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 Woodcote 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.Lucy Symons, Director of Public Policy at Open Energi calls on policy makers to make regulation fit for purpose
This winter, the UK is expecting high demand for electricity supply and an increase in costs. Renewable power sources are starting to fill the gap left behind by closing coal power stations, but they generate more when the sun shines or the wind blows and are not necessarily available when people turn on their televisions in the evenings.
National Grid pays gas and coal plants and diesel farms to turn up or down their supply whenever there’s an increase or decrease in demand for electricity. This winter alone, keeping power plants going for peak demand is forecast to cost consumers £122 million, while an estimated £800 million in subsidies may be awarded to diesel projects under the Government’s Capacity Market. This is expensive, slow and not very green. Energy prices and security of supply are top political priorities, but when it takes four years and a lot of money to build a power station, there needs to be a more efficient solution.
The good news is that Great Britain has a thriving energy technology sector with a vast portfolio of innovations that can step up to this immediate challenge. Open Energi, a dynamic UK tech firm, uses technology to link together more than 3,000 machines — like air conditioners in your local supermarket or the pumps moving our water — and switches these machines on or off during the day to make power available when it’s needed by consumers, or to store electricity after a big gust of wind. This technology is already installed at over 350 industrial and commercial sites across the UK including Sainsbury’s, Tarmac, Aggregate Industries, United Utilities and University of East Anglia. Developed right here in Britain, this is powerful technology. On cold winter evenings, it can function just like an entire nuclear plant. Demand flexibility is the first line of defence in an energy security crisis, which is characterised by successive power plant failures rather than a lack of supply.
But this ‘demand-side’ energy tech faces major barriers in UK energy markets. Companies like Open Energi cannot prequalify for the government Capacity Market and cannot compete directly against gas plants in the balancing mechanism. The fast, flexible power they provide is instead only accessible via monthly tenders and procurements. Faced with a national energy security crunch on one hand and with the tech needed to solve it bound only by markets that aren’t fit for purpose, there is an immediate opportunity to unleash competition. Unlike other energy projects, demand flexibility requires no state subsidy at all. All that we ask at Open Energi is that the regulations are updated to ensure ‘demand side’ (when we turn demand up and down) is given the same treatment as ‘supply side’ (when new power is generated) in the existing energy markets.
Deploying demand flexibility and storage at speed to solve an energy crunch at scale is a proven path. In 2015, Californian policymakers were faced with a shutdown at the state’s biggest gas storage facility, threatening peak shortages and blackouts. To solve this immediate challenge with an immediately available solution, policy-makers fast-tracked 64.5MW of electricity storage and approved $11.5 million for demand response and dynamic pricing. Energy storage projects were constructed in less than four months, compared to a previous average of three and a half years.
Applying the same market mechanisms in the UK could dramatically change the game for energy security on the GB grid as early as next winter. With over 1GW of energy storage prequalified for National Grid’s recent Enhanced Frequency Response tender, of which only 200MW was purchased, it’s clear we have the appetite from investors to bring innovation to market. The challenge now rests with policy makers to make regulation fit for purpose in a modern age of energy technology innovation.
Lucy Symons is the Director of Public Policy for @openenergi and recently travelled to California as part of a delegation of female founders leading some of the UK’s fastest growing tech firms.
More Heat Than Light
Would you like to be green, save energy and be more environmentally friendly, but you're not sure about what really works? If you would really like to find out which energy saving tips and ideas for going green work, then take a look at these top ten suggestions for saving energy that are guaranteed to work.
1. HOME LIGHTING
To get the most from your lighting:
a. Replace all incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient CFL's ( Compact Fluorescent Lights )
b. Reduce outdoor lighting loads by using solar powered path lighting and super bright solar lamps.
c. Install solar skylights to allow natural light into normally darkened areas of the home.
Using CFL's and more natural lighting methods is guaranteed to save energy.
2. DOORS AND WINDOWS
You can improve the efficiency of the doors and windows in your home or apartment whether you own or rent:
a. For drafts blowing under an exterior door: - on modern doors, adjust the threshold to reduce the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold. - on older doors, install weather stripping that seals the crack at the bottom of the door when the door is shut.
b. Install weather stripping around the sides and top of all exterior doors.
c. To improve the efficiency of windows:
1. Install any available storm windows. - If storm windows are not available, but removable screens are installed, remove the screens and then wrap them with plastic and replace the screens.
2. Seal all cracks around window frames and siding with caulk.
3. Install heat shrinkable plastic on the inside of the window.
If you follow the guidelines provided for better sealing your doors and windows, you are guaranteed to save energy.
3. ELECTRIC CLOTHES DRYERS
The clothes dryer is a primary sources of wasted energy. Reduce dryer energy use by:
a. Install a dryer vent seal. The dryer vent seal stops back-drafts of outdoor air that could result in saving up to 10% of your home heating and cooling costs.
b. Don't run the dryer on frigid winter nights or on hot summer afternoons because whenever you run the dryer and exhaust the air outdoors, the same amount of air is being sucked into your home.
b. During the summer, set your fan reversing switch in the downwards position and use the low or medium speed setting to keep the room from becoming stagnant and prevent hot air from building up near the ceiling. In the meantime, the breeze from the fan will make you feel cooler as your perspiration evaporates from your exposed skin.
When we take advantage of using ceiling fans to better distribute our heated or cooled air, our overall comfort level increases while the amount of energy we use decreases. This more comfortable situation is guaranteed to save energy.
10. CLOTHING AND ATTIRE
By learning how to better dress ourselves, we could learn to live more comfortably in our homes while using less energy to condition the air within our homes.
a. During colder weather conditions, be sure to wear socks, full length pants and long sleeve shirts in your home. By protecting your exposed skin from drafts, you'll still feel comfortable at lower temperatures. Then, by lowering your thermostat by 5 to 10 degrees, you can save from 10% to 20% more energy.
b. During the summer, dress lighter and remove your socks if possible. Doing so will allow you to maintain a warmer temperature in the home and reduce your air conditioning costs.
Bottom line, if you are walking around your home in the winter in your shorts, you are going to be cooler and you will either raise the thermostat setting or put on more clothing. You either choose to waste energy or save energy.
We effectively give ourselves a raise in salary the moment we stop being wasteful. That's great motivation, so whether you agree with the reports on global warming or believe we should keep drilling or not, most of us already agree that we'd like to have more money, so by reducing what we waste, we will all have more money left to enjoy on things that matter to us.