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110 Seconds To Understand How SIERA Sustainability Software Can Help You

Watch Our New Video Now!

Watch our new animated explainer video for SIERA, which gives you a high-level overview of everything our innovative sustainability software solution can do for you.

Depending on where you are and how convenient it is to watch a video, you can:

1.     Watch the video with the sound on – recommended

2.     Watch the video with the sound off – the captions will allow you to follow along

3.     Read the video script, which is pasted below for your convenience

We hope you enjoy the video and that you will want to learn more by attending one of our webinar demonstrations or getting in touch to book a one-to-one demo.

Thanks for watching!


SIERA Sustainability Software – the right choice for your business


Video Script

Every year, environmental management becomes more complex and reporting requirements become more stringent.

Which is why the sustainability experts at EVORA came up with SIERA – a unique and innovative software solution.

Not only does SIERA make all your sustainability reporting easy – it also enables you to quickly identify energy savings in your buildings.

[clickToTweet tweet=”SIERA makes sustainability reporting easy and enables you to identify energy savings in buildings” quote=”Not only does SIERA make all your sustainability reporting easy – it also enables you to quickly identify energy savings in your buildings”]

Never before has collecting and validating your environmental data been so easy. Whether it’s automating data collection, or dragging and dropping your data from Excel files, SIERA makes a complex process simple.

The intelligent modelling capability covers a range of regulatory and voluntary reporting requirements, quickly and intuitively.

In fact, SIERA saves our clients up to 70% of their time spent on GRESB reporting.

SIERA also gives you an overview of your property and portfolio performance, helping you mitigate regulatory risk and prioritise improvement opportunities.

SIERA’s ground-breaking Energy Monitoring and Targeting module automatically alerts you to energy efficiency opportunities.

Savings are easy to identify and can be achieved without any capital expenditure.

[clickToTweet tweet=”SIERA gives an overview of property/portfolio performance, helping mitigate regulatory risk” quote=”SIERA gives you an overview of property and portfolio performance, helping you mitigate regulatory risk and prioritise improvement opportunities”]

Whether you’re seeking a hands-on solution, or a fully managed service with EVORA’s expert consultants – SIERA is the right choice for your business.

SIERA is already managing over 4,000 properties and is being rapidly adopted by large organisations across the globe.

Isn’t it time you used SIERA too?


 To learn more about SIERA and discover how it can save you time, stress, and money, please get in touch today to arrange a demonstration.

 


GRESB Premier PartnerAs a GRESB Real Estate Premier Partner, we are perfectly positioned to provide GRESB support. View our official Premier Partner profile.

We can work with you to complete the submission and understand your scoring, as well as develop a sustainability plan that will improve your future GRESB performance and align with your organisation’s key environmental objectives.

Six weeks in the life of an EVORA Data Analyst

The EVORA team has grown by 108% since May last year. Jenny, our new EVORA Data Analyst tells us what the first six weeks of EVORA life have been like.


Straight into GRESB deadline season

I joined as an EVORA Data Analyst at an extremely busy time of the year, it was the business end of the GRESB window, which resulted in me being plunged into the deep end from my first day. After my initial induction where I learnt more about EVORAs recent expansion I began on my first (of many!) GRESB tasks. GRESB was a completely new concept to me, and the amount of data which needed to be collected and analysed was mind-boggling, but thankfully we had SIERA to take a lot of the pain away. Whilst being given responsibility on the first day can be a little bit daunting it was great for me as the usual first day nerves didn’t have time to take hold. The main problem was the fact that it was the hottest day of the year and everyone in the office was melting!


CRC – allowances, annual reports and data audits

With GRESB behind us just a couple of weeks after joining, the CRC deadline was then looming. At University, I had briefly studied the CRC so I knew the basic principles and the intention of the legislation. However, I wasn’t aware of the amount of data which needed to be collated and the amount of money our clients pay for allowances in order to ensure compliance. Calculating the allowances, compiling annual reports and completing data audits resulted in me taking a lot on board in a short space of time – which was a steep learning curve. I was shocked to discover that following the 2018-19 reporting year the government are scrapping the CRC. Whilst it may be considered overly burdensome with regards to the time taken to collate the data and general administration – it at least keeps energy on the business agenda. Whilst adding extra monies onto electricity and gas bills (after 2019) is going to result in a similar amount of monies going into the government purses it doesn’t exactly have the same impact on business as ordering £200,000 worth of carbon allowances!

I was shocked to discover that following the 2018-19 reporting year the government are scrapping the CRC. Whilst it may be considered overly burdensome with regards to the time taken to collate the data and general administration – it at least keeps energy on the business agenda


SIERA – collate and analyse vast data sets quickly and easily

In addition to the GRESB and CRC deadlines, quarterly performance reporting has become a huge part of my daily life at EVORA. With the assistance of SIERA I collate and analyse vast data sets of electricity, gas and water consumption across various assets for multiple clients. The most rewarding part is when the performance reports we produce directly help to focus the facilities and building managers on the areas which matter. For example, we recently issued a quarterly performance report to a building manager which highlighted poor gas performance. Within an hour, emails had been sent to tenants asking about their heating requirements and the M&E engineer was investigating potential issues with the boilers. Without our reports – none of that would have happened, they might have just noticed that their bill was a bit higher for the quarter. I find this part of my job extremely fulfilling as these reports directly help our clients to discover their inefficiencies, improve the performance of their assets and ultimately save money.

[clickToTweet tweet=”It’s rewarding when performance reports directly help facilities/building managers on areas which matter” quote=”The most rewarding part of this is when the performance reports we produce directly helps to focus the facilities and building managers on the areas which matter.”]

When I mentioned at the start of this blog that I joined EVORA at a particularly busy time of the year I was wrong. I don’t think there ever is a quiet time of the year at EVORA! I have joined EVORA at an exciting time; the recent rapid expansion of the company demonstrates just how in demand our services are. I can’t wait to get stuck into the next task sent my way (potentially Environmental Management System work or shadowing an energy audit). Here’s to the next six weeks!


You can keep up to date with vacancies at EVORA on our social media channels: Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

CRC Scrappage: Winners and Losers

Today marks the end of the monitoring period for the third year of Phase 2 of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC): the seventh year the scheme has operated.

That means in two years, CRC Participants will be starting to collate, report and then pay for their relevant emissions for the final time. Understandably, that can’t come soon enough for some.


The CRC started with good intentions under a progressive cap and trade scheme that rewarded those who reduced emissions through ‘recycling’ CRC allowances from those who did not. Before the Scheme took off, however, it was announced in the Spending Review 2010 that CRC allowances would not be recycled to participants in the scheme but instead would be used to support the public finances. Thereby, the CRC became a tax for all intents and purposes.

The CRC will be scrapped in 2019 and from this, it is important to understand who are the winners and losers and what actions should be taken now to mitigate risks for the ‘losers’ and take opportunities for the ‘winners’.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Who are the winners and losers of the #CRC scrappage? What are the risks and opportunities?” quote=”Who are the winners and losers of the CRC scrappage? What are the risks and opportunities?”]

A key decision to scrap the scheme was the cost of administration. Back-of-an-envelope maths tells me that the annual £1,290 subsistence fee paid by all 1,869 Participants in 2015/16 equates to an administrative cost of 0.27% of total revenues (£2.4m subsistence fee over £902m revenue through CRC allowance purchases).

For comparison, administrative costs for the Swedish Tax Administration is 0.1 % of total revenues for their carbon tax model.1 The approach used in Sweden (since 1991) will be implemented in the UK to maintain carbon tax revenues once the CRC is scrapped (more on this later).

So the Swedish model appears to cost half as much as the UK CRC model to administer. The true cost, in reality, is far higher once you add in the internal resource time and/or external consultant costs required to administer and meet CRC requirements such as maintaining an Evidence Pack, undertaking an Internal Audit and fulfilling actions to report, order and then surrender CRC allowances. Compared to the £1,290 annual subsistence fee, the true cost to Participants is likely to be three to 15 times higher, dependent on size and complexity, based on our experience. Suddenly, the Swedish models looks much more appealing: it has also contributed to Sweden’s total greenhouse gas emissions falling by 16 percent between 2000 and 2012, while its overall GDP grew by about 30 percent. 2

The CRC is being replaced by an increase in the Climate Change Levy (CCL): a tax on energy delivered to non-domestic users that is charged per kWh usage. Notably, the CCL is applicable to all energy users (with some exemptions), rather than a select group of CRC Participants. Key to the reduction in administrative cost, is the fact that energy users ‘do nothing’ to calculate their tax liability: a value is calculated and inserted as a line item on energy invoices and collected by the energy supplier. This will be a relief for some, however, the benefits of reporting emissions to improve understanding of impact (and costs) should not be forgotten.

From April 2018 to April 2019, the CCL is going to increase 48% in one year to ensure the CRC revenue of about £1bn is maintained for public finances. This increase will add approximately 3% to the ‘typical3’ energy spend of an air-conditioned office (see Table 1 below for estimated values).

CRC Scrappage: Winners and Losers: Blog Image 1

Table 1

At EVORA, we recommend building owners and tenants take action now to mitigate the onset of the tax hike through identifying and implementing energy efficiency measures that will lead to energy reductions.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Take action now to mitigate the onset of the #CCL tax hike… Identify #energy efficiency measures.” quote=”Take action now to mitigate the onset of the CCL tax hike… Identify and implement energy efficiency measures.”]

However, even with a 48% increase in the CCL, existing CRC Participants will see a net benefit through CRC scrappage, with a tax reduction equivalent to a 5.5% of total annual energy spend (see Table 2 below for estimated values).

CRC Scrappage: Winners and Losers: Blog Image 2

Table 2

The tax saving through scrapping the CRC Scheme (for CRC Participants) is notable at asset level and will be even greater when considered across a portfolio for an existing CRC Participant.

These savings present a great opportunity to budget for energy efficiency improvements that may otherwise have been put on hold. I recommend landlords / energy managers hold early dialogue with tenants / finance directors to discuss the savings and identify the economic case for progressing measures that will deliver attractive returns on investment. A number of measures could be considered, from strategic metering  and Monitoring and Targeting programmes (such as SIERA) to energy efficient retrofits  of LED lighting.

Whether you are a winner or a loser from the CRC scrappage / CCL tax hike, the overall message is the same: if you want to reduce your energy spend, the best action you can take is identify, implement and track the impact of energy efficiency measures.

Planning ahead will give you the best chance of success.

[clickToTweet tweet=”Want to reduce #energy spend? Identify, implement & track the impact of energy efficiency measures” quote=”Want to reduce your energy spend? Identify, implement and track the impact of energy efficiency measures.”]


Don’t leave any compliance matters to chance.
Speak to one of our experts today.


1 Ministry of Finance, Sweden Senior Advisor Susanne Åkerfeldt, 2011
2 Worldbank.org, 2014
3 Typical energy usage calculated from Better Building Partnership Real Estate Environmental Benchmarks (BBP REEB) 2015 for air conditioned offices. Typical energy costs based on BEIS Prices of fuels purchased by non-domestic consumers in the UK, December 2016

CRC and the Energy Efficiency Legislative Landscape: The Road Ahead

The deadline for Phase 2, Year 2 of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Scheme is tomorrow! Here at EVORA, we are helping our clients to submit their CRC annual reports by tomorrow’s deadline. However, there are many challenges to come.

What’s happening with the energy efficiency legislative landscape?

It has been announced that the Department of Energy and Climate Change will close and energy will be incorporated into a new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. This has raised many questions, one of which is: Does this Governmental move indicate a reduced focus on energy efficiency, or a move towards true integration of energy for the benefit of all?

For now, we have to consider CRC, which itself is due to be scrapped after the end of Phase 2 (the 2018/19 year). Incidentally, revenue generated by CRC will be replaced by an increase in the climate change levy.

I can understand the scrapping of CRC. It sits within a disjointed and confused legislative landscape made up of many elements, including the Climate Change Levy (CCL), the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and mandatory GHG reporting, with more to come in the form of Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES). The Government has promised a simpler energy policy focused on delivering change.

We will have to wait and see how this pans out.

How can business manage its way through compliance requirements and drive improvement?

At EVORA, we recommend that consideration is given to the development of a systems approach to energy and environmental management as a convenient and effective way to achieving performance improvement and minimising risks. Our Director, Paul Sutcliffe, recommended in his recent UK-GBC article that further consideration is given to the roll out of ISO 50001 systems.

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch for more information.


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Budget 2016: Changes to the UK Government Energy Efficiency Strategy

Significant changes to the Government’s energy efficiency strategy were announced in today’s budget (16 March 2016).  Key points are summarised below:

  • The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme will be scrapped at the end of the 2018-19 compliance year (the end of Phase 2). Obligated businesses will be required to surrender allowances for the final time in October 2019.
  • Lost revenue will be recovered through an increase in the Climate Change Levy (CCL).  This will come into effect from 1 April 2019.  This is designed to cover the cost of CRC abolition (although 2019 appears to be a bumper year for the Government – with increased CCL rates and a final CRC payment).
  • CCL rates and CRC allowance prices will increase in line with RPI annually until 2018-19.
  • The CCL discount for sectors with Climate Change Agreements will be increased to cover increases in CCL main rates.
  • The Government will retain existing eligibility criteria for Climate Change Agreement schemes until at least 2023.
  • The main rates of CCL for different fuel types will be rebalanced to reflect recent data on the fuel mix used in electricity generation. In the longer term, the Government intends to rebalance rates to deliver greater energy efficiency savings and reach a 1:1 ratio of gas and electricity rates by 2025.
  • Finally, the Government will consult later in 2016 on creation of a simplified energy and carbon reporting framework planned for introduction by April 2019.

Please contact Paul Sutcliffe at EVORA for more information (psutcliffe@evoraglobal.com)

Regulatory Energy Regime under Review

Last week, the UK Government announced plans to review the business energy tax landscape to consider approaches to simplify and improve the effectiveness of the regime.

This message was circulated to all CRC, Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme and Climate Change Agreement participants (who have been further advised to continue to participate in the various schemes until further notice).

This news is in part welcome but also worrying.  Current energy legislation is confused and uncoordinated – this must be addressed.

By way of example, last year, the Government issued consultation on plans to (amongst other options) scrap use of Display Energy Certificates.  At the same time the ESOS scheme was in process of being rolled out.  One of the core compliance approaches referenced in ESOS is … use of Display Energy Certificates!

The structure of regulatory requirements surrounding energy is confusing and a revised coordinated, and structured approach designed to help business understand energy and carbon emissions, whilst appropriately incentivising improvement, would be welcome from me.

However, over-simplification will ultimately make UK business less competitive. Furthermore, if the Government take a similar approach to that taken for Zero Carbon homes plans last week (i.e. scrapping everything) then we should be very worried indeed.

The Government has committed to launching a formal consultation in the autumn and I strongly encourage participation.