Women in Construction
Your Eco Director featured on Construction News Inspire Me Campaign for Women in Construction.
“When diversity policy sits at the heart of our business, 9% increase in profitability.”
Points to Consider when Installing Solar PV
In delivering new build and constructions renewable energy elements there are some key factors that must be considered and are often overlooked, ultimately to the detriment of the client.
- DNO & Regulatory Compliance – prior to installing a system anything over 3.68 kW per phase must have approval from your local DNO (district network operator) to ensure the local infrastructure can handle the additional load potentially being back fed. Without this connection agreement in place, any installation connected to the grid is at risk of being terminated with the sole authority sitting with the local DNO.
- Planning Conditions – planning must also be considered within an installation, typically a 1m envelope is required around the sides to comply with Permitted Development. Modules that protrude over the ridgeline on a pitched roof or are greater than 1m in height from the tallest part of the building’s structure on a flat roof will need formal planning consent. Equally any building that is listed or sites within a heritage or conservation zone will need attention. It is always worth confirming the requirement with your local planning office.
- System Design – it is important to design a system that meets the needs of you the client. There are many considerations here but importantly it is about balancing generation with consumption. The best financial returns are now realised through consuming what you generate hence the system should be tailored to these factors. Whilst steep pitched, south facing elevations create the higher yield, this is limited to a particular window of time within the day hence low-pitched, east/west facing roofs generate for longer periods throughout the day thereby more closely mirroring the load.
- Structural Calculations – solar panels not only apply additional load to your roof but create wind uplift so you need to be sure your roof can handle the additional pressure. These calculations are provided during the design phase to enable them to be signed off by a structural engineer.
- Integration with your Structure – your roof and it’s warranty to be dually noted, and in full compliance to avoid invalidation
- Warranties & Bankability – these are assigned to your system and not the contractor so you are not at the mercy of your installer. You want to take comfort that the manufacturer is here to stay and can underwrite the warranty it provides. It is always recommended that Tier 1 and bankable components are used. Different length warranties are offered and it is always proposed that the following minimum periods are sought; Modules – 10-year product & 25-year performance / Inverters – 10-year product* / Mounting – 10-year product
* inverters are most likely to fail hence an inverter swap out provision is always suggested.
- DC Isolation and Fire Risks – increasingly common now are unforeseen issues and costs post installation relating to a significant uplift in your building insurance due to additional risks fire risks posed by the DC side of the installation, known as DC arcing. In some areas such as London, fire crews will no longer put out fires if they can’t be sure that the PV system can be isolated at roof level. Typically DC cables run from the roof to the inverter(s) in a plant room, however by installation optimizers at roof level this provides isolation at panel and roof level thereby mitigating the risk and minimising any significant uplift on your insurance.
- Quality & Cost – many of the factors and potential additional costs set out above are ‘hidden’ and don’t necessarily come to fruition until your installation has been completed. It is often then too late to recoup these costs from your contracted company and you are left with an unexpected bill. It should also be noted that solar PV contractors are often twice removed from yourself the client (main contractor – (M&E consultant) – M&E contractor – PV contractor) hence significant additional ‘costs’ and margins are often applied. All of these ultimately adversely affect your returns. It is why we at your Eco Construction always prefer to engage with you from the onset and to work directly with clients, developers and architects alike to maximise your return and meet your requirements whilst reducing costs and ensuring quality throughout. It’s an investment to be realised and one for which you need a partner you can trust.
Get in touch today on firstname.lastname@example.org or the form below if you or your business is ready to go solar as well?
Your Eco featured in ‘Good with Money’ on latest UK Spring Budget Sustainability Green Measures
“My gut feeling is that this is all too little, too late”
Get in touch today on email@example.com or the form below if your home or business is ready to have a look at sustainability and renewable energy for your next project?
Sustainable Development Goals in Action
Founder & Director Nick Spicer of Your Eco has sat down on the University of Southampton for a panel on Sustainability.
“An inspiring day at the University of Southampton, having been asked to be a panelist for the YR10GlobalChallenge debate and presentations on the sustainable development goals. Great to see the passion, and enthusiasm of the youth of tomorrow taking part in such important discussions. Their voices need to be heard and the recent Friday marches undertaken only show their desire as a generation to make a difference.”
Get in touch today on firstname.lastname@example.org or the form below if your home or business is ready to go solar as well?
Hewer Facilities Management 30 kW
30 kW of clean, solar energy beginning on the roof working with a Solar Edge system at Hewer Facilities Management in Gloucester. In a view to practicing what they preach and becoming a low carbon business itself, the company is providing a return on investment working with renewable energy while delivering for their clients on a daily basis.Why Solar PV for your business?
- Funding – 100% fully funded with the VAT deferred 3-months to enable its recovery through your quarterly submission before paying it out.
- Monitoring – Online Solar Edge monitoring system through a smartphone, tablet and/or laptop providing the real-time performance to module level and with the ability to set alarms to enable reactive maintenance
- Maintenance – Your Eco will provide training to your in-house nominated individuals on the requirement so that any works, in the unlikely event they be required can be undertaken reactively in accordance with the monitoring system alarms and product warranties.
- Warranties – Product warranty from the manufacturers on core components (modules and mounting 10-years, inverters 12-years and optimisers 25-years) and performance warranty of 25-years on modules ensure risks are mitigated on damage or failure. Note in addition we only seek to proposed bankable manufacturers (Solar Edge inverter/optimisers and Van der Valk mounting) with Trina being recognised as the world’s most financially solar panel for the 3rd year running by Bloomberg.
- Planning – No planning required with the system falling under permitted development based on; not being within a conservation area, panels being 1m in from buildings edge and panels not higher than 1m from the highest point of the roof (they sit flush with the roof and below the ridge).
- CSR – In a period of an increased need to act in the fight against climate change, the deployment of solar can both help off-set carbon within the business and demonstrate a positive intent and an underlying CSR commitment to your customers who are increasingly looking at ethical supply-chains and services providers.
Get in touch today on email@example.com or the form below if you business is ready to go solar as well?
An estimated 1.5 million homes in the UK are now powered by solar energy, with many Britons choosing to install panels onto their properties to take advantage of the government’s Feed In Tariff (FIT) scheme. Introduced in April 2010, the scheme allows households and small producers to make money by installing solar panels. The FIT pays 4p for every unit generated, with potential annual earnings of £140. You’ll also save money on your electricity bills for the energy you do use.
However, as Nick Spicer, director at Your Eco observes, the savings made by going ‘off grid’ remain substantial. Spicer says: “These days, the drivers for domestic solar are very much self-reliance and saving money by not having to buy energy from utility companies – which can be substantial over the long term. The FIT scheme is less important.” Household solar energy explained Maximum annual solar capacity allowed for small producers under FIT scheme: 50kW Average annual solar capacity of a UK household: 4kW Average units of energy created per 1kW: 900 kWh Average annual units created by a household: 3,600 kWh
The rapidly decreasing cost of solar panels has – along with the FIT scheme – been one of the driving factors behind increased installation in recent years. Your Eco estimates it now costs around £1,250 per 1 kW of capacity to install solar panels onto a UK home. With the average home requiring around 4kW’s of capacity, this brings the total cost to around £5,000. This, Spicer says, compares to around £12,000 to install a solar panel system in 2010 and is one of the justifications the government has given for reducing the FIT rate: He says: “The FIT was always designed to help people recoup the costs of installing solar. Now those costs are much lower the government has – rightly or wrongly – reduced it’s funding.”
Is solar still worth it if I can’t get FIT? As Spicer highlights, FIT is no longer the chief driver behind solar. With the cost of installation standing at £5,000 and – according to Which? research – the average UK energy bill around £1,150, over ten years each household could be looking at an estimated cost saving of £6,500. And this is not accounting for energy price hikes, which we have – in-fact – just seen. Spicer says: “Today, the attractions of domestic solar energy are no about short-term government subsidies. They are about escaping the clutches of the big six energy companies, becoming energy self sufficient and – of course – fighting climate change.”
In April 2017 members of the Your Eco executive team are taking on a challenge across the Sahara desert in a 6 day, 6 back-to-back marathons. The Marathon-des-Sables (MDS) is a six-day, 251 km (156 mi) ultramarathon, which is approximately the distance of six regular marathons. The longest single stage is 91 km long. The participants will be racing in support of Team Rubicon, an ex-military disaster relief charity and sponsored by Salomon, an international outdoor sports kit manufacturer in over 40 countries across 5 continents.
Nick Spicer COO speaking today has said: “Whilst undertaking a grueling physical challenge; the main driver being to raise awareness and generate funds to deploy in support of climate change and environmental issues. The MDS is the perfect event to highlight the need to decarbonise and prevent further climate and disaster events. Our company strives for ‘people, planet and profit’ and is a great example of extreme challenges across the planet to support those people in their time of need in global disasters. What better way than people raising profits through part of Your Group’s belief in overcoming challenges and going above the norm. This represents another step up from swimming between continents and cycling across the Alps and the UK, taking on challenges that push the mind and the body, overcoming what you previously thought impossible.”
This multiday race is held every year in southern Morocco, in the Sahara Desert. It is considered the toughest foot race on Earth. With over 1000 runners participating in the event the aim is to develop projects to assist children and disadvantaged populations in the domains of health, education and sustainable development in Morocco.
While undertaking the challenge the beneficiaries will be Team Rubicon UK. Nick continues, “Your Eco has been a supporter of TR from inception, our COO has been on multiple deployments and recently our CEO in the earthquake area of Nepal. Our executive team has notably delivered renewables in Nepal post earthquake including battery storage facilitating a much needed resupply to a local school.”
Donations please on Virgin Money Giving MDS
Bringing Light to Disaster Relief
Bristol, 8 June 2016
Solar energy changes people’s lives. Universal access to clean energy is the key to a brighter, cleaner future. Through a joint partnership between industry, charity & NGO the Your Eco, Solar Aid and Team Rubicon UK are changing the landscape of disaster relief with clean energy. Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to disasters in the UK and worldwide and this was demonstrated after the earthquake in Nepal. Working in the remote Gorkha region highlighted the extent of the recovery operation that the local community have faced over the last year. The need for energy became clear as one TR volunteer Nick Spicer, who also worked in renewable energy knew there were more ways to help. Upon his return he immediately enlisted Jeremy Legget, founder of Solarcentury and charity Solar Aid for help. For the devastated post earthquake community the solution lay in Solar Aid’s solar lights.
Solar Aid Solar Light to family in Gorkha Region, Nepal
Nick Spicer CEO Your Eco & Team Rubicon volunteer said: “Whilst assessing the requirements of the rebuild sites, the need for light became very clear. Without it everything is a struggle as night falls – from cooking for the family, to allowing children to do their homework in the evening and ensure a continued education. Through the deployment of solar lights with USB charging to these communities it highlights the positive role that solar can play in the aftermath of disasters by harnessing the natural energy readily available without the need for infrastructure.”
In partnership with the Chaudhry Foundation through PriceWaterhouseCooper India and on the ground with the Indian charity Seeds the task lay ahead of rebuilding 100 temporary shelter homes in the area ready for the harsh Himalayan winter. Access to light and electricity was almost non existent with much of the power infrastructure having been brought down by the earthquake. Solar Aid and their donation of solar lights changed the lives of many through the provision of this clean light source working quickly to help as the relief effort was underway. The logistical operation was a swift undertaking with Solar Aid diverting lights into country which Team Rubicon’s delivery team collected as they passed through Kathmandu. Once in location a training session was held within the community and the solar lights were distributed throughout to be installed in the newly built shelters.
Team Rubicon volunteers deliver Solar Aid solar lights, Nepal
Nick Sireau Chairman Solar Aid speaking today: “Solar energy is an excellent way of dealing with power needs in the wake of a disaster. That’s why we’re so pleased about this collaboration between Team Rubicon and SolarAid.”
John Leach, CEO of Team Rubicon, “This was a fantastic example of companies and charities pulling together to make a real difference to a devastated community. The Your Group of Companies was seeking to make a positive difference by working in partnership with charities such as Team Rubicon and Solar Aid, and the project in partnership with PwC was able to bring about real impact on the ground.”
YOUR ECO supply Himalayan school with solar PV & battery storage; work to recommission hydro-electric turbine
[/heading][divider line_type=”No Line”]
Your ECO supply Himalayan school with solar PV & battery storage; work to recommission hydro-electric turbine
On April 25, 2015, Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake, followed by another 7.3 magnitude earthquake just 2 weeks later. More than 8,500 people were killed and 850,000 homes were destroyed. In the following months a Southwest England based renewable energy group have realised the role clean energy can play in bridging the gap for some of the world’s most vulnerable and isolated indigenous people.
On the 20th of March a group from Your Eco headed off with Team Rubicon, an ex-military disaster relief charity, to undertake a much-needed service project for a remote village in the Himalayas. Your Eco currently allow their employees 10 days off per year paid to undergo charity work as part of their mantra of “People, Planet, Profit.”
Deploying on Operation Nirman (the Nepalese word for build) the group was led by ex-infantry officer Nick Spicer, who was 2nd in command for the Team Rubicon operation & COO of Your Eco. The project which focussed on a school build, connecting an off-grid solar system and laying the groundwork to recommission the hydro-electric power turbine. Nick led the 2.5 hour trek into the mountains with all the solar gear including the battery storage unit which was hauled up the mountain on bamboo canes by a ten man team and modules via a collection of mule trains and individuals. The group was pulled together with the generosity of Your Power’s suppliers; Trina Solar provided the solar modules, ZED Energy and Fitcraft the battery storage unit and Sunfixings the mountings for the off-grid system. For hydro, the 30 kW Nauli Hydro Plant in Lapubesi started with the rebuilding of the destroyed plant house and clearing of the landslide debris from the hydro intake channel.
Nick Spicer of Your Eco has been speaking today: “It is vital we are demonstrating what can happen when NGO’s and the commercial world work to bring a real tangible difference to those who need it most. By allowing access to clean solar and hydro energy and providing energy storage it can alleviate some of the problems associated with less sustainable energy options. I couldn’t be more proud to have led such an important mission to help those affected by some of the worst natural disasters.”
The Himalayan nation, stuck between China and India, has little known oil, natural gas, or coal reserves. The recent oil shortage being caused by a blockade has shown the area where renewables can comfortably occupy the market. Most of Nepal’s 31 million people lack access to the electric grid, which can be very expensive to expand in remote and hilly regions. Even those with access often face rolling blackouts that can last more than 12 hours a day. The connection to an off-grid solar PV system with energy storage created the electrical infrastructure to enable the school to have access to technology, and the ability for traveling medics to bring much needed medical supplies to the remote area. Through a 9 kWhr storage capacity and excellent irradiance levels the solar PV system will provide more than sufficient capacity to meet the school’s energy demands whilst providing a surplus for the local community.
“With the recent Paris Climate agreement the deployment of clean energy sources continues to build the profile of how these technologies can be flexible in some of the most difficult climates. Rural electrification can make such a tangible difference to some of the most vulnerable world populations.” More info at www.yourgroupuk.com
[icon color=”Accent-Color” size=”small” image=”icon-envelope-alt”] Contact us
Shortlist Recognition for Your Group at BusinessGreen Leaders awards held in London this July.
Since the Paris Agreement in December 2015, the pressure on the business community to encourage a low carbon and sustainable economy has never been greater. In light of this, the theme for this year’s BusinessGreen Leaders Awards 2016 is making the Paris Agreement a reality.
Your Group have been shortlisted for the Small Business of the Year award with the quality of entries stronger than ever. The UK’s largest and most prestigious green business awards celebrates the green economy’s most exciting and innovative achievements from the past 12 months. “As a small business paving our way in the renewables industry, we are delighted to be recognised for the quality of our services at such a prestigious event” said Jamie O’Nians, Chief Executive Officer for Your Group.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and dinner with an expected turnout of over 600 leading figures from the worlds of green business, investments, politics and campaigning. The event will be held at the Brewery in Central London on Wednesday 6 July. Other businesses shortlisted in the awards includes Burges Salmon, Panasonic, Aldi, AECOM and PwC.
As a shortlisted nominee, Your Group, will now go through to the final stage of judging, where an expert panel of judges, including James Murray Editor of BusinessGreen, Peter Skinner Chief Executive Environment & Ground Engineering at AECOM, Dr Nina Skorupska Chief Executive of REA, Dax Lovegrove Director of Sustainability and Innovation at Kingfisher, Guy Pattinson Co-founder of Clean and Cool Mission, William Andrews Tipper Head of Sustainable Business at Green Alliance, Julie Hirigoyen Chief Executive of UK Green Building Council, Michelle Hubert Head of Energy and Climate Change at CBI, Nick Molho Executive Director at Aldersgate Group, Liz Goodwin Chief Executive of WRAP, Mike Pitts Lead Specialist Sustainability at InnovateUK, Matthew Farrow Executive Director of Environmental Industries Commission, Trewin Restorick Founder of Hubbub, Claire Jakobsson Head of Energy and Environment Policy at EEF, Susanne Baker Head of Programme Environment and Compliance at TechUK, Bill Eyres Head of CR Environment and Sustainability at O2 and Anna Guyer Founder of Greenhouse PR.
The headline sponsor for the event is Aecom with Egyptian Steel as a lead sponsor.
2016 Award Categories
- NGO of the Year
- Advertising/Marketing Campaign of the Year
- Green PR Company of the Year
- Fast-track Company of the Year
- Employee Engagement Campaign of the Year
- Law Firm of the Year
- Manufacturer of the Year
- Ecosystem Project of the Year
- Consultancy of the Year
- IT Project of the Year
- Entrepreneur of the Year
- Energy Efficiency Project of the Year
- Sustainability Executive of the Year
- Young Sustainability Executive of the Year
- Sustainability Team of the Year
- Renewable Energy Project of the Year
- Innovation of the Year
- Green Infrastructure Project of the Year
- Circular Economy Project of the Year
- Small Business of the Year
- Politician of the Year
- Leader of the Year
- Company of the Year
- Lifetime Achievement Award