Opportunities to use hydrogen and bio-methane, including in vehicles and power generation, is one of the key areas that Severn Trent is inviting companies to come forward with new ideas that will help to reduce its energy costs in the future.
The Midlands-based water and sewage company’s biggest expense (after salaries) is energy, which is why it is seeking innovative solutions from other companies, which can make a real difference.
Severn Trent, which serves eight million people across the Midlands and mid-Wales, currently uses around 900GWh (gigawatt hours) of electricity every year, which equates to a bill of around £100m.
Despite being on-track to be 50% self-sufficient from its own renewable energy sources by 2020, including anaerobic digestion, solar, crop digestion, hydro, wind and food waste, the company feels more can be done.
It is hoped that harnessing new flexible energy solutions will help Severn Trent to become more efficient with its energy, which will ultimately drive down bills for customers in the process.
David Gibbin, energy demand optimisation advisor at Seven Trent, said: “Energy is one of the biggest costs to our business; we serve a huge geographical area and need to pump large amounts of water and waste to and from our customers. In fact the energy we use equates to the annual usage of about 250,000 households.
“We’ve invested large amounts in developing renewable energy technology, with a target to generate half of what we use by 2020, and we’re also working hard to reduce our energy usage as much as possible – but we know there’s more to be done.
“That’s why we’re inviting companies to come forward with new innovative solutions that we can take advantage of to make us even more efficient.“Any savings we can make on our energy bills will reduce our operating costs, which is great news for our customers as it will help us to keep bills low.”
As part of this process, Severn Trent is also aiming to get feedback on its procurement strategy, so that it can ensure it remains relevant and appropriate for the energy market.
Companies coming forward with new ways to help Severn Trent be more innovative with its energy usage are asked to focus on the following areas:
- Opportunities to use hydrogen and bio-methane, including vehicles and power generation
- Alternatives to traditional diesel standby power resilience
- Energy flexibility and control solutions
- Innovative use of waste heat
- Low-head in-pipe hydro generation
- Solutions for storage and balancing of surplus on-site generation