Welcome to Powermaster's blog

We have been in the energy saving industry since 1992, based in Wakefield UK our aim is to help companies and organisations reduce their carbon emissions and help to save them money. We have created this blog in order to keep our subscribers up to date with events, news and issues surrounding energy saving and carbon emissions. We hope you find our news informative and eventful. Please feel free to send us a message of any thoughts or comments.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Solar Power & Religious Buildings

Religious buildings could save up to 42,000 carbon tonnes a year if solar panels are used to replace conventional electricity measures says British Gas, the UK’s leading energy and home services provider. Just to put it into perspective, 42,000 carbon tonnes works out at around about 500 transatlantic flights! Not only will it save significant amounts of carbon tonnes being emitted, but it will also save religious buildings potentially hundreds and thousands of pounds. They [British Gas] used an example of a mosque that has recently converted to solar power and had the solar panels installed on the roof of the building which is saving £5,000 a year in electricity bills.

Solar powered panels are ideal for religious buildings because they are most commonly positioned to the south, this means that they get optimum amount of sunlight during the day.

Religious buildings are ideal because most of them are south-facing; meaning that they get the optimum amount of sunlight during the day and with the recession hitting churches, mosques and synagogues harder than ever it would be an ideal scenario for them to get on board with energy saving measures such as this as soon as possible.

In May this year a church in north London finished covering its south-facing roof with solar panels known as PV tiles and is now using them to generate energy.

Fr Shaun Richards, the parish priest of St Silas Church in Pentonville, said: “Even though not all UK churches could adopt this model due to planning and architectural conservation laws, there may be thousands of Church of England buildings out there that could help create a greener future by generating clean energy as well as some much needed income.”

In Birmingham, the Masjid-e-Hamza Mosque will soon be making as much as £6,400 a year from Feed-In Tariffs, having installed solar panels as part of the Sustainable Mosley project.
The scheme is likely to appeal to churches as their Sunday collections have been hit by the recession, and because many clergy are committed to caring for the environment.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Only 13% of companies have registered for the CRC

The CRC (Carbon Reduction Commitment) came into force on the 1st April this year. As most of you will know by now, the CRC is a mandatory scheme in place to encourage companies and organisations cut carbon emissions. As of the 5th July only 651 companies have registered from an expected 5,000, which is well below the result The Environment Agency were expecting.

The deadline to register with the Environment Agency under the CRC scheme is 30th September 2010. All public and private sector organisations that have at least one half-hourly electricity meter during 2008 are encouraged to participate. Failure to register before the deadline could result in fines of up to £5,000 plus an additional £500 per day for each working day that they fail to register up to a maximum of 80 days.

A spokesperson for The Environment Agency said: “Participants successful in reducing energy consumption will not only save money on energy bills, they will also receive financial incentives and boost their reputation as an environmentally-conscious organisation. These savings should be well in excess of the costs of participating in the scheme.”

Make sure you are prepared for the CRC and avoid hefty fines. Saving energy can be a positive, cost-effective and rewarding project. If you’d like to reduce energy for your business or organisation, contact Powermaster today who will discuss the possibilities of significantly reducing energy for your business and buildings.

For information on how to register with The Environment Agency, click here

Irish Environmental Campaigner Passed Away

On Saturday July 10th, anti Dublin Bay Oil Refinery campaigner – Sean Dublin Bay Loftus (formerly known as Sean Loftus), died at age 82. It was only a couple of weeks after he had news that the oil refinery he campaigned against would not built. Mr Loftus was described as “an environmental pioneer”, a “Kindly and encouraging gentleman” and “He led the way even before the Green Party came into existence” by his friend, colleague and the Irish Environmental Minister – John Gormley.

Solar Power is put to the test

New energy-saving technology advancements are achieved every day, but who would have thought that solar power would eventually be able to fly a plane? On Tuesday July 6th 2010 this is exactly what happened. Although the solar powered plane (The Solar Impulse HB-SIA) has had trial runs at least a dozen times since April 7th, this was the first time that it had its ‘first night flight ever’ meaning that it had to run solely on stored solar energy cells from sunset to sunrise.

The successful trial has been a breakthrough for energy saving technologies and could well set the stage for future renewable energy projects for the aviation industry. Although it has been said already that this technology is not intended to replace traditional aircraft fuel sources in the immediate future, with the flight instead focusing on trialling and promoting energy-saving technology.

The solar cells are stored within the wings of the plane which has a wingspan as wide as a Boeing 747’s and has four electric motors powered by 12,000 solar cells.

The Solar Impulse HB-SIA reached an altitude of 8,600 metres and approximately two hours before sunset on Tuesday July 6th started a slow descent eventually reaching an altitude of 1,500 metres where it carried on flying, using only the energy stored in its batteries until the next sunrise and landing in the early hours of Wednesday.

The plane, which was controlled by chief executive and co-founder of the Solar Impulse Project, André Borscherg, landed safely at the Payerne airbase in Switzerland. Borscherg said: “For seven years now, the whole team has been passionately working to achieve this first decisive step of the project”.

Project co-founder Bertrand Piccard said: "When you took off it was another era. You land in a new era where people understand that with renewable energy you can do impossible things."

To read more about the Solar Impulse Project, click here: http://www.solarimpulse.com

Thursday, 10 June 2010

10:10 initiative - 10 percent reduction at big-name music festivals

The folks orchestrating the 10:10 campaign have been busy again! Now they have got ten leading music festivals that are taking place in the UK this summer on board with their aim of reducing carbon emissions by ten per cent. Big names such as Reading, Lovebox, The Big Chill, Latitude and Bestival are just some of the big-name events participating in the 10:10 initiative. As an example, solar powered lighting and compostable toilets are being introduced to a few festivals this year, such as Bestival. A report published by Oxford University illustrated that with 500 festivals and more taking place this year alone in the UK, this would contribute 84,000 tons of carbon emissions. This figure is mainly due to people travelling to and from the festivals, litter and diesel-powered generators used to power the sites.

Well done 10:10, you have Powermaster’s full support!
Read more about the 10:10 campaign on their website here: http://www.1010global.org/uk

How The World Cup 2010 Is Thinking Green

Three green initiatives have been launched in order to reduce the carbon footprint of major sporting events such as the imminent 2010 FIFA World Cup hosted in South Africa. These are: Greener lighting for World cup host cities; Green Passport; and offsetting team’s emissions.

The initiatives are supported and funded fully by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNEP and the South African Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), which altogether are contributing $10 million to support these initiatives. The 2010 FIFA World Cup to be hosted this year in South Africa is said to have about eight times the size of the carbon footprint of the World Cup hosted in Germany, mainly due to significant increase in international air travel as well as domestic air travel. This equates to an estimated 2.7 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Greener Lighting Initiative was introduced to bring in solar-powered lighting to busy areas of the city, including billboards, street lights and traffic lights. Not only does this have potential for greater energy & cost savings, (not only environmentally and economically), but it also reduces the stress on the electric grid of the neighbouring cities.

The Green Passport is an initiative set to help people understand the importance of offsetting their carbon emissions while attending the World Cup 2010, the 32-page booklet will be distributed to 100,000 football spectators, as well as people emerging from the busy airports and hotels. The idea is to raise awareness of travelling responsibly with a carbon-friendly attitude whilst in the country. Inside the booklet contains information about host city green goal plans and achievements, restaurants, activities, green accommodation, specific guidelines for sustainable tourism and a carbon footprint calculator to calculate how to reduce ones personal footprint.

The Offsetting Team’s emissions initiative was introduced in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the teams participating, so far only 11 teams that are participating in the World Cup will be offsetting their emissions, but UNEP hopes this will rise while the tournament starts to get underway. The teams participating so far are: Algeria, Cameroon, England, Argentina, Italy, Ghana, Cote d’lvoire, Uruguay, Switzerland, Serbia and the Republic of Korea. The teams’ carbon footprint will include travelling internationally as well as domestically, coach trips to and from matches and accommodation in hotels (totals to around 6,050 tons of greenhouse gas emissions when you start including the officials as well as the team players).

In addition to these initiatives, an SMS campaign has been initiated in partnership with Foneworx and KPMG, to generate funds towards offsetting the 2010 carbon footprint. By texting SMS "GOGREEN" to 34066, a small donation would be made, which would then be put towards carbon offset projects.

We can only commend the efforts that has been put into this event to try and make it as carbon-friendly and as an enjoyable an experience as possible and we hope that if you are travelling to South Africa this year, you help to reduce your own carbon footprint too, for our environment.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

What is your Carbon Footprint of…?

I was reading an interesting article yesterday by Mike Berners-Lee of the Guardian Newspaper. Across a range of his articles, Mike looks at how cycling and using mobile telephones, for example, can have a significant impact on our carbon footprint. I found it interesting to know that if we use our mobile for an hour once a day for the year it would be the equivalent of flying one way to London to New York in Economy Class! It isn’t necessarily the usage alone that is causing such an impact, it’s the energy required to transmit calls across networks. In 2009, 2.7 billion mobile phones were in use, which means mobile calls account for about 125 million tonnes CO2e, which is just over one-quarter of a per cent of global emissions.
We’re not suggesting you stop using your mobile phone, nor are we trying to make you feel guilty for doing so! But there are a few lower-carbon options instead you could put into practice instead such as text messaging or using a land line, because it takes about one-third of the power to transmit a call when you have a fixed landline network than it does when both callers are using a mobile.
As for cycling, Mike highlights the positive things about cycling to work every day instead of driving:

Ø Healthier lifestyle
Ø Lower your carbon footprint
Ø No need for petrol money
Ø Burn some carbs!
Ø No queuing in traffic reduces carbon emissions. (Mike says: “It's a little-known fact that a car on a congested road can produce as much as three times the amount of CO2 as the same car travelling at a steady speed.”)

And he also goes on to explain how cycling is a low-carbon way to travel – but it depends on what you eat.

To read the full article about cycling and measuring your carbon footprint in the process click here.

To read about the carbon footprint of your mobile phone,
click here.