A smart meter is a special electronic device that records electrical data like voltage levels, current consumption, power level, and kilowatt-hours (KWh) for billing purposes. Smart Meters communicate the data to the user for better clarity of usage behaviour, and electric power providers for system tracking and customer billing. With the increasing use of smart meters in the energy market, consumers have gained access to vital energy information through websites such as energypolicyblog.com, and improved utility expense management. Energy usage is a major environmental concern today. A smart meter not only helps people to save fuel expenditure but also monitors energy consumption as well as improving air quality. Consumers can choose from several smart meter solutions including Customer Self-SERP (Customer Self-Service), automatic billing, interactive tariff plans and SaaS (Software as a Service) energy management software solutions.
In energy efficiency and cost reduction programs, smart meters are increasingly used. A smart meter uses energy consumption data to determine the efficiency of appliances. With this information, energy suppliers can offer new offers to customers. For example, if the energy efficiency of a dishwasher can be improved, it may attract a lower energy tariff. Customers are able to find competitive prices on energy tariffs.
The improved energy efficiency can also bring down the need for higher power tariffs. Customers who install and operate energy-efficient devices receive rebates as long as they keep their appliances operational. Moreover, energy efficiency programs can help customers obtain credits that they can redeem against taxes and other charges for energy consumption. This process is known as energy shopping.
A smart meter not only improves the efficiency of the energy supply but also detects faults before any major damage occurs. In cases where an appliance is failing to operate normally, the energy efficiency program will alert the user and he can immediately repair the problem. Once the problem has been identified, it can easily be repaired by the energy supplier, without the need for expensive repairs.
The smart meter can work to its fullest capacity if it is properly installed in a home. A fault detection system can be installed on the mainline or a separate circuit breaker. In addition to the appliances and the entire house, the smart meter will also record and store energy consumption data, so that future billing can be generated accurately. The recorded data can be accessed by the energy supplier for regular updates.
Installing a smart meter at your home will help you become more energy efficient. It will reduce the amount of energy waste and you can save money on your annual electricity bill. In addition to this, your friendly energy supplier can provide you with the information you need on your energy usage. A smart meter and its accompanying measures are designed to give you greater control over your household energy usage so that you can save money and protect the environment.
There is a very real risk of leaking toxic substances that can cause serious health issues and catastrophic environmental damage anywhere fuel and chemical storage tanks are used. A tank monitoring system servicesare designed to detect leaks and track tank levels in both underground and above ground storage tanks. Monitoring systems also provide ongoing and up to date measurements of the tank level, the volume of liquids, temperature fluctuations, water level and sound alarms when high and/or low fuel levels are detected. Some systems can monitor double-wall tanks and supply lines, pressurized pipes and provide monitoring data remotely.
Leaking storage tanks can result in lost product and revenue and cause serious legal problems. Gas-station owners, storage facilities, building, maintenance, industrial and manufacturing facility managers, schools and hospitals all need to have a reliable tank monitoring system in place if they are using any type of liquid fuel or chemical storage tanks. Having a leak detection system in place that will quickly alert managers and employees to problems is the key to preventing these issues and staying legally compliant. The three main types of tank monitoring systems include:
• ATG, or Automatic Tank Gauge systems. This type of monitoring system is designed to conduct statistical test that meet federal testing regulations. The main benefits of an automatic tank gauge system is ensuring compliance with state government regulations that include automatic monitoring of fluid levels to maintain accurate inventories for tracking use or sales of products.
• TCV, or Temperature Compensated Volume, are designed to monitor product changes in a tank due to seasonal expansion and contraction. Because warmer temperatures cause product expansion and colder temperatures cause contraction, systems must be programmed for different temperature values to take seasonal temperature fluctuations into account.
• UST, or Ultrasonic Tank, monitor systems are typically more accurate than gauges. Whereas gauges are accurate to plus or minus 11 percent volume, an ultrasonic monitor is accurate to plus or minus one percent. UST monitoring systems are highly efficiently and cost-effective, comply with local, state and federal requirements and ensure safe and efficient operation by continuously monitoring for leak detection. UST systems are also referred to as fuel management systems, leak detection systems and automatic tank gauge systems.
Leak detection gauges and visual notification displays immediately notify personnel when a leak, overfill conditions or a loss of pressure in a fuel line occurs. A variety of terms are used to describe tank monitoring systems. These include “automatic tank gauge systems,” “leak detection systems” and “fuel management systems.” Irrelevant of the terminology used, tank monitoring systems employ some or all of the following detection methods:
• Automatic tank gauges use probes, or sensors that are accurate to 1/1000 of an inch. These sensors not only monitor the height of fuel, but the height of the water that typically accumulates in underground storage tanks. Note that safety regulations require water to be at no more than a one-inch level at all times.
• Because liquids expand and contract at different rates, it is crucial that temperature changes be monitored to know the increase or decrease in volume the fluctuation may cause. As an example, a rise in temperature of one degree Fahrenheit in a 10,000-gallon gasoline tank will result in the gasoline increasing seven gallons in volume.
• Sensors placed between the walls of a double-walled storage tank will read fluid leaking from the inner wall of the tank.
• Alarm will sound if the pressure should drop below a preset PSI.
Display consoles can provide various readouts depending on the type of system. For example:
• A green status light indicates the system is functioning properly, a yellow light indicates an issue that needs to be addressed and a red light indicated a breech is in progress. A touchscreen display can show the number of tanks in service, the type and amount of liquid in each tank and record the pressure in each tank during testing.
• Verify how much liquid is in the tank, when it is empty and if a line is not pressurizing properly.
• Check for other alarms that may prevent a test from running.
• Check the pressure in a line.
• Check for visible leaks.
Choosing the best tank monitoring system for a particular application will depend on several factors. This includes the number of tanks that need to be monitored, the types of liquids being stored and the temperature fluctuations in the region of the country where the tanks are located. At a minimum, each tank must have a level probe, a sump sensor and an interstitial space monitor. Some monitoring systems, like the Veeder Root 450PLUS, are capable of monitoring as many as 64 tanks and can accommodate up to 99 sensors. Irrelevant of what type of monitoring system is employed, regularly scheduled preventive maintenance is imperative to ensure the tank monitoring system will continue to work properly and ensure the safe and efficient operation of the storage tanks.
When it comes to where to buy home heating oil, there are several different types of oil that you may need for your home heating system. These types of oils can be purchased at different hardware stores, gasoline stations and online.
You should never use propane, natural gas, or electricity when heating your home. The fumes can pose a danger to both you and your family, and the safety of your home is important. It is best to use only oil for your home heating system if you have the space and can afford it. These home heating oils are much better for your family than most other types of heating oil. It is always best and safest to purchase oil from a heating oil supplier to ensure you are getting the right product.
Another type of oil you should not use for heating your home is diesel oil. This type of oil has been proven to cause a number of problems for your engine, so it is best not to use this type of oil. Instead, use the natural gas that you can purchase at your local hardware store.
Some of the most popular types of home heating oil are the propane and natural gas that you see in all of the gas stations and pumps throughout the United States. When you get these home heating oil products, make sure to read the label closely. The more popular products tend to carry a higher price tag than the cheaper products, so you may need to make some adjustments for your budget if you are not willing to change where you buy home heating oil.
There are also some other options for where to buy home heating oil. For example, you may want to check with your local newspaper, since many people use their newspapers to find special coupons and sales. You may also be able to find some specials and deals on a lot of different types of products that are listed in your local newspaper or online through other sources.
It will take some time to research all of your options and find the best home heating oil for your home. But, by making a little bit of time and doing some research, you will be sure to find the best deals.
One thing you can do is ask for the help of friends or neighbors who have already found a better alternative to home heating oil. They may be able to point you in the right direction. Also, they may have used oil for heating their home and can give you tips on how you can save money. When you think about it, there are a lot of reasons why you might want to look into purchasing home heating oil.
When you have a new home, you probably want to be able to use this as an investment for the future. Since new homes generally cost thousands of dollars, you will be able to get a decent amount of savings from purchasing home heating oil. for your new home.
By learning all of the different options available, you will be able to choose the best option that fits your needs and finances. Once you have learned where to buy home heating oil, your new home will be ready to enjoy any type of comfort you wish for.
The average office is a resource-intensive place to be. There are lots of consumables, lots of disposable products and staff are often too busy to consider the ramifications of the way they work. Fortunately, the stationery industry is way ahead of us, offering sustainable office supplies. So when you go to check out different supplies for your office you can easily find eco-friendly or recycled materials to suit your needs. There are many viable alternatives to everyday items that deliver the same performance with genuine green credentials.
That last bit is important. The same products we use all the time with no compromise but more sustainability. Now more than ever it is possible to lower our environmental impact without having to change the way we work or use inferior products.
Here are a few ways the stationery industry is becoming eco-friendly.
Recycled and Recyclable Stationery
The average office will consume several tons of stationery each year. The larger the office, the more waste. It doesn’t have to be that way. Many leading stationery manufacturers are offering green office supplies alongside existing products. There are also organisations like TerraCycle who can recycle the vast majority of office stationery.
There are a range of recycled office supplies made primarily of recycled materials. They offer sustainable office supplies with no compromise on quality, longevity or usability. Pens, pencils, paper, printer cartridges, toner cartridges, envelopes, office furniture and other common office items can now feature a large proportion of recycled material.
The other side of the equation is recycling. Many office suppliers offer recycling services
alongside their delivery services. Box up your used items and your supplier can collect them along with your usual deliveries and recycle them for you. Almost everything within a modern office can be recycled and there are organisations in the UK that do anexcellent job of it.
For example, the aforementioned TerraCycle recycles ballpoint pens, used coffee grounds, plastic products, print ink and toner, fusers and a whole lot more.
We all know that plastic is the enemy in terms of being eco-friendly. Single use plastic most of all. The stationery industry knows this which is why they are beginning to offer a huge range of sustainable office supplies traditionally made from plastic.
Examples include plastic-free A4 binders, recyclable or biodegradable water cups, cork in-trays and desk accessories, water in a can and other innovative products. Many singleuse plastic items now have a viable alternative that delivers the same quality with far less waste.
The average business also consumes a lot of chemicals. From screen wipes to disinfectants, washing up liquid to hand wash. There are now viable alternatives to chemical products too. You can now buy green cleaning fluids, cloths and towels, general cleaning products, polishes, laundry cleaning products, washing up and hand washing products and other items that contain far fewer chemicals.
The ingredients these alternatives contain produce a much lower environmental impact while delivering the same cleaning power of chemical products.
The days of having to compromise on quality or usability in return for being sustainable are long gone. The modern office can lower its environmental impact significantly with little effort or extra cost. Isn’t it time we all joined in?
Something must be done to reduce plastic use. Experts
predict that if we don’t make an effort to reduce how much plastic we use, our
oceans will have more plastic than fish in them within the next 30 years. Each
day, over seven million plastic pieces and microplastics are released into the
world’s oceans. Evidently, it’s time to take action and reduce casual plastic
use for good. Environmental awareness has already increased and some changes
have already been implemented, for example, the plastic bag fee of 2015 and the
recent ban on plastic straws. Small lifestyle changes can make a huge
difference in the fight against plastic use.
With the year almost at an end, it’s the ideal time to start
thinking about what you can do to reduce your plastic use. Forget fad diets and
gym memberships, reducing your plastic use is both rewarding and extremely easy
to achieve. Booklet
printing specialists Where The Trade Buys explore how you can start off
2020 plastic free:
a reusable coffee cup and water bottle
Takeaway coffee cups are a major source of waste material and plastic
bottles take a shocking 450 years to decompose. With this in mind, it is more
pressing than every to make the switch to reusable items. KeepCups and Chilly’s
Bottles are popular brands that focus on sustainable products.
Say no to
plastic bags and straws
Luckily, these items are becoming less commonplace in the UK today.
However, it can still be difficult to avoid them at times. When you pick up a
takeaway for example, don’t be afraid to say no to the excess plastic bags your
food is wrapped in.
unpackaged fruit and veg
Many supermarkets are now making switch to packaging free products. If
you have the option, choose to load up brown paper bags with fruit and
vegetables rather than choosing pre-package food. Alternatively, you could grow your
own veg in a greenhouse or allotment.
hands on a bamboo toothbrush
Plastic toothbrushes take 400 years to decompose, and if you consider how
many you go through in a lifetime, the life span of them all is shocking. A
bamboo toothbrush on the other hand, only takes five to ten years — minimal in
soap and shampoo bars rather than bottles
Shampoo and hand soap always seem to come with excess plastic packaging.
There is simply no need to coat these items in plastic, as they work perfectly
well in bar form. This is another tiny switch that will make little difference
to your daily routine but really help out the environment.
refill station for your laundry detergent and washing up liquid
Instead of chucking out the plastic bottle when your washing up liquid
runs out, hold on to it and get it refilled! Lots of sustainable shops now
offer this service, making it easier than ever to opt for refills rather than
wasting more plastic.
‘zero waste’ shops
Thankfully, zero waste shops are becoming far more common in the UK. The
idea of zero waste shops is that they sell produce with absolutely no plastic
packaging. Switching up your shopping routine and choosing a zero-waste shop
would be a great habit to get into in 2020. You can find a list of zero waste
shops and where to find them here.
on shopping and spending
This last one is essential, although perhaps not as easy as the other
lifestyle changes. Every time you buy something, especially online, it is
likely to come swaddled in needless layers of plastic. If you cut down on this
spending, you could make a real environmental change.
sustainable Tupperware game
Along the same theme, consider switching to sustainable Tupperware. There
are plenty of alternatives to wasteful plastic Tupperware, such as bamboo,
glass, or stainless-steel alternatives. Oxfam do a great range!
Switch to beeswax
wrap rather than clingfilm
food storage is another factor that people often forget to consider. We throw
away single use clingfilm without a second thought, because it seems like such
a necessity within our lives. Now however, there are plenty of alternatives to
use if you want to go plastic free. Beeswrap, for example, is a ‘natural
alternative to plastic wrap’ which can be used time and time again.
Once you make an effort to change your routine,
these changes will be easy to implement. They will soon become second nature!
If everyone chips in and makes an effort towards sustainability, we will see a
reduced amount of plastic pollution our oceans.
With climate change at the forefront of today’s issues,
saving energy is more important than ever before. Whether we’re cutting down in
order to save money, or to help the environment, we should all be making a
conscious effort to reduce our energy expenditure. Here, we’re taking a look at
some common energy saving myths, as well as the best methods for saving money
on energy bills.
For some of us, saving energy is crucial – especially if you
suffer from fuel poverty. This is when a household spends more than 10% of its
income on domestic energy use, defining them as a fuel poor household. Northern
Powergrid, who can help with any new
electric connection cost, has been a supporter of the fuel poverty charity,
National Energy Action (NEA) for several years. The company’s head of
stakeholder and customer engagement, Siobhan Barton, said: “Whilst we don’t
sell electricity, as the company responsible for the power network which
delivers electricity to 3.9 million homes and businesses across the North East,
Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, we do have a role to play in helping the
industry tackle fuel poverty and encouraging energy efficiency.
“We’ve reduced our network charges, which form part of
domestic customers’ bills from their chosen electricity supplier, funded a
Citizens Advice Bureau fuel debt advice service and helped kick-start a number
of projects through our community energy seed fund.”
Myths surrounding energy use
It’s important not to believe everything you hear regarding
energy tips. A prime example is leaving your heating on all day is better than
just turning it on high when you need it. According to the Energy Saving Trust,
this is not the case. They confirm that, in the long run, just having your
heating on when you need it will indeed save energy.
The key focus here is knowing how much energy is actually required to heat your home. By leaving your heating on for the full day, you are bound to be using energy that you really
don’t need to. You could also save energy by opting for appliances like residential heat pump water heater. Compared to their traditional counterpart, these appliances could bring down energy costs by up to 75 percent.
In a similar fashion, some people still believe that leaving
your lights on is better than turning them off and on again. Simply said, this
isn’t true. Even if you leave the room for 10 minutes, make sure you get into the
habit of turning the lights off behind you.
It’s also believed in some quarters that electrical
appliances don’t use any power when they are not in use. While technology is
advancing, and energy-saving techniques are in place, some appliances draw energy
even when they aren’t in use. A prime example is a phone charger. Did you know
that leaving the socket switched on with a phone charger attached can cost you
up to 80 each year?
A rather bizarre claim is that you should put clingfilm on
your windows to save energy. Even more surprising, perhaps, is that this one is
actually true. Doing so can help you to keep your home warm, but it’s okay to
use any material for the second layer of glazing so long as it’s airtight and
transparent. Apply this technique and you can help to trap a small layer of
air, which can prevent any heat from escaping. Of course, this should only ever
be a short-term measure. If you need this second-layer, you should look into
getting double glazing. By using this method to have a third layer, you may see
a slight difference, but far less than if you had put it on a single glazed
How to save money on your energy bills
Away from the myths, there are many tried and tested methods
which you can rely on and are recognised across the board. Firstly, you should
always be sure to shop around, especially if your energy contract is up for
renewal. Simply staying with the same supplier as it’s ‘easier’ could see you
spending hundreds of pounds more than you need to. There are many price
comparison sites for you to benefit from, so make sure you log on and let them
do all the hard work!
While we’ve already quashed the myth that you should leave
your heating on, did you know that by turning it down by just 1⁰C,
you can cut up to 10% off your heating bill? On average, this could equate to a
saving of approximately 75 each year.
Elsewhere, tumble dryers are expensive to run, so try to air
your washing whenever possible instead. If you do need to use a tumble dryer,
make sure it’s full, as one full load uses less energy than two half-full
loads. The same goes with loading your washing machine. Make sure you have a
full machine and keep it to 30⁰C. Another simple energy-saving trick
is to just boil the amount of water you need – especially if you are just
making a cup of tea or coffee. While this won’t equate to huge savings, every
Another handy tip is to spend a little to save a lot. If you
are in the position to be able to invest money on insulation, upgrading your
boiler, or even using renewable technologies, then you should do so. By looking at links such as www.servicelegends.com/services/air-leakage-test/, you can learn from professionals about the leakage that can occur and how to protect them with proper insulation. By getting a quote and making big changes to your home could save you from wasting money in the long run. Sometimes
you can benefit from a grant for these services, but even if not, you can often
pay back what you’ve spent quite quickly and start to save money.
How to become more energy efficient
Of course, while saving money is important, you should also
be thinking about helping the environment. Britain is committed to reducing
greenhouse gas emissions by 34% as early as next year. A key player in
achieving this target would be by members of the public becoming energy
efficient – both in the workplace and at home. Research has found that many
power plants actually waste around two-thirds of the energy that goes into
them. In our homes, we simply aren’t monitoring our energy use as closely as we
should be, either.
That is where a new app could aid you. In July 2018,
Northern Powergrid revealed how it has collaborated with GenGame to trial a
mobile game to
demonstrate how gaming could incentivise households to reduce their electricity
consumption at times of high demand. Players receive an alert telling
them the game is starting encouraging them to consider turning off washing
machines, televisions, lights and other home devices for short periods of time
to earn points and stand a chance of winning cash prizes.
For example, while pausing your washing machine may only be
worth approximately 10p, if you include this in the game format, it gives
players the chance to earn more money through prizes, which makes it a lot more
interesting. Each month has hundreds of pounds worth of prizes available and
each player reduces their electricity consumption by 11% on average.
Andrew Webster, Northern Powergrid Innovation Project
Manager, said: “Household electricity use will grow significantly as electric
vehicles and heat pumps become mainstream, increasing demand on the network.
Mobile games offer a fun solution to help manage this demand, rewarding our
customers for reducing their consumption at peak periods.”
There are, of course, many other tips and tricks that can
help you to save money on your energy bills, reduce fuel poverty and help the
environment, too. It’s also important to remember that if you are struggling to
afford your gas and electric charges, your supplier should be able to help you
come to a solution and negotiate a deal that helps both parties. Why not make
sure you take on board some of the advice and do your part – both
for your bank balance and the world you live in?
The UK is set on
reducing its emissions of greenhouse gasses to nothing by 2050. Achieving this
would make the UK the lowest emitters and cleanest country in the world. But is
it a realistic proposal?
It was recorded that
in the UK alone around 500 million tonnes of CO2 is being emitted
every year. The government has begun pushing to reduce this through guidance
from the Committee on Climate Change. A huge motive for reducing emissions
comes from a UN reports stating that CO2 emissions must be totally
stopped to avoid dangerous changes to the climate.
The UK’s climate
minister spoke to the BBC News and shared: “The report was a really stark
and sober piece of work — a good piece of work. Now we know what the goal
is, and we know what some of the levers are. But for me, the constant question
is: what is the cost and who’s going to bear that, both in the UK and in the
global economy. The question is: what does government need to do, where can the
private sector come in, and what technologies will come through?”
Vindis, who offer VW service deals, has shared the extent of this issue and
some of the ways emissions can be reduced.
Improve home insulation
BBC News stated in early 2017 that 80 per cent of the UK’s
CO2 emissions had to drop between then and 2050. They recorded that
a third of all of all the emissions had come from heating.
The Green Building
Council stated in Parliament that 25 million homes will not currently meet the standards
of insulation being enforced in 2050, and will need to be replaced to a much
higher standard. According to calculations, these findings mean that the rate
of refurbishment stood at a rate of 1.4 homes needing to be worked on every
minute as of the beginning of 2017.
On top of cutting
emissions, good insulation can lead to many more benefits. The Green Building
Council’s head Julie Hirigoyen explains: “People will have warmer homes
and lower bills; they will live longer, happier lives; we will be able to
address climate change and carbon emissions.
“We will also be
creating many thousands of jobs and exporting our best skills in innovation.”
Utilise low-carbon fuels
One method that is
already being adopted it using low carbon fuels. It is dependent on the public
and businesses to utilise this though, and it appears the nation is already
assisting in this area.
London and The Guardian, reported that the amount of renewable energy
in the UK surpassed the quantity of fossil fuels for the first time ever. With
the amount of renewable capacity trebling in the same five-year period that
fossil fuels decreased by one-third, the capacity of biomass, hydropower, solar
and wind power hit 41.9 gigawatts and the capacity of gas, coal and oil-fired
power plants recorded in at 41.2 gigawatts between July and September.
The research, carried
out by Dr Iain Staffell, noted that: “Britain’s power system is slowly but
surely walking away from fossil fuels, and [the quarter between July and
September] saw a major milestone on the journey.”
Once again, a record
was also set in 2018 in the UK where they managed to be without coal power for
three days, or 76 consecutive hours. This was before a report from Imperial
College London which was commissioned by Drax suggested that coal supplied only
1.3 per cent of Britain’s entire use of electricity during the second quarter
of 2018 — furnaces based at coal-fired power stations throughout the country were
completely unused for 12 days in June last year too.
Purchase fuel-efficient vehicles
New diesel and petrol
vans and cars will be banned across the UK from 2040.Despite many years still
to wait before this is enforced, it seems many Brits are already exploring what
alternative-fuel vehicles are out there e.g. LPG powered
Next Green Car reports that the registrations of new plug-in
cars have jumped from only 3,500 to over 195,000 in just the six years from
2013. Furthermore, figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and
Traders highlighted that electric car sales across the UK has shifted from only
close to 500 being registered each month in the early part of 2014 to an
average of 5,000 per month throughout 2018.
The British road infrastructure
is improving as well and is able to hold more alternative-fuel vehicles, thanks
to ongoing private and government investment. While the UK’s network of
electric vehicle charging points was recorded in at just a few hundred units as
of 2011, there had been more than 5,800 charging locations, 9,800 charging
devices and 16,700 connectors installed by June 2018.
Despite only 6.84 per
cent of the UK car market being alternative-fuel vehicles, it seems that the
trend in their number is increasing. The UK is on the right track to heavily
reduce carbon emissions.
The ambition of
reaching an emission count of zero is admirable, but a huge challenge too.
Fortunately, some of the examples covered in this article do suggest that
efforts are being made to ensure the nation reaches its goal.
According toReal Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.
So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings
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