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View blog posts for category: General

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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