Today’s meeting between the UK and Irish Governments, to increase their commitment to renewable energy, could mean cheaper energy bills for all of us.
Edward Davey is the UK Secretary for Energy and Climate Change, he is meeting with the Irish Minister for Communications Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte, to formalise a commitment to working together to create economic benefits for both countries through trade in renewable energy.
The EU have agreed to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, this is ambitious considering 2050 is actually 37 years away.
By making a joint effort the two countries hope to create jobs in the sector and to increase green energy output to help comply with these targets to reduce harmful emissions.
Today will be the start of the process, where they look into the feasibility of working together, ready to sign a binding agreement some time next year.
As the two countries will be pooling their resources it is expected that this will save money on outlay when setting up energy schemes. These savings are intended to be passed down to the consumer by way of cheaper energy bills.
This is great news for consumers, let’s hope that we actually reap the benefits of any agreement – both in terms of green rewards and hard cash.
If you are interested in renewable energy, and energy saving methods, we have a whole section on green resources – click here to go to DIY Doctor’s Green Living section.
DIY is all about tools, and one enormously convenient tool is the iPhone, which is starting to do what previously required an entire toolbox and a very forgiving cohabitant to do professionally. But which apps are the most useful? Here we run down ten of the best…
- WikiHow: How to and DIY Survival Kit: this is an ultra-comprehensive, very useful app that teaches you all sorts, but importantly what to do in case of home disasters such as flooding from a broken pipe! It is so exhaustive, that no matter how much you know, you’re bound to learn something new from it.
- iHandy Level: a vital part of DIY is making sure that shelves and joints are level. Forgot your ruler or spirit level? This app will take care of it.
- Woodcraft: for the carpenters out there, this app is basic but good for envisaging aspects of designing things from wood before you build, thus saving you time and money – mistakes can be costly!
- Home 3D: interior design can involve a lot of pencils, measurements, paper, and more measurements. Save time and lots of tape-measuring with this handy app that lets you test out how furniture, paint and other design features will look.
- Smart Tools: this is a really clever app for measuring lots of things that a DIY expert may need to know about, such as distances, sound, and acoustics. Features include: a thread pitch, metal detector, LED light, and even a decibel meter.
- Craftgawker: no matter how good your DIY expertise, you can always draw off inspiration to help you do new projects. Craftgawker is an app that provides you with loads of high-res images to fill you with crafty ideas.
- Homesizer: essential to designing a new home is working out how big everything should be, how one room slots into another, and how much material you will need. Homesizer is a handy app that can help you estimate all this!
- iHandy Carpenter: five tools, two hands. It’s a problem. But the iHandy Carpenter niftily manages to combine a ruler, protractor, bubble leveller, plumb bob and surface leveller all into one app. Plus it’s very reliable, and looks great, too!
- IScrew: screws are crucial to DIY. Use the wrong screw, and a joint may come loose. Even worse, a badly-fitted screw may damage materials when the joint is forced. Never choose the wrong screw again with this app – it’s detailed and exhaustive without being over-complicated.
- InchCALC: no matter how experienced you are with DIY, a simple miscalculation can throw your entire project into chaos. InchCALC allows you to convert using fractions, between metric and imperial, so that your DIY project remains spot on.
With these tools now at your fingertips, what will you design and make?
Owain is an enthusiastic writer who currently writes about scientific discoveries and technological solutions. He writes for Alert Electrical but also enjoys writing about the arts, food and anything else that comes to mind!
The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is integrating all its information into the newly transformed Gov.uk website.
The Gov.uk website got a new look last year to streamline the presentation and to make it very simple to use and read.
While the result is perhaps a bit ‘boring’ in terms of design it is a very useful website that is now even more accessible, to even more people. You will be surprised how much you can learn on there if you have a look around.
Our interest today is in the DECC element – as you know we like to keep you abreast of news relating to climate change and green living.
So the key elements of the DECC part of the website are mainly things that affect us on a national basis and are all very important (but may feel removed from our daily lives) such as:
- Maintain UK energy security,
- Manage use/disposal of radioactive and nuclear substances and waste
- Increase use of low carbon technologies
- Use evidence to inform energy and climate change policies
- Reduce demand for energy from industry
- Reduce the United Kingdom’s Greenhouse Gas emissions (80% by 2050)
- Provide regulation and licensing for energy industries and infrastructure
- Take international action to mitigate climate change
As we said – perhaps not that much immediate interest to every home owner but an essential part of keeping us powered up in the UK, without breaking the planet.
So the bit that the DECC does that is likely to be of most immediate interest to you, our users, is:
Obviously this is going to be of interest to everyone who pays bills, and includes initiatives that we have mentioned before including:
- Green Deal
- Warm Home Discount scheme
- Warm Front scheme
- Energy Companies Obligation (ECO)
- The smart meters programme
Find out more in the DIY Doctor Green Living section.