Sunday, 31 July 2011

Solar Energy Sales Soar Among Homeowners

Solar Energy Sales Soar Among Homeowners

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Emma Birchley, East of England correspondent

The number of homeowners investing in solar panels has soared since the Government introduced a cash-back scheme to pay for the electricity they generate.

Read on Sky News

Friday, 29 July 2011

Paper airplanes with MIT solar technology can make electricity

A research team from the MIT has developed a flexible and extremely thin solar technology that, when printed, looks like an ordinary document ready to be stapled and turned in as homework.

But when wires are clipped to one end of a floppy sheet and set in the sun, it can power an LCD clock display and other small “gizmos,” researchers said. The technology may help push the solar industry away from hulking, expensive installations and toward options that can easily generate renewable electricity anywhere.

Using vaporous “inks” made from common elements rather than pricey, toxic components like tellurium, solar cells are deposited onto plain, untreated paper -- including tissue, tracing paper and even newsprint.

The process, which is similar to the one used to make the shiny interior of potato chip bags, is nearly as simple as ink-jet printing -- just with a vacuum chamber thrown in.

The pages can be molded into paper airplanes and still generate electricity when unfolded. They’re also long-lasting, according to researchers, who tested cells produced last year.

British Gas shareholders receive bonus while customers suffer

Centrica, which owns Britain’s biggest gas and electricity company, announced profits of £1.3 billion for the past six months, including £270 million for British Gas.
The company is going ahead with a 12 per cent rise in payouts to shareholders, despite the price rise for its energy customers.

Centrica said that the rise, which comes into force in the middle of next month, was vital for the company to make a profit in the second half of the year.

Nine million residential customers are preparing for an 18 per cent rise in gas prices and a 16 per cent rise in electricity prices.

The rise will add about £190 to the cost of customers’ average annual bills, which will now be £1,286.

Centrica swims upstream

With £1.3bn of profit in only half a year, it's no surprise that Centrica is facing flak for putting up its gas prices by 18% and electricity by 16%.

Why can't it use those profits to take the pressure off hard-pressed energy users, goes the hue and cry?

There's a fairly simple answer, even if it's hard to sell to customers. A company that cross-subsidises its downstream sales (to customers) with profits from its upstream (pumping gas and oil out the ground) will get short shrift from investors.

It could do that short term, if it were used to grow market share. But the Windsor-based firm is growing its customer numbers anyway.

And it needs those profits and investors to keep investing in new resources, new generating capacity and renewed grid connections.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

IBM Save a Massive $50 Million in Electricity Costs

According to the company’s report, “11.2 percent of the company’s global electricity usage” in 2010 was from renewable energy sources. In total 390,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions were avoided through IBM’s energy conservation efforts.

IBM insist that this isn’t just an initiative to keep overheads down; that in fact it is both an investment in business and the environment. Vice President of environmental affairs and product safety at IBM, Wayne Balta has somewhat humorously quipped that savings like these take “more than turning off lights” to occur. Not only have IBM Research been using analytics software to manage electricity consumption, but IBM have invested in what they describe as “IT-related research and development” in order to further the availability and affordability of renewable energy.

UK energy secretary's file handed to CPS

British Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne, has been accused of coaxing her ex-wife, Vicky Pryce, into accepting penalty points for speeding on behalf of him.

“We have received a file of evidence from Essex Police in relation to allegations involving Christopher Huhne and Vicky Pryce. This file will be reviewed under the code for Crown Prosecutors and a decision on whether to charge will be made in due course,” said a spokesman for CPS.

Pryce claimed that the Eastleigh MP has persuaded her to take his penalty points so that he could save his driving license. She claimed that Huhne has committed speeding violations in 2003 on his way back from Stansted Airport.

The police investigation began in March and the file was passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in order to be decided whether Huhne has committed the offences. 

Shop owner shocked at £40,000 electricity bill due to meter reading errors

A CONVENIENCE store owner fears he will go bust after being sent an electricity bill for nearly £40,000.

Philip Bennett, 40, who has never missed a payment, had unwittingly been ­underpaying for three years after innacurate meter readings.

When British Gas discovered the miscalculations, it billed him for £39,522.

Mr Bennett, of Beeston, Leeds, said: “I nearly dropped dead. Apparently they have been reading five digits instead of six. But it’s their problem and they ought to pay for their error.

“If they force me to pay, I will go bankrupt and my staff will be out of work.”

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Business Energy Costs & Supply

A recent survey from Datamonitor indicates that business energy costs and security of supply are amongst the biggest threats to a business performance. The survey asked business leaders to rank various threats to their business performance and energy costs ranked above common risks such as health & safety, security and taxes. Business energy costs were given a risk ranking of 6.6 out of possible 10 while security of energy supply scored a 6.1.

Business Energy Costs & Supply

A recent survey from Datamonitor indicates that business energy costs and security of supply are amongst the biggest threats to a business performance. The survey asked business leaders to rank various threats to their business performance and energy costs ranked above common risks such as health & safety, security and taxes. Business energy costs were given a risk ranking of 6.6 out of possible 10 while security of energy supply scored a 6.1.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

British Gas Rapped Over Customer Complaints

British Gas Rapped Over Customer Complaints

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British Gas has been fined £2.5m by the energy regulator Ofgem for failing to handle customer complaints correctly.

Read on Sky News

Green energy 'gives power firms £7bn windfall'

Power companies who are already putting up household bills are set to benefit from measures to encourage the building of new nuclear power stations and windfarms, according to Credit Suisse.

Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will tomorrow set out plans to encourage low-carbon energy generation techniques.

The Electricity Market Reform White Paper will offer financial incentives to low-carbon generators, guaranteeing them a fixed price for their power above the market price.
Those incentives will be funded by households though their power bills.

According to a Credit Suisse report, higher prices will bring in an extra £24 billion for power companies between 2013 and 2020. Their costs are only forecast to rise by £17 billion, giving a profit of £7 billion.

Bglobal Releases Report on Sub-Metering Benefits

A new report from Bglobal Metering highlights the energy efficiency saving that can be realized through the implementation of its smart sub-metering solution. Bglobal’s sub-metering solution enables property managers to measure energy consumption across their entire holdings, in different buildings, even in specific rooms if required. Bglobal reports, “Through the collection of accurate consumption data, property managers can make informed decisions and take appropriate action to reduce consumption, and reduce energy costs.”

Small business energy price comparison tool launched

An energy price comparison tool specifically for small businesses has been launched.

uSwitchforbusiness, an independent business energy broker, revealed the service this week. It is the first of its kind for small businesses and aims to offer a similar level of price transparency as currently enjoyed by consumers.

It functions in a similar way to household comparison sites. Users enter their information, including their average annual gas and electricity consumption, and they are given a quote in return. This will include details of all of the current deals on offer from the UK’s big six energy suppliers, along with a number of smaller energy suppliers.

James Constant, director of the business comparison site, commented: "Britain's small businesses have unknowingly been facing a lottery when it comes to the price they are going to pay for their energy. They have told us that they want to be treated the same as consumers – enjoying a transparent, fair and independent comparison service.”

He added that acquiring an energy contract for your business is “by no means the same as getting a competitive deal at home – the market is structured very differently and prices change every day”.

However, Mr Constant noted, “Small businesses are fed up with the minefield they enter each time they need a new contract and want to see as much simplicity and transparency as possible.”

Research from the site found that 37 per cent believe the business energy market is more complicated than the home market, while 29 per cent stated that they find it more bureaucratic.

Monday, 25 July 2011

UK Minister Compares Inaction on Climate Change to Hitler Appeasement

World leaders who oppose a global agreement to tackle climate change are making a similar mistake to the one made by politicians who tried to appease Adolf Hitler before World War Two, a British government minister said on Thursday.

Energy and Climate Change Minister Chris Huhne said governments must redouble efforts to find a successor to the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on emissions, although it was unlikely that a breakthrough would be made at a conference later this year in Durban, South Africa.
The global economic crisis has pushed the search for a legally binding treaty to limit planet-warming emissions down the political agenda and countries do not want to lose their competitive edge by going it alone on strict climate targets, he said.

In a speech urging countries to keep pressing for a climate deal, Huhne evoked the memory of British wartime leader Winston Churchill and the fight against Nazi Germany led by Hitler.

UK faces green agenda backlash as energy prices rise

he British government faces a public backlash against its green energy agenda as consumers are unwilling to spend more on power and gas bills to pay for investment in low-carbon forms of energy, a parliamentary committee warned on Monday.

"Our evidence points to the danger of a backlash against the government's green agenda if it means rising bills for consumers," the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee said in a report.

It urged the government and the energy industry to better engage with the public to explain underly

Friday, 22 July 2011

Cloud computing can reduce business energy costs

Businesses looking at cloud computing to offload nonessential functions like e-mail service to a service provider like AT&T (NYSE: T)  could achieve $12.3 billion in energy savings and cut out 85.7 million metric tons of carbon emissions by 2020, a new study says.

The study, titled "Cloud Computing: The IT Solution for the 21st Century," commissioned by Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) in partnership with research firm Verdantix and AT&T, says that a business that adopts cloud computing "can reduce its energy consumption, lower its carbon emissions and decrease its IT capex resources while improving operational efficiency."

ScottishPower profits slump as UK demand for energy plummets

PROFITS slumped at ScottishPower in the first half of the year as falling demand due to a depressed UK economy and higher wholesale energy prices took their toll.

Figures released by Spanish parent Iberdrola yesterday showed earnings before interest, tax and other items at the Glasgow-based utility fell by 21 per cent to €595 million (£524m) from €757m in the first half of 2010.

Pic: UK's largest solar roof installation goes live

England isn't known for its sunny climate, but nevertheless it is possible to generate energy from the sun's power. The UK's largest solar rooftop array will go live today on a warehouse in Suffolk in South East England. The 7000 solar panels installed have a capacity of 1.65MW and cover the area of a two and a half soccer pitches. The warehouse, for plastic packaging manufacturer Promens, will be nearly 100% powered by its own solar array, making it far greener than other facilities relying on grid-delivered electricity derived from many sources, including very polluting ones like coal.

The finance for the development came from many small investors in a fund managed by Octopus Investments, and the installation was constructed by Gropotec and is managed by Lightsource Renewable Energy. As the UK government has recently changed the criteria for renewable investment, starting in August, it looks likely that this project will be the largest roof-top installation in the UK for the foreseeable future.

Nicholas Boyle, CEO of Lightsource said, "This roof-top solar plant highlights the important role solar generation has to play in our future energy mix, particularly when the energy it produces is used at source removing the need for wasteful distribution networks. Getting this site online before the August deadline was a considerable achievement and it is a real credit to Grupotec, for their speed and coordination during design and construction, and to Promens as a company for their commitment to the project and a willingness to do what was needed to get it completed."

Tidal energy device wins go ahead after EU cash boost

First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced that Wales’ first full scale tidal stream energy generator has been given the go-ahead following the injection of £6.4m of EU funding.

The money will enable the £11m DeltaStream device, which will generate clean electricity from the tides off the West Wales coast, to be manufactured ready for a trial installation in 2012.

Backed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government, the funding provides a vital source of support for Cardiff-based marine renewable energy company, Tidal Energy.

Announcing the funding, the First Minister said: “Investing in renewable energy technologies is vital to build a low carbon economy and help drive forward Wales’ ambitions to become a more sustainable nation.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

UK's largest solar farm meets 'clean energy cashback' deadline

A disused tin mine in Cornwall has this week become one of the last large-scale solar power plants to benefit from the government's "clean energy cashback" scheme.
The solar farm  -- predicted to generate 1.4 megawatts of power each year, making it the UK's largest -- is the result of a joint venture between Lightsource Renewable Energy and solar panel supplier Solarcentury. The park covers a 2.9 hectare plot at Wheal Jane near Truro and will generate 1,437MWh of power per year from around 5,700 modules. This will be enough to power the equivalent of 430 homes in the area, saving more than 737 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

It will be one of the few large photovoltaic projects in the UK to benefit from "feed-in tariff" (FiT) rates, also known as "clean energy cashback". The government programme was designed to incentivise solar panel installation by paying businesses for the energy they generate, even if they use all of the energy themselves. The initiative offers those generating energy a rate that is well over the rate at which utility companies can cell the electricity, because it factors in the fact that solar power is more expensive to produce than fossil fuel power.

Welsh tidal power generator gets £6.4m funding

Funding has been granted for the first full-scale tidal stream energy generator in Wales.

The EU has pledged £6.4 million towards the project, which will generate green electricity from the coast of west Wales for homes and businesses in the local area.

In total, the DeltaStream device will cost £11 million and is expected to be installed in 2012. It works by sitting on the sea bed and using tidal currents to generate renewable electricity.

The future's bright...and cheaper! Council unveils UK's first LED street lights

UK councils are set to cut costs and save thousands on their energy bills after the introduction of the first LED powered street lights in Britain.
Bath and North East Somerset Council are pioneering the move and have already installed the environmentally friendly lights at the Hicks Gate roundabout at the Bristol end of the Keynsham, Somerset.

The lights are expected to save taxpayers more than £4,500-each-year - as well as 25 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Scottish & Southern Bumps Up Gas Price By 18%

Scottish & Southern Bumps Up Gas Price By 18%

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Customers of Scottish and Southern Energy are being warned to expect their highest bills ever after the company announced a price hike.

Read on Sky News

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Why Coal Prices Will Soar in the Coming Years

World energy policy is gripped by a fallacy — the idea that coal is destined to stay cheap for decades to come. This assumption supports investment in ‘clean-coal’ technology and trumps serious efforts to increase energy conservation and develop alternative energy sources. It is an important enough assumption about our energy future that it demands closer examination.

There are two reasons to believe that coal prices are likely to soar in the years ahead.

First, a spate of recent studies suggests that available, useful coal may be less abundant than has been assumed — indeed that the peak of world coal production may be only years away. One pessimistic study published in 2010 concluded that global energy derived from coal could peak as early as 2011.

Second, global demand is growing rapidly, largely driven by China. Demand rose modestly in the 1990s (0.45% per year), but since 2000 it has been surging at 3.8% per year. China is both the world’s biggest producer of coal (40% of global production) and its biggest consumer. Its influence on future coal prices should not be underestimated.

EMR to Benefit Business Gas

Energy Market Reform encourages the construction of business gas power plants - A week after the Electricity Market Reform (EMR) White Paper was published by the energy secretary Chris Huhne, industry experts and analysts have come forward to express their opinions and predict the future of the UK energy market. One of the most commented scenarios is that new measures will cause a new “dash for gas”.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

British Gas: cost-saving claims add up to barefaced cheek

British households, arise! The time has come to "cut your bills and make your home energy efficient at no upfront cost". You can save the planet, and your hard-earned cash at the same time.

As the media reports on rising energy bills, this offer of energy efficiency improvements from British Gas seems like a good one - gain access to energy efficiency technologies from insulation to smart metering, and reduce your energy usage and bills accordingly. The opportunity is being presented to households as "a forerunner" to the government's much-vaunted "green deal", the scheme to encourage people to waste less energy by allowing them to install efficiency measures for little or no cash upfront, repaying the cost instead by instalments on energy bills in the future. The "green deal" is scheduled to come into effect from late next year.

The Coming UK Energy Meltdown

The UK desperately needs a new energy strategy based on a realistic assessment of its assets, its needs and the options available to it. Unfortunately, its freedom for technical and financial manoevre is deeply restricted by its self-imposed Climate Change Act and its commitment to the EU's 20-20-20 targets. Its technically illiterate, if financially canny politicians and civil service do not appear to understand that the world’s financiers are not likely to place the required £200 billion of long-term investment into their vision of a "low carbon" infrastructure while this concept remains so woolly and badly defined.

If the UK government continues on this course, it will lead the country toward certain energy failure.
After hundreds of years of imperial and industrial power, the UK has suddenly become more or less powerless as a world player. With its North Sea resources fast depleting just when the world’s upstream energy producers of oil, coal and gas are struggling to meet rising global demand, saddled with a public debt of £ 1 trillion, and a massive trade deficit, its leading role as an innovative, world-class centre of scientific and manufacturing know-how being ceded to Germany, Japan and now China, it is ill prepared to become a net energy importer. Yet energy import dependence is what the country is rapidly headed for.

Npower reports businesses call for government help to keep the nation’s lights on

Npower has reported that energy risk - particularly in terms of security of supply and supply costs - has been identified as the top risk major business energy users are facing, above legislation, security and health & safety. Added to this, many believe it is the government’s responsibility to help reduce instability through funding for self generation projects and demand management tools to bridge the supply gap and keep the nation’s lights on.

These were some of the key findings of the npower Business Energy Index (nBEI), an annual report tracking business opinion on energy use, energy risk and carbon emissions.

According to the report, when asked what was of most concern in relation to energy within their business, supply costs came top with a risk ranking of 6.6 out of 10, followed by security of supply with a ranking of 6.1.

However, despite an energy risk being identified as a top concern, one in six major business energy users still do not have a policy in place to manage it - although 91% do have one in place for health & safety, a more ‘traditional’ business risk.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Energy firms plan dozens of new fossil-fuelled power stations

Dozens of new fossil-fuelled power stations are being planned by energy companies, triggering concerns among green campaigners of a new "dash for gas" that could crowd out wind and other cleaner energy projects, the Guardian can reveal.
Friends of the Earth is calling on MPs to block the government's prime energy policy statement, which comes before parliament on Monday amid a deluge of new planning applications or consents.

Some plans are already queuing up in the public planning system. Scottish Power wants to construct a 1.2GW station at Avonmouth, near Bristol, while RWE npower is building a 2GW gas plant at Pembroke, south Wales, and a 2.4GW station at Willington in Derbyshire. It is also looking at a smaller facility at Fawley, near Southampton. Smaller schemes include ones by Welsh Power, which wants to construct an 850MW plant at Fleetwood in Lancashire, and Trafford Peaking Power is developing one in Manchester.

UK gas forwards dip on weak economic sentiment

K forward gas prices dipped early on Monday as international debt worries weighed down sentiment while unchanged supply fundamentals kept the spot market stable.

UK businesses see energy prices as top risk

British companies rate energy supply and costs as a top risk factor to their business, an RWE (Xetra: 703712 - news) npower survey showed on Monday, 10 days after a second major British energy supplier announced double-digit tariff increases from this summer.
Three hundred major and small energy user companies counted energy as a top risk concern, next to sales and legislation, in RWE (Other OTC: RWNFF.PK - news) npower's Business Energy Index 2011, while only 66 percent said they had a strategy to manage it.

"It is worrying that while businesses have identified that risks associated with energy -- from security of supply to cost -- pose a real threat to their immediate and future operations, many have admitted to not having a strategy in place to manage it," said David Cockshott, director of industrial and commercial markets at the utility company.

Real-time energy monitor could cut UK household bills

UK households could significantly cut their energy bills by using a real-time energy monitor, a new study suggests.

A team from Edinburgh Napier University assessed the performance of 65 housing association homes, which were pre-fitted with a Ewgeco real-time energy monitor.

According to a statement, the results of the six-month trial showed that those that used the device consumed up to 20 per cent less gas than other households in the study.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Germany's energy industry compared to Britain and France

France, home to 58 of 143 reactors in the EU, has traditionally been the cheerleader for nuclear.
The country generates more than 75 per cent of electricity from nuclear and President Sarkozy said it was "out of the question" to end nuclear power after Fukishima.

France is also the world's largest net exporter of electric power, exporting to Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Britain, and Germany.

In fact France has plans to expand nuclear both at home and abroad.

France is so good at building nuclear power stations, it is likely to be the main company developing new plants in Britain.

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Energy White Paper: 'Big Six' response

Energy Minister, Chris Huhne, admitted this week consumers 'will need to pay to secure a low carbon future' when he presented his energy white paper to Parliament.

However, well before the minister had spoken both British Gas and ScottishPower had already raised prices well above inflation.

British Gas parent firm Centrica Energy's managing director, Mark Hanafin, called the ERM an 'important step' that will 'come at a cost'.

He said: "There remains much detail to resolve so that investors can have confidence that the tax and regulatory environment makes the UK energy sector a good place to invest.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Syria: Fire Damages Natural Gas Pipeline

Fire damaged a natural gas pipeline in eastern Syria, the Oil Ministry said Wednesday, but it was unclear if the blaze was accidental or sabotage. No casualties were reported.

Syria's state-run news agency said production continued using other pipelines. Syria produces about 350,000 barrels of oil per day as well as natural gas.  This resource can be used for anything including any natural gas grills.

There were conflicting details about the blaze late Tuesday in Deir el-Zour province, near the border with Iraq. Witnesses told the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that there was an explosion, but Syria's Oil Ministry denied that and said a fire broke out on a pipeline that was under maintenance.

The pro-government TV station Ikhbariyeh Souriyeh also reported an explosion, but said there were no casualties and that damages to the pipeline were minor.
Syria's oil exports are among the main earners of foreign currency to the government, particularly now that the country's four-month-old uprising has hit the tourism industry. Last year, tourism accounted for roughly 12 percent of GDP and brought in $8 billion in hard currency.

Families face £1,000 bill for green energy: Huge annual levy to appease the climate lobby

Families face punishing increases in energy bills of up to £1,000 a year to fund a switch to green energy and build new nuclear power stations.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday outlined a new regime that will encourage firms to build thousands of wind turbines, tidal power stations and nuclear plants.

The scheme is part of a government plan to shift away from fossil fuels, particularly coal, and so dramatically cut carbon emissions to meet UK and EU targets.

There is a fierce dispute between the Government, green campaigners, academics and industry analysts over the true cost of the programme.

The nuclear option may keep our lights on, but at what cost to the UK?

Chris Huhne proclaimed his energy White Paper as the biggest set of reforms to the electricity market since privatisation more than 20 years ago. He's probably right. Yesterday was the day Britain officially went nuclear, just 37 years after France.

Huhne's reforms are therefore good if you are the incumbent nuclear operator in the UK, but new entrants may struggle to gain a foothold. That's because the Coalition's reforms also represent the biggest muzzling of competition and market discipline since the end of state ownership.

Yet because of the disarray that energy policy has been allowed to fall into over the past 15 years, yesterday's proposals may be about the best set of policies we can hope for.

We know that avoiding the energy crunch (keeping the lights on, meeting green targets and securing supply) is going to be expensive. Huhne laudably admitted his reforms would add £160 to an average £450 annual electricity bill.

UK Electricity Market Reform

Today is a very important day to the UK energy market, probably the most important since it privatised 20 years ago. The Energy Market Reform White Paper is due to be published and will determine the future of the industry for the next 20 years.

The UK Energy Market Reform white paper is expected to provide fresh details on how the government plans to stimulate investments to the renewable energy sector to help the UK meet the 15% target of electricity generated from renewable sources by 2020. How it plans to reduce the Big Six monopoly and the details of the emissions performance standard to block plans for new unabated coal-fired power plants.

UK 'Must Spend £110bn To Keep Lights On'

Britain needs to spend more than £110bn on new electricity supplies to keep the nation's lights on, the Government has claimed.
Energy Minister Chris Huhne has warned that with ageing power stations closing down, urgent market reforms are needed.

One of the key proposals in a White Paper published on Tuesday, is the introduction of contracts which guarantee long-term stable prices for electricity from low-carbon sources.

These include nuclear power stations and offshore wind farms.

If the price of electricity outstrips the prices guaranteed in the contracts, companies will have to pay back the difference, preventing a windfall for low-carbon generators.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

White Paper on the UK Energy Market Reforms

Today is a very important day to the UK energy market, probably the most important since it privatised 20 years ago. The Energy Market Reform White Paper is due to be published and will determine the future of the industry for the next 20 years.

UK Energy Market Reform

Today is a very important day to the UK energy market, probably the most important since it privatised 20 years ago. The Energy Market Reform White Paper is due to be published and will determine the future of the industry for the next 20 years.

Video - Chris Huhne: We must invest in energy to keep lights on

More than £100bn needs to be spent over the next decade to meet the UK's future energy needs, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne will warn on Tuesday.

He is setting out the government's plans for investment, which he says will lead to cheaper and greener electricity, but some critics have said consumers will end up paying higher bills.

Speaking to the BBC, Mr Huhne said there had been "far too much dithering for far too long" and that it was necessary to replace power stations and invest in green technology to "keep the lights on".

Power bills to soar by 30% in 'green’ reforms

Household electricity bills will soar by 30 per cent to pay for “green” measures being announced this week by Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, according to experts.

Monday, 11 July 2011

UK gas forwards drop along with power and coal

UK gas forward prices dropped on Monday, echoing similar falls in most other energy products and failing to carry over gains made during much of last week.
The NBP Winter 2011/2012 gas contract was at 70.85 pence per therm (p/th) at 1000 GMT, down from a close of 71.80 p/th last Friday.

Although the contract's technical indicators still looked healthy, traders were looking out whether it would be able to sustain itself above its 50 exponential daily moving average (DMA) value of 70.60 p/th at the beginning of this week.

Chris Huhne: Energy bill rise claims are nonsense

Chris Huhne has dismissed reports that the UK is facing some of the highest energy costs in Europe as "nonsense".

The Sunday Telegraph says providers are to get a higher-than-normal fixed price for electricity generated from nuclear power and wind farms, under government plans, costing consumers more.

This follows the news that British Gas is putting up domestic gas and electricity prices by 18% and 16%.

But Energy Secretary Mr Huhne said UK energy was among Europe's cheapest.

He also urged consumers to use price-comparison websites to save money.

Smart meters could open Pandora's box

A plan to install a new type of "smart" energy meter in every home in the UK by 2019 could lead to widespread mis-selling by the big six gas and electricity companies, consumer groups have exclusively warned The Independent on Sunday.
The Government-sanctioned plan will see up to 53 million old gas and electricity meters swapped for new smart meters which calculate and display the amount and cost of the energy being used. The idea of the £11bn project is that people seeing how much energy appliances are costing will change their behaviour and make cutbacks.

Saturday, 9 July 2011

British Gas price rise: 'My advice is to choose a fixed rate now'

British Gas has today finally announced the price rises they have been speculating about for many weeks now. Their timing will be questioned by some but most people knew the rises were inevitable, it was just a case of when, and more importantly “how much”?

The 18pc rise to the cost of standard gas and the 16pc increase to standard electricity prices will add around £190 to the average cost of household’s annual bills. With 9 million residential accounts affected by this increase, UK consumers will collectively be £1.7bn worse off when the new pricing comes in to affect on August 18th 2011.

British Gas customers who are worried about being able to afford their bills once the increased rates kick in or those who already had concerns about their ability to keep up with their energy payments as we head towards the high usage winter months need to act now to get a better priced energy deal.

Friday, 8 July 2011

SSE to suspend British doorstep sales

Scottish & Southern Energy , one of Britain's biggest utilities, said it would suspend all of its doorstep sales activity in Britain with immediate effect, in a move that could result in the loss of up to 900 UK jobs.

BREAKING NEWS - British Gas increases gas and electricity bills

British Gas, owned by Centrica, is putting up its domestic gas and electricity prices from 18 August.
Gas bills will rise by an average of 18% and electricity bills by an average of 16%.

The change will affect nine million households with the average dual fuel customer paying an extra £190 a year.
The company blamed the rising wholesale cost of gas, which has gone up by 30% since last winter.

British Gas managing director Phil Bentley said its bills were being driven higher by the fact that the company buys 50% of its gas on the international wholesale market.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Home Office 'Saves' By Reducing Energy

In the last year, the Home Office has saved £1million by reducing energy consumption by 17 per cent.

This represents 5,386 tonnes of carbon and is the fifth highest reduction achieved across Government departments.

The Department for Education came top of the Whitehall table, with a 21.5 per cent reduction.

The department focused on managing its buildings better, including introducing time-schedules for air conditioning and heating and installing sensors so lights go off automatically when staff leave rooms.

PC power management was also installed to PCs which shuts desktops down automatically when not in use.

UK gas prices to rise on tight LNG market-Goldman

Ongoing tightening of liquefied natural gas (LNG) markets will lead to rising UK gas prices and result in a reconnection between spot markets and oil-indexed prices in Europe, Goldman Sachs said on Thursday.

CRC changes ‘will help firms use more green IT solutions’

The uptake of green IT solutions, such as virtualisation, is likely to rise as the government has decided to simplify the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Michiel van der Voort, director for international and professional development at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, said the proposals "will make the scheme easier for businesses to understand and implement".

The institute is working to enable the IT industry to become more environmentally friendly, lowering its energy usage and carbon emissions.

Virtualisation is one thing which can help businesses become greener, as it allows them to place their data off-site, therefore using less energy on-site.

Opower Moves Into the UK

Just because Google and Microsoft have bowed out of the home energy management game doesn’t mean it’s not a growth market. For companies with the sole focus of giving people more insight into their utility bill -- and how to curb it -- opportunities continue to arise.

Opower announced on Wednesday that it is reaching across the Atlantic by inking a deal with First Utility in the U.K., one of the country’s largest independent energy companies. All of the utility’s 65,000 customers will receive Opower’s energy management program, which includes reports, tips and alerts via snail mail, a web portal, email, text messages and social media initiatives.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Why commercial solar could save UK businesses

Solar power has been around for decades, but is still rarely seen in commercial settings in the UK. The tide may be about to turn as the economic climate continues to look challenging for most businesses, requiring considerable cost saving measures and alternative revenue streams to keep many companies viable.

Commercial solar power could be the answer for many small to large business owners to curtail expenditure and even turn additional profit from producing electricity.

Cold fusion devices produce far more energy than they use; quickly approaching commercial viability

Cold fusion is real, but mass American news sources are not covering it. Experiments are currently being duplicated across the world, to add further verification to the body of scientific proof. It is now possible to create energy with commonplace resources at no cost to the environment. Power plants using cold fusion will be constructed before 2012.

Fears time is running out for power station

DOUBTS have emerged over the longevity of Cockenzie power station after a report said the coal-fired plant may have only six months left to run.
The station is one of nine in the UK that must shut down by 2015 - or after they have operated for 20,000 hours starting from January 2008 - under strict European Union rules banning pollution from coal and oil-fired stations.

Energy companies face investigation over 27pc gap in wholesale price

Forensic accountants hired by Ofgem will scrutinise the wholesale fuel prices paid by the Big Six energy companies, as it emerged there was a 27pc difference in how much suppliers paid for electricity and 15pc in gas last year.

Energy and Gas Price Increases

Despite being investigated by Ofgem for unfounded energy and gas prices increases and threats of being reported to the Competition Commission,  Britains biggest utilities suppliers are hinting at price increases within the next few weeks.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

EDF Energy to revise new nuclear date this autumn

Britain's largest nuclear power producer, EDF Energy , will announce this autumn a new date for the startup of its first new nuclear power plant in Britain, its Chief Executive said on Tuesday.

"We will revise the timetable this autumn," Vincent de Rivaz, who heads up the French utility's UK operations, said at an industry conference in London.

Energy Market Report July 2011

Our monthly analysis of the UK gas and power markets is now available on line for the month of July 2011. The service is intended to keep you up to date with all the major news in Europe’s gas and power markets. It is also designed to keep power executives focused on market activity in an easy to digest format.

UK gas up on LNG supply drop, power rises on outages

British wholesale gas prices rose on Monday afternoon after a drop in supply from a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal left the system short.
Within-day gas prices gained 0.60 pence to 56.35 pence per therm at 1635 GMT, while Tuesday gas rose 0.35 pence to 56.25 pence, after prices had fallen slightly on Monday morning.
A drop in flows from the Isle of Grain terminal off the west coast caused a shortfall in supply to the market, which was around 2 million cubic metres short on Monday afternoon,National Grid data showed.
A ramp-up in gas imports from Norway via the Langeled pipeline failed to make up for the shortfall.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Government 'tinkers' with CRC

Simplifying measures for the CRC have been criticised as 'tinkering around the edges' by business.

Climate change minister, Greg Barker, announced yesterday (June 30) the 'next steps' in simplifying the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme.

Most notably in the simplification measures the number of the fuels subject to the scheme have been cut from 29 to 4.

A rule which requires CRC participants to account for at least 90% of their total carbon footprint emissions has also be scrapped.

Mr Barker has admitted in the past the incentive element of the CRC was cut to fill a Treasury black hole, but his plans to reform the CRC fall far short of what business leaders had hoped for.

British Gas fined £1million after supplying less green energy to business than claimed

British Gas has been fined £1million for supplying less green energy to its business customers than it stated.

British Gas Business will also have to repay more than £2.8million in rewards to the Government for falling short of its renewable energy targets, but it would have received a 'much higher' penalty if it wasn't for the fact it reported the error itself, energy regulator Ofgem said.         

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Energy giant could be auctioned

Gas and electricity giant Npower could be sold for up to £5 billion after its German parent company RWE put its future under review, it has been reported.

RWE has hired investment bankers at Goldman Sachs to consider Npower’s future, according to The Sunday Times, and the options on the table include putting the company up for auction.

Npower, which supplies energy to 6.8 million homes, was bought by RWE in 2002 for £3.1 billion. The company, which employs 11,000 staff and generates 8% of the UK’s electricity, last year made profits of £245 million on sales of £7 billion.

RWE, the second largest power company in Germany, is understood to be mulling a sale because it wants to pay down some of its large debt mountain.

Saturday, 2 July 2011


Britain has announced plans to build at least 8 new nuclear power plants by 2025 as part of its long-term energy policies, according to media reports.

However, nuclear power was one of the issues that divided Conservatives and Liberal Democrats formed a coalition after the May 2010 general elections.

The announcement comes three months after a powerful earthquake and its following tsunami triggered a radioactive disaster at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

The government is planning to construct the new suite of reactors to maintain electricity supplies and cut greenhouse gas emissions after closing down an old generation of power stations, British media reported.

"Around a quarter of the United Kingdom's generating capacity is due to close by the end of this decade. We need to replace this with secure, low carbon, affordable energy," said Energy Minister Charles Hendry. 

Friday, 1 July 2011

British Gas Fined £1m For Misreporting Data

British Gas Fined £1m For Misreporting Data

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British Gas has been given a £1m penalty by energy regulator Ofgem for misreporting the amount of renewable electricity it supplied to its business customers over a seven-year period.

Read on Sky News

Updated: DECC warned it could 'blow' £11.3bn smart meter budget

Updated: DECC warned it could 'blow' £11.3bn smart meter budget

By Jessica Shankleman The government will be urged today to revise plans for the imminent national rollout of 53 million smart meters, as the National Audit Office warns that the cost of the scheme could spiral beyond the original £11.3bn estimate. ...
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UK partners downplay impact of Google's decision to axe PowerMeter

The two UK partners of Google's recently axed PowerMeter online smart meter service have today insisted the move will have negligible impact on their customers and operations, stressing that their own smart meter services will continue.

Big Six energy firms made very different profits last year, Ofgem ...

Big Six energy firms made very different profits last year, Ofgem ...

Nick Campbell of energy analysts Inenco said: "This is at last providing some insight into revenues created by the different arms of the major utilities."

Smart meter savings 'uncertain' says audit office

Uncertainty surrounds the extent to which householders will change their behaviour when new smart meters are introduced, a report has concluded.
By 2020, every home in Britain will be fitted with a smart meter - a device that shows exactly how much gas and electricity is being used.

The Department of Energy estimates that the meters will help the average customer save £23 a year.

But the National Audit Office said current evidence left this in doubt.