New technology can charge an electric car in just 8 minutes

electric car

Swiss company ABB have unveiled the ‘world’s fastest’ electric vehicle charger, which can give an electric car 200km of range in just 8 minutes.

The Terra HP fast charger is said to be the fastest in the world, operating at powers of up to 350 kilowatts – around three times faster than Tesla’s Superchargers which put out 120 kilowatts, and almost 6 times more powerful than the CHAdeMO charging technology used by Volkswagen.

ABB demonstrated the new technology in front of world leaders and VIPs at this week’s Hanover Fair.

Consumer concerns

Long charging times and so-called ‘range anxiety’ are two often-cited reasons for the slow adoption of electric cars by the public, along with the relatively high price of new vehicles. The 8 minute charge-time will hopefully help to ease some of these concerns.

ABB fast charger

Worldwide roll-out

ABB have chargers in around 6,500 locations in 60 countries, including the UK. The brand has also been selected by Electrify America, the biggest electric vehicle infrastructure project in the United States.

The new fast chargers are intended for highway rest stops and petrol stations, where short charge times are essential. It’s hoped that putting charging stations along popular routes will boost consumer confidence and encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile, Tesla are pushing ahead with their plans to put more chargers in urban areas. The company are busy developing new compact superchargers, which are ideal for cramped, inner-city locations where space is limited.

 

ABB is a “pioneering technology leader in electrification products, robotics and motion, industrial automation and power grids, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally.” The Swiss/Swedish company oprate in more than 100 countries and employ around 135,000 people.

 

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Should I switch to a small energy supplier?

Should I switch to a small energy supplier

For a long time the gas & electricity market has been dominated by the so-called ‘Big 6’ energy firms, leaving consumers with a limited number of options when it came to choosing a supplier. Today, there are over 40 energy providers including many smaller – or ‘independent’ – companies who can offer very competitive prices.

But despite the fact they are considerably cheaper, many people are nervous about switching to a lesser-known supplier – but should you be?

What is an independent energy supplier?

Basically, any company that isn’t one of the Big 6 – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON, npower, Scottish Power or SSE– is considered as a ‘small’ or ‘independent’ energy company.

Back in 2014, the energy regulator Ofgem announced plans to open up the electricity market and encourage healthier competition between suppliers. These plans included several proposals that would “level the playing field” and make it easier for independent firms to compete with the big boys – such as greater transparency when it comes to wholesale energy prices.

As a result, dozens of new suppliers entered the market, offering lower prices thanks to smaller overheads and freedom from some of the government obligations placed on the Big 6. Eversmart Energy was one of these companies – offering competitive pricing and refreshingly modern customer service through text and social media. We started supplying in 2016, and two years later we’re still going strong and still proudly independent!

Is it safe to switch to a small supplier?

A recent survey from Citizens Advice revealed that 1 in 3 people don’t feel confident switching energy suppliers. Another study from Money Saving Expert asked people what puts them off from switching – the number one answer was being unsure about using an unfamiliar firm.

Money Saving Expert noted on their blog: “While our poll shows many are wary of smaller suppliers, and feedback on new small suppliers is often limited, previous MSE polls suggest some smaller firms can actually offer a better customer experience than their big-name counterparts.”

Ofgem have also attempted to ease concerns about the stability of some smaller suppliers. If an energy company ceases trading, regulations are in place to make sure you are transferred smoothly over to a new supplier.

Whenever you switch energy suppliers, there’s very little hassle and no interruption to your supply. If you do decide to switch to an independent, you could save up to £300 a year!

How do independent companies keep their prices so low?

Eversmart Energy offer a free Smart Meter to every customer – this allows us to reduce operational costs and pass the savings on to you. Like many independents, we’re smaller and more flexible than some of our bigger competitors, with fewer overheads and lower operational costs.

We also understand that people’s lifestyles are changing, along with the way they like to communicate. If you don’t have the time to speak to us over the phone, we’re happy to communicate via text, social media or Facebook messenger – whatever works for you! We like to think we do things the smart way.

How do I make the switch?

Switching energy suppliers is quick, simple and hassle-free. You can get a quote and find out how much you could save here.

The UK just went three days without using coal power

coal power

The UK has just gone for a record-breaking 3 days without using any electricity from burning coal. The last time that happened was in the 19th century!

The country was runnng on nuclear, gas and renewables for a total of 76 hours, smashing the previous record of 55 hours set just last week, and far exceeding the 24-hour coal-free period from last April.

Demand for energy dropped during the recent period of warm weather, allowing other sources to cover the country’s needs without having to rely on ‘dirty’ power from coal.

According to the National Grid, gas power did most of the heavy lifting during the 3 day period, providing just over 30% of the total power used. Wind power came in second place with 25%, followed by nuclear at 23%. Other sources (including imported energy from Europe and biomass generation) accounted for around 15%. Solar power came in last with 6%.

UK electricty mix

Drop in demand

Coal power did experience a temporary spike in demand during the recent cold snap caused by the ‘beast from the east’. An increase in gas being used for heating reduced the amount available for power generation, causing coal power plants to come online.

Despite this, experts are expecting an overall drop in demand for coal, with the National Grid forecasting lower demand this summer compared to 2017, and two coal plants expected to close later this year.

Industry experts are optimistic that we will hit more renewable energy milestones in the coming year. “Ever rising renewable capacity in the UK will see these records fall more and more frequently, clearly showing progress made over the past decade or two,” said Jonathan Marshall, an analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit.

Video: What is Fracking?

What is fracking?

Hydraulic fracturing (or “fracking” for short) has been big news over the last decade or so. As natural gas reserves are being depleted around the world, this once expensive and complicated energy source is becoming increasing more viable, attractive and profitable.

It’s also a highly controversial technique, with well-documented potential implications to the environment and public health.

The short video below is from the excellent Kurzgesagt Youtube channel. Using animation and simple language, it explains what fracking is, how it works, the risks and the potential benefits. If you’ve ever felt confused by the whole fracking debate, it’s well worth a watch.

What do you think about fracking? Do the rewards outweigh the risks? Leave a comment below!

Renewable energy for beginners

renewable energy

Experts predict that the world will run out of traditional fossil fuels within fifty to one hundred years from now.

Renewable energy sources – such as wind, solar, wave, tidal and geothermal energy – have been steadily growing in popularity around the world for well over a decade, and as resources like coal and gas become more scarce,the world will need to up its renewable capacity.

Have you ever been confused by renewable energy? This excellent short video from National Geographic explains what it is, the advantages and disadvantages of alternative energy, and the challenges the world still needs to overcome in order to let go of our fossil fuel dependency.

The video answers questions such as:

  • What is renewable energy?
  • What are the most common sources of renewable power?
  • What are the benefits of renewable energy?
  • Are there any downsides to renewable energy?

10 simple ways to save energy around the home

energy saving tip

Saving energy doesn’t have to be difficult – following these 10 simple tips will help you cut your energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint!

Switch to energy saving light bulbs

They may be a little more expensive, but energy saving bulbs last much longer and will save you money in the long-run. Replacing all of the traditional light bulbs in your home with LED lamps of the same brightness will save you around £35 per year!

Turn off the lights when you leave the room

Lights are responsible for around 7% of the total electricity used in the average home. If you can get into the habit of turning off the lights whenever you leave a room, you can really take a bite out of your energy bill!

Use a washing up bowl

It sounds incredibly simple, but using a bowl when you do the dishes (instead of keeping the hot tap running) can knock around £25 off your annual gas bill and £30 off your water bill, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

Wait until it’s full

Don’t turn on your washing machine or dishwasher until they are nice and full. Doing so will significantly reduce your electricity and water bills.

Turn appliances off at the wall

Putting your electrical appliances on standby mode isn’t the same as turning them off at the wall. Even though they look like they are off, TVs, computers, games consoles etc. will continue draining power in when left on standby. Make a habit of flicking the switch on the socket.

Don’t overfill the kettle

The UK has a nasty habit of boiling too much water when making a cuppa, resulting in £68 million of wasted energy each year. Next time you make a brew, only heat the amount of water you need – or better yet, get a smaller kettle.

Set your fridge to the right temperature

Most fridges have a thermostat – find out where it is and set it to the right temperature. Your fridge should be between 3 and 5°C, and your freezer should be around -18 °C.

Take it easy with the oven

Pre-heating your oven doesn’t take as long as some people think – around 10-15 minutes is just fine. Turning it on earlier just wastes energy. You can also turn the oven off a few minutes before the end of your cooking time (especially if it’s electric).

Take a shower

Showers are far more efficient than baths, in terms of water and gas usage. If everybody in a family of four replaced one bath a week with a quick shower, you could save up to £20 a year on gas bills and £20 on water.

Get a Smart Meter

A smart meter gives you a near real-time view of your energy usage and will help you identify & cut out energy waste. You can get a free smart meter fitted by a trained engineer when you switch to Eversmart – find out more here.

 

Sources

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/lighting
http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/saving-water
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23175220

A record number of people switched their electricity supplier in February

switching electricity

Over 660,000 people switched electricity suppliers last month, according to industry figures from Energy UK.

This is the highest ever number of people switching in a single month, and represents a 60% increase compared to the same period last year.

2017 also saw the highest number of people switching gas suppliers since 2008, according to the latest figures released by Ofgem.

The unusually cold weather, better informed customers and aggressive advertising by certain energy firms have all been suggested by experts as reasons for the high figures. Around 20% of switches were people moving away from the ‘Big 6’ and opting for a cheaper, independent supplier.

See also: Should I switch to a smaller energy supplier?

“The energy market has never been so competitive, and it’s great to see record numbers of consumers engaging in the market to get a better deal” said chief executive of Energy UK Lawrence Slade.

Customers can save up to £300 per year by switching their gas and electricity to a smaller, more competitive supplier such as Eversmart.

Welcome to our new blog!

Welcome to our new blog

Hello and welcome to the brand new Eversmart Blog!

Over the coming weeks and months you will see this area of our website filling up with useful advice, news from the energy industry, stories from our customers and announcements from our team.

There isn’t much to see yet, but please be sure to check back very soon! You can also keep up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We love hearing from our customers – if you have a question to ask our team or a story you would like to tell us about, please let us know in the comments section below or via one of our social media channels.

Have you made the switch yet?

You could save up to £400 a year by switching your gas & electricity to Eversmart. Get a quote 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.