Q&A: Simon Firth, Zenergi
Simon Firth, sales and marketing director at Zenergi, explains how schools can save time and money on their utilities and take simple steps towards complete energy freedom
How can Zenergi help schools be more energy efficient?
Zenergi have worked with hundreds of schools and colleges over the years and are pleased to have contributed to making these buildings sustainably more energy-efficient. Our partnerships have resulted in thousands of pounds worth of savings, which in the long term have enabled more investment going into teaching rather than wasted on inefficient lighting and heating systems. Typical savings without investment are typically 16%.
How do you work with bursars and business managers to keep energy budgets under control?
We provide an online energy reporting portal (PEP Positive Energy Pack) that provides bursars with a budgeting tool to help track actual spend vs. projected spend. Tracking data from your energy invoices, this tool provides valuable information simplifying how you can track both cost and consumption for your electricity, gas and water supplies.
What advice would you give to independent schools when it comes to taking more responsibility for their energy expenditure?
Take the bold step towards Energy Freedom! Energy wholesale costs and regulatory charges have increased substantially over the last five years, with this trend set to continue in order to support the renewable energy industry. We highly advise independent schools to be bold and plan for the longer term by reducing their exposure to volatile energy costs. Zenergi’s Energy Freedom package comes with a range of practical solutions to help you become energy self-sufficient, with the aim of having no reliability on the grid.
What’s the biggest challenge currently for schools when it comes to buying electricity and gas?
With electricity and gas prices becoming increasingly volatile, increasing by 40% between March-September 2018, and since reducing by 30%, the timing to buy your energy dictates the competitiveness of cost. Having a trusted partner to support you with this is key to keeping utility costs to an absolute minimum.
Do you take an environmentally-friendly approach in your services?
Absolutely. Independent schools have a fantastic opportunity to become environmentally-friendly by reducing the energy they consume, recycling what they use from cardboard, through to managing food waste and purchasing their energy from sustainable sources. Schools can purchase electricity from a host of renewable sources choosing the specific source of supply (wind, wave or solar) via an energy supplier, or purchasing renewable generation equipment by means of entering into a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) directly with a generator.
What are the first steps you take with a school after that first point of contact?
It’s important we fully understand the school’s requirements, and what is needed in order to provide a product that can assist your school with the reduction of energy costs and consumption.
What is Zenergi’s company ethos?
The Zenway! It’s the way we go about helping our customers by doing the simple and complex things well. We’re here to help schools save money and time on their utilities, seeing ourselves as more of a customer service company that provides expertise in the utility industry, as well as offering positive advice to our customers #PositiveEnergy.
Simon has been in the energy industry for over 20 years, working for Big 6 and start up energy suppliers and strategic energy consultants before joining Zenergi in 2017 to support its exciting organic growth plans in the education sector and more recently strategic acquisitions.
These acquisitions have enabled us to provide solutions that will help independent schools take back control of their energy spend and plan for a brighter sustainable future to deliver Energy Freedom.
Simon and Zenergi are all about positive energy!