As the UK heads into a recession, here are some simple - and cheap - tips to reduce utility bills and make less of an impact on the planet.
By centrally controlling when household water heaters (geysers) can be switched on and off, South Africa can ease up electricity demand during peak consumption times.
Centrally switching water heaters on and off at specific times can distribute the demand for electricity and lead to energy saving.
There could be much clearer skies ahead for energy policy if states take the reins.
AAP Image/Lukas Coch
The federal government is primarily to blame for the mess that is Australia’s energy policy. It’s time for the states to step up, to reduce both prices and emissions.
Smart meters promise lower bills, but could also reduce your privacy.
AAP Image/David Crosling
Smart meters are being rolled out across Australia, offering the opportunity to share data with third parties who promise to help you find a cheaper deal. But this requires strong consumer protection.
The government is now firmly focused on lowering household power bills.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
Australians are angry about electricity prices and both the federal government and opposition are proposing to cap them. Will this approach work, and what are the risks?
Ontario Premier Doug Ford announces his plan to keep the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station in operation until 2024, in this June 2018 photo.
(THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Ontario Premier Doug Ford seems intent on dismantling the previous government’s energy strategy. But that may not protect consumers.
Energy poverty is no longer restricted to a few older or low-income householders.
Energy justice is a social issue, and by leaving it up to vulnerable people to sort it out for themselves, we as a society risk making it even worse.
The latest research suggests that in Australia, rooftop solar photovoltaics are more likely to be adopted by middle-class households.
Households that are most likely to go solar are those that can afford solar panels, but aren’t so rich that they don’t have to worry about their electricity bill at all, says a survey of 8,000 homes.
Policymakers need to be smart about the smart meter rollout.
AAP Image/David Crosling
You may already have a smart meter at home, which monitors your electricity use at 30-minute intervals. But until you can access that data yourself, you could be missing out on the best power deals.
Keeping the lights on has always been a stormy issue in South Australia.
Jon Westra/Wikimedia Commons
Two decades ago, the then SA premier, John Olsen, defied a campaign promise and announced plans to privatise the state’s electricity industry. It’s been a high-voltage issue ever since.
Dedicating a 31-kilowatt photovoltaic array at Rainshadow Community Charter High School, in Reno, Nevada.
What’s at stake as the Trump administration imposes trade sanctions on imported solar panels? A look at the US solar energy industry, which generates more than twice as many jobs as coal energy.
Money-saving screen time?
Trying to keep cool this summer while not blowing the power bill? A new mobile game aims to encourage energy efficiency - and research shows it can be more effective than simple advertising campaigns.
Imagine if you could get your utility bills from one provider.
AAP Image/Dan Peled
One way to cut your household bills could be to deal with just one company for all your utility needs. With today’s technology, it’s an idea that’s not so far fetched as it sounds.
Living in a single-storey unit can lead to much higher air conditioning costs.
Aged-care units can be a lottery of comfortable versus uncomfortable temperatures, depending on the building’s construction and where you live within it. That needs to improve.
Solar panels are still a rarity in WA’s lower-income areas.
Western Australia has huge amounts of sunshine and wind, yet only 7% of its energy comes from renewables. What’s more, most households in the poorest suburbs are still locked out of the solar panel boom.
Cutting energy use takes more than just the flick of a smartphone.
Smart appliances, which let you control lights and power outlets via your phone, promise to cut energy bills. But research suggests these gadgets are confusing, and can just as easily raise power use.
Information about discounts will be simpler, but you’ll still have to do the legwork to shop around.
AAP Image/Julian Smith
The government’s deal with electricity retailers to provide simple information to customers about their discounts and bills is a welcome step, but doesn’t cut to the heart of the power price issue.
Malcolm Turnbull has written a letter to major power companies calling for relief on electricity and gas prices.
Malcolm Turnbull has summoned the chiefs of major power companies to a meeting on Wednesday to discuss how customers can be given more relief through better deals on electricity prices.
The long view: energy policy needs to stay firmly focused on the horizon.
The current flurry of energy policy aims to make power cheaper and more reliable. But it will take more than that to meet vital longer-term goals like cutting carbon while keeping future prices low.
You shouldn’t have to crank up the aircon.
Power-hungry houses that rely on air conditioning to make up for their bad design mean that the electricity grid has to cope with summer demand peaks – and everybody pays.