UK Public unaware of renewable heating incentives

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A new report claims that homeowners are unaware of renewable heating options despite 78% of domestic energy use in the UK being spent on heating.

The Renewable Heat Report, published by renewable heating company Innasol and analyst group Frost & Sullivan, reveals that the British public are generally unaware of what options are available to them for generating renewable heat.

In addition, those surveyed who were aware of renewable heating options expressed suspicion over the costs that would be involved in switching to renewable heating solutions.

The paper estimates that the average UK household spends £816 on their annual heating bill, after facing an average energy bill rise of 17% per year for the last decade. With 38% of the UK’s total carbon emissions derived from heating homes and businesses, the need for renewable heat remains imperative if the UK is to drastically cut its emissions.

Will smart meters help save energy?

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Electricity consumption in American homes has dropped for the third year in a row and is already back to 2001 levels, according to a study by the US Energy Information Administration. This, the experts say, is down to more efficient gadgets and homes that are cheaper to insulate, according to the telegraph.co.uk

The UK seems to be doing well too – Google's interactive chart of public data shows a significant drop in consumption since our all-time high in 2005 – but it's tough to discover the truth about electricity use in the home. Organisations like the Energy Saving Trust continue to freak us out about our loft linings and draughty windows, and the various Government schemes that promised us huge savings have come under fire for their overblown promises.

£150,000 grants for community renewable energy schemes

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Local communities will be offered up to £150,000 each to create their own renewable energy through solar panels or wind turbines and take on the Big Six gas and electricity giants, the Government have announced, according to the independent.co.uk

Ed Davey, the Climate Change Secretary, will launch a £10m Urban Community Energy Fund to kick-start projects in England that could see one million homes supplied with electricity from “home-made” generation by 2020. Neighbouring households are being encouraged to group together to apply for the funding, which could pay for solar panels, wind turbines or hydro-electric generators that could save families hundreds of pounds a year in fuel bills.

E.ON Picks GreenWave for European Connected-Home Rollout

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In the United States, “connected home” services like home automation, security and entertainment have largely been the purview of cable, telecommunications and home security providers, says Jeff St. John from CleanTechMedia. But in Europe’s deregulated energy markets, they’re increasingly seen as tools for retail utilities to capture and retain customers -- as well as to create new customer relationships and revenue streams to adapt to the changing energy landscape.

After years of pilot tests and targeted rollouts of these smart home services, Europe’s utilities are starting to go big into this still-nascent market. To get there, they’ll need to combine enterprise-scale support for the machine-to-machine networks these deployments represent with a customer experience that can get people outside of the “early adopter” tech crowd to join in.

National Grid pays to shut down UK wind farms

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The National Grid, one of the largest energy utilities in the United Kingdom, has issued over $8 million to wind farms throughout the country in order to temporarily shut them down. The funds are meant to provide the energy firms that manage these wind farms with a financial cushion while their systems are not producing or selling electrical power. The reason behind the move from the National Grid has to do with recent storms in the United Kingdom and the strong winds that these storms have produced.

Glow-in-the-Dark paths and driveways

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U.K.-based resurfacing company Pro-Teq is currently testing Starpath, an ultraviolet-powered glow-in-the-dark pedestrian footpath in a Victorian park in Cambridge, England, that hopes to revolutionize the way we light our public spaces.

Starpath is created using an innovative, cost-effective resurfacing process that can be sprayed directly onto existing concrete, tarmac, and other hard surfaces. A polyurethane base, a coat of light-absorbing particles in a range of colors and sizes, and a waterproof, anti-slip finish are applied without the need to remove worn-out surfaces. It dries in 30 minutes, causing minimal disruption.

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.

VIDEO: Renewable energy investment explained

Alternative energy schemes could provide alternative investment for millions of UK savers but how do they work, what are the risks and what are the returns?

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.