Author Archives: admin

Loyal Energy Customers To Pay Fair Price From Now

Around 11 million households who have stayed loyal to energy suppliers on poor value energy tariffs will pay a fair price from today (1 January 2019) thanks to the government’s price cap.

The cap will bring down the amount consumers have been overpaying to energy companies, including the Big Six, by £1 billion a year, starting this winter when households are typically using more energy to heat and light their homes. It will remain in place until at least 2020, while energy suppliers and industry continue to work with the energy regulator Ofgem and the government to build an energy market that works better for all consumers.

Prime Minister Theresa May said:

Our energy price cap will cut bills for millions of families and people across the UK who have been ripped off by energy companies for far too long. From today, money will go straight back into the pockets of loyal consumers, including the elderly and those on lower incomes who feel the pinch more acutely.

But work to tackle this issue doesn’t stop there. We’re working with regulators and industry to ensure that consumers are not unfairly overcharged in the future – whether on their phone bills or their insurance premiums.

Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said:

Today marks the end of unjustified price rises on energy bills as this government delivers on time on its promise to protect millions of households from poor value deals, especially the vulnerable.

For too long, suppliers have failed to pass on any savings to their customers, who deserve to pay a fair price for their gas and electricity. Switching supplier is still the best way to find a better deal, but that doesn’t mean customers should be punished for their loyalty.

Bill payers can now be confident that any change to the price cap will be a fair representation of the actual costs of energy, rather than suppliers passing on inefficiencies to their customers or as excess profits.

Following a consultation, Ofgem set the price cap level at £1,137 per year for a typical dual fuel customer paying by direct debit. The amount customers will pay depends on how much energy they actually use, as the price cap sets a limit on how much suppliers can charge per unit of gas and electricity not on overall energy bills.

The cap will also protect around one million households who receive the Warm Home Discount currently protected by Ofgem’s safeguard tariff. Ofgem already caps energy prices through its safeguard tariff for 4 million households on pre-payment meters.

Ofgem will review the level of the cap every 6 months taking into account any changes to the actual costs of providing gas and electricity to energy customers. The first review will take place in early February coming into effect on 1 April 2019.

Dermot Nolan, chief executive at Ofgem, said:

Under the cap, Ofgem will protect consumers from being overcharged and ensure they pay a fair price to heat and light their homes. Consumers can have confidence that any rise in prices in the future will only be down to genuine increases in energy costs rather than supplier profiteering while falls in energy costs will always be passed on to them.

Households who are protected by the cap will be able to save even more money by shopping around for a better deal. In the meantime Ofgem will continue with reforms which aim to deliver a smarter, more competitive energy market which, combined with protection for those who need it, works for all consumers.

The Domestic Gas and Electricity Act, which passed Parliamentary scrutiny and became law on 19 July 2018, put in place a requirement on Ofgem to cap standard variable and default energy tariffs after the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found consumers had been overpaying the Big Six an average of £1.4 billion a year.

While the temporary cap is in place, energy suppliers and industry will continue to work with Ofgem and government to build an energy market that works better for all consumers, ensuring they get the best service for a fair price so that everyone reaps the benefits of the move to a smarter, more digital economy.

Other measures designed to deliver the government’s objective of clean, affordable and innovative energy, while tackling fuel poverty, as part of our modern Industrial Strategy include:

  • the rollout of smart meters
  • initiatives to promote smarter and faster switching
  • a joint review with Ofgem on the future of the retail market

 

 

Energy Systems Of The Future – Local Communities To Benefit Sooner

Just under £10 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund investment will support even more people to get value from smart local energy systems.

A new research consortium and funding for business-led innovation projects will speed up the uptake of smart energy systems by local communities to start benefiting from cleaner, cheaper and more consumer-friendly energy.

Funding is by UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund for clean energy – a £102.5 million investment in UK industry and research to develop systems that support the global move to renewables.

Rolled out by 2020s

Twelve projects from all across the UK will share £1.5 million to design ground-breaking, local, smart energy systems that are ready for roll out in the 2020s.

They will quickly bring forward energy systems with improved efficiency and productivity, at lower costs, in order to reduce energy bills for consumers and create better user experiences.

Ultimately this should help improve air quality in line with the government’s fifth carbon budget, at the same time as building the UK’s energy supply chain, creating high value jobs and export opportunities.

Projects include:

  • creating an energy marketplace and local trading platform between the predominantly commercial premises in London South Bank and Waterloo, using IoT sensors, predictive algorithms and storage systems
  • maximising existing and planned renewable generation assets in Bridgend, including solar farms and a nearby energy park, to develop a local electricity flexibility market, an electric vehicle charging network and improved service offerings for transport and heat
  • making use of an established energy innovation district group and new digital technologies, such as sensing and control devices, data analytics and artificial intelligence, the Cheshire Energy Hub will better manage energy use by industrial users, decarbonise and lower costs

Developing novel research concepts

To bring forward novel research in local energy systems and accelerate uptake, value and impact, £8 million will go to setting up EnergyREV, an energy revolution research consortium.

The consortium will be led by the University of Strathclyde and include 29 investigators across 22 universities, working to ensure that UK academic expertise delivers impact and a competitive advantage.

It will work closely with the Energy Systems Catapult to provide analysis, evaluation and assessment of the projects funded under the prospering from the energy revolution challenge.

Additionally, EnergyREV will deliver its own strategic research projects that address some of the industrial challenges in developing local, investable, consumer-centred energy approaches.

Improving uptake, value and impact

Professor Stephen McArthur, Deputy Associate Principal for Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation, at the University of Strathclyde said:

EnergyREV is excited about its role in supporting innovation in the prospering from the energy revolution programme.

The world-class knowledge, research teams and interdisciplinary expertise available through our university partnership will improve the uptake, value and impact of smart local energy systems.

We are focused on using our novel research to accelerate and help deliver the Industrial Strategy goals and enhance UK competitiveness.

Rob Saunders, Deputy Challenge Director, Prospering from the Energy Revolution, UK Research and Innovation said:

This is an exciting time for energy innovations.

We all rely on energy and we all need it to be cleaner and more cheaper, both as consumers and as a nation. New technologies point towards a new energy future, one of lower carbon and more efficient energy supply, distribution and storage, giving consumers more control.

This energy revolution – a crucial part of the Industrial Strategy – has the potential to unlock investment and create high-quality jobs and grow companies capable of exporting.

 

BS 7671:2018 – Section 708 (caravan/camping parks) And Section 721 (caravan and motor caravans)

Section 708 caravan/camping parks

This particular requirement of 708 applies to the electrical installations in caravan/camping parks and similar locations providing connection points for supplying leisure accommodation vehicles (including caravans) and tents.

The scope of Section 708 has been extended to cover circuits intended to supply residential park homes in caravan parks, camping parks and similar locations. In addition changes have been made to socket outlet requirements, RCD protection, and external influences.

Protection against electric shock

General requirements

As you would expect the protective measures of obstacles; placing out of reach, in a non-conducting location and protection by earth-free local equipotential bonding are not permitted. These measures are contained in Sections 417 and 418 of BS 7671:2008 and are not for general application. The protective measures of section 417 provide basic protection only and are for application in installations controlled or supervised by skilled or instructed persons. The fault protective provisions of Section 418 are special and, again, subject to control and effective supervision by skilled or instructed persons.

Protective multiple earthing

As stated in Regulation 708.411.4 The Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations 2002 (ESQCR) prohibit the connection of a PME earthing facility to any metalwork in a leisure accommodation vehicle (including a caravan).

This does not preclude the use of a PME earthing facility as the means of earthing for other purposes, such as to the installations of permanent buildings.

External influences

Any wiring system or equipment selected and installed must be suitable for its location and able to operate satisfactorily during its working life. Suitable protection must be provided, both during construction and for the completed installation. Regarding presence of solid foreign bodies, a minimum degree of protection of IP4X is now required. Regarding presence of water a minimum degree of protection of IPX4 is required.

Equipment must be protected against mechanical impact IK 08 (see BS EN 62262) and/or located to avoid damage by any reasonable foreseeable impact.

Caravan pitch socket-outlets

The requirements for socket outlets have been redrafted to prevent the socket contacts being live when accessible.

Regulation 708.55.1.1 requires that every socket-outlet or connector shall either comply with:

  1. a) BS EN 60309-2 and shall be interlocked and classified to clause 6.1.5 of BS EN 60309-1:1999 to prevent the socket contacts being live when accessible; or

 

  1. b) – be part of an interlocked self-contained product complying with BS EN 60309-4 and classified to clauses 6.1.101 and 6.1.102 of BS EN 60309-4:2006 to prevent the socket contacts being live when accessible.

The current rating is to be not less than 16 A but may be greater if required. At least one socket-outlet should be provided for each caravan pitch. Where socket-outlets are grouped in pitch supply equipment, there should be one socket-outlet for each pitch limited to a group of four.

 Overcurrent protection

Every socket-outlet shall be individually protected by an overcurrent protective device, in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 43.

A fixed connection for a supply to a mobile home or residential park home shall be individually protected by an overcurrent protective device, in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 43.

Isolation

Regulation 708.537.2.1.1 now requires at least one means of isolation to be installed in each distribution enclosure. This device shall disconnect all live conductors.

RCD protection

Each socket-outlet must be protected individually by an RCD having a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30mA. The RCD must disconnect all live conductors including the neutral.

Requirements for RCD protection have been extended to cover supplies to residential park homes. A final circuit (from the metering point) intended for the

fixed connection for a supply to a mobile home or a residential park home shall be individually protected by an RCD having a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA accessible to the consumer. Devices selected shall disconnect all live conductors.

PME

As mentioned previously, the ESQCR prohibit the connection of a PME earthing facility to any metalwork in a leisure accommodation vehicle (caravan). If the caravan supply is derived from a permanent building that is supplied by a PME system then the caravan supply will have to be part of a TT system having a separate connection to Earth independent from the PME earthing.

The separation of the earthing can be effected at the main distribution board. The IET’s Guidance Note 7 publication Special Locations provides detailed information. This enables the exposed-conductive-parts connected to each system to be more readily identified and inspected periodically. An earth electrode for the TT system should be provided nearby and located so that the resistance areas of the PME supply earthing and earth electrode do not overlap.

Alternatively, the separation of the earthing can be made at the caravan pitch supply points. In this instance, earth electrodes will be required at these points.

Again, The IET’s Guidance Note 7 provides detailed information.

Section 721 caravans and motor caravans

The particular requirements of 721 apply to the electrical installations of caravans and motor caravans at nominal voltages not exceeding 230/440 V AC or 48 V DC

Note there are some exceptions.

This section contains a number of changes including requirements for electrical separation, RCDs, proximity to non-electrical services, and protective bonding conductors.

Protective equipotential bonding

Regulation 721.411.3.1.2 requires structural metallic parts that are accessible from within the caravan to be connected through main protective bonding conductors to the main earthing terminal within the caravan.

The requirements for connections of protective bonding conductors have been clarified. Regulation 721.544.1.1 states that the terminations of protective bonding conductors connecting the conductive structure of the unit shall be accessible and protected against corrosion.




Provision of RCDs

The requirements for RCD protection have also been redrafted.

Regulation 721.415.1 states that where protection by automatic disconnection of supply is used, a residual current device with a rated residual operating current not exceeding 30 mA, complying with BS EN 60947-2 (Annex B), BS EN 61008-1, BS EN

61009-1 or BS EN 62423 breaking all live conductors, shall be provided having the characteristics specified in 415.1.1.

Each supply inlet shall be directly connected to its associated RCD.

Please note this implies that there may not be any taps or junctions in this connection.

An RCD is a protective device used to automatically disconnect the electrical supply when an imbalance is detected between live conductors. In the case of a single-phase circuit, the device monitors the difference in currents between the line and neutral conductors. If a line to earth fault develops, a portion of the line conductor current will not return through the neutral conductor. The device monitors this difference, operates and disconnects the circuit when the residual current reaches a preset limit, the residual operating current (IΔn).

Proximity to non-electrical services

The requirements for proximity to non-electrical services have been redrafted.

Regulation 721.528.2.1 requires that where cables have to run through a gas cylinder storage compartment, they shall pass through the compartment at a height of not less than 500 mm above the base of the cylinders and shall be protected against mechanical damage by installation within a conduit system complying with the appropriate part of the BS EN 61386 series or within a ducting system complying with the appropriate part of the BS EN 50085 series.

Switchgear and controlgear

The installation to the caravan should have a main disconnector, which will disconnect all the live conductors. This should be placed in a suitable position for ready operation within the caravan to isolate the supply. When a caravan only has one final circuit then the isolation can be afforded by the overcurrent protective device as long as it fulfils the requirements for isolation.

An indelible notice in the appropriate language(s) must be permanently fixed near the main isolation point inside the caravan to provide the user with instructions on connecting and disconnecting the supply (refer to Figure 721 of BS 7671).

The inlet to the caravan must be an appliance inlet complying with BS EN 60309-1. This should be installed not more than 1.8 m above ground level, in a readily accessible position, have a minimum degree of protection of IP44, and should not protrude significantly beyond the body of the caravan.

The connecting flexible cable

The means of connecting the caravan to the pitch socket-outlet should be provided with the caravan. This must have a plug at one end complying with BS EN 60309-2, a flexible cable with a continuous length of 25 m (±2 m). The connecting flexible cable must be in one length, without signs of damage, and not contain joints or other means to increase its length; and a connector if needed that is compatible with the appropriate appliance inlet. The cable should be to the harmonized code H05RN-F (BS EN 50525-2-21) or equivalent, include a protective conductor, have cores coloured as required by Table 51 of BS 7671 and have a cross-sectional area as shown in Table 721.

Periodic inspection & testing

The purpose of periodic inspection and testing is to provide an engineering view on whether or not the installation is in a satisfactory condition where it can continue to be used safely. Periodic inspection and testing is necessary because all electrical installations deteriorate due to a number of factors such as damage, wear, tear, corrosion, excessive electrical loading, ageing and environmental influences. IET Guidance Note 3 gives the recommended initial frequencies for inspection of electrical installations for construction sites, caravan/camping parks, and in caravans.

Conclusion

It is important to be aware that this article (which is based on an article from Issue 67 of Wiring Matters) only gives a brief overview of requirements for electrical installations on caravan/camping parks, and in caravans. Refer to BS 7671:2018 for more information.

What Is The BSI Kitemark ?

The BSI Kitemark is a quality mark owned and operated by BSI. It is one of the most recognised symbols of quality and safety and offers true value to consumers, businesses and procurement practices.

The Kitemark is not a legal requirement, but is often used as a point of differentiation in competitive markets and is widely trusted.

The initials, ‘B’ and ‘S’ are contained in the genuine Kitemark logo.

Having a BSI Kitemark associated with a product or service confirms that it conforms to a particular standard. The Kitemark associated with a product or service confirms that it conforms to a particular standard.

A 2006 survey demonstrated that the Kitemark is recognized by 82 per cent of the UK population, 88 per cent of whom trust the Kitemark, 93 per cent of whom believe that Kitemark products are safer, and 91 per cent of whom believe the product is of a better quality than similar products without the Kitemark. A 2008 YouGov poll showed that almost half (49 per cent) of UK consumers look for a Kitemark when making a purchase.

In 2008 and 2009 the Kitemark was independently voted a Superbrand in the Top 500 Business Superbrands in the UK.

For further information please visit http://www.kitemark.com or http://www.bsigroup.com

Swansea Receives £36 Million UK Government Funding For Its Clean Energy Tech Breakthrough

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is announcing new £36 million UK government funding for clean energy innovation in the construction sector.

  • The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, is announcing new £36 million UK government funding for clean energy innovation in the construction sector through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.
  • The funding will go to a consortium led by Swansea University, which develops new building materials and coatings which generate electricity from light and heat.
  • This energy can be used to power homes, hospitals and schools, or be sold back to the national grid.

More than £36 million of UK government funding will be provided to Swansea to support cutting-edge building materials which generate electricity, the Chancellor has announced during a visit to Wales.

The green technology uses light and heat to make energy, and has the potential to power homes, workplaces, schools and hospitals. These materials could replace conventional walls, roofs and windows, generating electricity which is stored and released by a smart operating system. Excess electricity could also be sold back to the national grid.

Today’s announcement supports the government’s mission to at least halve the energy use of new buildings by 2030: making buildings more energy efficient by embracing smart technologies will cut household energy bills, reduce the demand for energy, and boost the UK’s economic growth whilst meeting targets for carbon reduction.

On a visit to Swansea University, Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, said:

Swansea University and the innovative companies working with it are world-leaders in clean energy. The UK government is backing the industries of the future that will deliver jobs and opportunities across Wales. This £36 million new funding will support exciting green technology that could cut energy bills, reduce carbon emissions and create better homes and workspaces.

The funding, through the ‘Transforming Construction’ challenge of the government’s Industrial Strategy, will develop supply chains in the UK and give certainty to leading researchers and students, helping attract more investment and jobs to the local area.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark said:

This centre has the potential to transform how buildings use energy, turning them from energy consumers into power stations. This £36 million investment in clean energy innovation shows the UK continues to lead the way in cutting emissions while growing our economy.

We are putting our world-leading science and innovation sector at the heart of our modern Industrial Strategy, and have set the ambitious target for investment in research and development to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns, said:

The UK government is committed to leading the world in delivering clean energy technology and this additional investment at Swansea University shows that we are prepared to support innovation in this critical area.

The cutting-edge research being developed at this institution is being translated into practical inventions and techniques that can improve our lives. It truly is science with a purpose.

Today’s funding announcement, on top of the £68 million commitment to Swansea University since 2010, will ensure that Wales and one of its most forward- thinking universities will play a key role in keeping the UK at the vanguard of innovation for years to come.

This new funding is part of the biggest increase in research and development (R&D) investment for 40 years, supporting high-value jobs in emerging industries. Since Autumn 2016, the government has invested an additional £7 billion in R&D – demonstrating clear progress towards the ambition to raise investment in R&D across the entire UK economy to 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is delivering the funding for the new Centre. UKRI Chief Executive Professor Sir Mark Walport said:

As we move towards a low-carbon economy, we need to explore more efficient ways of generating, conserving and using power and energy.

Active buildings, which integrate solar generation and storage technologies for electricity and heat within their construction, can help to achieve this. The Active Building Centre will work to remove barriers to the large-scale adoption of active buildings on new developments throughout the country.

The UK’s work in this field has been world-leading, and the Centre announced today is an important step towards realising the potential of low-carbon technologies.

Remaining at the forefront of next generation clean energy is a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, playing a key part in growing our national income while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Maximising the advantages for UK industry in clean growth, will increase our productivity, create good jobs, and help protect the climate and environment upon which we and future generations depend.

At the same time, the UK government continues its wider support for Wales. This includes:

  • As a result of the recent NHS announcement, the Welsh Government are expected to benefit from a £1.2 billion a year boost to their budget by 2023/24.
  • Autumn Budget 2017 provided a £1.2 million boost to the Welsh Government’s budget.
  • The UK government is investing £615 million for the Cardiff and Swansea City Deals and making progress on growth deals with North Wales and Mid-Wales.
  • The number of people in work in Wales is at a record high level and productivity growth in Wales is the 3rd strongest of all 12 UK regions and nations.

The final funding is subject to agreement of governance arrangements around the new centre.