Archive for December, 2014


Erik Blakeley says:
Renewable Energy Salesmen?

Category: Climate Change, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Uncategorized, Wind Power
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Renewable Energy Salesmen?

I used to think that the climate change deniers paid for by big fossil firms and anti-renewable  NIMBYs were the worst threats to progress in the fight to cut emissions of GHGs and slow Climate Change but I have recently come across possibly a more sinister and depressing opponent – the Renewable Energy snake oil salesman! These people, either through genuine but misguided enthusiasm or through a malicious wish to fool people into investing in schemes that are about as likely to bear fruit as chocolate teapot manufacture, come up with a way off piste suggestion for a grandiose scheme to solve all of our energy and climate change worries. Now don’t get me wrong I am all in favour of “out of the box” or “blues sky” thinking, but they go straight from some vaguely worked out concept diagram to claims that all further investment in wind or PV or any other low carbon technology are now redundant and pointless. They are one step further into lunacy than the magic bullet salesmen who think that one of the current technologies, be it wind or PV or nuclear, is a one size fits all answer to all our problems.

Why are they so bad? Well at some point they are going to try to persuade people who are concerned about the problems of Climate Change and Energy Security to invest money in these schemes, money that could be invested in home insulation, roof top PV or community wind or hydro projects for example. At least the NIMBYs and climate change deniers are only trying to persuade people to ignore the science and the need for action. The snake oil salesmen nobble the people who have been persuaded to care. They cannot do what is sensible which is to propose an idea for development and try to get universities or industry to make small scale investments to produce trial prototypes or even just to put their ideas out for peer review because they know full well that they will be rejected as deeply flawed or just physically or economically impossible. Instead they launch some small development company and produce a flash looking sales video on U-tube purporting to be a “lecture” on the merits of their scheme and then try to get money out of small investors or crowdfunding. These people are only one step removed from the guy who sold empty plastic boxes with car radio aerials glued to the outside as bomb detectors.

The other really bad thing that they do is to give ammunition to those who oppose wind turbines or PV farms because they suggest that we don’t need to deploy the current crop of well-developed technologies because there is some magic wand solution just around the corner if only the mainstream scientific and industrial cartel will stop suppressing these wonderful inventions. When challenged the snake oil salesman will readily claim to be the victim of conspiracies and prejudice – they can be quite paranoid.

New technologies will come along and in 50 to 100 years we will almost certainly be deploying a markedly different mix of low carbon technologies than we are today but for now we need to deploy as much as possible of the good range of well-developed kit as we possibly can. Universities and big business can pursue the blue sky stuff and take the financial risk. If you have a few hundred or even a few thousand to invest put it into something established and don’t be taken in by the snake oil salesmen!

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Vince Adams comments:
    "I was talking to a friend this week and he said that quietly Countries all over the World were making amazing progress turning from old energy solutions towards Renewables whereas the UK appeared to be dragging its feet.
    This headline caught my eye and I wondered, is that the reason why ? Does UK big business have far to much influence ? “Electricity customers in the U.S. got good news last week. A new report from Accenture highlighted a potential revenue loss for U.S. utilities of $48 billion per year by 2025 due to distributed solar and energy efficiency” How do we ensure that the UK is not left behind ? "

    December 17, 2014 a 6:07 pm


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein

Category: Sustainable Living
Tags: , ,

Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein

Here`s my suggestion for a Christmas present –

Charles Eisenstein’s book “Sacred Economics: Money, Gift and Society in the Age of Transition” is a book anyone interested in a world with an economic system no longer geared toward growth, but one where people are freed up to do the work they love and looking after the environment is rewarded as a matter of course.

This book both charts and describes emerging trends in work and develop’s a practical theory of a new economics based on money which is no longer lent at profit. Or even and eventually a system whereby money naturally loses value (negative interest) via a method called demurrage. The point being that the economy as it is currently structured has to keep growing (and thus absorbing/using/consuming/destroying natural resources) to pay back the interest on money – as money (at interest) always requires more money to exist in the future to repay it. So to stop a system that inevitably has to grow and has to bring ever more of nature (the commons) into the sphere of money and consumption and bring in something different, something more benign, more natural, more human – change money. This book shows how it might be done – with supporting quotes from such figures as Keynes himself and senior US Fed Bank executives (and others).

Not a light read for sure, but very well written and extensively researched. The sort of book that helps you look at the world, the future and even your own way of life in new and positive ways – in a word inspiring.



Anna Celeste Watson says:
West Dorset Pro Wind Group gaining massive support

Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power

Last Saturday Stu and I were out in Dorchester and spotted a big sign in town saying ‘Yes to Wind’! We were so excited about seeing something so positive about local renewable energy we went over to chat to the people on the stall and were even more pleased to see they had lots of people gathered around, and a huge stack of signatures of people writing their comments with their support of the Slyer’s Lane wind farm proposal near Charminster here in Dorset to the West Dorset District Council Planning Department, including lots of families with small children who obviously care about the future of our area and want clean, safe and secure renewable energy.




I personally commented that in Dorset (as in all areas) we need to play our part in supporting a mix of renewable energy sources, and that I find wind turbines rather cool, beautiful and inspiring – although of course that is not the point! (Just as its not the point if people think they are visually obtrusive – nothing is as visually offensive as a gas station or electricity pylons for which no one ever protested over!).

In stark contrast, the anti-wind group down the road seemed to have little support, at least from what I saw and heard. In the interests of being fair, personally I would like to say that I do respect their views too and they also have a right to air those views, but it did visually illustrate to me that the anti-wind fraction really are a very small minority of people (usually in the more affluent villages where they have lots of money to mount their campaigns) who campaign to make their voice heard the loudest, whereas the large majority of people are for wind power, but usually just don’t feel strong enough to do anything about it. Its generally often groups that are against something that campaign (whatever the issue!). Even more reason why I can’t praise the West Dorset Pro Wind Group enough – they are getting out there to the people and making them actively take simple positive action!

Say ‘Yes to Wind’!

As well as getting lots of front page press for their campaign which Lets Get Energized have previously reported, the West Dorset Pro Wind Group were giving away posters and info too – so if you haven’t already got your ‘YES TO WIND’ poster you can do so by clicking the image below to download and print:


Support the Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm near Charminster Dorset

Here is more information from the back of the poster which shows just why we would should be supporting the Slyer’s Land Wind Farm Proposal:

Why is it important to support this proposal?

In the context of global warming and need to develop clean energy sources now, this is an opportunity for our community to benefit from a £24m investment in wind power capable of providing sufficient electricity for most of the homes in the Dorchester area. This local energy will be clean, safe and secure. Research confirms that a majority of the general popula!on support wind farms, but that those who oppose them tend to be more vociferous in making their views known. Planning officers need to have a full and objective picture in making their recommendation, so it is important that those who support the proposal for a wind farm write individually to record your opinions and reasons.

What are some positive reasons?

  • Wind turbines generate power 70-80% of the time.
  • One wind turbine supplies the same power as 20 acres of solar panels (10 football pitches).
  • Modern wind turbines do not create any significant noise problems.
  • RSPB supports wind farms; there are many other more serious hazards for birds.
  • UK is the windiest country in Europe.
  • Slyers Lane site has potential to allow school children to see the technology close up and so help inform this genera!on on their difficult future decisions re energy sources and costs.
  • A Community Fund @ £60k per year (index linked = £1.5m over 25 years) to support local community projects.

How valid are some of counter arguments?

  • Local house prices will fall – independent research on the development and operation of 3 UK wind farms of comparable size showed that local house prices followed market trends.
  • Wind farms discourage tourism – recent survey research for Cornwall County Council found this is NOT the case. Visitors primarily influenced by economic factors and holiday patterns.

Will the key issue be visual amenity?

Some welcome wind turbines as icons of good modern design; others as industrial monstrosities. Visual amenity is a very subjective opinion. Our countryside is always changing to reflect the times. It has seen windmills, water mills, the buildings and spoils of lead, tin and coal mines, quarrying, china clay workings, and rail and road developments but the countryside is resilient and adaptable.

Modern wind turbines have a design life of around 25 years after which they can be dismantled, so that a site can be returned to its natural state.

Why is it so important to record your support during the public consultation?

Research confirms that a majority of the general population support wind farms, but that those who oppose them tend to be more vociferous in making their views known.

Planning officers need to have a full and objective picture in making their recommendation, so it is important that those who support the proposal for a wind farm write individually to record your opinions and reasons.

Find out more about supporting the Slyer’s Lane Wind Farm Proposal and the West Dorset Pro Wind Group at:

Closing date for comments is 20th December

I literally just spotted the West Dorset Pro Wind Group out in Dorchester again this morning and they told me they have over 850 comments now so are hoping to get 1000 before the deadline this weekend.

You can also write a letter of support which MUST include your name, address and application number: WD/D/14/002611 and email to OR comment online at It doesn’t take long, after first registering with the Dorset For You website, it’s a breeze and literally takes a few minutes.

Find out more at:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Anna’s Top 10 Ecotopia Gifts for an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Category: Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
Tags: ,

In case you hadn’t noticed, Lets Get Energized are giving away another fab Ecotopia shop voucher worth £30 in our monthly prize draw here, and I couldn’t help noticing that they have lots of fab new products available this year, which I’ve got my eye on myself! So… here is my Christmas wishlist for some top eco gifts…

(Do check out our team’s wishlist from last year too here – Booja Booja chocolate truffles and Lush Comforter Bath Bombs are still on my list this year too – can never have enough of those!!!)


Human Being Womens T-Shirt

These supercool Human Being Not in danger of extinction tees are produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.


6 Cupcake Bath Melts In A Box

Love the look of this box of natural bath melts. Apparently each will leave your skin moisturised and the aroma is described as simply divine! All made with essential oils and natural cocoa and shea butters each one is hand molded and decorated with flower petals or pressed flowers. I’m not the most girly of girls but most of us like a little pampering now and again!


Kabloom Butterflybom

Our butterflies need all the help they can come the Summer and I love seeing them in our garden (Peacock butterflies are my fave)! This little ‘bom’ contains a wildflower mix loved by brilliant butterflies and other pollinating insects. You trigger your seedbom by placing it in water until soaked. Then you throw the seedbom into abandoned and derelict ground and then it grows March til May. Seedboms are made with an expolsive mix of peat free organic compost, coir and a selection of flower seeds embedded in a recycled paper shell. They are handmade in the UK from recycled, organic, eco-friendly and biodegradable materials. The packaging is produced from 95% pre and post consumer recycled waste, is printed using vegetable based inks and is glue free.


Bike Fish Womens T-Shirt

More cool tees! The idea here is that alone we are little fish but together we will have our day! Another 100% Organic Cotton t-shirt, produced under the Global Organic Textile Standards (G.O.T.S) from 100% organic cotton using only renewable energy from wind & solar power and approved by the Carbon Trust (UK) for reductions in CO2 emissions.The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) has audited the entire production chain for correct ethical labour practices.


Original Bat Box

Bats are in need of habitat as many of their roosting places have been lost over recent years. We have bats that fly around outside our house so they may even be living in our loft, otherwise the big lime trees along our road, but I would still love to help them out with a special cosy home! This high capacity bat box offers two chambers and a valuable high capacity roost for a variety of species. It will fit into any garden, woodland, or a house wall site. Made from solid, high quality, durable FSC timber it provides longevity and excellent insulation. The narrow entrance slot and strong timber help to discourage predators. A swing panel at the base allows for cleaning, if required.


Wooden Skittles Set

Bring the fun of skittles to your home! This looks like one game our small garden may actually allow us to enjoy! The aim of this traditional bowling game is to knock all the skittles down with as few attempts as possible. It can also be played indoors.


Rowan Bird Oilcloth Washbag By Susie Faulks

This vegan-friendly oilcloth washbag in an original Rowan Bird design is fully lined with a good quality waterproof lining and top zip fastening. Perfect for potions, lotions and make-up which is what I would use it for (for my animal-friendly make-up of course)!


Bamboo Charcoal Water Filters 8 Piece

Not the most exciting looking of the items on my wishlist, but I’d really like to try this! Bamboo charcoal is a refreshingly simple and natural way of filtering tap water. Just leave it in a jug filled with tap water and it will slowly filter out impurities such as chlorine and chloramines make your water tastier and free from typical tap water odour. Bamboo charcoal’s incredible filtering ability comes from its super porous structure – some may find it hard to believe but 1g of high quality bamboo charcoal has a surface area equivalent of up to 3 tennis courts. It works like a sponge and absorbs impurities into its pores. Other woods can be used to make charcoal for filtering water but the larger number of porous cavities in bamboo charcoal is considered to give it better filtering abilities – 3 times greater per gramme than wood charcoal. As a fast growing plant, supply is abundant and sustainable.


Me & My Birds Cake Kit Refill

I love feeding the birds in my garden and get very worried about them in cold Winter weather when they need extra help. The Me & My Birds refill is a pack of replacement feed and magic mix for the Me & My Birds Wild Bird Kit and has everything you need to make the bird food for your kit. Each refill will make about 12 cup cakes and also several log refills. If you fancy reading my blog for The Compassion Collective about Feeding the Birds this Winter do check it out on this link.


Water Powered Shower Radio

Last but not least, this is the world’s first shower radio powered by the pressure of the water alone! It never needs batteries, and costs nothing to run. The radio automatically starts when the shower is turned on, and is powered by an ingenious small hydro turbine. This coupled with a built-in rechargeable battery, allows energy to be stored as well as playing the radio, so it will to continue to play after the shower is turned off and the last station and volume level are automatically stored after use ready for your next shower. It’s incredibly easy to fit. Simply fit between the existing shower hose and tap – no tools required, just unscrew the existing fixings! Sounds good to me!

There’s lots more eco Christmas gift ideas at the Ecotopia shop here:

Make sure you order by midday 19th December though to get your delivery in time for Christmas!

Bon Noel : )

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "Bah Humbug – not really!
    As we approach Christmas again I find myself in a bit of a dilemma. What do I say about the sort of Eco-friendly stocking fillers featured elsewhere in the blog? On the one hand I do like to give and receive gifts and there are some nifty things around with varying degrees of eco-friendliness. However should we advertise them? By labelling things as “must haves” etc we buy into the concept of consumerism, especially Christmas as a consumer fest, that is a major part of the problem we face today with an ever expanding economy in a world of finite resources. It is very hard to tell people that you don’t need to spend thousands on expensive gifts in huge numbers, many of which are really just a bit of fun and may not even be wanted by the recipient and then say that you really should be buying these fair trade, sustainably farmed, plant extract body washes etc. We saw the very worst of the Christmas consumerism in the Black Friday coverage. If you are happy in your relationships then lots of extravagant gifts might just get in the way of a good Christmas. How many parents are tired and irritable with their kids on Christmas Day because they dashed out of work early on Christmas Eve and spent half the evening fighting for that last special gift? If you are not happy in your relationships then trying to buy your way to happiness with gifts is very unlikely to succeed. In fact, as many relationships founder due to money worries, it is a vicious circle. More and more these days I am giving donations to charities as Christmas and Birthday gifts. The charities usually send you a card and a certificate you can wrap up and put under the tree and you know that the money donated will be used well by the charity of your choice. Encouraged by my better half I have also got over my previous embarrassment not to say snobbery over buying gifts in Charity shops thereby combining a triple whammy of virtue by getting a relatively cheap present that has been recycled and supporting another of my favourite causes. Have a merry, relaxed and low impact Christmas! "

    December 19, 2014 a 8:50 am


Lets Get Energized says:
Green energy suppliers Ecotricity have lowest industry complaints for 5th year running & announce prize freeze until April 2015!

Category: Energy Deals & Offers, Energy News for UK, Green Electricity & Gas
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The latest Which? customer service satisfaction survey has revealed that the Big Six energy companies have lost 2 million customers but complaints are up by a third.

nPower have the highest average complaints in the industry, whereas 100% Gloucestershire based green energy suppliers Ecotricity have the lowest industry complaints and impressively for the 5th year running (receiving only 0.86 complaints per 1000 customers in 2014) which is great news, although of course we are not surprised as many of our Lets Get Energized team are happy customers for our home energy supply!

Click here for a summary of the the Which? energy supplier complaints league table >>

Ecotricity have also announced that they have cut switching times to 17 days and are extending their 22 month price freeze until April 2015.

Ecotricity founder Dale Vince says;

“The energy industry is, slowly, changing for the better – switching is getting quicker and more people are changing suppliers looking not just for better prices, but also for better service. These latest figures demonstrate that, despite the mass migration away from the Big Six, which is itself often due to poor customer service – the Big Six are getting worse.

“We know that customer service is a key driver of switching; we publish this league table each year because Ofgem won’t do it, for some reason. The online switching sites, which Ofgem regulates, also refuse to give prominence to customer service, focusing solely on price. Both could do better, and people need to know if they are jumping out of the frying pan into the fire – when it comes to leaving their old supplier for poor service.

“Ecotricity has had the lowest number of industry complaints for five years running and we also topped the 2014 Which? energy customer satisfaction survey – we do that by treating people how we would want to be treated, by answering the phone quickly, resolving complaints as they arise, and using a customer service team based here in Gloucestershire who answer the phone themselves, with no automated call waiting. These are basic things that so much of the industry just gets plain wrong.”

While Ecotricity, along with First Utility and SSE, have now cut switching times to 17 days (including a 14 day cooling off period), the rest of the industry has yet to do the same and still take up to 35 days to switch customers – they have until the end of the year to cut switch times according to Ofgem’s new regulations.

Make the simple switch to Ecotricity (and celebrate with a £50 John Lewis voucher too!)

If you want to switch energy supplier and enjoy competitive fixed prices as well as top customer satisfaction, it couldn’t be easier to switch to Ecotricity and literally takes less than five minutes.

To help you celebrate the switch to green energy this Christmas, they will also give you a £50 voucher to spend at John Lewis, if you switch through Lets Get Energized.

Switch online at: or call Ecotricity free on 08000 302 302*.

*If you sign up by phone make sure you quote ‘Lets Get Energized’ to get your £50 John Lewis voucher…. Enjoy!


Lets Get Energized says:
December Prize Draw: Win a £30 voucher to spend online at Ecotopia

Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Sustainable Living


Great news! We’ve got another £30 Ecotopia voucher to win in our December Prize Draw! The prize will be in the form of a unique online voucher code you can use until the end of June 2015.

Plus if you spend over £50 your delivery will be free too.

The competition ends at midnight UK time on 5th January 2015 and the lucky winner will be picked at random from all our e-newsletter subscribers on 6th January.

CONGRATULATIONS TO LAST MONTH’S WINNER JASON LYLE who has also won a £30 Ecotopia voucher we hope he will enjoy spending this Christmas!

Click here to enter our prize draw >>

‘Shop Your Principles’ for great eco gifts at Ecotopia

Ecotopia is about harnessing the power of shopping, to change the world.

Their eco-friendly products range from; organic food, eco cleaning and natural bodycare, to energy saving devices, or you can choose some lovely gifts for the home and garden such as their grow your own kits and seed bombs, to a funky range of organic t-shirts and clothing for men, women and children.

Ecoptia say, “We spend our money where we have a chance to make a difference. Money makes the world go round after all… and it’s our choice which way round it goes. The things we buy can reinforce the status quo, or support a better way of doing things. Everything you’ll find in Ecotopia supports a better way of doing things – whether it’s Fairtrade, organic or sustainably sourced – there’s a social, ethical or environmental benefit inherent in everything we sell. We’re here to help you ‘Shop your Principles’”

Sounds great to us, so make sure you enter and good luck : )

Check out the online Ecotopia shop on

Click here to enter our prize draw >>


Lets Get Energized says:
NGPS win The ‘Renewable Energy Advocate Award’

Category: Dorset Energized News, Green Electricity, Solar Energy, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Living
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NGPS win The ‘Renewable Energy Advocate Award’

NGPS Limited puts Dorset firmly on Renewable Energy map with prestigious Award

The ‘Renewable Energy Advocate Award’ puts Dorset firmly on the map for quality solar installation. Nominated by leading industry solar inverter manufacturer, Enphase Energy UK, NGPS Limited of Poole in Dorset picked up the award for the South and South West at a prestigious event held at Birmingham’s NEC Arena.

The event was organized by one of the UKs most influential solar energy magazines, Solar Power Portal, and the awards ceremony was a celebration of the UK solar industry during their Solar Energy UK Exhibition at Birmingham’s NEC.

Enphase Energy UK pioneered a breakthrough in solar inverter technology with the introduction of the micro inverter. This meant an entire solar panel system would no longer be controlled by just one inverter, as each panel is able to host its own and be controlled individually. This has enabled a large degree of flexibility for shaded or dust prone roofs as the entire system is not compromised. The technology also enables the option of a split roof installation in the case of smaller roofs, and energy production is greatly enhanced as the panels can begin generating earlier in the day than a traditional system, and later into the evening.

NGPS is one of the largest installers of Enphase micro inverters in the South West and now installs the product as standard on their solar photovoltaic systems. Nick Good: “We were delighted to be one of just two companies in the South West to be nominated, and naturally pleased to be presented with an award. We work hard to provide our customers with the very best technology in the marketplace, as well as best practice in all aspects of our business. This has been our philosophy, and I would suggest the reason for our success for more than twenty years. It is rewarding for our efforts to be both recognized and commended by a leading manufacturer in the marketplace in which we operate.”

Using Enphase, both the customer and NGPS are able to see what the system is producing. Nick Good: “Any problems, albeit rare, and we would more than likely spot this before the customer. This is because Enphase enables remote monitoring, and our technical surveyors are also able to demonstrate the energy production of neighboring properties when a new customer is looking into the cost savings of a system for themselves. Enphase also adds the benefit of a 25 year warranty and enables even more homeowners to benefit from solar energy. It most certainly means better performance so our customer can reap a greater return on their investment and an even faster payback. And a happy customer makes the job even more rewarding for us as a business.”

Vince Adams – Lets Get Energized co-founder – says:

“Congratulations to Nick Good and his family run business NGPS for their amazing Renewable Energy Advocates Award earlier this month.

The award was connected to their ground breaking work with Enphase whose system ensures that solar panels high on grooves across the land really are in good working order and report on monthly generation at the solar location.

Nick was the very first accredited Solar Installer in the UK and he has built a reputation for giving sound advice, good value and extremely good service to his customers.

We at Dorset Energised and now Lets get Energized have been helped in every way by NGPS in our work to spread the good news that is renewable energy in all its forms.

We and NGPS will continue to ensure that every household eventually has solar or a renewable alternative to supports its energy requirements and the planets need for less carbon emission.”

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