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Services UPDATE: UK November Lockdown

We still have a range of energy and money saving schemes running during lockdown this November. Some services will be running a revised service – more information below: Freephone Advice Line – 0800 260 5907 Phone still open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. Free emergency fuel top-up vouchers available Energy and Money Saving Service (in partnership with LEAP) … Continued

We still have a range of energy and money saving schemes running during lockdown this November. Some services will be running a revised service – more information below:

Freephone Advice Line – 0800 260 5907

  • Phone still open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.
  • Free emergency fuel top-up vouchers available

Energy and Money Saving Service (in partnership with LEAP)

  • Applications still open.
  • All appointments booked to be carried out over the phone
  • Free energy saving measures can be delivered to your door for you to install
  • No home visits can go ahead until the lockdown measures have been lifted.

Free Gas Central Heating (in partnership with Warmer Homes)

  • Applications still open.
  • Initial remote surveys and gas grid applications can still go ahead
  • Installations cannot go ahead until the lockdown measures have been lifted

Emergency Boiler Replacement (In Partnership with ECHOS)

  • No changes made to scheme as it classifies as essential, emergency works.
  • All installers and surveyors will wear appropriate PPE, and can work alone to reduce contact.

Switch Supplier

  • No changes made to scheme – online or telephone service only
Isambard MSCP
Council’s energy-saving projects save over 250 tonnes of carbon each year

Energy saving projects in Portsmouth are saving more than 250 tonnes of carbon each year and more than £130,000 in costs to Portsmouth City Council. The savings are a result of council projects delivered in the last two years which have reduced the council’s energy use and maintenance costs. It is the latest step in … Continued

Energy saving projects in Portsmouth are saving more than 250 tonnes of carbon each year and more than £130,000 in costs to Portsmouth City Council.

The savings are a result of council projects delivered in the last two years which have reduced the council’s energy use and maintenance costs.

It is the latest step in the council’s green initiatives and follows the city reducing carbon emissions by 30% between 2005 and 2016, roughly the equivalent of everyone in Portsmouth not driving for a whole year, or enough energy to power 48,000 homes for a year.

Key projects contributing to the latest energy savings include switching inefficient and costly lighting to new LED lights across a number of council buildings, including the Civic Offices, Portsmouth Central Library, Isambard Brunel Car Park and the Emirates Spinnaker Tower.

The Civic Offices had its internal lights upgraded to energy efficient replacements, a scheme designed by the council’s in-house Building Engineering Services team to give greater control; daylight compensation and occupancy sensing which better suits the needs of the occupants and dramatically improves light quality for staff.

Over 750 new LED lights were installed at Portsmouth Central Library whilst the new light system at Isambard Brunel Car Park uses 43% less energy, with an additional benefit that lights are automatically dimmed when the car park isn’t being used.

As part of the ongoing work, the council has also upgraded the Emirates Spinnaker Tower’s outdated system light system with 96 energy efficient LED lights and a new control system.

The new equipment now saves £28,000 a year in maintenance costs and improves the efficiency and projected lifetime of the lights.

Portsmouth City Council’s carbon reduction strategy was announced earlier this year. The strategy lays the foundations for the council, its suppliers and the wider city to come together to take action against climate change by focusing on projects that will have the most impact on carbon emissions.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member of Environment and Climate Change said: “I’m delighted to see these impressive carbon savings from a number of key retrofit and upgrade projects managed by the council. The council has been clear in its plans to tackle climate change and these projects showcase these plans are being acted on.

“The associated financial savings that come as a result of these carbon-savings projects provides another fantastic benefit to the work carried out by our in-house teams.”

More recently the council announced a new home energy support service to help residents save energy and money at home.

The new service will encourage energy efficiency measures in Portsmouth; lowering carbon emissions and energy bills, as well as promoting the creation of low-carbon skills and employment in the area.

 

Energy and water strategy
Portsmouth City Council’s Energy and Water at Home Strategy

A strategy to help all homes in the city to use their energy better The Energy and Water at Home strategy looks to provide a framework for support for all households up until 2025. In the early stages the strategy will look to formalise and bolstering the council’s approach to tackling fuel poverty. Since 2017, … Continued

A strategy to help all homes in the city to use their energy better

The Energy and Water at Home strategy looks to provide a framework for support for all households up until 2025. In the early stages the strategy will look to formalise and bolstering the council’s approach to tackling fuel poverty. Since 2017, Portsmouth residents have been benefiting from award-winning fuel poverty mitigation initiatives run by the council’s Energy Services team. These initiatives will be expanded and scaled in the initial phase to reach more households with appropriate advice.

The vision put forward by the council is “to ensure all homes in Portsmouth use energy and water as efficiently as possible for an appropriate level of comfort, safety, health and dignity; and that every Portsmouth household can afford their energy and water bills.”

Being unable to afford to adequately heat the home or use energy for other essential activities, such as cooking and cleaning, contributes to social isolation, poor health outcomes, an increase in hazards in the home, and impedes child development.

The councils ‘Energy and Water at Home’ strategy, includes an action plan which outlines how a reduction in fuel poverty, carbon emissions and an increase in energy and water efficiency will be achieved.

How the strategy’s vision will be delivered

  • The council will lead the way in helping our community to make Portsmouth’s homes more energy and water efficient and low carbon.
  • Residents will be empowered to reduce their energy and water bills and increase their household income, ensuring that their home energy costs are affordable.
  • Support will be offered as widely as possible, to maximise the number of people who benefit, while targeting those most at risk from cold homes, to maximise the impact.
  • The council will develop national partnerships to attract investment in energy and water efficiency into the city, supporting the creation of skilled green jobs locally and driving innovation in clean energy generation to ensure the city’s energy and water needs are affordable, sustainable and secure.

Councillor Darren Sanders, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said:

“Too many people in our city are forced to choose between heating and eating. That is wrong, which is why it is great that the council is – yet again – tackling the problem.

“This new strategy outlines a new way of helping those at risk from colder homes and suffering from fuel poverty.

It is hoped that this strategy will also act as a catalyst for decarbonising homes in the city; providing support to households who wish to improve their home’s energy efficiency or generate clean energy.”

Read the full strategy here
New Solar and Tesla Batteries help to make Portsmouth Greener

A new large 250 kilo-watt (kW) solar system has been installed on the roofs of Portsmouth City Council’s Hilsea Industrial Estate. This complements the existing 50kW system and completes the biggest single solar and battery installation for the council to date. It marks another important step towards the council’s target of net zero carbon by … Continued

A new large 250 kilo-watt (kW) solar system has been installed on the roofs of Portsmouth City Council’s Hilsea Industrial Estate. This complements the existing 50kW system and completes the biggest single solar and battery installation for the council to date. It marks another important step towards the council’s target of net zero carbon by 2030, with solar and batteries being identified as one of the key technologies to deliver the renewable power needed.

This ground-breaking project uses batteries as a key component of the installation; installed alongside 738 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. The ten-unit battery system, is the largest operational Powerwall installation in the UK. The system can store 135 kWh of electricity at any one time; enough to power an average domestic homes for 2 weeks. As well as capturing more of the solar power generated on the site, the batteries are also able to take advantage of storing power at night, when electricity is cheaper. Stored energy is then used during mornings and early evenings when electricity costs are more expensive.

Combined, the solar PV and storage will reduce the site’s reliance on grid-bought electricity by almost 50%; despite there being many energy-hungry processes at the industrial estate. The system will reduce carbon emissions by 69 tonnes a year, and reduce the running costs of the site significantly. During the summer months, virtually all of the power required to run the site will be coming from either the panels or batteries.

Cllr Dave Ashmore, the council’s Cabinet Member of Environment and Climate Change said: “It’s fantastic to see Portsmouth City Council leading the way when it comes to innovative projects like the one at Hilsea Industrial Estate. Not only are we producing and using our own renewable energy but projects like this dramatically reduce the Council’s ongoing energy costs. The Council has been clear in setting out its plans in tackling climate emergency and it’s fantastic to see projects like acting out these plans.”

The work was carried out by one of Portsmouth City Council’s Solar PV framework contractors, Evo Energy and project managed by the City Council’s in-house Energy Team.

Mike Salisbury, Managing Director of Evo Energy, commented on the Hilsea Project, ‘”We are extremely proud to be working with Portsmouth City Council on such an exciting and innovative project.

Bringing together cutting edge battery technology alongside Solar PV to deliver for businesses increased financial savings will help them to achieve real net zero, and reduce their reliance on the national grid.

This is the future for renewable power in utilising otherwise unused roof space local to the user and turning it into a green energy generator.”

The council has already used its framework to install Tesla Powerwalls in 13 housing blocks, with a further 20 on the way. However, this is the first time that such a large number of the units have been used in a single installation. Where batteries have been installed previously, up to 98% of the sites’ electricity demand has been met through the batteries and accompanying solar.

Energy storage through the use of batteries is set to become a key technology for Portsmouth City Council and their ambitions to become net zero carbon by 2030; as they strive to take every opportunity to harness renewable energy opportunities.

How to use your storage heaters efficiently with Economy 7

Over four million households in the UK use an Economy 7 meter to try and cut their electricity bills. Your lifestyle and usage habits will have an effect on your electricity bills when you’re on an Economy 7 meter – during 7 hours of the night you will receive discounted rates, but during the day … Continued

Over four million households in the UK use an Economy 7 meter to try and cut their electricity bills.

Your lifestyle and usage habits will have an effect on your electricity bills when you’re on an Economy 7 meter – during 7 hours of the night you will receive discounted rates, but during the day you will be charged more than a standard fixed tariff would usually offer. To save money with Economy 7, it is suggested that you need to use more than 40% of your electricity during these cheaper 7 hours.

How do I know if I am on Economy 7?

You can check if you have an Economy 7 meter by looking at your bill – if you have two electricity readings, marked day and night or high and low, the chances are you’re on an Economy 7 meter. If you live in a property with storage heaters, you are most likely on Economy 7.

This way of billing was brought in to support electric storage heaters. Storage heaters charge up during the night and emit heat during the day. Economy 7 would not be recommended for electrically heated households without storage heaters or a hot water tank, or for households which mainly use electrical appliances during the day, such as a washing machine or a tumble dryer, as the day time rates are more expensive.

How do storage heaters work?

Storage heaters are wall-mounted, and look similar to a normal radiator, though they usually have feet at the bottom as they are a lot heavier. They work by charging up overnight and storing this energy as heat in a bank of clay or ceramic bricks. This heat will be dispelled over the following day. It’s best to imagine them as a rechargeable battery – they cannot be turned on to emit heat straight away – they must charge up. It’s important that you don’t set your storage heaters to charge during the daytime hours – this is a very expensive way to heat your home, and all of the heat will be put out at night when you don’t need it.

You can control the heat settings on your storage heaters using the ‘Input’ and ‘Output’ settings, which can usually be found as a dial. The input setting tells the heater how much heat to store during the night. The higher you set this, the more heat it will store, and the more electricity it will use. During the day, the heater will release heat constantly at low levels. You can control the amount of heat released through the output control – this setting controls heater vents which open and close, letting heat out faster or slower. Opening the vents fully will use the stored heat up faster.

What’s the best way to heat my home?

Storage heaters are not the most efficient way to heat your home. Unlike a rechargeable battery which will hold its charge until needed, storage heaters will lose heat almost immediately, especially as they get older. They can lose from 25-50% of their energy this way. You can buy storage heaters which hold this heat for longer, but this of course comes with a hefty price. When using storage heaters, it’s advised to ensure that your property is well insulated so the heat will be retained for longer, rather than escaping through the walls and roof.

If your storage heaters are old and inefficient, it might be time to consider changing your heating system. Through Switched On Portsmouth you can receive a fully funded gas central heating system, including any required gas connections. Gas central heating is up to 3 times cheaper to run than electric heating, and can provide heating on demand. We also offer assistance with getting your walls or loft insulated which will help you reduce your energy bills, and make it easier to heat your home, no matter what heating system you use.

For more information, click here. You can also give us a call on 0800 260 5907!

 

By Anttonia Lindup

Anttonia
solar panels on roof
New Home Energy Support Service Announced for Portsmouth

Portsmouth City Council has announced that it is to launch a new home energy service to support every household in the city. The initiatives outlined will support households by providing access to energy efficiency schemes and renewable technology. The new service will encourage a greater uptake of energy efficiency measures in Portsmouth; lowering carbon emissions … Continued

Portsmouth City Council has announced that it is to launch a new home energy service to support every household in the city. The initiatives outlined will support households by providing access to energy efficiency schemes and renewable technology.

The new service will encourage a greater uptake of energy efficiency measures in Portsmouth; lowering carbon emissions and energy bills, as well as promoting the creation of low-carbon skills and employment in the area.

In recent years the Council has worked successfully to create a number of offers around fuel poverty mitigation; delivered by Switched On Portsmouth.

These schemes help hundreds of vulnerable households each year. In the last 12 months, the service has provided 137 fully-funded free gas central heating systems to Portsmouth households. Through its schemes, Switched On Portsmouth has also helped residents save a combined total of over £800,000 on their energy bills.

The additional energy efficiency services and schemes announced this week, will be made available to all residents in Portsmouth. Initiatives include a grant scheme for insulation, an approved trader register and a redesigned website to give helpful, unbiased support to those looking to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

Alongside these schemes, the Switched On Portsmouth website will host a new solar power feasibility tool for residents to use. The tool will provide precise information about the potential of a residential home’s roof to host solar panels, the savings they will make and the cost of the installation.

A new Freephone number has also been launched in order to allow residents to raise any concerns they have regarding energy-related issues, or to seek friendly, unbiased advice from an advisor.

The council aims to get every resident engaged in the energy they use and the carbon their homes emit, so as to reduce household bills and emissions in-line with their commitment to make the city net zero carbon by 2030.

Speaking about the publication of the new home energy support service proposals at Cabinet, Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: “The Switched On Portsmouth service has been exceptionally successful in offering help to those households in the city who are most vulnerable; receiving grant funding and awards for the services they provide. However, if we are to achieve our aim of a net zero carbon by 2030, we must also develop support for every household. I am excited by the announcement of the services within this paper, particularly those which will encourage households to take up solar panels.”

To view the recent Switched On Portsmouth Impact Report, click here

freephone launched
Council Launches New Energy Freephone Advice Line

Portsmouth City Council is encouraging the city’s residents to contact a new freephone advice line if they face issues with paying their energy bills, as part of the Switched On Portsmouth service. The line will be established using grant funding from the Energy Redress scheme; with the phones being manned by advisors from the Environment … Continued

Portsmouth City Council is encouraging the city’s residents to contact a new freephone advice line if they face issues with paying their energy bills, as part of the Switched On Portsmouth service. The line will be established using grant funding from the Energy Redress scheme; with the phones being manned by advisors from the Environment Centre, an environmental charity who specialise in energy advice.

It is expected that 1,200 households will use the service over the next two years, helping with issues such as billing queries, energy efficiency advice and income maximisation support. The advice line will also be used as a conduit to a range of other services offered by Switched On Portsmouth.

The cost of electricity and gas has risen significantly over recent years, with many households finding it increasingly difficult to afford to pay their energy bills. Simple advice, offered by the Switched On Portsmouth freephone line advisors, can have the effect of making a dramatic dent in household outgoings. The service aims to save Portsmouth residents £200,000.

The freephone advice line will be an important tool for residents looking to combat rising fuel bills; particularly in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic. To ensure services continue to reach residents during this period, Switched On Portsmouth moved a number of its services online, as home visits ceased to be an option.

Improvements to the website, virtual drop-ins and a virtual one-on-one ‘Energy Doctor’ were all developed in order to get households the help they needed during the lockdown period.

Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said of the new service, “Too many households in Portsmouth are forced to make a choice between heating and eating. Having been in the situation myself in the past, I can speak with experience about what an awful choice this is to make. I hope that this freephone advice line, along with the range of other services offered by the council, will go some way to alleviating this issue; with residents able to receive practical, unbiased and specialist advice about how they can reduce their energy bills.”

Switched On Portsmouth offers a range of support related to home energy including free home visits, insulation, emergency boiler replacements and free first-time central heating. To see the full range of services, visit www.switchedonportsmouth.co.uk or call the freephone advice line on 0800 260 5907.

Want to find out more?

If you have any questions about what you might be eligible for or if you just want to find out more about how we can help, just send us an email or give us a call