What does 2017 have in store?

Happy New Year everyone – we hope you had a great Christmas and New Year! So what does 2017 have in store for us? Well a couple of pretty positive signs over the festive period to kick off this year’s company news!

Rise in renewable energy

The first piece of good news comes from Drax, who themselves generate about 7% of the UK’s electricity. According to research they carried out, over 40% of the electricity created on Christmas day came via renewables – a whopping 12.4GW, with over 9.4GW coming from wind turbines.

Compare this with 2012, when just 4.2GW of electricity came from renewables – a pretty substantial increase. So while the argument will continue to rage on that due to intermittency, renewables are nothing without energy storage, when it works, it works well!

Even taking a look now at the grid, wind is providing 12.78% of our electricity; clearly renewables have a pretty important part to play in our energy mix as time moves on!

Our thoughts on the ‘Each Home Counts’ review

The review makes some interesting suggestions, including introducing better regulation for installers in the energy saving sector. See what Nick makes of it here!

First ‘Time of Use’ tariff

The second interesting bit of news came from Green Energy UK, who announced the first ‘Time of Use‘ energy tariff. This is a little bit like Economy 7 in that you pay different rates for the electricity depending when you use it. The exciting thing here though is that you aren’t set to just two tariffs (off peak and on peak); rather your smart meter allows the energy provider to charge different amounts for electricity at many different times of the day.

In the future, electricity could be charged by the minute, but right now Green Energy UK are keeping things pretty simple with only 3 different rates. What they are trying to do though is make the late afternoon time frame extremely expensive (24.99p/kWh), while from 11pm through to 6am you would pay just 4.99p/kWh.

When you think about the average price being 12p/kWh, you might wonder why anyone would ever sign up to this tariff – but it comes down to two things. Firstly behavioural changes, for example running your washing machine at night as opposed to 5pm. The other thing (and this is why I used the word exciting earlier) is that this kind of tariff could make the use of battery technologies in homes more mainstream.

Until now, batteries have been mainly installed by early adopters, but imagine the possibility of buying all your electricity at 4.99p/kWh, storing this in your battery storage system and then using this stored electricity to power your home when you need to. You would be saving an average 7p/kWh per unit of electricity, which over a year will contribute to some pretty substantial energy savings!

Bad news for UK energy

In other news, the British Infrastructure Group released a report titled ‘Electric Shock: Will the lights go out next winter’. It turns out that it is unlikely (although the Government’s lack of coherent energy policy is beyond staggering), but what it does mean is that the National Grid’s emergency power deals will come into play more and more. These include things like firing up mothballed coal power plants to help meet the shortfall in capacity within the grid. The cost of firing up these plants will then duly be passed on to householders (obviously!).

And finally…

In terms of the GreenAge, we are delighted to welcome David into our midst. He is our new social media guy, so expect to see us busy across all the different platforms in the coming months. He also is really into film, so I’m afraid you will be seeing a bit more of us in front of the camera in the coming weeks!