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Household Energy Bills to Hit Almost GBP5k in 10 Years Time

Consumers are being warned today that they could be facing annual energy bills of almost £5,000 a year by 2020. The shock forecast from uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, is based on pricing trends over the last 5 years and takes into account the huge investment programme shortly to be undertaken by the energy industry and Government. The investment, expected to total £233.5 billion, will secure the country’s longer-term supply and enable the roll-out of smart metering into all homes, but will add £548 a year onto household energy bills for the next 15 years.

uswitch

Looking at pricing trends alone, consumers could expect energy bills to reach £4,185 by 2020. This strips out the cost of investment, but factors in inflation and volatility in the wholesale markets, as seen by suppliers over the last 5 years. Since 2004, global demand for energy and volatility in wholesale prices have contributed to a 114% increase in household energy prices, including a 42% or £381 increase last year. The overall effect has been to see household energy bills more than doubling from £580 in 2004 to £1,243 today.

Volatility is expected to continue to be a dominant theme in the energy market going forward. Although the current world-wide recession is dampening demand for energy, the recession is due to end by 2011/12, when global demand for energy can be expected to start climbing again. Power hungry economies, such as China and India, will be returning to strength, resulting in an upward pressure on wholesale energy prices. At the same time, North Sea oil will start to run out adding greater pressure on the market. Wholesale energy prices account for around 50% of a household bill so continuing volatility will have an impact on the amount consumers will pay.

As well as upward pressure on household energy bills, there will be downward pressure too. The Government’s drive to make British households more energy efficient will start to pay dividends. But, instead of reducing bills it will serve to counterbalance other factors pushing energy usage up, such as the growth in single person households, Britain’s ageing population and growing reliance on electrical gadgets.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “This is a wake-up call for us all. The £5,000 a year energy bill may seem like an outside possibility, but we have to remember that energy bills doubled in the last five years alone and that the huge investment needed just to keep the lights on in Britain will alone add £548 a year onto our bills. The fact is we are entering a new era of high cost energy and households will have to adapt their behaviour accordingly.

“The Government has been banging the drum for energy efficiency for a while now, but consumers have been reluctant to spend money on these measures. As a result, energy efficiency has been massively underperforming even though it is one of the biggest defences we have against escalating energy costs. We also have a competitive energy market, and yet less than 5% of consumers are on the most competitive energy plans – most people are paying far more than they have to for the energy they use.

“This has to change. My advice to consumers is to invest in making your home more energy efficient, reduce the amount of energy you use and make sure you are paying the lowest possible price for it. Big projects such as a new energy efficient boiler or home insulation can be expensive, but the savings you make through cutting the price of your energy could be re-invested into energy efficiency measures so that you reap even greater rewards in the future.

“Don’t be put off. If cost is an issue, speak to your supplier to see if they can help – they have a pot of money available to help households with energy efficiency. Or contact the Energy Saving Trust for advice. The key thing is to start future-proofing yourself against higher energy bills now.”

About uSwitch:

uSwitch.com is a free, impartial online and telephone-based comparison and switching service, helping consumers compare prices on gas, electricity, water, heating cover, home telephone, broadband, digital television, mobile phones, personal finance products and car insurance.

Via EPR Network
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Brigadier General (Retired) Robert Crear Joins Free Flow Power Corporation

Free Flow Power Corporation announced yesterday that Brigadier General (Retired) Robert Crear has joined the company as Chairman of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Free Flow Power Development LLC. Free Flow Power Development is a hydropower developer that is using Free Flow Power Corporation’s proprietary technology to extract energy from moving water without building new dams or diversions or causing other adverse environmental impacts.

General Crear retired from the Army Corps of Engineers in 2008 after a distinguished career that included service in the Pentagon as the military assistant to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, as the Chief of Staff of the Corps Headquarters in Washington, DC, as commander of the Corps Vicksburg District, Southwest Division and Mississippi Valley Division offices where he gained invaluable experience leading soldiers and civilians in large, complex operations during times of peace, combat, and natural disasters.,

• most recently as Commander of the Mississippi Valley Division and President of the Mississippi Valley Commission (a Presidential appointment, confirmed by the Senate) where he was responsible for the Nation’s water resources program in the entire 370,000 square miles of the Mississippi river valley with 5,000 employees and an annual budget of $7.5 billion.

• on the ground in Iraq as Commander of Task Force Restore Iraqi Oil in 2003, which was a first-of-its-kind mission employing 130 Army Corps volunteers, 600 contractors and 60,000 Iraqi oil workers working together to execute a $4 billion budget to extinguish all oil fires and then to restore Iraq’s oil infrastructure;

• as the organizer and leader of Task Force Hope, which employed 3,800 civilian and military personnel to restore vital infrastructure on the Mississippi and Louisiana gulf coasts after the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Of his new position, General Crear said, “I followed Free Flow Power for awhile and was impressed by their approach to the challenges they face. As I got to know the people on their team, I became really excited about being a part of what they are doing.”

Dan Irvin, CEO of Free Flow Power Corporation commented “We are thrilled that Bob has joined our company. We are building the company’s leadership team and I don’t think you can point to someone with more leadership ability than General Crear.”

Ramya Swaminathan, the Vice President of Project Development at Free Flow Development added, “In addition to his experience, which speaks for itself, Bob is an inspiring leader and a great person to work with. I’m really excited to be working with him.”

General Crear’s responsibilities will include helping to build out the management team at Free Flow Power Development and moving the project development process through important regulatory milestones. “This just seems like a very logical extension of my past service. I love big challenges that will positively benefit our nation, and the team we are building is capable of surmounting the challenges we face,” he added.

General Crear’s numerous military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal and the Bronze Star Medal. He was inducted into the Society of American Military Engineers Academy of Fellows in November 2002. In 2006 he was awarded the Infrastructure Security Partnership award for distinguished leadership. Other awards include the 2004, 2006 and 2007 Black Engineer of the Year Award for Professional Achievement in Government, Alumni of the Year and Stars and Stripes Lifetime Achievement awards (respectively), and 2006 Rock of the Year award for his contributions to the Army and the nation.

Born in Vicksburg, Miss., he graduated in 1975 from Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi, with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Regular Army commission as a second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers. He holds a master’s degree in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

General Crear is currently serving as a Distinguished Visiting Lecturer of Applied Engineering, National Security and Homeland Security at Jackson State University and President and CEO of The Crear Group, LLC.

He is married to his high school sweetheart, the former Reatha Hall and they have four adult children.

Via EPR Network
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Aeris Communications added an article reviewing smart energy solutions

Aeris Communications, the leading wireless communications service provider dedicated exclusively to the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and telematics marketplace across North America, today announced the company has added an article reviewing smart energy solutions to its Website.

The article provides an overview of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), an “intelligent” technology that includes metering systems capable of recording and reporting energy consumption and other measurements at more frequent intervals than the typical billing cycle (usually monthly). The full article is available for viewing at http://www.aeris.net/articles/advanced-metering-infrastructure-ami.html.

Readily deployed over wireless networks, advanced metering technology will work with today’s energy sources (gas, water, electricity) and provides answers for management and conservation of future renewable energy grids. Through the use of AMI, development and management of new power markets promises both a brighter and greener future for all involved in the energy equation.

The article provides an overview of current and future uses of AMI and provides details about the benefits of implementing AMI including improved network reliability and system responsiveness as well as increased meter functionality. The article also outlines economic and environmental efficiencies.

About Aeris Communications, Inc.
Aeris is the leading wireless communications service provider dedicated exclusively to the Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Telematics marketplace across North America. Aeris has assembled and seamlessly integrated its top tier carrier partner networks through AerFrame™ to provide customers with simplified, unified, reliable, and even customized network services for M2M and Telematics applications. Since 1992, Aeris has developed expertise and patented technologies now proven on millions of devices and billions of messages per year. Aeris provides expert services, superior reliability, broader coverage, lower latency, and unsurpassed customer support and managed services. For more information, please visit http://www.aeris.net or call 1-888-GO-AERIS.

 

Via EPR Network
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