Behavioural Energy Efficiency Potential

| March 4, 2019

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India’s building sector energy consumption is expected to grow by an average of 2.7% per year from 2015 to 2040, more than twice the global average. About 70% of this building sector energy demand will come from the residential sector. In this light, it is important to explore innovative interventions, particularly those that would help avoid costly augmentation of generation, transmission and distribution capacities. To this end, utility-led demand-side management (DSM) programmes represent a significant and largely untapped potential for realising grid-wide energy efficiency gains in India.

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A vision for renewable energy

Article | February 11, 2020

Right now, renewable energy makes up a very small part of the entire energy sector of Bangladesh. But as we move into the future, and concerns about the environment become too great to ignore, exploring cleaner and greener sources of energy becomes the need of the hour. Our economy is booming, and our population is growing, so it goes without saying that our energy requirements are immense. There is plenty of scientific evidence that burning fossil fuels indiscriminately is not sustainable in the long term, so we do need to up our game in looking at alternatives.

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ENERGY

Outdated perceptions: how energy attitudes are damaging customer wallets

Article | February 11, 2020

Despite rising energy costs and dwindling customer ratings of the ‘Big Six’, over 37% of Brits still believe they are getting a good deal when it comes to gas and electricity. Here, Keith Bastian, CEO of rising independent Outfox the Market, challenges those age-old perceptions that are damaging consumer bank balances… I have never quite understood the notion of pay more for the same service. Except that last part, is really where the difference lies. As I have made my way through the energy market, it seems clear to me that we are facing a common notion. Age-old dinosaurs, that have relied on name status and brand power to retain customer loyalty, despite not providing anything different or any value-added service, give the impression that customers are somehow safer with them. That is the biggest misconception. We at Outfox the Market would like to challenge that. Of course, when I speak in such a way, I am referring to the ‘Big Six’, those long-established brands whose share in the energy market whilst substantial, is increasingly coming at the cost to its customers. For example, in the latest independent customer rankings from Which, it was determined that the traditional big energy companies had some of the lowest scores for customer service and value for money, yet some customers still feel secure with them. On the contrary, rising independents, such as ourselves, were scoring highly in these areas and this is where I feel the difference lies. Regardless of your opinion on fossil fuels and/or renewables, it is more the value of looking after your customers, understanding their concerns and dealing with them efficiently that has become somewhat lost for the ‘Big Six’. It is true that they have a larger proportion of customers to serve with a larger workforce, but that should not be to the detriment to the service they provide. What were are seeing now, as evidenced by the recent Ofgem price hikes, is the ‘Big Six’ once again failing consumers in these areas, with most of the top names putting costs up by £96 a year on average as of April. I am not one to not acknowledge that energy firms are tongue-tied in some respects in passing regulated costs on; there are times when we must. However, customers could also benefit from a little research. Even with growing numbers of consumers switching, nearly 60% of all households in the UK are still on standard variable rate tariffs, those that are subject to the incoming Ofgem hikes. So, the real question is why aren’t more customers switching? Heritage, loyalty and brand association. These facets really should not come at cost of paying more for energy. I really believe it is down to time-sensitivity and a misunderstanding around the barriers to switching, with cost somewhere in the middle. According to MoneySuperMarket, 75% of us would switch if we could save £149.99. A hefty figure, but why not the £96 highlighted earlier? That is still pretty good, and something that would add up nicely over the years. I understand we are time-poor as a nation, it’s well publicised, but we’re all well averse in switching phone contracts and insurance deals, so why not where our energy comes from? Truth be told, I believe it’s an age-old notion that energy is ‘just something that comes with the house, not worth the hours or hassle to change.’ But in all honesty, it takes a matter of seconds to switch. Firms such as ourselves offer this and more via a quick and easy quote online. Best of all, many energy providers will help manage the switching process for you, contacting your current provider and notifying them of your intentions. I would also like to challenge this notion that once an energy firm ‘gets you’, you are ‘locked in’ for years upon end in ever rising contract costs. If you are on a standard variable tariff, you can switch to a new provider at any time. What’s more, even if you are in a fixed term energy deal, which can be subject to exit fees, sometimes the cost involved outweighs the savings you can make with your new provider. Customers must do their best to ask more of energy firms, check the service they are being given and hold it up against national bill averages. Compare what your neighbours, friends and family are paying under similar living circumstances, and weigh up if you are being given a fair deal. Living costs and regulated price hikes are always going to be an ever present worry, so I call on both customers and energy firms to do their due diligence in these respects. Age-old energy firms relying on their reputation must take a serious inward look at their lessening market share to understand why they are failing customers. It’s time to make a change now, both from business attitude and a consumer standpoint; switching is quick, easy and a vital notion to bear in mind, as both retaining custom and saving money becomes an ever-growing sticking point in the energy market.

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SOLAR+STORAGE

ClearVue Solar Glass Greenhouse Officially Opened

Article | February 11, 2020

A high-tech greenhouse comprised mainly of solar glass generating electricity to help run it was officially opened yesterday in Western Australia. ClearVue Technologies Limited’s solar glass involves a nanoparticle interlayer and spectral-selective coating on the rear external surface that enables 70% of natural light to pass through while redirecting infrared and UV light converted to infrared to the edge where it is harvested by solar cells. ClearVue says each 1m2 of its window product is currently rated to generate 30 watts-peak of electric power, but also mentions a new-generation product with the proven ability to generate 40 watts peak per m2 to be available sometime this year.

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How Artificial Intelligence is changing the Energy Sector

Article | February 11, 2020

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, has gained relevance in many different fields of our life, using machine learning to analyse historical and new data in order to make predictions, improve control operation and perform tasks much faster than a human and with more efficiency. The energy sector is using AI to increase energy efficiency by reducing consumption, improving energy storage and grid stability, making predictions about energy consumption, to have more accuracy to find oil & gas and many other applications. When it comes to renewable sources, AI is improving the weather forecasts for the development of new plants and to make better planning of control & maintenance. Let’s take a look in some projects and how they are affecting the energy sector.

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