Archive for December 2011
Electrical training courses could assist the government in trying to make the UK more environmentally-friendly.
As of April 1st, two new schemes have been introduced to try and cut down on Britain’s carbon emissions – the Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC EES) and Feed in Tariffs (FiTs).
The CRC EES aims to help businesses become more energy efficient by encouraging them to make eco-friendly upgrades to their properties, while the FiTs will offer grants to homeowners who install low-carbon electricity generation technology.
Ed Miliband, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said: “The UK is leading the way in tackling climate change. Organisations and householders can play a central role in leading the move to a low carbon economy whilst saving money on their energy bills.”
And workers who have taken electrical could be in demand to install such energy-saving technology for homeowners and businesses.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change – which was formed in October 2008 – announced the initiatives.
After heating and cooling, water heating is typically the largest energy user in the home because it is necessary for so many domestic activities. Whether you are replacing a worn-out existing water heater or looking for the best model for a new house you are building, it pays to choose carefull
Here you can learn how to use the energy in your home more efficiently. You can also learn how to use renewable energy to provide your home with electricity, heating, cooling, and water heating.
Alternative energy from sources that do not produce harmful emissions. For example, unconventional power from the sun, wind or running water. In most boilers, wood, coal, oil or natural gas is burned in a firebox to make heat. Running through the fire box and above that hot fire are a series of pipes with water running through them. The heat energy is conducted into the metal pipes, heating the water in the pipes until it boils into steam. Water boils into steam at 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. Why waste this energy use it, don’t loose it.
If you currently have an electric water heater and natural gas is available in your area, a switch might save you a lot of money. Even though electric models have a higher energy factor than fuel-burning models, electric resistance is a very expensive way to generate heat. It does not have great environmental benefits either, since electricity is only as clean and efficient as the fuel (often coal) that generates it. Before you rule out electricity, though, check with your utility company. It may offer special off-peak rates or options for purchasing renewable power that may make electricity a more attractive option for you.
A renewable resource is fairly easy to replace. Renewable energy resources include wood, wind, sunshine, geothermal energy, biomass, and water stored behind dams in lakes and reservoirs. Electricity can be produced using several kinds of renewable resources.
From space, oceans look much different than adjacent land areas – they often appear darker, suggesting that they should be absorbing far more sunlight. But unlike dry land, water absorbs energy in a dynamic fashion. Some of the solar energy contacting the surface may be carried away by currents, some may go into producing water vapor, and some may penetrate the surface and be mixed meters deep into the water column. These factors combine to make the influence of the ocean surface an extremely complex and difficult phenomenon to predict.
Some countries give tax credits for the use of alternative renewable energy. In todays world we as a population should endevour to protect our environment and the use of alternative and renewable energy is a must do if we are to survive on this planet. For us not to consider the impacts of our enegy use would severely impact on the lives of those well into the future. So look after mother earth as she needs to be looked after and by using renewable resources we can limit our impact.
Eco driver training – not just good for the environment
Eco-driver Training provides specific on-road driver tuition to drivers improve
fuel efficiency and so reduce their carbon emissions. Using techniques that are
endorsed by the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) you could make fuel savings of
between 10 and 15% if these driving techniques are adopted.
Eco-driver Training is usually carried out in conjunction with our Practical Driver
Assessment programme, but training can be provided in isolation if required.
The Benefits of Eco-driver Training
This training can benefit both your company and drivers by:
• Helping you meet your ‘duty of care’ obligations
By assessing the driving standards of your drivers and so gauging the risk to your business
• Reduce your fuel costs
Through a series of improved driving techniques
• Reduce accident rates and vehicle repairs
Safer driving techniques are explained
• Reduce fleet operating costs
More efficient driving reduces wear and tear on vehicles so lowersmaintenance costs
• Identify drivers who need additional driver training
and then work out individual driver development plans
For further information please contact your Account Manager
Ten tips for safer, greener, stress-free driving
1. Check your revs
Change up between 2000 – 2500 rpm.
2. Anticipate road conditions and drive smoothly
Avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking. This saves fuel, tyre wear
and reduces accident rates.
3. Use air conditioning sparingly
It significantly increases fuel consumption.
4. Drive away immediately when starting from cold
Idling to heat the engine wastes fuel and causes rapid engine wear.
5. Remove roof rack when not in use
They increase drag significantly.
6. Avoid short journeys
A cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can
take five miles to become effective.
7. Stick to speed limits and make your fuel go further
Driving at 85 mph rather than 70 mph uses 25% more fuel.
8. Plan your journeys
To avoid congestion, road works and getting lost.
9. Check your tyre pressure regularly
Under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by
up to 3%.
10. If you’re stuck in a jam, switch off
Cutting the engine will save fuel and stop emissions.
As the prices of oil and gas continues to go up and up, the installation of solar panels is giving many families solace and stability. The sun offers an almost infinite source of energy. No wonder so many people are rushing to install solar panels. Indeed, their popularity is increasing so rapidly that manufacturers of solar panels are having difficulty keeping up with demand.
* Two Types Of Solar Panels
Predominantly, solar panels come in two types. There are solar energy panels in the form of ‘solar thermal collectors’. These focus solar energy into a liquid medium, usually water, heating the liquid that is then utilized as and where it is required. The other of the two types of solar panels is known as the photovoltaic module. These solar panels convert the sun’s energy into electricity, which can then be distributed immediately or stored within a battery to be used later.
Solar panels have been commonplace for decades. Think of calculators and watches. Many swimming pools have been heated using solar panels for years. These days, the electricity to homes and offices often comes from the cleaner alternative energy source of bigger, better, more efficient solar panels.
The influence of solar panels has spread so wide that even the National Grid take some of their power from solar energy panels.
* How Do Solar Panels Work?
Both photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal solar panels are made of special materials, most frequently silicon. They act as semiconductors. When sunlight hits the solar energy panels, some of the energy is absorbed within the semiconductor material. That energy knocks electrons within the silicon loose, allowing them to flow freely.
Once the electric fields within solar panels are freed by light energy, they force electrons to flow in one specific way. This flow of electrons is also known as a current. By simply placing metal contacts on the top and bottom of the solar energy panels, the current can be drawn off as electricity to be used externally.
The solar panels have built-in electric fields that, when combined with the current described above, will give us what we call a wattage. We use this to describe the power of our solar energy panels.
Why Solar Panels?
There are lots of great reasons to install solar panels in your house. Top of the list is the huge savings you will make on your utility bills. Many people feel good that they are reducing their carbon footprint. Solar panels give off almost zero carbon dioxide emission. Solar panels reduce our carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1.2 million tonnes per annum.
Another benefit is the freedom of not being tied to the National Grid. With solar panels fully fitted, power cuts and unexpectedly increased electricity bills become a thing of the past.
Solar panels are perfect for those living in remote areas with limited coverage by the National Grid.
* Installing Solar Panels On Your Home
Though there are some very good guides to making your own solar panels and then installing them into your home on a DIY basis, it is advisable to seek out a professional solar panels installation company. Ideally, the installers of your solar panels should be certified by the Low Carbon Buildings Program.
It is not advisable to try to install solar panels without full training. Make certain that your solar panels conform to the local standards laid out by the authorities there. There is a number of complex technical electrical issues to be resolved as well as full safety codes required.
Because of their weight, solar panels often need to be attached to a separate roofing support system.
Professional installers of solar panels should have gone through all the red tape and complicated issues so you don’t have to.
* Getting Planning Permission For Solar Panels Installation
Solar panels are most frequently fitted to the roof or along an external wall of the home. Be sure to check with the local council before doing this. The local authorities in most countries agree that it is acceptable to install roof mounted solar panels. Some places do require detailed listed criteria though.
In England, for example, solar panels of up to 100mm in depth can be laid across a tilted roof without requiring planning permission. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland the local authorities have not finalized their legislation relating to solar energy panel, so be sure to check before you go rushing in.
*The Outlook For Solar Panels
As people become more and more aware of global warming and climate change, so the demand for good quality solar panels is increasing. The momentum among people is to move away from old-school fossil fuels in favor of alternative, more sustainable energy options. These include hydrogen, hydro-electricity, solar power, wind and wave.
Solar power is one of the most bountiful of the possible energy supplies that we have here on Planet Earth. As the technology behind solar panels improves in terms of their efficiency, so the cost of installing solar panels is falling. When added to a range of governmental subsidies, tax credits, rebates and grants, the widespread installation of solar panels onto the average householder’s roof is becoming more and more realistic. As the prices are falling further thanks to local competition in the marketplace, so, it would seem that the future of solar panels is very bright indeed
small to medium business owners and managers struggle with limited time work out how to cut their costs and reduce all the various water that so easily happens in any business.
I think we all know that we are living beyond our environmental means. We recently found out what happened when some of us lived beyond our financial means and how it impacted on the whole world. We don’t want to learn the same lesson with the environment.
We are approaching limits to the rate we can continue to use oil and this will result in increasing costs and supply problems. There is still plentiful coal but the downside is the huge amounts of carbon dioxide released when it is used. The big problem with bio fuels is that so many of them use much needed food supplies or result in clearing even more tropical rain forest, resulting in less carbon dioxide absorption and animal extinctions. Biofuels from algae grown on sewage seems more sensible and sewage is not in short supply!
Lots of us are asking questions like:- – What is happening in the world? – Is global warming real? – How will my kids and grandkids cope as they grow up? – How can I reduce my spiralling costs of energy?
What is real is atmospheric pollution! Man’s activities have resulted in a layer of chemical pollution in the atmosphere that acts like an insulating blanket holding in heat. This is putting our children and grandchildren’s future at risk. We ignore this at THEIR peril.
The problem is that we cannot see this, so find it difficult to recognise the threat but it has been measured reliably. That is fact. Over the millennia there have been natural processes of heating and cooling resulting in very different sea levels but the greenhouse layer of pollution has added an additional heating factor.
We can expect much greater weather variability but a very severe winter is completely compatible with global warming, so is hotter, drier weather in countries like Australia and more intense storms. However these are weather not climate.
Now we are having carbon restrictions and emission trading around the developed world. And so we should!
BUT business is concerned about their rising cost plus the cost of complying with new carbon rules and carbon accounting. This is especially the case for the small end of town who are already under stress from global financial issues and just because they are small and already time poor. They are reluctant to take on anything else that is new, which is completely understandable.
It is possible to reduce waste and save significant amounts of money in businesses and this is really good news. The real problem is helping business to understand how easy it can be to just turn things off and waste less.
A great starting point is to go for a “grumpy” walk every day before going home and turn off everything that is not essential.
The popular step of getting a carbon audit done, then buying carbon offsets or paying some form of carbon tax seems wasteful until after you have reduced your energy use as much as possible first!
The second report from the Committee on Climate Change was released earlier this week. It shows that in 2009 the UK’s carbon emissions decreased by 8.6 per cent.
There were a number of underlying factors for this decrease. UK GDP fell by five per cent, residential gas prices increased by 12 per cent and 2009 had fewer days of temperature below the heating threshold compared to 2008 (surprisingly given the very cold winter).
The overall message from the Committee is that this decrease shouldn’t lead to complacency and a change of activity is required. As always the Committee was crystal clear about what changes are needed.
Some of these are already in the policy pipeline for the new administration including setting a carbon floor price, funding the demonstration projects for carbon capture and storage (although these should be extended to include gas), increasing investment in renewable, the electrification of transport and improving energy efficiency in the domestic sector.
There are, however, areas of uncertainty and potential weakness. Last year saw people shift their car purchasing decisions to more fuel efficient cars and the Committee suggested that the Coalition Government should seek to embed this change by altering Vehicle Excise Duty.
The Committee highlighted the length of time it is taking to secure planning for renewable energy projects (over 40 months for larger projects) and it is uncertain what implications the change in planning law will have on these and potential nuclear plants.
Finally, there are still areas of the economy where more policy drivers and support is needed, most notably the agricultural sector and small and medium sized enterprises
More than half of senior executives at the top 5000 UK companies are unaware of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC). And an even greater proportion doesn’t know if their firm will be affected by the legislation, according to report to be published next week.
Unless there is a last minute rush to register, the high level of ignorance means many firms will miss the registration deadline on 30 September.
In June, figures from the Environment Agency showed that less than 10 per cent of eligible organisations had registered.
The survey was carried out by green IT consultancy Externus, looking to drum up business for its services.
“It seems we have a lot of education to do before companies even know why they should be talking to us,” Externus managing director Murray Sherwood told Businessgreen.com. “I’m surprised given that the target audience is the very people the CRC will likely affect.”
Externus surveyed over 100 C-level and CSR executives in the top 5000 UK firms. Asked if they were aware of the CRC, 53 per cent of respondents said no. Asked if they knew whether the legislation will affect their organisation, 70 per cent said they didn’t know. So even some respondents who knew of the CRC’s existence weren’t sure whether it applied to their business or not.
The Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRC) is a mandatory carbon cap-and-trade scheme targetting energy intensive organisations not covered by the EU emissions trading scheme, such as local authorities, banks, supermarkets and hospitals.
Under the legislation, which comes into effect in April 2010, an estimated 20,000 large public and private sector organisations that use half hourly elec tricity meters will have to report to the government.
Of these, around 5,000 organisations with annual electricity bills of over £500,000 will have to report on their energy use, purchase carbon credits to cover their calculated carbon emissions, and comply with targets to reduce their carbon footprint.
Seventy per cent of respondents to Externus’ survey claimed to have a green strategy of some flavour – anything from recycling paper to full carbon disclosure and reduction. Asked which activities were responsible for the majority of emissions in their organisation, 43 per cent identified buildings, 27 per cent transport and 21 per cent IT.
“For an office-based organisation with no manufacturing facility or logistics fleet, we estimate IT accounts for half of an organisation’s emissions,” said Sherwood.
Externus calculation includes an estimate of the extra cooling required outside the data centre for local servers and the desktop estate.
“IT is notoriously inefficient in its use of power,” said Murray. “But small changes can make a big difference.”
Externus’ argument is that cutting IT power consumption is an easy way to save money. Unsurprisingly, 88 per cent of respondents to the survey said they would be more interested in environmental action if they thought they could reduce costs. Presumably the other 12 per cent didn’t want any free money.
An investment fund managed by BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners has bought an Irish wind farm.
The deal sees 100% of Gortahile Windfarm, which owns and operates a 20 megawatt wind farm in County Laois, bought from ABO Wind Ireland.
The Gortahile Windfarm began work at the end of August 2010, it is forecast to produce around 70 GWh of electricity per year, enough to meet the annual needs of more than 11,200 households.
“This acquisition represents the cornerstone of a larger portfolio that we intend to build in Ireland,” said Joost Bergsma, CEO of the fund.
“Ireland is a very attractive renewables market for financial investors because of its strong wind regime, its robust REFIT support policy, and its commitment to achieving its 2020 renewable energy target.”
The Gortahile Windfarm purchase is the first in a partnership agreement between BNP Paribas Clean Energy Partners and ABO Wind, in which the parties have agreed to transact 50 megawatts of generation capacity over the next 16 months.