Green energy no guarantee for emission reduction

July 7th, 2008

According to Ecotricity, a supplier of green electricity in the United Kingdom, what has so far been referred to as ‘green electricity’ does not guarantee that there will be a reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions. This is because some of the so-called ‘green electricity’ is not really renewable energy.

As per Ecotricity the only renewable energy that contributes to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions as well reducing the dependency on fossil fuels is what is presently being developed. Ecotricity goes ahead to say that anyone who is not developing any renewable energy generation facility and yet claims to produce green electricity is lying.

Ecotricity has made public a table showing the funds invested in renewable energy project by the six major energy suppliers in the United Kingdom. Ecotricity itself has claimed that out of the combined electricity that it supplies twenty eight per cent of that amount is produced from renewable sources of energy. The energy supplier pledged that this would continue to increase as they set up more wind energy turbines.

But Ecotricity is not alone in accusing some energy suppliers of making some false green tariff allegations. An spokesman for Ofgem asserted that the energy regulator was concerned about the false green energy tariff claims and was working towards clearing the confusion that was reigning among electricity consumers over the matter. Ofgem is understood to be preparing a rating system which will clearly demonstrate which energy tariffs are of benefit to the environment.

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Scottish Power awards contract

July 6th, 2008

Scottish Power has awarded a contract to reduce carbon emissions to a green support services company, EAGA. The deal is worth approximately two hundred million sterling pounds.

EAGA which is based in Newcastle company has consented to handle the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target that Scottish Power must meet as outlined by the Government.

There has never been a contract like it before and many are likely to come along considering that EAGA already has framework agreements to work on helping other energy firms to meet the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obligations. All the energy companies in the United Kingdom are supposed to meet the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obligations. Carbon Emissions Reduction Target requires them to reduce carbon emissions in United Kingdom homes by about one hundred and fifty million tonnes in a course of thirty six months.

It appears that helping energy firms meet the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target regulations will create booming business for EAGA. By the year 2011 it is expected that money allocated for meeting the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obligations will reach three billion sterling pounds.

The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target regulations stipulate that at the minimum, forty per cent of carbon savings must be channelled to priority groups such as those with low incomes as well as the consumers who are senior citizens.

To ensure that as many homes and property types as possible are reached, Carbon Emissions Reduction Target will consider providing extra technologies such as outside insulation of walls, generation of green energy and so on.

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Mayor introduces green energy zones

July 6th, 2008

London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson made the announcement of the setting up of 10 high-technology ‘Low Carbon Zones’  throughout the city of London in four years time so as to ensure a supply of ‘greener’, low carbon solutions to households and businesses. This would assist in reducing electricity bills as well as helping the mayor fulfil his promise of turning London into a low carbon city with a goal of cutting down on carbon emissions by sixty per cent by the year 2025.

The Low Carbon Zones will assist residents to raise their energy efficiency levels and consequently reduce the amount of energy used as well as the costs incurred from using electricity. This will involve providing household insulation as way of reducing electricity wastage, retrofitting buildings with energy efficient devices, promoting micro-generation of electricity, and carrying out assessments on carbon and energy to get the present levels and work out a strategy to cut down on the emissions.

At present there are 4 pilot schemes already in operation but 6 new ones will follow. The pilot scheme is being undertaken in Wembley, Barking, Mitcham and Elephant and Castle and is being supported by the London Energy Partnership. Development of the new zones is anticipated to begin early next year.

The mayoral initiative is being done in partnership with the EDF Energy, British Gas, Energy Saving Trust as well as other energy suppliers besides London Energy Partnership. The office of the mayor will make public information on the sites for the 6 new zones will be selected in September.

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E.ON receives condemnation

July 6th, 2008

An energy firm has received condemnation after a war veteran who had been overbilled attempted suicide. The eighty four year-old war veteran, Walter Bargate, who was attached to the Bomber Command during the Second World War, took one hundred pills following the disconnection of his power.

As he underwent recovery it became apparent that E.ON had been overbilling him by as much as four times. This error was a consequence of incorrect wiring with his two meters at his home in Great Moor, Stockport, Greater Manchester. His family came to know of what the war veteran had been going through when they came across his suicide note which indicated that the ovebilling by E.ON had pushed him to take away his life.

The energy giant however has insisted that its employees did the fair and appropriate thing while going after the six thousand and five hundred sterling pounds that the war veteran supposedly owed in electricity bils.

The war veteran’s daughter however had no kind words for E.ON who she accused of acting insensitively. Energywatch was also critical of E.ON for the billing errors.

The suicide note by the war veteran outlined his tribulations in the hands of E.ON. It indicated that he had tried to seek for help from the company but was kept waiting on the phone for more than three hours. It is the war veteran’s daughter who discovered that her father had accumulated electricity bills since 2003 running into thousands of sterling pounds. Energywatch investigated the matter and discovered that the two meters had been incorrectly wired prompting the ombudsman to rule that the energy firm forgive the debt and make apologies.

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Renewable power tariffs and online tariffs almost the same

July 6th, 2008

The differences in cost between online energy tariffs and the specially designated renewable energy tariffs are becoming marginal. This is according to a price comparison website. The price comparison website discovered that the disparity on average between the electricity tariffs as set by the six major energy suppliers was ninety seven sterling pounds and seventy three pence annually.

The electricity supplier which offered the lowest dual fuel green tariff was Scottish & Southern Energy. Its tariff was nine hundred and forty five sterling pounds and seventy nine pence. In comparison to an online energy supplier the difference was fifty sterling pounds.

Renewable electricity from firms such as Green Energy, Egotricity and Good Energy were also discovered to be offering competitive prices in comparison to the green tariffs being offered by the six major energy suppliers in the United Kingdom which include npower, EON, British Gas, EDF, Scottish Power and Scottish & Southern Energy.
The head of utilities at the price comparison website, Paul Schofield, asserted that it using renewable electricity didn’t have to mean that it was too expensive. He however maintained that consumers at the household level always preferred the lowest price tariff.

As a per a report in a national newspaper, renewable electricity can still cost one as much as fifty six per cent on top of the lowest priced deal for the ordinary electricity. Also contained in the report was the revelation that even after putting up wind energy turbines, photovoltaic solar panels and other renewable energy generating facilities there would no savings forthcoming until after three decades.

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Electricity more expensive in Wales

July 6th, 2008

In Wales it has been claimed that more than one million homes pay fifteen sterling pounds more for their electricity than the rest of the United Kingdom. As a result Ofgem the energy regulator is now engaged in investigating the assertions that Wales pays nineteen million sterling pounds more than other parts of the United Kingdom.

The energy watchdog, Energywatch revealed that they had no explanation for the fact that electricity users in Wales ended up paying four per cent more for their electricity than other parts of the United Kingdom even when expenses incurred in the supply chain such as network maintenance was taken into account.

Households in South Wales were the worst affected and they were incurring five per cent more in power bills compared to North Wales. In comparison with England they were paying ten per cent more.
Assembly members have demanded that electricity consumers in Wales should receive compensation.

Energy Savings Trust’s Steve Woosey, North Wales, claimed that electricity tended to cost higher for people in places that were harder to access. He argued that electricity was not only dear in Wales but also in the south west of England. Steve Woosey further explained that living in places that were at the furthest edge of the network was the cause of the higher cost. But he pointed out that it should be rectified since the area had smaller incomes and the houses were older and therefore not well insulated and were thus not energy-efficient.

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Wind turbines face opposition

July 6th, 2008

An electricity firm which was proposing to develop 6 wind energy turbines was picketed by campaigners who were opposed to the plan.
The protestors who were under the umbrella body of Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines opposed the wind farm outside the village halls of Pointon and Billingborough village halls where Scottish Power Renewables was holding public information events.
Both the protestors and the firm behind the wind farm proposal say they have the backing of the locals. Members of Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines are hoping that by initiating a letter writing drive, the project will be blocked before it takes off.

Gwen Oakes, a member of the Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines claimed that 80% of those who had turned up were opposing the wind farm proposal and urged all the locals to write to the planning authorities to protest against the wind farm proposal.
The main fear of Gwen Oakes was that the value of her property would fall if the wind farm was developed in the area.

Another member of the Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines, Linda Pritchett argued that it was better to invest on energy conservation and photovoltaic solar panels rather than wind energy turbines.

One of the arguments of the Action Group Against Sempringham Turbines is that the wind farm would be a blot on the landscape since it will be seen from areas a distance away such as Dyke and Morton. The wind energy turbines would rise to a height of one hundred and twenty five metres and would be situated on an area of land measuring one hundred and fourteen hectares.

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EDF UK in network improvement programme

July 4th, 2008

EDF Energy Networks has had a three hundred site Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition network finished by a subsidiary of

General Electric, Satlynx.

The new completed network upgrade in the United Kingdom for EDF Energy is part of a larger network enhancement scheme meant

to improve the controlling and monitoring of the distribution of power in the south-east England.

The upgrading scheme has taken Satlynx and EDF Energy over twenty four months. Validation has been done using satellite

technology for the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition software. The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition

application is used for the collection of data, as well as controlling of the power distribution network. Before the

installation of the application the collection of data, as well as controlling of the power distribution network was being

done from the teleport and network operating centre of Satlynx which is located in Germany. Now with the new network it is

possible for EDF Energy to have instant coverage all over the south-east England. EDF Energy can also widen the reach of the

network to other parts of the country.

The operational telecoms manager for EDF Energy Networks, Mark Fiske, admiited that EDF Energy was steadfast in its

commitment to the enhancement of their infrastructure and the management of their was just as crucial as the switching and

distribution of electricity. The operational telecoms manager for EDF Energy Networks added that their choice of satellite

was dictated by the fact that it was the best mode when it reliability of the control and monitoring of the network was put

into consideration. He added that so far they were satisfied with the quality of service they were getting from Satlynx.

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Wind farm decision postponed

July 4th, 2008

A decision on whether to give the go-ahead to the construction of a weather mast measuring fifty metres tall on a piece of land located in the midst of Gartree and Lubenham has been postponed.

Harborough District Council had been requested by Energy4All to give the planning permission to erect the anemometer which is used for calibrating the speed of wind as well as its direction. This was necessary since Energy4All was looking to develop a wind farm and wanted to test the viability of such a scheme.

The matter was brought up before the planning committee of Harborough District Council and was widely expected to be consented to despite the fact that the time allocation for consultations had not yet reached the expiry date.

Energy4All is looking to develop a wind farm comprising of 4 wind turbines on farming land belong to James Wright. Each of the four wind energy turbines is going to be ninety metres wide and one hundred and twenty five metres tall.

The locals in Lubenham have been carrying out a door-to-door campaign against the proposed wind farm. The anti-wind farm campaigners have been enlightening people on the proposal which they say has not received the required thorough scrutiny.
The campaigners have said that the wind energy turbines would be taller than then Big Ben which rises to a height of ninety six metres.

The district councillor of Lubenham ward, Blake Pain, made an appeal to the committee to postpone the verdict until wide-ranging consultations had been done. The planning committee were in agreement with him and as a result the decision on the anemometer was deferred.

Power cuts hit area repeatedly

July 4th, 2008

Chorley estate in the recent past has suffered frequent electricity outages leaving the locals angry and frustrated.
In last fourteen days the people residing in Shaw Hill Street claim they have experienced over fifteen blackouts which has forced people to turn to other alternatives for lighting purposes. Strangely the power cuts are only being experienced in one section of the street where approximately twenty households have been the victims.

The people residing in the area have grown tired of forwarding complaints to the electricity supplier concerned and now a solution found.

Adele Speakman, a resident of the area admitted that it was impossible to have a bath or prepare tea due to the electricity interruptions which they were experiencing. She complained that she was sometimes left unable to prepare breakfast for some of her children wondered what she would once she delivered a new baby if the frequent power cuts persisted.

Adele Speakman’s neighbour, Mary Hodgkinson, who is an elderly lady said she had been complaining to the electricity supplier every day for the last fourteen days and yet nothing had been done about it. She admitted to calling the electricity supplier’s emergency number several times only to be told that they hadn’t been notified of the problem.

A spokesperson for United Utilities, which is the electricity supplier responsible, regretted the inconveniences the residents had suffered and made the assurance that the electricity distributor was doing all it could to rectify the problem in the shortest time possible. He explained that it was not possible to zero in on the network fault since it was a developing fault.

Power producers in joint venture

July 3rd, 2008

Brushing aside any effect on their business from the shrinking global economic activity, Forth Ports has revealed that it is to get into a green energy joint venture with Scottish and Southern Energy.

Forth Ports which owns 7 ports in the United Kingdom revealed that the initial scheme under the joint venture would be known as Forth Energy. Forth Energy would involve an investment of twelve million sterling pounds and would comprise of four wind energy turbines at Tilbury. The power generation capacity of the new scheme would be approximately two megawatts.

The chief executive officer of Forth Ports, Charles Hammond, revealed that Forth Energy had already identified potential schemes a combined generation capacity of over one hundred and fifty megawatts. All of the potential sites for the renewable energy projects are all located on the Forth port estate.
Mr. Charles Hammond added that the land they owned had a lot of potential for generation of renewable energy and that in the coming years they could put in as much as several millions of sterling pounds into green power.

The chief executive officer of Forth Ports also disclosed that their joint venture with Scottish and Southern Energy was going to be involved in a scheme by Tilbury Green Power whereby they would come up with a power station in the docks exploiting multiple fuels. A planning application was in the pipeline.

Just as the news of the joint venture were being broken Forth Ports reported impressive half year results and confidence was expressed that the company would continue to enjoy strong growth and this resulted in the share price gaining seventy two pence.