Smart deployment could revolutionise energy usage

Those of you who possess a television or radio can’t have escaped the major push by the UK government to have smart electricity meters fitted in every UK household. That’s around 53 million meters – with the government stating that it is “committed to ensuring that every home and small business in the country is offered a smart meter by the end of 2020”.

Well, good luck with that to the UK government – whatever that might look like by 2020. The reality is that many homeowners just can’t see what all the fuss is about and how giving up a couple of hours during a working day to let the man in to fit the smart meter would benefit them.


Many still have lingering suspicions about smart meters. “Will Big Brother be monitoring when I do the washing or when I’m in or out of the house?”. Or other such neuroticisms. The latest smart meter adverts are intriguing.

Previous campaigns focused on how a household can better monitor their consumption and save money. The serious fact is that most households do use their energy efficiently, or as efficiently as their white goods can manage.

Turning off the occasional light bulb or switching the T V off completely rather than leaving it on standby are all worthwhile but will not to pay for the upgrade to economy plus when you fly the kids to Walt Disney World.

The most recent Government campaign however has an interesting and subtle change of emphasis. It talks about making the grid smarter and how we can all help with this.

Changing the emphasis from “how I can be helped,” to “how I can help others” is a master stroke and it’s really important that all things environmental continue like this.

We’re only going to reverse climate change if we look out for, and after, each other.

At the All-Energy and Dcarbonise conferences last week at the SEC, Newton co-presented a ground-breaking proposal to take a large city centre flatted development and hook it up to a smarter local grid network.


The real genius of this scheme is that if rolled out in volume, it could potentially reduce the need to build more power stations in the future, as our customer’s buildings through intelligent algorithms could persuade the local grid network that although the building could consume up to X Kw per hour, that in fact, it never consumes more than Y Kw per hour.

The excess capacity could therefore be deployed elsewhere. Scaled up, this scheme could revolutionise the way that electricity is generated and consumed in the UK.

We would never be in a position in the future of having to be able to generate maximum capacity “just in case.”

And you thought that property factors just washed down the close?

Watch this space.

Derek MacDonald is Joint Managing Director of Newton Property Management. For more information please visit

‘Rita’ will look Anywhere for quality fashion bargains.

RITA ORA is renowned for her bright, bold and colourful style, but shoppers in Glasgow did a double take when they thought they spotted her shopping for pre-loved items before her performance at the SSE Hydro ast night.
But all was not as it seemed. The “Rita” lookalike was part of a stunt, orchestrated by Zero Waste Scotland, to change perceptions of second hand shopping and showcase the quality and variety of pre-loved items in Revolve-certified second hand stores.

The photoshoot aimed to demonstrate that second hand shopping offers choice and value, and to reassure people that a new Revolve certification certifies shops for quality in safety, quality and cleanliness.

HeraldScotland: ‘Rita’ checks out Revolve goods.‘Rita’ checks out Revolve goods.

Wendy Russell, project manager at R:evolve Recycle, said: “Customers can easily find unusual or not-on-thehigh- street items, as well as more regular choices. Every store has different goods adding to the excitement of shopping.”

The Revolve certification aims to boost second hand shopping by improving the experience.

New figures reveal increasing numbers of Scottish shoppers are turning their back on the big high street names with more than half of consumers (55%) saying they consider buying second hand before purchasing new items.

A recent survey commissioned by Zero Waste Scotland, showed that 52% of Scots agree second hand stores are a great place to find exciting items.

Shoppers listed quality (90%), product choice (81%) and ease (73%) as the most important elements for a positive shopping experience.

While 48% of Scots already agree shopping second hand is important to save the environment, 43% of Scottish customers also associate shopping second hand as fun, 28% exciting and 25% cool, with only 13% of Scottish shoppers describing the second experience as embarrassing.

New terminology is also helping shoppers view second hand more positively, with a third of Scots describing stores selling re-used items as pre-loved, vintage and retro, helping alleviate the stigma often associated with the term second hand.

Iain Gulland, Chief Executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The quality and experience when shopping second hand is increasingly rivalling high street stores you might spot your favourite stars in. “Not only are there environmental and budget benefits, but second hand stores are full of hidden treasures and one of a kind items you wouldn’t find on the high street. “We want to show shoppers that the Revolve certification guarantees customers an experience that matches traditional high street retailers in quality, choice and ease.”

Currently, there are 149 Revolve certified nationwide offering a wide range of pre-loved items from clothes and furniture to white goods and bikes. For further details and to find a local Revolve store, check the website,

Scotland exports green know-how across globe.

More than 70 countries across the world are benefiting from Scotland’s knowledge of renewable energy, a survey from industry body Scottish Renewables suggests.

A survey has found that Scottish businesses have exported renewable energy goods or services to a total of
72 countries. The most popular export destination was the US, with nine of the 15 Scottish headquartered businesses which responded to the survey exporting to the States.

This was followed by Canada, Germany, Ireland and Sweden, equally, with eight companies exporting to each country. Renewables exports to other countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Brazil, Fiji, Kazakhstan and Singapore.

More than half (57%) of the Scottish headquartered firms responding to the survey said they were currently moving into new markets, with just under a third (29%) considering doing so.

Scottish Renewables chief executive Claire Mack said: “Scotland’s stretching renewable energy targets and the calibre of our engineering skills, in particular, mean the world is watching, and the results of this latest survey show the impact of our industry is now truly being felt across the globe.”

Fish chef urges fresh approach to tip balance of scales.

Chef Nathan Outlaw, proprietor of the UK’s only dedicated seafood restaurant – in Port Isaac, Cornwall – is urging cooks to swap for sustainable fish options.

“Mackerel is my ultimate fish,” says Outlaw. “It’s so versatile. If you’ve got it super fresh, you can have it raw [as sushi or ceviche]; it barbecues whole really well; you can pan fry or grill the fillets.”

Hake is next on his list, as a fish that is not only quite sustainable, it is also an easy switch for either cod or haddock.

HeraldScotland: Chef Nathan OutlawChef Nathan Outlaw

His final recommendation is aimed more at meat eaters keen to reduce their environmental impact. But it may comes as a bit of a surprise: “Cuttlefish is a very sustainable fish, and it’s decent value. A lot of people are used to cooking things like shepherd’s pie and lasagne using mince as the base, cuttlefish is the same sort of thing.

“You can cut it up, and cook it in the same way. As long as you braise it for an hour and a half in the sauce you’ve decided to put it in, you’ve got the same sort of texture as meat.

“The prepping of it is probably the sort of thing you’d want your fishmonger to do because it’s quite a messy old job.”

Find out more in his new book, Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, published by Bloomsbury Absolute, £45.


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