Tuesday, 31 May 2011

EOS Energy launches £20m solar scheme

UK renewable energy company Eos Energy has announced a £20m scheme that will see it install photovoltaic (PV) panels on private and local authority buildings at no cost.

The Warwickshire-based company has joined a number of solar companies in adopting a business model that offers homeowners free installation. It is one of several companies to adopt a business model targeting the country’s feed-in tariffs through installing solar panels that will get incentive payments under the scheme.

The fairly typical business model sees residential owners forfeiting payments for renewable energy under the tariff, which are harvested by the company instead.

The model can be advantageous for homeowners that cannot afford solar installation, offering free electricity and installation costs.

The UK solar industry has come under fire for high upfront costs associated with the installation of solar systems, which by law must be done by an expensive and qualified engineer. Rooftop arrays capable of generating solar power for homes and small buildings cost in the region of £15,000.

The Green Home Company secures £15 million for Free solar installations across the South East

One of the UK’s fastest growing providers of renewable energy systems, The Green Home Company, has announced it has secured £15 million of finance as part of the company’s programme of providing homeowners across the South East with free solar energy systems.

One of the UK’s fastest growing providers of renewable energy systems, The Green Home Company, has announced it has secured £15 million of finance as part of the company’s programme of providing homeowners across the South East with free solar energy systems.

Google invests $55 million in 1.55-gigawatt California wind farm

Google will invest $55 million to finance a section of a 1.55-gigawatt wind farm being built in California, raising the amount of money the Internet search giant has spent into clean energy projects to $400 million.

The money will finance the fourth phase of the Alta Wind Energy Center being developed by North Carolina-based Terra-Gen Power, L.L.C. in the Tehachapi Mountains. In a blog post, Google said Citibank, which has served as underwriter for the earlier phases of the wind farm, will also be investing $55 million in the 102-MW Alta IV project.

Why must UK have to choose between nuclear and renewable energy?

I know that others don't share my puzzlement, but I don't understand why the nuclear question needs to divide the environment movement. Our underlying aim is the same: we all want to reduce human impacts on the biosphere. We all agree that our consumption of resources must be reduced, as sharply as possible. We all question the model of endless economic growth.

Almost everyone in this movement also recognises that – even with the maximum possible conservation of resources and efficiency in the way they are used – we will not be able to bring our consumption down to zero. This is especially the case with electricity. Those who have been following the issue closely know that even with massive reductions in energy demand, electricity use will have to rise in order to remove fossil fuels from both transport and heating.

Friday, 27 May 2011

French power link to run through Channel tunnel

Eurotunnel has unveiled plans to run an electricity link through the Channel Tunnel as part of efforts to bolster UK power supplies. The proposed interconnector cable with France will help to smooth supply volatility relating to offshore wind power, meaning that energy generated from places where the wind is blowing can be shared around.
The 500 megawatt cable will run in the existing service tunnel and connect at Sellindge in Kent on the UK side and the Les Mandarins substation near Coquelles in France.

In 2008, Eurotunnel had a fire in one of its tunnels but project leaders said yesterday there would be no risk to travellers because the cables will be 10cm wide and heavily insulated, and laying it in the service tunnel will make maintenance easier. The project, which could take two years, will cost an estimated €250m (£217m) with Eurotunnel owning 49 per cent and Star Capital, an infrastructure-focused fund manager, the remaining 51 per cent. The new link, to be called ElecLink, will not have a major impact on total UK power usage, which at peak times in winter is 60,000MW.

Power Management Saves South Lanarkshire £40,000 Per Annum In Energy Costs

The largest market sector for PC power management segment solutions over the next five years will be public sector, followed by financial services and retail/wholesale. Pike Research says that the PC and server power management software market will grow from $168m in 2010 to $783m annually by 2015. The report forecasts that PC power management software alone could be saving almost 47 metric tons of C02 emissions by 2015, about the same as taking nearly eight million cars off the road.

      “The software is deployed on our fleet of PCs, which are distributed across multiple sites throughout the authority. We can centrally manage the entire fleet on our central, corporate network,” says Janice Woodley, Technology Services Manager, South Lanarkshire Council. “By centrally powering down PCs at 7pm each night – or 10pm for local leisure centres - and allowing users to power back up when they return to work in the morning we are achieving savings of £40,000 per annum. A simple action, which is achieving significant carbon and cash savings.”

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Google Has Now Invested Over $400M in Clean Power

Google says it’s not buying the electricity directly from the project, and the returns are reason enough for the investment. Google and Citibank are using what they call a leveraged lease, and are purchasing part of the project, then leasing it back to Terra-Gen, who will manage and operate the project.

Mark down yet another clean power project Google plans to back. Tuesday morning, Google announced on its blog it’s providing $55 million for part of the construction of a 1.5 GW wind farm that is being built by Terra-Gen Power in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. Google’s financing will go toward a 102 MW section of the Alta Wind Energy Center, and Citibank has underwritten the equity for a major chunk of the rest.

DIY to save energy – don't leave it to the IT department

Many large companies have been trying to reduce the power that their IT operations use, particularly in the data centre, where they can make significant savings.

It's harder for companies to reduce the power used by PCs spread around the company, but individual users can make an important contribution.

A lot of power is wasted by PCs left on when they're not being used. Too often they're not even switched off at night or over the weekend. This leads to a potential waste of up to 7,000kWh of electricity a year on just one PC, costing around £700 and equivalent to 3,812kg CO2.

Amsterdam to convert vibrations from bridges into electricity

As vehicles cross the three 17th-century bridges of Utrechtse street, they rumble over cobblestones, sending tremors through the bridges, and continue on their way.
But something is about to change. By the end of this year, the energy from those vibrations is to be transformed into electricity to power lights where the three bridges cross city canals.

The US$8,000 (Dh29,384) machines are part of a set of retrofits, ranging from solar-powered rubbish compactors to carbon dioxide monitors, aimed at slashing greenhouse gas emissions on the historic street by as much as 40 per cent. If the project, nicknamed "Climate Street", works on the nearly kilometre-long stretch of shops and restaurants, its planners hope to bring similar measures to a business park outside the capital.

"In theory, we can be 100 per cent sustainable," said Yoeri van Alteren, the director of Club van 30, the company managing the project. "But in practice, you have to talk to the entrepreneurs to get them to invest in some things, and you have to be helping with some things."

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Flexible Film Solar Cells Approach Efficiency of Hard Silicon Panels

Swiss researchers reach a record 18.7 efficiency with a flexible film cell design

Imagine having pants that charged your
phone automatically, a ski jacket that charged your MP3 player, or a backpack that charged your laptop.  All of these scenarios sound great, but they all require a power source.

UK Committee wrong to dismiss 'shale gas' worries as 'hot air'

After all of the swirling controversy around hydraulic fracturing or 'fracking' for shale gas - an energy frontier enthusiastically opened up by the gas industry in the US - citizens in the UK can rest easy on the matter. A panel of MP's in the country's parliament have looked into fracking in the UK; and the worries surrounding fracking - polluted drinking wells, spills in water course-ways, massive over use of water, greenhouse gas emissions on-par with coal and even earthquakes - are all apparently 'hot air'.

UK Companies are Breaching Guidelines on Environmental Disclosure

The EA’s third environmental disclosure summary revealed that only a minority of FTSE All-Share companies are providing quantitative environmental statistics in accordance with Government guidelines.  Back in 2003 the Environment Agency was asked by the Government to evaluate environmental disclosures in the annual business reviews and accounts of public companies (FTSE All-Share companies) listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

UK gas prices rise on oil, tight supply

British gas prices rose on Tuesday as a drop in liquefied natural gas terminal flows pressured short-term supply and rising oil pressured the curve.

Gas for delivery on Tuesday or Wednesday rose to 58.50 pence per therm, up about half a penny on the previous close, after inputs from Europe's biggest import terminal, South Hook, tumbled overnight, adding to supply constraints from maintenance on North Sea infrastructure.

New Solar Technology Could Break PV Limits

Photovoltaic (PV) efficiency is a significant problem for today’s commercial solar panels, which can collect only a theoretical maximum of about 30 percent of available light. Now, a team that includes a University of Missouri engineer is developing a flexible solar film that can theoretically capture more than 90 percent of available light. Prototypes could be produced within the next five years.

Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, is developing a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light. Today’s solar panels only collect 20 percent of available light.

Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, says energy generated using traditional photovoltaic methods of solar collection is inefficient and neglects much of the available solar electromagnetic (sunlight) spectrum. The device the team is developing — essentially a thin, moldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna — is designed to harvest industrial waste heat and convert it into usable electricity. Their ambition is to extend this concept to direct solar facing nantenna devices capable of collecting energy broadly from the near infrared to the optical regions of the solar spectrum.

British Government Faces Up To Peak Oil

The UK Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne, has committed to establish an “Oil Shock Response Plan” to cope with some of the consequences of peak oil. While there remains dissent as to the facts of peak oil, a growing body of experts think that the phenomenon will occur at some point during the next five years. On a recent BBC radio 4 broadcast a former president of Shell, John Hofmeister, reckoned that there was no problem with the production of oil meeting demand for it until 2050/2060. This kind of estimate includes various sources of unconventional oil for which the EROEI (Energy Returned on Energy Invested) is far lower than for the cheap readily available conventional oil on which the modern global world depends.

Rebate policy change undermines confidence in solar industry

From California to Germany to China, the solar industry is booming. Last year alone, more than 18,200 MW of solar power was installed worldwide. Over the past decade the efficiency of solar panels has increased, while production costs have fallen, and hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in one of the key industries for the future.

Lagging behind in this development, however, is the country with the best solar resources in the world: Australia. In 2009 and 2010, the solar market finally took off here, too, encouraging a number of multinational solar companies to open offices in Australia and to invest in this market.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Energy brokers face clampdown as watchdog may ban rollover deals

Ofgem is considering a ban on controversial rollover fuel contracts in the business market to give small firms greater protection.

The energy regulator is also consulting on whether brokers should be forced to keep recordings of all phone conversations with business customers.

In addition, brokers could be forced to admit when they are being paid commission. They may also be compelled to explain key terms and conditions and make it clear that all contracts are legally binding – even those set up over the phone.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/article-1389457/Energy-brokers-face-clampdown-watchdog.html#ixzz1N7dGMwn1

Southampton Scientists To Help Create A Sustainable Energy System For The UK

The University of Southampton is playing a key role in a major public/private partnership to evaluate the use of biomass to create a cost effective and sustainable UK energy system for 2050.

Domestic biomass (a renewable energy source from living, or recently living organisms, such as plants, rubbish and wood), sustainably grown in the UK, could provide up to 10 per cent (1) of the UK's energy needs by 2050 and significantly contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Three new bio energy projects launched by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI), valued at £4.57 million, are looking to:

Former “alarmist” scientist says Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) based in false science

David Evans is a scientist. He has also worked in the heart of the AGW machine.  He consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) from 1999 to 2005, and part-time 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. He has six university degrees, including a PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.

Companies could be obliged to report their greenhouse gas emissions

Organisations and companies could be obliged to report on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under amendments to the Companies Act in order to show what they are doing to tackle climate change.

The change in regulation is required under section 85 of the Climate Change Act, which says that directors' annual reports should include such information - unless Parliament can give good reasons why this should not be the case.

Walsall firm to create 60 jobs after landing £35m solar panels contract

That initial phase is worth £13.5 million, but opens the company up to almost treble that amount of expenditure as part of a larger framework agreement.
The boost will mean the firm initially taking on an additional 14 members of staff and 145 will undergo training to complete the work. A total of 61 jobs will be created locally across the supply chain as part of the first phase.

Chairman Paul Hargrave said landing a deal in an emerging sector with the country’s largest local authority opened the firm up to huge opportunities – which could mean taking on up to 100 more employees in the long term.

Almost all of the company’s £31 million sales came from building maintenance last year, but with oil and gas prices soaring and green commitments from the Government, he said this move stands to boost revenue.

New solar product captures up to 95 percent of light energy

Efficiency is a problem with today's business solar panels; they only collect about 20 percent of available light. Now, a University of Missouri engineer has developed a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light, and he plans to make prototypes available to consumers within the next five years.

Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, says energy generated using traditional photovoltaic (PV) methods of solar collection is inefficient and neglects much of the available solar electromagnetic (sunlight) spectrum.

The device his team has developed – essentially a thin, moldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna – can harvest the heat from industrial processes and convert it into usable electricity. Their ambition is to extend this concept to a direct solar facing nantenna device capable of collecting solar irradiation in the near infrared and optical regions of the solar spectrum.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Sainsbury’s boss says store will not invest in on-site wind

The boss of Sainsbury’s said the supermarket chain will not invest in on-site wind turbines at any of its stores.
Justin King, chief executive of Sainsbury’s, said wind "was not part of the solution" for the retailer, which is investing millions in low carbon technologies at its stores up and down the country and claims to be the "greenest grocer".

"You won’t see any [wind turbines] at any of our stores in the UK," he said as he took part in a debate about 'growth without carbon’ organised by his company in London, yesterday. 

Dartmouth store

Sainsbury’s has in fact invested in on-site wind turbines at its first flagship eco store in Dartmouth, which opened in September 2008. However, King said the experiment has proved to the retailer that the technology was not right for the business. Instead the company is investing in a range of other green technologies, including biomass, geothermal and anaerobic digestion. 

"It is not windy enough where most of our shops are," said King. "It’s pretty windy offshore, but we don’t build our stores in the North Sea."


New Solar Technology Could Break PV Limits

Photovoltaic (PV) efficiency is a significant problem for today’s commercial solar panels, which can collect only a theoretical maximum of about 30 percent of available light. Now, a team that includes a University of Missouri engineer is developing a flexible solar film that can theoretically capture more than 90 percent of available light. Prototypes could be produced within the next five years.

Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, is developing a flexible solar sheet that captures more than 90 percent of available light. Today’s solar panels only collect 20 percent of available light.

Patrick Pinhero, an associate professor in the MU Chemical Engineering Department, says energy generated using traditional photovoltaic methods of solar collection is inefficient and neglects much of the available solar electromagnetic (sunlight) spectrum. The device the team is developing — essentially a thin, moldable sheet of small antennas called nantenna — is designed to harvest industrial waste heat and convert it into usable electricity. Their ambition is to extend this concept to direct solar facing nantenna devices capable of collecting energy broadly from the near infrared to the optical regions of the solar spectrum.


Scottish And Southern Energy Full-Year Profit Up - Quick Facts

SSE full-year pre-tax profit rose to 2.1 billion pounds from 1.64 billion pounds; and adjusted pre-tax profit, excluding exceptional items, remeasurements arising from IAS 39, and after the removal of taxation and interest on profits from jointly controlled entities and associates, improved to 1.31 billion pounds from 1.29 billion pounds in the previous year, which is mainly attributable to growth in Energy Networks.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

G4S Supplies Macquarie Group with Data Management Service

G4S Utility Services, UK national provider of field metering and data management services, has been awarded a significant contract to provide Macquarie’s Corporate and Asset Finance Group, part of Macquarie Group Limited and one of the UK’s leading smart meter financiers, with a fully accredited Meter Asset Provider (MAP) system with an ongoing data management service.

  The initial three year contract, which started in January 2011, will be delivered from G4S Utility Services’ head office in Newcastle supporting Macquarie’s continued growth providing energy meters across the UK. The contract includes the opportunity, at a later date, to expand volumes and terms in line with the UK Smart Meter deployment programme. The contract builds on G4S’s existing smart meter provision services for British Gas.

UK To Lead World In Cutting Carbon Emissions

The Government will sign up to the "ambitious" target of a 50% cut in carbon emissions by 2025, the Energy Secretary has confirmed.

Chris Huhne told the Commons the Government had accepted the advice of its climate
advisers for the fourth "carbon budget", which runs from 2023 to 2027.

The minister, who is currently at the centre of claims that he persuaded someone else to take speeding penalty points on his behalf , said the decision would be reviewed in 2014.

But Mr Huhne added it sent a clear signal that the Government was serious about driving the transformation to a low carbon economy.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

UK gas prices rise with oil, LNG terminal dip

British gas prices rose on a sharp drop in supplies from the South Hook liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and rising crude oil prices, traders said.

Gas for delivery on Wednesday hit a high of 58.60 pence per therm when flows into the network from Europe's biggest LNG import terminal dived from around 50 million cubic metres a day to just 6 mcm. Gas for Thursday hit 58.50 pence.

"South Hook is one factor on the spot," one market observer said, adding that oil was the main driver for the rise in forward gas prices, with Winter 2011/12 reaching 69.00 pence.

Japan April LNG Imports +23% After Quake Hits Nuclear Capacity

Japan's imports of liquefied natural gas surged 23% in April compared with the same month in 2010, after the March earthquake and tsunami shut down several of the country's nuclear reactors, according to data published late Monday by ship tracking service Waterborne.

Overall Asian LNG demand was up 20% on the year, "due in part to economic recovery and growth, but driven primarily by the shutdown of a significant amount of Japan's nuclear generating capacity," Waterborne said in a report.

Climate change targets to cost every household £500 a year

Tough new climate change targets will cost every household in Britain £500 a year.

The targets will usher in a new era of green taxes and soaring fuel bills for millions of cash-strapped households.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne yesterday committed the UK to a legally binding 50 per cent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 in a move that will leave Britain £13.4billion-a-year worse off.

The targets are the toughest of any country in the world and will come at a huge price for Britain’s struggling economy.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1388168/Green-taxes-Climate-change-targets-cost-household-500-year.html#ixzz1MgpCxoR2

Top 5 Energy Efficiency Smartphone Apps

Here at Catalyst  our main focus is to find businesses with the most competitive business energy and business gas prices. We also strive to help businesses achieve greater energy efficiency. But overall our main wish is to help everybody lower their environmental impact by becoming more energy efficient not only at their businesses but at home too.

Following on from our Top 10 Amazing Energy Saving Apps, In this week’s article we bring you 5 of the best energy efficiency apps for Smartphone’s. With them you will be able to control your household energy costs by reducing electricity usage, surveying home appliances and even help you change light bulbs.

Video: UK aim to cut carbon emissions in half by 2027

The UK's energy secretary has announced plans to cut the UK's carbon emissions in half by 2027 and change the way Britain produces energy.

Chris Huhne, who has been facing allegations he asked his estranged wife to accept speeding penalty points on his behalf, told the Commons the proposals would promote a greener Britain.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Video - UK pollution targets

The Government is expected to confirm that it has agreed to ambitious targets for cuts to emissions.

Energy Secretary Chris Huhne is expected to announce that the UK will adopt plans to cut emissions by 50% on 1990 levels by 2025.

The carbon budget runs from 2023 to 2027 and will put the UK on target for 60% cuts by 2030.

Prompt gas rises on tight supply

British prompt gas prices rose on Tuesday as the market was unbalanced following a drop in supply from Norway and liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, while sliding crude contracts weighed on prices across the curve.

Gas for Wednesday delivery gained 0.15 pence to 58.25 pence per therm at 0930 GMT, while within-day prices were flat on Monday's trading levels at 58.40 pence.

Wind turbine tower factory to boost UK renewables industry

The UK’s burgeoning renewable energy industry received a boost today with the opening of a £38m wind turbine tower manufacturing facility in Wales.

Minister for energy and climate change Charles Hendry officially opened the Mabey Bridge factory in Chepstow, which will provide 240 skilled jobs and secure the near-term future of the sole UK-based manufacturer of wind turbine towers.

The new Bevil Mabey Structural Steelworks, which can produce up to 300 towers a year, marks the culmination of the 162-year-old bridge-building firm’s move into the renewables sector.

Renewable Marine Energy

A number of Welsh universities are teaming up to test whether parts of the Pembrokeshire coastline have the potential for renewable marine energy.

Operation Celtic Odyssey will see an environmental assessment of the St David's peninsula and the adjacent coastline around Ramsey Sound.

The area has already been identified by the Welsh Government as a potential site for tidal energy generation.
Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor universities are taking part.

Pembrokeshire College is also involved in the two-week project to study the environmental and engineering impact of placing a turbine underwater between the mainland and Ramsey Island. 

Monday, 16 May 2011

SSE will struggle to avoid Ofgem showdown

AMONG the regular takeover favourites Scottish & Southern Energy features prominently and the Perth-based utility has once again emerged as a candidate in a new round of European consolidation.

Analysts are deeply divided, some expecting it to be a matter of time before the company is snapped up, while others believe the market chatter is nothing more than that.


Thursday, 12 May 2011

Energy bills 'it's not lying it's misrepresentation'

Scottish and Southern Energy has defended itself on charges of lying to customers for the second time in as many days.

Members of the Energy and Climate Change Committee confronted the tops six energy firms today (May 11) over doorstep selling following SEE's trial on charges of misleading customers.

Yesterday (May 10) the firm, the UK's second largest generation business, was found guilty at Guildford Crown Court in Surrey.

The business, commonly referred to as SSE, was found guilty of two counts out of seven charges brought by Surrey's trading standards.

UK solar industry “is done a great disservice” in CCC report

This morning the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published its much-anticipated report on renewables. Outlining the potential green energy has in the UK, the research identifies several possibilities, including solar photovoltaics and solar thermal, and discusses what role each one can play in increasing the energy mix on the journey to the country’s carbon commitment targets.

Unfortunately, much of the research has been met with disappointment.  Despite flagging solar power as an economically viable energy source, the Renewable Energy Association (REA) says that it “is done a great disservice in this report.” PV is barely mentioned in the document, but when it is, it is either outlined as expensive, or it is contrasted with a technology that is simply incomparable.

John Moreton, Chairman of mO3 Power agrees with this point, stating that, “The full potential of business solar energy is being overlooked.”

Slowdown in meter installation hits Bglobal

Smart meters firm Bglobal said it performed slightly ahead of expectations in the year to March 31 but warned of a slowdown for installations, which sent its shares lower.

Shares in the Darwen-based firm fell more than six per cent, or 1.38p to 21.12p after the update.
Bglobal, led by chief executive Tim Jackson-Smith, said it was profitable and had cash balances of about £7m at the year-end, which is sufficient for its funding requirements. The firm said it generated strong growth in revenues from additional services such as data collection.

It installed more than 66,000 meters but the figure was lower than expected.

Bglobal said that, following a government announcement at the end of March that the mass roll-out of smart meters to the residential and small and medium-sized business markets will start later than expected in 2014, some customers have deferred their roll-out strategies.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

British Gas and Npower under starters orders to deliver first EV charging tariff

Energy giants both announce plans for dedicated overnight electric car charging tariff

The race is on to deliver the first UK energy tariff specifically tailored for electric vehicle (EV) owners, after British Gas and Npower both announced plans last week to launch tariffs that offer discounted electricity for recharging cars overnight.

Centrica-owned British Gas said that under its new tariff EV owners would pay as little as 1.25p per mile to power their car, saving around £1,200 a year compared to fuelling a conventional family car to travel 10,000 miles.


New Oil Tax Impacts Gas Prices

Gas Prices To Go Up 25pc Due To Extra Oil Tax

Extra Oil Tax Cuts Down Profits of Oil and Gas Companies – During the 2011 Budget pronouncement, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the supplementary charge tax on UK oil and gas production was to be increased from 20pc to 32pc. Up until now oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea were rather quiet about the tax surge but have recently made public that their profits were slashed and energy and gas prices will rise.

Energy company misled its customers

One of the UK’s big six energy companies has been found guilty of using misleading sales tactics when doorstep sales representatives convinced potential customers to change suppliers.

Scottish and Southern Energy reps used a script and a printout to make customers believe they were paying too much with their current supplier.

Steve Playle, of Surrey County Council trading standards which led the investigation into the company, said: “When we first became aware of the sales script being used by Scottish and Southern Energy we were convinced that it overstepped the mark and was misleading to potential customers.

“A doorstep seller had a printout which he claimed showed consumers were paying too much with their current energy supplier but the printout did not show this.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

A 100% solar-powered quarry

The BoDean Company aggregate and asphalt supplier is going 100 percent solar-powered, the first to do so in the world, according to the industry magazine Rock Products.

BoDean will mark the occasion with an official cutover ceremony on May 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the company’s Mark West Quarry located at 4611 Porter Creek Road.

A total of 3,444 business solar panels were installed on a restored slope at the quarry. The system as a whole is capable of generating 1.165 megawatts of green energy annually.

Haven Power opens new Ipswich facility

A Suffolk electricity supplier has opened a purpose-built centre in Ipswich and plans to double its staff and more than treble its customer base nationwide in the next 12 months.

Haven Power’s new 10,000 sq ft hub was opened by Alan Duncan, Shadow Secretary of State for Business & Enterprise.

Haven Power, part of The Welsh Power Group, was set up by a team of energy professionals to provide small to medium-sized businesses with an alternative to the major multinational power suppliers, which have traditionally focused on domestic or large industrial users.


Monday, 9 May 2011

Solar panel regulator warns over door to door sellers

Like many pensioners, Eric Catterall was keen to use his savings to reduce his rising energy bills.

The government's new feed-in-tariff, which pays for electricity produced from the sun, is proving so popular it is being reviewed to ensure more money is available for consumers.

But for Mr Catterall, trying to get the panels installed proved costly and the regulator has told the BBC it is worried that Mr Catterall and others like him risk being short-changed by unscrupulous salesmen.

Energy customers face higher bills

Consumers are facing another round of energy price rises after the UK's biggest supplier revealed a further squeeze on its margins.

British Gas owner Centrica said the wholesale price of gas and power for delivery next winter is around 25% higher than last year, but the price paid by households has yet to reflect this higher price.

The company, which has around 16 million energy accounts, said its results for 2011 were likely to be "materially influenced" by the recovery of higher wholesale prices and other costs.

It said: "Market conditions for our residential energy supply business are significantly more challenging than in 2010."
A Centrica spokesman said the company had yet to take a decision about whether to increase tariffs.

Managing Energy by Working Directly With Suppliers

With increasing pressure from investors and growing energy constraints, it's no longer a question for company leaders about whether to address climate change impacts. It's a priority. One of the surest bets for company managers to do so is to identify opportunities to reduce energy waste, whether through an organized sustainability program or as part of quality management and lean efforts.

While the opportunity begins at facilities that companies own and operate, such direct assets are the tip of the iceberg. The real potential is for company managers to work with partners, especially suppliers, to save money, minimize risks, and capitalize on leadership opportunities throughout their global value chains.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Summer UK gas prices likely to fall, help industry

Wholesale UK gas prices should fall this summer as liquefied natural gas shipments rapidly replenish plentiful stocks, helping soften the blow of record high transport fuel prices for battered British business.

After an unprecedented surge in gas costs last summer, Britain's gas market should return to its normal mid-year price lull, offering some short-term relief to big industrial users who buy on the wholesale market in an economy barely staggering out of recession.

UK could win almost a quarter of marine-energy market

Analysis released today by the Carbon Trust shows that the UK could capture slightly less than a quarter of the global marine-energy market.
Equivalent to up to £76bn of the UK economy by 2050, this sector could also generate more than 68,000 UK jobs if the technology is successfully developed and deployed internationally, and the UK builds on its existing lead.

The majority of these jobs would develop thanks to growing export markets in countries such as Chile, Korea and the US, as well as Atlantic-facing European states.

Energy Market Report May 2011

Our monthly analysis of the UK gas and power markets is now available on line for the month of May 2011. The service is intended to keep you up to date with all the major news in Europe’s gas and power markets. It is also designed to keep power executives focused on market activity in an easy to digest format.

Energy Entrepreneur slams use of fake documents

Utilities supplier boss, Andy Pilley, has spoken out against the ever-increasing use of bogus tenancy documents within the industry.

Mr Pilley, the owner of national commercial gas and electricity supplier, BES (Business Energy Solutions), has seen an 'alarming increase' in forged change of tenancies submitted by brokers.

Brokers approach suppliers with new clients and in exchange are paid an introductory fee. Once the details have been processed, clients often enter an out of contract rate with their previous supplier, which can mean paying double the amount they were before. Now, on behalf of the businesses that are at risk, BES is calling for a stop to it.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Sabien warns of winter gas price rise

Sabien Technology has suggested price rises per therm will be partly dictated by the increasing costs added to energy bills to pay for the UK's climate change policy.

Alan O' Brien, CEO at Sabien Technology, said: "Government figures suggest its climate policies will add 26 per cent to the energy bills of medium sized firms by 2020. At the core of rising prices is the fact that wholesale gas is now a global market, especially with the emergence of liquefied natural gas (LNG). As with all global markets, the prices will be driven by the highest payer and demand."

Factors Influencing UK Business Gas Prices

This is how it works. When crude oil prices raise so does natural gas prices for continental Europe and consequently the UK, because of pipeline connections to Europe.

Since UK gas prices aren’t completely hooked up to European oil indexed gas prices, gas in the UK becomes cheaper than in continental Europe and European gas traders end up buying gas from the UK. That is when the demand in increased and UK gas suppliers put their prices up to stop the flow to continental Europe and to contain the price surge in the UK gas market.

Big Fine for Companies Who Provide Inaccurate CRC Reports

Time is running out for UK organisations whose half hourly electricity consumption totals more than 6,000 MWh per year (equivalent to approximately £500,000 annual spend) and are yet to compile all data for their CRC report.

Companies covered under this Energy Efficiency Scheme must provide a carbon emission report based on their annual energy consumption by the end of July, more precisely the 31st. Those who fail to meet the deadline will face severe financial penalties.

UK energy infrastructure on high alert after arrests

Five men were arrested outside a nuclear power station shortly after the death of Osama Bin Laden was announced.

The arrest, announced by the North West Counter Terrorism Unit, were made under the Terrorism Act police said today (May 3).

Cops reported that at 4.32pm on Monday (May 2), officers from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary carried out a 'stop check' on a vehicle close to the Sellafield nuclear power station in West Cumbria.

UK will 'utterly destroy' North Sea industry

Oil and gas leaders will on Wednesday make a last-ditch effort to persuade the Government to abandon a £10bn tax grab on North Sea energy companies, amid warnings the levy will "utterly destroy" the industry.

Chief executives are expected to tell the energy select committee that the tax will close down fields early and mean the majors find it difficult to sell older fields to new owners.

Meanwhile, Chris Huhne, the Energy Secretary, will have to defend the impact the tax is likely to have on oil and gas production at a time when Britain needs to bolster its energy security.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Woman steals smart meter SIM for downloads

A woman has been jailed for using a stolen SIM card to download almost $200,000 worth of data from the internet.
Kylie Maree Monks, 33, pleaded guilty to computer-related fraud, receiving stolen property and one count of making a false declaration.

In the Supreme Court in Hobart yesterday, Justice Shan Tennent said Monks was given the SIM card which had been taken from an Aurora power meter equipped with a wireless data connection to the Telstra NextG network.

Britain’s Royally Disastrous Energy Policies

In June, London-based auctioneers Christie’s expects to raise £100,000+ selling Margaret Thatcher’s famous Asprey handbag. It’s the bag often carried by the Iron Lady on foreign trips and gave rise to the term “hand-bagging”, a term used by the British press to describe Mrs Thatcher occasional style in political debate with other national – mostly European – leaders.

If its value weren’t quite so high, it would be worth the investment of UK energy insiders who might consider using it to knock some sense into the heads of those having anything to do with formulating current coalition energy policies.

Firms face big fines for poor CRC reporting

The organisations in question are those whose half hourly electricity consumption totals more than 6,000 MWh per year (equivalent to approximately £500,000 annual spend).

The reports are due by the end of July, so participants only have three months to prepare them, yet fresh research by accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers has found that only 21% of organisations questions said that they were even currently reporting their carbon emissions.

The scheme's regulator, the Environment Agency, can implement fines of £5,000 if a company does not submit their report on time, plus £500 for each day that the report is overdue.


Wind farms paid £900,000 to switch off for one night

Wind farms operators were paid £900,000 by the National Grid to disconnect their turbines for one night because the electricity was not needed.

The payments, worth up to 20 times the value of the power they would have produced, raises serious concerns about such subsidies, which are paid for by the customer.
The six Scottish wind farms were asked to stop producing electricity on a particularly windy night last month as the National Grid was overloaded.

Their transition cables do not have the capacity to transfer the power to England and so they were switched off and the operators received compensation. One operator received £312,000, while another benefited by £263,000.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Never Have So Many Factors Influenced UK Gas Prices

Back in the days when British North Sea natural gas reserves were at full throttle Britain use to be self sufficient for natural gas. In those days only a couple of factors had major influence in UK gas prices, they were weather and demand, the golden days as many energy brokers referred it. Nowadays the UK gas and energy market has grown more complex with several factors influencing prices on a daily basis.