Stark have officially joined the UK Government’s SME climate hub and the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign.
EQUANS, the new name for ENGIE’s services-led activity, has been awarded a Platinum EcoVadis medal for the second year running. The award is a powerful, independent endorsement of the company’s sustainability management putting EQUANS in the top one percent of companies assessed by EcoVadis.
EcoVadis assesses the sustainability management of more than 75,000 companies to provide procurement professionals with key information about their existing and potential supply chain partners. Assessment procedures are tailored to industry sectors and company size and examine a wide range of criteria under 4 broad categories of the Environment, Labour & Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement, including current performance and continuous improvement.
Jamie Quinn, Director of Responsible Business and SHEQ at EQUANS UK & Ireland commented: “For many organisations, verifying the sustainability credentials of their supply chain partners is critical to their own sustainability commitments. At EQUANS we are focused on driving the sustainability agenda and helping our customers embrace a greener, more efficient and sustainable world. Being awarded this Platinum EcoVadis rating for the second consecutive year, demonstrates our commitment to sustainability management and gives confidence to our current and future partners that EQUANS continues to lead the way in sustainability management and has the expertise and experience to add value to their performance.”
The award by EcoVadis has been made under EQUANS’ current legal name, ENGIE Services Limited, which uses the trading brand EQUANS.
Armstrong Fluid Technology has emerged victorious in the Project of the Year category at the prestigious Pump Industry Awards 2020/2021.
Held at the Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth on September 23rd, the Pump Industry Awards recognised companies that have demonstrated excellence in the design and implementation of fluid flow technology. The Pump Industry Awards is now recognised as one of the leading award ceremonies within the industrial arena. Founded by the BPMA in 2000, the awards programme celebrates the achievements of pump companies and individuals who strive to go the extra mile.
The winning project was an energy upgrade carried out by Armstrong Fluid Technology for the National Grid. The priorities for National Grid’s three-storey commercial office block in Solihull included the need to reduce energy costs and improve environmental performance. The pumps to be replaced were Holden and Brooke (Armstrong legacy) models manufactured in 2002, ranging in size from 7.5kW to 37kW. The Armstrong Design Envelope replacements (fully-integrated pumping modules capable of parallel pumping) delivered a 70% reduction in annual energy usage, saving £22,400 per annum in energy costs, and representing an annual reduction in carbon emissions of 57,432 kg of CO2.
Other outstanding aspects of the project included fast and efficient installation (over a single weekend to avoid disruption for site occupants), real-time 24/7 remote monitoring for optimisation of performance throughout the life of the equipment, and the recycling of 3.5 tonnes of material from the legacy pumps removed during the upgrade.
Stephen Hart, Sales Director – UK, who accepted the award on behalf of Armstrong Fluid Technology said, ‘We are extremely proud to receive the Project of the Year award. Enormous improvements in the environmental performance of buildings are possible with the latest generation of fluid flow solutions. We are committed to helping our customers meet their sustainability targets as well as save energy. We are extremely grateful to National Grid for enabling us to quantify these benefits in detail. Finally, we would like to thank the BPMA for organising the awards despite the disruptions of the pandemic. The BPMA awards are so important, because they celebrate the highest achievements in design and implementation of pump technology, and highlight the important role our industry plays in a sustainable future.’
District heating specialist Switch2 Energy has published the Essential Guide to the Heat Network Regulations . This explains recent legislation updates and the urgent steps heat suppliers must take to gain compliance and stem huge energy losses on thousands of unmetered homes.
The clock is ticking on the 27 November 2021 deadline for heat network suppliers to assess whether it will be compulsory to retrofit final customer meters in around 170,000 unmetered homes on their networks.
Where metering is proved viable, they have less than a year (by 1 September 2022) to complete installations, which can deliver huge cost and carbon savings of 35 to 50%.
The free guide explains the latest regulatory changes and what heat suppliers, such as landlords and developers, need to do to achieve compliance and avoid criminal and civic penalties.
The most significant legislative change is a duty to fit final customer meters on existing un-metered ‘open class’ buildings, wherever this is proved viable. Where the feasibility tool assessment proves viability, heat network owners must then retrofit metering systems or heat cost allocators in individual homes, which is likely to involve the installation of smart heat metering systems.
It is already mandatory for new build projects and most buildings undergoing major refurbishment to fit final customer meters. It is also compulsory for all heat networks to install point of entry meters, which record the amount of heat delivered into the building.
The regulations also stipulates that actual meter readings, rather than estimates, must be used to bill customers at least one a year, and that billing information must be transparent and informative. There are also recurring duties for heat suppliers to update the registration of the heat network every four years.
The legislation covers all of the 1,750 community and district heating systems – serving around 500,000 homes across the country – and is key to the government’s heat decarbonisation strategy.
Ian Allan, Head of Market Strategy for Switch2 said: “It is vital that heat suppliers understand the updated regulations and take urgent action to ensure they are fully compliant. There’s still time to act and our S2 Meter2Bill service makes the compliance process easy.
“It’s not just a matter of ticking the regulatory boxes, those sites that install final customer meters have an opportunity to achieve significant cost (helping reduce fuel poverty) and carbon reduction. Our experience shows that on unmetered heat networks where customer costs are estimated, the installation of pay-as-you-go smart meters results in energy savings of 35 to 50%.”
The challenge of cost effectively transitioning new and existing heat networks to net zero will be discussed by Ian Allan, Head of Market Strategy for Switch2 Energy, at the Housing Forum’s Fit for the Future national conference on 20 October 2021.
In a presentation titled ‘How to meet your decarbonisation goals – a heat network-led approach’, Ian Allan will discuss proven strategies to improve carbon reduction performance on both existing and new heat networks and how to mitigate risk in the transition to net zero.
“Heat networks are a proven and cost-effective method of reducing the carbon intensity of UK heating. There’s huge potential to replace fossil fuels with sustainable alternatives, such as heat pumps, waste heat and eventually green hydrogen and to maximise lifetime operational performance. But how can we best meet the triple challenge of providing affordable, reliable, sustainable heat?”
His conference presentation will cover:
• Design, build and operate principles for greener new build
• Optimising performance and efficiency for sustained improvement on existing and new networks
• Effective early customer engagement and service excellence
• How to mitigate higher green material building costs
• New procurement strategies for decarbonising heat networks
Find out more about the Fit for the Future national conference and register to attend the event in-person or online.
Armstrong Fluid Technology marked the latest phase in its UK expansion with the official opening of a new Systems Manufacturing Centre at Pointon Way, Droitwich.
Armstrong Fluid Technology designs, engineers and manufactures intelligent fluid flow equipment, control solutions and optimisation technologies for use in HVAC, Plumbing, Gas Transmission and Fire Safety applications. Earlier this year the company announced plans to relocate its West Midlands factory, warehouse and offices from Halesowen to larger premises in nearby Droitwich. The move provided additional space for operations to accommodate growing demand for off-site manufactured plantrooms and energy centres.
Armstrong has manufactured packaged plantrooms at a site in Heywood Wharf, Halesowen since 2004. The new site is a key facility for Armstrong, specialising in the construction of plantrooms and energy centres, packaged plant systems, and fire pump packages. A steady increase in orders meant that operations outgrew the available space at the Heywood Wharf site, prompting the relocation of manufacturing operations, warehousing, and office staff to a larger, purpose-designed site at Pointon Way, Droitwich. With over 69,000 sq ft of space, easy access to the M5 motorway, and an extensive production area, the new facility creates important strategic value for Armstrong customers.
At the official opening of the new Systems Manufacturing Centre on 9th September 2021 Armstrong customers and suppliers joined representatives from local government and the business community to celebrate the milestone in Armstrong’s history. Officiating to cut the ribbon was Jason Kee – Trade Commissioner of the High Commission of Canada. Guests of honour also included Todd Rief (CEO of Armstrong Fluid Technology), James Higgins (Gemserv), Counsellor Richard Morris (Portfolio Holder for Economic Development at Wychavon District Council), Phoebe Dawson (Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership) and Gwen Davies (Business Central Growth Hub). Pictured (left to right) are Todd Rief (CEO of Armstrong Fluid Technology), Jason Kee – Trade Commissioner of the High Commission of Canada, and Simon Parker (UK Country Lead for Armstrong Fluid Technology)
Todd Rief commented: ‘I’m thrilled to be here today, not only to contribute to the proceedings, but ultimately to celebrate this occasion with customers, suppliers, trade associates, local business contacts, industry and local press. Since its inception, Armstrong has been guided by a set of core values: Community, Service, Learning and Innovation. Where Armstrong stands today would not have been possible without our long history of serving customers, working collaboratively to form and strengthen communities, and innovating to develop new capabilities. Our day-to-day operations and growth are tightly connected to our purpose: To protect our planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from buildings with our revolutionary, high value energy saving solutions. Our objective is to create a built environment that provides indoor comfort at the lowest possible environmental cost’.
‘Packaged solutions and off-site manufactured integrated plantrooms are the future for our industry. In comparison to the industry standard method of assembling loose components on site, packaged solutions provide savings in almost every aspect. Shortened project schedules, procurement savings, space savings, labour savings, long term savings from design quality and professional assembly, and perhaps most importantly, energy savings and carbon footprint reduction through improved operating efficiency. Packaged plantroom solutions from Armstrong also leverage our industry-leading Design Envelope technology, delivering the best possible operating efficiency across a wide range of duty points. And in recent years Armstrong has once again led the industry, introducing our innovative pump manager service, to provide customers with connected intelligence to track and optimise performance, and better manage maintenance and service’.
‘The West Midlands operations of Armstrong Fluid Technology have provided a centre of excellence for these technologies for almost twenty years. Today we’re celebrating, not just the opening of a new facility and important landmark, but also what we’ve achieved across our 86 year history, the projects to which we’ve contributed and the many thousands of customers we’ve helped. At the same time, we’re looking forward and focussing our energy on the exciting future that lies ahead.’
At the event, Armstrong announced plans for new employment and training opportunities, and discussed the sustainability measures that have been taken to enhance environmental performance of the new facility.
Since announcing its intention to move to the area, the company has recruited 16 new staff members of staff, taking the workforce based at the Droitwich site to a total of 81. The company now plans to recruit another four new employees, with vacancies for Mechanical and Electrical Fitters, Welders and Stores personnel.
Armstrong is also expanding its apprenticeship programme at Droitwich. Six young people have already joined the programme in a range of technical and commercial roles. Six additional places were announced during the event, to including an apprentice buyer, and an apprentice administrator. Six apprentices who joined the programme in previous years have now completed their apprenticeship programmes. They have been awarded their NVQ qualifications, and are now full-time Armstrong employees.
The apprenticeship programme is in extremely experienced hands. Ian Harris, who has worked for the company in the West Midlands for more than 35 years, is overseeing the scheme. A number of the company’s existing employees kick-started their careers via the apprenticeship route, and Armstrong sees the creation of these training opportunities as a key part of its commitment to manufacturing in the West Midlands.
Armstrong Fluid Technology received the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development earlier this year, becoming the first company in the commercial-scale HVAC sector to receive this award in the sustainability category. Environmental performance of the new site was a key priority when relocating the West Midlands operations. LED lighting has been installed throughout the site, activated by sensors to reduce energy consumption. Armstrong has also fitted roller/shutter doors to control temperature and ventilation more effectively in loading bay areas. Electric charging points for company vehicles are another new addition at the site. Investment in 70 tonnes of capacity in four overhead cranes has also enabled the company to streamline production flows for greater efficiency.
Simon Parker, UK Country Lead for Armstrong Fluid Technology commented: ‘This is an extremely proud day for our company. The new consolidated manufacturing facility will support greater collaboration between departments and provide us with enhanced assembly and storage capacity, as well as increased flexibility to more closely meet the demands of our customer base. Our success to date is in no small part due to the expertise and commitment of our Midlands team, and it gives us all great pleasure to mark the beginning of this new phase. We look forward to welcoming customers, suppliers, and new additions to our team to the new site in the coming months.’
Heat network developers and owners can find out more about two new funding opportunities to improve energy efficiency and transition to low and zero carbon technologies at a free webinar, hosted by Switch2 Energy on 16 September (10am to 11am).
The webinar ‘‘Government funding for heat networks – what does it mean for the future?“, will cover the new Green Heat Network Fund and the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme.
These Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) funding programmes will support the transition to low carbon generation and improve the energy performance of existing district and community heating schemes.
Tim Ward, Stakeholder Engagement Manager for the government’s Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF), will explain how heat suppliers can now apply for capital grants under the £10m GHNF Transition Scheme funding. This will support the commercialisation of low-carbon heat network projects so that they are construction-ready in time to apply to the GHNF full scheme, which opens for applications in April 2022.
He will be joined by Alex Trebowicz, Heat Network Efficiency Scheme Lead, from BEIS, who will explain opportunities to raise the performance of legacy heat schemes under the Heat Network Efficiency Scheme – scheduled to launch later this financial year.
Webinar Chair Ian Allan, Head of Market Strategy for Switch2, will outline some of the technical and commercial solutions and challenges involved in optimising heat network efficiency and shifting to lower carbon generation.
Ian Allan said: “Heat networks have a major role to play in the UK’s urgent heat decarbonisation challenge. Our webinar will help heat suppliers from both the public and private sectors to access financial support to reduce the capital costs of transitioning to low and zero carbon generation technologies.
“Raising the energy performance standard of the UK’s existing 17,000 networks is also crucial to delivering progress on carbon reduction. Delegates will find out how the upcoming Heat Network Efficiency Scheme can help them address the triple challenge of sustainability, cost management and reliability.”
Register for the free webinar on Thursday 16 September (10am to 11am)
Further information: https://content.switch2.co.uk/webinars
Former contracts manager for Opus Energy, Matthew Cooper, has joined our Energy Bureau department to support its continued growth and deliver customer service excellence. Strengthening the company’s Service Delivery team, Matthew will manage a number of customer relationships, and help drive performance improvements across our portfolio management and bill validation service.
The science is clear, the UK needs to change its carbon emissions output to tackle the growing climate crisis. The UK has a target to reduce emissions 68% by 2030 and 78% by 2035, with the goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. In response to the mounting pressure to meet these targets, TEAM has launched a new service.