Archive for UK Energy Sector

Renewable electricity island

While we’ll all benefit from renewables in the long term, there are likely going to be communities who could benefit just a wee bit more – and proposals for a marine energy facility on the Isle of Wight could mean that they are just one such place.

A report in Business Green online states that the island could be entirely powered by its own renewable marine energy, and become a major producer.

One area of the UK I’m expecting big things from in this area is Shetland – gotta be wind aplenty needing harvested.

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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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3 Pin Lightbulbs, Consumer Concerns

green lighbulbs

Green Lighting?

Normally here at Greener Power we are keen to endorse any new technologies that can improve the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses, but when it comes at the expense of consumers that aren’t given any choice on the matter, we are not so keen to blow our green trumpets. This has definitely been the case with the implementation of the MEM 3 Pin Lightbulbs in new-build UK housing stock.

A quick summation of the background to this issue. In 2006, changes to Part L of the Building Regulations stipulated that most new and refurbished homes in the UK have  to install light-fittings that only accept energy efficient three-pin and four-pin bulbs. This is all well and good, these are much more energy efficient than the ‘traditional’ incandescent bulb types in the old housing stock. Unfortunately, this is where the good points end for this particular bulb.

There are three main problems with these 3 pin bulbs:

1) Unlike the traditional bulb which you could get a 3 for £1 or something, these 3 pin MEM (compact fluorescent lamps ‘CFLs’ or ‘energy-saving’ bulbs) bulbs cost about £10 each. This has led to a number of associations dealing with rightfully irate resident feedback about these unconventional fittings.

2) They and do not provide any additional energy saving benefit to equivalent two-pin low-energy bulbs, which you can get for about £1.

3) Only MEM mannufacture them

There is much more on this important issue which hasn’t got the attention it deserves over at Dan Lockton’s ‘Design with Intent‘ blog. He has covered the entire issue from its inception and has a wide range of information on the subject, including a guide on how to fit a normal bulb into a 3 pin socket! (for the more determined or technically minded).

Hopefully, someone will see sense on this issue eventually and either stump up the cash to pay for these bulbs for redsidents or alter the building regulations to allow other types of bulbs to be used in new housing stock.

This post was prompted by a debate on Radio 4 today (15/03) at lunchtime, hopefully this will be available on the BBC iPlayer soon.

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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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SSE Brings 250 Renewable Energy Jobs to Glasgow

Excellent news for Glasgow yesterday that Scottish and Southern Energy had agreed to join with The University of Strathclyde (renowned for wind power research) in Glasgow to create a new Centre of Engineering Excellence for Renewable Energy (CEERE). The new facility will primarily become a new a new research and management centre for wind farm projects.

SSE Manging Director Ian Marchant:

“Our Centre of Excellence which will be known as CEERE will play a crucial part in helping SSE to realise its renewable energy goals in the UK, Ireland and elsewhere in Europe, helping to secure energy supplies and contributing to the development of a lower carbon economy.

“Having considered all of the options in mainland Europe, Ireland and the UK, we have settled on Glasgow as the best location for CEERE, and the city’s own sustainable energy ambitions also make it a very appropriate choice.

“Working with the University of Strathclyde, and with the support of the Scottish Government, we will create and secure several hundred skilled jobs for Scotland.

“Scotland’s ambition to become a leader in renewable energy is well known and we are delighted to be making this investment in Scotland. We’re very positive about the prospects for creating new jobs to harness Europe’s renewable energy resources and the potential make a significant contribution to the achievement of Scotland’s ambitions.”

Strathclyde University Principal (and Professor) Jim McDonald said:

“If we are to address the challenges of climate change, rapid and widespread deployment of renewable energy technologies is critical.

“The new partnership reflects Scotland’s potential to be at the forefront of the UK and European renewable energy sectors, creating new jobs and research and development opportunities.”

The Scottish Government is investing £2.8m into the scheme, First Minister Alex Salmond spoke on the new energy centre yesterday.

Good news for Glasgow and Scotland – this is a considerable commitment to the green economy and hopefully another step on the way for Scotland to become a true renewable energy hub.

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