Posts Tagged ‘fuel crisis’


28
NOV

Wendy Pillar says:
Solar thermal rapidly spreading over Dorset rooftops!


Category: Solar Energy
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Photovoltaic solar panels, which generate electricity, have been rapidly spreading over Dorset rooftops in the last couple of years. Solar thermal systems seem less popular for some reason, but make perfect energy and financial sense if you have a south- or near-south-facing roof.

Solar thermal is like having a radiator on the roof that works in reverse – instead of taking heat from the hot water cylinder and distributing it into the internal space of the house, it takes heat from the sun on the roof and concentrates it into the hot water cylinder. In fact, you can make a DIY version with an old radiator painted black and placed in a sunny spot. There are some technicial issues with this, and it’s nowhere near as efficient as a modern purpose-built system, but on the other hand it is nearly free! (By the same token, you can make a solar shower with just a very long hosepipe and a shower head, but that’s a different story!)

A well-installed system should provide 60–70% of annual domestic hot water requirements. Simpler to install than photovoltaics, the installer drills the fixings through the slates or tiles into the rafters, sealing the holes afterwards. Inside the house there is a pump, temperature sensors and a controller that stops heat being removed from the cylinder when it is cold outside. You will probably also need a new hot water cylinder with an extra coil inside. It is important to calculate the size of the installation correctly – larger isn’t necessarily better, as the system may overheat if it generates more heat than can be absorbed by the water in the cylinder. For this reason, it is important to pick an experienced local installer. Once installed, your hot water is effectively free for about eight months of the year for at least 20 years into the future. You can turn your boiler off altogether over the summer months, making major savings on gas or heating oil.

The Renewable Heat Incentive currently provides a grant of £300 towards solar thermal installation costs, and a new grant is likely to be announced in the next few months that, similar to the feed-in tariff, will make payments for the heat generated, paying back the cost of installation in around 7 years.

So, with the cost of heating oil, gas and electricity steadily climbing, solar thermal makes sense on financial as well as environmental grounds, and there is plenty of time to get it installed before the sun finally returns in the spring.

For more information and the options available see our section on Solar Energy.



12
NOV

Theresa McManus says:
FREE Fuel poverty awareness training in West Dorset 21st & 27th November 2012


Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security, Sustainable Living
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Dorset Energy Advice Centre are offering FREE fuel poverty awareness training for Community, Volunteer, Health and other home-visiting professionals and volunteers.

The training will cover:
• Definition of Fuel Poverty
• The Causes
• Health implications
• The help available

You will also receive resources, including a “fuel poverty checklist” to assist you in spotting those in fuel poverty. Each session lasts two hours and you only need to attend one session:

Session 1
Wednesday 21st November 9.30 – 11.30am, Room 1, the Bournemouth Learning Centre, Ensbury Avenue, BH10 4HG

Session 2
Tuesday 27th November 9.30 – 11.30am, Committee Room 3, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ

Places are limited to a total of 25 on a first come first served basis, so please contact me, Theresa McManus, at DEAC to book your place now: info@deac.co.uk / 0800 975 0166.

This training is kindly funded by Bournemouth LINks.
A Local Involvement Network (LINk) is a network of local people and groups who have joined forces to improve health and social care services by listening to people like you. They’re independent of the local council and the NHS and exist throughout England. There’s a LINk local to where you live. Register with LINks today to have your say: http://www.makesachange.org.uk



31
OCT

Sharon Fay says:
Time to turn over a new LEAF (£1600 deposit contribution towards a brand new Nissan LEAF)


Category: Electric Transport
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Have you ever thought about buying an electric car but thought it was going to be to expensive and gave it no more thought? Well here are a few points you may not have thought about with the bigger picture of owning a Nissan LEAF compared to a combustion engine car…

Costs like fuel that just keep rising but you can charge the Nissan LEAF from as little as £2.03 for a full charge.  This is an annual cost of £186 based on 10000 miles per annum.  With the average cost of a gallon of petrol now £6.32 what does you car do to the gallon? The Nissan LEAF is 339 mpg.

We all hate to pay road fund license, but with the Nissan LEAF this is NIL and the same with the congestion charge in London which is normally £8 a day but NIL if you have a Nissan LEAF.

All these savings add up plus with the £1600 deposit contribution with Nissan Finance you can save yourself even more on monthly payments.

So enjoy the luxury, comfort and smooth ride of the Nissan LEAF –  it may not be as expensive as you think!

Give me a call (Sharon Fay) at FJ Chalke Ltd 01963 34335 or email sharon.fay@fjchalke.co.uk for FREE advice to get on the road to greener energy.



08
OCT

Theresa McManus says:
Electric cars not green if coal used to generate energy


Category: Electric Transport
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The BBC reported last week that a study from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology study found that greenhouse gas emissions rose dramatically if coal is used to produce the electricity.

For me this is not really news – anything we do using electricity is bad news if that electricity was generated using fossil fuels. I think this just emphasises the need for a rapid transition away from fossils fuels in electricity production. Maybe as local authorities and others start rolling out electric vehicle charging points, renewable generation can be co-located ?

One key message which is currently underplayed is that to achieve this switch away from fossil fuels in anything like an appropriate timeframe, not only do we need to increase investment in renewables but we also need to focus on reducing our energy demand.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-19830232 for details of the article.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Ian Howard comments:
    "The benefit of electric cars is that it will reduce pollution in towns and cities. However if the electricity to recharge them is the increased use of coal fired power stations then all we are doing is moving the problem. Which then leads me to ask the question how green are they? "
    October 8, 2012 a 2:01 pm

  • Nathan Shaw comments:
    "As David Mackay states in his book ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air': Using grid electricity for electric cars produces emissions equivalent to fossil fuel cars. So, why not change? Its no worse for the environment and the greater strain on our grid will be a catalyst for investment in renewable energy. Then, renewables will be seen as ‘heroes’ for saving the car and the world will quickly embrace them – or maybe im getting carried away! "
    October 8, 2012 a 11:15 am


01
OCT

Vince Adams says:
Ecotricity announce new DC fast charge technology for the Electric Highway


Category: Electric Transport
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Real progress!

I have just been informed that Ecotricity have announced their new DC fast charge technology for the Electric Highway.

They have teamed up with Nissan to roll out fast charge technology at 40 Welcome Break motorway service stations.

Hopwood Park, South Mimms and Oxford Welcome Break Service Stations are up and running. This means electric car owners like myself will be able to charge a Nissan Leaf or Mitsubishi iMiev in under 30 minutes.

Use of Ecotricity’s charging network is currently free – they want to encourage the take-up of electric vehicles and being able to recharge quickly is obviously a big part of this.

View the Ecotricity Electric Highway online map for which ones have been installed already and those coming next: http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/for-the-road/our-electric-highway


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Lucy Chant comments:
    "Thought you would be interested to know that our electric car charging point is now fully operational and we have been loaned a Nissan Leaf from F J Chalke in Wincaton! Come along to our official launch event on Saturday 24th November at the CORE, hope to see you there, regards
    Lucy "

    November 13, 2012 a 2:01 pm


20
SEP

Vince Adams says:
‘What happens when the oil runs out’ Community Lecture at Thomas Hardy School 24th September 2012


Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security
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Professor Chris Rhodes is speaking at the Thomas Hardy School in Dorchester from 7.00 until 8.15pm on Monday 24th September 2012 on ‘What happens when the oil runs out’.

Professor Chris Rhodes is an independent consultant dealing with energy and environment issues and is currently involved in projects concerning land remediation; heavy metal and radioactive waste management; alternative fuels and energy sources based on biomass and algae; and hydrothermal conversion of biomass and algae to biochar, fuels and feedstocks. His publications run to 180 articles and 5 books and he writes a monthly column for Scitizen.com on “Future Energies”.

For further reading check out  Professor Chris Rhodes’ Blog Energy Balance at: http://ergobalance.blogspot.co.uk

All Community Lectures at Thomas Hardy School are FREE, but by ticket only, available from the school Reception but donations are welcomed at the end of each lecture (the money raised goes to charitable causes).

Please contact the school to check there are tickets available: www.thomas-hardye.dorset.sch.uk/pages/contact_form/lectures.php



29
AUG

Vince Adams says:
Time to build the Electric Highway


Category: Electric Transport
Tags: , , , , ,


As one of the growing number of electric car owners I am travelling to just West of Taunton tomorrow a journey of 51 miles. My Nissan LEAF has a one charge range of 100 miles so its quite a finite judgement on whether or not I can make the return journey without a top up charge.

If I can find a Nissan dealer who has the high speed charger within 30 minutes I can have 80% of my battery life re-charged, but they are few and far between. If I can find an outside 13 amp plug socket I can plug in and within 3 hours I have 30/40 miles which is all the comfort level I need to be sure of completing the return journey.

But would you believe it they again take so much finding in convenient places. Already I have been parked on lawns outside hotels, behind the kitchens in factory sites and wedged in with golf carts at Golf Clubs.
For my Taunton trip I have rung ahead and explained my situation and although I am sure we shall find a way the person I talked to was not able to confirm 100% all would be well.

It’s interesting that in just the same way intrepid early motorists set out on 10/15 journeys not knowing if they would find a chemist or corner store selling petrol in glass jars.So they would take their own supply of small jars and top up regularly even on such a small run. It’s amazing to think of the advances that have been made in petrol delivery, stations etc. So it’s little wonder that at the beginning of the electric highway the going is tough for forward proofers like myself.

It’s why I urge business and councils to begin to invest in the new way of travelling. Supermarkets are starting to put in charging pods but they are few and far between and hard to find. It’s time to really open up the highway, reduce CO2 emissions, reduce our reliance on Oil and focus on the new way forward.

We can do it, and you know it’s a real New Industrial Revolution opportunity for the Country in these times of recession.

Let’s get on with it sooner rather than just following the rest of the World.
Just take a look at what is possible! See: http://www.charging-solutions.com/Products/solarpowered.aspx#desc


1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "It still seems rather astonishing that more businesses haven`t realised that by offering even a basic 13Amp plug/recharge facility, they could gain the support and the custom of electric vehicle users – and that of course includes electric cars, electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric motorbikes and of course electric mobility scooters as well. Seems like missed opportunity to me. "
    August 29, 2012 a 5:26 pm


10
JUL

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
Wood I lie to you?


Category: Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , , , ,


We live in and off mains gas like a lot of people in rural areas and have a large propane tank that had been costing us around £1200 a year to keep filled. There have been price rises most years and sometimes more than one a year. I have asked Centrica if our village is ever likely to be connected to mains gas and was told “No, very unlikely.” So we will be stuck with having to heat our house with expensive oil or – in our case – propane gas. Or so I thought until recently (more on that later)…

We needed to reduce our reliance on this expensive fuel. Our first action was to replace the gas fire in the living room with a log burner. OK its not quite so convenient but I have learnt to enjoy acquiring wood for free from a variety of sources and the healthy exertions of sawing and chopping. Our garden actually supplies a lot of the wood. Ash trees grow here like weeds and I have allowed about 15 of them to become small trees. I cut one down every year and reckon that the stump will have produced another useful crop by the time I get back to it (15 years later) to chop again. It’s also surprising how much wood I get from friends and neighbour’s rubbish piles and my own DIY. Basically, in the 10 years we have had the log burner, I’ve only ever bought one load of wood, and that was as a favour to the seller because he was in urgent need of money.

Then earlier in 2012 we replaced the gas hob with an efficient electric induction hob. These are amazing! They heat up so quickly, controllably and safely using surprisingly little electricity. A lot of the electricity comes from our recently installed photovoltaic panels. When possible, we cook during daylight hours to use the free electricity. The propane gas tank has only been filled once this year so far and it is still 60% full. So it seems the change of hob will have reduced our energy bills significantly.

But we still need the propane for hot water and central heating and the high cost means we don’t keep the house as warm and cosy as we’d like. We get mildew in the top corners of the bedrooms because we only turn the central heating on when it’s really cold.

So I was very interested to discover – through a presentation at our village hall – that there is a company willing and able to replace our boiler with a heat exchanger, install a district heat main under the road and connect it to a wood chip boiler that will serve me and my neighbours. This is providing enough of my neighbours agree to get connected to make the scheme viable. The company will do all this at no cost to me and will then bill me for the heat we use, which will apparently cost about 65% of what we currently pay. The company reckon that – unlike oil and propane – the cost will not need to rise any more than general inflation. I suppose they might be right. (Maybe I’ll keep the boiler in the garage just in case!)

I’m going to a Residents Association meeting tonight to attempt to persuade as many of my neighbours as possible to agree to connect to a district heat main. If everything goes well I can look forward to a sustainable, warmer, cheaper future…



05
APR

Beverley Satchell says:
The Big Turn On is Coming to FJ Chalke Wincanton – WIN a Nissan LEAF, iPad2 + win charging stations for Dorset!


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Deals & Offers
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Dorset Energized partners FJ Chalke Nissan in Wincanton are encouraging drivers in the area to ‘Turn On’ to a low-carbon lifestyle for a more sustainable future.

The Big Turn On is an online led campaign with the aim of getting one million people to Turn On to 100% electric driving and create their own profile page on The Big Turn On website.

Once ‘Turned On’ you will be entered onto a leader board where you could WIN a Nissan LEAF and also an iPad2. You can then gain additional points by taking part in various activities and encouraging other people to ‘Turn On’ too.

YOU COULD WIN CHARGING STATIONS FOR DORSET TOO!
Nissan will also donate rapid charging stations to the city with the most ‘Turn Ons’. Local councils and businesses will then find the best locations to install the stations – please recommend Wincanton!

The website at www.nissan.co.uk/thebigturnon will house content and allow customers to:

  • ‘Turn On’ to electric driving’ by simply clicking the ‘Turn On’ button, these will add up to reaching the one million ‘Turn Ons’.
  • Contribute to their citie’s chance of winning 30 charging points.
  • Book a 24-hour test drive so customers can enjoy the benefits of 100% electric motoring.
  • Create a participant page and earn credits in The Big Turn On competition for their chances to win a LEAF.
  • View video content on different people’s experiences of driving a LEAF.

Join the excitement and book your 24-hour Nissan LEAF test drive. See how easy it is to make the change to 100% electric driving.

To book your 24-hour test drive at FJ Chalke Wincaton visit www.fjchalke.co.uk/eco.



11
MAR

Beverley Satchell says:
Nissan LEAF Test Drive Week for Climate Week


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Deals & Offers
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I’m Beverley, the Electric Vehicle Sales Manager for the Nissan LEAF at FJ Chalke, Wincanton. We are very proud to be in partnership with Dorset Energized.

This revolutionary new car is the world’s first affordable 100% electric car with zero emissions and has impressed the media and potential customers alike, as well as picking up two of the motor industry’s biggest accolades by becoming both the European and World Car of the Year 2011 which, seeing as it is the first electric car to ever achieve this, shows just how good it really is.

I haven’t been in car sales for long at all, and the Nissan LEAF is the first and only car I have ever specialised in. Customers sometimes are too afraid to walk into a dealership in case they are thrown into a massive sales pitch, when all the really want to do is take a look at a car, and possibly test drive it.  So to celebrate Climate Week, FJ Chalke will hold a test drive open week for the Nissan LEAF 12th to 17th March. No strings attached, just come in, take a look at the LEAF and getting a feel for the car by taking it for a test drive and experience the real deal for yourself. All we would ask for is feedback.

READ MORE



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