Gas and Electricity companies targeted by OFGEM

9th May, 2013



For gas and electricity companies the regulator OFGEM has announced the results against the carbon reduction targets. First the good news, Energy companies have achieved 99% of the UK Governments energy efficiency targets for their December 2012 deadline. EDF Energy, Eggborough Power (based in East Yorkshire) E.ON and RWE npower have all achieved their energy efficiency targets. Now the bad news, British Gas, Drax, GDF Suez / IPM, Intergen, Scottish Power and SSE will be investigated for failing their energy efficiency targets.

These targets were set by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change under two schemes. The two schemes are the Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP) and the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT). The CESP scheme has been focussed on vulnerable customers in the most deprived areas across Great Britain. Over 150,000 households had at least one energy efficiency measure installed including insulating over 75,000 external solid walls and replacing nearly 43,000 old, inefficient boilers. The energy efficiency schemes saved 312 million life time tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions through energy efficiency measures installed before 31 December 2012.

Scotia Gas Networks wins Award for ‘Green Gas to Grid’

1st May, 2013



Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) has won a prestigious Environmental Impact Award in the UK Energy Innovation Awards 2013 competition for its pioneering ‘biogas to grid’ project in Dorset. The award presented in Manchester on the 25th April 2013 recognised SGN and its joint venture partner J V Energen for producing biogas from food and agricultural waste, cleaning it up and making it suitable for injection into the gas network.  It is the country’s first full-scale anaerobic digester and biomethane-to-grid plant that produces biogas from approximately 41,000 tonnes of maize, grass silage and food waste each year and this fuel will be sourced from local farms and businesses.

Scotia Gas Networks Video – Greening the Gas

The Poundbury Project is the result of previous development work at Thames Water’s Didcot wastewater treatment works in Oxfordshire where a group of companies including SGN and Centrica trialled the injection of sewage works gas ‘biomethane’ into the UK gas network.

The Didcot project supplying 200 homes has paved the way for this larger project on the Duchy of Cornwall’s Poundbury Estate in Dorset.  The project was officially opened by His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales in November 2012.

Following on from their success SGN will continue to work undertaking innovative development on a number of other green gas projects which are due to come online shortly.  SGN’s long term strategy is to increase the volume of ‘green gas’ entering the network. Green Gas is a clean and renewable source of energy which can help the United Kingdom meet its climate change targets. It can be produced from many different sources including sewage, food waste and energy crops, and the Government subsidy for biogas injection projects is generally more generous than for other incentivised uses.

Alan Midwinter, SGN’s Project Manager for Poundbury, said: “We’re delighted that Poundbury has been recognised as a significant milestone in the future of the energy industry. We are very proud of the achievements we have made there and are looking forward to undertaking more projects of this nature in the future.”

J V Energen Video – Rainbarrow AD Plant

The Environmental Impact Award was sponsored by Earth Capital Partners.

The UK Government’s policy is to reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.  Further information is available  at




Gas mains replacement programme for North West England

2nd Apr, 2013



Gas Mains Replacement video from National Grid

Work to lay new pipes to keep gas flowing to homes, businesses, shops and offices to gets underway on 2 April in several locations across the North West.

National Grid, working in partnership with Balfour Beatty, will be carrying out programmes of work to replace metal gas mains with modern plastic gas pipes designed to last at least 80 years in the following areas: Blackpool, Bury, Crosby, Failsworth, Huyton, Lancaster, Liverpool, Nelson, Rawtenstall and Widnes.

Stephen Murray, contract manager, National Grid said: “People across our region enjoy a safe and reliable gas supply and our job is to make sure it stays that way.

“We’ll let people know when we’re about to start work. We’ll get the job done as quickly and as tidily as possible. We’ll do our best to keep traffic flowing and to make sure streets and driveways remain accessible.

“If people want to know more about our work and how it will affect them, they can get in touch with us on 0161 703 1000 or 1010. “

National Grid will be renewing around 450km of gas mains in the North West over the next twelve months, mainly in residential areas. This is part of £22 billion programme of investment in the company’s energy networks in the UK and US over a five year period.

Stephen added: “We have a vital role to play in the UK energy industry. We must continue to provide a safe, reliable and efficient service and to help the Government meet the UK’s environmental targets. To deliver this we have to become a much more innovative company, drive through efficiencies, and work more closely with our customers and stakeholders to meet their expectations of us. “

Source- National Grid 2nd April 2013

“Jet of Fire’ burns worker – Shropshire contractor fined

24th Jan, 2013



A sub-contractor  has been fined for safety breaches after a worker was burned by a ‘jet of fire’ when he hit an underground electricity cable with a steel pin while replacing pavement edging in Birmingham.

The worker, 38, from Bridgnorth, who does not want to be named, escaped with minor burns to his arms and eyebrows and had his clothing singed when the 415 volt cable sent a ‘jet of fire’ up the steel pin.

An investigation into the incident that took place on 16 August 2011 by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found Ricky Paul James, 46, the subcontractor responsible for the work, had incorrectly indentified the location of the live cable.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard on the 17 January that Mr James had been subcontracted to undertake the work and provided with information stating there were buried utility services on-site. Mr James was responsible for scanning the pavement with a specialist tool to identify their location before work started.

After wrongly marking where the cable lay, he instructed one of his operatives to carry out the edging work. When the worker wrapped a piece of nylon around the steel pin it made contact with the 415 volt underground live cable and an explosion ‘like a roman candle’ occurred.

Ricky Paul James of Highley, Shropshire, pleaded guilty to breaching Regulation 25 (1) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007. He was fined £2,500 and ordered to pay costs of £4,727.

After the hearing, HSE inspector Paul Thompson said:

“The worker is very lucky to be alive. It is only because he was able to quickly jump back from the blast and extinguish the fire that he wasn’t electrocuted. As he struck the pin it caused a ‘Roman Candle’ effect of fire and sparks to erupt from the ground, sending a jet of fire up from the pin.

“It is of vital importance that any buried services present on a construction site are located with diagrams. Their location must be marked and their presence made known to any operative who may work nearby.

“There are a number of ways of conducting similar work which avoids using steel pins to penetrate the ground.”

For information on buried services, see the HSE’s Publication ‘HSG47: Avoiding danger from underground services‘ available free from the HSE’s website.

Source HSE

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