Skip to main content

YouGen Blog

View blog posts for category: Green Electricity

Are payments for domestic microgeneration liable to income tax?

Posted by Sam Tonge on 11 October 2017 at 10:30 am

Are payments for domestic microgeneration liable to income tax?

Here at YouGen we have been asked a few times recently whether you have to pay tax on the money you receive from generating renewable energy in the form of electricity and heat. The simple answer for domestic micro generators is ‘no’, as such schemes are designed to make such payments…

Read More | No comments

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…

Read More | 1 comment

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…

Read More | No comments

Inside the Government’s plan to transform our energy system – all things V2G, battery storage and smart

Posted by Shanics Olton on 27 July 2017 at 5:03 pm

Inside the Governmentâs plan to transform our energy system â“ all things V2G, battery storage and smart

Will we really become a nation of clean energy creators sooner than we think? Some critics say we’ve been lagging behind the likes of Sweden and Denmark for far too long but the Government’s latest report sets out a plan to change this and make us leaders in the field of innovativ…

Read More | No comments

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…

Read More | 4 comments

Can you switch energy supplier without it affecting your FiT?

Posted by Sandra Hayes on 11 July 2017 at 12:40 pm

Can you switch energy supplier without it affecting your FiT?

We have recently heard from readers with concerns about how switching energy supplier might affect their Feed in Tariff (FiT) payments. From personal experience I can confirm that this is not an issue, although it might help to explain why this is the case. Firstly, everyone receiving FiT pay…

Read More | 1 comment

UK renewable energy industry breaks another record! A look at other achievements across the world

Posted by Shanics Olton on 5 July 2017 at 4:35 pm

UK renewable energy industry breaks another record! A look at other achievements across the world

Despite lower wind speeds and less rainfall than in 2016, from January to March this year renewable energy contributed a record breaking 26% of the total electricity generated in the UK. Onshore wind accounted for the biggest increase from 6.4 TWh to 7.7 TWh with bioenergy, offshore wind, hydro a…

Read More | No comments

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…

Read More | 1 comment

Can we generate 100% of our energy from renewables?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 11 November 2016 at 11:46 am

Can we generate 100% of our energy from renewables?

In early May of 2016 Portugal covered all of its electricity demand for four days using only renewable sources, energy prices in Germany briefly turned negative, as renewables met almost all of the demand for a day, and the UK didn't use any coal fired power stations at all during several low…

Read More | 1 comment

Why is energy storage difficult?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 27 September 2016 at 12:25 pm

Why is energy storage difficult?

Our ability to generate renewable energy is increasing all of the time. It provides a great, green supplement to conventional power generation technologies. However if renewables are to one day stand on their own then there is an important issue that needs to be considered; Energy Storage. So…

Read More | No comments

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…

Read More | 5 comments

How do fuel cells work?

Posted by Sharon Russell-Verma on 18 July 2016 at 11:05 am

How do fuel cells work?

In some circles micro-fuel cells are being heralded as the future of clean energy, so today we are going to look at how fuel cells work. But let’s start at the beginning – what is a fuel cell? What is a fuel cell? A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity by a chemica…

Read More | No comments

How do energy suppliers compare for green energy generated?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 24 May 2016 at 1:45 pm

How do energy suppliers compare for green energy generated?

Q. I am keen to switch energy providers but the one I favour says it cannot tell me how much of its energy is generated from green sources. This is an important criterion for me and I am a little suspicious of this company's supposed ignorance. Is there a definitive information source that st…

Read More | 4 comments

Portugal runs entirely on renewable electricity for four days!

Posted by Alex Barrett on 23 May 2016 at 11:45 am

Portugal runs entirely on renewable electricity for four days!

May of 2016 has been a great month for renewable energy. For 107 hours last week all of Portugal’s electricity demand was met by renewable sources [1, 2]. This announcement comes just after the news that Germany met almost all of its electricity demand from renewables for a day, and that th…

Read More | No comments

Electricity from cheese via biogas

Posted by Alex Barrett on 13 May 2016 at 10:05 am

Electricity from cheese via biogas

A new power plant has recently opened in the Lake District, which will generate electricity from cheese. The installation has been built at the Lake District creamery, it will take waste material from cheese production, and use it to generate biogas through the process of anaerobic digestion. The…

Read More | No comments

Importing energy from Iceland: A key step towards a European Supergrid?

Posted by Alex Barrett on 27 April 2016 at 12:25 pm

Importing energy from Iceland: A key step towards a European Supergrid?

The amount of energy which the UK generates from renewable sources is growing. Government figures suggest that in 2015 renewable sources contributed 17.8 TWh, 23.5 % of total UK generation [1]. However there are some countries which are well ahead of the UK when it comes to producing renewable en…

Read More | 1 comment

Where did green energy tariffs go?

Posted by Anna Carlini on 19 February 2016 at 11:05 am

Where did green energy tariffs go?

The Big Six energy providers have been getting in a bit of trouble recently with their slow (and limited) response to the plummeting price of wholesale gas. Their failure to pass on savings has attracted criticism from consumers and MPs alike. But, amid all the anger and commotion, more than just…

Read More | No comments

How much will V2G cost and when, where and who will make it happen?

Posted by Jason Ramsdale on 4 January 2016 at 12:30 pm

How much will V2G cost and when, where and who will make it happen?

  Vehicle 2 Grid (V2G) could be happening sooner than we had anticipated. Nissan and energy powerhouse Enel announced at the Paris climate change summit (COP21) that they have teamed up to test trial a V2G system in Denmark.[1] The V2G system will integrate electric vehicles (EVs) and th…

Read More | No comments

Britain on course to miss a key renewable energy target

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 13 November 2015 at 12:45 pm

Britain on course to miss a key renewable energy target

Britain is on course to miss a key renewable energy target according to Amber Rudd.  The Energy secretary has written to government colleagues to admit that we cannot meet the target and that we may incur the wrath of the EU if we don’t do more. We have a legally binding target to …

Read More | No comments

With oil prices low, why go green?

Posted by Jason Ramsdale on 13 November 2015 at 11:55 am

With oil prices low, why go green?

With oil prices low, why go green? Oil prices have hovered between $50 and $70 a barrel for the past year, and have fallen a further 10% in the last week alone.  The Financial Times has reported that it expects oil markets are likely to stay oversupplied until 2020.[1,2] These decreased …

Read More | No comments

Petition to get government to review its approach to the solar feed-in tariff. 24,000 signatures to date!

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 9 October 2015 at 2:45 pm

Petition to get government to review its approach to the solar feed-in tariff. 24,000 signatures to date!

Are you one of those incensed by the current consultation to review the Feed-in Tariff? Are you unhappy that the government is back tracking on its pledge to be the ‘greenest government ever’? Do you think the cuts are going too far? Are you wondering why they would cut solar subsidie…

Read More | 2 comments

Tenants can switch to a green energy supplier too

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 20 August 2014 at 4:25 pm

Tenants can switch to a green energy supplier too

Three quarters of people living in rented accommodation have never switched electricity suppliers, new research by Ofgem has found.  Compared to 55 per cent of homeowners, this research shows a worrying lack of awareness among tenants of their freedom to choose who supplies their electri…

Read More | No comments

How to get your ideal solar PV system

Posted by Gabriel Wondrausch on 21 March 2014 at 10:50 am

How to get your ideal solar PV system

The decision to install solar PV panels can be motivated by a number of factors. Whether you’ve had enough of the Big Six et al constantly upping their prices and want a bit of stability or decided that the interest rates on offer from your banks aren't as good as those from solar, ever…

Read More | 2 comments

Solar, wood, insulation: a case study of a home energy-saving retrofit

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 20 January 2014 at 9:28 am

Solar, wood, insulation: a case study of a home energy-saving retrofit

Heather Hullah and Jenny Barnes are not your average pensioners. Where other 60-somethings might be thinking about winding down, these two are more likely to be found wielding chainsaws and humping logs in their 2.5 hectare woodland. But then Heather and Jenny’s ex-council house is no l…

Read More | 1 comment

Ground source heat pump warms guests at country house hotel

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 16 December 2013 at 10:10 am

Ground source heat pump warms guests at country house hotel

A newly-installed ground source heat pump is set to save an Elizabethan country house hotel £10,000 a year.  Historic Soulton Hall in Wem, Shropshire, has replaced traditional fossil fuels with two Stiebel Eltron ground source heat pumps, generating green hot water and heating for …

Read More | 3 comments

What happens to the feed-in tariff if I move energy supplier?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 October 2013 at 11:31 am

What happens to the feed-in tariff if I move energy supplier?

Q: If I choose to change my present energy supplier (dual fuel), will I be able to leave my feed-in tariff (FiT) payment liability with my original supplier or must I take it with me to the new supplier. In either case will I still receive the same FIT rate as I currently receive.  A: Th…

Read More | 1 comment

The UK's most energy-efficient period properties throw open their doors

Posted by Tasha Kosviner on 11 September 2013 at 11:01 am

The UK's most energy-efficient period properties throw open their doors

If you’re considering refurbishing your energy-guzzling period property to make it run more efficiently then here’s a chance to see how others have done it first. SuperHomes Open Days is a countrywide open house scheme where owners of 54 older, retrofitted homes throw open their d…

Read More | 2 comments

Is the solar industry being held to ransom by DNOs?

Posted by Rupert Higgin on 30 August 2013 at 10:19 am

Is the solar industry being held to ransom by DNOs?

There appears to be little synergy or common ways of working between the seven main Distribution Network Operator companies (DNOs) in the UK, with each one having its own charges and processes.  To get the best results, solar installers need to understand their business and develop relations…

Read More | 1 comment

What to do if you want a green energy tariff

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 August 2013 at 10:16 am

What to do if you want a green energy tariff

Npower announced in July that it was scrapping its domestic green electricity tariff for new customers, while EDF, E.ON, SSE and Scottish Power are also no longer offering a domestic green tariff for those wishing to switch. This is a side effect of the government's attempts to crack down…

Read More | No comments

What happens to the feed-in tariff if I switch energy suppliers?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 June 2013 at 2:56 pm

What happens to the feed-in tariff if I switch energy suppliers?

Q: I'd like to look for a different energy provider (my current one, nPower isn't paying its tax!). However, I don't want to lose my feed-in tariff (FIT) payments. Can I reapply for them with my new supplier and is it a complicated procedure? Or will my old supplier keep paying the FI…

Read More | No comments

Specialist energy companies give best feed-in tariff service; E.on gives worst

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 30 August 2012 at 2:16 pm

Specialist energy companies give best feed-in tariff service; E.on gives worst

Questions and complaints about energy companies and how the service they deliver to feed-in tariff (FIT) customers regularly pop up in our inbox and in comments on blogs. When people get solar panels, or other microgeneration technology, they often just sign up with their existing supplier. But o…

Read More | 23 comments

Switch energy supplier to get the best deal

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 4 May 2012 at 9:31 am

Switch energy supplier to get the best deal

Have you switched energy supplier since the industry was deregulated? If the answer is no (and it will be for about half of you), you are almost certainly not getting the best deal. Energy companies have a complex maze of different rates, and the only thing you can be sure about is that if you've be…

Read More | 2 comments

What happens to the feed-in tariff when you sell your house

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 November 2011 at 4:53 am

What happens to the feed-in tariff when you sell your house

Can I continue to receive the feed-in tariff payments on a solar PV or wind turbine installation after I've sold the house, is a question I'm being asked more often. My understanding of the original plans for feed-in tariffs (Labour's document) was that when someone sells their house they would sell…

Read More | 9 comments

When eligibility for the feed-in starts: the definitive answer

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 October 2011 at 6:02 am

When eligibility for the feed-in starts: the definitive answer

"What is the start date for my feed-in tariff payments?" and variations on it must be the most frequently asked question we get here at YouGen. Is it the date it's commissioned? Or the date the electricity company gets your application? And what happens if they lose it? Well I've just checked wit…

Read More | 19 comments

Community-owned solar power station opens up share offer

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 2 May 2011 at 9:59 am

Community-owned solar power station opens up share offer

Lewes-based energy services company, Ovesco, has raised three quarters of the £307,000 it needs to build the UK's first community owned solar power station.  So far, virtually all the pledges and investments have come from local people. However, as they are racing to get the panels ordered …

Read More | No comments

Energy companies confuse customers over export meters for feed-in tariff

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 28 April 2011 at 9:44 am

Energy companies confuse customers over export meters for feed-in tariff

Most of the energy companies we contacted gave the wrong advice when asked about export meters for the domestic feed-in tariff. Based on comments on previous blogs and questions we receive from readers, we know that some people find the whole issue of exporting electricity confusing. The energy c…

Read More | 22 comments

Which energy company is the most helpful about the feed-in tariff

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 28 April 2011 at 9:44 am

Which energy company is the most helpful about the feed-in tariff

Choosing your feed-in tariff supplier is important. Their efficiency, or lack of it, will affect how quickly and accurately you get paid for the electricity you generate, and you don't have to use the same supplier as you use to buy electricity. A recent blog outlined the questions you sh…

Read More | 29 comments

Import and export meters and the feed-in tariff

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 March 2011 at 9:59 am

Import and export meters and the feed-in tariff

I've been a bit confused about export meters for the feed-in tariff. When my solar PV panels were installed my installer put in two meters. One measures the total amount of electricity generated. The other measures the amount I export. The meters are identical. So identical that they even…

Read More | 25 comments

How to choose your feed-in tariff supplier

Posted by Kate Turner on 7 March 2011 at 9:11 am

How to choose your feed-in tariff supplier

You may not know this, but you do not have to get your feed-in tariff paid by the energy company that you buy your electricity from. You can shop around to find the one that offers you the best deal. At the moment they all pay out exactly the same rate, so you'll probably want to choose t…

Read More | 19 comments

Could energy pricing structures drive energy efficiency?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 February 2011 at 9:15 am

Could energy pricing structures drive energy efficiency?

I've just listened to a discussion on Radio 4's Today programme about energy prices. At the moment they are structured so that the first X units are the most expensive, and after that, the price per kWh goes down. The argument was that this penalises people on low incomes. Obviously, being Radio …

Read More | 2 comments

How grid-connected home-generated electricity works

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 2 February 2011 at 8:45 am

How grid-connected home-generated electricity works

Understanding how a home microgeneration system switches from solar PV (or wind) generated power to mains electricity and back again is much simpler than you might think. It's all completely automatic and requires no human intervention. The system comes with an inverter, which converts the home g…

Read More | 14 comments

Deeming export of electricity for feed-in tariff

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 25 October 2010 at 9:05 am

Deeming export of electricity for feed-in tariff

Deeming is usually associated with the proposed renewable heat incentive, but it is also used in the feed-in tariff to estimate the amount of electricity that is exported to the grid by microgeneration systems. We recently received the following question: "It would be interesting and informative …

Read More | 14 comments

Feed-in tariffs boost growth of UK solar panels

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 July 2010 at 9:15 am

Feed-in tariffs boost growth of UK solar panels

The feed-in tariff is expected to boost growth of solar panels on British roofs fivefold this year, and 30 times over by 2015 according to a report from Price Waterhouse Coopers. By 2015, the researchers estimate that 1,000 MW of electricity will be generated by solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Ev…

Read More | 3 comments

An introduction to community wind power

Posted by Graham Eastwick on 21 July 2010 at 9:37 am

An introduction to community wind power

The feed-in tariff has certainly had an impact on this industry and kept us busy over the last months, so it's been a while since I have blogged on this website. A number of people have asked about setting up a community wind turbine. A number of community wind farms have been set up using large …

Read More | 4 comments

Why solar PV panels don't work so well in the heat

Posted by Chris Rudge on 19 July 2010 at 9:32 am

Why solar PV panels don't work so well in the heat

During these last few weeks of hot sun, which are a welcome change from the rain of previous  few years, we have been getting calls from customers asking why the output from their solar PV panels is down, even though there is bright sun beaming down onto it. The simple answer is solar heatin…

Read More | 15 comments

Solar panels are now an investment opportunity

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 July 2010 at 11:40 am

Solar panels are now an investment opportunity

There are lots of reasons people install solar panels on their roof. It may be to protect themselves from rising energy prices, a desire to reduce their carbon footprint, or concern about energy security. Until recently, it certainly wasn't to make money. However, two things have changed. The int…

Read More | 11 comments

England's World Cup match powered by wind farm

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 June 2010 at 9:20 am

England's World Cup match powered by wind farm

Electricity from South Africa's first commercial wind turbine will be given to the Nelson Mandela Bay football stadium (where England play Slovenia tonight) for the World Cup. Electrawinds, a Belgian company, has installed the first of an expected 24 Vestas V90, 1.8MW wind turbines in Port Elizab…

Read More | No comments

Ecotricity offers the best tariff for pioneer microgenerators

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 June 2010 at 9:25 am

Ecotricity offers the best tariff for pioneer microgenerators

The best generation rates for early adopters of solar electricity and micro electricity who installed their system before the 15 June 2009 cut offs for feed-in tariffs are available from Ecotricity.  The green electricity provider has introduced a new Microtricity scheme that pays 16p a …

Read More | 2 comments

How to buy renewable electricity

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 8 April 2010 at 10:18 am

How to buy renewable electricity

Until recently the electricity market was flooded with 'green' tariffs, usually for a premium price, with no clear indication of what made them 'green'. Were they just packaging up the renewable energy that they are obliged  to produce under the government’s Renewables …

Read More | 1 comment