• 1 Useful Sites
  • 2. What is a smart meter? What do they do?
  • 3. What are the government low carbon initiatives?
  • 3.1 CERT
  • 3.2 FIT
  • 3.2.1 Exporting energy
  • 3.2.2 How much you could earn from generating your own electricity?
  • 3.2.3 Technologies supported by feed-in tariffs
  • 3.2.4 How to apply for feed-in tariffs
  • 3.2.5 Work on your home
  • 2.3 Winter Fuel Payment
  • 3.4 Cold Weather Payment
  • 3.5 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Scheme
  • 4. What is the Green Deal?
  • 5. What does ECO (Energy Company Obligation) mean?
  • 6. Who and what is Energy Savings Trust?
  • 7. What is low carbon power?
  • 8. What are the challenges for networks in the future?

1 Useful Sites

2. What is a smart meter? What do they do?

  • Next Generation of gas and electric meter
  • Cut out the need for meter readings… done automatically by meter
  • Will be in all homes by 2019
  • Helps and encourages you to save energy
  • Meter faults can be identified remotely
  • It will reduce costs and complaints to the business
  • Data collected from the smart will help better manage the network –understanding power flows better
  • Benefit to network: There will be a reduction in overall energy consumption as a result of better information on costs and use of energy which drives behavioural change
  • Meter owners face a large risk of losing most of the value of the meter when customers switch energy suppliers, and switching by customers is relatively likely to occur
  • Accurate bills – bills based on exact energy use
  • 2 way communication between customer and supplier
  • There will be a shift of energy demand from peak times to off-peak times which will benefit the network.  The network will become less stressed.  These behavioural changes will benefit the network. Customer will be less likely to use energy during peak time as they will become more aware of their own consumption
  • Keeps track of energy you use at home ….. current and historical consumption data will be available
  • Be able to view your account balance any time
  • Provides feedback allowing consumers to easily distinguish between high and low levels of consumption

 3. What are the government low carbon initiatives?

3.1 CERT

  • The six main energy suppliers (British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, RWE Npower, Scottish Power and Scottish and Southern Energy) have a legal obligation to cut carbon emissions under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).
  • One of the ways they are doing this is by providing domestic occupiers with free or low cost energy efficiency measures, most commonly loft and cavity wall insulation.
  • The energy suppliers are responsible for running their own schemes and these may vary from company to company.
  • All domestic properties in Great Britain are potentially eligible for help from energy suppliers, although the most vulnerable people (for example the elderly or people on low incomes) are given priority. A limited amount of money is available and not all homes may be suitable for the measures available, so not everyone who applies will be successful.
  • You don’t have to be an existing customer of an energy company to qualify for free or low cost energy efficiency measures – anyone can apply.
  • Homeowners and tenants can apply, although if you rent, your landlord must agree to any work.
  • CERT runs until 31 December 2012, when it will be replaced by the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation.

3.2 FIT

Energy suppliers pay households for generating their own electricity under the feed-in tariffs scheme.

If you generate your own electricity, for example with solar panels or a wind turbine, an energy supplier might pay you money for just doing this. These are called feed-in tariffs.

Your supplier will pay you a set amount of money for each unit (kilowatt hour) of electricity you generate.

The rates for feed-in tariffs vary, depending on:

  • the size of your system
  • what technology you install
  • when your technology was installed
  • whether the technology was put in by a certified installer
  • the energy efficiency rating of the building

Speak to your supplier to find out what exactly the rate for your technology would be.

3.2.1 Exporting energy

If you produce more energy than you use yourself, your supplier will pay you 4.5 pence for every unit you send onto the network. This money is in addition to the generation tariff.

3.2.2 How much you could earn from generating your own electricity?

As an example, a household with a 2.5 kilowatt solar electricity system could earn:

  • £920 per year for generating energy
  • £30 per year for exporting energy
  • £170 per year from savings on energy bills
  • This is a total of around £1,120 per year.

3.2.3 Technologies supported by feed-in tariffs

To qualify for feed-in tariffs, your installation must be no more than five megawatts capacity. Technologies covered by the scheme are:

  • PV solar panels
  • wind turbines
  • water turbines
  • anaerobic digestion (biogas energy)
  • micro combined heat and power (up to two kilowatts)

Your technology must also be installed by a certified installer.

If you move house, you will need to arrange the transfer of the feed-in tariff to the new owner or tenant.

3.2.4 How to apply for feed-in tariffs

Here is what you need to do to apply:

  • do a home energy check to make sure your property is as energy efficient as possible
  • decide which technology is right for your property – see here or talk to an expert to decide this
  • have the technology installed by a certified installer
  • get a feed-in tariff qualification certificate from your installer
  • send a copy of the certificate to your energy supplier
  • your supplier will check the certificate and let you know if you qualify for a feed-in tariff
  • if you qualify, your supplier will register you and send you a confirmation
  • you agree with your supplier how often they will pay you (eg monthly, quarterly)

3.2.5 Work on your home

A surveyor from an installer will recommend whether a home is suitable for insulation, and will check eligibility entitlement to free or heavily subsidised help.
Not all homes are suitable for cavity wall insulation (for instance homes with solid walls), but if your home is suitable, you could get free or subsidised loft or cavity wall insulation where none exists, as well as access to a range of other measures.

3.3 Winter Fuel Payment

In order to qualify for the Winter Fuel Payment, you must be born on or before 5/7/51. If you’re working or claiming a benefit you are not entitled to it. You will receive £200 if you live alone or if you are the only person that lives in the house; if you live with another qualifying individual, you will receive £100.

3.4 Cold Weather Payment

Cold Weather Payments of £25 per week are paid to pensioners on pension credit, families with children under five on income-related benefit and disabled adults and children when the average temperature is below zero degrees Celsius for seven consecutive days.

The Cold Weather Payments scheme runs every winter from 1 November and 31 March.

A network of weather stations gathers temperature information. This is used to see whether there has been a ‘period of very cold weather’ in any postcode area.

When there is a period of very cold weather in your postcode area, a Cold Weather Payment is made to eligible people who live there.

When there hasn’t been a period of very cold weather in your postcode area, a Cold Weather Payment will not be paid.

People who live near to each other but in different postcode areas might get Cold Weather payments at different times.

3.5 Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Scheme

In 2010 the Government introduced a system of Feed-in Tariffs to encourage people to invest in renewable electricity technologies. Bracknell Forest Council is working with the Green Energy Doctor to help residents to take advantage of the opportunity to generate their own solar electricity and benefit from the tariff.

4. What is the Green Deal?

This is an innovative financing mechanism that lets people pay for energy efficiency improvements through savings on their energy bill.

The process

  • Assessment and a up front survey done on the property
  • No upfront Cost
  • Installation
  • Repayment through energy bill savings

This covers insulation, heating, hot water, glazing and micro generation.

5. What does ECO (Energy Company Obligation)

The big six companies to provide free heating and hot water saving measures, insulation, glazing and micro generation technologies (excluding PV) to low income households.

The big six companies to provide funding to insulate solid walled properties and those with “hard to treat” cavity walls.

6. Who and what is Energy Savings Trust?

Energy efficient products carry the Energy Saving Trust recommended label.

The Energy Savings Trust is here to give impartial, accurate advice on how to reduce carbon emissions and to help people save money on electric bills.

7. What is low carbon power?

Releases less CO2 than traditional means of power generation or includes zero carbon power generation such as wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower.  Micro-generation, Electric Vehicles (EVs) and heat pump (HPs) are also linked.

 8. What are the challenges for networks in the future?

“We must create solutions to help ensure that distribution networks do not impede the transition to a Low Carbon Future.”