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Arctic bird turns down immune system to conserve energy in winter

Arctic bird turns down immune system to conserve energy in winter

Science
April 28 (UPI) -- To survive the Arctic's frigid temperatures, animals must use their energy efficiently. According to a new study, one Arctic bird species, the Svalbard rock ptarmigan, utilizes a previously unknown energy-saving method. No bird lives closer to the North Pole than the the Svalbard rock ptarmigan. To better understand how the bird species survives the extreme conditions, researchers analyzed changes in the bird's immune system during the winter and late spring. "We have discovered that the birds reduce how much they spend on keeping their own immune defense system up and running during the five months of the year when it is dark around the clock, probably to save energy," Andreas Nord, researcher at Lund University in Sweden, said in a news release. "Instead, they use tho...
Two thirds of UK homes ‘fail on energy efficiency targets’

Two thirds of UK homes ‘fail on energy efficiency targets’

Science
Nearly two thirds of UK homes fail to meet long-term energy efficiency targets, according to data analysed by the BBC.More than 12 million homes fall below the C grade on Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) graded from A-G. It means householders spend more on energy bills and pump tonnes more CO2 into the atmosphere than necessary. The government has said it needs to go "much further and faster" to improve the energy performance of homes.Experts say retrofit measures are needed because so many homes were built before the year 1990.Dr Tim Forman, a research academic at the University of Cambridge's Centre for Sustainable Development, said now only a national project of a scale not seen since World War Two, would be enough to ...
Energy bills to fall for 15 million households from April

Energy bills to fall for 15 million households from April

Business
Around 15 million households are to see their energy bills fall by an average of £17 from April.The boost for domestic budgets comes after the industry regulator announced it would lower the price cap for the summer period, as a result of lower wholesale energy prices. The limit was introduced 12 months ago aimed at tackling so-called "rip-off" default tariffs.The default price cap, which protects around 11 million households, is set to fall from £1,179 to £1,162 from April.Meanwhile, the pre-payment meter cap, which protects a further 4 million households, will fall from £1,217 to £1,200 over the six months to September. Advertisement A large part of the reduction is due to wholesale costs continuing to fa
Ovo Energy to pay £8.9m for overcharging customers

Ovo Energy to pay £8.9m for overcharging customers

Business
Ovo, which is set to become the UK's second-largest energy company, has been forced to pay £8.9m by regulators after it overcharged customers.The firm, which bought SSE's retail business last year, sent inaccurate statements to more than half a million customers.Meanwhile, some of its customers did not receive a bill at all, the energy watchdog Ofgem said.The firm agreed a settlement package with Ofgem to dodge a fine.The money will be paid to vulnerable customers rather than the Treasury.Despite knowing about the issues, Ovo did not tell Ofgem.Failures since 2015"Ovo Energy billed a number of its customers incorrectly and issued them with inaccurate information," said Anthony Pygram, head of enforcement at Ofgem."The supplier did not prioritise putting t
Scientists pinpoint release of energy that powered series of solar flares

Scientists pinpoint release of energy that powered series of solar flares

Science
Jan. 17 (UPI) -- Scientists have precisely pinpointed the explosive release of energy that powered a series of solar flares -- a first. The solar flares were originally recorded in 2017 by the Expanded Owens Valley Solar Array, EOVSA, a radio telescope operated by the New Jersey Institute of Technology. While studying solar activity, the radio telescope spotted the birth of a new region of magnetic energy adjacent to an existing sunspot. The explosion of energy sent extremely hot plasma spewing from the solar atmosphere out into space. Recently, scientists reexamined the data collected by the EOVSA, looking for unique patterns recorded in microwave spectrum. Until now, scientists have only been able to study solar flares by examining the electromagnetic signatures registered at the phot...