Step-by-step risk reduction for each client
We recognise that clients need to minimise risk, needless expenditure, and extra work.
Our step-by-step process is designed to get from the initial idea through to successful implementation with the least amount of hassle for all concerned. The detail is described below.
Each step qualifies the risk entailed in the next step so that our clients can make properly informed investment decisions as a potential project is developed. The aim is that clients can commit to projects with confidence, and will get what they expect from them.
We prefer to establish a long-term working relationship with each client and guide them through the whole process. However, there is no obligation on clients to hire us for the duration of the process and each step after the initial free consultation is subject to a mutual agreement to proceed.
We often find that clients would like to have low-carbon projects done but don’t have the spare capital. We can provide finance when required: either in such a way that the savings arising from the project will cover the finance repayments, or for schools, using a community based share scheme, which avoids the need for finance repayments. Ask us for details; this is new, but we think it could prove very helpful for schools.
Free Feasibility Assessment
The first step is a feasibility assessment. It is free of charge because until it has been done we cannot give reliable advice about the potential range of projects on an estate, and whether or not it’s worth spending any money on further investigative work. It usually includes:
- An initial meeting and site visit to get a good idea of how the estate works, strategic intent, development plans, key concerns.
- Identification of practical considerations that would have a bearing on the relative desirability of different installations across the estate.
- Advice on financing options.
The outcome of Step 1 is that we can advise any client, with confidence, whether it’s worth spending any money, what technology options should be considered in more detail, and what the cost of that work will be.
Step 1 may have identified a range of potential options, or just one or two. Step 2 is a cost/benefit analysis that determines the following:
- The estimated installation and running costs of each shortlisted technology at the most appropriate site(s) on the estate.
- The annual benefit, 10-year benefit, 20-year benefit, payback period, and rate of return on investment for each short-listed option. (20 years is the length of the government index-linked subsidy for qualifying installations. It is also a reasonable minimum lifespan assumption for most new installations). This will include comparisons between self-funded and 3rd party financed options.
- Any synergistic benefits and particularly advantageous technology combinations.
- The technical and management follow-up tasks required to reach readiness for tendering and installation of each shortlisted option, e.g. planning applications or advice.
Results are presented in a concise report, using tables and supporting detail on each option. We use note format for easy, quick reading. Options are usually ranked in terms of net financial benefit, but we can adjust this to suit the client’s specific requirement.
The cost of this work varies according to scale: we have a set list of fees depending on the number of technologies and sites to be modelled.
Step 2 will have resulted in a shortlist of financially viable options. Some of these may require more in-depth technical analysis. That is the purpose of the technical confirmation.
- For example, we are always keen to promote the installation of ground source heat pumps (where suitable) because this is such a great technology. However, ground conditions matter a lot, especially if the collector array is going to require boreholes. This requires a more specialised survey.
- Likewise, virtually every building-mounted solar array at the commercial scale will require a structural survey.
The virtue of our step by step approach is that this level of expenditure is only required once it’s already been determined that there is a worthwhile project to be gained from it.
Step 3 will have delivered a final list of technically and financially viable projects. The client will now decide which to take through to installation, but even in this step along the way there is usually a further level of risk reduction and pricing refinement by dint of the tender process.
- We can implement the selected options as prime contractor, on a fixed price or cost plus basis, whichever suits best.
- This is a turnkey solution and includes drawing up specifications for installers, running the tender, drawing up installer contracts, project management, commissioning, and application for any relevant Government subsidies. The client is consulted and briefed at every stage.
- If the project is being financed by us, we will also organise the drawdown against the finance.
- Alternatively, we can be engaged only for certain phases of the implementation, such as running and scoring the tender process.
Post-delivery Quality Assurance
We want to be sure that each client gets the result they expected, so we have now formalised this part of the process:
- About 6 months after each installation has been commissioned we will call a site meeting for the client, installers, and any other appropriate agencies involved. This is done at no cost to the client and is additional to the servicing and maintenance regime that will have been put in place as part of the original installation.
- This is an opportunity for the client to be completely candid about any issues that have arisen, so that they can be rectified, and so that we can all learn lessons from each job done.
- We would expect any faults to be covered by warranty – either parts or workmanship – but we believe that by being proactive about this, faults are likely to be resolved that much more quickly.
Our full range of services
We don’t just do low-carbon energy schemes. We’re keen to help clients make savings on energy in any way possible. Our full range of services is listed below. If there is something else you need done, and you don’t see it below, get in touch – we’re adaptable.
- Energy usage benchmarking.
- Energy usage monitoring and management.
- Energy plant asset mapping and condition surveys.
- Project scoping and cost/benefit analysis.
- Technical feasibility studies.
- Energy efficiency and management training, especially for administrators.
- Development of energy strategies.
- Advice on UK and EU energy legislation.
- Compliance with energy-related legislation: e.g. EPCs, ESOS, TM44.
- Planning advice and applications.
- Coordinate, witness, and sign-off commissioning.
- Energy procurement and tariff benchmarking.
- Energy supply tax and allowances reviews (for schools).
- Conventional M&E consultancy for smaller projects (less than £5M).
- Advice on financing, grants, and subsidies.
Installation projects & programmes
- Multi-project programme management.
- Technical scoping and project budgeting.
- Tender management and installer selection.
- Installation project management.
- Subsidy application and justification.
- Project or programme financing, where required.
As far as we are aware, no other company that offers this range of services can also claim to be genuinely independent. We are genuinely independent, because we are not tied to any particular supplier, nor wedded to any particular technology.