Guide To Stay Safe And Warm In A Winter Power Cut

Householders are being urged to cut out and keep a handy guide on staying safe and warm in the event of a winter power cut. The guide was pulled together by, the independent price comparison and switching service, after many households were left without power during the recent big freeze.

Emma Bush, energy expert at, says:”With this winter expected to be the coldest in 30 years and more snowfall predicted to be on the way, consumers should be as prepared as possible for any further power cuts.

“Energy companies will always try to get the supply back up and running again as quickly as possible, but in severe weather such as snow this can take time. If you are disabled, chronically ill, elderly or have young children in your home, let your supplier know as they may need to make you a priority.”

The cut out and keep guide to surviving a winter power cut:

1.Be prepared – make sure you keep torches, spare batteries, candles and matches in an easy to get to cupboard or drawer and that all your family knows where they are. Keep a battery-powered radio tuned into a local station for information and have important numbers stored on a charged mobile phone.
2.Check – turn off all your electrical appliances and lights, but leave one light switched on so you know when the power is back on. Check whether neighbours have power or not. If it’s just your home affected, check your fuse box first before calling your supplier.
3.Stay warm – this is a priority. If a power cut leaves you without any heating move the whole family into one room, preferably south facing, and make sure you wear several layers of clothing, including a hat, scarf and coat if necessary. Use sleeping bags for extra warmth.
4.Stay safe – you can use other forms of heating such as paraffin stoves, but always read the instructions carefully and make sure the room is well ventilated. If you’re going to cook on a BBQ make sure you only do it outdoors. Never leave candles or heating appliances in unoccupied rooms.
5.Store water – if a power cut lasts for more than a few hours you will need to start storing water as the water supply may start to be affected. Fill saucepans, buckets, empty bottles or even the bath with water. If you are able to boil some water keep it in thermos flasks for warm drinks and fill hot water bottles to help stay warm.
6.Keep food fresh – if the freezer loses power do not open the door unless you have to, frozen food can last for around a day. The fridge is more of a problem, but if it is cold enough you can store food outside. Use a cardboard box with newspaper to stop it from freezing though.
7.Be a good neighbour – check on any elderly or vulnerable neighbours. If they’re struggling to keep warm invite them into your home – the more bodies, the more heat and the safer they should be.
8.Sub zero – if the temperature falls below freezing use towels and blankets to help insulate exposed water pipes. The last thing you need is a burst pipe.
9.After the power cut – check water pipes for leaks, reset electric timers and clocks and check the food in your freezer. If food has thawed do not refreeze as it could make anyone eating it ill.

Via EPR Network
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£319 Million Investment Could Spell Future Bill Misery For Consumers

Ofgem yesterday published final proposals for funding the first tranche of projects from a potential GBP1 billion package of extra investment in Britain’s high-voltage networks. The first tranche, totalling GBP319 million, will help connect Great Britain’s growing renewable electricity generation. However, this is just part of a much broader GBP233.5 billion investment programme that is expected to add GBP548 a year in total onto household energy bills, warns, the independent price comparison and switching service. And while the investment is needed, consumers must start preparing for the eventual impact on their energy bills.

Will Marples, energy expert at, comments: “This announcement is one of many that consumers can expect to hear about huge investments being made to secure our longer-term energy supplies. The investment is crucial, but there can be no doubt that it will have an impact on our future energy bills and this has to be explained to consumers now so that they can start taking action to protect themselves in the future.

“The average household energy bill today is GBP1,239 a year and the additional cost of investment alone is expected to add GBP548 a year onto our bills. Ongoing pricing trends coupled with this investment could see household energy bills hit as high as GBP4,733 a year by 2020, nearly four times higher than they are today.

“This is a wake-up call for us all. The GBP5,000 a year energy bill may seem like an outside possibility, but we have to remember that energy bills doubled in the last five years alone and that the huge investment needed to keep the lights on in Britain will alone add GBP548 a year onto our bills. The fact is we are entering a new era of high cost energy and households will have to adapt their behaviour accordingly.

“Consumers have to start taking action now to future-proof themselves against far higher energy bills. My advice is to invest in making your home more energy efficient, reduce the amount of energy you use and make sure you are paying the lowest possible price for it. Big projects such as a new energy efficient boiler or home insulation can be expensive, but you can speak to your supplier or the Energy Saving Trust to see if you can get any financial support to help with it. Any savings you make through cutting the price of your energy could also be re-invested into energy efficiency measures so that you reap even greater rewards in the future.”

Via EPR Network
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EnergieVair Offers Wind Turbines, Solar Panels, Inverters And All You Will Need For Your Renewable Energy System

EnergieVair ( is one of the world’s leader in the industrial sector of Renewable Energies. It is a compagny based in Canada that supply, install and make the promotion of Renewable Energies, all over the world. The new year 2010 seems very promissing for EnergieVair that can now count on new distributors in Europe and Africa. Also, they’ve just published, on the 1st of jan. 2010, their new website, all refreshed with new shopping kart options and many more interesting products. From now on, you can also read other buyer’s review and feedback about the product you are about to purchase. Be sure to do it the right way!

EnergieVair now offers an even wider variety of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWT), from more than 4 design that will match your needs, even if you are in low-wind zones or urban locations. EnergieVair also offers horizontal axis wind turbines (HAWT), for gust-wind regions. Want to maximize your system’s efficiency? We suggest hybrid installations using Solar Panels and Wind Turbines.

Maybe you are far away from Canada? Dont worry, EnergieVair ships worldwide and they’ll find an affordable way for the goods to reach you. All of their products (Solar Panels, Wind Turbines, Regulators, Inverters, Converters, etc.) are under warranty for long-term periode, to assure you a constant input of electricity, and a peace of mind.

If you are off the grid, without electricity, you will probably need an independant system, using batteries. If you are already connected to the grid, you would probably like to lower your electric bills by connecting your Wind Turbine or Solar Panels directly to the grid, without batteries. This is the easiest and most affordable way to do it! No matter what system you need, EnergieVair will help you! Come and visit their new website and see by yourself the wide choice of good quality Renewable Energy products, at very low prices. If you are not sure yet, contact their friendly customer’s service for an immediat consultation, assistance or advise. You will get a reply withing 48 hours.

The cost for traditional and polluting energy sources are rising. On the other hand, the cost for Renewable and green Energies are falling. It is now more possible than ever to live in respect with the environment and save some electric fees. Whatever you want to do, you can do it NOW! Wired in parallel with the public electricity (grid), as an independent electric system, as an emergency power supply, to electrify a camp, a boat or a RV, or even to heat a place, with EnergieVair, the possibilities are INFINITE!

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Door Step Energy Salesmen Must Provide A Written Quote From Today

The move is in response to growing concerns over doorstep selling and particularly the fact that many consumers end up on a worse deal after speaking to an energy company salesman. According to research almost 7 million UK households have taken out an energy plan through a direct salesman, but less than a quarter of these (22%) believe they got a good deal.

Door Step Energy Salesmen Must Provide A Written Quote From Today

The new system of providing written quotes means that consumers will have proof of the deal they have been offered. But, importantly, the onus will still be on consumers to check for themselves whether it is the best plan they could be on.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, says: “This new rule is not about making sure consumers get the best deal, or even a better deal. It’s about making sure they have written proof of what they’ve been offered. It is then down to them to take this information and check for themselves whether they will be better off or not.

“The key thing is that consumers understand that the quote is not a guarantee that they will be saving money. Direct salesmen are not obliged to tell people about their company’s most competitive plans. These tend to be online and are around GBP300 a year cheaper than standard plans so consumers signing up with a salesman without comparing first could still lose out.

“Over a third of people (37%) think that energy salesmen don’t present them with enough information to make an informed decision while almost half (45%) don’t like the fact that the seller only represents one energy supplier. The new quotation system doesn’t tackle these issues, but it does mean consumers can protect themselves by taking the quotes and comparing prices before signing on the dotted line.”

As well as the requirement for written quotes, Ofgem is also increasing the threshold for debt blocking for prepayment meter (PPM) customers from GBP100 to GBP200. This means that those with a debt on their meter of up to GBP200 could now switch to a better deal opening up the opportunity for them to save money. The regulator has also brought in new rules on SME energy, but has backed off banning suppliers from rolling SME contracts over.

Via EPR Network
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New Small Business Energy Rules ‘Confusing’

Ofgem’s new rules for the small business energy market come into play yesterday – Monday 18th January, 2010. While designed to give greater protection to Britain’s SMEs, according to, the dedicated SME price comparison and switching service, the rules are in danger of confusing business owners and put too much onus on them to take action.

Jake Ridge, small business expert at, says:”Ofgem is doing the right thing in offering Britain’s SMEs greater protection in the energy market. However, these new rules have fallen far short of the simple blanket ban on evergreen or rollover contracts that was initially proposed and, as a result, are in danger of confusing busy SME owners.

“Small businesses need to understand the rules quickly to ensure that they benefit from the additional protection being offered. The key thing is that the rules only apply if you are a micro-business so check whether you qualify and let your energy company know straight away if you do. This means that when you come to renew your contract your supplier must provide you with clear written details of the full terms and conditions plus ensure you get suitable notice so that you can shop around for a new deal. Check with your supplier if you are unsure when your current contract will end.

“You also now have the right to opt out of being rolled-over – as soon as you sign a new energy deal let the supplier know you are opting out and this means that you can only be put onto a 28 day notice rollover plan at the end of your contract leaving you free to move to a better deal.

“The rules are complicated and unfortunately put too much onus on SME owners. But it’s a step in the right direction and should hopefully see more small businesses avoid the expensive trap of ‘evergreen’ energy contracts.”

The new rules only apply to micro-businesses, which Ofgem defines as a company that meets any one of the following criteria:
•Consumes less than 200,000 kWh of gas per annum
•Consumes less than 55,000 kWh of electricity a year
•Has less than ten employees (or the full-time equivalent) and an annual turnover or annual balance sheet total of Euro 2 million or less.

Via EPR Network
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npower Encourages Homeowners To Act Fast To Save Cash

npower has announced that thousands of fast-acting homeowners will be the first in England to benefit from the new Government boiler scrappage scheme as the Energy Saving Trust posts application forms for consumers to claim the £400 discount.

First to receive the details are those who have already registered with the Energy Saving Trust. Thousands of forms are being issued on the first day alone. With only 125,000 grants available on a first come first serve basis, energy company npower is urging homeowners wanting to benefit from the scheme to register quickly to avoid disappointment.

npower was the first energy supplier to launch its own boiler scrappage scheme, matching the Government’s offer. This means consumers could be eligible to receive as much as £800 towards the cost of a new boiler when replacing one that is G rated – which could be almost a third off the cost of an installation. npower’s offer also extends to any boiler 10 years or older so even if it isn’t G-rated, homeowners can still enjoy a discount.

npower hometeam, which installs, services and repairs boilers, has already seen huge interest in the offer and it is expecting more now that Energy Saving Trust mailing has started.

Kevin Miles, CEO npower retail, said: “The scrappage scheme is great news for homeowners and the perfect opportunity to install a new energy efficient boiler to help cut your heating bills. If you want to take advantage of getting £800 off an installation, the important thing is to act fast or you could be disappointed. There’s approximately four million G-rated boilers in the UK*, but there’s only 125,000 grants available under the scheme. Our advice is don’t leave it too late, get it before it’s gone.”

For more details on the Energy Saving Trust £400 voucher please call 0800 512 012.
For further information on npower’s £400 offer please call 0800 0722 999.

Via EPR Network
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Cold Snap Will Push Up Energy Bills But Not Household Energy Prices

Households could see their winter fuel bills increase by GBP60 if the cold snap continues into February, but reports that energy prices could go up are a red herring says, the independent price comparison and switching service.

It costs £3 a day on average to heat a home, but estimates that this could increase by GBP1 a day as consumers contend with the current freezing conditions. If the cold snap lasts a fortnight it will add GBP14 on to household winter fuel bills. But if it lasts two months it could cost households an extra £60.

However, reports that household energy prices could go up as a result of increased demand are misleading – energy suppliers buy their energy around a year in advance and can meet the current short-term increase in demand by topping up on the daily spot market. This means that consumers do not need to worry about their prices going up in the short to medium term.

Tom Lyon, energy expert at, says: “If the cold snap continues through February it could add £60 on to household energy bills, but the cold snap would have to continue for far longer to have an impact on energy prices. Higher demand because of sub zero temperatures and the current rationing of energy to certain businesses does not mean suppliers will need to increase household energy prices. Hopefully this will reassure consumers, but our advice would be to think now about budgeting for an extra £60 for when the winter fuel bill drops through your letter box.”

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Bristan Makes Showering Green Again

Showers have long been promoted as more water and energy efficient than baths. However many modern shower systems use more water than consumers expect. According to the environment agency, a power shower can use over 60l of water in 5 minutes compared to 70l for a standard bath. Add to this the fact that many users stay in the shower far longer than 5 minutes or have more than 1 shower per day and the green credentials of showering look rather shaky.

The good news is Bristan has extended it’s ecosmart range of water efficient products with the launch of a new Bristan Eco shower handset model No. HAND100 ECO C.

Offering excellent value for money the stylish single function handset features a built-in flow limiter that instantly reduces water usage to six litres per minute. It can be fitted with any shower hose to deliver significant water savings while still allowing for an enjoyable showering experience. Available in chrome, the eco handset features rub clean nozzles for easy cleaning.

Quote from ‘Heating & Plumbing Monthly Nov 2009’

Judith Gibbons, head of marketing at Bristan, said:

“Greater awareness of the potential problem of water shortage is driving more people to think about how they can be more water efficient in the home. Our ecosmart range has been developed to make saving water as easy as possible for consumers and, as heating water accounts for around 25% of our energy bills, the range can help people save money too.”

GW Supplies (Gurney & White Ltd)  not only stock the Bristan ecosmart range of Taps, Showers and Flow Limiters but also sell similar products from ‘DEVA’ and ‘House of Ultra’. Visit their web site at to see the ranges of modern, stylish products that will not only enhance the look of a bathroom but will also save  money by saving water and energy thus reducing the household’s carbon footprint.

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