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Solar panel capacity to overtake nuclear energy next year in historic landmark | The Independent

Solar panel capacity is set to overtake nuclear worldwide for the first time within the next few months, according to expert predictions. The total capacity of nuclear power is currently about 391.5 gigawatts but the total capacity of photovoltaic cells is expected to hit 390 gigawatts by the end of this year with demand growing at up to eight per cent per year, according to GTM Research. While this would be a landmark moment for renewable energy, nuclear still generates much more electricity than solar – nearly 2.5 million gigawatt-hours a year compared to the latter’s 375,000 gigawatt-hours. Stephen Lacey, writing on...

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Save The Planet (And Money!) By Defeating Zombie Boilers!

Lurking in cellars, closets, and utility rooms, zombie boilers are any boilers made prior to 1980 or any boiler with a permanent pilot light. Modern features have improved efficiency in home boilers by over 60%. and with half of the U.K.s greenhouse gas emissions stemming from heating costs, you can bet that climate protectors are eager to address the 9 million zombie boilers in homes across the country. The Heating and Hotwater Industry Council has even put together a program of product labelling old machines to help fight the zombie boiler epidemic and save consumers money. Don’t overlook the fact these zombie boilers can be a...

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Do I need a professional photographer?

Getting married this year? Seen the prices of photographers lately? Scary huh? Well don’t despair, because if you’re on a budget for your wedding and you’ve spend hours cutting back all your other costs and got stuck on the photographer, then there is help at hand. But first you need to be honest with yourself and ask the question – “can you afford not to have a professional photographer?” Remember that this is potentially the most important day of your lives, and making sure you get it all recorded might not be best left to chance. Should I ask my...

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British Gas to increase electricity prices by 12.5% next month | The Independent

British Gas has announced that it will next month ramp up the price of electricity, prompting calls for greater regulation amid fears that a fresh round of increases could hit households this winter. The company, which is owned by Centrica, said that it was leaving gas prices unchanged but that its standard electricity tariff will rise by 12.5 per cent from 15 September. For a typical household on dual fuel, the average annual bill will therefore increase by 7.3 per cent or £76, affecting over three million customers. British Gas last raised prices in November 2013 and chief executive Mark Hodges said on Tuesday that some costs had risen steadily since then, including “government policies to subsidise renewable energy, social levies, delivery to customers’ homes, and the nationwide smart metering programme”. “We held off increasing prices for many months longer than most suppliers in order to protect our customers from rising costs, so it is a difficult decision to have to announce an increase in electricity prices,” he said. British Gas’s move follows a string of similar announcements earlier this year from EDF Energy, SSE, E.On, nPower and Scottish Power – which together make up the big six UK suppliers – and consumer groups and energy experts had broadly expected the increase. But many said that the announcement had been ill-timed and underscores that the energy market is getting out of control....

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Device could make washing machines lighter and greener – BBC News

Device could make washing machines lighter and greener A simple device to cut the weight of washing machines could save fuel, cut carbon emissions, and reduce back injuries, according to researchers. A typical budget washing machine is weighted by 25kg of concrete to stop it moving while on a spin cycle. The new invention is a sealable plastic container that is filled with water – but only once the machine is in place. The team at Nottingham Trent University says the change makes machines easier – and cheaper – to transport. By replacing the concrete with empty containers, the...

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