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Members' Articles

Catching a flight and did not have time to complete that presentation?

by Jeremy Rose from Creative Solutions

30th November 2012

Post Type: Newspaper Article
Catching a flight and did not have time to complete that presentation?

We can help. Send Nicola your presentation ideas, and we'll create, design and email back a quality presentation for your business meeting or conference. We'll probably have it finished by the time you arrive.

We've delivered successful presentation for Costa Coffee, Premier Inn, Standard Chartered Bank, The Home Office, Balfour Beatty and Darty.

Great presentations delivered on budget, in time - that's what we do.

We could also arrange to have the delegate presentation packs printed and delivered directly to your hotel.

Cal Nicola at Creative Solutions on +44 01799 541114 or email her directly:

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Cutting your vehicle service costs

by Matthew Wright from Wright Cars

29th November 2012

Post Type: Newspaper Article

What is Block Exemption?

Previously, motorists were required to have their vehicle servicing and repairs at the main dealer so as not to risk invalidating the vehicle's warranty. The EC Block
Exemption Regulation 1400/2002 (October 2003) allows motorists more flexibility
in selecting where they can get their car serviced.

Thanks to this legislation, maintenance and service work does not have to be
done by the main dealer as long as the garage uses Original Equipment 'Matching
Quality' parts, and are recorded as such, and the garage follow the
manufacturer's service schedules.

The Block Exemption Regulation (BER) covers service and maintenance during the
warranty period and prohibits vehicle manufacturers’ warranties from including
conditions that require:

  • all normal maintenance be
    provided within the vehicle manufacturer’s network

  • all parts used must be the manufacturer’s original
    spare parts


So what does this mean to the motorist?

BER safeguards free competition in aftermarket parts, repairs and services and will benefit motorists by reducing the cost of servicing through better labour rates and competitively priced parts. This could save motorists up to 60% on the main


Matt Wright

Wright Cars


RO - renewables obligations

by Steven Godfrey from Auditel

26th November 2012

Post Type: Education Item

Since 2002 the Renewables Obligation (“RO”) has encouraged the growth of large-scale renewable energy generation and currently contributes £2bln annually to this goal.  Renewable generation has grown from 3.1GW to 13 GW, 1.8% to 9.4% in percentage terms.  All renewable electricity generation technologies are eligible, however installations that were commissioned prior to 01/01/1990 and where the major components are unchanged since 31/12/1989 are ineligible. The RO scheme is open to new applicants until 31 March 2017, with support thereafter for 20 years.

The scheme imposes a legally binding obligation upon licensed electricity suppliers to prove that a set percentage of their supply originates from accredited renewable generating stations, or pay a financial penalty.  This scheme is enforced via Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs).  OFGEM issues ROCs to each accredited renewable generating station in proportion to their net renewable electricity generation that month, and the type of installation. Initially no differentiation between technologies was enforced and a uniform 1 ROC per MWh was issued.  The prime beneficiary of this approach was onshore wind projects which proliferated to the detriment of alternative technologies and attracted public anger.  A 2009 banding review addressed this imbalance and varied ROC eligibility by technology.  Offshore wind farms received 2 ROCs per MWh (falling to 1.8 by 2016) and onshore wind farms 1 ROC per MWh (falling to 0.9 by 2013).  Future tariffs will be reviewed as technologies mature, however fluctuating rates will inevitably discourage component manufacturers and investors from committing to long-term projects.

Generators can sell their ROCs to electricity suppliers and receive additional revenue over and above the wholesale price of their output.  ROCs are transferable instruments and can be traded between suppliers.  The suppliers present ROCs to OFGEM to evidence the proportion of their energy sales which originated from renewable sources.  The 2011/12 rate was 0.124 ROCs/MWh supplied and will rise to 0.154 ROCs/MWh by 2015 where, under current plans, it will remain.  Where a supplier fails to present sufficient ROCs, a penalty “buy-out price” (currently set at £40.71 per ROC for 2012/13 and linked to RPI) is payable.  OFGEM accrues these payments into a buy-out fund, which is in turn distributed on a pro-rata basis (after administrative costs) amongst those suppliers who have presented ROCs (termed the “recycling payment”).  Suppliers therefore have two motives to present ROCs to OFGEM – to avoid buy-out penalties and to receive buy-out fund rebates.  It is therefore possible for ROC prices to exceed the buy-out price in anticipation of a future rebate.  Currently 70% of RO are met via ROCs, and 30% by fund contributions.


by Steven Godfrey from Auditel

25th November 2012

Post Type: Education Item

Feed-In Tariffs (“FiTs”) are the government’s second-tier mechanism to stimulate domestic/small commercial renewable electricity generation.  Since its introduction on 1 April 2010, 285,000 installations have been registered of which 91% are Photovoltaic (“PV”) and overwhelmingly domestic (70%) – (the period April-June 2012 saw PV comprise 99% of new registrations).  Wind, PV, biogas and hydro energy generation plants are potentially eligible provided their specified maximum capacity does not exceed 5MW (plus a pilot scheme for domestic scale microCHP).  All installations must be accredited in order to qualify for FiTs – most sub 50kWh installations can receive automatic certification under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) provided approved suppliers/equipment has been employed.  Anaerobic digestion installations of any capacity, hydro installations up to 5MW and other installations between 50kW and 5MW must apply for ROO-FIT accreditation.  Plants with outputs between 50 kW and 5 MW can elect instead to join the RO scheme.

FiT tariffs vary according to the plant’s eligibility date and, for solar PV, the host property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating.  Generators are permitted to sell their output to a FiT licencee (usually an electricity supplier) at rates set annually by the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority.  Major energy suppliers are legally bound to pay FiTs and most smaller suppliers have followed suit.  Generators receive two FiT payments:

a)    for power generated and consumed, at set rate per kWh of electricity, guaranteed for the period of the tariff (up to 20 years) and index-linked (current tariffs range from 7.1p/kWh to 35.8p/kWh)

b)    for power generated but exported to the grid, (currently 4.5p/kWh)

Most domestic installations lack the “smart” metering required to monitor exported power so an export percentage of 50% is assumed – for systems above 30kW an export meter is obligatory.  FiTs are taxable, however in the case of domestic systems where generation does not greatly exceed consumption some concessions are available.

Licensed Electricity Suppliers make FiT payments to renewable generators from whom they purchase power, and contribute to Ofgem E-Serve’s Levelisation Fund in proportion to their market share.  Ofgem administers periodic levelisations to correct imbalances between market share, fund contributions, and FiT payments already made.  Suppliers then recover their costs by surcharging business and domestic energy bills – current levels are in the order of 0.118p/kWh.

Lets get SEXY for Santa

by Vicky Wright from Shake & Shuffle

19th November 2012

Post Type: New Member Article
Lets get SEXY for Santa

Shake & Shuffle are proud to introduce their brand spanking new classes....


These classes are designed to slim your waist, hips and thighs whilst strengthening those all-important core muscles, reducing lower back pain and stiffness.

Powerhoops are weighted and padded making them a lot easier to use than the old-fashioned plastic hula hoops. So, if you have always struggled to get those twirling around your hips (we certainly have!) then this is your chance to get hooping!

Lose inches off your body!

New starter classes before Christmas in Dunmow and Bishop's Stortford to get you toned and sexy for Santa!

Mondays: 8.30pm Christian Outreach Centre, Bishop's Stortford

Tuesdays: 8.30pm St Mary's Primary School, Gt Dunmow

Classes are just £5 plus £1 to hire a Powerhoop (with the option of purchasing your own when you are ready)

Don't waste in for classes NOW: 07729 262318 -