Post date: Thu, 01/23/2014 - 11:24

The price increases by the big six energy companies in November are already having a serious knock on effect to consumers. The prices rises have been so high and regular that they are now having an extremely damaging effect on people’s ability to have a decent standard of living.

Citizens Advice recently revealed that households have been subjected to price rises that are eight times higher than increases in average earnings. Since October 2010, average earnings have risen by 4.4% whilst the big six energy suppliers have increased their prices by an average of 37%.  

With reports of consumers struggling to afford to heat their homes, Patrick Richardson, our chief executive, felt it was important to pass on some of his expert energy knowledge and try and help the public cut down on their heating bills.

Wrap up your home! – Lots of heat is lost through cracks and gaps on doors and windows, particularly in older homes. Something as simple as a draught excluder positioned at the bottom of a door can have a huge impact on reducing your heating bill.

According to the Energy Saving Trust proper draught proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in the floor can save up to £55 a year in a particularly draughty home.

Make a light investment – LED Lighting can slash your electricity bills by up to 80%. Although more expensive than conventional bulbs, LED lighting lasts for decades and is a lot more energy efficient. LED lighting has a yearly average cost of £2.20, which is nearly £10 cheaper than conventional bulbs as they have an annual cost of £11.90 per year due to the cost of replacements etc.

Turn it off! – Lights and electrical products are often left on unnecessarily. Most electronics can be safely turned off at the plug without any affect on their systems. A typical house could save between £50 and £90 a year by just turning products off that would be on standby, according to Energy Saving Trust.

Heat yourself not your home – Radiant heating is an incredibly economical heating system and can provide energy savings of up to 50 or 70%. Radiant heating is the transfer of heat energy using energy waves, therefore the system heats the occupier of the room the same way the sun does. This means that heat isn’t wasted on heating unused parts of the room.

Insulate – If your home was built after 1920, it will most probably have been built so that there is a cavity between walls. This cavity can be insulated so that heat is kept in and is not lost from the walls of the home. An average insulation costs between £450 and £500 and can save up to £140 a year. Therefore the investment will pay for itself in less than 4 years.

These are just some of the ways that consumers can cut down and reduce the rising energy costs that the big six are imposing on them. There are endless energy saving tips and products that consumers can install to cut down energy costs, some of these require no investment whilst some do require a large investment, however, they will all pay off in the long run.

Post date: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:20

By 2020, the EU is aiming to generate 20% of its overall power from renewable energy sources.

Therefore, over the next few years we are going to see a large increase in the amount of green and renewable energy sources installed in the UK.

Curriculum requirements mean that pupils are already being taught about renewable energy in subjects such as science, geography and design and technology.

However, with the increasing implementation of renewable energy in society and the many jobs that this will thus create, the need for your pupils to be learning about cutting-edge, sustainable energy technologies is becoming more and more important.

The green energy industry is vastly growing and it is likely that a number of your pupils will go on to secure careers in this sector. Therefore it is imperative that you make sure you are teaching your pupils about renewable energy in the most exciting and effective way you can. 

I believe that schools must not only be teaching pupils about the theories of green energy but also make sure that a renewable energy source is implemented at their school.

Implementing a renewable energy source at your school has a number of benefits.

Firstly, the installed renewable energy source can be used as a teaching resource. In my experience, people are a lot more responsive and interested in learning about green energy when they can physically see it in action.

Implementing a renewable energy source also sets a great example to your pupils, who will see that green energy is a realistic option and not just something they learn about in textbooks. You will also impress your local community by making a conscious effort to reduce your carbon footprint.

Secondly, you’re doing your bit for the environment! The whole point of green energy is to help us cut down on our carbon footprint. By installing a source at your school you are helping to do this and to protect the environment that we live in. 

Another major benefit is the free electricity and heating that the source will generate for your school! Although green energy sources are usually an initially, large investment, they pay for themselves in around 5 years and then become self-financing for about another 15 years.

There are also a number of grants available for schools to help you afford to install green energy systems and these can be easily applied for. For more information on green and renewable energy systems contact Colette at Concept LHP

Post date: Tue, 01/14/2014 - 10:17

With energy bills rising and the mounting costs of running large buildings such as care homes, green energy is becoming a more suitable option to cut down on both the costs of bills and carbon emissions.

For this reason, an increasing amount of organisations in the care and nursing sector are turning to renewable energy systems and are reaping the rewards of doing so.

By 2020, the UK Government is aiming to generate 12% of its overall heating energy from renewable sources. Therefore, over the next few years we are going to see a large increase in the amount of green and renewable energy sources installed in the UK including solar PV and biomass.

As the UK is legally committed to achieve this aim by 2020, there are a variety of grants and incentives that commercial businesses and even domestic properties can take advantage of.

One of these schemes is the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), which is a scheme set up by the UK Government, which offers financial incentives to encourage businesses, households and communities to install green energy technologies.

In simplified terms, the RHI scheme works as follows:

  • Install a renewable heat source into your care home, such as a biomass boiler.
  • Measure how much heat your renewable energy system produces.
  • Get paid a fixed amount, which is calculated by how much energy your renewable system is producing, the type of technology and the size of the system.

The tariff levels are fixed for 20 years from the registration date and are adjusted for inflation, however, the tariffs may be lower for people who start later in the scheme. Therefore the earlier you apply the more you receive!

A care home that recent installed a 100kW biomass system and is benefiting from the RHI grant is a Care Home in Merseyside, which cares for 25 residents.

Before the biomass installation, the care home utilised a natural gas fuelled system that was fast becoming a financial burden.

The cost of the biomass system was £90,000 in total and it is expected that the system will pay for itself within 5 years. Figures for Year 1 through the RHI and fuel cost savings were £16,500 - a return on investment of some 18%. Based on these findings it is estimated that over 20 years the biomass system will contribute an impressive £650,000 to the business.

The financial support is not the only to benefit to green energy. The fuel for green energy is usually a lot cheaper or even free, such as the biomass fuel for biomass boilers or in the case of solar, the sunlight, which is free. This means that energy bills are further reduced.

Last but not least, installing a green energy system has a major benefit to the environment. Solar PV uses the Earth’s natural resources to produce electricity and the biomass boilers are carbon neutral due to biomass fuel being part of the natural carbon cycle, which means that they do not add additional carbon to the environment, unlike fossil fuels.

Speak to an expert today to find out how much you could save.
Email us or call 0800 917 7901.

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