Spain will switch to 100% renewable energy by 2050

Solar power in Spain

Experts have described the scheme as a wake-up call to the rest of the world.

Spain has announced ambitious plans to switch the country entirely over to renewable electricity by 2050. The Spanish government also want to see greenhouse emissions slashed down by 90% compared to 1990 levels, in a plan that goes above and beyond the requirements set out by the EU. By 2030, the nation hopes to be running on at least 35% green electricity.

The government have committed to installing at least 3,000MW of wind and solar every year, for the next 10 years. The so-called “sun tax” that has hampered solar power in the past has been scrapped, and money has been set aside to re-skill workers in the fossil fuel industry.

Spain is “deadly serious” about climate change

Laurence Tubiana, chief executive of the European Climate Foundation and one of the key figures in drafting the Paris accord, called the plans “groundbreaking” and “inspirational”.

“By planning on going carbon neutral, Spain shows that the battle against climate change is deadly serious, that they are ready to step up and plan to reap the rewards of decarbonisation,” she said.

James Watson, CEO of trade association SolarPower Europe, said: “It is exciting to see Spain setting the pace in its commitment to a 100 per cent renewable powered future… Spain’s energy ambition is a wake-up call to all the other states across the world, as it demonstrates what we know – it is possible to power large economies by renewables in the very near future.”

Back in the UK, the government are aiming to reduce greenhouse emissions by 80% by 2050.

Image source

We’ve just launched the UK’s cheapest energy tariff – the Family Saver Club

Family Saver Club

Join the Family Saver Club and you’ll not only get our cheapest fixed-rate tariff – you’ll also earn 12% annual interest on your credit balance!

All you have to do is pay for your energy annually instead of monthly. Once you make an initial upfront payment, you’ll start earning interest.

Step 1: Sign up

Enter a few details on our website and we’ll give you a quote based on your estimated usage. You’ll then see two options – “Pay Yearly” or “Pay Monthly”. Select the yearly option and click on “Switch Now”.

Family Saver Club

Step 2: Make an initial payment

On the next screen you’ll be asked to make an upfront payment for 1 year’s worth of energy. This money will be added to your credit balance and used up throughout the year.

Step 3: Start earning!

Each month we will deduct enough money to cover your energy use. We will then add 1% interest to your remaining balance.

Some frequently asked questions:

How much is the initial payment?

It will depend on the type of property you live in, how many people live there and your typical energy use.

For a typical dual fuel household in Greater Manchester, the initial payment would be £973 (based on Ofgem averages, correct as of October 2018).

How much interest can I make?

Again, this varies from customer to customer, but a typical dual fuel household in Greater Manchester could make around £60 in interest across the year.

How can I see how much interest I’m making?

You can log in to your online account at any time and view your accrued interest.

How often can I withdraw the interest?

You can withdraw your interest every six months, or you can leave it in your account and use it as credit – making your energy even cheaper!

What happens if my usage goes up or down?

If you end up using more energy than expected, you may have to top-up your balance or pay a final bill at the end of the 12 months to cover the difference. If you use less than expected, you will get a refund.

We strongly recommend providing regular meter readings to avoid any surprises. We’ll also carry out a payment review after 6 months to make sure you’re on track.

What if I can’t afford to pay upfront?

We still offer great value pay monthly tariffs. Just get a quote and choose the “pay monthly” option.

Why we launched this tariff

With wholesale energy prices creeping up and winter approaching, we wanted to help families plan their finances a little better.

As our CEO Barney puts it: “We know this time of year can be expensive for families up and down the country, so hopefully our Family Saver Club is a way to help them plan finances better, get some money back on the energy they use, and ease the stress that can come with contacting their energy supplier.”

“The ‘Family Saver Club’ is all part of our mission to try and find a better way for our customers.”

How do I join the Family Saver Club?

Simply head over to our quotation page or call 0161 332 0022.

Share the love and earn £50 in free credit!

refer a friend

We have some exciting news for existing Eversmart customers. If you recommend a friend or family member to us, we will put £50 credit into both of your accounts! There’s no catch, and you can refer as many friends as you like.

Please note: The refer-a-friend scheme is only available to customers who have access to the new client portal. If you joined Eversmart before October 2018 you may still be using the old portal – if this is the case you should be phased over to the new version by the end of the year.

 

Here’s how it works:

Step 1 – Log in to your account to get your unique referral link

refer a friend

Simply log in to your online account and click on the ‘Refer a Friend’ tab. You will see a unique link that you can copy & paste.

You can share this link with your friends via text message, email or social media.

Step 2 – Get your friends to sign up

refer a friend

In order to receive your rewards, you friend must sign up using the unique link that you sent them.

Once your friend clicks on the link, they will be taken to the Eversmart quotation page. After entering a few brief details, they will be given a quote and the option to switch.

Step 3 – Sit back and wait!

It will take 21 days for your friend’s switch to go through. Once the switch is complete, we will automatically put £50 credit into your account and £50 credit in you friend’s account. Think of it as a little thank you from us.

And that’s it!

Log in to your portal and get sharing!

I have a smart meter – why am I still being asked for a meter reading?

meter readings

You may have noticed that we’re big fans of smart meters here at Eversmart.

One of the main benefits of having a smart meter is that you don’t have to submit manual meter readings – the meter automatically collects and transmits your usage information for you.

So if that’s the case, why do some customers with smart meters still get asked to submit a manual reading?

There are two main reasons this could happen:

Reason no. 1 – You have just switched to us

Let’s say you’re in the middle of switching to Eversmart from another supplier. You already have a smart meter and you’re going to carry on using it.

Your smart meter should send a closing reading to your old old supplier and an opening reading to Eversmart, right? In theory yes, that’s how it should work. But in reality, the old supplier might not release the meter to Eversmart in time – which is why we still ask for an opening meter reading when you switch.

You will only have to do this once. After the switch is complete, your smart meter will automatically send readings to us, and you’ll never have to send a manual reading again!

Reason no. 2 – You don’t have a Secure smart meter

Smart meters
Eversmart use Secure brand smart meters

Don’t be confused – we’re not saying that your meter is insecure or vulnerable. “Secure” is the name of the company that manufactures our smart meters. If your smart meter was fitted by Eversmart, it will be a Secure model.

Secure is one of the most popular smart meter brands, used by around 80% of energy suppliers – including Eversmart. Their meters are SMETS compliant, they are suitable for both direct debit and prepayment customers, and they are compatible with the popular Pipit 500 in-home display.

This means that Eversmart can only take automatic readings from Secure meters.

If your meter was fitted by a different energy supplier, it may or may not be a Secure meter. If it’s not, you will unfortunately have to provide your own meter readings. But don’t worry – we’ve made the whole process as easy as possible.

How to submit a manual reading

You can submit a manual meter reading any time, day or night, simply by logging in to your online account. Once you’ve logged in, just click or tap on the meter readings tab and enter your readings.

If you’re having trouble logging in: Just send an email to hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk and one of our advisers will help get you up and running.

If you need help reading your meter: We have created this handy guide complete with illustrations and easy-to-follow instructions.

Will this change in the future?

Yes. As the second generation of smart meters (known as SMETS2) are rolled-out, there will be no more incompatibility issues between different suppliers and meters. Eversmart are currently in the testing process and we plan to start installing SMETS2 meters in 2019.

Can I change to a Secure meter?

We may be able to upgrade your smart meter, depending on the type of meter you currently have and which part of the country you live in. Please email hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk for more information.

Government grants for hybrid cars have been scrapped

electric vehicles

Financial incentives to buy a new hybrid vehicle in the UK have been ended, just months after the government announced the Road to Zero strategy. Grants for fully electric vehicles have also been slashed.

You’ll need to move quickly if you want to buy a discounted electric car. The Plug-in Car Grant, which pays for 35% of the price of a new vehicle, currently goes up to a maximum value of £4,500. It will be cut to £3,500 after the 1st November. This grant applies to very low emission (i.e, fully electric) vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf and the BMW i3.

Discounts for hybrid vehicles on the other hand have been scrapped altogether. That means you will have to pay full price for cars such as the Toyota Prius Plug-in or the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

The reason behind the change, according to the Department for Transport, is that hybrid cars have become popular enough among consumers to no longer need the government’s support – who want to shift attention on fully electric cars instead.

Sending mixed messages

Car manufactures however have been critical of the move.

Mike Hawes, CEO of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said: “We understand the pressure on the public purse but, given the importance of environmental goals, it’s astounding that just three months after publishing its road to zero strategy, the government has reduced the incentive that gives consumers most encouragement to invest in ultra-low emission vehicles.”

“Removing the grant for plug-in hybrids is totally at odds with already challenging ambitions for CO2 reduction and sends yet more confusing signals to car buyers.”

What to do if you’re planning to buy an EV

If you’re planning to buy an electric or hybrid vehicle soon, you can find details about grants here – https://www.gov.uk/plug-in-car-van-grants.

When is the best time to switch energy suppliers?

When is the best time to switch energy suppliers?

Thinking about switching to a new energy supplier? Wondering when is the best time to switch? In most cases the answer is very simple – right now!

Switching to a new energy supplier is pretty easy & straightforward to do, and can potentially save you a lot of money.

Generally speaking, there are really only two reasons not to switch right now:

1. You’re tied in by exit fees

Your current energy supplier might charge you an exit fee if you try to leave early. This is usually the case if you are on a fixed-term tariff.

Exit fees can range from £20 to as much as £75 per fuel.

You can get out of a fixed-term tariff without incurring exit fees if you switch during the last 49 days of your contract. We’ve discussed this in more detail in this article.

It’s also worth noting that the money you save by switching could outweigh the cost of the exit fee. If you can afford to do it, it might still be worth taking the hit if it saves you money in the long run.

Variable tariffs do not incur exit fees, so you’re free to switch whenever you like.

2. You owe money to your current supplier

It may be difficult to switch suppliers if you are behind with your energy bills.

Your account doesn’t necessarily have to be in the black in order to switch – just as long as you’ve paid your most recent bill. If your account is in the negative, you will simply have to pay the remaining balance when you get your final bill.

If on the other hand you’ve been in debt for over 28 days, your supplier will most likely object to you switching until you’ve repaid the debt.

What about prepayment meters?

If you are paying off a debt through a prepayment meter, you can still switch as long as your debt is less than £500 for gas and £500 for electricity. Your new supplier will simply take on the debt.

Before you switch

It’s a good idea to take & submit a meter reading just before you switch to a new supplier. This will ensure that your final bill from your old supplier is accurate. It will also give you an up-to-date figure that you can use when getting quotes.

Reasons why you should switch energy suppliers

Don’t sit around paying too much for your energy if you don’t have to. If you’re not in debt and exit fees aren’t a concern, then there’s no reason not to switch to a better deal.

Here’s few reasons why you should switch:

  • It’s easy! It only takes a few minutes to get a quote and switch online
  • Switching is absolutely seamless and there’s no interruption to your gas or electricity supply
  • There’s no inconvenience – the same gas and same electricity comes into your home through the same pipes and cables. All that changes is the company name on your bill.
  • You don’t have to tell you’re old supplier that you’re leaving – your new energy provider will do this for you
  • If you’re on a variable tariff you can leave at any time – even if you’ve only just joined that supplier
  • You can save money!

Did you know that Eversmart are cheaper than every one of the “Big Six” providers?* You can get a quick quote here.

 

*Accurate at time of publishing. Eversmart’s cheapest tariff compared to a standard variable tariff from the big six.

How smart devices can increase your energy bills – and what you can do about it

smart home

Studies suggest that 50% of us will own a smart TV by 2019. Smart TVs and other smart devices must be plugged in and kept on standby at all times – making them more expensive to run than their traditional counterparts. Here’s what you can do to keep your energy costs down.

From TVs to fridges, security systems to coffee makers, fitness trackers to speakers – more and more of our appliances are using an internet connection to become ‘smart’.

The downside to all of this smart technology is the fact that smart devices have to be kept on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week – slowly sucking up extra electricity and pushing up your electricity bill. A smart TV for example uses 10 times more electricity than a standard television set!

Energy efficiency company GreenMatch have created a guide to reducing so-called ‘vampire energy’ without ruining the fun of living in a smart home. It starts with getting a smart meter installed if you don’t already have one.

Scroll down to find out more:

standby power infographic

The secret behind your opening meter reading

opening meter readings

Whenever you switch to a new energy supplier, you will be asked to find your gas & electricity meters and submit an opening set of meter readings. Doing this makes your switch feel official, marking the handover from your old supplier to your new one. Sounds simple enough, right?

The strange thing is, we don’t always use your actual readings to open your account. To explain why, we need to take a look at the way the energy industry works, because industry rules & regulations can make things a lot more complicated than you might expect.

Your opening meter reading has to be checked & validated

When we receive your opening meter readings, we’re not allowed to just take your word for it – we have to send the figures to an independent meter validation company to be checked & verified. This is a regulatory requirement, and every energy company has to do it. It also takes time, which is why switching suppliers can take up to 21 days.

Why do your readings need to be verified? For starters, it prevents disputes between the two energy companies involved in the handover. And secondly, it double-checks that your meter readings are accurate.

So here’s how validating works…

The meter validation company’s aim is to work out what’s know as your maximum acceptable reading. If the opening meter reading you supply is more than the maximum acceptable reading, then they know that something’s not quite right!

This is how they work it out:

Step 1:

First, the meter validation company will look at your last verified reading (i.e. the last one you did with your old supplier before switching).

Step 2:

Next, they’ll calculate your expected usage for the period between your last meter reading and your switch date.

So let’s say your last meter reading was taken 20 days before you switched – they’ll take your typical daily usage and multiply it by 20. And because some days you’ll use more energy than others, they’ll multiply this number by 2.5 to give you a bit of a buffer.

Step 3:

Finally, they add the two figures together to create your maximum acceptable reading. It looks a bit like this:

Last reading + (expected usage x 2.5) = Your maximum acceptable reading

This gives them a decent estimate of what your opening meter reading should be, with some wiggle-room. All that’s left to do now is compare this figure to the opening readings you submitted.

What happens if the numbers don’t match up?

So what happens if your opening meter reading is higher than the maximum acceptable reading? It’s simple – we’ll just use the estimated figure instead.

What if your opening reading is lower than your last reading? In that case there has obviously been a mistake, and again we’ll just use the estimated figure in its place.

This doesn’t make a huge amount of difference for you – it just shifts the handover point slightly one way or the other.

Whichever way you look at it, there will always be a clear-cut point where you switch from the old supplier to the new one, and you will never pay for the same energy twice.

Getting off on the right foot

Providing an accurate & timely set of meter readings helps the whole switching process go smoothly! If you any need help reading your meters, don’t worry – we’ve create this handy guide with plenty of illustrations and simple instructions.

Please bear in mind that the explanation above has been simplified – the real calculations involve some pretty heavy maths!

If you have any questions about giving meter readings, we’re here to help – simply send an email to hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk.

How to submit a meter reading

How to submit a meter reading

From time to time you may be asked to give a gas or electricity meter reading. These readings are used to calculate your energy bill, and are especially important if you’ve just changed suppliers or moved to a new address. In this guide, we’ll show you how to take a reading from the most common types of meter.

In this guide:

 

Locating your meter

Before you can take a reading, you first need to locate your gas and electricity meters. They’re often hidden away in a cupboard, under the stairs or sometimes in a box on the outside of your property. If you have just moved into a rented home and you’re having trouble finding your meters, contact your landlord or letting agency.

Every property and meter will look different, but here’s a few examples to show you what you’re looking for:

Electric meter example
An example of an electricity meter in a cupboard (image source).
electric meter example
An economy 7 electric meter (image source).
gas meter example
An example of a gas meter on the outside of a property (image source).
gas meter example
A gas meter in a cupboard

As meters are often kept somewhere dark, it’s a good idea to take a torch and a pen & paper with you.

 

How to read your electric meter

Take a look through the pictures below and find the one that looks most like your electric meter, then simply follow the instructions underneath.

Digital Meter – Single Rate

single rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter will have the words “single phase” or “single rate” on it. If your meter says the words “multi single phase” or “multi rate”, then please scroll down to the Two Rate electric meter section.

How to read this meter: Simply write down all the numbers from left to right, including any zeros at the beginning.

Digital Meter – Two Rate, Single Display

two rate electric meter

two rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter will have the words “multi single phase” or “multi rate” on it.

How to read this meter: You will need to take two readings from this meter. Some displays will alternate every few seconds, as indicated by the small 1 or 2 on the left. Some meters will have a button that lets you flip between the two figures.

Note down each number in full from left to right, including any zeros.

Mechanical Digital Meter – Single Rate

single rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter shows one long number on a mechanical display.

How to read this meter: Write down all the numbers from left to right. Include any zeros at the beginning, but don’t include the red number at the end.

Mechanical Digital Meter – Two Rate

two rate electric meter

How to identify this meter: This meter will show two long numbers on mechanical displays. The two dials will be labelled as either “low and normal” or “night and day”.

How to read this meter: You will need to submit two readings with this type of meter. Write down both sets of numbers from left to right. Include any zeros at the beginning, but don’t include the red number at the end.

Mechanical Dial Meter

dial electric meter

How to identify this meter: This is an older type of meter which uses a series of dials rather than numbers.

How to read this meter: Write down the number on each dial, including any zeros. You can ignore the red dial at the end.

  • If a dial is pointing between two numbers, write down the lowest number.
  • If the pointer is between 9 and 0, always write down 9.
  • If the pointer sits directly on top of a number, underline that number.
  • If an underlined number is followed directly by a 9, you should subtract 1 from the underlined number.

In the example above, your would write down 3 9 8 5 6. Your final reading would then be 2 9 8 5 6.

Note that some of the dials might go clockwise and some might go anti-clockwise.

 

How to read your gas meter

gas meter

Simply write down the numbers from left to right, including any zeros at the beginning. You can ignore the numbers in red or any number after a decimal point.

If you have an older imperial gas meter, it might also have a dial. You can ignore this – we just need the numbers on the digital display.

 

How to submit your readings

The quickest & easiest way to submit a reading to Eversmart is through our portal – you can login here.

You can also send us your readings by email. Send your readings along with your name, telephone number and account number to hello@eversmartenergy.co.uk.

What is a kilowatt hour? Your questions answered

What is a kilowatt hour?

If you’ve looked at your energy bill lately, you’ve probably come across the term ‘kilowatt hour’. It’s a confusing piece of jargon that trips may people up. In this article, we’ll explain what a kilowatt hour is and answer some other common questions.

What is a kilowatt hour?

Put very simply, a kilowatt hour (or kWh) is a unit of energy. Much like you pay for petrol by the litre or phone calls by the minute, you pay for gas and electricity by the kilowatt hour.

electricity meter
A meter displaying electricity use in kWh. Image source.

When you’re shopping around for gas & electricity, suppliers have to quote their prices in pence per kilowatt hour (Ofgem says so). This makes it easier to compare prices and find a good deal.

For those interested in the technical definition, here it is:

1 kilowatt hour is the amount of energy a 1kW device would use if it was run for one hour – approximately 3.6 megajoules.

For example, a 1 kW heater left running for 1 hour would consume 1 kWh (or 1 unit) of energy.

What is the cost per kilowatt hour?

There isn’t a standard price – it depends on both your energy supplier and the tariff you are currently signed up to.

Unit prices for electricity can range from around 12-18 pence per kWh. Gas is around 3-4 pence per kWh.

Note that you also pay a standing charge with most energy tariffs – you can find more information about standing charges here.

What’s the difference between a kilowatt and a kilowatt hour?

A kilowatt is a unit of power. The kilowatt (kW) rating of an appliance describes how quickly it uses energy.

A kilowatt hour is a unit of energy. It describes an amount of energy consumed.

Put it this way – if kilowatt was like the speed of a car, a kilowatt hour would be how far it has travelled.

How do I find out how many kWh I use?

Find out my kilowatt hour use

If you are shopping around for a new energy supplier, it’s useful to know how many kWh your home uses in a month. You can get this information from your current provider – either by looking at a paper bill or by checking your online account.

If you can’t find your exact usage, you can still compare prices using something called Typical Domestic Consumption Values – or TDCVs.

TDCVs are calculated by Ofgem using data from typical households, as shown below:

Fuel Usage kWh (annual)
Gas Low 8,000
Medium 12,000
High 17,000
Electricity Low 1,900
Medium 3,100
High 4,600

Source: Ofgem

For example, a small family living in a 3-bedroom house would probably be classed as a ‘medium use’ home. They could expect to use around 12,000 kWh of gas and 3,100 kWh of electricity in a year.

How do I reduce my energy consumption?

Concerned that your kWh use is too high and costing too much? There are two things you can do:

  1. Claim a free smart meter – this will help you monitor your energy use and take control of your spending.
  2. Switch to a cheaper energy supplier. Eversmart Energy offer some of the best value energy tariffs on the market. You can enter you details and get a quote in under two minutes here.

About Eversmart Energy

Hi. We’re Eversmart and this is our blog! We're a UK energy supplier with a simple goal - to repair the broken relationship between people and their energy company. We also happen to be one the cheapest energy suppliers in the country!

Take a look around to find out what we’ve been up to here at Eversmart HQ. This is also where we share energy saving tips, industry news and advice on how to manage your account. You can find out more about us on our homepage - eversmartenergy.co.uk.