Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Back From Holiday

Hello Visitors

Hope youre all well and enjoying the summer so far.... I have just returned from a week away in Fuerteventura - fabulous place!

On driving from the airport to the town we passed a fantastic wind farm and it brought home that there are some areas where such renewable technologies are vital - shame our own nation (we are after all an island too) isnt so forthcoming in some areas in the same way?!

I know that some of you may say "carbon footprint hypocrite" as Ive flown 3000 miles but I didnt have any holidays overseas last year so I "banked" my CO2 ration as best I could.

I will also be planting new trees in my garden this weekend so again Im conscious of the impacts etc - not got enough space to make up for the trip but "every little helps" as they say at Tesco (and look at how energy conscious they are now becoming in the UK - reduced and improved logistics, use of half the lighting in front of the stores in the daytime, solar panels etc - brilliant!)

The best example I also found on holiday was the hotel and resort where we stayed used over 5500 CFLs in their lighting - every light contained one. This reminded me that at the recent 2006 HECA Conference in Blackpool one of the guest speakers highlighted that the hotel venue could save a great deal of energy and money by adopting the use of CFLs (Hilton Hotel chain). Perhaps Sr Pavinas the hotel Manager in Fuerteventura could teach Hilton Hotels a thing or two? Moreover perhaps Blackpool Council could insist that all the features in the annual Illuminations must in future be comprised of CFLs only ?

Its nice to be home and to reflect on an excellent break - now back to reality! Thanks for reading

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Private Landlords With HMO Properties Who Pay Fuel Bills

What gorgeous weather today ! Ive met with a Council in the North West today on behalf of whom Im managing an energy efficiency scheme linked to their Private Sector Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

One issue that cropped up in conversation again was that there are lots of Landlords - probably both social and private sector - that incorporate the household fuel bills into the rental agreement. Many such landlords are looking at ways to possibly reduce their running costs and maintain a good reliable service.

A solution for their fuel bills could be found in the resources and results demonstrated by companies such as Kwosh - - who can research the utility market as well as telecoms - land lines and mobile phones - to find a best fit package to suit the needs of the consumer.

Kwosh recently assisted a large SHP (social housing provider) to save over £12,000 per annum on fuel bills for their sheltered housing units despite escalating heating costs. Obviously this also helped to assist the residents too with reducing the fuel bill element of their rent.

This is an excellent result and offers an impartial response to the current issues faced by lots of SHPs and Landlords with similar issues. Kwosh offer a full diagnostic of the situation and offer best value solutions and their service offers to monitor the package on an ongoing basis to ensure that the savings can be maintained.

I hope that I can be able to communicate this solution to a much wider audience and encourage readers of this blog to take a look.

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Income Maximisation Into Households At Risk Of Fuel Poverty

I have recently been lucky enough to be responsible for delivering one of the largest private sector energy efficiency schemes in England. The scheme provided assistance to over 5000 homes in some of the most deprived wards in England in just 9 months.

Part of the scheme included a Benefits Entitlement Check managed by Eaga Partnership - this service also helped to increase the take up of previously unidentified welfare benefits into homes and invoked a more unified and locally supported approach to support this operation.

Its important to note that whilst home energy bills increase more customers are at risk of falling into fuel poverty and those who may be particularly vulnerable include householders who are of senior years. Worryingly many people who are now aged 60+ and who have paid their dues to society throughout their working life could be missing out on such opportunities. Its interesting to consider the possible barriers that prevent people from siezing the chance to increase their household incomes whilst also having a "passport" through to other tangible benefits like the Governments Warm Front scheme and utility grants and discounted measures.

This is a major challenge especially when there are so many grants for energy efficiency that can help to make peoples' homes more affordable to heat, help to reduce home fuel bills and reduce the threat of winter mortality due to inadequate heating and poor insulation.

I welcome your comments, experiences and ideas on how we can work to overcome such barriers and look at improving the way in which the whole subject of energy efficiency can be more closely linked in peoples' minds with savings in the home and ways to maximise money going into the homes of people most at risk ? Perhaps one way is to suggest that older people could interpret these grants as a "savings pot" - they have paid into the system and now its their turn to claim some of that hard earned money back?

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Energy Efficiency Commitment - Utility Grant Funding

The recent publication of the latest results of performance against EEC2 targets by Ofgem showed that the domestic insulation sector in England is already 60% of the total target for the 3 year period, despite only being 15 months into the current programme.

Whether this is due to all the energy suppliers being allowed to carry over excess energy savings from EEC1, the generous initial contributions levered in by utilities into the social housing and private sector markets or the reduction in the original Terawatt hour targets imposed on the utilites, one thing is for sure.

The insulation industry is now on its knees with numerous skilled people and focused resources being put at risk - all this and still the Government appear to be incapable of leading the way on climate change with the biggest opportunity to reduce carbon emissions left hanging in the balance. That is targeting the "fuel rich" as well as the "fuel poor".

With domestic energy prices continuing to increase at a dramatic rate how are we to achieve the necessary energy savings without someone in Government making some key decisions to reinvigorate the market and stabilise the industry?

From Your Friend The Energy Angel

Welcome To The Energy Smart Blog

Hello - welcome to my blog - nice to hear from anyone who is interested in energy efficiency in the UK domestic market whether you are a professional or a concerned consumer - your thoughts and ideas are most welcome.