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Scotland eclipses rest of UK in green energy transition

Posted by Alison Vickers on 12 December 2018 at 4:34 pm

Scotland eclipses rest of UK in green energy transition

Previously we highlighted how Scotland created 68% of its electricity via renewable energy in 2017, making it a world leader in sourcing electricity from renewables. This figure was an increase of 26% on the year before. With many projects still awaiting completion, we argued then that it’s…

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Solar panel Feed-in Tariff deadline looms

Posted by Duncan McCombie on 5 December 2018 at 5:15 pm

Solar panel Feed-in Tariff deadline looms

Homeowners considering switching to solar panel systems should do it now before a cut-off point next year that could strip the opportunity for large financial incentives. For a long time, the solar technology available to the public for turning sunlight into electricity was beyond the financ…

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Four Ways Our Energy System is Changing for the Better

Posted by Heleana Neil - Innovate UK on 29 November 2018 at 9:05 am

Four Ways Our Energy System is Changing for the Better

Constantly evolving technology will change our lives for the better. It’s time to take a glimpse into the future. More specifically, we’ll be shining a spotlight on the energy system of tomorrow. Large, inefficient power stations will make way for smaller, local plants –…

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What can we learn from Costa Rica?

Posted by Alison Vickers on 21 November 2018 at 9:01 am

What can we learn from Costa Rica?

The Central American nation has an impressive track record in green electricity generation and is seen by many as a world leader in terms of its environmental reputation. Indeed, Costa Rica is in many ways an exemplar in the green energy transition. Although it is uniquely placed to take advantag…

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How will the grid cope with the addition of electric vehicles?

Posted by John Thompson on 14 November 2018 at 8:09 am

How will the grid cope with the addition of electric vehicles?

The future of cars is electric. Globally, governments are laying out plans to end the sale of petrol and diesel powered cars, while falling battery prices will contribute towards making electric vehicles (EVs) more affordable and more profitable. With a range of technology on …

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Withdrawing RHI for urban biomass - what you need to know

Posted by Sam Tonge on 1 November 2018 at 9:55 am

Withdrawing RHI for urban biomass - what you need to know

What’s happening? Last month, The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) launched a consultation which wants your views on whether the Renewable Heat Incentive should be paid for new biomass installations in urban areas. The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a UK …

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Five tips before you buy loft insulation

Posted by Dave Raval on 24 October 2018 at 9:13 am

Five tips before you buy loft insulation

It's easy to forget about your loft when you're looking at your home's energy efficiency. But the Energy Saving Trust point out that a quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. With low levels not keeping enough heat in, it can have a serious impact. But th…

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A point of view: The problem with EPCs

Posted by Tim Tucker on 17 October 2018 at 10:13 am

A point of view: The problem with EPCs

If you want to update an out of date or expired Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), you may be in for a nasty surprise. You may get a worse one, even if you have added numerous improvements to your house. Five years ago, our children told us to downsize. So we did. We bought a 5 year old so…

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Will Cars Ever Be Fully Green?

Posted by Giles Kirkland on 10 October 2018 at 9:16 am

Will Cars Ever Be Fully Green?

The question of ‘will cars ever be fully green?’ has been asked many times over, specifically in this day and age of fuel-efficient hybrids, fascinating electric cars like the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, and advanced internal combustion engines like the Mazda Skyactiv-X. The pr…

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An innovative approach to airtightness testing - the PULSE method explained

Posted by Sam Tonge on 1 October 2018 at 9:36 am

An innovative approach to airtightness testing - the PULSE method explained

Air leakage is widely accepted as a major cause of thermal inefficiency within many of our homes in the UK, accounting for 30% of total heat loss on average. The uncontrolled flow of air through small gaps in our properties can rack up our utility bills as well as being very uncomfortable for us …

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The London Community Energy Fund is open for applications - but not for long

Posted by Sam Tonge on 25 September 2018 at 11:41 am

The London Community Energy Fund is open for applications - but not for long

Last week we highlighted the broad range of assistance available for community energy projects in the UK. In this article we bring you a real life example in the form of London Community Energy Fund and encourage those of you based in the capital to get involved. The London Community Energy F…

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What assistance is available for community energy projects?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 19 September 2018 at 10:21 am

What assistance is available for community energy projects?

Earlier this summer, environmental law firm ClientEarth and YouGov surveyed more than 2000 UK adults on attitudes on climate change and sustainability. The survey should give policymakers some food for thought, with almost three quarters of those surveyed wanting to see greater investment in rene…

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Should I clean my solar PV panels?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 12 September 2018 at 10:15 am

Should I clean my solar PV panels?

  POLL CLOSED: Here are readers' responses to whether they clean their PV array. (The survey of 62 respondents was carried out between 12th September and 15th October 2018).  Following the recent spell of dry weather in much of the UK, we’ve had a number of enquir…

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What's new in heating controls? A 2018 update

Posted by Sandra Hayes on 5 September 2018 at 9:17 am

What's new in heating controls? A 2018 update

We recently received a question about whether thermostatic radiator values (TRVs) had to be installed when a new central heating boiler was being installed. The reader wanted to know whether his heating engineer was correct to advise that TRV’s had to be fitted to all radiators, including t…

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Disney theme parks stride in the direction of solar

Posted by Alison Vickers on 28 August 2018 at 11:18 am

Disney theme parks stride in the direction of solar

Last year we brought you news of the UK’s first eco-friendly theme park here in North Wales. GreenWood Forest features an innovative ‘people powered’ rollercoaster – using the weight of people queuing to power its exploits around the track - and a solar powered ride the &l…

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Portugal reaps the rewards of renewables in 2018

Posted by Alison Vickers on 22 August 2018 at 9:30 am

Portugal reaps the rewards of renewables in 2018

Our recent blog series has drawn attention to the countless renewable records being broken over the past 12 months. We’ve looked at green energy milestones across parts of the UK and around the world and now it’s time to shine the (low-energy) spotlight on Portugal! It’s rec…

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Renewable retailers - survey shows green energy important to consumers

Posted by Sam Tonge on 15 August 2018 at 9:09 am

Renewable retailers - survey shows green energy important to consumers

What is it that leads you to choose one supermarket over another? Is it price, customer service, convenience, or all of the above? Or perhaps if you’re an aspiring ethical consumer, you may prioritise fair trade items or organic produce. A recent Ørsted survey has revealed that p…

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Positive UK renewable energy percentage in Q2 2018

Posted by Shea Karssing on 8 August 2018 at 9:14 am

Positive UK renewable energy percentage in Q2 2018

Earlier this year, we reported how wind power generated 14 gigawatt hours of electricity for the first time, making up nearly 37% of the UK’s energy needs. The country also managed more than two days without using any coal-fired power for the first time in more than a century. According…

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Just how green are electric cars?

Posted by Jono Gilbert on 25 July 2018 at 9:07 am

Just how green are electric cars?

The current electric vehicle climate Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) is growing rapidly. In 2018 there is estimated to be over 160,000 of them in the UK, and it’s predicted that by 2040, 55% of all new car sales worldwide will be EVs. With Tesla leading the way in the electric car re…

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5 frequently asked questions about solar electricity

Posted by Sam Tonge on 18 July 2018 at 9:32 am

5 frequently asked questions about solar electricity

Solar is arguably the most intuitive power source we can ever use, and since 2010 is has been contributing a significantly increasing proportion of electricity to the National Grid. Last month it was reported that the UK solar broke the record for weekly output between 21 and 28 June, producing 5…

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Vertical wind turbine spun by moving traffic

Posted by Sam Tonge on 11 July 2018 at 10:50 am

Vertical wind turbine spun by moving traffic

Using the surrounding environment to optimise renewable energy generation is nothing new. Solar PV arrays are known to be most effective when placed in a south or south-westerly direction at an angle of 45 degrees, whilst wind turbines are best placed where there is a constant flow of wind throug…

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Five ways you can accelerate the clean energy transition this summer

Posted by Sam Tonge on 4 July 2018 at 9:13 am

Five ways you can accelerate the clean energy transition this summer

According to the meteorological calendar, summer is finally here! The ‘beast from the east’ is now nothing more than a distant memory, meaning that if we’re being optimistic, we can expect our usual dose of sunshine within the next few months. We have recently written about …

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What you should do when your installer has ceased to trade

Posted by Faisal Hussain (HIES Scheme) on 26 June 2018 at 9:10 am

What you should do when your installer has ceased to trade

HIES is a consumer protection organisation and operates a Consumer Code for the renewable sector which is approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI). Whilst systems are usually well installed, we appreciate that some consumers who purchased a renewable system, such as Solar …

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Why should act now if you need loft or cavity wall insulation

Posted by Sandra Hayes on 21 June 2018 at 10:48 am

Why should act now if you need loft or cavity wall insulation

If you are one of the many people living in homes with unfilled cavity walls or less than 100mm of loft insulation you need to act now if you are not on means tested benefits.  Over the last few years we have all become accustomed to these two energy efficiency improvements being available t…

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Renewables in 2017 - national progress helps achieve global record

Posted by Alison Vickers on 14 June 2018 at 9:16 am

Renewables in 2017 - national progress helps achieve global record

Following on from one of our previous blogs ‘5 green energy milestones reached in 2017’ we now want to talk more about a record-breaking year for renewables. Some of the headlines include: 70% of all new power additions were renewable projects, and investment in renewable power capaci…

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The Energy to Sustain Bitcoin - Part 2

Posted by Shea Karssing on 7 June 2018 at 12:06 pm

The Energy to Sustain Bitcoin - Part 2

The debate rages on as the energy consumption increases Earlier this year, we published an article on Bitcoin energy consumption, reporting how Iceland has become one of the top locations for cryptocurrency servers, which now exceed the consumption of private energy users. Now, the critic…

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Switching to LED lighting: the financial, environmental and health benefits

Posted by Jono Gilbert on 30 May 2018 at 9:30 am

Switching to LED lighting: the financial, environmental and health benefits

Perhaps one of the most underrated aspects of a home or business is its lighting. But what most people consider to be an unremarkable facet of modernity can actually have extensive implications, not just on efficiency and the environment, but also on personal wellbeing. Households and busines…

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Does your energy supplier owe you money?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 23 May 2018 at 10:04 am

Does your energy supplier owe you money?

Earlier this month it was revealed that Npower are to raise their energy prices by an average of 5.3% (£64 a year) for consumers. This move follows earlier price rises announced last month by British Gas (5.5%) and EDF (2.7% for electricity). Npower blame the price increase on policy an…

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Renewable Heat Incentive reforms come into force

Posted by Sam Tonge on 16 May 2018 at 9:31 am

Renewable Heat Incentive reforms come into force

During February 2018, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a second round of draft regulations which covered plans to reform aspects of both the Domestic and Non-Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) schemes. It's been announced this week that the…

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Scotland's clean energy revolution

Posted by Alison Vickers on 9 May 2018 at 9:24 am

Scotland's clean energy revolution

The Climate Change Act (2008) mandates carbon emission cuts of 80% (from 1990 baseline) across the UK by 2050. However, our current progress calls into question whether the UK will achieve this goal. We also have an additional EU target of producing 15% of total energy from renewables by 2020. Ho…

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Green is now mainstream - record support for green energy in UK communities

Posted by Sam Tonge on 2 May 2018 at 2:50 pm

Green is now mainstream - record support for green energy in UK communities

A UK Government survey has found that the number of people supporting renewables has hit record levels. The 25th survey of the Energy and Climate Change Public Attitudes Tracker (PAT) revealed that individual backing for the use of renewable energy reached a record of 85% - a marked increase …

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Pigeons under the panels - what can you do to protect your roof-mounted solar PV?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 24 April 2018 at 9:34 am

Pigeons under the panels - what can you do to protect your roof-mounted solar PV?

So you’ve recently had solar PV installed on the roof of your home. It’s looking clean and shiny and is all ready to cut your bills and carbon footprint. You’d be justified in thinking that your new source of renewable electricity would be the envy of your neighbours. However, i…

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Get smart about smart meters

Posted by Sam Tonge on 16 April 2018 at 10:36 am

Get smart about smart meters

A smart meter can provide you with a detailed breakdown of your gas and electricity usage and costs in real time, best viewed through a linked in-home display.  The meter puts an end to the laborious process of estimated billing by feeding your supplier your usage data automatically, meaning…

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'The Northern Renewable Powerhouse': How councils in the midlands & north are leading the way in green energy

Posted by Sam Tonge on 9 April 2018 at 11:51 am

'The Northern Renewable Powerhouse': How councils in the midlands & north are leading the way in green energy

It’s fair to say that 2017 contained many a green milestone in the UK’s journey towards greener forms of energy. It seems that now is the ideal time to mention that it is no longer solely the responsibility of households to make the leap to sustainable energy. An increasing number of …

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Renewable energy for businesses - making the sums add up

Posted by Daniel Bailey on 26 March 2018 at 10:04 am

Renewable energy for businesses - making the sums add up

For a company pondering a shift to renewable energy technology, the reputational benefits are as obvious - and ever-present - as Britain’s supply of wind. But with Brexit blowing a chilly blast of uncertainty across corporate Britain, many businesses are battening down the hatches and d…

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Solar PV Inverter: Should you replace it?

Posted by Faisal Hussain (HIES Scheme) on 21 March 2018 at 10:10 am

Solar PV Inverter: Should you replace it?

Here at YouGen we’re producing a blog series which look at some examples of ‘mis-selling’, used by a small number of rogue traders in the renewables and energy efficiency industry. Although mis-selling is a trend which appears to be on the increase, there are also rising numbers…

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The energy to sustain Blockchain - where does it come from?

Posted by Shea Karssing on 14 March 2018 at 12:15 pm

The energy to sustain Blockchain - where does it come from?

Bitcoin electricity concerns are growing. Even though the value of the cryptocurrency has stumbled in recent months, the demand for energy-intensive mines remains. What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009. Much of the hype around bitcoin relates to the trading o…

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Mis-selling of solar PV equipment - how to spot the signs

Posted by Aleksandra Klassen (STA) on 2 March 2018 at 12:30 pm

Mis-selling of solar PV equipment - how to spot the signs

Here at YouGen we’re producing a blog series which look at some examples of ‘mis-selling’, used by a small number of rogue traders in the renewables and energy efficiency industry. Although mis-selling is a trend which appears to be on the increase, there are also rising numbers…

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How the Feed-in-Tariff ending in April 2019 could affect you

Posted by Sam Tonge on 27 February 2018 at 11:35 am

How the Feed-in-Tariff ending in April 2019 could affect you

Update: You can view the consultation here which confirms closing of both the Generation and Export Tariff to new applicants from 1st April 2019. This consultation ran from 19 July 2018 to 13 September 2018. The Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) is a Government scheme designed to promote the …

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Switching energy suppliers - busting the myths which cost us dearly

Posted by Alison Vickers on 21 February 2018 at 3:15 pm

Switching energy suppliers - busting the myths which cost us dearly

When it comes to the necessary evil that is a fuel bill, are you happy to pay it without giving so much as a second thought? Or perhaps you’ve considered whether you might be paying over the odds for your energy but feel daunted by the process of switching suppliers. Figures from Energy UK …

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How important reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive will affect homeowners

Posted by Sam Tonge on 13 February 2018 at 11:10 am

How important reforms to the Renewable Heat Incentive will affect homeowners

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a scheme designed to pay microgenerators for heat produced from their renewable sources of energy. Open to home and business owners (known retrospectively as the domestic and non-domestic RHI), the switch to greener heating systems via the scheme is designed …

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Energy performance of private rented homes - why a £2500 cost cap is too low

Posted by Alison Vickers on 7 February 2018 at 3:06 pm

Energy performance of private rented homes - why a £2500 cost cap is too low

As you may already know, an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) is required whenever a property is built, sold or rented under the Energy Performance of Buildings (England and Wales) Regulations 2012. An EPC illustrates a property’s energy use and costs, as well as providing recommendation…

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'Add-on' equipment for solar PV: an opportunity but beware of possible pitfalls

Posted by Lorraine Haskell (RECC) on 30 January 2018 at 10:44 am

'Add-on' equipment for solar PV:  an opportunity but beware of possible pitfalls

Here at YouGen we’re producing a blog series which look at some examples of ‘mis-selling’, used by a small number of rogue traders in the renewables and energy efficiency industry. Although mis-selling is a trend which appears to be on the increase, there are also rising numbers…

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Air Source Heat Pump: Is it right for your home?

Posted by Faisal Hussain (HIES Scheme) on 24 January 2018 at 9:30 am

Air Source Heat Pump: Is it right for your home?

Much of the UK has been feeling the cold during these past few months which means many of us are now leaving our heating on for longer periods of time, which of course is going to hit our pockets. So, the question is how can we keep our homes warm without significantly increasing our energy bills…

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Meet the solar project powering the local community in more ways than one

Posted by Alison Vickers on 17 January 2018 at 10:16 am

Meet the solar project powering the local community in more ways than one

Here at YouGen we love to hear about your inspiring success stories when it comes to setting up grassroots energy projects within local communities. We would take this opportunity to tell you the story of a community energy project in Buckinghamshire coordinated by our parent charity, The Nationa…

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Five green New Year's Resolutions to kick start 2018

Posted by Sam Tonge on 10 January 2018 at 10:20 am

Five green New Year's Resolutions to kick start 2018

A New Year represents a fresh start for many, with our desire for self-improvement often characterised through the New Year’s Resolutions we set ourselves. Figures suggest roughly 50% of us set these resolutions each January, with the three most common goals typically being to exercise more…

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Marks & Spencer Energy Fund powers communities in more ways than one in 2017

Posted by Sam Tonge on 3 January 2018 at 9:16 am

Marks & Spencer Energy Fund powers communities in more ways than one in 2017

2017 was another outstanding year for community schemes that have benefited from the Marks and Spencer Energy Fund. Last year the fund allocated £300,000 worth of grant money to local energy projects across the UK. With over 130,000 votes taking place, the winners last year included com…

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5 green energy milestones reached in 2017

Posted by Sam Tonge on 28 December 2017 at 9:30 am

5 green energy milestones reached in 2017

As this year draws to a close, we can safely say that it’s been a year of highs and lows in terms of our steps towards shaping a clean energy future. It goes without saying that using our resources sustainably and reducing our carbon footprint are ever more pressing issues. However it seems…

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Which type of Christmas tree is best for the environment?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 18 December 2017 at 9:30 am

Which type of Christmas tree is best for the environment?

The YouGen Team are getting into the festive spirit here at the National Energy Foundation as we count down the days until we can put our feet up (and recharge our own personal energy levels) over the holiday period! In the seasonal tradition of giving and receiving, we would like to share with y…

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5 questions you must ask before installing a ground source heat pump

Posted by Sam Tonge on 14 December 2017 at 4:15 pm

5 questions you must ask before installing a ground source heat pump

Following the recent waves of snow and ice seen across much of the UK, you might consider the ground as a rather cold surface emitting no warmth whatsoever! In contrast, the ground actually provides a naturally-occurring source of heat which can be used to provide central heating and hot water fo…

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10 popular ways to save energy - truth or myth?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 6 December 2017 at 9:20 am

10 popular ways to save energy - truth or myth?

Here are 10 popular tips to save energy - or perhaps they're urban energy myths and misleading advice that could end up costing the earth! How good is your knowledge? 1. It uses less energy if you leave fluorescent lights switched on. Myth or Truth? MYTH. This one has been around almo…

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Wood fuel in your home: 10 need-to-knows

Posted by Sandra Hayes on 29 November 2017 at 9:15 am

Wood fuel in your home: 10 need-to-knows

1. Fuel quality matters To produce a clean, safe and efficient burn, quality of the wood is key. This is determined by size, moisture content, tree species and presence of any contaminants. Installing and maintaining a solid fuel appliance such as a wood stove is a big step so it only m…

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London buses will soon be powered by coffee

Posted by Sam Tonge on 22 November 2017 at 4:50 pm

London buses will soon be powered by coffee

Turns out that it’s not just electric vehicles making the headlines this year, as Transport for London (TFL) announces a biofuel extracted from waste coffee grounds will be used to power some of the city’s buses from next Monday. The tech firm Bio-bean has so far produced enough f…

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New attitudes survey shows international support for renewables

Posted by Sam Tonge on 15 November 2017 at 2:10 pm

New attitudes survey shows international support for renewables

Results from a pioneering international survey known as the Green Energy Barometer, show us that the vast majority of the public in countries sampled support a worldwide transition from fossil fuels to green energy. The largest ever survey undertaken to gauge attitudes towards sustainable energy …

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Can I make a claim for problems with my cavity wall insulation?

Posted by Jordan Willis on 8 November 2017 at 10:20 am

Can I make a claim for problems with my cavity wall insulation?

An article in The Telegraph on the topic of claiming on faulty cavity wall insulation (CWI) described the issue as a scandal that could “rival PPI”. Though we certainly haven’t had our televisions and radios bleat on about no-win-no-fee cavity wall insulation claims over the pas…

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Getting the most out of a wood-burning stove.

Posted by Andrew McGowan on 31 October 2017 at 9:20 am

Getting the most out of a wood-burning stove.

Andrew McGowan has 15 years of wood-burning experience and experimentation with Morso and Stovax stoves. As our guest blogger this week, Andrew shares with us his tips on efficient wood burning techniques in the home.    Use well-seasoned (dry) wood with mo…

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Five tips for finding a reputable installer

Posted by Sam Tonge on 25 October 2017 at 10:27 am

Five tips for finding a reputable installer

So you have decided you would like to improve your home, or perhaps even install some renewable technology. However, you have come to realise the job is a little too big to get away with just some simple DIY. Choosing a reliable and good quality installer can be difficult, and there are definitel…

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Hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full electric car - which one is for me?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 18 October 2017 at 9:45 am

Hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full electric car - which one is for me?

There’s been a lot of talk about electric vehicles in the media recently, following policy announcements here in the UK (and further field) to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2040 (2032 for Scotland). It seems that many big players in the automobile industry are happy to get on board …

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Are payments for domestic microgeneration liable to income tax?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 11 October 2017 at 10:30 am

Are payments for domestic microgeneration liable to income tax?

Here at YouGen we have been asked a few times recently whether you have to pay tax on the money you receive from generating renewable energy in the form of electricity and heat. The simple answer for domestic micro generators is ‘no’, as such schemes are designed to make such payments…

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What next for the Green Deal?

Posted by Marcus Franck on 4 October 2017 at 10:03 am

What next for the Green Deal?

As many readers will already know, The Green Deal was the UK’s flag-bearing green finance scheme, designed to assist British homeowners in improving energy efficiency and switching to greener energy technologies. It mitigated the need to pay large sums in advance, allowing people to receive…

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A green home is a healthy home - the health benefits of insulation

Posted by Jordan Willis on 28 September 2017 at 3:53 pm

A green home is a healthy home - the health benefits of insulation

We all know that properly insulating your house is an environmentally friendly decision. Insulating a home cuts down on lost heat, keeping your house warmer with less energy, cutting both carbon and costs. However, insulating a house is not only a cost-cutting measure, a spate of recent studies h…

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How to ensure your renewable energy installation is done safely - Competent Persons Schemes and Building Regulations

Posted by Jordan Willis on 26 September 2017 at 5:01 pm

How to ensure your renewable energy installation is done safely - Competent Persons Schemes and Building Regulations

As with any change to your home, you want to ensure the installation of solar panels is an easy process that is carried out safely and securely. While there are measures and regulations in place to make sure that these installations are done safely and by qualified personnel, often prospective bu…

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Is now the time to switch to an electric vehicle?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 21 September 2017 at 9:40 am

Is now the time to switch to an electric vehicle?

Recent announcements by car manufacturers and governments have arguably signalled an impending transformation in the way we will all move about in future. A shift from the polluting internal combustion engine towards greener forms of transport is arguably the biggest adjustment to our travel habi…

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Important changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme coming on September 20th

Posted by Jordan Willis on 19 September 2017 at 2:43 pm

Important changes to the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme coming on September 20th

The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme, introduced in 2011, was designed to pay households for heat generation from renewable energy sources. In encouraging news, Ofgem have confirmed that RHI is set to see a significant increase in payments from the 20th September 2017 onward. Subject to fina…

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How to retrofit an ex-council property - our SuperHome owners are doing it and so could you!

Posted by Shanics Olton on 14 September 2017 at 2:25 pm

How to retrofit an ex-council property - our SuperHome owners are doing it and so could you!

London, a city of history and soon-to-be city of the future. By January 2018 all of London’s iconic Black Cabs will be electric vehicles and the lampposts which were originally intended to guide you home will be used by them as charging points to help take you home. These latest development…

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A new world record for tidal power generation

Posted by Louisa Clarke on 11 September 2017 at 10:30 am

A new world record for tidal power generation

As many of you will know, we love keeping up to date with advances in renewable energy. At the end of August, the Pentland Firth tidal project in Scotland broke the world record for monthly electricity production by tidal power. The MeyGen project developed by the marine power generators ‘A…

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Can domestic eco-refurbishment be affordable? A SuperHome owner reveals his perspective.

Posted by Louisa Clarke on 7 September 2017 at 11:10 am

Can domestic eco-refurbishment be affordable? A SuperHome owner reveals his perspective.

SuperHome owners are opening their doors this weekend and throughout September as part of the annual open days happening across the UK. This marks the 10th year of the award-winning scheme with a record 100 SuperHomes opening to the public. These are exemplary residential properties that have red…

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I'm selling my house with solar panels - how do I get the most value?

Posted by Jordan Willis on 5 September 2017 at 2:23 pm

I'm selling my house with solar panels - how do I get the most value?

Solar panel installation is a commitment in more ways than one. While the initial cost of installing solar PV onto your home is often repaid in energy savings and a Feed-In Tariff, a second sense of commitment comes from necessary time spent in one house to see a return on your investment. The li…

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Floor it! The race to insulate is on after new study on raised timber floors

Posted by Sam Tonge on 1 September 2017 at 11:03 am

Floor it! The race to insulate is on after new study on raised timber floors

New research has provided some food for thought when considering heat loss from within the floor of your home. Suspended timber ground floors in the study were found to lose twice as much heat as had been previously estimated. This means that if you live in an older property it’s likely tha…

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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: A renewable source of base load power?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 29 August 2017 at 11:10 am

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion: A renewable source of base load power?

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a renewable energy technology which generates electricity using sea water. 71% of the world’s surface is covered by ocean [1]. This means that a large amount of solar energy is constantly warming the upper layers of the oceans. This creates a strong…

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I want to install solar panels on a listed building - how do I proceed?

Posted by Jordan Willis on 24 August 2017 at 11:05 am

I want to install solar panels on a listed building - how do I proceed?

With over 376 buildings belonging to the Church of England now sporting solar panels, including many protected churches (and even a cathedral), one may be forgiven for thinking that installing solar PVs on a listed or protected building is a straightforward affair. While installing solar panels o…

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GreenWood Forest - The UK's first eco-friendly theme park

Posted by Jordan Willis on 22 August 2017 at 9:33 am

GreenWood Forest - The UK's first eco-friendly theme park

We at YouGen are always fascinated by the innovative developments of green energy enthusiasts in novel and interesting areas. A shining example of this are Andrea and Stephen Bristow, the husband and wife team behind GreenWood Forest Park, the UK’s first theme park to be powered entirely by…

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From energy importer to energy exporter - the story of The National Energy Foundation.

Posted by Sam Tonge on 17 August 2017 at 12:34 pm

From energy importer to energy exporter - the story of The National Energy Foundation.

YouGen is based in the National Energy Centre, which is the main office of the National Energy Foundation (NEF), an independent British charity, established to encourage the more sustainable use and generation of energy. As you’d expect, the centre features an exciting and inspiring arr…

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Air Leakage v Ventilation - Striking the Balance

Posted by Sam Tonge on 15 August 2017 at 2:03 pm

Air Leakage v Ventilation - Striking the Balance

Why is air leakage a problem? Air leakage is widely accepted as a major cause of thermal inefficiency within many of our homes in the UK, accounting for 30% of total heat loss on average. The uncontrolled flow of air through small gaps in our properties can rack up our utility bills as well a…

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Greywater systems - reusing your bath water

Posted by Anna Carlini on 10 August 2017 at 10:45 am

Greywater systems - reusing your bath water

Our water is too clean! This seems a strange complaint to make, but in the UK drinking water is flushed down the toilet every day, literally! As UK houses tend to only have one water system, all the water that currently flows around our pipes meets drinking standards. It is estimated that on …

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New tax break could make solar energy more affordable at home

Posted by Jordan Willis on 8 August 2017 at 10:36 am

New tax break could make solar energy more affordable at home

The Solar Trade Association (STA) marked a significant victory for solar PV and solar storage systems last week by securing a 5% rate of VAT on battery storage for householders who are installing a solar storage system alongside a new solar PV system. This is set to significantly improve the …

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Our view on Earth Overshoot Day: the time to improve your energy use is now

Posted by Sam Tonge on 3 August 2017 at 5:20 pm

Our view on Earth Overshoot Day: the time to improve your energy use is now

Update: Earth Overshoot Day occurred on 1st August 2018 - the earliest date in the year since the assessment began.  Calculations by international research organisation Global Footprint Network show that our yearly Earth Overshoot Day occurred on 2nd August in 2017. This annual milestone…

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The experience of an Eco Guesthouse and SuperHome owner

Posted by Louisa Clarke on 31 July 2017 at 2:30 pm

The experience of an Eco Guesthouse and SuperHome owner

SuperHome owners will open their doors this September as part of the 10th year celebrations happening across the UK. These are homes that have reduced their carbon footprint by at least 60%. This is a great opportunity for visitors to see for themselves both the challenges and benefits associated…

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Inside the Government’s plan to transform our energy system – all things V2G, battery storage and smart

Posted by Shanics Olton on 27 July 2017 at 5:03 pm

Inside the Governmentâs plan to transform our energy system â“ all things V2G, battery storage and smart

Will we really become a nation of clean energy creators sooner than we think? Some critics say we’ve been lagging behind the likes of Sweden and Denmark for far too long but the Government’s latest report sets out a plan to change this and make us leaders in the field of innovativ…

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The world's first floating wind farm

Posted by Louisa Clarke on 24 July 2017 at 3:43 pm

The world's first floating wind farm

At YouGen we love keeping up to date with the fantastic advancements in UK offshore windfarms. Such as the world’s largest wind turbines, recently switched on off the coast of Liverpool. Or the dramatic increases in onshore wind generation. Now we bring you something even more extraordinary…

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Should you buy a battery & how do you choose the right one?

Posted by Ollie Gibbs on 20 July 2017 at 5:06 pm

Should you buy a battery & how do you choose the right one?

Why should you buy a battery? If you have a well-designed PV system you’ll probably have noticed that on some days your system is exporting large amounts of energy back to the grid. This is because your system’s generating more energy than your home is using at that particular tim…

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Is this the start of the electric car revolution?

Posted by Louisa Clarke on 18 July 2017 at 9:01 am

Is this the start of the electric car revolution?

Last year the number of electric cars reached 2 million globally, and the number continues to grow. Despite this, electric cars still only hold a small share of the global car stock (with an estimated 1.2 billion vehicles worldwide). However, recent news of Volvo’s transition to electric ca…

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How to reduce smoke emissions from domestic wood-burning appliances

Posted by Sandra Hayes on 13 July 2017 at 2:30 pm

How to reduce smoke emissions from domestic wood-burning appliances

Burning wood in a domestic stove or boiler can generally be regarded as a more sustainable approach to heating than traditional methods such as coal or gas heating. This is because the carbon dioxide (CO²) emissions produced as a result of burning wood fuel remain part of the carbon cycle, b…

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Can you switch energy supplier without it affecting your FiT?

Posted by Sandra Hayes on 11 July 2017 at 12:40 pm

Can you switch energy supplier without it affecting your FiT?

We have recently heard from readers with concerns about how switching energy supplier might affect their Feed in Tariff (FiT) payments. From personal experience I can confirm that this is not an issue, although it might help to explain why this is the case. Firstly, everyone receiving FiT pay…

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Carbon Coop leads the way to new models of retrofitting

Posted by Károly Gergely on 7 July 2017 at 11:30 am

Carbon Coop leads the way to new models of retrofitting

Community Green Deal, a project by Manchester-based social enterprise, Carbon Coop has provided useful learning in three areas: technical, social and business-models. A summary of the report can be found here and the full report here. Our Community Green Deal project ran f…

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UK renewable energy industry breaks another record! A look at other achievements across the world

Posted by Shanics Olton on 5 July 2017 at 4:35 pm

UK renewable energy industry breaks another record! A look at other achievements across the world

Despite lower wind speeds and less rainfall than in 2016, from January to March this year renewable energy contributed a record breaking 26% of the total electricity generated in the UK. Onshore wind accounted for the biggest increase from 6.4 TWh to 7.7 TWh with bioenergy, offshore wind, hydro a…

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Should cogeneration be considered a green energy technology?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 22 June 2017 at 3:01 pm

Should cogeneration be considered a green energy technology?

We consume energy in two main ways, as electricity and as heat. These are produced, distributed and used in very different ways. Most electricity is generated by centralised power stations, with a relatively small fraction being produced at the point of use. It is then distributed, potentially ov…

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Why buy a hybrid inverter for your solar PV system?

Posted by Aderanti Kudehinbu on 21 June 2017 at 9:45 am

Why buy a hybrid inverter for your solar PV system?

The initial cost of a hybrid inverter is quite high, but this is offset by the ability to use your generated power more flexibly, rather than having to buy energy from the grid when the solar panel isn’t generating. Hybrid inverters have proven reliability across various grid types. Modern …

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Condensation and ventilation: preventing damp in your home

Posted by Anna Carlini on 20 June 2017 at 4:50 pm

Condensation and ventilation: preventing damp in your home

Ventilation is a surprisingly important element in keeping your heating bills down. How? Because a home that can’t “breathe” is one which traps moisture on the inside and causes damp. Even if a home has high levels of insulation, a damp wall can lose up to 40% more heat than a d…

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Greener than most by leaving a lighter footprint

Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 19 June 2017 at 3:01 pm

Greener than most by leaving a lighter footprint

Have you ever considered the carbon footprint of a funeral? You may be thinking this is a bit of morbid topic for a YouGen blog, but believe it or not 0.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions are due to a variety of modern day funeral methods. Although the environmental impact is likely to be the …

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How do you assess the efficiency of a ground source heat pump?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 13 June 2017 at 10:57 am

How do you assess the efficiency of a ground source heat pump?

Ground Source Heat Pumps (GSHP) extract heat from the ground, and use it to produce hot water. The temperature in the subsurface remains around 11-12oC throughout the year [1]. By burying pipes just a few metres below the ground you can take advantage of this readily available supply of thermal e…

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Solar Chimneys: Passive solar ventilation and electricity generation.

Posted by Alex Barrett on 7 June 2017 at 3:15 pm

Solar Chimneys: Passive solar ventilation and electricity generation.

The solar chimney is designed to harness the fact that hot air rises, providing passive ventilation for a building. A solar chimney can be used to cool a house during warm weather, and generate heat during cold times of the year. There have also been efforts to build industrial scale solar chimne…

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What does biomass boiler maintenance involve?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 31 May 2017 at 11:50 am

What does biomass boiler maintenance involve?

If you are thinking of installing a biomass boiler, I'm sure you are thinking of how (and when) the boiler will be maintained. In the video below, SuperHomer Mark Brown tells us about the operation and maintenance of the KWB Easyfire wood pellet boiler fitted in 2009 in the five bedr…

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Exciting battery storage trial for Milton Keynes estate residents

Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 30 May 2017 at 10:40 am

Exciting battery storage trial for Milton Keynes estate residents

Everybody loves a freebie right? Especially when it involves sustainable energy. Western Power Distribution’s (WPD) Low Voltage (LV) Connect and Manage project is currently offering a free trial to residents in Furzton, Milton Keynes to help develop battery power technologies. Some hous…

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M & S Community Energy Fund applications now open!

Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 25 May 2017 at 10:30 am

M & S Community Energy Fund applications now open!

Last year we were able to bring you the good news of the Marks and Spencer Community Energy Fund and we’re happy to announce that for the third year running, the competition is back with a share of £300,000 for local community groups. Funding is available to support renewable energy p…

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A giant gain for wind power: World's biggest wind turbines go online near Liverpool

Posted by Richard Vale on 24 May 2017 at 9:51 am

A giant gain for wind power: World's biggest wind turbines go online near Liverpool

On a momentous day for renewable technology, the biggest and most powerful wind turbines in the world have begun generating electricity off the Liverpool coast. Dong Energy, from Denmark, has installed 32 turbines in Liverpool Bay, each standing at an impressive 195m tall. To put this into pe…

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Urban permaculture: farms in the city

Posted by Anna Carlini on 23 May 2017 at 12:21 pm

Urban permaculture: farms in the city

 “You can solve all the world's problems in a garden.”  ― Geoff Lawton Perhaps not completely, but it is certainly a good place to start. The ingredients in our meals travel thousands of miles just to get on to our plates. Our cities are physically and mentally…

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What are the financial pros and cons of a biomass boiler?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 17 May 2017 at 4:55 pm

What are the financial pros and cons of a biomass boiler?

The environmental case for biomass is unquestionable - we can grow more of it, unlike oil, gas and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). But what about the cost of a biomass boiler? The price of installation, fuel and maintenance are important considerations when choosing a new boiler. In this v…

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What plumbing does a biomass boiler need?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 10 May 2017 at 2:33 pm

What plumbing does a biomass boiler need?

Thinking of installing a biomass boiler? Have you considered the plumbing involved with this? In the video below, SuperHomer Mark Brown shows us the plumbing and 500 litre buffer tank installed for his wood pellet boiler. Mark chose this biomass boiler for the five bedroom house in South Buck…

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Are Infrared panel heaters a good way to heat a room?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 9 May 2017 at 2:50 pm

Are Infrared panel heaters a good way to heat a room?

Infrared panel heaters are a relatively new way to heat your house. They work very differently to radiators, and have some advantages when it comes to energy efficiency. Infrared panel heaters use radiation to heat the room instead of convection. This means that they deliver heat directly to …

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