Top 10 tips to keep your home warmer for less this winter

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For many homeowners, the biggest burden on their finances across the winter months is the cost of keeping their home warm.

NHBC, the UK’s leading warranty provider and standards setting body for new build homes, offers the following advice to keep your home cosy and draught free for the winter:

Look after your boiler: Central heating boilers should be checked and serviced at least once a year by a Gas Safe Registered engineer to ensure they remain safe and efficient. Boilers fitted in the UK now have to be energy-efficient condensing boilers, as they waste the least amount of energy. So if you live in an older property with a boiler older than 10 years you may want to start thinking about having it replaced.

Reduce draughts: Make sure that your house is free of draughts. Check the weather-stripping on your windows and seal your doors to keep heat from escaping. At night, close your curtains to help insulate your windows against heat loss.

Energy-saving house of the future will have no bins and a self-cleaning bathroom

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The energy-saving homes of the future will have no bins, rubbish-sorting robots and a self-cleaning bathroom, according to elaborate new research, says express.co.uk.

The futuristic design comes from a report by environmental services company Veolia Environmental named "Imagine 2050".

According to the report, homes in the future will not need any bins.

Nanoscopic robots will sort waste in the kitchen and then quickly eat away the rubbish once it has been separated into materials.

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Source: belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Northern line to warm Islington homes

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Heat from a Northern Line vent will be piped to homes across Islington, saving consumers money and 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, according to wired.co.uk.

The project was announced by Islington council and is part of an ongoing initiative to harness secondary heat in the city being pursued by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson. In July a report was released on the topic, explaining how the mayoral office would be looking into ways the city can harness and make use of "waste heat arising as a byproduct of industrial and commercial activities" and "the heat that exists naturally within the environment (air, ground, water)".

The Islington project claims to be the first of its kind in Europe and will deliver cheaper heating to 500 homes in the borough. The heat will be captured from a London Underground vent from a Northern Line station, as well as from an electrical substation owned by UK Power Networks, and facilitated by Islington's Bunhill Heat and Power heat network, which already uses wasted heat to provide cheaper, greener energy for 700 homes in the borough.

Big 6 to become big 7

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A new player in the UK energy market is to be created after npower agreed a deal to offload 770,000 customer accounts, according to sky.com

They form part of npower's Electricity Plus and Gas Plus subsidiaries, which were sold for £218m to Telecom Plus, a supplier of energy and telephony services trading as Utility Warehouse.

The deal, which will not result in any change to customer service and contracts, is expected to be completed by early January.

It is the result of new rules from the industry regulator Ofgem which limit the number of tariffs on offer to domestic customers to a maximum of four.

As Utility Warehouse already manages the brands on behalf of npower, the sale will allow the two companies to continue to offer their customers up to four tariffs under their respective brands.

It will also meet demands for greater competition in the industry at a time of rising energy prices - a situation that has resulted in fierce debate in recent weeks over political intervention to ensure a fair marketplace for consumers.

EU to examine govt aid for UK nuclear deal

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The European Commission said Tuesday it would examine British government support for a massive 19-billion-euro nuclear plant to be built by French and Chinese firms, reports expatica.com.

London announced Monday plans for two reactors to be built by French energy giant EDF, backed by the world's leading nuclear power company, Areva of France, and Chinese nuclear firms CGN and CNNC.

Controversially, the deal guarantees the price for electricity produced over 35 years at about double the prevailing rate -- with the government to pay the difference if the market falls below the set level.

Energy Sins Exposed

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Despite the fact that two thirds of Brits think they’re paying too much for their energy bills, a new survey shows that many of us are still carelessly wasting huge amounts of energy and heat from our homes, reports skegnessstandard.co.uk.

Three quarters of the 2,040 UK adults questioned said they are frustrated by the year-on-year increase in energy costs, yet 13 per cent admit they have the heating on when they are not in the house and the same number confess to opening windows when the heating is on.

£70m to fight Wales fuel poverty

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An additional £70m has been announced to protect households in some of the most deprived parts of Wales from fuel poverty, says newswales.co.uk.

Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food, has confirmed that the Welsh Government will allocate £35m in 2014-15 and £35m in 2015-16 to encourage energy companies to invest in Wales.

British Gas robo home remote gets itself into hot water

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Energy has been in the news again lately, but not in the way that suppliers would favour. Last month, opposition leader Ed Miliband promised to freeze energy prices for 20 months if Labour made it into power. It’s a message British Gas was keen to forget as it announced its renewed commitment to the connected home in London, says theregister.co.uk.

E.ON launches customer 'toolkit' to 'transform' home energy usage

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E.ON is readying a marketing drive to promote its focus on giving customers “tailored” advice about their energy use through the launch of an online comparison tool, says marketingweek.co.uk.

The energy provider has partnered with utilities software firm Opower to create an online “energy saving toolkit”, which allows customers to compare their bill prices with one another. Homeowners will see their utilities bills compared with around 100 anonymous homes of a similar size and type, as well as the top 20 energy efficient E.ON homes in their local area.