Tag: ECO

UK Government plan to tackle fuel poverty by 2018?

According to an article in Utility Week – the UK government will have a plan to tackle fuel poverty – but not until 2018!!


Bourne, under-secretary of state for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), said that energy efficiency measures in the wake of the Green Deal and ECO would be “centric to fuel poverty.” He told a meeting of the Energy and Climate Change committee that detailed plans for a single scheme to replace the Green Deal and ECO would not be set out until 2018, with a focus on “how we recast ECO”.

He said once ECO (Energy Company Obligation) comes to a close in 2017, there will be a transitional year before an announcement about how it will be carried on, “likely by spring” the following year. “We are aiming to tackle the severe fuel poor first. We are also hoping to have access to more data by then… Households that can be identified as fuel poor will be prioritised – Ofgem will control that on our (the government) behalf.”

Read the full article published on 19 January 2016


How to make old homes energy efficient

A recent article in The Guardian offers some advice on how to make Britain’s 5 million historic homes more energy efficient. At key point in the article is that Britain’s 5m historic houses – defined by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings as anything built before 1919 – should not be treated like new ones, and that green deal-style modern technologies were often inappropriate.

Suggestions from the team of historic advisers include:-

  • A lot of energy waste in old buildings is the result of overdue maintenance, so get the window panes fixed and clear out the gutters and drains that make walls damp and cold.
  • Do the cheap options that have the least impact on the building fabric first, eg: turning the thermostat down a degree, draught-stripping for windows and doors and a thick pair of curtains can be just as effective as more expensive measures. Floor coverings or rugs can block air infiltration and keep feet warm.
  • Think about how and when you use your building. When does it need
    to be warmer and when could it be cooler? Swap your boiler controls from a timer to a programmable thermostat and switch off what you can.
  • Historic buildings were designed to be heated one room at a time using separate open fires, which is more efficient than all at once. You can recreate this today by manually controlling thermostat valves. Programmable wi-fi radiator valves are becoming more readily available.
  • Typically, about 25% heat is lost through the roof, in comparison to 35% through the walls, 15% through the floor and 25% from windows and draughts. But the cost of insulating in the roof is usually much lower than the cost of solid wall insulation, so it is often more cost-effective to do the roof first.
  • For the big investment, focus on how you generate and distribute
    heat in your building. Ask for advice while you’re still considering your
  • Older homes deal with heat and moisture differently to more modern construction types. Look at the property as a whole system rather than considering measures individually and think about their cumulative impact on the way that the building fabric functions.
  • Consider all the simple and cheap measures first, before investing in more expensive measures such as external wall insulation – like draught excluders and heavier curtains. Think about floor coverings or rugs to block air infiltration and keep feet warm.
  • Keeping your home in a good state of repair can make a big difference, and in most cases is likely to maintain or even improve the heritage value of a home.
  • Typically, about 25% heat is lost through the roof, in comparison to 35% through the walls, 15% through the floor and 25% from windows and draughts. But the cost of insulating the roof is usually much lower than the cost of solid wall insulation, so it is often more cost-effective to do the roof first.

No or very low risk, which do not require expertise or huge amounts of money include:-

  • Know what you use and where you use it and switch off what you can.
  • Maintain the building fabric and your heating system.
  • Make sure controls and timers are set correct.
  • Replace incandescent and halogen bulbs with LED ones.
  • Install simple efficiency measures – thick curtains, draught proof strips.

Read the full article

Public want urgent global action to tackle climate change

73% of people want world leaders to agree a global deal and 66% think action must happen now, according to a new Populus survey. The survey reveals an appetite for action on climate change by the UK public, with only 20% agreeing that it can wait a few years. But the survey also showed that just 40% of people recognise the potential impact of climate change on their lifestyle.

Survey results

  • 73% think world leaders must urgently agree a global deal
  • 20% think taking action can wait a few years
  • 72% are aware of the benefits of tackling climate change
  • 40% think that climate change will negatively impact me and my lifestyle
  • 33% think taking action on climate change will negatively impact economic growth

Full DECC Press release

Vampire Energy ~ Five energy myths that will shock your socks off

Busting 5 common myths on energy saving:

  1. Myth: Computer screensavers save energy, right?
    • Reality: Wrong. Screensavers are just another programme that consume energy. Switching off your monitor (or the whole computer) is the most effective way to save energy and cut your bill.
  2. Myth: TVs, laptops and phone chargers don’t use electricity when not in use.
    • Reality: Nope. Everyday gadgets and appliances suck up electricity even when idle or on standby mode. The average household spends up to £86 a year on standby energy. Switch it off!
  3. Myth: There’s nothing you can do to reduce the amount of energy your fridge, freezer and washing machine uses.
    • Reality: If you adjust your settings, you’ll save money. Try these simple steps:
    • avoid using the coolest setting on your fridge and close the door straightaway – the more hot air gets in, the more energy it needs to cool down again
    • use the eco setting on your white goods
    • check the energy rating when buying new appliances
  4. Myth: LED light bulbs will cost you more.
    • Reality: A single LED bulb lasts around 50 times longer than a traditional light bulb. So you could spend a whopping 80% less if you used LEDs rather than traditional bulbs. A single LED light bulb costs around £9.30 and will last 5 and half years (if left running constantly), while the cost of traditional bulbs over that same amount of time would set you back around £135.
  5. Myth: It’s a hassle to switch energy suppliers.
    • Reality: Switching is really easy and can only take around 45 minutes. More than two million customers have saved up to £200 or more a year by switching to independent electricity suppliers since 2010. Shopping around for your energy, like you shop around for insurance or a new phone package, can save you money! Check out the Be An Energy Shopper website to learn how you can switch and save money.

So, what’s the moral of the story? It’s simple. Switch it off and check your settings.

Source: DECC