Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Eddie's 5 Tips to Manage Emails

In the current digitalised world, emails have become an everyday part of life. It has become common to check emails on the go, and it has almost become an expectation to have a reply in a matter of minutes; but what is the best way to manage a constant influx of emails?

I have listed a few of my favourite tips – let me know what do you think!

Before you begin to implement a new strategy to manage your emails, you should have a clear out! We are all guilty of saving emails ‘just in case’ or subscribing to mailing lists that we never look at.  Making sure you de-clutter, and delete all unnecessary emails so you can have a fresh start and really make the most of my top tips.

-          Create Separate Folders to Organise Your Inbox
This will de-clutter your main inbox, making it easier to manage the incoming mail, while making it simpler to find old emails that you may need to refer to in the future.

-          Dedicate Time to Your Inbox
Setting aside specific time each day to check your inbox will allow you to concentrate on other tasks without constantly being distracted by incoming mail. The amount of time you choose to spend on your emails will vary depending on your job role, some will need to check every hour, and others will only need to check once a day. If you’re unsure, I would recommend starting with three a day, once in the morning, then again in the early afternoon and then finally an hour or so before you go home. Once you have tried this for a few days you can begin to adjust.

-          Send Less Mail
This one seems stupidly obvious and you may think you already do this, but if you want to receive fewer emails into your inbox; make a conscious effort to send less. Think about the email you are about to send, is it really needed or could you pick up the phone/walk across the office and have that discussion.

-          Create Templates
Doing this won’t help to reduce the amount of emails you get, but it will mean you spend less time looking at them. If you notice a pattern in your responses or if you are consistently sending similar emails, consider creating templates so you can customise emails depending on who you are sending it to, rather than typing a whole new email every time.

-          One Touch Rule
Adopting the one touch rule means you only come in to contact, with any incoming emails, once (This rule works best for those who set aside specific time to deal with emails). Once the email has been opened you must then do something with it, either by replying, carrying out the action required or putting it on your to do list. This rule is a great one to adopt for anyone who finds them continuously read the same emails over and over again.

These were just a few of my favourite ways to manage emails. All of the suggestions can be implemented as soon as you have finished reading this article – so give it a go and let me know how you get on!

Eddie – The nation’s favourite energy Guru x

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Bristol Energy takes the alternative approach

What is Bristol Energy?
Bristol Energy is a supplier founded by Bristol Council in 2015. It describes itself as 'a force for social good' and looks to deliver energy on a not for profit basis. The company focuses on using renewable energy to bring lower prices to consumers than the Big Six.

Bristol Energy has hit the headlines this week due to an alternative take on environmentally producing energy in the UK.

The new scheme aims to use actual human bodily waste to create a substance known as biomethane. This is a gas that is a clean alternative to fossil fuels, and therefore more environmentally friendly.

Working in collaboration with GENeco, the organisation will turn poo from the local residents into energy. Furthermore, any profits from the alternative service will be reinvested into the community.

The science behind it works as follows:
  • GENeco turns the waste into a sludgy substance
  • The sludge goes through anaerobic digestion
  • This process creates a biogas
  • Biogas is then cleaned and transformed
  • The new substance is the same composition as natural gas (98% methane)
This innovative project will also look to use waste food products in a similar way. Want to find out more about how the project works? Click here to watch the video and find out more.

Interested to find out if a scheme like this can save money on your business energy bills? Contact Energy Advice Line today by calling 0800 915 1800 to get a free, no obligation quote and see how much you could save.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Is the National Grid running out of juice?

With the recent hit of the 'Beast from the East', and the small bursts of cold weather since, questions have been raised as to whether or not the National Grid is prepared. As temperatures drop the instinct is to crank up the heating to keep warm, but can our supplies keep up?

The question pops up every year, if not mulitple times a year, but this year the Grid was hit with infrastructure problems around the same time as the cold snap which put extra pressure on an already stretched system.

Our largest gas storage system in the UK, Rough, requires maintenance. Gas prices aren't as high as they once were, which means that the repairs were looking costly and the decision has been made to close it down. It was due to supply the last bulk of gas to the UK during the 'Beat from the East' but the cold temperatures actually caused a fault in the system.

Shortly thereafter, South Hook also suffered problems. South Hook is the UK's largest LNG (liquified natural gas) plant. This, in addition to three power stations being out for most of the day, caused the UK to go back to coal powered energy for the most part of the 24 hour problems.

Energy experts have been monitoring this situation for a long time, which is why we didn't suffer any shortage of power through the bitterly cold weather. We have an agreement in place that allows us to import energy when we need it and peaks costs over short periods of time when extra supply is really needed.

We also saw a lot of the extra energy being picked up by wind turbines over the snowy weekend, with nuclear power being the fourth in line to provide the power.

The best way to ensure that your house is kept warm during future cold spells is to take the time and make sure that it is adequately insulated. An advantage of this then means that you don't need to put the heating on as high, you'll get warmth that lasts longer by using less power. It will be an investment at first, but you'll find the savings appear in the long term.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Saving money in a cold snap

The 'Beast from the East' has arrived on UK soil. Whether you're prepared or not, there's a few things to keep in mind with the cold front on our doorsteps.

First thing's first - what is it?

The current cold snap is what's known as a polar vortex. It's cold air that sits above the north and south poles and is controlled by low pressure, moving in different directions depending on which pole it is at. This weather has come over to us from Russia, with Siberian winds.

How can I keep warm?

Jumpers, and lots of them! Other than the obvious layering up, try and make sure any gloves aren't woollen where you're using your hands a lot outside. You may have seen when deicing the car that the ice sticks to the wool, this means that it then melts and makes your fingers even colder - there's a reason ski gloves aren't knitted.

Should I blast the heating in short bursts, or keep it low?

The verdict is always out on this one, some believe that keeping the heating on low all the time is more efficient, and others believe you should only have it on a little before you need it and only a little after it's reached the desired temperature. While there's no ultimate answer, having the heating on low does mean that everything is circulating through the pipes and there's less chance of the system freezing.

Be draught proof

It doesn't need to cost a fortune to prepare the house - padded strips can be bought from DIY stores at little to no cost; line your doorframes and block out any unwated chilly breezes. If you're not using your open fireplace then consider getting it temporarily filled so that no warmth escapes up the chimney, and no cold breezes come down! 

Check in on your neighbours

The cold is difficult for everyone, but particularly elderly neighbours, if you have anyone vulnerable living in your neighbourhood then consider dropping in and saying hi. It doesn't need to be a massive gesture taking up your entire evening, but pop in and make sure they have anything they might need. A good deed makes everyone feel better.

Be prepared for the energy bills

If there's any costs you can cut back on during this time, then do because your heating bill is going to rise. Consider the little things like making your own coffee to take to work (and keep your hands warm), have a packed lunch, plan your food shop with similar ingredients - your bank account will thank you later, even if you have to be a little boring for a couple of weeks.

If you have any questions regarding the price of your energy bill, or if you want to know if you could be saving money by switching to someone else then give us a call on 0800 915 1800 and speak to one of our impartial gurus. Visit for more information.

Friday, 26 January 2018

Top Tips for 2018

If you're looking to get your energy spend in check for 2018 then look no further. We've got reminders of some of the easily forgotten jobs, as well as a couple of different ones you may not have thought of before.

  • Energy saving light bulbs - now a standard in most stores, there's really no excuse to not be using them. Be sure to check the colour of the bulb your buying, soft or warm whites are best for the home whereas cool or pure whites are more suitable for the office according to the Energy Saving Trust. Bonus tip: when did you last clean your lights? Dust in the fittings can reduce efficiency so be sure to give them a quick wipe when you change the bulbs.
  • Clearing out the freezer - one for the home, while having your freezer sufficiently filled helps keep the temperature constant, over-filling can result in the items nearer the door defrosting without you realising. Consider defrosting a couple of times a year to ensure everything is working as it should.
  • PAT Testing - make sure to book a regular PAT testing with your local service engineers and ensure that all office and work place electroics are working up to scratch and not likely to cause any hazards. While replacing old equipment will be an upfront cost, newer devices are likely to be more efficient meaning long term savings.
  • The Tea Round - While often the tea round can be a good time for a bit of office gossip catching up, it's also more energy efficient than everyone making their own 'sneaky tea'. The guidelines to keep in mind however include not filling the kettle with more water than you need, always fill enough to cover the heating element, and it doesn't necessarily need to reach a full boil before making the tea.
  • Get a smart meter - You've no doubt received a letter from your supplier by now requesting to book an appointment for your smart meter installation. The main aim of these units is to report your energy usage back to your supplier in real time, but it also helps you to see how much your spending - consider tracking your usage for one month, and then trying to beat it the next.
 And don't forget, it always pays to make sure you're paying the best rates on the market. Visit for your free, no obligation quote and find out how much you could be saving when you switch. Not all suppliers charge if you leave the contract early, or you can register for a renewal reminder to check again once your contract is up for renewal.