Given the recent price increases, I think it’s safe to say we are all more than a little concerned about how much it’s going to affect our household bills. One of the options available at the moment is to fix your gas and electric prices for a period of time, usually called a fixed price tariff.
The big bonus of having fixed gas and electricity prices is that it can offer you peace of mind that the cost of your energy bills will not go up, regardless of what is happening in the market. Now depending on the tariff, you could be paying a fixed rate for anything between a year and 3 years.
However, even though fixed price energy could be extremely beneficial in the current climate, in exchange for the security of having a set price you can often end up paying a bit more than some of the standard/online tariffs. The fixed rate options can also come with rather high early termination clauses so be careful when selecting the length of your tariff as it may be expensive to try and move before the contract is up.
For these reasons it can be a bit of a gamble switching over to fixed price because if like just now prices are on the rise then you could make some serious savings, however if they drop before your minimum term is up chances are you’ll end up paying a bit more than necessary.
Assuming you have taken out a fixed price energy deal, inevitably the question of what do to do when it ends pops up. Now the most important thing you can do is find out which plan you will roll onto. It might just be a standard plan, you may be re-contracted or they could give you the chance to fix your prices again. Bear in mind that you may end up paying over-the-odds for the fixed price security.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into fixed gas and electric tariffs, and will help your decision making that little bit easier. Please feel free to let us know about any experiences you’ve had with a fixed tariff, we’d love to hear it.
Tagged: energy, fixed energy prices, green energy September 25, 2012
The fact that our fossil fuel supplies are in terminal decline whilst the world’s energy consumption is on the increase, means that drastic measures will have to be taken in order for us to sustain our current way of life. The simplest solutions appears to be improving energy efficiency as the more use we can get from the energy we generate the longer our energy supply will last and the cheaper it will be. Current technology has gone a long way towards ensuring we are getting the most from the fuels we use but there is always room for improvement.
One area that is being heralded as one of the potential key breakthroughs is the sustainable development of electric vehicles. It is widely believed that energy sustainability and efficiency will be achieved by allowing renewable energy; modern technology, efficient power generation and education to interact. An example of this would be the rapid increase in the domestic use of solar panels.
When talking about this topic you will more often than not hear about smart grids. As you know the grid is what connects our houses and power outlets to the power plants that generate the energy. A smart grid is the use of improved technology which allows us to improve the efficiency of the network as a whole and in peoples homes.
At the moment things are looking good for sustainable energy sources throughout the world, by utilising the constantly improving technology surrounding; hydro, wind and solar energy generation we can tap into the potentially limitless energy resources of nature to help meet the worlds growing demand for energy, in a cost effective and sustainable way.
Tagged: electricity, gas, green energy, renewable-energy June 28, 2012
New research from a wind farm in Texas has shown that large wind farms can increase the temperature of the ground. The study made use of satellite data that showed the night time temperature of the ground has increased by as much as 0.72C over the last 10 years.
With wind farms being touted as one of the leading methods of renewable energy generation, and Texas’ vast landscapes it’s no wonder the Texans have seen a large increase in the number of wind farms with the number of turbines rising from just over 100 in 2003 to over 2300 in 2011.
The scientists believe the effect is caused by the gentle turbulence generated by the wind turbines. After the sun sets, the land cools quicker than the air, which leaves a cold blanket of air just above the ground.
But the turbulence helps to mix this cold layer with the warmer air above, raising the temperature. However the group of scientists involved have noted that whilst the results are interesting they are far from conclusive regarding the effect of wind farms.
A member of the scientific team stated “this study is focused only on one region and for only 9 years. Much more work is needed before we can draw any conclusion.”
Do you think this information is significant? Could it affect the creation of wind farms in the future?
Tagged: green energy, renewable-energy, wind farms April 30, 2012
Welsh energy company SWALEC are all set to build a new renewable energy training centre that will cost around £7 million and is set to receive £2 million in funding from the Welsh Government.
The good news was announced by SSE SWALEC’s parent company and is seen as being great news during a tricky time for the welsh economy. The centre is being created to help train staff from all over the UK in the new green technologies that are becoming more prominent within the market.
Edwina Hart the Welsh Business Minister said the centre would offer “excellent training and employment opportunities”.
You can read more at BBC.co.uk
Tagged: energy, green energy, welsh energy January 9, 2012
It might not quite be a solar powered town, but The Guardian’s arcticle on the solar panel installation of 600 houses in Broxtowe and Aspley, Nottinghamshire, is certainly a step in the right direction. The largest project of it’s kind in Britain, the area is estimated to make a saving of £72,000 a year due to the installations. And of course the benefits to the environment are worth far more than this.
The picture is spectacular – a truly green vision. We didn’t want to pull it straight from the article, so go and take a look at the solar powered homes, and let us know what you think! Would you like to see this sort of thing in your area?
November 11, 2011
Just read the new report from the WWF that claims the UK could be getting between 60%-90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. This would be wind, wave and solar power. Interestingly as crazy as it may sound solar photovoltaics are actually the most popular form of renwable energy in the UK. Now the report is based solely on renewable energy and does not contain any reference to nuclear energy, it also takes a slight leap of faith regarding the rate at which people will adopt electric cars and electric heating.
However I feel the general idea of the report is to show that if we can keep investing and thinking long term when it comes to renewable energy – there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it’ll be powered by renewable energy.
Read the full report here…
October 26, 2011
UK company AWE and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have joined forces with US based company the National Ignition Facility (NIF) to help make laser fusion a feasible commercial energy source.
There was a meeting sponsored by the institute of physics just under 2 weeks ago where a memorandum of understanding was announced between the three facilities.
Now we’ve all heard of nuclear fusion before however this is laser nuclear fusion which is a slightly different approach.
Laser Fusion- The process:
- 192 laser beams are focused through holes in a target container called a hohlraum
- Inside the hohlraum is a 2mm pellet containing an extremely cold mixture of hydrogen isotopes
- Lasers strike the hohlraum’s walls, which in turn radiate X-rays
- The X-rays strip material from the outer shell of the fuel pellet, heating it up to millions of degrees
- The escaping material compresses the fuel by hundreds of times
- If the compression of the fuel is high enough and uniform enough, the hydrogen isotopes can fuse, creating helium and releasing “hot” neutrons
The group has already managed to generate the highest fusion yield ever, but it is believed that in order to achieve their goal the process would need to be amplified by a factor of 1000. Even so they seem confident that nuclear fusion is no longer the preserve of science fiction and future generations but is getting closer every day. Many people in the UK will be hoping that the breakthrough comes sooner rather than later, with the rising cost of fuels and cheap energy now seemingly a thing of the past. Hopefully not for long!
Source of Image and details BBC
September 21, 2011
The term dual fuel means that you get your gas and electricity from the same energy provider. So for instance if you get a bill for electricity from one energy supplier and a bill for your gas from a different one, then you would not be on a dual fuel contract.
Is there a difference between dual fuel and single fuel?
As far as you’re concerned, there is little to no difference between having a dual fuel or single fuel package. That being said, a lot of people prefer to have a dual fuel because of the benefits that are often included.
So what are the benefits of dual fuel?
Dual fuel is the package all energy suppliers want you to take and they try to incentivise so you do. Here are some of the most common benefits:
- 9 times out of ten dual fuel will be cheaper than any other packages. The vast majority of energy suppliers will offer what’s commonly known as a dual fuel discount. So if you sign up for dual fuel with them you will be entitled to either a monthly or annual discount applied straight to your energy bills.
- Many people take out dual fuel purely for convenience. All your bills will be from the one company, and some suppliers may even offer a combined bill to make things even simpler.
- You only need to phone one company. Whether it’s complaints, queries or even if you just need help, it means you only have to deal with one supplier instead of two.
How easy is it to switch?
It really is straightforward. The first thing to do is run a quick comparison for your area, so you can see how much you would save by taking dual fuel. Now the good news is you don’t have to switch to one of your current suppliers, you can either switch one or both of your fuels if it works out cheaper. All you need to do now is just apply to switch to your new supplier and the actual switching-over part will all be done for you.
Is dual fuel always the cheaper option?
Because of the discounts offered with these deals it will usually mean that dual fuel will be the cheaper option, so when you add that to the bonus of only having one energy call centre it comes out as a good deal.
July 18, 2011
The UK has some of the strongest tidal currents in the world. The Pentland Firth between the north east tip of Scotland and the Orkney Islands has one of the fiercest tidal currents in the world. The currents can be used to produce energy through the placement of turbines under the water.
Water is a thousand times heavier than air and these currents can reach up to 6 metres per second. All this means that tidal energy is capable of producing more energy than windmill turbines. It is believed that tidal power could provide the UK with a quarter of its electricity needs.
Unlike other renewable energy technologies, tidal energy is also totally predictable. Tidal peak times are known, right down to the very minute they occur. The environmental impact of having tidal turbines placed in the sea appear to be very little at the moment.
There are however a few issues. There have been cases where tidal turbines have fallen to pieces under the strain the sea puts them under. This deterioration has occurred in the early months of their lives in the seas. So for tidal energy to be viable, more reliable turbines need to be produced to reduce the risks involved for energy companies.
Tagged: renewable electricity, tidal energy, tidal turbine May 18, 2011
Staff at Canterbury council HQ on Military Road will be feeling the benefit of the new woodchip boiler installed to make use of the local woodland. In an environmentally friendly move the site is now getting all its heat from the combination of the new boiler and woodchip from the nearby Blean Woods. The installation is understood to be just one of a number of targets set by the council in their recent environmental policy, set out with the intention of making the council one of the leaders in the use of renewable energy.
Despite entering the warmer part of the year where the use of the boiler will be limited, the coucil hope the savings made from the new boiler will make the extended comissioning and testing period worthwhile. The savings on gas are estimated to be around £4000 a year, and the governments Renewable Heat Incentive will also entitle the coucil to an additoinal £10,000 a year. With the total cost of the build coming to around £112,000, including the supply, installation, fuel delivery equipment, boiler repairs and building modifications, it is estimated that the cost of the boiler will have been covered in just 8 years.
April 26, 2011