Tag: electricity

What’s so smart about smart meters?

According to veteran environmental campaigner Jonathon Porritt, replace your old gas and electricity meters with natty new digital ones and you could be helping to tackle "the biggest single challenge that humankind has ever faced" - global warming. This is quoted in an article by - which addresses the question - What's so smart about smart meters?

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Wall argues that smart meters are not just about saving a few quid on your gas and electricity bills to save people money but are being rolled out in many developed nations around the world to promote more competition, more innovation, and change the way the global energy industry works.

The aim of the UK government is to install 53 million of them by 2020 in homes as well as businesses. Smart meters will increase competition by making it easier for new suppliers to enter the market, says Sacha Deshmukh, chief executive of Smart Energy GB, the body responsible for publicising smart meter roll-out.

Read the full BBC article

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

Energy survey raises concerns: people think they know more about energy issues than they really do

A nationally representative survey of 2,058 British adults conducted by ComRes on behalf of the National Energy Foundation throws light on how much the British public really knows about energy. Most significantly, only a quarter (23%) of British adults were able to identify the policy that scientists say is the fastest and most effective way of meeting our energy needs (using less energy) by reducing energy demand and improving energy efficiency.

National Energy Foundation logo

Other significant findings include:

  • Only half (50%) of those surveyed correctly identified which type of light bulb uses the least energy (LED) and 35% incorrectly thought that low voltage halogen lights use the least.
  • Only one in ten (11%) adults say that they know how much energy their workplace uses; while eight out of ten believe that private employers (79%) and the government (76%) should provide training and education to teach the public to use energy more efficiently. This compares to the six in ten (57%) who believe that technology will solve our energy problems.
  • Although three in five British adults (58%) say they feel well-informed about energy issues, the same proportion (59%) also don’t know that the majority of the UK’s electricity supply comes from fossil fuels.

The survey was commissioned as background to the launch of the National Energy Foundation’s Working together towards an energy-literate UK programme.

The headline survey findings are available here.

The detailed survey findings are available here.

British households could save 75 pounds a year ~ if they take control of their heating

According to Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of Energy Saving Trust, speaking during Big Energy Saving Week:

“Rightfully, millions of householders are confused by their heating controls because, let’s be honest, it is a bit of a minefield. There are plenty of myths out there and it’s no wonder people aren’t getting it right. We are urging customers to learn about the myths, check their tariff, switch suppliers and insulate their homes.”

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The findings from an Ipsos MORI survey of over 2,000 UK respondents show that almost four fifths of people (78 per cent) claim to understand how to use their heating controls. However, many of these respondents turn out to be using their heating controls incorrectly. Of those who thought they understood how to operate their heating controls:

  • MYTH 1: Turn the heating up when it’s cold outside. Half (52 per cent) turn the thermostat up when it’s cold outside. A home shouldn’t need this as the thermostat is there to maintain the home temperature whatever the weather.
  • MYTH 2: Turn up the thermostat to heat the room quicker. Over a third (35 per cent) turn their room thermostat up when they want the room to heat up quicker. This does not help a room become warmer any quicker and only heats the home to a warmer temperature.
  • MYTH 3: Leave the heating on low constantly. Thirty-eight per cent think it is more energy efficient to leave the heating turned on at a low temperature constantly, rather than turn it on and off. This means these homes are heated when no-one is there to benefit and then the home is too cold when people are in the home.
  • MYTH 4: Hot water runs out if you stop feeding the tank. Nearly a third (31 per cent) leave their water heating on all the time to make sure they never run out, which could be costing far more on their energy bills than necessary.
  • MYTH 5: Keep electric storage heaters on all the time. Our research also found that few people with electric storage heaters fully understand how they work (only 38 per cent). This means that households with electric heating could be paying through the nose by not taking advantage of cheaper night rate electricity.

Source: Energy Saving Trust press release

Renewable Heat Incentive ~ Biomass Suppliers List

From Spring 2015 all biomass fuel used by households, businesses and other organisations claiming the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) must meet a lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions target of 60 per cent GHG savings against the EU fossil fuel average, and land criteria, which for woodfuel are set out in the UK Timber Standard for Heat and Electricity.

The Biomass Suppliers List (BSL) is now publically available at www.gov.uk/find-fuel-supplier

The list provides a simple way for Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) participants to comply with the biomass sustainability criteria announced in February 2013 and due to become mandatory in Spring 2015.

Participants of both domestic and non-domestic RHI, and those considering applying to the scheme, will be able to search the BSL by postcode to find suppliers selling wood fuels that meet the forthcoming sustainability criteria.

The BSL is operated by the BSL Administrator. DECC has appointed Gemserv, partnering with Woodsure, HETAS and Borough IT, to act as the BSL Administrator.

Further information on the BSL, including guidance for consumers, is available on http://biomass-suppliers-list.service.gov.uk/. Two information leaflets about the overall sustainability requirements and how this impacts on domestic RHI participants have also been produced:

New biomass sustainability requirements: Information sheet

Domestic RHI: New biomass sustainability requirements