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What are the spots?carbon dioxide emissionsfuel costs They show the relative Cost Savings and Reduced CO2 emissions.

Money
Saving
Tips
 Energy 
Savings 
Each Year
 Money
Savings
Each Year
 CO2
Savings
Each Year
 Comments
dishwasher energy saving tips Dishwashers
Read More
30kWh -
90kWh
£4.62 -
£13.86

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11.01kg -
33.03kg
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Run the machine full and less often

boil less water in kettle energy saving tips Boiling Water
Read More
82kWh -
164kWh
£12.628 -
£25.256

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30.09kg -
60.19kg
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Boil only what you need. Savings depend on how much tea you drink!

fridge freezer energy saving tips Fridge Freezers
Read More
50kWh -
400kWh
£7.7 -
£61.6

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18.35kg -
146.8kg
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Fridge maintenance. Savings depend on size, age and rating

dmoney saving tips tumble drying Tumble Dryers
Read More
90kWh -
350kWh
£13.86 -
£53.9

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33.03kg -
128.45kg
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Operate Less often, clean filters, part dry clothes?

differnce in cost of shallow or deep bath Baths
Read More
700kWh -
1400kWh
£30.1 -
£215.6

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147kg -
513.8kg
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Have shallower baths and consider how you heat water

change energy supplier to save money Change Supplier
Read More
0kWh -
0kWh
£0 -
£500

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0 -
0
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save money and have a beerSwitch! This is the single simplest way of saving money. This is equivalent to 100 pints of beer!

shower or power shower which is cheaper Shower of Power Shower
Read More
120kWh -
1100kWh
£18.48 -
£242

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25.2kg -
403.7kg
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Aviod immersion heated power showers

save money and energy with good loft insulation Install Loft Insulation
Read More
3000kWh -
3750kWh
£129 -
£161.25

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630kg -
787.5kg
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Modern loft insulation in a 3 bed semi - these numbers are for Gas, savings are greater for other fuels

save money and energy with good loft insulation Improve Loft Insulation
Read More
1000kWh -
1500kWh
£43 -
£64.5

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210kg -
315kg
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Modern loft insulation in a 3 bed semi - these numbers are for Gas, savings are greater for other fuels

This table is under construction there are more tips here.

Measures to reduce fuel bills: ROI* is the time it takes in years to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house.
Measure ROI*
hot water tank insulation save energy save money Lagging 1 Year
loft insulation energy saving Loft Insulation 2 Years
cavity wall insulation energy saving Cavity Wall Insulation 2.3 Years
underfloor insulation energy saving Underfloor Insulation 4.4 Years
solid wall insulation energy saving Solid Wall Insulation 15.8 Years
double glazing energy saving Double Glazing 58.1 Years
Renewable Energy Measures ROI** is the time it takes in years to return the investment in energy. The table assumes no government incentive schemes are used (FIT or RHI).
Measure ROI**
solar hot water energy saving costs Solar Hot Water 11 to 62 Years
ground source heat pump investment costs Heat Pumps 4 to 81 Years
domestic wind power costs Wind Power 16 to 32 Years
solar PV costs and investment Solar Photovoltaics 13 ± 3 Years
Opinion

This section of the site is opinion, mostly editorial. However if you would like to write an article for the site, please add a comment on the contact us page and we will send you an e-mail address to sent your article in.



Confused About Energy - The Energy Market as 2017

Introduction - 2017 Landscape:

In 2016 over 50 UK energy suppliers were in the market ranging from local suppliers to big national suppliers. With a huge choice available, over 87% of the UK households were supplied by the big 6 UK energy firms. The big six (British Gas, EDF, E.On, Npower, Scottish Power and SSE) certainly hold the market however the market is changing slowly.

We investigated what might be causing these changes.

Section 1 - Cost

As seen in other financial industries and services, customers are largely motivated by price and how much could be saved each month. There has been plenty of media attention about price hikes and customers getting screwed over by their energy suppliers. To cost your energy consumption requires a bit of simple math!

You need to consider how much energy are you using (kWh) and how much is your energy provider charging you for that usage (retail price). An efficient household/property is going to use less energy on average and therefore be more likely to spend less money each month on bills. However, this is not always the case as you need to consider the retail price set by the provider and tariff.

According to ukpower.co.uk:

Household

Energy Usage
Gas

Energy Usage
Electricity

Average Annual Bill

Cheapest Bill

Small House/Flat

8,000kWh

2,000kWh

£790

£614

Medium House

12,500kWh

3,100kWh

£1,151

£879

Large House

18,000kWh

4,600kWh

£1,617

£1,220

https://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/average-energy-bill

How do you stock up against these results? Check your energy bill statement and compare. Once you have your base line, you can see how much you’d actually be charged and could save!

Section 2 - Green Energy and Renewable Supplier Options

We hear ‘Green Energy’ and ‘Renewable’ terms banded around but do you know what it means?

Green Energy is defined as energy from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal. These sources are deemed as renewable i.e. replenished over time. The majority of energy suppliers will resource from a variety of resources such as nuclear, fossil (coal), wind, solar or even burning household waste (biofuels).

The UK is currently unable to power the grid on purely green energy due to lack of infrastructure, the ability to store energy efficiently and the challenge producing enough energy to manage peak time demands. So energy companies are left to offset their renewable with non-renewable.

Here is a summary of the big 6 resources for energy supply to customers:

Provider

Coal

Gas

Nuclear

Renewable

Other

Average

17.1%

32.3%

23.7%

24.3%

2.5%

NPower

16%

66%

1%

16%

1%

British Gas

2%

30%

34%

33%

1%

EDF

14.5%

8.6%

64.3%

12.3%

0.3%

E.On

15.7%

27.2%

10.7

40.4%

6.0%

Scottish Power

34%

36%

3%

26%

1%

SSE

25%

35%

7%

29%

4%

Results taken from the reported standard fuel mix values on each of the suppliers websites as a requirement by Ofgem.

Here are a few examples of suppliers doing something a little different:

OVO Energy - All tariffs are at a minimum of 33% minimum and one 100% renewable energy tarrif. Electricity production is 53.1% renewable and 46.9% natural gas.

Ecotricity – 100% green energy with 30% produced in-house from windmills and sunmills. Money goes back into investment to their own production /infrastructure. Green gas is a new idea so developing the Grass fed gasmill and planning 100% green gas for the future (currently 5%). Fracking free promise.

Bulb Energy – 100% renewable electricity (74% Hydro, 26% Biogen), Gas = 5% green. They also contribute £5 per member to the Tree Council.

Section 3 - Types of Tariff

Choosing the right tariff for you can depend on whether you are the responsible owner for provider (i.e. rental might prefer prepayment options), which region you are in or your payment preference (direct debit, online, receipt of paper bill etc.)

Here’s a summary of the types of tariffs available:

Fixed Energy Tariffs - Guaranteed standard charges and unit rates, usual until a defined end date. Normally cheaper than standard. No benefit from price cuts.

Standard Tariffs – Default out of contract tariff. Usually not the cheapest and can flex in prices according to market changes

Green Energy Tariffs - Either generation from renewable sources of energy or it will contribute towards environmental schemes on your behalf. Tend to be higher than average cost

Pre-payment Tariffs - Pay in advance for gas and electricity through top-up their meter using tokens, cards or a key. More expensive ways of paying. Fewer tariff options. Easier to budget

Feed-in-tariffs (FIT) - Energy supplier pays you to generate own electricity at home using renewable technologies

Fixed rate contracts tend to be the cheaper option and they can help you manage your bills easier due to having a fixed direct debit payment option. When your contract is up, take a look at energy providers by using a price comparison site or shop around with your local supplier. You can find out our switching tips here

Section 4 - Customer Experience

Which? Customer Satisfaction Survey of 2017 had almost 9,000 customers rate their energy supplier based on customer service, value for money, clarity and accuracy of billing and how the supplier helped them save energy. OVO Energy were top followed by Places for People Energy, Ebico, Flow Energy and Utility Warehouse. These suppliers were all rated above the Big 6.

The governmental body supporting consumers called Ofgem, have provided supplier recommendations following their last market review. Each supplier needs to demonstrate to customers:

  • Value for Money
  • Billing accuracy and clarity
  • Help customers to save money through using less gas and electricity
  • Customer Service and complaints management

Section 5 - Summary

Motivations for buying energy and switching suppliers can vary between people but above are a few factors, which should be considered when looking at your energy suppliers.

As consumers we need to promote the businesses that are working towards a greener future and pressure (or stop shopping) those who aren’t. We require the industry to invest into green technology (not just smart meters), the infrastructure and the supply chain to make sure we protect our environment and promote a sustainable energy system moving forwards.

So remember these questions:

  • How important is it that my home uses ‘Green’ energy?
  • Can I get the right tariff for me at a fair price?
  • Could I be saving money if I switch?
  • Will I get value for my money and receive good quality service?

Read our experience of switching HERE

Last Updated on Friday, 16 June 2017 14:32
 

The Climate and Political Short Termism

0pinion

Brexit, Trump and the potential break up of the European Union provides a "Perfect Storm" for those who have an interest in saving the planet. In the last year if a situation could get worse it did. Addressing climate change effectively requires concerted global action, compromise and sacrifices.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:02
 

Global Energy and Carbon Dioxide

0pinion

We started this site in 2008. At that time our younger brains wrote a few articles that provoked a measure of vitriol from the good willed and so-called green community. I say, “so-called” because their non-solutions can so often be counter productive. In the years of examining why this is, it has become my view that there is simply a lack of awareness of scale. Simply put, there is a lack of comprehension of how much bang for you buck you get with fossil fuels compared to a renewable energy source like a windmill or a heat pump. To be clear I have no issue with renewable energy sources, they are great, but thinking that we will ever meet the world’s energy needs with renewables is fanciful.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:02
 

Teaching Global Warming

0pinion

Our Children can’t be expected to understand the Global Warming debate until they have an understanding of “The Facts”

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:02
 

Confused About Energy Policy?

0pinion

Could anyone explain why it is useful for UK PLC to have soaring energy prices (50% apparently) based on costly nuclear and “renewable” energy policy, such that imports from low cost carbon dependent fuel economies like China have an even greater competitive edge than they do already?

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:02
 

Carbon Capture

0pinion world power generation graph coal oil gas solar wind nuclear biomass

The following link by Loren Cobb from the Quaker Economist titled  “The History and Future of World Energy”, provides what I regard as one of the best graphical overviews I have seen on past present and future power generation and where it will come from. It excludes any notion of nuclear fusion but this is understandable given that it is not yet feasible! On page two of the article there is a graphical interface where you can alter the parameters changing some of the assumptions for yourself to get a different picture of the future.

One of the clear observations is that far from reducing our future dependence on fossil fuels over the nest 50 years we will in fact increase our demand. There are also sufficient reserves to continue to do this and there is a good profit for the mining companies to continue to supply this raw material to the power industry. The conclusion of the article by Loren Cobb and another one on this site is that with an increasing population and worldwide technological capability there will be an increased demand for energy over the next 50 years. And much of this will be provided by burning fossil fuels. So far from reducing carbon emissions we as a planet will be increasing them. This is inevitable.

As an alternative suggestion to reducing energy consumption and “green power generation technology” why don’t the policy makers in the world get behind carbon capture technology and pull out CO2 from the flue gasses of the power stations? Apparently 80 to 90% could be removed (wikipedia).; The main reason is probably economic since the cost of power generation would increase.

US and Chinese policy makers could force so much change here, and we are all rather at the mercy of it.

Last Updated on Saturday, 25 March 2017 23:02
 


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