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 GHG permit
requirements. Emissions for calendar year 2012 are as set out below:
Tonnes NOx SO2 CO CO2
Huntstown 1 178 2.2 151 341,900*
Huntstown 2 502 5.2 529 879,458*
* 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.
The emissions from these highly efficient gas-fired plants displace greater emissions fromcoal and/or oil fired generating stations.
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 1,405GWh (RoI 1,017GWh; NI 388GWh) offsetting the emission of over 655,000 tonnes (2011/12 – 620,000 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, Energia managed a £311k (2012 - £274k) energy efficiency programme implementing a total of 70 projects (2012 – 56 projects) with estimated lifetime reductions of 156GWh (2012 – 200GWh) in energy demand. This represents an estimated 112,000 tonnes (2012 – 104,000 tonnes) of CO2 savings and customer benefits of over £27m (2012 - £20m) over the lifetime of these measures.
Energia continues to improve energy awareness amongst it's customer base with a communictions programme, an online shop for energy savings products and comprehensive advice and expertise both online at www.energia.ie and with the energy services team.
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, energy audits and energy efficiency literature/brochures.
An Energy Services team within Power NI oversees sustainable energy activities and considers business opportunities in this expanding field. During the year Power NI managed a £5.2m (2012 - £5.8m) energy efficiency programme aimed at reducing CO2 emissions and alleviating fuel poverty in Northern Ireland. Funded by the NISEP, a total of 11 energy efficiency schemes (2012 – 14 schemes) were implemented with estimated lifetime reductions of 405GWh (2012 – 566GWh) in energy demand. This represents an estimated 276,000 tonnes of CO2 savings (2012 – 350,000 tonnes) and customer benefits in excess of £47m (2012 - £48m) over the lifetime of these measures.
In addition, through commitments in Power NI’s price control, 43.3GWh (2012 – 46.4GWh) of lifetime savings to customers were delivered during the year via investment in energy efficiency measures which equates to over £5.4m (2012 – £5.7m) of customer benefits.
Over 10,000 customers (2012 – 15,000 customers) continue to use ‘EcoEnergy’, Power NI’s ‘green’ electricity tariff.
Power NI continues to encourage the installation of renewable energy and combined heat and power (CHP) systems through its generation tariff which offers customer rewards for the value of ROCs and electricity generated and exported to the network. Over 1,600 customers use this service and Power NI acts as an Ofgem Agent on behalf of more than1,400 customers.
The ‘Saving Energy’ section of Power NI’s website www.powerni.co.uk provides a wide range of information and advice on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Over 7,300 customers have availed of an online Home Energy Check which provides an indicative home energy rating and recommendations for energy saving measures.
An online billing service is also available from the Power NI website. The service, called Energy Online has over 20,000 customers registered to view their bills, submit their meter readings and view their electricity consumption online. In May 2012 the Energy 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.
Power NI is a consortium member of the Northern Ireland Plugged in Places project which aims to install electric vehicle infrastructure over the next two years in an attempt to encourage the purchase of over 600 electric vehicles.