The Ethos of ESOS

A look at ESOS, HM Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme

Saving energy could be seen as our tithe for saving the environment. More than ever, in our short time on Earth, we need to apply this approach openly and transparently. One idea is ESOS, Her Majesty’s Government’s Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme.

ESOS is the UK’s implementation ofArticle 8, sections 4 to 6 of the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive (2012/27/EU) and only time will tell whether this Directive will remain post Brexit. The crux of ESOS is its assessment procedure which takes into account energy consumption across the business, and identifies where savings could be made.

Companies based in the UK, employing more than 250 employees, must comply with the scheme. The scheme not only applies to the company’s on-site activities; an ESOS assessment takes into account the carbon footprint for travel to and from the premises. For example, business travel or commercial vehicles used from one site to another.

Under ESOS, energy includes combustible fuels, heat sources (including surplus heat from industrial processes), electricity, and renewable energy. All energy use is covered. For Combined Heat and Power installations, you only need to record incoming fuel levels.

How ESOS works around your energy requirements

Commute to work

Commuting to work may be a thing of the past with ESOS.

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme encourages your business to better manage its energy consumption. After assessment, your company is encouraged to identify energy saving opportunities. Instead of a train journey or a long drive, videoconferencing could be considered for meetings. Smart meters could be installed with improved energy consumption reporting facilities available. And renewable energy solutions could be considered to deliver a proportion of demand.

What’s more, some of the energy saving solutions may require little outlay. Existing computer systems could be used for teleconferencing, your next meeting could be a Skype or Facetime call away. Smart meters can be added to your premises free of change. All you need to do is contact your electricity supplier.

ESOS is about continuous development rather than a short term fix. It highlights opportunities for businesses and those that get on board with that process rather than seeing it as red tape, will get the most out.

Ikea Solar Energy

IKEA Steps Up Solar Energy Range

High demand sees increased shelf space for solar energy products

Almost a year ago, after three years, IKEA stopped selling solar energy products. Last April, they had a change of heart and reinstated them. Their two month hiatus coincided with a change of supplier. Before November 2015, their supplier of solar panels was Hanenergy. Their present-day supplier is Solarcentury.

By January 2017, sales picked up. Demand for its range of sustainable energy products have risen by 13.3%. This has included LED lighting, water meters and rechargeable batteries, as well as residential solar energy systems. As to how much of the 13.3% rise in sales were solar panels remains to be seen.

Solar energy has consolidated itself as a renewable form of energy for commercial and residential properties. Recent incentives have made PV renewable energy popular with households. IKEA’s success is in spite of HM Government cuts to the feed-in tariff. Their PV renewable energy systems were first sold in three IKEA stores: Lakeside, Birmingham, and Glasgow and soon, all of its UK stores will have the full range.

The solar panels sold in IKEA stores today are more efficient than those supplied by Hanenergy. Theirs were made of thin film, which lacked the energy efficiency and reliability of the polycrystalline and monocrystalline panels offered by Solarcentury.

Solarcentury were formed in 1998 and are one of the oldest companies in the field of renewable energy. Their solar systems have been erected on more than a thousand sites around the world. The company is headed by Frans van der Heuvel with its founding director is Jeremy Leggett, noted for his columns in The Guardian and the Financial Times.

IKEA and Solarcentury are a good fit in terms of their approach to renewable energy. Solarcentury have worked with communities to expand the uptake of solar energy. IKEA have greened their stores with solar panels on some of their branches. And, for the first time in the company’s history, Ikea has a zero waste to landfill figure, paving the way for other retailers.

Environmentally Friendly Brexit

Are renewable energy options on the back burner?

With only two months to go till the proposed triggering of Article 50, would it fair to say that climate change and environmentally friendly energy solutions are being overlooked? The last week hasn’t been a good one for the state of our pale blue dot. Firstly, America has a president whose contempt for the environment appears visible from outer space. With the United States having the second highest emissions levels after China, the potential sacking of climate change scientists and budget cuts at the Environmental Protection Agency would potentially have a far reaching impact on global emissions.

Brexit Negotiations

Brexit negotiations are ongoing in 2017.

Our Prime Minister met Trump at the White House, trying (we think) to engineer a trade deal, while over on the Fylde Coast, we have seen the first vehicles getting ready to start test drills on Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site. With Prime Minister, Theresa May hoping to get Article 50 triggered by the end of March, where could we be going in 2017 and beyond?

Brexit and environmental standards

Many improvements in environmental standards have been driven the EU. In the large part, it is anticipated that EU benchmarks for environmental standards will remain part of the UK’s Stature Books. The Great Repeal Bill will incorporate elements of the EU’s directives, and will convert these requirements in to British Law. This will see the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972. In spite of the reassurances proposed in the forthcoming bill, any subsequent amendments post Brexit are subject to change and Parliament will have the power to retain some directives and scrap others.

With the uncertainty of Brexit, banks have considered moving to other EU Member States with France and the Republic of Ireland favoured bases. Nissan is in limbo over continued UK investment. IKEA, whom we have covered in a previous post, isn’t sure about its continued expansion into renewable energy. Standing between the furniture giant’s £524 million green energy fund is the Government’s approach to environmentally friendly energy sources. On The Huffington Post website, Joanna Yarrow, IKEA UK’s Head of Sustainability said: “the UK’s ‘political context’ does not encourage investment in renewables.” She also added that:

“I would say that over the last five or six years it has become increasingly difficult to invest in renewable energy production in the UK, and that for a large organisation like IKEA which has the resources to invest, it would be great for the UK to benefit from it.”

Brexit or no Brexit, if you have looked at energy related stories over the last six months, there seems to have been more column inches devoted to Hinkley Point’s forthcoming multi-billion pound nuclear reactor. Or hydraulic fracturing in Kirby Misperton and Preston New Road.

With Britain yet to decide on which of the EU Directives it will maintain, canwe trust the government to retain, all the environmental benefits we have gained from EU membership? Will our beaches still be clean? Will there still be incentives driving the renewable energy sector? While the UK is by no means the highest generator of renewable energy across Europe, we have seen a three fold increase in renewable energy generation from 2004-2014.

Will Brexit be seen as an opportunity to cement our future energy security through the mix of renewable energy solutions or will we revert to more controversial options.


The UK economy held up well in the run up to the Brexit vote but the Pound has suffered since then when compared to all major economies.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) revised the estimate for the second quarter up to 0.7% growth, from the original figure of 0.6% following strong results in July and August.

The value of Sterling continued to fall after the referendum and is the worst performing major currency as markets reacted to the possibility of the UK leaving the single market.

While the construction sector has seen a fall since the referendum result it is not all doom and gloom as the sector shows resilience in difficult times.

Comparing August output levels with the same period in 2015, an increase of 0.2% was seen and while most sectors in construction saw a decrease, private commercial work increased by 1.5%. Infrastructure and public housing output saw the largest declines of 5.1% and 6.3% respectively.

Barbour ABI

Mainer Associates are delighted to announce that we are now fully signed up to Barbour ABI for all regions and all sectors within England Wales and Scotland.

In a move to develop our marketing capabilities, we decided that the services provided by Barbour ABI are ideal for marketing a business like ours to our current and potential client base.

Barbour ABI is a leading provider of construction intelligence services. With a team of in-house research specialists and a dedicated lead economist, it provides commercially relevant insight and unique analysis of trends and developments within the building and construction industry. Barbour ABI is the chosen provider of industry data and indicators for Government bodies including the Office for National Statistics and the UK Government’s Construction and Infrastructure Pipeline, which outlines future construction and infrastructure projects where public funding is agreed. Barbour ABI also provides data for independent organisations, such as the Construction Products Association.

We look forward to working closely with Barbour ABI to ensure we get the most out of their services.

Firbeck Revival Scheme

Firbeck Revival Scheme dwellings awarded Code Level 3 certificates

Mainer Associates have undertaken a Code for Sustainable Homes assessment on West Lancashire Borough Council’s new revival scheme. The £8 million development includes 42 new dwellings, all of which were awarded a Code Level 3 certificate.

Dwellings at Firbeck will provide local families with everything they need. All houses and flats proved to be energy efficient, demonstrating significant improvement in fabric energy efficiency. They are equipped with smart meters that not only monitor energy consumption, but let users know what the costs of their habits are, therefore encouraging further savings.

The houses are suitable for start-ups in need of an office. All dwellings were provided with a home office with required services (telephone points, sockets, internet connection). Dwellings have also been designed to ensure that plenty of daylight can provide users with a healthy environment while working from home.

Houses are equipped with appropriate general and recycling waste bins. Home users receive support from West Lancashire Borough Council who look after their needs and ensure that all waste types are appropriately segregated and picked up, thus reducing the impact of the development on the environment. Compost bins have also been provided in private gardens. Organic waste can get taken away, or can be used by those with a green finger.

Keepmoat was contracted to carry out the construction of the dwellings. They successfully ensured that construction waste was kept to a minimum, and ecology surrounding the dwellings was left undisturbed.

The Revival Scheme serves communities in Skelmersdale with the town undergoing significant regeneration works, where there is aim to transform it into an area of thriving business.

Asda Sutton

ASDA Sutton – BREEAM Very Good

Mainer Associates is pleased to announce that the new ASDA store in Sutton has been awarded a BREEAM Very Good rating at the Post Construction Stage.

Mainer Associates have been working on the development from the planning stages compiling Energy Statements to demonstrate compliance with the stringent energy performance standards set by the Local Authority.

From the point at which planning permission was granted, Mainer Associates worked collaboratively with the project team in order to ensure that the design stage BREEAM assessment was achieved in a timely manner given the pre-start conditions set by the Local Authority.

Once this was achieved the project was able to start on site and due to the short development programme, Mainer Associates were required to work at a fast pace in order to ensure credits were not lost during the construction of the store.

Our staff have been delighted to continue the working relationship with Lateral Property Group, DLA Architecture and GMI Construction and we hope to work with the team again in the future.

Development achieves a BREEAM Excellent rating!

We are delighted to confirm that the 5 Wellington Place development has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating.

Working for Wates Construction and MEPC, Mainer Associates are BREEAM Assessors, BREEAM AP and Acousticians on the project.

Following the successful completion of 10 and 6 Wellington Place, building 5 is located at the gateway to this exciting new business district in the heart of Leeds city centre. Providing over 60,000sqft of commercial office space, the development is the latest building to be completed as part of this prestigious site.

5 Wellington Place - BREEAM Excellence

Certified to BREEAM Excellent, the building and its surrounds completed in early 2016 showcase MEPC’s commitment to Sustainable Development, meeting the needs for economic development while minimising impact on the environment.

Our team were appointed by MEPC for the pre-contract works at a very early stage so that we were able to influence the evolving design at RIBA Stages 1 and 2. Our appointment as assessors was then taken on by Wates Construction to deliver design and post construction stages of the assessment.

Mainer Associates supporting Age of Hope

At Mainer Associates we aim to support our chosen charity, The Seashell Trust, with both our time and donations throughout the year. Every year we participate in cycling events, help out at sports days, and provide assistance where we can.

Additionally, we also like to support our staff with any charity donations and work they wish to carry out.

To this end, Mainer Associates is supporting children in need of help to get a good start in the new school year.

We will be providing school supplies to Age of Hope, a charity established in 2010 in Central Europe with the aim to help disadvantaged children and those living in extreme poverty.

Other than the basics needed by any pupils, staff at Mainer Associates have sent old school bags which we are sure will find good homes.

Age of Hope charityAge of Hope frequently organises collections for people in need and receive donations from companies and individuals as well. Other than aiming to provide people in need with food and clothes, the charity has a strong focus on giving valuable memories to children by taking them travelling and camping.

We congratulate Melinda, one of our consultants, for taking the initiative and supporting a charity of her own choosing and we look forward to assisting Melinda in this way in the future.

Mainer Associates are Constructionline and Acclaim accredited

Acclaim and CL logo

We are delighted to confirm that Mainer Associates are now both Constructionline Approved and Acclaim Accredited.

We would like to thank those members of staff who worked tirelessly to compile the significant amount of information in support of our application, and the clients who kindly provided us with references.

The Acclaim accreditation in particular demonstrates our ongoing commitment to Health & Safety, so important within the construction sector.

These accreditations also further our ability to work with the largest and most prestigious contractors within the UK and bid for work through the Constructionline portal.