Scottish Gas Recruits 100 Apprentices
Scottish Gas recently announced plans to recruit 100 more apprentices during a visit to its training academy, based in Hamilton from the Business Secretary Vince Cable. There are a similar number of apprentices currently taking training at the centre, with around 70 of them being trained to install smart gas meters in homes and businesses as part of a UK Government programme.
Mr.Cable said at the time that it was ‘fast becoming the norm’ for young people to opt for either university or an apprenticeship as a route to a career in engineering. He said:
“I encourage other companies to follow Scottish Gas in recognising the value that apprentices add to their business in helping them grow and develop a highly skilled workforce.”
It is estimated that around 76,000 homes and over 23,000 businesses across the whole of Scotland are already using smart meters which have been installed by Scottish Gas. Smart meters track gas usage in a much more accurate way, which allows the home/business owner to only pay for what they actually use- rather than pay a regular bill based on the value of their home. The meters have proven themselves to be very popular in today’s economic climate- as the figures show. By training more apprentices in how to fit the meters, more people will benefit from them and the money that they save. Some properties cannot have a smart meter, such as people living in a block of flats where it may be more difficult to get an accurate reading to base the bill on.
nPower Launches New Tariff
Npower has launched a brand new tariff- the Intelligent Control October 2016 plan. The plan launched back in September and comes with Google’s Nest Learning Thermostat. This is a new smart device which will allow users to control their home’s heating system remotely and adapts the home’s temperature to the resident’s behaviour.
The tariff is dual-fuel and is estimated to cost the homeowner £1,169 annually- good value for anyone who is looking to take advantage of the Nest Learning Thermostat. The average cost of the tariff is £920 without the cost of the thermostat (£249) so is still cheaper than the current market leading plan on offer by other energy providers. The tariff does however carry £50-per-fuel exit charges. If you are enticed by the idea of the Nest, it may be worth doing a price comparison to see if the cost is worth it for your home as other, simpler deals may be cheaper.
Speaking at the launch of the tariff, Npower’s Director of Managing Services said:
“People have busy lives and we want to help make it as easy as possible to manage their homes. With the weather getting colder and people becoming more aware of heating costs, they will be looking for smarter ways to reduce their energy bill for winter. The Nest Thermostat gives people the peace of mind that their energy prices won’t go up and their usage could go down.”
Anglian Water Apologises For Burst Main With Money Off Bills
Water provider Anglian Water has apologised to customers in Littleport who were affected by a burst water main by offericng them money off their next bill. Thousands of homes in the village, as well as in the surrounding areas such as Little Downham, Prickwillow and Coveney were left either without water at all or with very low pressure following a burst pipe back in late September. Some houses remained without water for up to two days after complications emerged when engineers attempted to repair the leak.
After facing backlash, Anglian Water has apologised to customers and has pledged that it will write to homeowners in the affected areas, offering them £20 credit on their next water bill. A spokesperson for the company also said:
“We are also in contact with the local parish council about finding a local charity who would benefit from a donation of £1000. We would like again to apologise to our customers unreservedly for the disruption caused, we understand how frustrating it is.”
When burst water in the area was tested, it was found that it contained ‘higher levels than expected’ of naturally occurring bacteria. The bacteria persisted even though the pipes were flushed and chlorine levels were increased. As a result, residents in the area could still use the water for bathing, washing and flushing toilets but there was a stronger smell of chlorine. Villagers were advised to boil water until things got back to normal and bottled water was also supplied.
Yorkshire Water Pledges Renewable Energy Investment
A £56 million investment to help increase the amount of renewable energy produced by Yorkshire Water by 80% has been proposed by the company. The improvement will help the provider generate an expected 75 gigawatts this year which is enough energy to make over three billion cups of tea. The figure will help Yorkshire Water reduce its carbon footprint by an estimated 15,000 tonnes whilst also reducing the cost of powering its sites around the region.
Richard Flint, the Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water said:
“This is a big step in the right direction for us, not only are we reducing our impact on the environment but also cutting down on power costs at the same time. Our investment in state of the art sites such as Blackburn Meadows and Esholt will also stand us in good stead for decades to come, also reducing the amount of money we will need to invest in maintenance and improvements.”
One of the reasons for the increase in the amount of renewable energy being generated by Yorkshire Water is the treatment of sludge. 97,000 tonnes are now dealt with at the company’s 11 top sites which are based all around the region. This figure is an increase of almost 50% from last year. Methane gas is taken from the sludge as part of the process so can be used to create a biofuel which can be burnt in order to generate power for renewable energy.