Archive for UK gas

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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Green Scottish Power from SEGEC Launch?

Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) Launches

In what was probably a moment of ‘calm before the storm’ for Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond (before the Megrahi Announcement), last week he opened The Scottish European Green Energy Centre at the University of Aberdeen.

With joint-funding coming from a £1.6 million investment from the European Regional Development Fund, and a further £1 Million from the Scottish Government the centre has the none-too-difficult task of establishing the Granite City as a research hub into wave, tidal and wind power. SEGEC’s primary focus will be on marine energy, offshore wind, long-distance super-grid development and smart distribution grids, carbon capture and storage, renewable heat and energy efficiency.

According to the official Press Release from the Scottish Government:

“It aims to help the Scottish green energy sector secure maximum benefits from engagement with Europe through developing partnerships with businesses and institutions, designing collaborative projects and identifying and accessing European funding.”

One of the partner companies is Scottish and Southern Energy, their Chief Exec Ian Marchant explained their involvment:

“The Scottish European Green Energy Centre is another important step in the realisation of Scotland’s renewable energy ambitions, which SSE is pleased to support. The key is developing and deploying the technologies that can harness Scotland’s remarkable green energy resources, and this new Centre will provide a key means of doing this, involving industry, government and universities here and elsewhere in Europe. It is the kind of initiative that has to be taken and has to succeed if challenging targets for renewable energy in 2020 and beyond are to be met.”

Speaking at the launch, Mr Salmond said:

“The Scottish European Green Energy Centre (SEGEC) aims to build on Aberdeen’s long-established global reputation as an energy hub by positioning Scotland at the forefront of European innovation, research and development in clean, renewable energy.

“The investment of European funding will embrace the energy-related opportunities presented through Scotland’s leading global effort to reduce climate change. Scotland’s natural capital can create tens of thousands of green jobs.”

Here is the official launch video:

Some questions on SEGEC

Obviously, any establishment which aims to promote green scottish power is to be welcomed. However, we have a few questions that you can possibly help us to answer:

  • Is Aberdeen a feasible location to become Scotlands Green Energy hub?
  • Will we (the energy buying public) see any direct benefits from any of these projects? or
  • Are these purely academic exercises?
  • Will the rest of Europe be willing to invest in Scottish Green Energy schemes?
  • If the Scottish Government is serious about green energy supply, then is £1 million a large enough investment?
  • Will all the partner energy companies be willing to adapt to any recommended changes in practice?

If anyone has any thoughts on these please leave a comment!

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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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Tendering for Energy in the UK

UK Tender Negotiating Issues

Energy Tendering Process

Energy Tendering Process

Over the last couple of years the dramatic inflation of wholesale UK energy prices is making businesses re-evaluate their latest procurement arrangements. With the uncertainty in the global market and economy the energy companies are taking a step into the unknown in regards to gauging future gas and electricity tendering energy procurement contracts.

The market:

It has been widely reported that more than halve of all energy companies are paying over the odds for their utilities due to many reasons, One of the major scenarios of this is because there is no certainty about costs, contracts and price formatting from major suppliers. Another reason as to why various businesses are paying over the odds is due to the confusion of supply contracts being terminated. This results in companies having to pay excessive charges.

Once again companies will have to rely on the government to clarify what’s what when it comes to negotiating energy supplies into the UK from foreign countries.

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CBI warns UK Energy Policy is too Wind Focussed

There are calls today from the CBI for a review into the current UK energy policy. They claim that wind power is playing far too prominent a role in the UK energy mix, and that nuclear energy should be utilised far more extensively in future UK energy delivery.

We have serious doubts as to this point of view (too much wind?), what are your thoughts on this issue?

Please have your say in our poll……………

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Is Nuclear Power Safe?

Is Nuclear Power Safe? Vote Now.

nucs
The biggest question of our generation is – are nuclear power stations safe? Nuclear power is most dangerous thing man has ever created; Using it to create power has been a long standing argument ever since it was created – and no wonder people where and still are scared of it, the first time most people would have heard of nuclear power was when the bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan, the destruction that caused was unprecedented and would be enough for anyone to be worried, The problem is that if it goes wrong then what, thankfully it has only ever happened once in Chernobyl but I think you would agree that once is too much, In my honest opinion I don’t have a problem with nuclear power stations as I don’t think our scientists and chiefs at our power stations would ever experiment the way that the they apparently did in the lead up to the explosion, I don’t think that would be an issue, our biggest threat to our power stations today is the threat of terrorists but I have total trust in our security forces to prevent that from happening, I think nuclear power is safe but I would much rather have greener energy powering our nation.

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2009 Energy Saving and Recyling Tips

2009 is only a few days old and if (like us) you are already thinking of ways to reduce the pain of new year bills then there are a few great recycling ideas you can try out. Re-purposing and recycling are simple methods of reducing your carbon footprint, and who knows, trying it out for this month might save you so much that it will become part of your routine.

Here’s a few basic tips that we would implement, any other suggestions would be gratefully welcomed.

  • Recycle your old Christmas Tree!
  • Reuse or repurpose your old packaging – use old margarine tubs and bottles creatively
  • Try to limit buying products with excessive packaging volume
  • A little bit of DIY can save alot – repairing than than chucking out any items is the way to go
  • Reduce wastage by planning meals carefully
  • Reusable plastic shopping bags are becoming the common sense option now
  • Find a cheap electricity or gas tariff, preferably renewables sourced
  • Many UK Local authorities have recycling programmes in place and can recycle many different types of goods – if you don’t have a local collection check where your nearest recycling centre is
  • Dont be ashamed of buying second-hand products
  • Buy products made from recycled materials when possible
  • Get rid of any unwanted clothes, electrical goods, books and much more by selling them or donating to the local charity shops

Happy new year!

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