Green Deal latest

As October approaches, I thought it would be a good time to fill you in on latest developments of what is happening with Green Deal.

The pilot project is due to start in October and 22 Green Deal providers have been chosen. In case you can’t remember what a Green Deal provider is, its basically a company with a lot of cash (sadly not BEC!) who will pay for your installation up front and then you repay over time at the same rate at which you are saving energy.

During the consultancy period, the main worry from most, particularly small businesses like BEC, was that it would just be used as an opportunity by big energy companies like E-ON, British Gas etc. to dominate the installation market. Although there may be sub-contracting possibilities for little guys like me, its not really how we like to work if we can avoid it.

Well, by and large these fears seem to have been realised, as will be seen from a cursory glance at the Green Deal providers list:

BEC has been in touch with every provider and predictably, the ones who have got back with a coherent response (and not just an auto-reply) are the smaller companies.

If you are thinking of going Green Deal then, here is BEC’s advise: do not go with a large company for your provider! They will charge a large fee for their services and will cut the profit of the small tradesman to a minimum.

Of all the requests for information that I sent, by far the best response so far was from Grafton Group. I’m not saying they’ll definitely be the best Green Deal provider but their accessibility so far has been encouraging.

I’ll keep you up to date with developments…

Watt is a what?

A watt is a measurement of power and is calculated in a couple of different ways:

1. power = voltage x current

2. power = energy x time

If you want to do a careful calculation about how much energy you use in your home either in a given time period (an hour, a day, a week etc.) or at any one given time, both of these equations are important.

Thinking about electricity moving about is quite hard to picture, so if you compare it to a pipe with water flowing through it, voltage is like the flow-the rate at which water is allowed through and current is like the amount of water that actually gets through. The power then is the impact that it has.

Most electrical equipment will have a power rating-usually in kW-one thousand watts (a watt is so small its not worth measuring). If you want to work out how much power you are using at any given moment just add up the power ratings on all the electrical equipment that is switched on.

This however, is not much use, as some electrical appliances could be on for a few seconds and others for a few hours or more. What you really want is something which lets you measure the total energy consumed over a period of time-that’s where the second equation comes in.

Power (measured in watts) is equal to energy (measured in joules) divided by time. So 1 watt is equal to 3600 joules per second. Since it is the energy that you are after, the equation changes to: energy = power/time or the more immediately recognisable kWhours.

1kWhour is used up by an electrical appliance that operates at 1kW switched on for 1 hour. Likewise, 3kWhours are used by a 3kW appliance left on for 1hour and 1kW is used by a 250W appliance switched on for 4 hours.

All this is a long introduction to the news that a 1.5GW (gigawatt) offshore windfarm will be built in the Moray Firth

To post on this, I thought I should explain what a gigawatt is-its 100,000 kW. So if windfarm is working at full capacity for 1 hour is will produce 100,000kWhours.

This is good news because this, along with the promise of more to come, will go a long way to bringing in the Scottish government’s promise of Scotland to be fully sustainable by 2020. I’m not saying its going to happen-I’m just saying this won’t hurt!