Sunday, 25 April 2010

Find a grant or discount for your property

Our database includes grants from a range of providers including government, energy suppliers, retailers and installers. Energy Saving Trust tries to ensure that all installers listed are members of the National Insulation Association (NIA). However, it is unable to offer any other recommendation or endorsement of any of the listed installers or the products they install. Please visit to find out more about the checks carried out by the NIA on its members. Similarly, the Energy Saving Trust is also unable to guarantee price and "lead times" shown in the database and you should ensure that the written agreement with your chosen installer confirms this information.

Find the right offer for you

Solar heating rip-off exposed by undercover probe

A probe by consumer organisation Which? caught 10 out of 14 installers overstating potential savings from the systems, which cost an average of £5,500 and use energy from the sun's rays to provide hot water.

The organisation said most of the firms involved in its investigation were "true cowboys".
Last year, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) received 1,000 complaints about the solar panel industry – equivalent to one for every 100 UK homes fitted with the systems.

Which? said two firms, Everest and Ideal Solar Energy, used "dodgy sales tactics" and "hugely overstated" the potential benefits of installing a solar thermal system. An independent expert calculated such a system would cut about 10 per cent from the Which? household's annual gas bill, but Ideal Solar Energy quoted savings of 50 per cent, while Everest quoted a 43 per cent cut. Everest also claimed the home owner would save £35,000 over 20 years, a suggestion Which described as "a massive exaggeration".

full article

Boiler Scrappage Scheme Scotland How To Claim


ANYONE who thinks they qualify for the boiler scrappage scheme should call Energy Saving Scotland.
In total, 5,000 homes will benefit from the scheme, which will run on a first come, first served basis from 24 May.
In most cases, advisers will be able to say over the phone whether the boiler has a G rating and is eligible for replacement, by asking a few questions about its age, make and model.

The Scottish Government does not know how many boilers will qualify for the grant, but anecdotally believe it to be a "significant" number. Vouchers will be awarded after the new boiler has been installed.

• The Energy Saving Trust is available on 0800 512 012.

Scotland confirms Boiler Scrappage Scheme

In a move which will delight climate alarmists, up to 5,000 households in Scotland will receive £400 towards the cost of a new boiler, under the region's new boiler scrappage scheme confirmed this week.

Households with poor performing boilers which convert less than 70 per cent of fuel into heat, will qualify for cashback on a new energy saving model. Upgrading to a greener boiler could help households reduce heating costs by about a quarter and save £190 a year on fuel bills.

From May 24, households will be able to apply online or over the phone through the Scottish Government's Energy Saving Scotland advice network. Replacing 5,000 boilers will also save around 5,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year - the equivalent to taking 1,700 cars off Scotland's roads, heating the water for 7 million baths or heating 1,300 Scottish homes for a year.

Scotland's Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said, "Scotland is seen around the world as a champion for low-carbon living.

"A vital part of this is helping people to live in greener homes which cost less to run.

"Through the boiler scrappage scheme we will help people replace rickety old boilers for new energy saving models and importantly, put money back in the pockets of householders. At the same time we are providing an economic stimulus for the heating industry, supporting jobs and helping it get through this financially difficult time."

full article

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Feed-in tariff starts to generate cash

Householders with small-scale green energy systems such as solar panels and micro-wind turbines will receive up to £1,000 a year for the electricity they generate under a new government scheme that starts paying out today.

The level of payments for the Clean Energy Cashback scheme – or feed-in tariff – were unveiled by the energy and climate change secretary, Ed Miliband, in February and homeowners who participate can start earning money from today.

According to government figures a typical 2.5kW solar pv installation could offer a homeowner a reward of up to £900 and save them £140 a year on their electricity bill. A similar scheme that will incentivise low-carbon heating technologies could be introduced in April next year.

Despite the payback, the upfront cost will put off many householders, with the average price of the installation of solar panels around £10,000 to £12,000.

British Gas and a number of other industry partners are trialling a Pay As You Save scheme with the Energy Saving Trust, where householders will pay back the upfront cost through the monthly savings on their bill, but it involves just 500 households.

Despite the cost, energy company Solar Century said today it had seen a fourfold increase in sales enquiries since the tariffs were announced in February.

Friends of the Earth today welcomed the scheme as providing a "tremendous opportunity for people across the UK to play their part in the green energy revolution".

full article

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Gas safety worries over old certificates

A third of tenants are renting properties that have out-of-date gas safety certificates, a poll suggests.

In a survey of just over 1,000 UK tenants, 36% said that the legal time limit had elapsed and 26% said they had never been given a safety certificate.

Landlords are legally required to ensure an annual gas safety check is carried out and provide tenants with a copy of the certificate.

This must be performed by a registered engineer.

This register is overseen by the Gas Safe Register, a safety body that replaced Corgi in April 2009.


Some 18 people died and 310 were injured in the UK as a result of gas leaks, fires, explosions and carbon monoxide poisoning in the UK last year.

Landlords can face prosecution if a tenant is hurt or killed owing to a gas leak or explosion.

full article

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

GM viruses offer hope of future where energy is unlimited

Scientists have made a fundamental breakthrough in their attempts to replicate photosynthesis – the ability of plants to harvest the power of sunlight – in the hope of making unlimited amounts of "green" energy from water and sunlight alone.

The researchers have assembled genetically modified viruses into wire-like structures that are able to use the energy of the sun to split water molecules into their constitute parts of oxygen and hydrogen, which can then be used as a source of chemical energy.

If the process can be scaled up and made more efficient, it promises to produce unlimited quantities of hydrogen fuel, a clean source of energy that can be used to generate electricity as well as acting as a portable, carbon-free fuel for cars and other vehicles.
Replicating photosynthesis – in which plants convert sunlight into a store of chemical energy – has been a dream of the alternative energy business for decades. The drive was given an extra boost yesterday with warnings by the US military that there could be serious global oil shortages by 2015.

Splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen is seen as a critical first step in this process of artificial photosynthesis. Although it is possible to split the molecules using solar electricity, the process is not very efficient. In the latest study, scientists were able to split water directly with sunlight, without using solar panels.

Plants convert sunlight into chemical energy using the green chlorophyll pigment found in leaves, which traps packets of light and uses the energy to transport electrons from one molecular complex to another within the plant's cells. The end result is the conversion of carbon dioxide and water into glucose, which can be stored as starch or as other forms of plant carbohydrates.
full article

Are surface water charges soaking up your money?

If the rainwater in your home's drainpipes doesn't flow into the public sewers, you may be able claim a refund from your water bill.

Lucy SiegleLucy Siegle met viewer Mark Smart who for the past six years has paid a surface water drainage charge, as part of his water bill.

But Mark discovered that the rainwater in his home's drainpipes was not flowing into the public sewers. The rainwater was flowing into a soakaway (a pit filled with stones) in his back garden, instead.

Mark had been paying the water company for a service that he is doing himself. He told his water company about the soakaway and has received a £400 rebate from his bill.

Surface water drainage charge?

When rain falls on your property it has to go somewhere. Usually it runs down a drainpipe and into the public sewer. Water companies call this 'surface water' and charge you for draining it away. But there are ways of getting rid of surface water that may involve the water companies, soakaways for example. Another example is if your property is next to a river and the surface water from your property runs into the river.
full article

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Worcester Bosch calls for more scrappage time

ONE of Worcester's biggest employers is calling on the Government to extend its boiler scrappage scheme.

Worcester Bosch Group, based in Cotswold Way, Blackpole, has started lobbying MPs and civil servants asking them to extend the scheme that can help reduce household energy bills.

The scheme has proved popular with both boiler installers such as Bosch and 125,000 homeowners have taken part.

Neil Schofield, head of sustainable development at the Worcester firm, said: “The scheme has been good for the installer, the householder and the entire domestic heating sector.”

full article

Monday, 5 April 2010

Land Glider

This, according to Nissan, is the future of urban transportation.

The electric-powered Land Glider has four wheels but is little more than half the width of a family car and is designed with busy city streets in mind.

The agile two-seater, which has a glider-like cabin, leans into corners and has a top speed of 62mph.