For many Londoners, the cost of living is already very high. Monthly energy bills for their gas and electricity are unavoidable but switching regularly can reduce those outgoings significantly. Comparing your last year’s bill every twelve months might seem like a chore but it could pay for your holiday each year if you play your cards right and do the leg work. It really doesn’t take that long, especially if once you’ve done it a few times. Find your favourite comparison site covering the Upper Shirley area and set a yearly reminder on your phone. Then act on it each year to make the most saving possible.
To find the lowest tariff you might need to look at your gas bill and your electricity bill separately. This is easier than you might think at first. Ove you’ve selected the best tariff for both services your gas and electric bills will be lower and you can start to plan that summer holiday.
More Energy Saving Tips
As we all know running the home central heating during the winter months can be expensive, but did you know there are some simple things you can do that can help bring down those costs. Your central heating boiler is an essential part of your home, it supplies you with unlimited hot water when you need it, and it keeps you warm in the colder months.
First, make sure that you have your boiler serviced each year, preferably before the winter kicks in. Your central heating boiler is just like a car engine, if left unserviced, over time things will start to go wrong, the same goes for the central heating boiler.
If your central heating boiler is not serviced and something is starting to go wrong your energy bills will start to rise, your boiler may need to work harder to reach that desired temperature thus higher bills, if the boiler is maintained and checked over, anything that needs adjusting or replacing can be carried out.
Another simple way to save money is to make sure the radiator itself has nothing around it, keep it clear so the heat can penetrate the room, don’t put clothes that you want to dry on the radiator put them on a clothes horse close by they will still dry. When you put clothes on the radiator all the heat is lost into the clothes and the room takes longer to heat up. Pipe insulation is another way of cutting down those energy bills. Any pipework that you can visibly see should be insulated. By fitting insulation to the pipes you are reducing the heat loss from that pipe, you can buy pipe insulation from the local DIY store.
These are just a few of the ways you can save on those central heating bills, and remember when you have the central heating boiler serviced, only use a registered gas safe company or engineer.
Now that you’ve saved money on your gas and electricity bill why not look at the other monthly costs that eat into your usable reserves and save even more money each month.
There is a long way before EVs become mainstream but there is clear sign of growth and clear steps for us to take action to accelerate the market.
Electric vehicles are zero emissions during its use. They need to be recharged by connecting it to an electricity supply and so the CO2 impact depends on how green is the grid electricity. Electric vehicles will be better for local air quality as no emissions are produced by the car, except generation of electricity which will likely be from a power station.
This brilliant analysis by CarbonCounter by MIT helps us understand each car models against climate targets. Lifetime cost of each vehicle per mile driven is compared against greenhouse gas emission target of 2 degrees C global warming.Lifetime costs of EV in yellow vs Internal Combustion Engine Cars in black (http://carboncounter.com/)Our results show that you don’t have to pay more for a low-carbon-emitting vehicle. Many electric vehicles are the same price, or cheaper, than similar gasoline cars. The average greenhouse gas emissions of all cars shown here are more than 50% higher than the 2030 climate target, with no internal combustion vehicles meeting the target. Most hybrid and electric vehicles, on the other hand, already meet the 2030 goal today, with today’s electricity mix.— CarbonCounter.com MIT Trancik Lab
With nearly 1 in 6 people in Europe considering buying an electric vehicle, there are more options available and a growing number of services becoming available. There are calculators to help compare electric vs petrol/diesel fuel cost and websites to guide you through comparisons of different electric vehicle such as Next Green Car.
EV Charge Points
We have seen the growth of apps for EV charge point maps such as Zap-Map, PlugShare, and Open Charge Map. Plug share is mainly based in the US and Canada. Zap-Map has the most comprehensive map of the UK. Open Charge Map is a global non-commercial, open source project.
They each have communities of EV drivers using the apps. Data source varies but they mainly crowdsource charging point information from their community of EV drivers onto their map or partner directly with networks of charge point providers or installers to list the charge points.
Zap-map provides a comprehensive comparison of charging networks and their cost structure. For instance, Ecotricity provides green electricity on their network of Electric Highway. Tesla provides Tesla Model S and Model X owners free access to their network. Most network would require a RFID card for payment and access to the charge points. The networks too have their own apps.
These aggregated charge point apps generally allow you to selects or register your electric vehicle and helps you find the charging points that are compatible to your vehicle. They will also display live data on the of availability or status of the charge points and can allows reporting to the owners if faulty. Charge points vary by type charging speed (slow, fast, AC, DC) and connectors. Users can even add photos of the charge point to the app and rate and review the charge points.
For people who are not EV car owners but may want to enjoy a zero emissions journey, there is the option of EV car clubs.
E-Car is UK’s first entirely electric pay-per-use EV car club in the UK, now part of Europcar. They offer last minute self-service booking via their app and you can access the car by holding the membership card on the windscreen and the door unlocks. They operate a mixed-use model and partner with business parks, local authorities and universities. They are also the world’s first equity crowdfunding exit when acquired by Europcar in 2015, proving a great success for the cleantech crowdfunding market.
Other alternatives include Co-wheels Car Club which is a social enterprise with a bigger fleet of low-emissions electric cars, hybrids and vans for rental.
The benefit of allowing people to try out a range of electric cars is that this will encourage people to buy electric cars which will help accelerate the move towards EV.
For those who are not into the driving, there are services out there to access EV. Gliide is a London-based taxi service apps that work with a fleet of Teslas. Thrive another taxi service app operates with a fully electric vehicle fleet composed of Chinese manufactured EV’s BYD. Bookings and payments are done via the app. Newcomers Hoopoe-Electric also operate a small fleet of Teslas.
EV Secondary Market
We can also expect the rise of the secondary market for EV-related items. Online marketplaces such as Eco-Car.net where people buy and sell EVs and related accessories such as EV cables will continue to grow, not to mention the emergence of the second hand EV battery market when this battery capacity becomes not road worthy but good enough to be repurposed for home energy storage e.g. Project Aceleron.
So let us know what you think of the EV market. Are there any new EV related services that you have seen?
If you have missed it, head back to read here:
Day 1 of XMas — Food Waste Apps
Day 2 of XMas — Air Quality Apps
Day 3 of XMas — Transport Services
For more about IYWTo head over to here or get in touch with Woon at [email protected]
This series is written in collaboration with the 6heads community. 6heads is dedicated to shared learning at the join of sustainability and innovation.
How Can Small Businesses Save on Their Energy?
Market intel, consumption tracking & taking time
If you’re an ambitious startup entrepreneur who doesn’t work remotely, our simplified and more competitive approach could be the cost efficient option ensuring your new business model, remains profitable. By switching to Crown Gas & Power you’ll benefit from our personalised service committed to helping small businesses save on their energy bills.
Spending too much on gas — explore the wider market
In early 2016 the Competition and Markets Authority expressed their concerns that 45% of smaller businesses had been placed on a default tariff or even out of contract rates by the larger renowned energy suppliers.
The majority of smaller entrepreneurial startups don’t often look deep enough into the energy market. Which is why we emphasise that small businesses & start ups should delve into the energy market, don’t just pick out any contract online — consider contacting an energy consultant for an in depth market analysis.
Some brokers specialise in supporting startup entrepreneurs, whilst others specialise in larger commercials. Consultants will pride themselves on creating long term energy strategies for SMEs from technology startups to fashion startups; as well sourcing more competitive rates from more alternative suppliers.
One of the main reasons we hold onto strong relationships with our consultants, is the expertise and vastly informative market intel they provide. This closely accompanies our flexible, straightforward approach to support SMEs and growing micro businesses.
Your consultants approach should begin to state the foundations of a more profitable and cost crunching switch for smaller startups. In addition, at Crown our business gas contracts are based on competitive industry fixed rates, with a flexible end date (12 — 48 months long) ensuring long term flexibility enthusing startup growth, we want all our small business customers to receive a boost in confidence when managing energy. Instead of struggling to maintain accurate gas bills.
There’s more to gas supply than price. At Crown we present:
- Our 110% localised, devoted and amicable Customer Relations team
- AMR & Smart Meter installations
- Flexible contract lengths to excite long term startup growth
- Online account management — control your consumption
Let our processes do the work — You’ll just need to monitor
We’ll do the legwork so you can focus on running your small business, providing a high value proposition for your customers. Our entire team are empowered and 110% committed to providing the most competitive, cost saving energy switch; on the UK natural gas market.
When switching to Crown, our Customer Portal will ensure as a small business you’re able to monitor your account, control your consumption and keep the overall cost to a minimum. We know that business utilities are a costly expense when starting up a new business venture, particular when you’re running a small busy retail or hospitality premises.
We’re also committed to installing the latest Smart & advanced gas meters on all our sites. Energy efficiency is beginning to play a major role in the process of choosing an energy supplier. According to the Department of Energy the average small business and startup company in the UK could reduce their energy bill by 18–25% simply by starting up an energy efficient initiative.
To get you started here’s a few tips on how to run a small commercial premises efficiently. As a start up entrepreneur we aware that you’ll like a new challenge or an opportunity to save money and whilst raising profits.
Here’s a few more common tips to help your start up consume efficiently
- Seal up any draughts and unused doors in your premises
- Keep your air filters and air conditioning regularly maintained
- Keep your power usage to a minimum — turn off lights where rooms are inactive
- Don’t use electric heating — they consume more at a higher costs — natural gas does the same job at a cheaper rate, with more environmental benefits.
- Offset your carbon emissions — we offer Carbon offsetting schemes to all our customers
- Turn off inactive computers — don’t leave fully charged laptops plugged in.
- Get your staff on board!
Start saving early — Switch your startup enterprise today
For more information about competitively switching your small business. Get in touch with our Account Managers today on 0161 762 7744.