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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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