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energy saving tips, info and advice from an independent not-for-profit perspective.

Do We Need Renewable Energy in Our Homes?

Just like a lot of people I have often wondered about renewable energy. I know that it’s important for the environment and the future that we find a more sustainable source of energy; and one that does not pollute the air that we breath and the water that we drink (I have got a first-hand knowledge of what air and water pollution can do and believe me it is not a pretty sight).

posted by Omo Ogundele on 03 August 2012

tags: at home , renewable energy , solar ,

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Why do we need to save water?

We’ve all grown up taking water for granted. Turned on the tap and there's water. Flushed the toilet and there's water. Take a bath. Put on the dishwasher.

posted by Boiler Cashback Team on 18 July 2012

tags: at home , food and water ,

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Wales follows Ireland's lead in plastic bag reduction

Last October Wales brought in a 5p charge for all single-use plastic bags in supermarkets.  As a result, their use has fallen dramatically, with some supermarkets reporting reductions of up to 96%.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 17 July 2012

tags: recycling ,

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It’s Summer, Why Insulation?

I spoke to a friend of mine about the free insulation offer that we have at the moment and her answer was "it's summer, why do I want to worry my head about insulation?"

posted by Omo Ogundele on 06 July 2012

tags: at home , insulation , energy efficiency ,

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Athletic tips to better driving:

With the London Olympics 2012 fast approaching, it’s got me thinking about the CO2 emissions this major event is going to produce.
 
Its been advised the travel carbon footprint of the spectators travelling to and from the games is estimated at about 400,000 tonnes. To put this into perspective that’s equivalent to 85,743 cars off the road for a year.

posted by Boiler Cashback Team on 04 July 2012

tags: transport ,

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Energy Saving Tips From Other Cultures

I believe that there is a lot one can learn from other cultures. I am African and growing up at home, the reasons we tried to save on water and energy was that we did not have the luxury of constant running water and electricity, and where either existed it was extremely expensive.

posted by Omo Ogundele on 15 June 2012

tags: at home , food and water , local resilience , energy efficiency ,

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LEDs and Compact fluorescent lights

Every little bit of energy we can save at home make a whole lot of difference.  However, sometimes the cost of energy saving may seem to be expensive in the short term even though it is worth it in the long run.

posted by Omo Ogundele on 07 June 2012

tags: at home , energy efficiency ,

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Government draft energy bill announced

On Tuesday 22nd May 2012 the draft Energy Bill was announced and includes measures necessary to reform the electricity market to deliver secure, clean and affordable electricity.The bill outlines long-term contracts to encourage investment in nuclear and renewable energy. Britain needs £110bn of investment to keep the lights on and meet green targets.

posted by Boiler Cashback Team on 25 May 2012

tags: at home , renewable energy ,

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Is encouraging consumers to buy less a good business model?

A clothing manufacturer that encourages their consumers to buy fewer items sounds like a company who’ve not thought through their business model too thoroughly.  But outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia do just that.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 25 April 2012

tags: recycling ,

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Milton Keynes Marathon goes 'GREEN'

On Sunday 29th of April Milton Keynes will hold their very first Marathon and their making it 'GREEN'.

posted by Boiler Cashback Team on 24 April 2012

tags: recycling , local resilience , transport , energy efficiency ,

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Government cracks down on Energy Bills

It was announced on the 11th April 2012 that the government and energy suppliers will put us in control of our energy bills by ensuring we can get the best deal possible.

posted by Boiler Cashback Team on 13 April 2012

tags: at home , energy suppliers ,

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DECC announce second phase for the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP)

On 26 March, Department of Energy and Climate Change announced a second phase to the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme, which will provide further support for installations of renewable heat technologies in the household sector. The budget has been increased from £15m to £25m, and is including community schemes and there’ll be more social housing schemes that can benefit.

posted by Boiler Cashback Team on 11 April 2012

tags: at home , solar , renewable energy ,

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Hosepipe bans on the way as UK drought leads to water shortages

The Environment Agency have confirmed that parts of the UK are currently in drought, with the expectation that the affected areas will increase as we move towards the summer.  But why are we experiencing drought?  And what can we do about it?

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 15 March 2012

tags: food and water , at home , climate change ,

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Putting a stop to energy bills that cost the earth

Lani Shamash, co-founder of thepeoplespower.co.uk, writes on the UK energy market, and how group switching can help households get a fairer deal.

posted by Lani Shamash on 05 March 2012

tags: energy suppliers , fuel poverty ,

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Encouraging recycling in the workplace

Here in the USEA office we're pretty good at recycling our waste, and keeping the amount of rubbish we send to landfill as low as possible.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 20 February 2012

tags: recycling ,

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Zero Cost Energy Saving Measures

In these days of austerity it's worth remembering a few energy saving - and therefore money saving - tips that won't cost you anything.

posted by Angus Murchie on 15 February 2012

tags: at home , food and water , energy efficiency , fuel poverty ,

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Cold Weather Payments explained – are you entitled to help with your energy bills?

Did you know that when the weather is very cold, some people are eligible to receive an extra payment from the government to help with heating costs?

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 10 February 2012

tags: at home , energy efficiency , fuel poverty ,

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Going GREEN? Get the best DEAL...

The new innovative 'Green Deal' financial mechanism is due to come into force later this year (autumn). But, is it worth waiting for? Is the Green Deal the best deal for you? Is there still time to take action now, before the Green Deal comes into force?

posted by Dale Hoyland on 01 February 2012

tags: green deal , fuel poverty ,

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Stop Trying to "Save the Planet"

For Christmas I was given the book "Seeing Further, The Story of Science & the Royal Society". Within its excellent 22 separate essays was one by Oliver Morton entitled "Globe and Sphere, Cycles and Flows: How to see the World". One of the main thrusts of that essay was to point out how inaccurate it is for various campaigns and environmental groups to bang on about "saving the planet".

posted by Angus Murchie on 23 January 2012

tags: at home , climate change , insulation , local resilience ,

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UK smart meter myth-buster

What do you call a meter which isn’t a smart meter?  A dumb meter!  No that's not a joke (which is lucky, because if it was it would be a terrible one); it’s just a weird quirk of language that has arisen around the UK smart meter roll out.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 23 January 2012

tags: at home , energy suppliers , energy efficiency ,

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Decoding the recent gas and electricity price reductions

There has been a lot of talk in the news over the last week that the energy companies are reducing their prices.  However, rather than being greeted with open arms there seems to have been a bit of a backlash.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 18 January 2012

tags: at home , energy suppliers , fuel poverty ,

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43.3p or 21p...? That is the question.

It has been a turbulent time for the solar industry recently.  First there were the cuts to large scale PV installations, then there was the announcement of planned cuts to small scale installations and now we don't even know what the tariff level is for small scale PV systems installed today.

posted by Ruth Wharton on 10 January 2012

tags: at home , solar , renewable energy ,

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What energy efficiency measures will you be able to get through Green Deal?

The government's Green Deal consultation period closes on 18th January 2012, and with the opportunity to ask questions and give comments getting nearer, it is a hot topic among people in the energy efficiency industries.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 09 January 2012

tags: at home , insulation , solar , green deal , renewable energy , energy efficiency ,

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Top ten environmental new year's resolutions

It's that time of year again, where we all resolve to lose weight, go to the gym, stop smoking.  But have you thought about resolving to make a few small changes to become more environmentally friendly?  

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 03 January 2012

tags: climate change , at home , energy efficiency , food and water ,

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Sanergy - an organisation who actually wants to increase waste

I’ve been reading recently about Sanergy, an organisation based in the US who are working to create an effective sanitation system within the slums of Nairobi.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 16 December 2011

tags: renewable energy , local resilience ,

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Are PV Solar Panels still worth it?

The announcement of the change to Feed in Tariff (FITs) payments from the 12th December 2011 sent shock waves through the photovoltaic industry and has created a lot of negative press – not to mention the threat of legal action by Friends of the Earth. However, does this mean that PV is now a bad idea?

posted by Angus Murchie on 23 November 2011

tags: at home , solar , climate change , renewable energy ,

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Landlords should prepare their tenants for winter

The National Landlords Association (NLA), the UK’s leading organisation for private-residential landlords, is encouraging it's members to prepare their tenants for winter through simple advice and taking advantage of energy efficiency improvements.

posted by Tom Whitehead on 22 November 2011

tags: energy efficiency ,

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Why service my gas boiler?

Well the weather has well and truly turned chilly now and I’m sure most of you will have given in to the cold and finally turned on your heating.  And getting those central heating boilers fired up for the first time can sometimes uncover some unwanted problems, leaving you cold and miserable right when you least need it.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 21 November 2011

tags: at home , energy efficiency ,

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Sun begins to set on Solar Electricity Feed-In Tariffs

A document leaked from the Energy Saving Trust (EST) today has unveiled government plans to drastically reduce the 4kW solar photovoltaic (PV) tariff level from 43.3 to 21p/kWh.  The cut will cause the payback period for domestic installations to double, almost certainly making domestic homeowners to think again about installing solar electricity.

posted by Ruth Wharton on 28 October 2011

tags: renewable energy , solar , at home ,

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Renewables could meet the majority of the UK energy needs by 2030

The WWF have published a feasibility study looking what proportion of the UK’s energy supply could be provided by solar, wind, tidal and other renewable energy sources within the next twenty years; and their findings are pretty ambitious.  The report looks at various different scenarios and proposes that renewables could provide between 60% and 90% of our energy needs by 2030.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 27 October 2011

tags: renewable energy , solar ,

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Could the Green Deal destroy the Loft and Cavity Wall Insulation industry?

In December 2012 the existing system of grants to help householders insulate their homes will come to an end and be replaced by the new “Green Deal” and its planned system for loans.

posted by Angus Murchie on 24 October 2011

tags: insulation , green deal , energy efficiency ,

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Prepare for rising energy prices

The message isn't new, but it has more urgency. The Prime Minister met the Big Six energy suppliers and they agreed to write to 4 million households inviting them to Check, Switch and Insulate to Save.

posted by Gordon Glass on 18 October 2011

tags: insulation , energy suppliers ,

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Ofgem simplification plan aims to make energy bills easier to compare

On Friday Ofgem published a press release detailing their plans for a major overhaul of the energy supplier’s pricing mechanisms.  Ofgem have been making a lot of noise about the complexity of tariffs for a while now, a feeling it seems is shared by many consumers.  There are presently 400 different tariffs available from the Big Six, and this doesn’t take into account the many hundreds more of tariffs which people remain on but are just not open to new customers.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 17 October 2011

tags: energy suppliers ,

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Is choosing an energy supplier like choosing a toaster? Chris Huhne thinks so

So Energy Secretary Chris Huhne compared shopping for a toaster with choosing an energy supplier in a recent interview with the Times.  He implied that people had their priorities all wrong if they were willing to put the work in to compare buying something worth £25, but not willing to compare energy deals.  This is a neat little metaphor, but that’s not to say it’s really that helpful or relevant!

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 26 September 2011

tags: energy suppliers ,

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Energy saving light bulbs - facts and fiction

The latest phase of the EU ban on the manufacture and distribution of incandescent light bulbs comes into force today, meaning that 60 watt clear bulbs will no longer being made.

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 08 September 2011

tags: energy efficiency ,

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Can I insulate a boarded loft?

Loft insulation is a great way of making your home more energy efficient, warmer, and keeping your energy bills low.  But many people use their lofts as storage, with large boarded areas to allow you to hide away all of those things you don’t really use or need, but are loathe to get rid of. 

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 31 August 2011

tags: insulation ,

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Insulating inner city London

The Energy Saving Trust recently released a report which included a breakdown by local authority of the number of properties who had taken advantage of the government’s CERT funding to subsidise cut price cavity wall and loft insulation. 

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 22 August 2011

tags: insulation ,

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Make money with solar panels

I was reading Miles Brignall in the Guardian recently, and he was discussing the returns from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. 

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 22 August 2011

tags: solar ,

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Ofgem fines and the Big Six energy suppliers

Well, it’s my first ever blog post and I thought I’d talk about something that’s been in the news a lot recently, the big energy suppliers. 

posted by Carolyn Kempster on 18 August 2011

tags: energy suppliers ,

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Is my home suitable for solar?

UK Feed-in Tariffs (FITs) make solar photovoltaic (PV) panels an attractive investment for homeowners who have savings. The soon to be introduced Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) will also provide better returns for solar water heating (SWH). But there are some points to consider before chasing quotes:

posted by Gordon Glass on 30 June 2011

tags: solar ,

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The real Green Deal... please stand up

Is grant support for home insulation soon to be replaced by loans? The government's latest proposals certainly imply this.

posted by Gordon Glass on 13 April 2011

tags: green deal ,

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Cavity Wall Insulation Problems?

Cavity wall insulation creates a breathable barrier which reduces the speed that heat moves through walls. Usually insulation is a great help as you want to keep heat in your home during winter. However, fitting cavity wall insulation can be problematic or even ill-advised in certain cases. If your property is vulnerable to damp, it is not suitable.

posted by Gordon Glass on 03 March 2011

tags: insulation ,

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How not to overheat in summer

When sizzling hot weather is forecast, how can you store that early morning cool? Try these tips:

posted by Gordon Glass on 12 January 2011

tags: at home ,

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Sense in Switching?

At a time of rising energy prices on-line comparison can help you save money.

posted by Gordon Glass on 11 January 2011

tags: energy suppliers ,

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Preparing for Transition?

Imagine discovering an energy source so versatile that it could power 90% of modern transportation, help in the production of 95% of industrial goods, provide a three fold increase in agricultural crop yields and supply our government (alongside gas) with 30% of its corporation tax receipts.

posted by Gordon Glass on 21 October 2010

tags: local resilience ,

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What has water got to do with energy?

The short answer is... plenty!  About 70% of global freshwater is used in agriculture - this provides us with our food energy.  Hydropower provides some 20% of global electricity.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 July 2010

tags: food and water ,

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solar is an earner with new feed-in tariff

When you get an approved renewable energy system installed you can now benefit from a Feed-in Tariff (FIT). Your electricity supplier will pay one tariff for the electricity you generate and one for any electricity you export to the grid. For a standard household Solar PV system they'll pay 41.3p per kWh generated and at least 3p per kWh exported.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 April 2010

tags: solar , renewable energy ,

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Love food hate waste

UK households are throwing away 8.3m tonnes of food a year, most of which is perfectly edible.  A typical family with kids bins £680 worth. Equally unsettling is the environmental cost - the wasted water and energy in growing and transporting uneaten food and the methane it produces in landfill. So, how can we do better?

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2010

tags: food and water ,

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How smart is your driving?

Most car drivers could be travelling a lot further on a tank of fuel. No new car is required - just a change to smarter driving.  Try these tips:

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 April 2009

tags: transport ,

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energy saving light bulb myth buster

Not all information you read about energy saving light bulbs is accurate. The following Q & A should help put you in command of the facts.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2009

tags: at home ,

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insulate and save!

If you have little or no insulation in your home, up to 40p in every £1 of heat you pay for could be escaping before you feel warm.  Hold this thought.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2009

tags: insulation ,

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beat the (credit) freeze

If you are getting poor returns on your investments, why not try energy saving?

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2009

tags: at home ,

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Avoid cold related illnesses this winter

If you can’t afford to adequately heat your home you are technically living in ‘fuel poverty’.  This could make you more vulnerable to cold-related illnesses like asthma, influenza, bronchitis and pneumonia.  If are an older person, it could also put you at greater risk of heart attacks, strokes and other circulatory conditions.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 September 2008

tags: fuel poverty ,

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make the most of your energy

The cost of household gas is almost twice what it was in 1999. Energy Saving Trust says the average household could still save around £300 a year on its energy bills.  Are you missing a trick? 

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 July 2008

tags: energy efficiency ,

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Together we can tackle climate change

The scientific evidence is clear. Human CO2 emissions are accelerating climate change.  We all need to reduce the emissions for which we are personally responsible by burning less fuel.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2008

tags: climate change ,

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free insulation for over 70s

100% grant funded loft and cavity wall insulation is currently available to residents aged 70 years and above. This offer is made irrespective of your income and savings and whether or not you are in receipt of benefits.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2008

tags: insulation ,

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what are the best insulation materials?

This article takes a look at a range of different insulation materials which are available to the DIY enthusiast or self-build house builder.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 December 2007

tags: insulation ,

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Calculate your carbon footprint

Web based Carbon Calculators can help us move from agreement on climate change to action.  To use one, simply enter details of your energy use.  The calculator will then translate this into estimated carbon dioxide emissions.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 October 2007

tags: on-line tools ,

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climate its the pace of change that should concern us

It is not unusual for the earth’s average temperature to rise or fall over tens of thousands of years.  However, climate scientists consider it ‘very likely’ that global warming is now being accelerated by the high volumes of man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere.  

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 April 2007

tags: climate change ,

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Time to go solar?

Climate change has climbed the agenda.  Buildings are now being rated for energy efficiency and CO2 emissions.  Some new homes are appearing with renewable energy systems built in.

posted by Gordon Glass on 01 January 2007

tags: solar ,

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compare and save

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