#GreenerUK manifesto

edited 22 February 2017 at 10:03AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
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Former_MSE_AndreaFormer_MSE_Andrea Former MSE
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edited 22 February 2017 at 10:03AM in Green & Ethical MoneySaving
Hi all

13 Environmental organisations including RSPB, National Trust, The Wildlife Trusts, WorldWildlifeFund, Greenpeace and Woodland Trust have launched the Greener UK Manifesto today and #GreenerUK is currently trending on twitter.

I know I'm preaching to the converted here on the Green and Ethical MoneySaving board but it would be great to hear your stories on how you're already contributing to it while at the same time showing it doesn't have to "cost the earth" to look after our planet - many people think the eco options cost more.

Please share your stories so we can highlight them on social media and show it's not always expensive to be environmentally aware :)
Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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  • edited 22 February 2017 at 6:13PM
    CardewCardew Forumite
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    edited 22 February 2017 at 6:13PM
    Many - not all - of the 'Green Options' are hugely expensive, albeit not to many of those who adopt the options.

    If you take solar PV(electricity generation) which dominates this Board, many will admit that they installed their systems as a money making exercise. The subsidies for early adopters now result in them getting over 50 pence for every kWh they generate, these subsidies are inflation linked for 25 years(20 years for later participants), and paid for by a levy on all electricity consumers. To add insult to injury they don't have to export a single kWh to the Grid if they can use it in their house.

    RHI(Renewable Heat Initiative) is another subsidy for some 'Greener Options'.

    Obviously everyone would be in favour of Green practices if it were cheap,, but with a few exceptions it ain't!

    NOTE
    This post, with its well versed views on Green subsidies, is intended to reach new readers; it will doubtless incur the wrath of the solar enthusiasts. However this is a discussion forum!
    .
  • edited 22 February 2017 at 9:29PM
    jimjamesjimjames Forumite
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    edited 22 February 2017 at 9:29PM
    Cardew wrote: »
    The subsidies for early adopters now result in them getting over 50 pence for every kWh they generate, these subsidies are inflation linked for 25 years(20 years for later participants), and paid for by a levy on all electricity consumers. To add insult to injury they don't have to export a single kWh to the Grid if they can use it in their house.
    .

    How much is nuclear per kWh? 75p-90p I seem recall? So almost double the cost of the most expensive solar subsidy. Yes it might seem unfair that rates are paid regardless but it does then mean those kWh don't need to be generated elsewhere.

    Anyway, back to non solar items. The bigger differences are things that are actually very small steps and have near zero cost but are often ignored for whatever reason. Things like growing your own veg, walking or cycling rather than driving car, car sharing, reducing packaging, buying local to reduce transport miles, turning off unused lights, heating down 1C. If everyone did small steps it could start to make significant difference as well as in many cases saving money not costing more.

    Examples, locally grown apples from our local greengrocer are cheaper than supermarket but have travelling under 5 miles from grower to shop. Walking to shops saves petrol, reduces pollution, cuts wear and tear on car and parking costs as well as improving fitness by exercise. It always puzzles me seeing the logic of driving to the gym to run on a treadmill rather than walking there or running round the park.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
  • CardewCardew Forumite
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    So we can agree that Solar PV and Nuclear don't meet the criteria in the OP's opening post.;)

    Restricting water consumption would fit the bill. There have been some weird suggestions on MSE over the years.
  • edited 23 February 2017 at 2:02PM
    Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    edited 23 February 2017 at 2:02PM
    Cardew wrote: »
    The subsidies for early adopters now result in them getting over 50 pence for every kWh they generate, these subsidies are inflation linked for 25 years(20 years for later participants), and paid for by a levy on all electricity consumers.

    The high rate was only available for the first two years. It was cut by 50% in Mch 2012, then that rate was cut by a further 40% in Aug 2012. It is now down to 4p for 20yrs, after 7yrs of subsidy support. New nuclear (which you support), despite 60yrs of subsidy support is now to get 6p in subsidy for 35yrs.

    Yes the subsidy is paid for by all consumers, however, unlike the subsidies on FF's (externalities) and the direct subsidies for supply side renewables and nuclear, the PV FiT is the only one that is paid to electricity consumers, which would appear to make it the very fairest.

    Cardew wrote: »
    To add insult to injury they don't have to export a single kWh to the Grid if they can use it in their house.

    As you are aware, and have admitted many times, offset and export are felt by the grid exactly the same as a reduction in demand, leading to a reduction in FF generation. Your repeated statement is a falsehood designed to mislead new MSE readers and paint a false impression of the FiT subsidy.

    Cardew wrote: »
    Obviously everyone would be in favour of Green practices if it were cheap,, but with a few exceptions it ain't!

    That is wholly untrue and paradoxical since one of the cheapest options, and the only one really available to households is PV.

    The payments for new generation including subsidies are now:-
    Nuclear HPC £100/MWh 35yr subsidy
    PV £83/MWh* 15yr subsidy
    On-shore wind £83/MWh* 15yr subsidy
    Off-shore wind latest contracts £120/MWh, 15yr subsidy, expectations that the Apr 2017 contracts will be sub £100/MWh (bids capped at £105/MWh)
    The 12 ltidal lagoons package estimated at PV/on-shore wind prices. Subsidy term yet to be agreed.
    Domestic PV subsidies £65/MWh 20yr subsidy

    *More recent contracts in Germany and Italy now down to £60/MWh.

    Gas estimated at £70-£85/MWh including externalities and CO2.

    The cost of renewables is falling so fast that the NAO has revised down it's estimate of wholesale electricity in 2027 from £85/MWh to £70/MWh (priced in 2016 monies) (ironically, lifting the Hinkley Point C subsidy from £6bn to £30bn).

    Cardew wrote: »
    NOTE
    This post, with its well versed views on Green subsidies, is intended to reach new readers; it will doubtless incur the wrath of the solar enthusiasts. However this is a discussion forum!

    In reality it appears to be yet another attempt to mislead new readers.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • Martyn1981Martyn1981 Forumite
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    Just some quick thoughts this morning.

    For households there are many options. The simplest would be to reduce electricity consumption by installing lower energy devices as and when they need replacing.

    Lighting is the simplest with cheap LED's now available that will cut consumption by 90%.
    LED TV's use far less energy, even than much smaller CRT models.
    Choosing more efficient fridges and freezers will also reduce demand and save money/energy.

    Insulation is the big saver, though this needs a bit more effort. Lofts have to be well insulated, it's simply too cheap and easy to not do it. Cavity wall insulation is excellent (make sure it's installed properly) and cheap(ish). For those with no cavity, then EWI (external wall insulation) could be of huge benefit, but the cost is high.

    General awareness of energy consumption, and reduced house temp during the heating season can reduce energy.

    Awareness of water consumption and water waste can reduce demand, and many may benefit from a water meter and reduce their bills. Water butts for watering plants can also make a difference.


    For transport, people should now think about/consider an EV. It will not be suitable for all, but the economics are now starting to shift and it may be a cheaper option now/soon. Second hand prices are good, and leases are available that are actually less than the London congestion charge of 230pm (£11.50 per day), and that's before the addition of another £10pd for non Euro 4 vehicles.

    EV's do look expensive at first, but with their low running and maintenance costs, they may be cheaper overall, so worth at least considering from now on.


    On the larger scale households can consider generating their own leccy from PV if it's economical. They can also consider environmental schemes for investments. These may be as good as or better than a basic ISA, and by supporting RE generation they are, to an extent, helping to offset some of their energy consumption.

    One slight niggle is the National Trust's position against wind turbines, though I believe this is now changing and not a view/position shared by all. Given that 70% of the public support on-shore wind, and only 8% object, I think the NT, with their extensive land ownership, could help the industry.
    Mart. Cardiff. 5.58 kWp PV systems (3.58 ESE & 2.0 WNW)

    For general PV advice please see the PV FAQ thread on the Green & Ethical Board.
  • NigeWickNigeWick Forumite
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    MSE_Andrea wrote: »
    Please share your stories so we can highlight them on social media and show it's not always expensive to be environmentally aware :)
    In the home, 14 years I sold home improvements for Everest and supplied my wife good quality double glazing to replace the really cheap and ineffective stuff that the builders had put in. She bought during a sale and I was able to offer our local manager's discount as well. Unfortunately for me I had underpriced everything and made no money on the sale myself. About four years ago there was an offer by energy suppliers on loft insulation so I bought rolls of the stuff at £1 each and double insulated the loft. I replaced our CFL lighting with 3W LED bulbs to cut down on electricity usage. If all are switched on I suppose we'll use 60 watts in total. Two years ago we had a 4kW solar PV unit installed along with a diverter to push any excess electricity to our immersion heater. Our gas is turned off from the back end of April to late October when we do not need the central heating on. With the FiT it will take about five years to pay for itself. That time would increase to ten years if there were no FiT. It is my intention to fit more solar PV and add battery storage so that our house is electricity independent.

    I took on an allotment early last year so that I can grow vegetables and soft fruit that are as near organic as I can make them when other plot holders use chemicals. The plot is half a rood and costs £20 per year to rent. I do not expect a return on my investment of shed, deep beds, protective netting & supports, plants, spent mushroom compost, well rotted manure etc for several years. But, I have already started to get a return in freshly harvested healthy crops.

    Moving on to transport, I walk the mile in to town five days a week to go to the gym. Once I have done my exercise I do any shopping carrying it home in a rucksack. My allotment is two miles from the house and over the summer months I use a bicycle to get there apart from Thursdays when I pick up a friend who helps out or I have something large to carry like a box of lawn mowings for the compost heaps at the allotment. I must admit that I have not cycled since October as I am a mild weather cyclist. It is my intention to buy an electric vehicle (EV) this year when I have the cash so that my travel does not produce any emissions apart from when it is charged using grid electricity, and that will be Economy 7 to keep costs down. There is a trial of EV to grid (V2G) just starting where electricity can be sold to the grid at peak times and the vehicle charged with solar or off peak electricity. I am hoping I will be able to afford the EV and get in before this trial finishes.
    The mind of the bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract.
    Oliver Wendell Holmes
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