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View blog posts for category: General

Natural Gas, a transitionary fuel?

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

Natural Gas, a transitionary fuel?

Opinion Piece, Part One Natural Gas is often branded as a necessary transition fuel. It is commonly portrayed as the cleaner alternative to coal and oil. This was something that the industry was happy to embrace as it allowed for them to be viewed as part of the solution towards tackling clim…

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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 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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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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