This week is European Union Sustainability Week, when around 4,000 people from more than 50 countries are expected to take advantage of the chance to exchange ideas with others in the sustainable energy sector, as well as meet EU staff in Brussels.
Around 900 different Energy Days will take place across Europe as part of the week, the aim being to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to the general public.
To coincide with this, a report in The Guardian looks at which EU countries are set to achieve their renewable energy targets. Renewable sources accounted for 12.4% of the EU’s energy in 2010, with Sweden leading the way (47.9%). Latvia, Finland and Austria all recorded over 30%, while the UK – along with Malta, the Netherlands and Luxembourg – were bottom of the table.
You can see the full report here - it makes interesting reading and highlights how much there is to do for the UK to come anywhere near reaching its sustainable energy target.
The search for ways of harnessing our natural resources to develop greener, more sustainable energy continues ever onwards.
Here at Saveometer we were interested to spot this article on the BBC News website, which looks at a device being tested in the stormy Orkney waters. It’s a bit like an underwater turbine – or propeller – that is designed to capture the power of the water current to produce energy.
It’s developers, Scottish Power, are hoping to install ten off Islay – making it the world’s largest tidal array. Granted it’s a drop in the ocean, if you’ll forgive the pun – according to David Shukman’s report, you’d need around a thousands to replace a traditional power station.
But it’s a fascinating concept and we’re interested to learn how it develops. The major engineering and power companies are waking up to the potential of tidal and wave energy, and that has to be a good thing.
One of the stars of Dragons’ Den, Deborah Meaden, has joined the call for increasing use of clean energy.
The Prime Minister is being urged to increase the use of clean British energy and reduce the use of overseas gases.
A poll by the environmental group Friends of the Earth found a large majority of people in the UK backed a drive for more renewables like wind and tidal sources of electricity.
It came as the Prime Minister is due to make his first major speech about the environment since coming to power – at an international clean energy conference in London.
TV dragon Deborah Meaden is backing the use of renewable energies and she told the BBC “In the long term they are going to help us drive down the cost of energy.”
Source: BBC News
The UK offshore wind industry received a boost last week when wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa announced plans to build a major manufacturing facility in Leith.
The site will produce the giant wind turbines that are set to be built around the British coast and could be worth up to €150m Euros of investment (around £125m), as well as supporting more than 800 jobs. The new factory is expected to make the enormous blades for wind turbines, which can be longer than an Olympic swimming pool, as well as generator units.
The UK already leads the world when it comes to the amount of offshore wind installed and has ambitions to increase it still further. We say that anything which can reduce energy bills for consumers, is sustainable and conserves the planet’s natural resources has to be a good thing.
There’s no going back now – it’s public knowledge that Saveometer’s Melissa Lane is set to take part in a series of ten running events to raise money for Yorkshire Cancer Research this year.
As well as being a real landmark for her 40th birthday, she’s hoping to raise thousands of pounds through her efforts, which begin with the Edinburgh Marathon on May 27. This will be followed by a number of 10k runs and half-marathons, including the Jane Tomlinson Run for All events in Leeds, York and Hull, the Great North Run and the Great Birmingham Run.
She was inspired to take on the 114-mile challenge after completing a trek to Everest Base Camp and the Great North Run last year and hopes as many business contacts, friends and acquaintances as possible will support her efforts.
You can read the full details on the Yorkshire Cancer Research website here and, if you’d like to, you can donate via Melissa’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.co.uk/Melissa6.
We were delighted when Stuff asked if they could have five Saveometers to give away as competition prizes on their Facebook page. They’ve got well over 16,000 fans so it was great exposure for us.
But we were blown away when we saw how many people were interested in our little gizmo and how much (friendly!) rivalry there was over who would win. “Would love one, looks really useful” was the main response, along with others who knew it would appeal to the gadget-lovers in their household.
But the best endorsement for a personal energy monitor came from a guy called Brian, who said he’d invested in a similar product 18 months ago: “I immediately cut 25% off our electricity bill. We weren’t living in the dark but it makes you aware when you have lights etc on when you don’t need them. All energy companies should be forced to distribute one to each household. I got my money back in a couple of months - great device.”
Of course, we already know how useful the Saveometer is – but it’s great to hear it endorsed by other people. Our congratulations to the winners – we’re sure you’ll find your energy bills drop too.
Media reports this week said the Prince of Wales has criticised modern buildings as “energy guzzling glass boxes” that will be “ripe for demolition” within 30 years.
A report in The Telegraph said that, in a lecture to leading engineers, the Prince said that glass, steel and concrete structures were not sustainably produced. Of course, many cities are dominated by such buildings – notably London, with the ‘Gherkin’ and the ‘Shard’. (The latter will become Europe’s tallest building when it’s completed later this year.
You can read the report in full here.
In the meantime, visit sources such as The Energy Saving Trust
for tips on making your own home more energy-efficient – and, of course, remember that if you use a Saveometer you can monitor exactly how much gas and electricity you are using and make sure you’re not pointlessly wasting heat, water – or money!
(Content source: The Telegraph)
We were thrilled to hear the Saveometer had received an endorsement from leading consumer champion Which?
As you know, our little gizmo is a wireless monitor which displays minute-by-minute data on energy consumption; while similar products are available free for customers of the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, the Eco1 Saveometer was identified by Which? as a “best buy” because – uniquely – it can monitor both gas and electricity consumption.
We’ve always believed the Saveometer was ahead of the game, and support from Which? is important to us.
An autumn surveys suggested as many as 600,000 homes across Yorkshire alone could try to cut costs by being frugal with heating this winter while Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has pledged the Government’s support for new measures to increase competition in the energy market, which Westminster hopes will help to drive prices down.
A milder winter and recent cuts in energy prices have helped to reduce the average energy bill, but we think the Saveometer is still invaluble in helping educate consumers on what it costs to run particular appliances – it means they can make informed choices on which ones they should be switching off. We’re more inclined to react when we can see exactly how much we’re spending minute-by-minute – and now that technology exists.
Soaring fuel costs are hitting consumers and, with the weather suddenly seeming colder, the next fuel bill will be on many people’s minds.
We loved these suggestions for saving on heating bills from ThisIsMoney.co.uk, complete with their assessment of them – the original article was published some time ago, but still holds true today, we think!
• Turn your boiler down:
When you do have to switch on the heating, turning down the thermostat on your boiler to one or two degrees lower than its normal temperature could save you up to 10% on your bill each month. Most households have the thermostat set at 19C-20C; reducing it to 17C or 18C shouldn’t make any noticeable difference, especially if your house is well insulated. Definitely a short-term success – no outlay needed and it would make a considerable difference to monthly bills. However, the colder it gets, the more noticeable the difference – so keep an eye on the temperature and adjust accordingly.
• Keep your bedroom cool
If you’ve managed to install TRV controls then turning the heating down in bedrooms is a great way to start saving money with them. Your body is actually naturally inclined to go to sleep at lower temperatures, so turn the temperature down and keep the bedroom cooler than the rest of the house. It will save you money and could even help if you struggle with sleeping patterns.
And don’t forget, of course, that you can keep track of exactly how much money you’re saving – or spending! – on both gas and electricity with the Saveometer!
Tips courtesy of ThisIsMoney.co.uk, October 2008.
Anyone noticed it’s a bit nippy out? It’s tempting to whack up the heating, isn’t it? Hang on, though. If turning the thermostat down by one degree can save you around £60 per year, then surely turning it up will cost you the same.
Maybe it would be better to pop another jumper on instead. Then make yourself a cup of tea (only boiling the amount of water you need, of course) and then read our top five ways to save energy in your home.
- Close curtains at dusk – it will keep warm air in the room and prevent it escaping through windows and doors.
- Check the thermostat on your hot water cylinder – is it too hot? Ideally it should be set at 60°C/140°F.
- Turn the lights off! It’s amazing how many of us leave the landing light on, for example, when everyone is sitting downstairs.
- Fill up the washing machine or dishwasher before you set it running; you might really want to wear that shirt or use that plate, but it’s a waste of water (and electricity).
- Use a Saveometer! It can monitor your electricity and gas usage and show you in real time how much things are costing you. What’s more, we offer a money-back guarantee if it doesn’t pay for itself in savings in the first 12 months! (Conditions apply.)