.

Who is attending COP26? 

There are three types of attendees to COP26; these include representatives of Parties to the Convention and Observer States, members of the press and media, and representatives of observer organisations.

representatives of Parties to the Convention and Observer States
(these are organised in “blocks” or “groupings”)
G77 plus China’ is a grouping of developing and middle-income countries
Africa Group
Least Developed Countries (LDCs)
Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)
‘Umbrella’ Group is a loose coalition of non-EU developed countries,
including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the Russian Federation,
and the US.
Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
Alliance of Small Island States AOSIS
AILAC Independent Alliance of Latin America and the Caribbean
BASIC – Brazil, South Africa, India and China (middle income countries)
Arab Group  
Observers The United Nations System and its Specialised Agencies, such as
UN Development Programme (UNDP), World Health Organisation
(WHO) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), such as the OECD, OPEC
or the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which are made up of
9 UN ‘Major Groups’ defined at the Rio Earth Summit (1992)
ENGOs (environmental NGOs)
BINGOs (business and industry)
RINGOs (research community)
YOUNGOs (youth)
TUNGOs (trade unions)
Indigenous peoples
Local Authorities
Women
Farmers
Faith interventions
The Holy See (central governing body of the Catholic Church)
Islamic leaders
Since 2016 the UNFCCC secretariat also recognises the following
groups as informal NGO groups:
Faith Based Organisations (FBOs);
Education and Capacity Building and Outreach NGOs (ECONGO);
Parliamentarians.  
PressThe Press

Members of the public can also attend the event, but if they wish to do so, they must volunteer or attend as a representative of an observer organisation. An organisation must first be granted “observer status”. Information on how to obtain Observer Status can be found through this link. People are also allowed to perform, hold an event or sell goods within the two week period.

Alok Sharma is the appointed full-time president of COP26, and his biography and political history can be found here. His most recent previous duties have been Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Many world leaders attending COP26 will also be attending a conference at The White House in climate change preceding the event in Glasgow. Joe Biden has invited the following:

  • Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Antigua and Barbuda
  • President Alberto Fernandez, Argentina 
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia    
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh
  • Prime Minister Lotay Tshering, Bhutan
  • President Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil    
  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada          
  • President Sebastián Piñera, Chile 
  • President Xi Jinping, People’s Republic of China    
  • President Iván Duque Márquez, Colombia    
  • President Félix Tshisekedi, Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, Denmark 
  • President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
  • President Charles Michel, European Council
  • President Emmanuel Macron, France        
  • President Ali Bongo Ondimba, Gabon        
  • Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany 
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India    
  • President Joko Widodo, Indonesia      
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
  • Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italy    
  • Prime Minister Andrew Holness, Jamaica
  • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan  
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya      
  • President David Kabua, Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico  
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand
  • President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria        
  • Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Norway 
  • President Andrzej Duda, Poland  
  • President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea     
  • President Vladimir Putin, The Russian Federation  
  • King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Singapore
  • President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, South Africa 
  • Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, Spain
  • President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
  • President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, United Arab Emirates
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom
  • President Nguyễn Phú Trọng, Vietnam    

Why is COP26 important? 

COP26 is a vital discussion for the entire globe. Climate change is the most pressing matter for every human existing on this planet. This was made clear by the salient words of Greta Thunberg in 2019. “My message is that we’ll be watching you. This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you. You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. Yet I am one of the lucky ones. People are suffering.”

In 2015 the Paris Agreement was established. It was an international agreement to tackle climate change, which was agreed by leaders when 195 countries attended COP21 in Paris. This agreement has gone on to inform all the following COP events and consisted of the following points:

  • Reduce the amount of harmful greenhouse gasses produced and increase renewable types of energy like wind, solar and wave power
  • Keep global temperature increase “well below” 2C (3.6F) and try to limit it to 1.5C
  • Review progress made on the agreement every five years
  • Spend $100 billion a year in climate finance to help poorer countries by 2020, with a commitment to further finance in the future.

In 2020 the United States officially pulled out of the deal – although President-elect Joe Biden may re-join – and there is still lots of debate about exactly how the agreed goals should be achieved. This debate will continue in COP26 of this year, as that is its purpose. It seems likely that president Joe Biden will re-join the USA to the agreement due to his own call to arms against climate change from the world leaders previously listed.

Are Power Cuts Costing Your Business Money?

There are 14 licensed distribution network operators (DNOs) in Britain and each is responsible for a regional distribution services area and therefore, fixing a power cut if you have one. The 14 DNOs are owned by six different groups.

The DNO groups and individual DNOs are:

Electricity North West Limited 
Northern PowergridNorthern Powergrid (Northeast) Limited
Northern Powergrid (Yorkshire) plc
Scottish and Southern EnergyScottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution plc
Southern Electric Power Distribution plc
ScottishPower Energy NetworksSP Distribution Ltd
SP Manweb plc
UK Power NetworksLondon Power Networks plc
South Eastern Power Networks plc
Eastern Power Networks plc
Western Power DistributionWestern Power Distribution (East Midlands) plc
Western Power Distribution (West Midlands) plc
Western Power Distribution (South West) plc
Western Power Distribution (South Wales) plc

You don’t pay electricity bills to Distribution Network Operators; they just own and operates the power lines that connect homes in the UK to their networks.

DNO’s are responsible for making sure there are as few power cuts to business owners and homeowners as possible. Each year UK Power Networks alone spend about £500 million to maintain and replace electricity cables and power lines – they are responsible for East and South East of the UK and power lines across London. It doesn’t matter how much is spent however, as sometimes power cuts do happen, and your business needs to be prepared for that.

Plans for your business in case of a power cut

There are steps that you can take to prevent loss to your business during a power cut:

  • Many businesses have their own backup generators to use during a power cut. This means that if your business has a power cut the generator will kick in and will keep your business running smoothly.
  • A good one to start looking into is the 100KVA generator. Some generators will be larger than this, but it is the recommended average.
  • For a smaller business, purchase an Uninterruptable Power Supply device (UPS) This is a small device that lets you work through short power cuts and will shut down your computer or equipment safety. You can buy them from electronic retailers. Prices vary from £40 upwards.

What to do if your business has lost money

Having a power cut is frustrating and having no power at your business can mean having to close for the day, losing important information, communications and income. Your business insurance may cover you, though, so the first thing to do is to check your policy. However, your power distributer is not liable for any loss or damage to your business.

‘Terms of connection’

Wherever you live in the UK to receive a supply of electricity you require both:

  • The electricity you receive from your electricity supplier will be delivered using the distribution network run by your local network operator.
  • Your supplier has been appointed as the agent of your network operator to obtain a connection agreement with you on these terms, which are the same across the UK. When you enter into an electricity supply contract you are also entering into this connection agreement with your local network operator.
  • Connection to a network

The premises will remain connected to your network in accordance with the provisions of the Electricity Act 1989, any other legal requirements that apply from time to time, and the terms of this agreement.

  • Network constraints

The obligation of your DNO under this agreement are subject to the maximum capacity and any other design feature of the connection. You must contact us in advance if you propose to make any significant change to the connection or to the electric lines or electrical equipment at the premises, or if you propose to do anything else that could affect your network or if you require alterations to the connection.

  • Generating Equipment

 If you install or arrange for the installation of, small-scale generating equipment at the premises-which means one or more sources of electrical energy that an aggregate rating of no greater than 16 amps per phase connected at low voltage – that you must inform your DNO of your intention to use no later then 28 days after the equipment is commissioned. As long as you do this, you do not need your distributers consent, however, if you intend to install or operate any other kind of generating equipment at the premises you must contact us in advance to obtain consent. All generating equipment used at the premises must comply with the applicable requirements of the distribution code that applies to all licences. To obtain a copy contact your network operator.

  • Providing information

You must provide your DNO with the information they request in relation to the nature, or use by you, of electrical equipment at the premises. Your distributor will only ask for information that we need in relation to this agreement or the distribution code that applies under their licence.

  • Conveying electricity

Your DNO cannot guarantee that they will convey electricity through their network at all times, or that electricity delivered through their network will be free of brief variations in voltage or frequency.

  • Cutting off the supply

Your DNO may cut off the flow of electricity through the connection where your distributor is entitled to do so under the general law. your distributor may also cut off the flow of electricity where they are required to do so under contract with an electricity supplier or because of the electricity industry arrangements under which they operate in accordance with our licence.

  • Unauthorised use of a network

This agreement entitles the premises to be connected to your network for the purpose of receiving electricity from or exporting electricity to, your distributor’s network. Any other use of your network, including the transmission of data or communications, is strictly prohibited unless with your distributors prior written consent. Unless they have given consent any such use of their network by you or relating to the connection, shall be a breach of this agreement, and you shall be liable for the losses that incur as result whether directly or indirectly.

  • If something goes wrong If your distributor fails to comply with any term of this agreement or are negligent, you may be entitled under general law to recover compensation from us for any loss you have suffered. However, they will not be required to compensate you for (and you should consider obtaining insurance against) loss caused by anything beyond their reasonable control, any indirect loss, or any direct loss or indirect economic or financial loss (including wasted expenses or any loss of revenue, profit, or interest, any loss of business, commercial, market, or economic opportunity, or any loss of contact or goodwill) other than where you are entitled to recover compensation for the loss under the general law in relation to death or personal injury.
  • Business customers If the electricity supplied to the premises is wholly or mainly for business purposes, their liability to you in relation to that premises, and your liability to us in relation to that premises, will (subject to the limitations in clause 9) be limited to a maximum of £100,000 per calendar year.
  • Changing the connection agreement

The terms of this agreement will be changed automatically to incorporate any changes which are approved by your distributers regulator, the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA). Notice of any changes which is approved will be advertised in the national press, and the new terms will be published on the Internet at www.connectionterms.co.uk

  • Agreeing other connection terms

You and your distributor may each, at any time, ask the other to enter into an alternative connection agreement in respect of the connection if you or they believe an alternative agreement is needed because of the nature of the connection.

  • Ending this agreement

This agreement will end when one of the following occurs:

  • you and your distributor agree on a replacement agreement in respect of the connection;
  • the flow of electricity through the connection is permanently stopped; or
  • any circumstances arise which legally entitle us to cut off the electricity flow through the connection and you will be contacted to let you know that this agreement is ended. The ending of this agreement for any reason will not affect any rights, remedies or obligations which may have come into being under agreement prior to its ending and clauses 9 and 10 will continue to apply.
  • Transferring this connection agreement

You are not entitled to transfer this agreement to another person without your distributors consent.

Your rights to compensation

For compensation, Ofgem has standards that are applicable to all DNO’s.

EGS 1 Main fuse failure (Regulation 12) If the main fuse between your distributors supply cable and your meter fails, your distributor will visit within three hours on weekdays if you call us between 7am and 7pm. On weekends and Bank Holidays, you will be visited between 9am and 5pm.

EGS 2 Supply restoration during normal weather (Regulation 5) If your electricity supply fails during normal weather conditions because of a problem with our distribution system, we will work hard to get the power back on as quickly as possible. However, if it takes us more than 12 hours from the time your distributor is made aware of the loss of supply, you will be paid £75 if you are a domestic customer and £150 if you are a business customer. You will be paid another £35 for each additional 12 hours you are without supply. The Standard requires you to make a valid claim within three months of the date the supply is restored.

EGS 2a Multiple interruptions (Regulation 10) If you have had four or more power cuts in a year, each longer than three hours, you will be paid £75. The payment is the same whether you are a domestic or a business customer. You must claim the payment within three months of the end of the year, which runs from 1 April to 31 March. When making a claim you will need to provide the address of the property affected and the dates of the electricity supply failure. (You cannot include in your claim any incident where you have already been paid or any power cut that you know about in advance).

EGS 2b Supply restoration: during normal conditions – 5,000 or more premises interrupted (Regulations 6) If we have a single failure, fault or damage on your distributor’s distribution system affecting 5,000 or more premises. However, if it takes more than 24 hours, you will be paid £75 if you are a domestic customer and £150 if you are a business customer. You will be paid another £35 for each additional 12 hours you are without supply. The Standard requires you to make a valid claim within three months of the date the supply is restored.

EGS 2c Supply restoration: rota disconnection (Regulation 8) This Standard applies when supply to the customer’s premises is interrupted as a result of a rota disconnection on your distributor’s network. If we do not restore your supply within 24 hours, we will pay domestic customers £75 and non-domestic customers £150. The Standard requires you to make a valid claim within three months of the date the supply is restored.

EGS 4 Notice of planned supply interruptions (Regulation 12) If we need to switch off your power to work on your distributor, the network we will give you at least two days notice. If we need to switch off an Independent Distribution Network Operator (IDNO), we will give at least five days notice. In both cases, the notice does not apply if work is for emergency repairs. If we don’t give you the required notice, or we switch your electricity off on a different day, then you can claim (within one month of the failure) £30 if you are a domestic customer and £60 if you are a business customer.

EGS 5 Supply voltage (Regulation 13) If you inform us that the electricity to your property is outside the permitted voltage range, we will contact you and arrange a visit to your property within seven working days, or, if a visit is not necessary, you will be given a written response within five working days. If your distributor fails on these timescales we will arrange for you to receive £30.

EGS 8 Appointments (Regulation 17) If your distributor needs to come to your property, or you ask us to visit, they will agree on a date and time with you.

EGS 9 Notification of payment under guaranteed standards (Regulation 21) you will be notified, or your supplier, of any Guaranteed Standards your distributor fails to meet (other than those for which you have to make a claim). In any case, your distributor will send your payment directly to you within 10 working days of becoming aware of the failure except in the case of

EGS 11 (Regulation 7). If your distributor fails to notify you, or your supplier, or fail to send payment within the relevant time scale, your distributor will arrange for you to receive an additional £30. EGS 11 Severe weather (Regulation 7) If your electricity supply fails because of a problem on your distributers system due to severe weather, your distributor will restore it within the period prescribed by the Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2005, dependent upon the scale of the event. Category 1 (medium events) Lightning events – when your distributor experiences at least eight times the normal amount of faults in one day – supplies will be restored within 24-hours. Non-lightning events – when your distributor experiences between eight and thirteen times the normal amount of faults in one day – supplies will be restored within 24-hours. Category 2 (large events) Non-lightning events – when your distributor experiences at least thirteen times the normal amount of faults in one day – supplies will be restored within 48-hours. Category 3 (very large events) During any severe weather events supplies will be restored within a period as calculated using a formula based on the number of customers affected, as set out in the Electricity (Standards of Performance) Regulations 2015. If your distributor fails and you make a valid claim within three months of the date the supply is restored, you will receive £70 (for both domestic and business customers). You will also receive a further £70 for each additional 12 hours you are without supply. The maximum payment you will receive totals £700. These payments will be made as soon as reasonably possible.

Can power cuts be prevented permanently?

Electricity networks are 99.99% reliable and power cuts are quite rare. However, it can’t be guaranteed that you will never have a power cut again because power cuts can happen for various reasons outside of your distributor’s control.

Planned power cuts

Sometimes the power may need to be switched off while work is being done on electricity cables nearby. For example, underground cables may need replacing or repairing. Or changes to overhead lines may be being made because one of your neighbours has requested it. For this work to be carried out safely, electricity supplies must be turned off in the area. You should be notified of this.

What causes power cuts?

You may not have thought about this before but these scenarios commonly cause power cuts. Weather:

  • Severe winds can cause damage to overhead power lines. Wind-borne debris or trees falling on power lines can pull them down.
  • Water can get into underground electricity cables and damage the cable.
  • Lightning can damage power lines and equipment
  • Trees brushing against an electricity line can damage it.
  • Other people damaging cables
  • When digging in the ground or working near overhead power lines occasionally people do damage your distributers electricity cables. For example, someone could accidentally cut through electricity cables when digging.

Next door has power – why don’t you?

Your electricity network is built in a way that means different buildings (even in the same street) can receive their power from different electricity cables. This means if there is a fault on one electricity cable, not everyone’s power goes off.

Advice during a power cut

Keeping your food cold:

  • Avoid opening the fridge or freezer door to protect the food. Food can usually last up to 15 hours if you do this.

General tips:

  • Unplug any sensitive appliances until your power comes back on.
  • Remember that many modern home phones, particularly cordless ones, may not work during a power cut.
  • Limit the use of your laptop or smartphone to retain battery power.

How your power comes back on:

  1. Once a power cut is identified, a team investigates
  2. Firstly, your DNO will see if they can fix the problem remotely which is the quickest way (it’s not always possible though)
  3. If not, then an engineer will travel to your local area.
  4. The engineer will go to one of the electrical substations to try to get the power back on as quickly and as safely as possible.
  5. Sometimes it may take longer for us to fix the fault if there is damage to equipment.
  6. You may receive regular updates on how the work is going depending on your DNO.
  7. Your power is back on!

11kV Supplies

11kV, if you did not know is the main voltage used for distributing energy. For domestic and (most) business use the voltage of energy is dropped to 415 or 240V. This makes the energy safe to use and be interacted with by users (such as plugging in an appliance, so the risk of electrocution is not ridiculously high).

Larger energy users, however, will have an 11kV supply to their premises and then will own their own transformers which drop the electricity voltage so it becomes safe to use. Unfortunately, many of these transformers are old, and we mean really old.

Old electric equipment can often develop faults becoming defective just with age, so many of these transformers are inefficient and are wasting a lot of energy. Businesses will all pay for the energy they use – so even though the energy is being lost by the transformer’s ineffective practices it still counts as ‘used’. This means that many large businesses are not just wasting energy, but also money.

Especially in the current economic climate many businesses cannot be affording to lose money – especially on things which are useless and costly like wasted energy. This is where Energy Solutions can help; we can help and support you through your energy efficiency journey.

Saving you money whilst also reducing your energy consumption is what we pride ourselves on. First, let us learn a little more about what 11kV supply means, and then look at what savings can be made and why we are the best choice to help you figure out your energy efficiency.

An Intro to 11kV

In the UK, 11kV is the standard secondary distribution voltage. This is because transmitting electricity at this rate allows for a large amount of energy to be distributed at once which increases efficiency and is a cost effective option for transmitters. Additionally, the voltage is still relatively low which means the energy remains easy to manipulate and handle throughout the distribution network. This increases safety and again increases efficiency as it reduces the risk of damage or injury, slowing the process and endangering lives.

11kV is also able to be manipulated and transmitted without the need for specialist equipment or approaches; this makes it a more accessible process for workers and also saves money holistically as money is not spent on securing adequately trained staff etc. 

Substations are areas that supply the energy for a local area. Their main function as stations is to collect the high voltage energy being transmitted from the generation station and then reduce the voltage. The reduction of the voltage takes place in order to make the energy an acceptable level for local distribution. As aforementioned, this is between 240-415V. The substation consists of two main roles:

  1. simple switching between transmission lines,
  2. conversion from AC to DC (or vice versa), or from higher to lower (or vice versa) frequency

There are some main aspects of a substation which are listed below:

IsolatorThe isolator connects or disconnects the incoming circuit when the supply is already interrupted. Isolators are also used for breaking the charging current of the transmission line. An isolator is placed on the supply side of the circuit breaker so that the circuit breaker isolated from the live parts of the maintenance
Lightning ArresterThe lightning arrester is a protective device which protects the system from lightning effects. The lightning arrester has two terminals one is high voltage and the other is the ground voltage. The high voltage terminal is connected to the transmission line and the ground terminal passes the high voltage surges to earth.
CT MeteringThe metering CT measure and records the current when their secondary terminal is connected to the metering equipment panel.
Step-down TransformerThe step-down transformer converts the high voltage current into the low voltage current.
Capacitor BankThe capacitor bank consists series or parallel connection of the capacitor. The main function of the capacitor bank is to improve the power factor of the line. The capacitor bank then draws the leading current to the line by reducing the reactive component of the circuit.
Circuit BreakerThe circuit breaker interrupts the abnormal or faults current to flow through the line. A circuit breaker is a type of electrical switch which opens or closes the contacts when the fault occurs in the system.

11kV for Larger Users

As aforementioned, larger users of energy manage their own transformer which converts their 11kV supply to usable energy. However, this is largely inefficient as most transformers do not use energy effectively and often waste a lot of the money users are spending on their energy consumption.

When looking to reduce energy consumption many larger businesses will turn to green changes such as using solar panels or switching out bulbs for smart lighting methods such as dimmer switches or sensors. This is usually in a bid to reduce consumption and relieve some of the energy expenses larger users endure.

However, most of this will be wholly ineffective if such a large aspect of your energy consumption process is faulty, like most transformers are. The challenge for businesses is to look beyond the obvious, quick fixes of energy consumption and instead invest time and energy into their business to help reduce costs and limit consumption. Energy Solutions can help support any size of business in reducing their consumption and hence energy costs and have some expert advice in this particular field.

Transformer replacements can look expensive and unnecessary, often transformers are situated far away from large premises and so it is very easy to forget they exist and thus not pay them much thought when considering energy usage. Some businesses may not even understand what they are. However, that is why here at Energy Solutions we are going to leave you feeling assured and confident in the facts regarding 11kV supply.

Reasons You Should Upgrade Your Transformer

  1. Outdated and Ineffective

Many power transformers are incredibly outdated – with some estimates saying the average transformer is around 50 years old. Electrical equipment is not designed to last that long, and it will not be performing in its optimum capacity anymore. Through lost energy due to  inefficient conduct, old transformers will cost businesses a lot of unnecessary energy costs; money which, if saved, could be put to much better use within your business. Years of wear and tear have not fared transformers well and, while they served very well, the time has come for most transformers to retire and allow another to take the reins.

  • Technological Advancements

With the likes of most energy (and all) technology, transformer technology has vastly improved over the last 50 years. The significant improvements include updates such as ultra-low loss amorphous transformers. If thinking green is important to your business, as it should be, then by all means continue updating your energy consumption by investing in solar panels and other green methods, but it is also important that you invest in your transformer too. The aforementioned transformer exceeds all environmental expectations of transformers these days, and will significantly reduce energy loss and wastage – saving energy and money, and the planet!

  • Voltage Management

Time for a bit of energy jargon. Modern transformers have a lower nominal voltage of 11kV. They are typically supplied with an additional tap setting of +7.5%. This means that modern transformers serve as a cost-efficient management device because they regulate the site supply voltage at the source. This management offers users substantial savings in their energy expenses, which is always welcome!

  • Payback and Capital

Payback, typically, on a completed project will take LESS THAN 5 YEARS. That is a phenomenal turn-around on your investment! The average life expectancy of a modern transformer is 30 years. This means there are 25 years minimum where you are reaping the rewards of energy savings before reinvesting. That is such a promising payback ratio, and well worth the investment!

  • Environmental and Climate Responsibility

Many businesses are beginning to seriously tackle their carbon footprint and their environmental impact. This is really important news for the planet, and the more businesses can do the better. Transformers are a sure-fire way to ensure that your business is not just saving itself money, but also saving the planet and lives of others. Energy and carbon savings are guaranteed, and this is a very good thing for the planet. Additionally, the money you will earn in capital in the 25 years of replacing your transformer can be used to put back into your business, ensuring you have the greenest infrastructure and legislations possible. This will result is massive money and green savings for the future!

Companies such as Unilver, Arla, Rolls Royce  and United Biscuits have already saved money from upgrading their transformers. Why not reduce your energy consumption, and save money, today?

At Energy Solutions we have many services and products which will bring your business a step closer to saving money, energy, and the planet. Please do get in touch to find out how we can help and support your business today!

Building Network Operators

What is a Building Network Operator?

The recognised definition for a building network operator is as follows –

‘The organisation that owns or operates the electricity distribution network within a multiple occupancy building, between the intake position and customers installations. The BNO may be the DNO, another licensed distributor or a third party exempt from an electricity distribution license (e.g. a facilities management company)’.

ENA ER G87

Maybe a little bit wordy. From this definition we can see that building owners, landlords, developers, or whoever is in charge of the building infrastructure at a given moment all have the potential to qualify as a BNO. What is most astonishing is that often, they aren’t even aware that they are a BNO!

This isn’t a permanently fixed title, as building network operators are allowed to appoint a third party to act as the BNO on their behalf. So, even if after reading this article you find out that you are unknowingly a building network operator, it is a relatively simple fix.

Who is involved in the BNO process?

Throughout this article we will be relying heavily on the use of commonly used acronyms, if at any point you become unsure on what these mean or how they are involved in the BNO process, then it is a good idea to return to this section.

  • Distribution Network Operator (DNO): For new buildings, the responsibility of the DNO ends at the customer side of the intake. The nature of the supply does not change this.
  • Building Network Operator (BNO): Owns and operates everything past the DNO point of demarcation. This excludes any meters embedded within the network or attached to the equipment. Responsible for building and maintaining the infrastructure of the building.
  • Electricity Supplier: Owns the meters embedded within the network and provides the electricity supplied.

Scenario identification of typical BNO properties

True BNO installations usually have two unique identifying characteristics (although there are a few exceptions to this rule). Often these characteristics are revealed through universally commonly occurring scenarios.

ScenarioReason
A new electrical supply is requested for a multi-occupied building from Distribution Network Operator. No work is completed beyond the intake.If this situation occurs (specifically the lack of work past the intake point) then it is a good indicator that the property will require a BNO. Even though the DNO may offer multiple MPANs, it is still the BNO responsibility to look after supply past the intake point.
A converted property with an existing supply is confirmed by DNO to have sufficient supply for requested capacity.This situation is most common when a commercial property has been converted into apartments. There may be an existing bulk metered supply on site and the DNO may offer multiple MPANs to repurpose the existing supply for any apartments.

Other Identifying features found in BNO installations

These features are not a sure-fire way to identify BNO installations, although they are commonly found within them:

  • Fuses
  • Steel Wired Armoured (SWA)
  • Switch Fuse
  • Bus-bar Riser
  • Isolator
  • ‘Red Head’ Links
  • Distribution Board
  • Low Smoke and Zero Halogen materials.

What is a Multi-Occupied Building?

This is an important definition to make early on as there is often some confusion surrounding this term. The recognised definition for multi-occupied building is as follows –

‘Any single building that has been sub-divided into more than one premise, for example flats (including conversions) or factories that have been broken up into smaller industrial units. It includes communal areas (if any)’.

What are the basic responsibilities of a Building Network Operator?

Regardless of your background or job title, any building network operators will be responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of the electrical installation past the intake point.

So, if there are any faults, issues, repairs, or breakages to any of the cables, boards, switches, or isolators – guess who is responsible for fixing it? You.

Building Network Operators will be expected (and legally required) to resolve any issues surrounding electrical supply, at their own cost. Maybe being a DNO isn’t such a great deal after all…

If there were to ever be a power outage for the entire building – the DNO would be responsible for restoring power. Even if there were to be a loss of supply to only one apartment or business within the building, it is still the building network operators’ job to resolve the issue.

Am I likely to be a Building Network Operator?

If you aren’t aware if you are a building network operator, it is unlikely that you will be one… The additional responsibilities that come with being a BNO make it difficult to be unaware of the position.

You are likely the designated building network operator, or at least affected by the BNO process if you are any of the following:

  • Commercial Landlord
  • Property Developer
  • House Builder
  • Property Manager
  • Electrical Contractor

The benefits of appointing a third party BNO

There are numerous reasons why you would want to appoint a third party to take over your BNO responsibilities. However, there are some discrete benefits only really available for certain parties. These are outlined in the table below.

BNO TypeBenefit
Commercial Landlords & Property ManagersIt is likely that any BNOs who have become so by acting as a landlord or property manager will have other properties on their portfolio with the same or similar responsibilities. As there will be ongoing maintenance and inspections at all of these properties, this can become a seriously time-consuming task. By appointing an external business as BNO allows them to provide this service.
Electrical ContractorsBNO offers a higher degree of freedom in terms of electrical installation and layout. By appointing an external business as BNO allows external advice, design, and project management.
Property Developers & House BuildersExternal BNO specialists are able to provide a consultancy/advice service during building, renovating, or refurbishment. This ensures that the building is industry compliant from the off.

After reading this article, I don’t want to be a DNO anymore… What can I do?

Firstly, we absolutely do not blame you!

For many, this title is simply additional (and unwanted) stress. If only there were someone out there who would leap at the chance to take on this burden…

Well, look no further!

By appointing Energy Solutions as the building network operator for your building, you will save yourself a tonne of stress (not to mention your hard-earned cash). It is often a difficult and thankless job, which is why we have decided to do something about it.

We believe in a different way of doing things to other businesses within the energy industry. We put our customers first, no matter what. Over the last twenty or so years, we have picked up the expertise needed to seamlessly oversee the responsibilities that come with being a building network operator.

If you, or someone you know is struggling with the responsibility of being a building network operator, then give us a call on 0131 610 1688.

We know how important keeping your property supplied with energy at all times is – which is why we have expanded the ways our customers can reach us. How many businesses do you know of that can communicate via WhatsApp?

We look forward to hearing from you!

Common Questions

What does BNO stand for?

BNO stands for Building Network Operator.

What is a Building Network Operator?

The standard definition of a building network operator is as follows:

‘The organisation that owns or operates the electricity distribution network within a multiple occupancy building, between the intake position and customers installations. The BNO may be the DNO, another licensed distributor or a third party exempt from an electricity distribution license’.

What do Building Network Operators do?

Building Network Operators are responsible for the design, installation, and maintenance of the electrical installations in a multi-occupied building, past the intake point. More specifically, they are expected to resolve any issues with electrical supply at their own personal cost.

Who can be a Building Network Operator?

Anybody can be a building network operator, really. The most likely reasons why someone would become a BNO is if they are any of the following; Commercial Landlord, Property Developer, House Builder, Property Manager, Electrical Contractor, or have been appointed to the position.

I don’t want to be a BNO, what can I do?

Luckily for you, it is possible to appoint a third party as the recognised building network operator for your property. It is possible to appoint someone internally (if they are willing) or also to appoint an outside business.

Water Self Supply

Providing your own water supply sounds like the perfect option – save money on your bills, work in a cleaner, greener way. Many businesses are choosing to ‘self-supply their water, so could this option be right for you?

Self-supplying your water means that you hold your own self-supply water licence, meaning you deal directly with wholesalers and industry regulators. It can often just be seen as a shortcut, sure-fire way to reduce your business costs (which it does help), but it is not as simple as it may seem. However, here at Energy Solutions we can help support you through the process, and ensure you do not get overcharged.

As you will be ‘selling’ water, technically to yourself, your business must conform to all the regulatory standards set by Ofwat. This means you must be licensed, practice in a legal and safe way, and stay updated with the market.

The different with self-supplying means that you just take on the role of what you pay a supplier to do. Some people believe paying a supplier is worth the additional cost due to the time it may save, whereas others think self-supplying is an excellent business venture and they are keen to be more in control of their business expenses. We can help you decide whether the process is right for you, and your company.

Starting Up

With self-supply, you are in charge so you can tailor it to your business needs, the service level you want, the provider you choose to team with, and the services and costs which work for you. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business, and yet the water industry provides one-size-fits-all tariffs and services. Self-supply is the only real way to tailor your utilities to your individual business needs, whilst also saving money and increasing efficiency.

Self-supply, however, does not mean there is no government intervention at all in the process. Your practices will still be regulated by industry regulators Ofwat, and you will be held to the same regulation, standards, and expectations as all suppliers are.

It is important to note that you can only be granted a license to self-supply if you are a company whose area of appointment is wholly or mainly in England. Unfortunately, the WSSL licenses are not available to companies who are wholly or mainly in Wales.

So, first you must apply for a self-supply license which can take up to 45 working days to go through. The application fee is £3,000 which means you should be confident and prepared to begin self-supplying before you risk spending lots of money on the venture. Additional costs, which can vary, are also the following:

  1. Annual fees paid to MOSL,
  2. Costs of maintaining security status in order to access CMOS,
  3. General administrative costs of operating and complying in the market.

You can apply by completing the WSSL application form – if you are considering making an application then you can get in touch with the industry regulator Ofwat on the details below:

Email Addresslicensing@ofwat.gov.uk
Telephone Number0121 644 7500

Ofwat also offer the option to review draft applications to self-supply, this means they may provide feedback before the final submission of the application. This helps you to improve your chances of being accepted for the license, being expertly advised by industry professionals!

Additionally, as aforementioned, self-suppliers are still held to the same market performance standards by the regulator, Ofwat. This means that potential penalty charges may be incurred if standards are not met in your business practice, however here at Energy Solutions we can help provide some insight and support in how to correctly manage your self-supply.

Dr Sally Sutton and Dr John Butterworth have written a handy guide which may be invaluable to you and your business if you are starting out with self-supply. The book, ‘Self-supply: Filling in the gaps in public water supply provision’, will help you understand what self-supply can mean and see successful case studies from across the world. Access the book here.

Self-supply licenses never expire. If you wish to no longer hold a self-supply license then you must contact Ofwat directly to discuss revoking the license.

Benefits of Self-Supply

However, although those start-up and management costs and expectations may seem a little daunting there are many positives for self-supplying water. Let us take a quick look at some of the advantages:

You are managing your own water supplyThis is good if you would like to be more hands on with your water usage
Direct access to wholesalersThis means cheaper prices are available to you
Reading your own metersThis increases efficiency within your business, as processes like this can be instantaneously carried out

However, it is also important to acknowledge that being your own supplier is going to save you money, but (at least initially) not as much as may expect. This is because it would take a lot of money and time to acquire the necessary staff and recourses needed to fulfil retail obligations as a supplier. It may take you a while to work efficiently and realise what costs are necessary and which can be saved on. These teething problems are to be expected, and here at Energy Solutions we will support you into making sure you will reap the profits of your self-supply endeavour by ensuring you are not being overcharged.

Self-Supply Wholesale Suppliers

If you wish to self-supply your business and hold a self-supply license, you can deal directly with one of the following wholesale suppliers:

Leep UtilitiesHere
Independent Water NetworksHere
United UtilitiesHere
Dwr Cymru (Welsh Water)Here
SSEHere
Dee Valley WaterHere
Cholderton and District Water CompanyHere
South East WaterHere
Albion WaterHere
Wessex WaterHere
SES WaterHere
Yorkshire WaterHere
South West WaterHere
Northumbrian WaterHere
Smarta WaterHere
Anglian Water WholesaleHere
Severn TrentHere
Affinity WaterHere
Thames WaterHere
Bristol WaterHere
South Staffs WaterHere

For more information on whether self-supply is the right option for you and your business, get in touch today.