Where ever you live in the UK from the far north to your location and all the way to the south, energy suppliers are a constant cause of stress and financial drain. We all want to pay less for our energy but with costs and tariffs changing all the time, it can be very difficult to make the right decision. This page will point you in the right direction for help in Brent and much more.
When people are looking for ways to reduce expenses or make better use of their money, they often look at common household expenses like utilities, subscriptions and even those associated with entertainment and recreation. The biggest monthly outgoing is usually food and energy bills.
In order to get the best gas and electricity deals available you need to understand how the gas and electricity suppliers are set up and how they calculate your bills. Many people don’t have a clue about the structure of the utility market in the UK and as a consequence end up spending way over the odds for their heating and lighting.
If you are looking for a better deal on your utilities then it’s pretty likely you were not too happy with your last bill. Especially in these tough economic times, you need to make sure you are not paying more than you have to. Just recently there have been further reports in the press of how the wholesale price of fuels is coming down yet the suppliers are not passing on these savings to their customers.
The easiest way to find the best gas and electricity for your area is to use a price comparison website, this takes all the guesswork, sales hype and confusion out of the process and lets your quickly see who can give you a better deal. I have consistently found energylinx to get the best prices and I would recommend you check them out. Utility bills often have a high monthly price, and reducing your spending on this can mean having more money that you can allocate toward other things.
You might also want to consider downsizing your lawn by using more hard surfaces to reduce electricity use with your lawnmower. Or perhaps you use a timer for your winter heating when leaving the heat on at a low level has been shown to reduce consumption. Cooking individual meals for families that could eat together is also an energy waste that can be recovered. Installing solar panels can produce energy for use in your home but the amount generated and the saving made depends on the position of your home and the time scale you need to recover the initial outlay. New smart meters claim to save you money by making you more aware of the energy you consume each day. However, these are not available everywhere in the country and there have been some issues with the technology.
After covering saving energy used for cooking and heating water in your home or office, we can make the transition to reducing the amount of electricity used for refrigeration, washing and lighting. Remember, up to 25% of total energy consumption in a home comes from these three areas. But don’t feel overwhelmed. Here are a few easy to implement strategies that can save on energy bills going forward.
Start With Heating.
The lowest cost method for reducing consumption is utilising programmable thermostats. Every degree that you adjust by equal a 4–5% reduction in energy usage for that system. Also, don’t forget to program thermostats to turn on and off at the proper times and you will begin to see a reduction in usage. Add strip curtains and automatic door closers to walks ins and Installing ECM’s on evaporator and condenser fans can reduce usage by approximately 2/3rds. On the lighting side, you have options as well. Start by adding occupancy sensors in select areas such as closets, storage rooms, staff bathrooms, etc. Also adding high-efficiency LED bulbs can reduce lighting consumption by up to 50%. Many utilities will cover a percentage (my local utility covers up to 70%) of the cost to purchase the bulbs, significantly improving ROI.
By implementing these simple strategies we have covered, you are well on your way to energy savings by reducing consumption which is a key element in any energy management plan.
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For years global warming has been a major issue and to help stop global warming many people have been trying to cut down on their carbon admissions. In order to reduce your carbon footprint you must cut down on your energy consumption. The home is where most people consume the most energy because we need all types of energy to power our appliances. If you are looking for ways to save energy, then you should take a look at what areas of the home can you limit power consumption.
Heating in Your House
Many people have homes with a central heating system combined with a water boiler. Many of us are not maximizing this energy system's full potential and as a result we are wasting energy and money. The main thing we can do to utilize this system is better is install better insulation. If your house as inadequate insulation, then you are losing an enormous amount of heat so not only will your house take longer to warm up, but it will also cost you more money.
In The Home
The main cause of energy consumption in the home is the energy that appliances use. Even if an appliance is on standby it will be using energy and if you have multiple appliances, then the energy cost will add up. Keep an appliance plugged in is more convenient but is it really worth the energy consumption. It will save you a lot of energy and money if you just unplug your appliances and plug them in when you need them. The standby button is helpful but still not as good as turning off the appliance all together.
There are many things you can do to cut down on power consumption other than the ones listed here but these are a good place to start. Maybe some of these can be inconvenient but if you are saving the planet and money at the end of the month, then why not give it a try.
Saving More On Energy Costs For Residents of Brent
Energy Saving Tips
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.
If your local Utility company is one of the big six energy suppliers you probably aren’t getting the best deal possible. Most of the cheaper tariffs are offered by smaller, often unfamiliar companies. These are typically hidden or don’t feature prominently on the major energy comparison websites that compare the market.
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When the electronics are all unplugged and you're left considering whether you can unplug the refrigerator without your spouse noticing, it may be time to investigate another way to lower your electric bill. There's more you can do!
Besides potentially wreaking havoc on your family's refrigerated foods and feeling your wife's swift slap on the back of the head-- there are plenty of ways to obtain energy savings in London. Let's start with the home energy audit. When an energy expert conducts a home energy audit they're actually performing tests to identify those areas in your home that are costing you the most money. Many times, this energy expert will recommend different light bulbs or light fixtures.
According to ENERGY STAR you can lower your annual energy bill by £70 if you replace the five most frequently used light fixtures in your home and use ENERGY STAR qualified products.
Energy Saving Qualified Fixtures
Have you ever gotten frustrated by the insufficient performance of the supposed "energy efficient" product compared to the regular version? Unfortunately, that does happen, but it doesn't have to happen when you purchase LED lighting. Keep these traits in mind when you're buying your next LED light.
- Brightness: Equal or better!
- Light Output: Consistent color and brightness, no fading over time.
- Efficiency: No fluttering; turns on instantly, no energy wasted when turned off.
What the U.S. Dept. of Energy Says About LED
One way the U.K. can save gobs of money and electricity over the next 20 years is by utilising LED lights instead of other lighting options. The UK Office of Energy claims a savings of £265 billion over the next 20 years and a reduction in lighting electricity by 33 percent by 2027. Also, the production of about 40 new power plants will be prevented!
What is Electricity?
Essentially, there are two kinds of Electricity: Static Electricity and Current Electricity. Both depend on electrons, the tiny charged particles that orbit the nucleus of an atom.
Static Electricity has been known about since earliest times, though it was not properly understood until the discovery of subatomic particles a little over a hundred years ago.
Static Electricity on a large scale causes lightning and on a much smaller scale can give you an annoying shock when you step out of a car. You can generate it simply by combing your hair with a nylon comb. The electrical charge transferred to the comb will cause it to attract the hair, or, if you like, to pick up little scraps of paper to entertain the kids.
Though interesting, static electricity is of limited practical use. For the remainder of this hub, we'll concentrate on current electricity which is a flow of electrons through a conductor (usually a copper cable).
The Modern Alternator
Faraday's electrical machines were laboratory experiments. Technology has developed his ideas dramatically. The modern alternator does not use permanent magnets but an energised coil instead, to produce the magnetic field. Also, his invention has been turned inside out, with the field coils mounted on the armature (now called the rotor) and the electrical current induced on the stationary coils (the stator). There are normally three stationary windings in the stator, spaced 120° apart, to produce 3-phase alternating current, the modern standard for distribution.
A Little Science
But first, we need to talk a bit about Energy. In Physics, Energy is defined as the ability to do Work. (Everyday examples of Work are: climbing stairs, loading a truck. anything that involves moving mass).
Some of the common types of energy are: heat, light, kinetic energy (movement), chemical energy, gravitational energy and of course. electrical energy.
In Physics, the Law of Conservation of Energy says that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be transformed from one type to another. This means that to generate electricity, we have to use another kind of energy to fuel the process - in this World you don't get something for nothing!
In the 19th Century, Michael Faraday carried out the pioneering work that linked Electricity and Magnetism. In particular, he showed that an electrical current is generated in a conductor moving in a magnetic field.
The effect is greatly magnified if the conductor is replaced with a coil or coils of copper wire. If these coils are mounted on a rotating shaft or armature, continuous rotation will produce a continuous alternating electrical current. This is how nearly all electricity is generated today.
Now that we have a device (the generator, or alternator) that converts mechanical energy (rotation) into electrical energy, the next problem is how to obtain the mechanical energy to keep the alternator spinning. Here is a brief summary of some of the viable ways of generating electricity on a commercial scale.
The Commercial Options
In a coal or oil fired power station, the fuel is burned (converting its chemical energy into heat) and the heat used to convert water into steam at very high temperature and pressure. This then drives a steam turbine, a device which harnesses the energy in the steam (heat and pressure) to produce rotational movement (mechanical energy). The rotating shaft of the steam turbine is coupled to the armature of the alternator, so the final result is electricity.
Windmills have been around for centuries and all have harnessed the energy of moving air (wind!) through rotating sails or fan blades. Traditionally, the mechanical energy was used directly, to turn a mill wheel. A modern wind turbine simply couples the rotating shaft to an alternator armature. The last link in the chain is always the same - electricity from mechanical rotation.
Hydro Electric Power
Here, the source energy (there always has to be one!) is gravitational potential energy. A mountain stream is dammed in a high place, to create an artificial lake or reservoir. Farther down the mountain, the power station is equipped with water turbines. These are simply highly efficient versions of the old fashioned water-wheel; effectively they harness the kinetic energy of a carefully channelled waterfall to produce mechanical rotation. The rest you know.
Tidal Power and Wave Power
These new technologies extract energy from the long-term bulk movement of water in a tidal estuary and from the short-term wave motion of the surface. The principle remains the same, to harness the 'free' natural energy in moving water to drive a mechanical turbine.
Solar Power - local
In a sense. all energy on Earth is solar energy, as even fossil fuels are chemical 'memories' of ancient sunshine. But we're talking here about generating electricity from solar energy, and strangely enough, it's not very easy. The problem is that you can't easily convert sunshine into mechanical rotation to drive alternators on a commercial scale. Solar panels have no moving parts, and so the electricity they produce is 'DC' or direct current. This is like the electricity from a battery. It's great for local use, e.g. running a small irrigation pump, but the big problem with DC is that it is hard to distribute. (No time to explain that now - maybe another hub!)
Solar Power - commercial
Photovoltaic units, as described above, are best suited to localised applications like space or water heating. However, commercial-scale solar power plants, though still expensive to build, are becoming viable, the more so as the price of fossil fuels increases.
No single design for commercial solar power has yet won through, but all are based on the same idea - a large array of reflectors to collect the sun's rays and focus them onto a receiver which is effectively pipe-work containing a heat-absorbing fluid. Technologies are already well developed to store the collected energy as heat and to convert it to electricity using steam or gas turbines at a steady rate, night and day. The biggest problem is that the sun moves (OK, the Earth rotates!) and so ingenious tracking mechanisms are needed to make the reflectors follow the sun through the daylight hours.
Ironically, the part of the world best suited for deploying this technology is the part that least needs it - the oil rich deserts of the Middle East.
This is another underdeveloped source. If you drill down into the Earth's crust, at first the temperature drops, because the sun's warmth can't penetrate. But deeper, the temperature rises. Volcanoes are evidence of this - molten lava is pretty hot! That well of energy is there to be tapped. As always, the final conversion process is the familiar steam turbine. And, like solar energy, it is environmentally friendly, provided you don't accidentally trigger a local volcano! But it is not as simple as it seems. The process of taking heat from a hot rock cools the rock locally. There's plenty more heat surrounding it, but can it flow quickly enough to your collectors? Again, it's another technology whose time will come, but not a panacaea.
This is the controversial one. Nuclear fission is a process in which unstable (radioactive) atomic nuclei break down, releasing energy in the form of radiation (escaping particles). By concentrating these nuclei together, a controlled chain recation is produced releasing huge amounts of energy which is used to convert water into steam. The process of generating electricity in a nuclear power plant is simply by steam turbine, exactly the same as in a fossil fuel plant. The public fear of nuclear power is twofold: the risk of meltdown - an uncontrolled nuclear reactor is not very different from an 'atomic' bomb; also the by-product, radioactive nuclear waste, is none too pleasant.
As an aside - Nuclear energy does not obey the classical Physics law of conservation of Energy. It does however obey the Modern Physics law of conservation of Mass-Energy which allows for interconversion of matter and energy according to Einstein's famous equation E=mc² This fundamental difference means that Nuclear Energy is potentially the most fruitful source of all. It is important that proper scientific research & development into nuclear energy, and Nuclear Fusion in particular, should be allowed to continue.
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