- Energy Saving
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Energy efficiency is not just low-hanging fruit; it is fruit on the ground.Stephen Chu, US Secretary of Energy
Watch your SOQ!
The current snap of cold weather we're enduring brings a whole load of energy issues along with it — but often it’s the ones that are not immediately apparent that will bite you the hardest.
If you're a significant gas user, now is the time when you need to look closely at the terms of your contract to make sure you don’t fall foul of those hidden distribution cost penalties.
If your site is daily metered for gas, then you will have agreed a Supply Offtake Quantity (SOQ) as part of your contract. The SOQ is the maximum daily consumption (measured in kilowatt-hours) for your gas supply. If you exceed your agreed SOQ, then your supplier can apply extra penalty charges. Note that some suppliers refer to this as your maximum daily quantity (MDQ).
During this cold spell, you need to take a close look at how much gas you are consuming each day; and if you're getting close to your SOQ, you need to take action to minimise (or eliminate) the additional costs.
Some subtle changes to the way in which you're controlling your heating system can often reduce your consumption and take away the threat of exceeding your SOQ. For example, if you're heating a greenhouse with thermal screens, a simple change to the screen settings can maximise the operating time and reduce the load on your heating system. OK, the screens might be closed for longer, which will then reduce light levels in the greenhouse, but the chances are that the overall loss will be insignificant compared to the possible cost penalty.
Alternatively, if you also have a boiler that operates on oil, call this into action so that you can reduce the amount that your gas boiler needs to operate.