Energy

The energy that underpins our everyday infrastructure is under more pressure than ever before. As demand increases, and the need to move away from carbon-producing sources intensifies, it is clear that how we source our energy will change rapidly over the next few decades.

From energy for transport to households, from industrial supply chains to digital services, we face huge challenges in finding new ways to power society, and switching successfully to fundamentally different models.

From individual up to global level, how can we be more energy aware, more efficient, and make less impact on the world we depend on?

More about the problem with energy

Solar farm.

Switching to a green energy supplier

A great way to support the growing green electricity sector is to switch your supplier. This doesn’t mean that it’s more expensive, many people have actually seen their bills drop.

Obviously it’s the same electricity coming through your cables, what you are doing is providing investment and trust in green energy. Renewable Energy is now the cheapest option and that is improving all the time!

There are even comparison sites such as Big Green Switch who can compare the best energy suppliers. Don’t worry, green energy suppliers can also supply gas. Companies like Bulb offset the emissions from the gas they supply by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world.

Solar panels on roof.

Home energy efficiency

The UK’s 29 million homes accounts for 14% of total UK emissions. Much of our housing is under insulated and still uses fossil fuels for it’s primary source of heating.

In a new report ‘UK housing: Fit for the future?’ the CCC warns that the UK’s legally-binding climate change targets will not be met without the near-complete elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from UK buildings.

simpleenergyadvice.org.uk provides personalised advice to help you identify possible home improvements and potential grants available to you.

Green Homes Grant.

Green Homes Grant

If you’re a homeowner or residential landlord you can apply for a Green Homes Grant voucher towards the cost of installing energy efficient improvements to your home.

Improvements could include insulating your home to reduce your energy use or installing low-carbon heating to lower the amount of carbon dioxide your home produces.

You must redeem the voucher and ensure improvements are completed by 31 March 2022.

You can check if you are eligible here:

Read more about this in Gemma’s article on Air Source heat Pumps

Air source heat pump

Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI)

The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme was set up to encourage people to install renewable heating systems into their homes or businesses. It has been very popular so the scheme has been extended until March 2022.

The building owner pays for the renewable heating system initially. Depending on the amount of carbon the building is saving, the owner will receive a payment every quarter for 7 years. I spoke to somebody who receives £300 every quarter. Over the seven years this will have paid for their air source heat pump.

See The Energy Saving Trust Website for more information.

Energy map.

How is our electricity generated

Energy Dashboard provides real time information about how our electricity is being generated. The amazing thing is just how much is now generated by wind. UK Coal is virtually removed but there is still a high proportion of gas used and we do also import electricity. One fairly local route for our energy imports is via the Channel Tunnel!

Tidemills

Tidemills

It may come as a bit of a surprise but locally we have a early example of ‘zero emissions’ tidal power. Using a series of lock gates the mill was able to turn water wheels which in turn powered the millstones.

As the tide rose, water would head along the canal turning the wheel and filling up the ‘pond’. As the tide dropped water was released from the pond, again turning the wheel. This meant the mill could reliably run unlike a windmill whose power was a bit less predictable. It only needed to stop and high and low tide.

Friends of Tidemills website

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