Environmental CSR priorities within the Group are focused on a number of key areas:
- operation of the Huntstown plants in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements and having a robust environmental management system in place;
- direct investment in, and contracting with, a range of renewable generators for the production of low carbon electricity which can be supplied to customers of the Group’s retail supply businesses; and
- the promotion of energy-saving ideas to its customers through the provision of energy efficiency advice, grants and other value-added services.
The Group’s environmental policy commits the Group to protecting the environment and is designed to ensure compliance with all relevant legislative and regulatory requirements.
Where practical and economically viable, the Group seeks to develop standards in excessof such requirements. Areas of particular focus include the responsible management of emissions, waste and recycling, measures to protect against pollution and the promotion of energy efficiency.
Huntstown 1 and 2 operate in compliance with their Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) licences. Emissions of NOx, SO₂ and CO are measured by onsite Continuous Emissions Monitoring Systems, CO₂ is calculated as per greenhouse gas permit requirements. Emissions for calendar year 2015 are as set out below:
* Calculated value
Through the operation of their respective IPPC licences, Huntstown 1 and 2 comply with the emission limits for NOx, SO2 and dust under the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive.
Huntstown 1 and 2 continue to operate in accordance with the Environmental Management System ISO: 14001.
Energia is a significant contributor to the sustainable energy agenda in both Northern Ireland and the RoI. Its renewable portfolio currently generates 2,238GWh offsetting the emission of over 828,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
Energia continues to provide energy efficiency products and services to its business energy customers in Ireland. Energia is active on CER’s Smart Metering Steering Group and are taking a leading role in the Better Energy Workplaces and Pay As You Save (PAYS) project teams.
In Northern Ireland, through the NISEP Scheme (Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme) approved by the Utility Regulator, in 2016 Energia managed a £635k (2015 - £119k) energy efficiency programme implementing a total of 176 projects (2015 – 57 projects) with estimated lifetime reductions of 268GWh (2015 –113GWh) in energy demand. This represents an estimated 170,000 tonnes (2015 –19,300 tonnes) of CO2 savings and customer benefits of over £42m (2015 - £17m) over the lifetime of these measure.
Energia continue to pursue new and innovative services aimed at increasing awareness and offering customers energy efficiency solutions. Regular distribution of Energia Extra and Energia Ezines, offering services and products aimed at reducing energy consumption, have a high readership. Energia’s online shop continues to offer its customers energy efficient products for their homes and businesses.
Energia continues to run customer information programmes particularly aimed at energy efficiency for all industrial and commercial customers. These programmes include; customer energy conferences; energy efficiency training programmes; energy awareness days and shows; energy audits and energy efficiency literature/brochures.
An Energy Services team within Power NI oversees sustainable energy activities and considers business opportunities.
During the year Power NI managed a £2.1m (2015 - £3.4m) energy efficiency programme aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and alleviating fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. Funded by the NISEP, a total of 6 energy efficiency schemes (2015 – 9 schemes) were implemented with estimated lifetime reductions of 247GWh (2015 – 490GWh) in energy demand. This represents an estimated 149,000 tonnes of CO2 savings (2015 – 297,000 tonnes) and customer benefits in excess of £32m (2015 – £61m) over the lifetime of these measures.
Over the period of its 3 year price control, Power NI has an obligation to deliver 128GWh of customer lifetime savings through investment in energy efficiency. During the year ended 31 March 2016, 48.09GWh of customer lifetime savings were delivered towards that target. Over 8,900 customers (2015 – 8,800 customers) use ‘EcoEnergy’, Power NI’s ‘green’ electricity tariff.
Power NI continues to encourage the installation of renewable energy systems through its generation tariff which offers customer rewards for the value of ROCs and electricity generated and exported to the network. Over 8,200 customers, representing over 11,400 sites, use this service and Power NI acts as an Ofgem Agent on behalf of more than 8,900 sites.
The ‘Products and Services’ section of Power NI’s website www.powerni.co.uk provides a wide range of information and advice on energy efficiency and renewable energy.
An online billing service is also available from the Power NI website. The service, called Energy Online has over 80,000 domestic and commercial customers (2015 – 53,000 customers) registered to view their bills, submit their meter readings and view their electricity consumption online.
Power NI provides a comprehensive portfolio of products and value added services for its customers such as home insulation, boiler servicing, boiler replacement, solar water heating, solar photovoltaics, air source heat pumps and wood pellet boilers.