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Energy demand since lock down: how to get the cheapest energy

Posted by Caitlin Latimer on 4 June 2020 at 3:47 pm

Energy demand since lock down: how to get the cheapest energy

Lockdown is having a strange effect on energy usage in the UK. You may have noticed a rise in your energy bills due to staying home more, however the opposite is happening on a wider scale. Electricity use across the country is significantly lower than it should be at this time of year, due to bu…

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Energy industry taking steps to reduce dependence on greenhouse gas sulphur hexafluoride

Posted by NEF Jemma on 19 May 2020 at 2:37 pm

Energy industry taking steps to reduce dependence on greenhouse gas sulphur hexafluoride

If you're walking down the right path, eventually you'll make progress. – Barack Obama The former president was only half right, unfortunately, when he made his famous remark. As all of us know only too well, if you’re headed down the wrong path and you keep going, you wil…

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How do hydrogen fuel cells actually work?

Posted by Zoe Bodinetz on 1 May 2020 at 3:45 pm

How do hydrogen fuel cells actually work?

Hydrogen fuel cells have been hailed as the ‘fuel of the future’, because of their efficient and environmentally friendly potential. They can be up to 3 times more efficient than the combustion engines usually seen in cars, and only produce water and heat as waste products. KPMG&r…

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How to save energy whilst working from home

Posted by Caitlin Latimer on 14 April 2020 at 9:53 am

How to save energy whilst working from home

As we are currently in lockdown many of us are unexpectedly settling into a new routine of working from home. Amidst juggling childcare, working long hours and feeling anxiety during a global pandemic, the last thing we need is to be worrying about bigger-than-usual energy bills. Although it is i…

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Good energy news you might have missed

Posted by Anna Carlini on 8 April 2020 at 1:44 pm

Good energy news you might have missed

In these challenging times many of us are glued to the latest headlines. We scroll and scroll through the news on our phones and laptops in a bid to feel informed, but unfortunately we end up feeling more despondent and overwhelmed than before. However here at YouGen we believe there are good sto…

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Changes to price cap in 2020

Posted by Anna Carlini on 4 March 2020 at 4:29 pm

Changes to price cap in 2020

The energy price cap, protecting customers from rising energy costs, is lowering, it has recently been announced. The changes will mean an average of £17 saving per household, with average dual-fuel bills going down from £1,179 to £1,162 over a year. The cap will affect those on…

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12 switches every minute in 2019

Posted by Anna Carlini on 21 February 2020 at 12:06 pm

12 switches every minute in 2019

Here at YouGen we are very heartened by UK Energy’s latest report that more people switched energy supplier in 2019 than ever before. It states that a record-breaking 6.4 million households made the switch from their energy supplier over the last year. As we are always advocating to shop ar…

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Air Pollution could be as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day

Posted by Brychan Williams on 12 February 2020 at 2:54 pm

Air Pollution could be as harmful as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day

Yes smoking is bad for your health but in some places the air you breathe could be as bad for you as 20 cigarettes a day. This is according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Washington and Columbia University, where they observed over 7,000 people across North Carolina, C…

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2019: Electric vehicles in review

Posted by Giles Kirkland on 31 January 2020 at 12:17 pm

2019: Electric vehicles in review

As vehicle manufacturers and fuel coalition meet in Brussels to talk about consistency in defining alternative fuels that will drive the energy transition it’s a good moment to look back at 2019 and the advancements that were made in the EV industry. Long-term energy transition goals de…

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Carbon neutral social housing must be the future

Posted by Finn Goodall on 24 January 2020 at 4:29 pm

Carbon neutral social housing must be the future

One-quarter of the UK's carbon footprint is attributed to construction, demolition, and operation of UK housing. In 2015, the government scrapped a 2005 policy that new homes should be built to use zero carbon. They believed the extended planning process was not worth the investment, due to t…

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The duck-shaped barrier to solar energy

Posted by Zoe Bodinetz on 14 January 2020 at 11:29 am

The duck-shaped barrier to solar energy

The sun generates enough energy in one hour to satisfy global energy use for an entire year. With growing popularity and falling costs, it is difficult to understand why solar energy has not yet been fully incorporated into the electrical grid as a method of power generation. Yet, when we take a …

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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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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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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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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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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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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 insider’s 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Which devices are the most energy intensive?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 25 April 2017 at 3:31 pm

Which devices are the most energy intensive?

We live our lives surrounded by devices. We work on computers, carry phones and tablets with us wherever we go. Kitchens are full of fridges, freezers, microwaves and washing machines. Some are more energy intensive than others, but all of them are contributing to high energy bills, and higher ca…

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What is the most energy efficient form of transport?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 12 April 2017 at 1:40 pm

What is the most energy efficient form of transport?

Many of you will be planning a long journey this bank holiday weekend and it’s worth considering which method of transport will be the most environmentally friendly. As you are probably aware, some transport methods are much more energy intensive than others and some have higher greenhouse …

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Soaring ahead: Gatwick Airport first in the world to turn waste into energy onsite

Posted by Richard Vale on 7 April 2017 at 12:03 pm

Soaring ahead: Gatwick Airport first in the world to turn waste into energy onsite

If you’re a fan of environmental waste management then fasten your seatbelt (and do not unbuckle until the landing light is switched off) because London Gatwick Airport and DHL supply chain have officially opened a new waste management plant, making it the first airport in the world to turn…

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Sunny weekend breaks UK solar record

Posted by Chloe Lloyd on 5 April 2017 at 12:59 pm

Sunny weekend breaks UK solar record

With days becoming longer and sunnier afternoons on the rise, now is the perfect time to be generating electricity from your solar PV panels. Cast your minds back to the weekend of the 25th March 2017, temperatures were rising and you were dusting the cobwebs off the barbeque. However, that weeke…

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What makes an energy-friendly garden?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 30 March 2017 at 3:01 pm

What makes an energy-friendly garden?

Don’t we all dream of having a green garden? I know I do. The thought of lush green grass, vibrant leaves and sheltering trees makes me want to retreat into that sweet haven for the whole of spring. But saving water and energy in your garden is something we should all take more care to do. …

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Can you charge your electric car from a lamp post?

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 27 March 2017 at 5:09 pm

Can you charge your electric car from a lamp post?

Well actually you can’t, unless you happen to live in Onslow Gardens in Kensington, but some residents there can.  Back in December the Government made £2.5m of funding available via its On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, which enabled Local Authorities to install charge p…

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Show Homes will inspire domestic retrofit finds study

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 24 March 2017 at 2:40 pm

Show Homes will inspire domestic retrofit finds study

The main purpose of Show Homes is to inform and inspire. In a recent study, we found that they can be used very effectively to raise public awareness of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures, and generate interest among visitors who might then go on to install similar measures in their …

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How Green are Biofuels?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 22 March 2017 at 5:15 pm

How Green are Biofuels?

Our society is addicted to oil. The International Energy Agency estimates that the world will use 96 million barrels of oil (152 billion litres) a day throughout 2016 [1]. Our oil usage shows no sign of slowing down, so we desperately need an alternative for this non-renewable resource.   …

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Are smart meters overcharging?

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 14 March 2017 at 11:23 am

Are smart meters overcharging?

I know I have written much about how great smart meters could be. They will help us to get rid of the antiquated idea of estimated bills, they will make is easier for everyone to see where they are using energy and they will make it much much easier for people to switch supplier.  But all of…

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Green open homes are inspiring people to action

Posted by Gordon Glass on 3 March 2017 at 11:40 am

Green open homes are inspiring people to action

The inspirational value of SuperHomes and other green open home initiatives was crystalized this week following a UK Green Building Council report. As reported by the BBC, 25 million UK homes must be insulated to achieve the government’s stated goal of an 80% cut in UK carbon emissions …

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SWITCH your energy supplier if you do not like it!

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 7 February 2017 at 11:50 am

SWITCH your energy supplier if you do not like it!

I could have written a blog here where I spent the majority of my time damning the big six energy suppliers and their price increases, but that wouldn’t be news to you. Some of the major suppliers are sneaking out little increases (EDF), others (npower) are going a bit further. The rise ann…

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Pay-as-you-save home refurb set for relaunch after sale of Green Deal loan book?

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 26 January 2017 at 1:21 pm

Pay-as-you-save home refurb set for relaunch after sale of Green Deal loan book?

I can’t remember how many blogs have a written on Green Deal, but I know it’s an awful lot.  I was heavily involved with it in the early days, working with big organisations who intended to become Green Deal Providers, working with DECC (now BEIS) to help them to analyse how all …

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How will data collected from smart meters help us?

Posted by Jason Ramsdale on 20 January 2017 at 11:50 am

How will data collected from smart meters help us?

The smart grid revolution is coming, whether you like it or not. With smart meters due in every home by 2020 some of us may be wondering why all this data needed, who will benefit and what risks come with it? We've tried to answer some of these kinds of questions in this blog. What is in …

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What does embodied energy mean?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 9 January 2017 at 1:30 pm

What does embodied energy mean?

We often worry about how much energy it takes to use an appliance or gadget. We can save a considerable amount of energy by being careful how we use our devices, but domestic energy use is just one part of a much larger problem. What about the energy it takes to make that gadget in the first plac…

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Workouts to watts: does all the energy we produce in exercise have to go to waste?

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 5 January 2017 at 1:05 pm

Workouts to watts: does all the energy we produce in exercise have to go to waste?

It’s 2017 and for many of us the number one New Year’s resolution is to get fit or at least burn off the Christmas excesses. But should all that energy we produce in exercise go to waste? As new gym memberships peak in January YouGen is taking a timely look at the potential for gyms t…

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Changes to Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs from Spring 2017

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 20 December 2016 at 11:20 am

Changes to Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs from Spring 2017

On 14 December the government (BEIS) published its response to the March 2016 consultation on reform of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). This includes changes to the tariffs and conditions of the domestic and non-domestic RHI schemes. These will apply, according to the response, from spring 20…

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House inside a greenhouse adds solar gain in winter

Posted by Alex Barrett on 19 December 2016 at 11:15 am

House inside a greenhouse adds solar gain in winter

Many of us use greenhouses to keep our plants warm through the winter. It turns out we could use the same technology to keep warm ourselves. Marie Granmar and Charles Sacilotto live near Stockholm in Sweden. They have built a massive greenhouse that entirely surrounds their home. This keeps the h…

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Changes to Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs from 1 January 2017

Posted by Trish O'Flynn on 14 December 2016 at 10:30 am

Changes to Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs from 1 January 2017

On 30 November the government (BEIS) announced reductions to the Renewable Heat Incentive tariffs for certain new domestic and non-domestic installations with applications approved on or after 1 January 2017. The percentage reductions in domestic and non-domestic RHI tariffs are as follows: …

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Could transparent wood soon bring more light into our homes?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 9 December 2016 at 3:15 pm

Could transparent wood soon bring more light into our homes?

Transparent wood could soon provide a new building material which will allow us to brighten up our homes by making wooden parts of the structure translucent. It could have applications for building design and as a transparent coating for solar cells. Wood remains one of the most commonly used…

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Kite sails: Can we return to wind powered shipping?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 6 December 2016 at 11:40 am

Kite sails: Can we return to wind powered shipping?

At one time all shipping was powered by renewable wind energy, but sailing ships didn’t survive long into the era of coal and diesel. Now sailing, in a modified form, could be seeing a return in commercial shipping. The modern shipping industry is a large contributor to greenhouse gas e…

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Help - what do I do if I am a GB Energy customer?

Posted by NEF Gabby on 2 December 2016 at 5:15 pm

Help - what do I do if I am a GB Energy customer?

If you are (or were) one of the 160,000 customers of GB Energy, which went bust just over a week ago, you will be pleased to hear that Ofgem has now approved Co-operative Energy to take on all GB Energy's customers.  What does this mean for me? your gas and electricity supply…

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Earth sheltered houses: Past, present and future

Posted by Alex Barrett on 1 December 2016 at 12:40 pm

Earth sheltered houses: Past, present and future

We have a long history of living in earth sheltered houses. Some of the earliest human dwellings made use of caves, and throughout human history there have been occasions where building your house into a hillside proved far more effective than leaving it exposed. The ground is a good insulati…

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Calling installers - biomass boiler push. Are you with us?

Posted by Gordon Glass on 28 November 2016 at 11:30 am

Calling installers - biomass boiler push. Are you with us?

You are a biomass installer on the MCS register, but how will you fair in our 10 second quiz on your specialist subject. Stopwatch at the ready... When you type ‘Biomass Boiler’ into Google: Q1. Who ranks Top 3?* Q2. How many views do you need to rank Top 3? Q3. What does…

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Was switching my energy supplier worth it?

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 21 November 2016 at 11:05 am

Was switching my energy supplier worth it?

OK, so I switched a little while ago and I wanted to tell you how painless it has all been. The new supplier, Bulb, wrote to me almost immediately to welcome me to their new community. They introduced me to their website where I will be able to post meter readings to keep track of my usage (w…

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I switched energy supplier and saved

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 3 November 2016 at 10:05 am

I switched energy supplier and saved

The first thing I had to do was work out how much energy I had used last year. That wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be as, rather helpfully, my current energy provider does give me an annual statement and puts on each month’s bill a note of my previous year’s energy us…

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It is energy switching time again

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 24 October 2016 at 2:20 pm

It is energy switching time again

As we approach winter, and most of you will already have turned your heating on, I wonder how many of you are thinking about switching.  Why would you want to have your most costly months on that stupidly high tariff you are paying because you haven’t bothered to shop around? In the su…

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Does plastic have to come from oil?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 21 October 2016 at 10:30 am

Does plastic have to come from oil?

Plastic is all around us. Over the course of the 20th century it has become one of the most commonly used materials for all manner of goods and appliances. It is estimated that 288 million tons of plastic were produced in 2012 [1]. But plastic is made from oil, the same non-renewable crude oil re…

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Are electric cars the future?

Posted by NEF Gabby on 23 September 2016 at 12:06 pm

Are electric cars the future?

The electric car debate has been a long and contested road, with questions still remaining unanswered about the ability Electric Vehicles (EVs) have to reshape society and replace our gas guzzling needs. Aerospace engineer and Motorsport fan Lukas Willcocks has test driven a number of electric ve…

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How a car fanatic transformed his 1960s home for greater efficiency

Posted by NEF Gabby on 22 September 2016 at 2:05 pm

How a car fanatic transformed his 1960s home for greater efficiency

You might think that the worlds of fast cars and home refurbishment are miles apart, but aerospace engineer and motorsports fan Lukas Willcocks sees a focus on high performance in common. Getting more ‘miles per gallon’ out of your home Like in the automotive industry, energy …

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Can we manufacture renewables without fossil fuels?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 20 September 2016 at 10:05 am

Can we manufacture renewables without fossil fuels?

In order to capture energy from renewable sources we need the right technology. But solar panels and wind turbines are very energy intensive to manufacture. Unfortunately the energy that is used to make renewable systems usually comes from fossil fuels. So can we produce enough renewable electric…

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Community Energy Fortnight 2016 will spotlight September events

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 20 July 2016 at 1:40 pm

Community Energy Fortnight 2016 will spotlight September events

Are you involved in community energy? Would you like to be? Or perhaps you would just like to find out more about it. The fourth Community Energy Fortnight is happening somewhere near you from 3 -18 September. There are already some pretty exciting events planned across the country, from a fe…

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