Archive for Energy Offers

A short guide to switching electricity and gas supplier

I think all of us have considered switching Electricity or Gas suppliers at some point especially when we get what seems like an expensive bill in. But most of us never really follow through because it just seems like so much hassle. Whilst others think that the lower prices will be at the expense of quality or reliability.

However with the number of sites that are now dedicated to providing you with as much information as possible on all aspects of the energy providers there really is no excuse for not doing some homework and making an informed decision regarding which energy supplier is best for you.

Going ahead with the switch
First of all you need to find your new supplier; this is essential and helps ensure that your service will be uninterrupted. By applying to your new supplier first they will make all the necessary arrangements with the supplier you are leaving so there is no extra hassle or worrying about cut off dates etc.

Normally when you switch service to a new provider you will receive some kind of new customer incentive which can be anything from discounted rates to a cuddly toy.
So if you’ve lost confidence in your current provider start doing your homework and switch to an energy supplier that suits you.

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Boiler Scrappage Scheme – Scotland

The boiler scrappage scheme has finally been given government backing in Scotland, several months after it was introduced in the rest of the country. This was announced by Ministers at the weekend. The scheme is very similar to those that have up and running in both England and Wales.

This is surely good news for those people North of the Border, where the winters tend to bite that little bit harder, and were looking southward rather enviously during this oncoming period of austerity.

In the first wave a sum of £400 will be offered to the first 5000 successful applicants, who have made sure the benefits to the house and the environment of the replacement boiler.

And this is just the perfect time to offer such a scheme, as at the moment, and because of the recent heatwave, not many people are likely to have their central heating running at full steam in the current climate. And it would be best to get ready for the winter before you really need to.

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Boiler Scrappage Scheme Closes, Discounts Available Elsewhere

Boiler Scrappage ends, will it return?

Apologies for missing the end date on this, but it appears that the government boiler scrappage scheme has closed after 125,000 vouchers being handed out in three months – good luck to those who managed to get a shiny new, energy efficient boiler! If you missed the scheme do not despair as the energy companies are continuing to offer their own deals, i.e. SSE Home Services gas boiler scrappage scheme, so there are still some savings to be made. Elsewhere in the country, SWALEC in Wales has its own scheme in place from April the 1st and Scotland is set to get its own boiler scrappage scheme, but an exact start date is proving a little elusive.

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OFGEM Certified Green Energy Tariffs Unveiled

green energy tariff

OFGEM Green Energy Certificate

The energy regulator OFGEM has revealed the first tariffs that meet its requirements for green certification. These tariffs meet three main criteria laid out by an panel of independent experts:

1.    All the electricity use by customers signed up to the tariff must be matched by Renewable Energy bought or generated by the tariff’s Supplier.
2.    The Supplier must also contribute to a minimum level of additional environmental benefits for each customer
3.    The Supplier must sign up to the Green Energy Supply Certification Scheme and obey its rules on transparency (including reporting all its sources of electricity by type) and submitting its Green Supply Tariffs to an annual independent audit.

Nine tariffs have been given ‘green energy certification’…..

  1. better plan from SSE – Scottish Hydro’s green energy scheme, also available with  SWALEC & Southern Electric
  2. Zero Carbon (to be renamed) and Future Energy from British Gas
  3. Go Green from E.On
  4. Green Tariff from EDF Energy
  5. 100% Green & Gold from Good Energy
  6. Juice and National Trust Green Energy from npower
  7. Simply Green from Scottish Power

A good move from OFGEM which should weed out alot of the ‘greenwash’ tariffs out there…………

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Is Your Direct Debit Energy Bill Accurate?

This is the question that we must ask ourselves in the light of the latest suggestions from regulator OFGEM that the Direct Debit energy bills supplied must be more accurate in the future, and provide a detailed breakdown of what exactly you are paying for with your energy bills (BBC News). There has been complaints from consumer groups for a number of years that energy firms have been setting their direct debit rates too high. OFGEM concluded that it could find no evidence that this was the case, but we will be checking our bills anyway and would suggest that you do the same.

Who are we paying?

Whilst pondering your bill it also may be worth considering exactly WHO you are paying – as most of the UK energy firms are owned by foreign comapanies (how many UK energy consumers are aware of this?, perhaps something OFGEM could research in the future…..)

  • Scottish and Southern Energy – Has been based in Perth, Scotland since its inception in 1998
  • E.ON – Took over Powergen in 2002 – German-based.
  • NPower – Parent company in German behemoth RWE
  • Électricité de France (EDF) – Produced 22% of 2003 EU Electricity, 74.5% of which was from Nuclear Power.
  • Scottish Power – Under control of Spanish utilities firm Iberdola
  • British Gas – Centrica ltd took over the British Gas name in the UK

Quite alot of factors to ponder then when analysing whether you are getting cheaper gas and electricity.

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Scottish Govermnent £600m Green Energy Investment

News from Scotland that the Government has announced that it will be investing £600m in ‘green’ electricity in what is being termed as the biggest power supply contract in Scottish history.

Of the ‘big six’ energy companies that were involved in the tendering process,  Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy won a share of the contracts that were available. Scottish Power will supply power to major public buildings within Scotland, and SSE will supply metered council housing with green electricity.

Both companies have insisted that the energy for these projects will be produced from 100% Scottish renewable sources.

Scotland is seeking to cut emissions by 80% before 2050.

Glendoe Power Station

Scottish and Southern Energy will generate its power from its big new hydro project at Glendoe to supply its side of the energy deal.

The 100MW capacity Glendoe power station, built adjacent to Loch Ness, is the first conventional hydro-electric pwer station to be built for 50 years. The SSE contract also provides access to low carbon and renewable technologies such as combined heat and power, solar and biomass.

Scottish Government Finance minister John Swinney outlined the main principles behind the deal:

On top of saving money this contract will create a greener Scotland. The public sector needs to show leadership if we are to achieve the ambitions of our Climate Change Bill.

The contracts will help public bodies address emissions from energy use through a range of energy efficiency measures, access to renewable generation sources and opportunities to sell green electricity back to the Grid. The vast majority of public bodies have recognised these benefits and have signed up to this deal.

Is this deal good for Scotlands energy future? Please let us know your opinions…………

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Five Green Energy Stories of 2009 – so far

We can’t quite believe it but it is actually mid-April. Therefore, with one-quarter of the year gone we thought that it would be interesting to compile our top 5 green energy related stories of 2009 so far. It has definitely been an eventful start to the year, the majority of energy news is understanably resonating from the new US administration and the continuing global economic situation. These combined events have seen some of the biggest institutions in the world begin to adapt their policies and practice in order to fall in line with the green revolution. Anyway, here are five of our top green stories of Q1 2009.

  • The Pentagon turns green! – Not exactly renowned for making either cost or energy efficiciency savings, the news that the US Defence HQ was installing 4,200 LED lights in Wedge 5 of the labyrinthyne building is a strong indication of the level of green agenda penetration. The new lights use 22 percent less power than the fluorescent bulbs replace, which will pay back their extra expense in 4 years.
Green Pentagon

Green Pentagon

  • Oil giant Shell drops green investments – You know that an economy is in trouble when giants such as Shell stop investing in anything – sadly, in this case it is their green energy initiatives which have bourne the brunt of cost-saving.


President Obama - early green initiatives

President Obama - early green initiatives

  • China orders Governments to focus on Green Energy – The importance of China grabbing the green initiative shouldn’t be underestimated. The country which houses 20% of the world’s population can have a huge impact on the environment of planet earth.
China - going green

China - going green

  • We have saved the Ozone Layer – is this right!? – For years the central message of the CO2 emission reductiuon policies has been to ‘save the Ozone Layer’ – well, according to the latest research we have actually managed to do it. Is this right, it all seems a bit improbable.

Thats our five top green stories of 2009 so far – what would be your choices?

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Glasgow Wind Farm Gets Approval

Glasgow has been giving permission to build a £3,000,000 wind farm that will be the largest yet to be built in Europe, the farm will host 140 huge wind turbines that will pump 322 megawatts of power into the national grid, enough megawatts to power over 200,000 homes – the equivalent of supplying the hole of Glasgow with Green Electricity, the farm will be built on moorland next to East Kilbride and will cover an area of 7.2 miles by 4.3 and wile there has been some opposition due to the impact they will have on the area the consensus has been positive and when the turbines  are in operation in 2009 they will remove the strain on other power sources

Glasgow builds biggest wind farm in Europe

Glasgow builds biggest wind farm in Europe

along with 650,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide it’s no wonder there is a lot of backing for this project to happen. There will also be a visitor center, cycle route and a walkway for tourists and locals alike.

There is another 24 wind farms under construction and another 77 with planning permission in Scotland so we should be well placed to bypass our energy targets of  5.5Gigawatts that will supply our great nation with 31% of renewable energy each year.

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Is Green Electricity Worth It?

We’ve recently came across this extremely cynical post on green electricity from Fred Pearce over at The Guardian. He slaughters the majority of the UK biggest energy suppliers, claiming that the green and clean electricity and gas tariffs that they offer are nothing more than a smokescreen.

We tend to feel that in some cases Mr Pearce may indeed have a point. However, you cannot possibly blame green conscious consumers for signing up to these tariffs – many of them will have no idea as to the technical aspects of the energy generation process. They simply wish to lower their carbon footprint and increase the energy efficiency of their homes.

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Green Power on the rise

Post in Response to :

Hi-Yep it is good to see that big business is recognising that by going green it does not necessarily follow that profits will suffer. They are finally beginning to realise that they could capitalise on the rise of ‘Green Consciousness’ amongst the UK population, and if thats the case then it should bode well for the environment.

Indeed, it is encouraging to see Scottish Hydro Electric implementing what they call their ‘better plan‘, which sounds like an excellent scheme to induce households accross the UK into increasing their day to day energy efficiency (100% hydro-electricity offered).

However, there is still a long road ahead as according to Statistics Estonia, although electricity generation from Renewables is increasing steadily (+7.5% from 2005-2006), the overall percentage of UK electricity generated in 2006 was only 4.6% – this is comapred to Germany (10.5%), France (11.3%), Sweden (54.3%), Austria (57.4%) and Norway (108.4%!).

More information on UK energy available here.

So, hopefully now the green energy momentum is staring to build in both the business sector and in the case of individual households we can look forward to closing the gap on the rest of Europe.

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