ZLC Newsletter May 2019: Cream, Climate Emergency, County Shows, Electric Cars & Renewable Industry News

Which way is your scone buttered?!

It’s ShowTime!!
In this newsletter we tackle the biggest question of our generation “jam first or cream!!” as we invite you to our County Show stands. We also update on our positive #ClimateAction including our new @RenaultZoe Electric Car & update on whats next in the Renewables Industry.
Firstly we wish you all a happy & healthy Spring 2019, there’s no better time to get inspired by our wonderful environment here in the South West.

County Show Invites 2019 & the biggie, “Jam first or Cream!”
We’re proud to be at both the Cornwall & Devon County Shows this year.and invite you to come and see us at
Devon County Show 16-18th May: Stand 423 on Road 12
Royal Cornwall Show 6th-8th June: Stand: 195, Showground plan map ref: A2

As is now custom & tradition we will be celebrating some of our wonderful customer’s wonderful produce with cream teas using cream from Trewithen Dairy &, for the grown-ups, some Tribute from St Austell Brewery. Please come along & have a scone, a tipple and a catch up with the ZLC Team, we’d love to see you.

As we are crossing the Tamar this year & as we’re proud to provide an independent tailored service to you all, we thought it only right to put the big question to the people: For our Cream Teas, Jam first or cream?
We’d like you to click on the link, place your vote &, like the government, we promise to stick with the decision of the people, even if it causes us grave concerns!! Every vote will enter our prize draw for a Trewithen Dairy Cornish Hamper

ZLC Energy’s solar powered car

Welcome to the newest member of the ZLC Family, ZOE, the 100% solar car
As per our previous newsletters this year, at ZLC, 2019 has focussed us with renewed gusto to help our customers in the fight against Climate Change & the effort to manage the future of our planet for our children & the animals we share it with.

We want you to know that you can control your carbon footprint. You can power your business & home with 100% renewable energy – the technology is here and ZLC can provide the solution.

To update on our 2019 climate mission, we have been active doing the following:

1. Personal: We’ve installed solar for team members, brothers & parents helping the team, friends & family cut their footprint: We’ve bought our first electric vehicle to reduce our transport footprint. We’re extending & optimising the Solar PV, EV charging & heat pump systems at our Unit Zero base.

2. Professional: We’ve delivered nearly 1 MW of renewable energy in the past 6 months, At the same time we’ve been developing our technology range & competence to bring more zero carbon solutions forward: We’re testing solar/ renewables led EV charging systems & researching hydrogen electrolysers, hybrid heat pumps for future trials.

3: Political: Building on our promotion of the early climate emergency declarations in Cornwall, we’ve been lobbying and are proud that the UK, Welsh & Scottish Parliaments declared a #ClimateEmergency last week. We’re also proud to have been supporting Community Energy via Community Energy Plus, Community Power Cornwall & Mabe Area Community Energy delivering projects across Cornwall.

I had a great trek last week to support the Centre for Alternative Technology at their first Climate Emergency Conference, leading two workshops on what action can be taken in the short to medium term to cut carbon in buildings and the energy system. To get there, I took an EV challenge road trip travelling carbon free in the Renault Zoe for the 700 mile journey with Amanda Forman from Cornwall New Energy & Dave Parish from Centrica’s Cornwall Local Energy Market – great fun.

Beautiful Solar installed by ZLC Energy

After the closure of the FIT, now the Government want to hike Solar VAT by 15%.
Renewable Energy Industry Update

As discussed in our last two newsletters, the Feed In Tariff (FIT) subsidy scheme for renewable power technology closed on 31st March. We feel & fed back that this was a backward step as, by the Government’s own figures, it will reduce deployment of renewable electricity technology by 80%, particularly in the small scale SME & household systems which put you, the customer, in control.
Positively, despite the lack of government support, large grid scale solar farm & onshore wind farm deployment (planning permitting!) will remain viable due to the economies of scale and, I’m thrilled to say, by 2025 are now both set to the cheapest form of energy generation available in the UK, cheaper than nuclear & fossil fuels without subsidy (see BEIS Chart below)

However, for the small scale renewables, the current Government are set to give the industry another kick in the form of a 15% VAT increase. From October, the new VAT rate is set to be 20% rather than 5% which, for customers who aren’t VAT registered, will be a very unwelcome change.

Against the positive backdrop of the Scottish, Welsh & UK Parliaments declaring a Climate Emergency in response to the IPCC 1.5 Report, the Renewable Energy Association & Solar Power Portal report this will be the 15th disincentivisation for small scale renewable power since 2015 from the ‘Greenest Government Ever!!! The resulting message we can take is that the Conservative Government prefer big business with large power stations than distributed domestic rooftop solar.
We’ve given our feedback but, if you don’t agree with this approach, we encourage you to contact your MP & make yourself heard.

In the last newsletter, we gave our opinion on the proposed FIT replacement, the Smart Export Guarantee, and couldn’t find much to praise. (I try very hard to maintain positive perspective and see the opportunity in every change – in fact, if I didn’t, ZLC wouldn’t have adapted and survived the deluge since 2015 – however, I struggle to give praise where its not due and the current administration don’t seem to be offering anything praiseworthy other than their ability to spin.) Despite the SEG proposal, I was able to seed the idea that, if one of the 100% renewable electricity suppliers stepped forward with a healthy guaranteed export rate, customers would follow. I’m very pleased to say this worked and Octopus Energy, closely followed by others, set out their stall at 5.5p/kWh.

With this in hand & the trend of recent energy cost increases, we can still of Solar PV to business customers with a 5 year payback & residential customers (pre October VAT change) at 8-10 years. With CHP paybacks at up to 2 years & renewable heating around 5-7 years, Renewable technology is still a great ethical investment.

If you have a high energy cost, carbon footprint or want to take Climate Action, get in touch, we can still make all renewable technologies, including rooftop solar, make sense.

Look forward to seeing you at the Shows or catching up soon,

Best regards