Jul 2, 2020

ENGIE to provide EV charging across Biffa sites Nationwide

Biffa
ENGIE
Sustainability
CSR
Press Release
3 min
Biffa TRASH collector
Biffa Sustainability Strategy to incorporate GeniePoint Network to support Resourceful, Responsible vision for the next 10 years...

Biffa Sustainability Strategy to incorporate GeniePoint Network to support Resourceful, Responsible vision for the next 10 years

25 June 2020. ENGIE has agreed a partnership with Biffa, the UK’s leading waste management company, to provide electric vehicle charging facilities across their UK sites in support of their ‘Resourceful, Responsible’ sustainability strategy launched earlier this year.  This is an extension to the fully integrated FM service that ENGIE has been providing to Biffa since February 2018, helping them to optimise sites and operations.

ENGIE will install an initial 14 Alfen EV chargers (6 single & 8 dual socket) which will be a combination of 22kW twin socket load balanced units as well as some single and dual socket 7kW units. The chargers will all be operated and managed by ENGIE’s GeniePoint Platform, providing Biffa staff, drivers and visitors to site, reliable and easy to use charging facilities to support the transition to electric vehicles.

As part of Biffa’s Sustainability Strategy, Biffa already operate a fleet of over 600 electric powered Nissan NV200 vans, these primarily provide workshop support moving parts between sites, as well as supporting municipal contracts operating around the country.  In addition, all company car drivers will be encouraged to make the switch from polluting petrol or diesel powered vehicles, to cleaner battery electric vehicles (BEVs).  The installation of new chargers will support the fuelling of all these vehicles at Biffa sites, but partnering with ENGIE also gives Biffa drivers access to the wider nationwide public GeniePoint Network when travelling around the country.

Biffa has also been successfully trialling the use of electric powered Refuse Collection Vehicles (RCV), this trial showed an overall reduction in diesel usage of over 9000 litres for just one vehicle over a six-month period. The installation of GeniePoint Network chargers at their refuse collection sites ensures the migration to all Biffa vehicles operating with cleaner fuels can be supported ensuring the best route for fleet resources whilst minimizing the environmental impact on the towns and cities in which Biffa operates.

Mark Robson, Head of Procurement, Biffa, said.  “In order to meet the current and future demands for vehicle charging it was essential that Biffa found a reliable, experienced and cost effective partner to deliver an effective solution. In Engie we have found just that partner and we are very much looking forward to working with them to expand our coverage of charging points to support both front line vehicles and other company vehicles.”

Alex Bamberg, Managing Director, ENGIE EV Solutions, said.  “Biffa is clearly demonstrating its commitment to cleaner air and reduced carbon output across all aspects of its business. ENGIE are ideally placed to support these efforts by providing the latest in EV charging technology in a scalable solution to support future growth as it transitions to zero carbon transport in the coming months and years.”

ENGIE EV Solutions continuing rollout of private workplace EV charging schemes at corporate estate across the UK, further demonstrates its commitment to providing world-class products and services within the EV market.  Providing drivers with the confidence that they can reliably and easily fuel their electric vehicle at a GeniePoint Network charger at work, on their commuting or leisure journeys, as well as during their everyday activities, further encourages the take up of electric vehicles and the drive to a Zero Carbon Futur

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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