Before we leave the office for a few days off to drink *slightly* too much mulled wine and argue over board games with our families, we thought we’d take a minute to wish you all a Happy Christmas! While we’re away, here are our top tips for a green festive period.
We’ve been reflecting on a great year in the office. It’s been busy at TheGreenAge HQ and we’ve enjoyed answering your queries on a huge variety of subjects, and researching others for new blogs. We’re pleased to say that our pages have received well over 2million views since January, and we’ve helped many more people over the phone, or by email. We’re pretty happy with that!
UK energy in 2017
As the year is coming to an end, it makes sense to take a look at some of the key stories in UK energy in 2017. These are themes we have revisited over and over in our blogs, and some of them have had their fair share of controversy!
- Smart meters have continued to divide people across the UK. The benefits of smart meters could potentially be huge; but they spit opinion, and the mismanagement of the scheme has brought a fair amount of criticism too. At this moment in time, it’s looking unlikely that the government will meet its target of installing them in every (willing) home by 2020.
- Electric cars have reached a new customer base, due to the greater choice of models, generous government grants and the impending ban on petrol and diesel cars.
- It’s been a record year for renewable electricity generation in the UK. Solar and wind hit new levels, and April saw our first coal-free working day since the Industrial Revolution!
- It’s been a mixed year in terms of the government’s energy policies. It has announced ambitious plans to create a smart grid and invest millions in battery storage. However, it has also continued to fund the now farcical Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant, while sidelining renewables. The government has also shown inconsistency regarding its plans for fracking; the Conservative manifesto sang its praises, but there has been little mention since. One positive is the introduction of an energy price cap for the people most likely to be vulnerable to energy poverty – although they mocked the idea when it was first proposed by Labour five years ago!
What does next year have in store?
- Hopefully renewables will continue to do their thing, electric car ownership will increase further, and the rollout of smart meters will start moving the UK to a more balanced, intelligent, digitised energy system.
- Heavier measures need to be taken to tackle the country’s air pollution crisis. The Mayor has shown a commitment to cleaning up the air in London, but more needs to be done nationwide about what is now considered by many as a public health emergency.
- We need to make a proper plan for filling the upcoming void in our national energy stores. Who knows, maybe building will finally start on Swansea Tidal Lagoon?… But for now –
Here’s to a green 2018! We hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.