(and really help combat climate change)
Switch to a green electricity tariff – don’t buy nuclear electricity
The Green Electricity Marketplace (GEM) is one of the leading switching websites for green electricity tariffs, and unlike most other switching sites it is not just part of a general switching site. As a specialist in renewable energy GEM provides its own perspective on green tariffs.
But as green tariffs don’t necessarily mean green electricity, before switching supplier check what electricity you’ll actually get at electricityinfo.org.
Friends of the Earth is currently running a campaign to get its members to switch their supplier and recommends either Good Energy or Ecotricity. (We prefer Good Energy because Ecotricity supplied a fuel mix for the year 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012 which was still 2.3% nuclear, whereas Good Energy is 100% renewable.)
Give up Incandescent light bulbs
Replace your light bulbs with energy saving recommended ones: just one can reduce your lighting costs by up to £60 over the lifetime of the bulb – and they last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
Save energy around the house
There are lots of other simple ways you can save energy around the house. For example televisions, videos, stereos, computers, and cordless phones don’t need to be left on standby.
Use Energy saving electrical goods
If you need a new washing machine or fridge-freezer, energy saving appliances don’t necessarily cost any more, but they can save a large amount of energy.
Use a solar clothes dryer
Energy saving electrical goods are one thing, but perhaps you can do the job without using any electricity. ASDA sold more than 1.2m clothes pegs in the first four months of 2007, an increase of 1,400%, as people switched off their tumble dryers. Sales of washing lines and rotary dryers were up 147%. Join this growing movement.
See Daily Mail 13th June 2007.
Put more insulation in your loft
Simply by insulating your loft to the recommended depth of 270mm, you can save wasted energy and money. You can even do it yourself! 270mm is more than 10 inches. Although your loft may already be insulated you might well find that the thickness of the insulation is only 4 inches.
Insulate Cavity Walls
Not having insulated cavity walls costs you money. Up to 33 per cent of the heat produced in your home is lost through the walls if you have an uninsulated cavity. Cavity wall insulation could save up to £90 per year.
Install a gas condensing boiler
If your gas central heating boiler is over 15 years old you should consider replacing it with a gas condensing boiler. These convert around 90% of the gas your burn into useful heat, compared with 60% for a conventional boiler.
Install a Micro-CHP boiler
Micro-Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is an innovative new technology, which has been identified as having significant potential to reduce carbon emissions. These boilers are very new and may be difficult to get hold of at the moment.
Install a small-scale wind turbine
Small-scale building-integrated wind turbines suitable for urban locations are currently being developed and are starting to become be available to install in homes and other buildings.
See Energy Saving Trust.
Kingspan produce a range of different small-scale turbines.
For information about the Microgeneration Certification Scheme see Building Research Establishment.
Install a solar water heating system
Solar water heating systems use heat from the sun to work alongside your conventional water heater. The technology is well developed with a large choice of equipment to suit many applications.
See also EST Buyers Guide.
Install a combined boiler and solar hot water system
For major renovations you might want to find a company which manufactures highly efficient boilers and solar panels which work in conjunction with each other. The solar collector pre-heats water to feed into the boiler.
Install solar photovoltaics
Solar PV (photovoltaic) uses energy from the sun to create electricity to run appliances and lighting. PV requires only daylight – not direct sunlight – to generate electricity. See Energy Saving Trust and Information about Feed-in Tariffs.
In particular see Solar Century.
Install a ground-source heat pump
Although we may not know it, heat pumps are very familiar to us – fridges and air conditioners are two examples. Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) transfer heat from the ground into a building to provide space heating and, in some cases, to pre-heat domestic hot water. See the Energy Saving Trust guide to ground source heat pumps.
A GSHP could provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Install an Air Source Heat Pump
Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP) can be easier to install than a ground source heat pump, though efficiencies may be lower.
An ASHP could provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Install a Micro-hydro system
Hydro-power systems convert potential energy stored in water held at height to kinetic energy (or the energy used in movement) to turn a turbine to produce electricity. See the Energy Saving Trust.
Install Biomass Heating
Biomass is organic matter of recent origin. It doesn’t include fossil fuels, which have taken millions of years to evolve. The CO2 released when energy is generated from biomass is balanced by that absorbed during the fuel’s production. We call this a carbon neutral process. See Energy Saving Trust.
A biomass boiler could provide you with an income through the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
For information about the Microgeneration Certification Scheme see Building Research Establishment.
The BERR Low Carbon Buildings Programme website will help you find a list of accredited installers and the Renewable Energy Centre gives a list of biomass boiler manufacturers and suppliers.
Get informed about Microgeneration
Respond to Government Consultations
Watch out for future Consultations from the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
A good place to look for ideas on how to respond is the Nuclear Free Local Authorities website.
Respond to Industry Consultations
Write to the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change
Tell him what you think of the go-ahead for new reactors announced on 10th January 2008
The Rt Hon Ed Davey MP
Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
Department of Trade and Industry
1 Victoria Street
Fax: 020 7219 0250
Write to David Cameron
E-mail No.10 at https://email.number10.gov.uk/
Write to your MP
Type in your postcode below to find out who your MP is. You can also then contact them using the linked website or write to them at House of Commons, LONDON SW1A 0AA.
Write to your MSPs
The Scottish Parliament
or via the Scottish Parliament website
To find out who your MSPs are, type in your postcode below
Write to your AMs
The National Assembly for Wales,
or via the Welsh Assembly website
To find out who your AMs are, type in your postcode below
Write to your MLAs
The Northern Ireland Assembly
or via the Northern Ireland Assembly website
To find out who your Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) are, type in your postcode below
Join your local anti-nuclear campaign
Ask your MP to sign relevant Early Day Motions
For the session 2012/13:
Ask your MP to support amendments to the Energy Bill
The Association for the Conservation of Energy (ACE) – with the support of environmental NGOs such as Friends of the Earth, WWF-UK and Greenpeace – will be seeking to amend the Energy Bill, which will be introduced in November 2012, to require the Government to capture the full potential of energy efficiency and energy saving within electricity market reform within one year of the passing of the Act.
See ACE briefing.
Join the Energy Bill Revolution
1 in 4 households in the UK are now in fuel poverty, meaning they need to spend more than 10% of their income on keeping their homes warm. The problem is likely to get worse, with 1 in 3 households projected to be in fuel poverty by 2016. The only fair and permanent solution which will give us warm homes, reduce our fuel bills and cut carbon emissions, is for the Government to use the money it gets from carbon taxes to help make homes super-energy efficient – with excellent insulation, renewable energy and modern boilers.
Lobby your council to support microgeneration
Local government is uniquely placed with powers and services spanning the full range of activities which will need to be changed to achieve sustainability in energy. Local government, therefore, has a key role to play in helping to meet the UK’s climate change objectives. Working towards a low carbon future has multiple benefits for local authorities and their communities: improvements in health, community cohesion, social inclusion and quality of life. There are already some excellent local authority climate change initiatives, which demonstrate that responding to the threats presents local authorities with opportunities to also reap benefits.
Get your local authority to buy a copy of “A Guide to Solar PV Projects for Local Authorities and Other Public Bodies” – a detailed guide for public sector bodies on how to undertake a PV project as part of a renewable energy or climate change strategy.
Lobby your council to find funding for efficiency projects
An Energy Saving Trust guide outlines different sources of funding to support the development of low-carbon activities, specifically energy efficiency and renewable energy retrofit measures for council-owned buildings and for the wider housing stock of all tenures, and for district energy or combined heat and power schemes.
Lobby your council to join the solar cities movement
Lobby your council to join Nuclear Free Local Authorities
Around 70 UK local authorities support the Nuclear Free Local Authorities.
Write to the newspapers
For addresses see Nuclear Free Local Authorities press guide.
Thanks to Google Alerts, it is now possible to know that in newspapers, magazines and blogs around the world, large numbers of articles, reports and comments are appearing that present nuclear power in a favourable light and gloss over its many problems. You can help with an easy-to-do online campaign to correct some of the misleading information that is being spread, and to raise awareness of a major alternative to nuclear power.
For more information see From Greenhouse To Green House.
Sign a Petition
Say Yes to Wind
Harnessing the natural power of the wind is essential to tackle global warming. Britain has Europe’s best wind energy resource – but wind power needs your support. Yes2Wind has answers to all your questions about wind energy, and lots of ways for you to say YES! to a clean energy future.
Embrace the Revolution
Embrace the Revolution is giving a voice to the silent majority who support wind energy. If you’re in favour of wind energy, it’s time to show your support.
Get involved with Stop Climate Chaos
A coalition of more than 50 organisations which is calling on the government to:
Take a lead on the global stage, working for an international agreement to cut climate pollution. World-wide this must be in decline by 2015.
Cut the UK’s emissions by at least 3% year on year.
Help the poorest countries get access to clean energy, help them cut out poverty and deal with the climate disasters they are already facing.
See I Count and Stop Climate Chaos Scotland.
Take Action to support Greenpeace’s Climate Change Campaign
Organise a showing of the Greenpeace DVD The Convenient Solution
Join the WWF Climate Solutions Campaign
See Climate Solutions.
a) Fighting Climate Change and Phasing Out Nuclear Power Are Two Sides of the Same Coin by Arne Jungjohann.
b) Myths and Facts about the German switch from Nuclear to Renewables.
c) Nuclear Power is not a solution to climate change, Friends of the Earth, September 2007.
d) THE CASE AGAINST NUCLEAR POWER: And the case for real solutions to climate change and energy insecurity, Greenpeace November 2011.
e) Is nuclear power a solution to climate change?, Pete Roche, April 2005
f) Nuclear Free Local Authorities New Nuclear Monitor briefings. See in particular No.8 Nuclear Power is not the solution to climate change, Nuclear Free Local Authorities, May 2005.
g) Do we have to have a dash for gas or new nuclear reactors, Pete Roche, October 2012
Read the Government’s January 2008 White Paper on Nuclear Power
See the White Paper.
Read the National Policy Statements on Energy (EN1) and Nuclear (EN6)
Read A Corruption of Governance
The report A Corruption of Governance shows that the evidence given to Ministers and Parliament, on which they based the decision to go-ahead with new reactors, was a false summary of the analysis carried out within Government.
Get informed about zero-carbon non-nuclear strategies
There is a long list of decarbonising strategy documents and scenarios available on the From Greenhouse to Green House website.
See in particular:
Carbon Free and Nuclear Free: A Roadmap for US Energy Policy, by Arjun Makhijani, IEER, 2007
Energy [R]evolution 2012, Greenpeace International, European Renewable Energy Council, and Global Wind Energy Council, June 2012
Roadmap 2050: A Practical Guide to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Europe, European Climate Foundation, April 2010
Positive Energy: How Renewable Electricity can transform the UK by 2030, WWF October 2011
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