Britain's first solar town? Episode three

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Britain's First Solar Powered Town? Episode three" is the third of four short films documenting one towns' shift to solar power. The first film was published at the end of May this year, brought to you by Solarcentury in conjunction with Third Channel Productions.

Spotlight

Voith Hydro

Voith Hydro is one of the leading industrial partners for power plant operators - worldwide. This includes the fields of hydropower generation and energy storage systems. As a system-supplier, Voith Hydro’s product portfolio ranges from generators and turbines to pumps, as well as measurement and control technologies.

OTHER ARTICLES

Why Renewable Energy is Important

Article | March 11, 2020

Renewable energy is here to stay. It’s becoming a much larger part of the United States’ total energy production, and it supports a more diverse energy network to give customers control over how their energy is produced. However, the importance behind this relatively new way to produce energy doesn’t stop there. Below are some of the most impactful areas renewable energy supports, specifically our infrastructure, economy, and environment, and how City Electric Supply is expanding into this growing market.

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CORONAVIRUS CRISIS FAST-FORWARDS GREEN ENERGY 10 YEARS INTO THE FUTURE

Article | March 11, 2020

As businesses shut down and many work from home around the world, electricity demand has reduced in COVID-19 hotspots. This could have a knock-on effect for the renewable sector. China, where the outbreak first took hold, is the world’s biggest electricity consumer. Output from factories has been substantially diminished with many unable to return to their jobs in manufacturing. Due to the curtailing of industrial electricity use, cuts in energy consumption for 2020 could be equivalent to the power used by the whole of Chile, according to IHS Markit. In Europe, peak power consumption has also gone down. Italy, Spain, and the UK have all seen an average 10 per cent drop in energy usage with bars, restaurants, offices and factories, which remain closed as social distancing measures continue.

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Here are the Best Ways to Optimize Your Solar Power

Article | March 11, 2020

Let’s take a look at the common case. It’s not a secret that we charge our devices for work or study at the office or at uni. When we are asked to do everything from home, we must use our own electricity to power our essential devices for work. Without even realizing, we also need to turn on the heater or AC to keep ourselves in comfortable temperature. Plus, there will be a time when we are tempted to turn on the TV, Xbox or PlayStation, for fun. In short, the more power we consume, the more expensive the bill we will pay! If we rely on solar energy, our system will get us covered. During the day, our solar PV will produce the most electricity we use at home. So, even if we are spending all day working or studying, we won’t need to pay more for our electricity. Yet, to make sure we can save money as much as possible, we must do it right. To make it easier, our team at Solar Arena has collected the best tips you can follow:

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ENERGY

Outdated perceptions: how energy attitudes are damaging customer wallets

Article | March 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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Spotlight

Voith Hydro

Voith Hydro is one of the leading industrial partners for power plant operators - worldwide. This includes the fields of hydropower generation and energy storage systems. As a system-supplier, Voith Hydro’s product portfolio ranges from generators and turbines to pumps, as well as measurement and control technologies.

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