Thursday, 30 September 2010

What next for gas energy prices?

The Top 5 Innovative and Cost Effective Renewable Energy Resources

UK gas prices ease after rally as supplies improve

British gas prices eased on Thursday morning after rallying earlier in the
week on erratic Norwegian supply and strong demand for export to continental

Gas for delivery on Thursday traded around 48.55 pence at 1100 GMT, about
0.40 pence lower than the price paid for within-day gas late on Wednesday,
as slightly stronger supply from Norway and healthy flows from liquefied
natural gas terminals helped meet demand.

UK gas prices generally rose for
the first three days of the week, but most prices were softer on Thursday
morning. "It's probably just been a bit over cooked last couple of days,"
one trader said, adding that the market was waiting to see how much gas is
pumped into Britain during October -- the start of the six month winter

October gas contracts traded up half a penny to 46.50 pence ($7.37 per
mmbtu), but prices for Winter 2010 contracts and beyond all fell.

After a bumpy start to the week, supplies via Norway's Langeled pipeline
were relatively stable overnight and crept up to around 20 million cubic
metres by midday, according to data from National Grid.

Supplies were boosted by Britain's Rough gas storage facility overnight but
strong flows from both the South Hook and Isle of Grain LNG terminals,
combined with pipeline flows, helped meet demand after Rough stopped pumping
out gas from under the North Sea.

Bodies that miss CRC deadline 'will not be named and shamed'

The Environment Agency has said it will not 'name and shame' organisations
that fail to sign up to its Carbon Reduction Commitment emissions trading
scheme in time for tomorrow's deadline.
The announcement came after the Treasury today became the last central
government department to sign up to the CRC on the final day of
registration. All Whitehall ministries were required to take part under the
terms of the scheme.

The CRC, set up by the Department for Energy and Climate Change and run by
the Environment Agency, is expected to involve around 5,000 large
organisations from the private, voluntary and public sectors.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman told Public Finance this afternoon: 'We
will not be naming and shaming people - we want to work with businesses and
public sector organisations. 'If they have not registered yet, we will be finding out why, but we will
not be putting their names into the public domain.'

U.K. Utilities Earn on Power Users, Lose on Gas

U.K. utilities will make a profit on electricity clients and lost money
supplying gas, according to NERA Economic Consulting. The overall profit for the year starting Aug. 25 on each electricity user
will be 31 pounds ($49), NERA said today in e- mailed report written on
behalf of Energy-UK, which represents energy suppliers. The annual losses
will be 32 pounds for each gas customer and 31 pounds for customers using
both fuels. The figures are lower than last quarter, NERA said. "I find it hard to believe that net margins are negative given recent
results on residential supply divisions," David Hunter, international
business manager at McKinnon & Clarke, an energy
broker based in Fife, Scotland,
said by telephone today. In a separate report, U.K. energy regulator Ofgem lowered its estimates for
utility profits for customers using both electricity and gas. The quarterly
report on retail markets was published on its website today.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

U.K. Natural Gas Advances on Continental Demand; Power Gains - Bloomberg

U.K. forward natural gas prices rose on signs that continued demand from the European continent for the fuel may keep the British market undersupplied through at least November. Electricity prices in Britain also advanced.

Gas for delivery next month rose as much as 0.90 pence, or 2 percent, to 46.60 pence a therm, according to Bloomberg data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s equal to $7.37 a million British thermal units. A therm is 100,000 Btus.

Demand for fuel in Europe through the Interconnector pipeline from the U.K. to Belgium will “remain strong” at the same time as storage operators are reluctant to withdraw until January, potentially making the U.K. gas market undersupplied until December, Deutsche Bank AG analysts Michael Hsueh and Mark Lewis said yesterday in an e-mailed report.

Sustained Qatari liquefied natural gas imports, Norwegian imports and the start of withdrawals from Centrica Plc.’s Rough gas store will boost supplies in the first quarter of next year, they said.

“While upside risks remain in the fourth quarter, we believe there is significant downside in the first quarter,” the analysts said.

Gas also gained as crude oil advanced, following reports of an increase in Chinese manufacturing and a decline in U.S. supplies that bolstered speculation fuel demand in the world’s two biggest energy consumers will rise. Brent crude for November settlement gained as much as 1.1 percent to $79.59 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Most gas sold by producers such as OAO Gazprom and Statoil ASA in mainland Europe is linked to the price of oil. These costs feed into Britain through physical links to the U.K. market via pipelines from Belgium and the Netherlands.

U.K. electricity prices tracked the higher natural gas market. Next-month power prices rose to their highest since July 16, advancing as much as 1.3 percent to 43.30 pounds a megawatt hour. Bloomberg tracks over-the-counter prices by brokers including Spectron Group Ltd. and ICAP Plc.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lars Paulsson in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at

New Government Scheme to Aid Small Businesses Become Greener

In a bid to help small and middle sized businesses improve their energy
efficiency the Government is preparing a multi-billion pound fund that will
help more than 4m businesses across the land to become "greener".

Small Businesses Become Greener
The main idea behind this scheme is to finance loans to small and middle
sized businesses so they can replace energy hungry equipment with more
energy efficient ones improving their overall business
energy efficiency. The loans will then be repaid from the savings made
in their energy bills.

Entitled "The Green Deal for Business" the scheme is a joint venture between
the private and public sector. White hall representatives are discussing
with high street banks and business energy providers such as British Gas how
to generate the funds and administer it.

UK Day-ahead power prices gains 75p despite higher wind forecast

UK prompt power prices increased for the fourth day in a row Wednesday on
the back of higher UK gas prices ,
despite a higher wind forecast for Thursday, said traders.

UK OTC baseload power for next-day delivery gained 75 pence to close at
GBP45.25/MWh by 1200 London time, the fourth consecutive increase in the
contract's price.

The peakload contract was assessed above the GBP50/MWh level for the first
time since July 19--at GBP50.10/MWh--up GBP1.60 on the day.

On the N2EX wholesale power exchange, the day-ahead auction cleared in line
with OTC at GBP45.25/MWh in base, up GBP1.05.

"Margins are still very tight, in the region of 5 to 8 GW...prices can be
quite spiky [intra-day], especially if you lose one unit," a trader said.
"The higher wind is not really impacting the prompt."

UK prompt gas prices strengthened further Wednesday, building on gains made
over Tuesday's session.

At around 1200 UK time Wednesday the within-day gas price was 46.75
pence/therm and the day-ahead gas price was 47.40 p/th. Both were up from
Tuesday evening's closing day-ahead price of 45.90 p/th.

Maximum wind output will reach 1.1 GW Thursday, up 0.8 GW, according to
National Grid. But traders said this would mostly impact the intra-day power
market. Peak supply margins will be 9 GW Wednesday, indicating that the
system will be more comfortable than earlier in the week.

Government Scheme to Aid Small Businesses Become Greener

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Centrica buys Connaught's gas and electricity services businesses for £11.2 mln

Centrica buys Connaught's gas and electricity services businesses for £11.2 mln

British Gas Business has now made five acquisitions in the energy services and management sector in the last two years. The latest follows the previous ...
See all stories on this topic »

Proactive Investors UK

Energy secretary aims to create 250,000 "green" jobs in the UK

This week on the blog I wrote about how EDF Energy are planning to build
four new nuclear power stations in the UK, which would create electricity
and thousands of trades jobs. Now Energy secretary Chris Huhne has announced
that he plans to create 250,000 "green jobs" for retrofitting homes to make
them more energy efficient.

Under the government's Green Deal, which is set to introduced by the end of
2010, 26 million homes across the UK would be modernised to make them more
energy efficient. Private companies would pay for the insulation of the
houses and then the home-owners would pay them back from the energy savings
that result from the retrofittings.

Huhne has said the Green Deal will be a "revelation" and although the plans
are ambitious, it would help to get Britain ready for a low-carbon future.
He said:

British Gas 'to hammer small firms' with poor credit records

British Gas has been urged to 'go back to the drawing board' over plans to
introduce pre-payment meters for small businesses amid fears that the move
could choke cash flow and lead to failures.

British Gas has been urged to 'go back to the drawing board' over plans to
introduce pre-payment meters for small businesses amid fears that the move
could choke cash flow and lead to failures.

Financial Mail has learnt that British Gas is working on plans to install
the meters in the premises of small firms with poor credit records. The
energy giant is running trials and expects to start installing meters more
widely within a year.

But Stephen Alambritis of the Federation of Small Businesses said the need
for pre-payments could adversely affect cash flow for small firms.

Insolvency rates were not as high as in previous recessions, he added, and
the risk of huge defaults was unlikely.

Rivals npower and Scottish & Southern said they had no plans for similar
meters, adding that bad debt levels had remained constant this year.

British Gas, which has 500,000 small business customers, claimed the
pre-payment meters might help firms with poor credit histories to get power
supplies more quickly and cheaply.

Britain's offshore windpower costs twice as much as coal and gas generated electricity

Off shore wind farms cost twice as much to produce electricity as gas and
coal powered stations and will need subsidies for at least 20 years, a major
report warns.
Britain's so-called "dash for wind" means that it is now the biggest off
shore generator - producing as much as the rest of the world put together. But costs of building the farms have doubled due to spiralling prices for
steel and the drop in the value of the pound. The running costs are also increasing. The report found that costs have risen for all kinds of generation but off
shore wind farms remain by far the most expensive - 90 per cent more than
fossil fuel generators and 50 per cent more than nuclear. The news is bound to lead to question over the government's policy of using
wind power to meet its target to generate around a third of its electricity
from renewables by 2020. But the authors of the report at the UK Energy Research Centre (UKERC), a
government think tank, said they remained "cautiously optimistic" that wind
can play a significant contribution to the zero carbon energy production for
Britain. "We think that there are grounds for cautious optimism," said Dr Robert
Gross, of Imperial College London, who headed the report. "Yes it is more expensive than gas and coal and is unlikely to reach parity
for at least 20 years but we still think it is a worthwhile energy producer.

"All alternatives such as nuclear and carbon capture are bound to have
teething problems too." With the opening of Thanet wind farm in the North Sea last week Britain
became the biggest offshore wind generator in the world.

Spice Group Plc - poised for £250m takeover

A water meter business set up in 1996 with a single contract worth £3
million a year is poised for a takeover worth £250 million.

The proposed acquisition of Leeds-based Spice by private equity firm Cinven
will result in a £21 million payday for the family of founder and former
chief executive Simon Rigby.

Spice, which counts EDF Energy, Yorkshire Water and United Utilities among
its customers, rebuffed two previous approaches from Cinven but said the
current offer of 70p a share represented a good deal for customers, staff
and employees.

The utility services business was formed through a management buy-out from
Yorkshire Electricity and now generates more than £300 million a year in

As well as installing water meters for utility, industrial and commercial
clients, the company carries out specialist engineering services for the UK
electricity sector.

Mr Rigby stood down as chief executive in February during a turbulent start
to the year for the firm as it warned that profits were likely to be lower
than expected due to factors such as the extreme weather.

New chief executive Martin Towers said: "Cinven is a highly credible
institution with substantial funds at its disposal.

"As an investor, Cinven will take a long-term perspective on our business
with a view to supporting continued delivery of excellent service levels to
our customers and opportunities for our employees."

As well as the support of the Spice board, Cinven's proposed offer has the
backing of shareholders owning around 25% of the business. They include the
5% of shares held directly by Mr Rigby and the 3.5% in a Rigby family trust.

The offer represents a 40% premium on the company's share price before
Spice's announcement that it had received an approach from Cinven.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Costs and improved performance with LED street lights

Strategies to improve street lighting and reduce costs Streetlights are a major expense head for all utilities. Cost of installing
poles, light fixtures, replacement bulbs, and maintenance and replacement
charges can at times be more than what a utility can handle. Coupled with
the high costs are the demand of excellent customer service and ensuring
public safety. Utilities also carry the responsibility of reducing their
carbon footprint and adopting sustainable products and practices in the
long-term interest of their citizens. Not surprisingly, utilities are coming
up with innovative solutions to tackle these challenges. Smart municipal councils and utility companies show the way What is common between Menasha in Wisconsin and Surrey in UK? Both are
harnessing LED street lights to improve street lighting quality and generate
savings for their respective municipalities. Estimates suggest that Menasha
will save $ 60,000 annually resulting in a payback time of less than three
years. Los Angeles and Ann arbor are also on track to harness the benefits
of commercial LED lighting. Read more:

Russia eyes commercial gas deal with China next year

Russia eyes commercial gas deal
with China next year - A visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to
Beijing has not brought a deal on gas pricing with China, the vital element
that would allow the world's top gas exporter to sell to the fast-growing
Chinese market.

"We are still in talks, the talks will continue, we are now agreeing on
separate parameters," Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin told
reporters on Monday.

"Russia is ready to fully ensure China's increasing demand for gas... There
is a mutual understanding. If we come to an agreement on all matters
discussed -- we have no doubts in it in principle -- then Russian gas
exports will start from 2015. We expect commercial contracts by the middle
of 2011."

China is planning to double the share of gas in its energy mix over the next
decade as part of a wider drive to wean its booming economy off coal, the
cheapest but dirtiest fossil fuel.

Russia, which has the world's biggest gas reserves, is keen to diversify its
exports away from Europe by building new pipelines and selling gas overseas
in the form of liquefied natural gas.

Late Carbon Reduction Commitment Registration

First Utility to grow Scottish market

THE UK's biggest independent energy supplier is targeting expansion in
Scotland after securing funding that it claimed would put it on a level
playing field with the big six utility companies.

First Utility last week sealed an agreement to buy its wholesale gas
through Morgan Stanley, with the
global banking giant's US affiliate, Morgan Stanley Capital Group, taking a
9.9 per cent stake in the firm. The supplier has 45,000 customers in the UK but hopes to sign up another
half a million households over the next four years on the back of the deal.
It will aim specifically to build on a growing customer base in Scotland,
where it has proportionately more customers than any other region of the UK.

Darren Braham, chief financial officer at First Utility, said: "Our
agreement with Morgan Stanley offers the perfect platform on which to grow
the business. One of the challenges for a small business is buying energy
and working capital is tied up in that. This solves that problem and puts us
on a level playing field with the big six."

UK corporate CO2 trade scheme needs revamp: advisers

The British government should re-design its scheme to cut corporate energy
usage to make it less complex so as to include smaller businesses, a climate
advisory body to the government said on Friday.

The mandatory Carbon Reduction
Commitment (CRC) energy efficiency scheme was introduced in April to force
businesses like banks, hotels, hospitals and schools to help cut Britain's
greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million tonnes and corporate energy bills by 1
billion pounds ($1.57 billion) a year by 2020.

"The scheme can raise energy efficiency up the corporate agenda but it is
perceived to be complex," David Kennedy, chief executive of the Committee on
Climate Change, told reporters.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

The UK Should Scrap Second Phase of `Complex' Carbon-Cap Plan, Adviser Says...

The U.K. should scrap a plan set to start in the second phase of its
carbon-reduction program to cap and auction emissions for large companies
and organizations, the government climate adviser said. The program known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment already is complex, and
introducing auctions of a fixed amount of emissions permits in the phase
starting in 2013 would make it worse, the Committee on Climate Change said
today in a report on its website. The U.K. plan covers companies not
included in the European Union Emissions Trading System. The program covers about 10 percent of U.K. emissions and encompasses 5,000
companies and organizations including Tesco Plc, the country's biggest
supermarket chain, the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, hospitals and
local governments. They must pay for their carbon-dioxide emissions starting
next year, and the money raised would be redistributed among them based on
how well they have done in reducing greenhouse gases. "Current proposals risk making the scheme unnecessarily complex," David
Kennedy, chief executive officer of the committee, said in a statement. "We
are therefore proposing that government modifies its design to make
participation in the scheme easier for companies and public-sector

Friday, 24 September 2010

5 Innovative and Cost Effective Renewable Energy Resources

Queen tried to use state poverty fund to heat Buckingham Palace

Confusing price tariffs 'add £400 to annual household power bill'

Many homeowners are so baffled by the huge choice of energy tariffs they are
paying £400 a year more than necessary, experts warned today. As many as 89 different pricing options for gas and electricity
are available to a typical
household, says the Which? consumer group. But the options are mired in smallprint on how customers might pay and
manage their accounts - and there are a complex array of fixed rate deals. Read more:

ecobee Awarded the Deloitte Technology Green 15T Award for Second Year in a Row

ecobee, the maker of the ecobee Smart Thermostat and Energy Management
System (EMS) announced it was selected for the Deloitte Technology Green
15(tm) awards for the second year in a row.

The Deloitte Technology Green 15(tm) award honors companies who have
developed technology solutions and intellectual property that promote a more
efficient use and re-use of the earth's resources. These companies reduce
or eliminate environmental impacts while improving operational performance
and productivity. "Winning this award for the second year in a row endorses what we do here at
ecobee." said Stuart Lombard, president and CEO of ecobee. "The features and
benefits that the ecobee Smart Thermostat and the Energy Management System
deliver, have a real and meaningful impact on our customers, their
businesses and the communities they live in."

The ecobee Smart Thermostat for residential applications is designed for
ease of use and energy savings. ecobee's intelligent algorithms allow
consumers to save up to 20 percent on their heating and cooling costs.
Internet connectivity allows them the convenience of accessing home settings
anywhere at anytime through a personalized web portal or iPhone and iPod

The ecobee EMS, for the commercial sector, is ideal in applications where a
simple programmable thermostat does not provide adequate controls and
functionality and a full-scale building automation system is too complex and
cost prohibitive. The EMS is user friendly, maximizes any building's
efficiency, reduces energy consumption and delivers significant cost

Business could be hit by new green tax

Thousands of Britain's businesses could be hit by a new green tax to help
raise money for the Treasury, a leading advisory body to the Government has
Within three years about 4,000 large businesses could have to pay tens of
thousands of pounds in extra tax, depending on how much
commercial electricity they use. This is one of the options outlined by the Committee on Climate Change
(CCC), which has been given the task of simplifying the "very complex"
carbon reduction commitment, which is due to come into force at the end of
this month. The scheme involves Britain's biggest companies and all public sector
organisations, if they consume more than 6,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of
energy a year - meaning a power bill of about £500,000 - must register its
energy use by the end of this month. From April 2011, firms will need to buy
permits for each tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. For those using 6,000MWh,
that could mean £38,000. The scheme is intended to create a financial incentive to cut energy use,
and those organisations that record the biggest reductions will get bonuses,
funded by penalties imposed on those with the worst record. However, the CCC has warned the scheme will become far more complex from
April 2013 when the Government will put a cap on how many permits each
company can buy and firms can auction their permits on the open market. David Kennedy, the chief executive of the CCC, in charge of advising the
Government on reducing carbon emissions, said he and his expert analysts had
"struggled to understand" many aspects of how the scheme worked, so many
companies would do so too.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

World's biggest wind farm off Thanet coast starts generating power

UK business gas prices rise again on low supply

British business gas prices
continued to rise on Thursday as flows from liquefied natural gas (LNG)
terminals and Norway remained low and colder weather looked set to spread
across the country over the weekend.

Gas for day-ahead delivery rose to 43.75 pence per therm by 1020 GMT, with
temperatures expected to drop sharply on Friday in many parts of a country
where gas is largely used for heating, while prices for weekend delivery
firmed to 43.60 pence, up 0.70 pence.

Despite flows through Norway's Langeled gas pipeline remaining unusually low
at under 10 million cubic metres per day, there was no supply from the Isle
of Grain or Dragon LNG terminals, and although South Hook LNG was healthy it
wasn't enough to dampen prices which have rallied all week. Norwegian pipeline operator Gassco said there were no operational issues on
Thursday other than the ongoing maintenance outage at the Kollsness export
plant, which is expected to end on Monday.

Electricity Suppliers and Consumers Will Benefit From the Smart Grid

With the development of the smart grid, we can expect many new developments
in the commercial electricity
market. The smart grid will allow unprecedented levels of communication
between electricity suppliers and consumers, as well as giving utilities
much greater real-time information about the state of their transmission and
distribution systems. We will briefly examine a few implications of the
coming of the smart grid.

UK Government Green Deal Could Create 250,000 jobs: Energy Secretary

The UK government said Tuesday its projected £7 billion/year Green Deal
investment program to improve energy efficiency
in the country's homes and small
business premises could eventually support up to 250,000 jobs should it be
taken up by all of the nation's households over the next 20 years. "The Green Deal is a massive new business opportunity which has the
potential to support up to a quarter of a million jobs as part of our third
industrial revolution. Insulation installers and the supply chain all stand
to benefit from this long overdue energy makeover," said Liberal Democrat
coalition government energy minister Chris Huhne.

According to Huhne's DECC department, the Green Deal will be a new and
radical way of making energy efficiency affordable for all, regardless of
whether people own or rent their property.

"The upfront finance will be attached to the building's energy meter. People
can pay back over time with the repayments less than the savings on bills,
meaning many would benefit from day one. It will help save carbon, energy
and money off fuel bills," said a DECC statement.
Government estimates suggest there are currently 27,000 people working in
the UK's home energy efficiency sector. Tuesday's statement was the
government's first call on the potential employment impact of the scheme
which it described as being an exercise in "working all around the country
to make our housing stock fit for a low carbon world."
"Energy efficiency is a no brainer. We need to tap in to this huge market to
save people money on fuel bills, save carbon and help the economic
recovery," said Huhne.

Carbon Management equals Commercial Opportunity

Up To 5,000 Firms Could Face CRC Fines Next Week

The Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme registration
deadline falls on September 30. Fines for non-submission could net the
government up to £1.5million

Around 5,000 businesses and public sector organisations have yet to register
for the CRC Energy Efficiency
Scheme, according to on365, an infrastructure and utility specialist. With
the deadline looming at the end of next week, fines of up to £45,000 on each
organisation could be levied.

A further hazard is that the Environment Agency's application process and
checks take up to four weeks. That means that companies applying today could
still miss the cut-off date. Companies failing to submit in time face an
immediate £5,000 fee and an additional charge of £500 per day, capped at

Environment Agency promises to spare diligent firms from CRC fines

The government has confirmed it will not impose large fines on organisations
that miss the looming registration deadline for the Carbon Reduction
Commitment (CRC) - but only if they
get in touch with the Environment Agency within the next few days.

A spokeswoman for the agency told that any firm which
makes contact with the department before the 30 September deadline will not
be penalised, even if they fail to hand in their completed registration
forms before the end of the month.

"We're not going to go out and start fining people left, right and centre,"
she said. "The whole aim of this is to help firms measure and cut their
emissions, not to collect funds. If they have made a genuine effort to fill
in the forms and they have got in contact, they should not be worried about
enforcement action."

However, she warned that financial sanctions would be imposed on firms and
organisations which fail to make contact with the agency.

She also revealed the department is preparing a document to submit to the
Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) detailing the problems
encountered by organisations preparing for the CRC.

Carbon Management equals Commercial Opportunity

Carbon management becomes strategic business priority for the world's
largest global corporations says the 2010 Carbon Disclosure Project's 2010
Global 500 report

The Climate Week NYºC 2010 started on Monday and activities will go on till
Sunday the 26th of September. During the whole week business leaders,
government officials and NOG's representatives from around the world will
discuss key issues and explore solutions to ensure a cleaner, greener and
more prosperous future for us all.

Carbon Management equals Commercial Opportunity
This year's central theme is "Climate Innovation = Commercial Opportunity".
Celebrations started with an opening ceremony at the New York Public Library
that drew about 300 people. But the very first forum was held at the Bank
of America headquarters where the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) announced
the 2010 Global 500 report.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Energy firms could be forced to put rivals' cheaper deals on bills

Energy companies could be forced to display rivals' cheaper prices on their
bills under plans to be considered by the Government.
Ministers want consumers to be given clear information on gas and
electricity bills to help them save

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne revealed the Government
hopes to come to an agreement with suppliers which could see them forced to
list their own cheapest tariffs and even those offered by rivals.

In a pitch to position the coalition as the greenest Government the country
has seen, Mr Huhne also warned Liberal Democrat activists they must accept
nuclear power - telling them "a deal is a deal" - but set himself on
collision course with conservationists by calling for offshore wind farms to
be built "again and again round Britain's coasts".

He also announced a plan to create almost 250,000 jobs in green industries
to offset the economic "drag anchor" of budget cuts in a "green deal" which
was one of the Lib Dems' key pledges at the General Election.

Thousands of workers will modernise some 26 million homes to make them more
energy efficient as part of the coalition's ambition to be the "greenest
Government ever".

Speaking before his main address to the conference, Mr Huhne said energy
companies would never again be able to impose "outrageous" price rises on
consumers, with plans to ensure they are told sooner about price rises.

The Government will seek to reach a voluntary deal with suppliers to provide
more information about cheaper tariffs on bills, although Ministers have not
ruled out forcing companies to act if necessary.

"We need to provide consumers with more information so if they've got an
energy supplier who's frankly charging a little more than they ought to
compared with other ones in the market, then it makes it easier to switch,
because they can actually see on the bill, I hope, the other deals that
might be on offer," he said.

Audrey Gallacher, head of energy policy at watchdog Consumer Focus, said:
"Getting energy suppliers to give consumers more warning of price rises is
something we've called on Ofgem to do and this announcement is a step in the
right direction.

"However, there is no justification for price hikes this winter. If people
are going to pay more for their energy, it is absolutely right they know in
advance, not up to two months later."

Under the green deal policy, companies will pay up front to insulate homes,
with householders paying back from the energy savings that will result.

Britain's most environmentally concerned companies

UK preparing to reform electricity market - minister

Britain is set to reform its electricity market to encourage energy
companies to invest the billions of pounds needed for low-carbon power
generation, including nuclear, a minister said Sunday.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne told Reuters in an interview that consultation
on changes to Britain's electricity market would begin at the end of the
year, with legislative proposals published in spring 2010.

"(The consultation) is to make sure that we are putting in place a framework
that will bring forward the low carbon generation from whatever source that
we need over the next 10 years," Huhne said.

He said the framework had to be "stable, clear and certain enough" to
persuade the energy companies to invest, as well as the financial markets
that will fund them.

Energy regulator Ofgem has said Britain needs to invest 200 billion pounds
to ensure supplies and meet climate change targets and will fail to secure
this without changes to the present system of market arrangements and

National Electricity Grid Faces Ofgem Review

The energy regulator Ofgem has announced a comprehensive and open review of
the charging regime and associated connection arrangements for using
Britain's high voltage commercial
electricity network and high pressure gas grid. The electricity and gas grid charging regimes have served customers well,
for example, by encouraging power generators to locate close to where
electricity is used. However, Britain is facing an unprecedented challenge as it moves to a
low-carbon energy system and new kinds of generators such as wind and wave
power stations have less flexibility on where they are sited. This is an
important issue for Scotland as many low-carbon generators choose to locate
there because of the favourable geographic and weather conditions.
Ofgem has launched Project TransmiT to ensure the regimes promote security
of supply and a low carbon future, while keeping the cost of transmission to
customers under control.
Alistair Buchanan, Ofgem's Chief Executive, said: "Project Discovery
identified the need to invest up to £200bn to secure low-carbon energy
supplies for Britain. The electricity and gas grids play a fundamental role
in meeting this huge challenge. Project TransmiT will consider whether the
way in which grid costs are shared between users needs reforming."
The review is in line with the clarified sustainability duties that the
Energy Act 2010 has given Ofgem in April, and the terms of the Third EU
Energy Package passed in September 2009. Also, from the New Year, industry
parties and Ofgem will have the ability to instigate changes to the charging
regime following reform of the industry governance arrangements.
Stuart Cook, Senior Partner, Smarter Grids and Governance, said: "As a first
step Ofgem has published a call for evidence seeking views on the scope and
priorities for the review and any objective analysis from all parties with
an interest in the charging regime.

American institute of physics indicates us more productive Selenium solar cells

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Prompt up on tight supply margins, higher gas prices

UK short-term power prices jumped to a two-week high Tuesday as traders said
supply margins were tighter and UK
commercial gas prices higher.

UK OTC baseload power for next-day delivery was assessed at GBP40.25/MWh by
1200 London time, up 95 pence from Monday. This is the first time that the
contract has gone above GBP40/MWh since September 8.

The peakload contract was assessed at GBP46/MWh, up GBP1.50. On the N2EX
wholesale power exchange, the day-ahead auction cleared at
GBP40.96/MWh, GBP1.43 higher on the day.

"The system is not really comfortable and gas has increased a lot," a trader

"The system is tighter...but not much tighter than last week," another
trader said. "It's the same as last week but with less wind."

National Grid forecast power supply margins at 10.2 GW Wednesday, up 2.8 GW
from Tuesday. But margins are set to tighten further towards the end of the

Solarcentury takes crown as UK's fastest-growing energy firm

Solar panel specialist emerges as only energy firm to make it on to The
Sunday Times Tech Track 100 Report

Solarcentury has seized the title of the UK's fastest growing private energy
company, outpacing rivals in both the renewable and traditional energy

According to the latest The Sunday Times Tech Track 100 Report, which ranks
private technology, media and telecoms companies with publicly available
accounts based on their sales growth over the past three years, Solarcentury
has emerged as the only energy firm to feature in the top 100.

The title caps several years of rapid growth for Solarcentury, which has
seen the company's sales climb from $13.9m in 2007 to £34.5m in 2010.

The company is also likely to see its average annual growth rate of 36 per
cent increase further as a result of the government's recently introduced
feed-in tariff incentive scheme.

Installations of solar panels have soared since the scheme was introduced in
April and Solarcentury announced earlier this month that it has almost
doubled staff numbers across its network of installers since the start of
the year in response to increased demand. The company has also said it
expects to boost its own workforce from 120 to around 160 people during the
current financial year as it continues to grow in the UK and across Europe.

Derry Newman, chief executive at the company, said that he was confident
that it could maintain high growth rates over the coming years.

Government prepares fund to help small business become more energy efficient

The Government is preparing a radical multi-billion pound fund to finance
the rapid "greening" of more than 4m small businesses.
Under the plans, firms will receive loans to replace old boilers, freezers
and other pieces of energy hungry equipment, with the cash repaid from the
savings made in their monthly energy bills. Whitehall officials are talking to high street banks about the design and
funding of the scheme, as well as to energy providers such as British Gas
about how to administer it. The scheme, which has the working title "The Green Deal for Business",
echoes the Government's plan to loan around £6,500 to up to 14m households
to pay for home insulation and new boilers. Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, has had civil servants working on the
plan for four months. Kanat Emiroglu, managing director of British Gas Business (BGB), said:
"There should be something in the Queen's Speech in November, in the Energy
Bill. "We are talking to the Government about its energy efficiency scheme for
SMEs [small or medium-sized enterprises]. They are very receptive about it.
I am hoping it will be introduced in a way that's not bureaucratic." British Gas is confident it can guarantee savings on the installation of
certain types of modern, energy-efficient plant and machinery. This data
could form the basis of a loan programme, giving the lenders confidence that
they would be repaid while not costing the small business owners any cash

Nuclear 'key' to Britain's energy future, say Centrica's Roger Carr

Mr Carr, who was also chairman of Cadbury until its £12bn sale to Kraft in February, said that he believes the need to reduce carbon consumption is a "message that needs to be emphasised, because although the time horizon is apparently a long way away, addressing the issues has got to be [done] now" in order to meet the target.
The company chairman, who made his name helping Sir Nigel Rudd and Brian McGowan build and run Williams Holdings, said that Centrica, which owns the British Gas retail brand, wants to be at the forefront of the UK's transition from fossil fuels to newer forms of energy.
He said nuclear power "is undoubtedly the key to going forward in meeting the 'lights on' requirement and meeting the decarbonisation commitment".
"Without nuclear, I think one would never say impossible, but I would say [it would be] an incredible challenge [to meet those two requirements]," he added.
Mr Carr pointed to the fact that the existing nuclear power station fleet is "ageing" and said "we need to be building replacement capacity virtually immediately".
There are currently plans for 10 nuclear reactors in the UK, with Centrica involved with France's EDF in financing and building four reactors, including the first of the new wave to be up and running at Hinckley Point, Somerset, by 2018.
The current plans mean there will be 10 new British reactors by the mid-2020s, with additional reactors likely to come on stream after that.

Nearly 100 councils haven't signed up for CRC

Nearly 100 local authorities have not signed up to the obligatory Carbon
Reduction Commitment (CRC), according to consultants WSP Environmental.

WSP also reported as many as 1,000 large-scale companies and 5,500
small-scale companies may not meet the deadline for the CRC and face
thousands of pounds in fines.

Reports had already appeared that the end of September deadline would be
missed by some of the 5-6,000 large companies and government bodies. Now, though, WSP has told the Daily Telegraph that even with a last minute
'rush' in registration only 3,000 large companies will have signed up. Also, only 9,500 out of 15,000 small companies will be ready.

Nearly 100 councils haven't signed up for CRC

Nearly 100 local authorities have not signed up to the obligatory Carbon
Reduction Commitment (CRC), according to consultants WSP Environmental.

WSP also reported as many as 1,000 large-scale companies and 5,500
small-scale companies may not meet the deadline for the CRC and face
thousands of pounds in fines.

Reports had already appeared that the end of September deadline would be
missed by some of the 5-6,000 large companies and government bodies. Now, though, WSP has told the Daily Telegraph that even with a last minute
'rush' in registration only 3,000 large companies will have signed up. Also, only 9,500 out of 15,000 small companies will be ready.

American institute of physics indicates us more productive Selenium solar cells

Did you know that many scientists would like to discover light-catching
elements in order to convert more of the sun's energy into carbon-free
electrical energy?
A new analysis announced in the magazine Applied Physics Letters in August
2010 (published by the American Institute of Physics), describes how solar
power could potentially be harvested by using oxide materials that include
the element selenium. A team at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in
Berkeley, California, embedded selenium in zinc oxide, a relatively cheap
material that could make more successful use of the sun's power.

The team identified that even a relatively small level of selenium, just 9 %
of the mostly zinc-oxide base, dramatically enhanced the material's
productivity in absorbing light.

The primary author of this analysis, Marie Mayer (a 4th-year University of
California, Berkeley doctoral student) suggests that photo-electrochemical
water splitting, that signifies using energy from the sun to cleave water
into hydrogen and oxygen gases, could probably be the most interesting
future application for her efforts. Using this reaction is key to the
eventual production of zero-emission hydrogen powered automobiles, which
hypothetically will run only on water and sunlight.

UK preparing to reform electricity market

Britain is set to reform its electricity market to encourage energy companies to invest the billions of pounds needed for low-carbon power generation, including nuclear, a minister said on Sunday, Sept 19.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne told Reuters in an interview that consultation on changes to Britain's electricity market would begin at the end of the year, with legislative proposals published in spring 2011.

"(The consultation) is to make sure that we are putting in place a framework that will bring forward the low carbon generation from whatever source that we need over the next 10 years," Huhne said.

He said the framework had to be "stable, clear and certain enough" to persuade the energy companies to invest, as well as the financial markets that will fund them.

Energy regulator Ofgem has said Britain needs to invest £200 billion (RM971.87 billion) to ensure supplies and meet climate change targets and will fail to secure this without changes to the present system of market arrangements and incentives.

"We have a major job not just in getting the energy companies to invest, but also sensitising the wider investor — pension funds, insurance companies — that this is a sensible thing for them to be investing in," Huhne said.

Energy companies have been calling for a redesign of the power market to remove the volatility in the price they are paid for their output.

Without more certainty in the level of power payments the firms say they cannot invest the billions required to build new nuclear plants or invest in as yet unproved carbon capture and storage technology.

At present renewable power providers like wind farms benefit from a government incentive scheme that pays for their output regardless of the wholesale electricity price.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Flash Back - Cheryl tweedy in the british gas advert as a child circa 1990

Cheryl Cole was in lots of adverts and things as a young child and this is one of them,she was also in this with her younger brother! They both look soo cute in it!

'World power output must grow quickly to meet demand - EDF'

French nuclear power company EDF CEO Henri Proglio said on Thursday that global power generation would have to double by 2030 to meet demand fuelled by Asian economic growth.

“The number of reactors worldwide could more than double from 450 to 1 000,” he said, adding that nuclear power would play a key role in providing business electricity to new demand from developing countries.

Proglio said that China had launched the biggest nuclear development programme in history, calling for almost ten new facilities to be built each year.

China National Nuclear Corp said on Tuesday nuclear power generation in that country would increase by ten times over current levels to 70 GW by 2020.

Over 20 nuclear plants were under construction in China, and more than 20 were in the planning phase, Westinghouse Electric Company Americas president Jim Ferland said.

Urbanisation was a key driver to economic growth and demand for energy.

“In the 1950s, there were only two cities with populations of more than ten million. Over the next two decades ten megacities will cross the seven-million threshold each year,”Proglio told delegates at the World Energy Congress in Montreal.

Renewable energy industry right on target - when the wind blows

It is fair to assume that the millions of viewers who tuned into EastEnders a week last Monday did not simultaneously give thanks for the wonder of wind. But it would have been right for them to applaud the spinning turbines which, we were later told by the National Grid, were providing a record 10% of all the electricity being used in Britain at the time.

The figure appeared to be a milestone. But it was followed by predictions that only 10% of all wind capacity will be available for use when the UK needs it most: in the depths of the coming winter. So which figure tells how close the UK is to achieving its targets on renewable energy?

The contrasting numbers explain why supporters of wind power – who say it will help combat climate change – and its opponents – who say it is an expensive and inefficient technology – always find something to lock horns about. While industry group RenewableUK will this week be celebrating the attainment of five gigawatts of wind capacity, detractors at the UK Independence Party (Ukip) are calling the claims a "tissue of lies".

The September record high for wind energy was reached because turbines were spinning at full pelt in windy weather while demand was lower than normal and other sources of power were not being used.

Critics argue that the unpredictability of wind turbines – which depend on the weather at any given time in a particular location – is nigh-on impossible for the grid to deal with. The grid says it assumes wind power is available at 30% of total capacity on average, but potentially at as little as 10%.

The latter figure compares with availability assumptions of 90% for coal or commercial gas and even 100% for electricity provided through the interconnector link with France. Grid figures for the past three months show wind providing 3,000 gigawatt hours of power, compared with 48,000 for gas, 49,000 for coal and 13,000 for nuclear. These numbers seem to show turbines providing the grid with less than 3% of its power. However, it is thought that half of all wind farms supply customers direct – circumventing the grid – so the overall number may be nearer 6%.

Transmission Engineers Climb 1768ft Tower - Sky News

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Gas & Electricity Prices Set To Double

Britain's energy policy is in crisis

Forget the latest proposal by Caroline Spelman, our Environment Secretary, that all hospitals should in future be built on hills, to stop them being submerged beneath the rising seas brought by global warming (even that serial panic-monger Al Gore predicts that sea levels will rise by only 20 feet). A more serious problem is the chaos inflicted on our energy policy by our willing compliance with an EU obligation to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34 per cent within 10 years.

Behind the fog of official spin, it becomes ever more obvious that the schemes devised to meet the EU target of generating nearly a third of our energy from renewable sources by 2020 – six times more than at present – are a massive self-delusion. Even though they will cost us hundreds of billions of pounds, paid largely through soaring electricity bills, the energy they produce will be derisory – certainly nowhere near enough to plug the looming 40 per cent shortfall in our supplies, as many of our older power stations are forced to close.

IPR'S Merger with GDF Suez will generate profits

International Power generates electricity from a range of technologies and
fuel types and currently has operations in 20 countries.

Last month it announced it would combine with French GDF Suez's
international assets - effectively a reverse takeover of International Power
by GDF Suez - which would be a win-win for both groups in our view.

The plan is for GDF Suez to own 70 per cent of the new company, with the
remainder listed in London. IPR's chief executive, Philip Cox, will be CEO,
so offering some continuity of management.
International Power has a generating capacity of 21GW and GDF Suez
International one of 20GW. New projects will result in a further 7.7GW by
2013, adding almost £900million a year to profits, according to management.
The combined entity will have a stronger foothold in the UK, North America
and the Middle East than its separate units do currently.

An additional benefit is that the majority of the output will be sold via

Fuel bills to rise by £150 more a year

Power firms are planning a 10 per cent hike in gas and ­electricity prices despite making massive profits in last winter's cold ­weather.

Average bills for a couple will go up this winter by around £115 to £1,265 a year. Bills for larger households will increase from an average of £1,500 to £1,650.

British Gas, the UK's biggest supplier, which doubled its half-year profits up to June to £585m, has already warned higher prices are on the way.

Mark Todd, of price comparison website, said: "This is the last thing people need. We are very fearful about the impact on hard-up families and pensioners who might be tempted to turn down their heating to cut costs."

Read more:

Power firms must turn us on to saving

Amid the early morning blur a few days ago, a virtually incomprehensible voice telephoned, demanding to know how thick my roof insulation was. I can't imagine there is much call for inches of lagging in Mumbai, which might explain why my caller didn't make it past the first tentative steps at salesmanship.

But if this is the brave new world of trying to persuade consumers to do all they can to save energy by filling cavity walls, buying new boilers and sticking another couple of layers of cotton wool in the rafters, it's a dead duck.

Yet as Sam Laidlaw, chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, told me last week, we are all in for a very rude awakening over our fuel bills unless we start to cut our power consumption.

Read more:

Commercial LPG Gas The Benefits - LPG Gas For Your Business

Join many restaurants, hotels and other business sectors that are using Business LPG Gas. LPG gas is a cost effective energy source because it is easy to transport and store and can be used for a wide range of business uses such as LPG heating, LPG forklift trucks, LPG farming, LPG cooking and LPG ground care.

Renewable energy to account for 64% of EU needs by 2020

European Union said renewable energy is set to make up nearly two-thirds of new electricity generation capacity installed in the EU over the next decade.

According to European Commission’s update on its energy trends to 2030 report, renewable electricity will account for 64% of new electricity generation capacity installed over the next decade up to 2020. Gas will make up 7%, coal 12%, nuclear 4% and oil 3%.

The new figures take into account the dramatic change in the economic context since the last 2007 scenario, as energy-intensive industries have had to deal with production drops while new legislation has been passed to encourage the deployment of renewable energies and energy-efficient technologies, the report said.

As a result, the EU's more ambitious scenario, which also reflects the agreed legally-binding targets on greenhouse gas emissions reduction and renewables, predicts that renewables will make up 36.1% of total electricity generation in 2030.
The Commission expects wind, including both onshore and offshore, to dominate the renewables market both in 2020 and 2030, followed by hydro power and biomass.

As renewables conquer ground, fossil fuel generation contracts significantly. The market share for gas decreases to 17.8%, while coal and other solid fuels decrease to 21.1% of total electricity generation in 2030, the Commission says.

While the share of nuclear power falls considerably, its production volumes are set to remain at current levels as some member states build new plants while others decommission them, either due to ageing or a phase-out, the report states.

Energy Prices Set To Double

Would we all use less energy if this headline was true?

Are you constantly thinking about the rising energy prices and wondering if there will ever be an end to it? You have many reasons to be concerned about, as prices are increasing at an alarming rate. If energy prices increase, let’s look at some of the other commodities that would reflect an increase in their prices as well.

Shale Gas Is Not a Game Changer - It is Simply Another Period in a Long Running Game

I am going to make a few large, unlinked generalizations and provide a rather long winded introduction to an interesting assessment of the potential for shale gas to change the commercial gas game from its volatile history of price peaks and valleys to one of decades worth of low priced gas. If you are short on time, you might want to scroll down near the bottom of this article. If you have a bit more time and are willing to accept a broad brush approach to a complicated subject, read on.

One of the features of the world energy market from about early 2000 until mid 2008 was a reasonably steady increase in the market price for natural gas. A big driver of that price increase was the cumulative effect of more than a decade in which nearly every new controllable power plant was a Brayton cycle gas turbine - either simple or combined cycle - which are limited to burning hydrocarbon fuels that had essentially no ash content and no machinery damaging contaminants like sulfur or vanadium.

There are many valid technical reasons why gas turbines cost less than other heat engine options like Rankine cycle steam plants or diesel engines. Brayton cycle machines require a lot less material input than Rankine cycle steam machines because they are designed to use combustion gases directly and eject those gases into the atmosphere. There is no need for high pressure, leak proof heat transfer piping, no need for fuel handling equipment that crushes solid matter, and less need for capital intensive systems to provide cooling water. In a simple Brayton cycle machine, the exhaust gas carries away the waste heat; from a heat engine cycle perspective, the atmosphere is the heat sink.

AlertMe launches new features for home energy management customers

AlertMe, the consumer home energy management and connected home company, today announces even more new features for its home energy management service, available immediately.

Following the launch of the new AlertMe web interface and iphone application in July, Carbon Footprint is a new online feature that allows existing AlertMe customers to see accurately the amount of carbon dioxide their home is generating in relation to their electricity use. This means that as the user can track energy and cost saving, they can also track their reduction in CO2 emissions. The app converts kilograms (kg) of carbon into everyday metrics that everyone can understand, such as miles driven, flights taken, plastic bags used and gallons of petrol consumed, and allows consumers to see how their carbon footprint compares to the national average.

The new Time of Use feature allows the user to see how their energy use and cost is allocated across the morning, day, evening and night, even highlighting the heaviest hour. Time of Use can also help users to see unnecessary waste and cost at times when they are usually either out or asleep.

Already a partner of Google PowerMeter, AlertMe has also created a new gadget for iGoogle and introduced a new widget for Yahoo enabling Alertme users to integrate their energy management information even more easily into their homepage of choice or desktop.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Why wind power cannot replace nuclear power

An almost undeniable fact about energy resources is that fossil fuels won't last forever. Whether or not you believe they affect the environment, alternative sources of power will have to be found and used on a mass scale, to enable us to use business electricity long after coal, gas or oil has run out.

As of yet, the next best alternative to fossil fuels is nuclear power. It doesn't produce Carbon Dioxide, it is more efficient as you can obtain huge amounts of energy from relatively tiny amounts of fuel, it is reliable and very little waste is made. It seems that as an alternative to fossil fuels, nuclear power will take some beating. There are of course other ways, such as tidal power, solar power and wind power, but these all have major flaws that must be ironed out before they rival nuclear power in efficiency, cost-effectiveness and reliability.

Wind power is often mentioned as being a reliable source of power, and there are many wind farms already up and running. Wind turbines are erected, so the wind will make the turbine spin, which (without delving into a physics lecture) produces electricity. Okay, this method may be cheap, as we don't pay for the wind. But there are a number of drawbacks.

French utility firm hopes to minimise risk of industrial action at Hinkley Point and Sizewell

EDF Energy is looking to secure high-level agreements with the UK's largest unions to remove any threat of strikes on a proposed £20bn nuclear power plant.

The French giant plans to build the first of a new wave of nuclear power plants at Hinkley Point and Sizewell by 2018 and is keen to ensure it lays the groundwork for a smooth construction process. Government officials need nuclear developers to meet a strict timetable to tackle a yawning energy gap.

Hinkley Point and Sizewell, two of 10 nuclear reactor sites identified by the previous government, will create 5,000 construction jobs and 900 permanent jobs.

An EDF spokeswoman said: "EDF Energy recognises the importance and value of having the right agreements and relationships in place and fully intends to develop appropriate arrangements as part of its nuclear new build construction project. Careful consideration is being given to this and the way forward will be shared in due course."

Hamish Lal, a construction partner at lawyer Jones Day, said: "What EDF is trying to do is hedge the risk of delay to the construction phase."


Friday, 17 September 2010

Want to be more energy efficient, there’s and app for that with our 10 amazing energy apps for the #iPhone and #iPad

Small businesses are paying too much for energy

Many small businesses are paying too much for their energy, according to a
Peterborough-based energy broker.

Suppliers are allowing business users to pay more than is necessary by
keeping them on inappropriate meter codes and tariffs. That's the claim
being made by Ken Perrin, a commercial energy consultant.

Mr Perrin said, "Since deregulation in the late 1990s, energy companies have
become driven by profits, not service, leaving the SME sector vulnerable to
high costs, inflexible contracts and generally poor service.

"Typically, businesses look only at unit rate (price per KWH), but are
unaware that having the correct meter code and tariff is also important in
cutting costs. No energy company offers a review of this. Many businesses
have the incorrect meter code and tariff - costing them more for their

Mr Perrin cites an example is of a Wisbech company paying approx £3200 per
annum for their office electricity. They were on the wrong meter code,
paying £2.34 per day instead of 35p per day standing charge. Having the
meter code changed saved them over £ 700 per annum.

Businesses also run into trouble and incur heavy costs when they forget or
are not aware of the contract end date. The energy supplier is supposed to
contact the customer 120 days prior to the contract end date, but according
to Mr Perrin, 60 per cent of letters never arrive. This leaves the business
in a vulnerable position if it also fails to remember the end date. The
supplier, on the first day after the contract ends deems the business to be
'out of contract' and can increase the unit rate by up to 40-50 per cent -
and the business will not know about this increase until the next quarterly
bill arrives.

Norfolk health bosses bid to cut carbon footprint

Health bosses in Norfolk have put innovative measures in place to in order
to reduce their carbon footprint. New research suggests many NHS trusts are
not yet compliant with the new Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) legislation
which comes into force next month.

All organisations which consume more than 6,000 megawatt hours of energy a
year will be required by law to register their energy use by September 30.

Those that do not, face an immediate £5,000 fine and £500 for every day
after until they do so.

However, in Norfolk, trust bosses say they do not use this much energy each
year and therefore do not have to comply with the legislation.

Instead, they have put schemes in place such as a loan bike initiative and
plans to incorporate renewable energy sources.

Jonathan Cook, NHS Norfolk's director of corporate services, said: "As a
commissioner of local health services, NHS Norfolk takes its role in
minimising its carbon footprint very seriously and takes part in a number of
initiatives to help reduce energy usage. However, as NHS Norfolk's energy
usage was below 6,000 MW per half-hourly energy
reading, the organisation is not
required to fully participate in the scheme.

"Instead, NHS Norfolk is required to provide reports on the half-hourly
meters we have, which we already supplied for the current period.

"One way in which NHS Norfolk is aiming to reduce its carbon footprint is by
signing up to the 10:10 initiative, which aims to reduce the UK's carbon
emissions by 10pc by the end of 2010. NHS Norfolk has now completed its
first carbon footprint analysis, which will be used as a benchmark for
future reductions."

"There are a number of other initiatives, such as a loan bike scheme so
staff can bike to work or to other offices for meetings and investment into
more sustainable building methods wherever possible for our construction

Last year, NHS Norfolk received an award for its commitment to achieving
reductions in carbon emissions at an East of England Health and Social Care
Awards event.

Alison Taylor, director of finance and chairman of NHS GYW's sustainable
development committee, said: "We are committed to protecting our environment
and have placed a high priority on reducing our carbon footprint.

Centrica boss calls for a revolution in energy

The chief executive of the utility company Centrica has called for a
revolution in the UK's energy sector. Sam Laidlaw said the sector had seen
remarkable change in recent decades, but the next 10 years needed to see an
even greater transformation.

He called climate change "the most serious threat to our way of life".
Centrica would be spending £30m to enable an early rollout of the
government's "green deal", Mr Laidlaw also said. That proposal is designed to make the country's homes more energy efficient
through such moves as boiler replacement and cavity wall installation.

Mr Laidlaw's comments came in a speech made to the Royal Society for the
encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

In order to avert the threat from climate change, the Government, opinion
formers and the consumer should get together to achieve a fundamental change
of mindset - and to recognise that investment would ultimately come from
consumers' own bills, he said.

MOD's wind farm objection withdrawn

The Ministry of Defence has withdrawn its objection to wind farm plans for
Baumber - after agreeing on new planning conditions with renewable energy
company Enertrag UK.

The government department was due to form part of the opposition against
proposals to site eight 125-metre-high turbines at Chase Farm, at a
three-week public inquiry beginning at Minting Village Hall on October 5.

There were concerns over the effect the development would have on the radar
system and air traffic control operations, at RAF Coningsby, Waddington and

But, under an agreement with the MOD, if the planning inspector says yes to
the windfarm at next month's inquiry, then Enertrag UK would not be able to
start building until they had the 'approved' technology in place to mitigate
these safety concerns.

A spokesman for the MOD supplied the conditions, which state: "No
development shall commence unless and until the local planning authority has
approved in writing a Radar Mitigation System proposed by the Company and
agreed by the MOD."

Enertrag would need to have this technology in place with in a certain
amount of time, usually three years, if they receive planning permission.

East Lindsey District Council and Baumber Wind Farm Action Group (BWAG) are
both still expected to object to the plans at the inquiry.

BWAG leader, Melvin Grosvenor, said the group had a 'strong case' on the
grounds of landscape and cultural heritage.

However he was concerned about the MOD's withdrawal, saying: "Even if the
Inspector or ELDC said yes, we would be left in limbo for the life time of
the permission of up to three more years, while Enertrag come up with the
mitigation and it is tested and verified.

"We have already been dealing with Enertrag for three years, and it could
end up being six years of planning blight."

BWAG has raised around £20,000 so far towards the £30,000 needed to fund
their representation at the inquiry.

Another fundraising hog roast is taking place at Minting Village Hall on
Saturday, September 18, 7.30pm.

Plans are also in the pipeline for a sponsored walk around the proposed wind
farm site on October 10 (further information:

ELDC has said that local people may be able to share their views as part of
the inquiry.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Chris Huhne worried on wind investment - Telegraph

DECC digs out £1m for hot ROCs

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is putting £1m behind the
search for suitable geothermal sites in the UK.

The Deep Geothermal Energy Fund will be open to applications until 29
October and is intended to help companies carry out exploratory work. Energy
providers are already active in this field in the south west of England.

This is the second round of the Challenge Fund: £4m was made available in
the first, which was fully allocated and spent. Geothermal Engineering - one
of the bidders from round one - recently obtained planning permission for a
project in Redruth, Cornwall.

"Geothermal power from the South West alone could provide up to two per cent
of the UK's electricity needs," said DECC secretary of state Chris Huhne.
"Offering this funding will give UK-based innovators a chance to get their
projects off the ground and into our energy mix".

But the Renewable Energy Association (REA) is far from pleased with the
announcement, saying it effectively halves funding previously promised.

"The Government's enthusiasm is welcome, but this is actually a cut, as the
original fund was £2m," said Gaynor Hartnell, chief executive of the REA.

UK Energy News - Council workers bring in their own heaters

A £500,000 electricity bill for Cardiff's County Hall may be down to heating
so poor that staff are forced to bring in their own heaters.

A council report, describing the building as "extremely inefficient", said
witnesses had suggested some staff are using portable electric heaters to
keep warm, using a considerable amount of electricity.

The findings showed County Hall's electricity bills had risen by around
£150,000 in recent years to hit £500,000.

The criticism comes in a task and finish group report looking at how
prepared the council is to begin taking part in the Carbon Reduction
Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme, which could see the council
facing financial penalties if it fails to cut energy use.

The council has set itself a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by

Coun Simon Wakefield, who chaired the task group, said all council buildings
would have to be looked at to see where reduction in wasted energy can be

He said: "There's a huge amount of glass in it, there's a lot of corridors,
because it's perimeter heating, it's not very efficient, unlike new
buildings like the central library which is now very efficient.