Smart meters can be hacked to cut power bills

Smart Meter

Smart meters widely used in Spain can be hacked to under-report energy use, security researchers have found, says the BBC.

Poorly protected credentials inside the devices could let attackers take control over the gadgets, warn the researchers.

The utility that deployed the meters is now improving the devices' security to help protect its network.

The discovery comes as one security expert warns some terror groups may attack critical infrastructure systems.

Could a boiler that generates electricity be the answer to cutting energy bills? British firm to launch game-changing appliance

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Could a boiler that generates its own electricity be the answer to cutting household energy bills?

A British company is set to launch the new appliances later this year and claims they will generate around 40 per cent of a household’s energy needs.

Flow Energy, which has been developing the technology for ten years, will hand the boilers over to customers with no upfront cost because it says the savings made will easily cover the cost of the boiler.

Just 20,000 will be available in the first year – but Flow says it has plans to expand very quickly.

How does it work?

Twilight Britain: A looming energy crisis this winter could force power giants to dim the lights in so-called 'brown outs'

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Many of us, at some point, will have noticed a moment at home when the lights go dim for a split-second.

We might, suspecting that our eyes are playing tricks, ask someone else whether they saw it, too. When they confirm that they have, we’re grateful that we haven’t imagined things, and then get on with our evening.

But imagine if the lights went dim and then stayed like that for several hours — or perhaps even several days. That would certainly be something to worry about.

Big Energy Vision: Nationwide campaign launched to encourage greener thinking

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Kingfisher, Global Action Plan and the National Trust are among a host of big businesses and charities that have united to launch a major campaign which encourages UK households to control rising energy bills and reduce emissions.

'The Big Energy Vision' has been set up to coincide with Big Energy Week - running all of this week - following new research from YouGov, which revealed that energy bills are the top financial concern for households but two-thirds of people say there's nothing they can do about them.

Millions miss out on free home improvements, British Gas survey reveals

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Millions risk not claiming free money-saving home improvements because they don’t realise their property is eligible for help.

Research by British Gas reveals that only one in five people believe their home qualifies for free insulation, despite it being available to nine out of 10 homes that need it.

With energy companies and the Government rolling out loft and cavity insulation to homes across the UK, the misconception means millions could miss out on average annual savings on their energy bills of up to £150 from free loft insulation and up to £145 with cavity wall insulation.

The energy network: how it works for you

This new video from Ofgem explains how the UK energy network works, at the same time as attempting to justify the part of your energy bills which is siphoned off to pay the network.

Energy bills to soar again: how to beat the rise

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Thousands of customers are being pushed onto pricier energy bills. This guide, from the Telegraph, contains the latest deals and insider tips to cut your bills.

Energy bills are about to soar for thousands of customers who have fixed their bills. Seven fixed deals are ending this month, with new tariffs costing up to £198 more per year, according to recent research - unless customers switch now.

The worst offender is M&S Energy, where customers on the Fix and Save September 2014 dual fuel tariff will see the biggest average bill increase from £993 to £1186, unless they switch.

Freetricity and Zouk to install 10,000 free PV systems

The new installs will be in South Wales and southern England.

Freetricity will install another 10,000 residential PV systems in England and Wales following a deal with clean energy investor and fund manager Zouk Capital, says Solar Power Portal.

The second agreement between the pair builds on a 3000 system contract that made up part of the portfolio sold to Aviva Investors.

The systems are installed without cost to the homeowner who receives reduced electricity bills in return.

Council tax cut for energy efficient homes

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Households could save at least £100 a year by improving the energy efficiency of their homes, under Lib Dem manifesto plans announced today.

The Liberal Democrats would reward people who improve the energy efficiency of their homes by giving them a council tax discount and slashing their energy bills – a double bill cut.

Household energy use has fallen by an average of 2.5% per annum over recent years, but we need to go further and faster.

Commenting, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey said:

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party offering a long-term double bill cut - lower energy bills, lower council tax bills.

EU to ban high-energy hair dryers, smartphones and kettles

Hair Dryer

The European Union is considering pulling the plug on high-wattage hair dryers, lawn mowers and electric kettles in a follow up to its controversial ban on powerful vacuum cleaners, says telegraph.co.uk.

The power of hairdryers could be reduced by as much as 30 per cent in order to be more eco-friendly, a draft study commissioned by Brussels suggests, threatening many of the models favoured by hairdressers and consumers for speedy blow-dries.

New proposals are expected next spring to outlaw dozens of household electrical devices that European officials regard as using too much electricity, as part of plans to meet EU targets on energy efficiency.