Buy-to-let landlords: act now or lose £1,500 tax perk

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Buy-to-let investors can claim tax relief on energy efficiency measures – but only until April. Below we explain what to do.

Buy-to-let landlords are being warned to act now before a tax perk on home improvements that could help them meet new green targets is abolished.

There are just a few weeks to apply for £1,500 tax relief, per property, on works to boost energy efficiency such as insulation or a new boiler.

A further £5,600 of Green Deal cashback is available, but the application process can be chaotic, so landlords should apply as soon as possible if they want to claim.

Voltz - New Energy switching app

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With the big energy companies making great play of the fact they’re cutting their prices, you could be forgiven for presuming that you don’t need to do much else to get a fair price for your gas and electricity. But that could be an expensive mistake.

In case you missed it, E.on cut standard gas prices by 3.5 per cent at the beginning of last week. On Monday British Gas promised to cut standard gas bills by 5 per cent from 27 February, while yesterday Scottish Power revealed a reduction in prices of 4.5 per cent from 20 February.

Green Deal: How to claim £5,600 on home improvements

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Government cash is now on offer to householders through the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund. We crunch the numbers on costs and savings

Householders can now earn generous cashback on home improvements, such as new double-glazed windows or wall insulation, which could increase a property's value as well as trim energy bills.

Den Is A New UK Home Automation Platform, Raising Crowd Financing

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It’s strange, because until now most home automation system which involve accessing the power outlets seems to have been designed for nerds to show off their ‘touch sensitive’ switches. But it’s taken a 19-year-old from Kent, England to produce a power socket aimed at the mainstream UK market which carries a real switch, that looks just like any other, but which incorporates home automation technology.

Tempus Energy launch demand side responce unit to help homeowners save 20% on energy bills

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This is everything that smart meters should be...

A new hi-tech way that is said to cut energy bills by up to a fifth is about to go on the market. The idea is that a “black box” will turn appliances, such as fridges, on and off in response to fluctuations in the wholesale price of electricity, which occur continuously throughout the day, reports the Telegraph.

Smart meters can be hacked to cut power bills

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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.