Ian Marchant FEI, President
All good things must come to an end and I am now handing over the Presidency of the Energy Institute (EI) having served two years. It has been a joy and a privilege to have the role and I hope I have been a good steward of our organisation. In reflecting on the two years, my thoughts are about the past, present and future.
We have just finished celebrating our one hundredth anniversary and that included a cake in the Palace of Westminster, a video from the Prince of Wales and numerous dinners and events up and down the country. It is good occasionally to look back and celebrate the achievements of the past, however that phase of EI’s life is over, probably for another 25 years. We have also launched the Energy Matrix, which makes available the accumulated knowledge of over 90,000 records and wisdom of our industry, in a modern digital form.
But enough of the past. We are all members of today’s energy industry and the EI continues to address today’s issues. During the last twelve months or so we have hosted the inaugural Energy Systems conference and our annual IP Week conference, which this year generated a lot of media interest, as well as another 90 events. A new addition to the EI calendar has been the autumn President’s event. In 2013, I hosted a debate and then in 2014 I gave a lecture which, as it was held in a function room at the Hard Rock Cafe, was full of song title puns. We have got involved in new initiatives such as POWERful Women and ESOS, and the first publication under the Energy Essentials banner has been issued. Our technical programme continues to go from strength to strength with the issue of 41 technical guidance documents, the publication of the first G9 offshore wind annual incident data report and further growth in the content of and access to The Journal of the Energy Institute. We have continued to drive up standards and build competencies for the future with the accreditation of 68 energy-related courses in 21 institutions throughout the world.
And talking of the future, as I hand over the reins to the very capable hands of Professor Jim Skea CBE FRSA FEI, I would highlight three foundation stones that have been laid recently. Firstly, we have started the refurbishment of our building to make it fit for the 21st century and to provide better member services. Secondly we have undertaken and launched our first Energy Barometer, which uses the knowledge and experience of our membership to gauge the state of the energy world and to inform policymakers and commentators. Thirdly, we introduced a new EI award category, the Young Energy Professional of the Year, to complement the work of our growing Young Professional Networks.
I believe that the group who met under the leadership of Sir Boverton Redwood a hundred years ago would be proud of what their creation continues to do and in its plans for the future.
Louise Kingham OBE FEI
You could be forgiven for struggling with the DECC’s published guidance on ESOS as it’s not an easy read but, in the Department’s defense, the devil is always in the detail so DECC is obliged to set it all out.
The EI, as a supporter of ESOS with resources to enable its implementation, has produced a simple guide to help senior executives of companies that must comply with this new mandatory scheme to complete energy assessments and identify energy savings opportunities. Broadly speaking, if your UK business has
1) 250 or more employees
2) an annual turnover of more than 50M Euros and
3) a balance sheet of more than 43M Euros
you and any other UK organisations will need to comply. There are nuances to all of this so it’s worth reading the detail or contacting DECC for advice well ahead of the end of this year.
Compliance requires you to estimate your total energy consumption and audit the areas of most significance for a report which is signed off at company board level and lodged with the Environment Agency.
Now that’s where compliance stops and good practice starts. Why? Because it’s good for the bottom line and can turn loss into profit, it’s good for the environment and demonstrates the social pledges companies can make and the benefits that can be passed onto the customer. So don’t stop at the filing of the report, don’t even stop when you celebrate the first year’s energy and financial savings. The clue is in the title – energy savings opportunity scheme….
Louise Kingham OBE FEI
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting people from around the world, brought together by the fact that we were all part of the energy industry, and in this case, focused on sharing knowledge in the oil and gas sector at the 21st World Petroleum Congress in Moscow. A common worry during the event was the bottleneck that the industry is facing across the board – albeit to different degrees in different geographies – to attract, develop and retain a talented, diverse and competent workforce, in a range of key roles where we know gaps exist, from technicians to the next industry leaders. This was confirmed at the session I chaired later in the week on that very theme.
Back in the UK, the topic of standards and accessing the competence to attain them reigns strong. Why? Well, this week, the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme is launched – to help the UK to meet Article 8 of the EU’s Energy Services Directive. This means large companies will need to regularly audit their energy performance – using competent people to do so. As the industry’s professional body, the EI has been advising the UK Government about what competent in this context means – reflected in the membership of the EI’s Register of Professional Energy Consultants and so we are ready to support the scheme. Ultimately, competence is essential for the industry to operate to the highest standard, whether in drilling oil wells or identifying opportunities for energy saving. But there’s another reason why we should worry. If the energy industry is to gain public trust, demonstrating the competence of its practitioners will go a long way to help.