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Market failures and barriers in the energy sector

Posted by Zoe Bodinetz on 13 December 2019 at 11:38 am

Market failures and barriers in the energy sector

What are they and how can they be overcome? Why do we continue to live in houses that are energy inefficient even though it loses us money through high energy bills? Why do fossil fuels continue to be the cheapest option even though we know the dangers of using them? Why don’t mor…

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Driving environmental change around the world

Posted by Alison Vickers on 6 December 2019 at 9:37 am

Driving environmental change around the world

Making a new motor sport series in order to ‘draw attention to the earth’s environmental challenges’ may not inspire confidence to environmentalists around the world but have the founders of this project answered their critics? Extreme E was conceived in 2018 and is due to b…

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Are green number plates the solution for zero emissions by 2040?

Posted by Finn Goodall on 21 November 2019 at 9:46 am

Are green number plates the solution for zero emissions by 2040?

The UK government has recently announced a consoltation period for Ultra-Low Emission Vehicles (ULEV) to have green number plates. The purpose for this new initiative is to help reach the ‘road to zero’ target, aiming to have all vehicles zero-emission by 2040. The central reason behi…

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Get your home ready for winter with £1000

Posted by Brychan Williams on 8 November 2019 at 9:36 am

Get your home ready for winter with £1000

In Part 1 of this blog series we looked at what energy efficiency improvements you could make to your home with £100. However, if you have a little more money to spend, the energy savings you could make are substantial. So what could you do with £1000 to get the most for your mone…

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Get your home ready for winter with £100

Posted by Brychan Williams on 31 October 2019 at 3:33 pm

Get your home ready for winter with £100

With the clocks going back at the weekend, many of us our now turning our attention to winter. If last year you struggled with the cold or found that your energy bills were too expensive, then hopefully we can assist you in making life a little more comfortable this winter. In Part 1 of this blog…

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ECO 3: the good, the bad and the frustrating

Posted by Alison Vickers on 14 October 2019 at 9:50 am

ECO 3: the good, the bad and the frustrating

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme to reduce carbon emissions and tackle fuel poverty across Great Britain. It began in 2013 and has had various iterations since then. The current policy began in December 2018 and is known as ECO3. The Department for Business, Energy and I…

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The RE100: what are major companies doing to support the renewable energy transition?

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 8 October 2019 at 10:12 am

The RE100: what are major companies doing to support the renewable energy transition?

The signing of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 finally marked the beginning of concerted international efforts to address the climate crisis. With progress slowly inching forward at the political level, some major companies have begun making significant commitments to renewable energy.  …

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EKOenergy (the ecolabel for energy) launches in the UK

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 1 October 2019 at 3:17 pm

EKOenergy (the ecolabel for energy) launches in the UK

EKOenergy is a non-profit ecolabel for energy, working to change how we produce and consume energy. In 2013, the initiative was set up with the backing of 45 environmental NGOs in the UK and Europe to provide an easily identifiable mark of quality for energy products. The ecolabel has gained a lo…

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Electric cars charging to affordability

Posted by Martha Worthington on 24 September 2019 at 10:04 am

Electric cars charging to affordability

In the not-so-distant past, ownership of an electric car faced many obstacles: lack of vehicle charge points, an unattainable price tag and similarly priced maintenance costs. But, thanks to some recent developments, owning an electric car is closer than ever to being reality for the average cons…

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Breakthrough for batteries? – Company claims that batteries last up to 25 years

Posted by Brychan Williams on 13 September 2019 at 2:52 pm

Breakthrough for batteries? â“ Company claims that batteries last up to 25 years

The battery developers Aceleron says that it has developed lithium-ion batteries that can be repaired and improved meaning that they could last up to 25 years. Currently, most batteries are thrown away after one component of the battery fails. This is obviously problematic considering how man…

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RHI: things to watch out for

Posted by Brychan Williams on 6 September 2019 at 2:47 pm

RHI: things to watch out for

The Renewable Heat Incentive is a financial incentive scheme that was set up by the UK Government to encourage people to use renewable heat technologies in homes, businesses and local communities. Applicants receive quarterly cash payments over seven years for installing an eligible renewable hea…

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Northern Line set to provide heat for over 1,000 homes in North London

Posted by Brychan Williams on 28 August 2019 at 4:55 pm

Northern Line set to provide heat for over 1,000 homes in North London

If you have travelled via the northern line, especially during the summer; you will realise just how hot it gets. Instead of simply wasting this heat, Transport for London (TfL) have come up with an innovative idea whereby warm air from an unused Northern Line station will be harnessed to sup…

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Moving away from natural gas and embrace renewable energy technologies

Posted by Brychan Williams on 19 August 2019 at 4:55 pm

Moving away from natural gas and embrace renewable energy technologies

Opinion Piece, Part Two Click here to read Part One. I believe that we can significantly reduce our reliance on natural gas by utilising the renewable energy technologies that we already have. Traditionally the problem with renewables has been around intermittency, output and cost. Th…

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Is natural gas a transition fuel?

Posted by Brychan Williams on 13 August 2019 at 10:24 am

Is natural gas a transition fuel?

Opinion Piece, Part One Natural Gas is often branded as a necessary transition fuel; a cleaner alternative to coal and oil. It is commonly asserted that natural gas is needed to plug the output gap that will be left with the phasing out of other fossil fuels. The argument is that we aren&…

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Is hydrogen the answer? The future of heat

Posted by Brychan Williams on 2 August 2019 at 4:52 pm

Is hydrogen the answer? The future of heat

Part two In Part 1 of our blog series we looked at the role that heat pumps could play in the future of UK heating. To view that blog click here. What other options are there available that can replace gas as our main source of heating as we move to a net zero carbon economy? One pote…

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Will heat pumps keep us warm? The future of heat

Posted by Brychan Williams on 26 July 2019 at 4:36 pm

Will heat pumps keep us warm? The future of heat

Part one The Government’s advisor the Committee on Climate Change recommended back in March this year that gas heating should be banned in the UK for new homes as of 2025 to help meet climate change obligations. Currently gas is the primary source of heating for around 85% of UK homes. …

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New tidal record is a sign of big things to come

Posted by Brychan Williams on 16 July 2019 at 3:20 pm

New tidal record is a sign of big things to come

SIMEC Atlantis a sustainable energy generation company says that its MeyGen tidal turbines have now sent 17.5GWh of renewable electricity to the National Grid, surpassing its previous record of 11GWh. The MeyGen scheme which is situated off the Caithness coast in Scotland involves four tidal turb…

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Smart Export Guarantee: what you need to know

Posted by Brychan Williams on 12 July 2019 at 5:24 pm

Smart Export Guarantee: what you need to know

The UK government has designed a ‘Smart Export Guarantee’ system which is set to replace the Feed-In-Tariff (FiT) that has been removed as of April 2019. The FiT essentially guaranteed producers of renewable energy a price per KWh of electricity produced as well as a price for the exc…

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How homeowners can cut more than just repayments with new green mortgages

Posted by Brychan Williams on 2 July 2019 at 3:41 pm

How homeowners can cut more than just repayments with new green mortgages

The UK government yesterday launched a £5m fund for the financial sector to begin developing green mortgages as well as a £10m fund to reduce the costs of retrofitting the UK’s housing stock. The initiative aims to reduce the energy consumption of homeowners by rewarding th…

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A beginner`s guide to community energy

Posted by Brychan Williams on 28 June 2019 at 2:01 pm

A beginner`s guide to community energy

Energy prices are on the rise. It was announced in February by Ofgem that 15m households will see their energy bills increase by more than £100 a year as of April 2019. The reason for this rise according to Ofgem, is due to an increase in wholesale costs of big energy suppliers. This an…

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VAT on solar and battery systems set to rise

Posted by Brychan Williams on 25 June 2019 at 5:12 pm

VAT on solar and battery systems set to rise

It has today been announced that VAT on solar panels and home batteries will increase from 5% to 20% as of October 2019. These changes have come as a huge blow for households hoping to reduce their carbon footprint by installing solar/battery systems.  The proposed tax reforms have come …

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What does the public think about climate change?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 11 June 2019 at 9:41 am

What does the public think about climate change?

The BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker is a good indicator of changes in public attitudes towards topical issues. The study runs four times a year and collects data through interviews. We have summarised the most recent results published by BEIS in May 2019, focusing on topics surrounding energy and c…

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Britain has been coal-free for a fortnight: but is that really as good as it sounds?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 3 June 2019 at 2:43 pm

Britain has been coal-free for a fortnight: but is that really as good as it sounds?

Breaking records As of posting this blog on 3rd June 2019, Britain is currently entering its 17th day of generating electricity without the use of coal. This has been the longest period of time the country has gone without coal since the very first coal power station was built in 18…

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What are the reasons behind the energy price cap?

Posted by Caitlin Latimer on 3 May 2019 at 9:57 am

What are the reasons behind the energy price cap?

The recent price cap came into effect on 1 January 2019 to protect customers on a variable tariff and was supposed to be saving around 11 million people on average of £76 per year on their energy bills. However the cap has since been reviewed by Ofgem and from April onward the cap will…

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Will the grid receive my export for free?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 18 April 2019 at 10:05 am

Will the grid receive my export for free?

The Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) scheme has been closed since the beginning of this month (April 2019), but there are still unanswered questions for what this means for many new and existing solar panel owners. In particular this blog targets those who have missed the application deadline but still want …

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New renting rules: the landlord price cap comes into effect

Posted by Louise Hyde on 5 April 2019 at 10:33 am

New renting rules: the landlord price cap comes into effect

Targeting poor domestic energy efficiency and ‘slumlords’ has long been an environmental and social mission for the government. The domestic energy sector is responsible for the largest energy consumption in the UK, higher than transport, industry and services. It also has the highest…

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15,000 previously unknown EVs and solar panels identified on WPD network

Posted by Anna Carlini on 29 March 2019 at 5:04 pm

15,000 previously unknown EVs and solar panels identified on WPD network

Results have been published from an innovative project revealing a large number of previously unknown low-carbon technologies in Wales, the South West and the Midlands. Western Power Distribution (WPD), the company responsible for electricity distribution in these regions, funded the project to i…

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Advice on switching energy suppliers (part 2)

Posted by Caitlin Latimer on 22 March 2019 at 2:11 pm

Advice on switching energy suppliers (part 2)

Following on from the previous blog, this week will explain some of the more common problems of switching suppliers. Handover reading One of the more common problems with switching energy suppliers is when the incorrect handover (or opening) reading is used. When you switch suppliers …

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Advice on switching energy suppliers: an insider’s scoop

Posted by Caitlin Latimer on 15 March 2019 at 10:29 am

Advice on switching energy suppliers: an insiderâs scoop

As someone who used to work for a small start-up energy supplier, I learnt a lot of switching tips on the job. This blog is based on my knowledge and experience of the industry. Whether you want to switch energy supplier to save money, be on a renewable tariff or to experience better customer…

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Sustainable motorways – giving something back

Posted by Giles Kirkland on 8 March 2019 at 1:53 pm

Sustainable motorways â“ giving something back

Motorways and Sustainability Sustainable Motorways could sound like an oxymoron in the broader sense due to material requirements and their effects on both natural and human environments, all as a result of developing their infrastructure and the subsequent running of vehicles on them. Having…

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How to care for your phone and laptop battery

Posted by Alina Kuzmich on 28 February 2019 at 4:07 pm

How to care for your phone and laptop battery

The current battery technology used in consumer electronics these days are batteries based on lithium architecture. You can find them listed under the names of lithium-ion battery, lithium battery or LIB for short. A battery works by the principles of electrochemistry, which means that the ba…

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Is switching still worth it?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 22 February 2019 at 5:16 pm

Is switching still worth it?

When the price cap was first introduced, we received a few messages asking whether switching was still worth it. Then when the price cap was raised, we took a look at the market and asked ourselves whether it truly was. The last few months have been a turbulent time for energy companies with head…

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Insuring my Electric Car

Posted by Tim Tucker on 8 February 2019 at 3:06 pm

Insuring my Electric Car

If you have a south-facing house with solar PV on the roof, and batteries to absorb the excess electricity, an electric car is the obvious choice when your old petrol car becomes expensive to run. Driving the electric car is a real pleasure, though the silence takes some getting used to. You beco…

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Smart switching: will it transform the way we hunt for cheaper energy bills?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 30 January 2019 at 11:43 am

Smart switching: will it transform the way we hunt for cheaper energy bills?

Switching energy providers We all know that switching can save us money, but it can also be such a hassle to do. Many of us simply do not have the time to wade through comparison websites or wait on the phone with providers for a quote. For others it can be an overwhelming or confusing experi…

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The best 5 ways of saving energy whilst driving

Posted by Giles Kirkland on 23 January 2019 at 10:41 am

The best 5 ways of saving energy whilst driving

Constantly rising fuel costs along with the scarcity of resources and people’s increasing environmental awareness make the concerns for fuel efficiency greater than ever before. More and more people have started minding their ecological footprint and recognising the need for a change in the…

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The cheaper more sustainable home of the future - decentralised generation.

Posted by John Thompson on 16 January 2019 at 1:41 pm

The cheaper more sustainable home of the future - decentralised generation.

Your future home could be 50% cheaper to run and 100% more sustainable thanks to a clever mix of solar, home batteries and software that will allow these systems to integrate seamlessly into your life. The basic technologies, solar and battery-storage, are nothing new, but thanks to economies…

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Artificial & Alternative Trees Guide

Posted by Louise Hyde on 21 December 2018 at 5:01 pm

Artificial & Alternative Trees Guide

If a natural tree is not for you, you could consider an artificial tree or an alternative tree. This post provides some suggested considerations and alternative ideas. 1)    The Artificial Tree Considered Benefits The artificial tree has benefits that some households wi…

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The Real Christmas Tree Guide

Posted by Louise Hyde on 19 December 2018 at 10:21 am

The Real Christmas Tree Guide

Following last year’s blog post on the sustainability of Christmas trees, we wanted to provide more guidance on how to be mindful of the resources used to bring a tree to your home. There is much to consider along the supply chain of a christmas tree, from the resources used to grow it, emi…

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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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