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BASE METALS: Copper Gains On Weak Dollar, Stronger US Data

BASE METALS: Copper Gains On Weak Dollar, Stronger US Data

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Copper futures rose Tuesday, bolstered by a weaker dollar and stronger U.S. economic data.

Copper for March delivery, the most-active contract, gained 6.10 cents, or 1.8%, to settle at $3.3695 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

December-delivery copper rallied 6.20 cents, or 1.9%, to settle at $3.3630 a pound.

Copper futures lurched higher after the latest report showed U.S. housing starts vaulted past expectations, rocketing up 9.3% in November to their highest level in 19 months.

The report was “encouraging” for copper prices, traders at Sucden Financial said in a note to clients. Copper is widely used in electrical wiring and water plumbing in residential construction.

A stronger euro, which breached the $1.31 level for the first time in a week, helped copper prices to maintain their upward momentum. Copper futures are denominated in dollars and can appear less expensive to investors who use other currencies when the U.S. currency eases.

Copper futures also drew strength from a report showing German business confidence improved in December, overturning expectations of a decline.

However, the longer-term outlook for copper is growing dark as an imminent slowdown in China’s demand for the industrial metal, which is set to coincide with a recession in Europe, will likely see copper prices slip below $3 a pound in early 2012, Bart Melek, head of commodity strategy at TD Securities, said in a note to clients.

“The slower global economy implies that world consumption will increase by less than 3.5% next year, compared to a 7.4% average in the last two years,” Melek said.

Copper settlements (ranges include electronic and pit trading):
Dec $3.3630; up 6.20 cents; Range $3.3230-$3.3785
Mar $3.3695; up 6.10 cents; Range $3.2855-$3.3900

-By Tatyana Shumsky, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3095; tatyana.shumsky@dowjones.com

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EU energy chief calls for new renewable energy targets

EU energy chief calls for new renewable energy targets

Günther Oettinger said new targets were needed for 2030, to enable businesses to plan ahead

 

New renewable energy targets to go beyond 2020 must be negotiated within the next two years, the Europe’s energy chief said on Thursday.

 

Günther Oettinger, the EU energy commissioner, said new targets were needed for 2030 to enable businesses to plan ahead, as the current targets to produce 20% of Europe’s energy from renewable sources run out in 2020. Oettinger was introducing a new EU energy roadmap to 2050, which showed that opting for a very high renewables component to the energy mix would be no more expensive than opting for alternative scenarios that placed more emphasis on nuclear power or coal and gas with carbon capture and storage.

 

He said that he expected binding renewable energy targets for 2030 to be in place by 2014: “With our roadmap we want to ensure that, for all participants, there should be an interesting discussion on binding targets for renewables by 2030. This should begin now and lead to a decision in two years’ time.”

 

It is the first time Oettinger has set out a clear timetrable for new targets. It follows an agreement reached at UN climate talks in Durban on Sundayby which all developed and developing countries agreed to negotiate an international agreement on emissions reductions “with legal force” that would be written and signed by the end of 2015 and would come into force from 2020.

 

By ensuring that Europe has its own post-2020 emissions and renewable targets decided in 2014, the EU will be in a better place to negotiate as a bloc and to meet the timetable set out in Durban. But the wrangling among member states over what the targets should be is likely to be fierce.

 

The UK is ahead of the rest in having set a “fourth carbon budget” for emissions reductions in the 2020s, under which plan emissions would be roughly halved by 2025 compared with 1990 levels. Even that has become less certain, however, as the chancellor, George Osborne, wants a review of the targets in 2014.

 

There is no agreement among other member states on what future targets should be, and several, such as Poland and other east European countries, want weaker targets while some Scandinavian countries want to be tough. Negotiating on targets was hard enough three years agowhen the EU’s 2020 targets were set. Reopening the discussions in the midst of the worst financial crisis and recession since the war, and with the eurozone looking precarious, will be triply difficult.

 

Oettinger has also supported weaker targets for 2020 than the climate commissioner, Connie Hedegaard.

Launching the 2050 energy roadmap, Oettinger said: “Only a new energy model will make our system secure, competitive and sustainable in the long-run. We now have a European framework for the necessary policy measures to be taken in order to secure the right investments.”

 

The roadmap puts the share of renewables in total energy use by 2050 at between 55% (in the lowest scenario) and 75% (in the highest scenario) – up to 97% in the share of electricity consumption.

 

Christian Kjaer, chief executive officer of the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) in Brussels said: “The commission’s communication could have been clearer in its commitment to binding renewable energy targets for 2030. However, with his strong statement today, Oettinger has provided European industry and citizens with that clarity. The European parliament and council must now give the commission a clear mandate to come forward with ambitious binding 2030 targets for renewable energy.”

 

 

 

Greenpeace’s EU energy policy director, Frauke Thies, said: “The roadmap shows that getting clean energy from renewables will cost taxpayers no more than getting dirty and dangerous energy from coal or nuclear power. The commission will be tempted to overplay the role of coal and nuclear energy to appease the likes of Poland and France, but the numbers in the roadmap are unequivocal. It proves that a modern energy system can’t do without renewables and efficiency, but can easily consign coal and nuclear power to the past.

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CIPHE Sets Up New Renewable Energy Group

THE organisation which represents thousands of heating and plumbing engineers across the country has set up a new working group to look at the issues surrounding renewable energy. The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has launched the group and its first meeting will be held in the New Year. The country’s leading heating and plumbing organisation has more than 12,000 members across the country and represents the interests of the industry at local and national level. And with increasing subsidies for renewable energy schemes and growing interest in sustainability the CIPHE believes the time is right to create a new advisory body. Changes to the law have also meant that there is more pressure than ever before on the industry to cut emissions. The Climate Change Act which was introduced in 2008 set legally binding reduction targets which mean the emissions will have to reduced by 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. And with heating leading to the highest percentage of carbon emissions in homes the pressure is on the industry to lead the way in introducing new renewable technologies. The group is being headed up by leading industry expert Keith Westcott and it has already drawn up a set of core objectives and aims. Its core mission is to keep a close eye on emerging technologies and pass on the necessary advice and information to CIPHE members. The newly created body is also keen to take part in the ongoing debate on renewable energy and advise the Government on policy. Mr Westcott, who is chief executive of the Lafarge J.V. Thermoplane specialising in eco-radiant screeds for heating and comfort cooling, has been named as the chairman of the new advisory group. He said: “The overwhelming response from our members has been very positive. We recognise the importance of education, communication and interaction with the UK’s heating and plumbing installer and contractor network especially at this time. “We also want to make the best use of the vast knowledge of our members and relay the information back to the industry and to outside organisations.” He added: “The complex nature of renewable sector from the point of view of a tradesman can be intimidating due to many factors. We want to help our members get to grip with all the important issues and new technologies. “Through our quarterly meetings and regular up-dates we will be looking to inform and educate plumbing and heating contractors. We also want to place ourselves at the centre of the interaction and conversations between the installers of renewable technologies and all other industry sectors.” The first meeting of the new advisory group is due to take place on January 10th at Lafarge Cement offices in Solihull, Birmingham.

Courtesy of

http://www.ciphe.org.uk

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Copper Futures Down on Slowing Global Manufacturing

Copper futures closed down on Thursday, as data pointing toward slowing manufacturing growth put the growth-sensitive red metal under pressure. In the previous session, copper rallied the most in a month on strong US economic data and moves by central banks to increase global financial liquidity.

Poor Chinese manufacturing data trimmed some of the optimism spurred by a move by major central banks to aid distressed European lenders. Early Thursday, China released its official purchasing managers’ index for November, which fell to 49, down from October’s 50.4. A reading above 50 indicated economic growth, while a reading below 50 points to contraction. Copper for three-month delivery on theLME was down 1.3 percent to $7,772.50 a tonne. On the COMEX, copper for December delivery fell 4.1 cents, or 1.2 percent, to settle at $3.522 a pound.

Copper’s modest losses, on the back of a day of strong gains, suggest that the overall sentiment for the metal’s future is positive. Still, analysts have cautioned that they key for the future of copper is whether or not European leaders are able to agree to a plan to tackle the European debt crisis. The next crucial date is December 9, when theEuropean Union Summit is scheduled to take place. The European Central Bank signaled it was ready to take stronger action to fight Europe’s debt crisis if political leaders agree next week on much tighter budget controls in the 17-nation Eurozone.

Copper’s downside was also limited by upbeat data in the United States, the world’s largest economy. The US has churned out some promising economic data; most recently the US’s manufacturing data set a bullish tone. The pace of growth in the US manufacturing sector picked up in November at its strongest level since June, data showed earlier, while US constructions pending increased more than expected in October. Today, a global manufacturing report was released that showed that, unfortunately America is the only economy to be witnessing manufacturing growth. The data in Europe points toward recession-level manufacturing growth and indicates that China’s growth is cooling.

In light of the mixed economic data across the globe, the major investment houses have differing opinions on how copper will perform, in the near term. A year ago today an analysts were almost unanimously bullish over copper’s outlook.  Today, commodities powerhouse Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) announced that it will maintain its “overweight” recommendation on commodities for the next 12 months, forecasting a 15 percent rally, as potential supply shortages in the physical markets could push markets higher. In a statement, Goldman stated “increasingly tighter physical markets driven by destocking and increasing supply disappointments leave many commodity markets extremely vulnerable to upside in the near to medium term.” Goldman’s competitors, including JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) have a more bearish outlook for the commodities.

Company news

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), the developers of the giant Conga gold and copper mine in northern Peru decided to suspended the project late Tuesday night, saying they were bowing to a demand from the government of President Ollanta Humala. Much of the northern district of Cajamarca has been paralyzed the last six days by general strikes called by people opposed to the development of the Conga project.

Violence in the region escalated Tuesday, as protesters burned an office at the site of the proposed mine and clashes between protesters and police in the area left 17 injured and two arrested. Newmont, has proposed investing $4.8 billion in the new project, which could produce between 580,000 and 680,000 ounces of gold a year and 155 million to 235 million pounds of copper for the first five years. The government had projected it would receive royalties and taxes totaling $800 million annually once the mine was fully operational after 2014. The project was initially approved by former President Alan Garcia and given the stamp of approval by Humala, who took office in July. There was some nervousness over the future of mining in Peru, once Humala was elected.  Humala has been critiqued for having a  ”left wing- anti-mining” politcal viewpoint. He is also good friends with the controversial leader of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

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Balham, Clapham, Battersea and Wimbledon

Balham, Clapham, Battersea and Wimbledon

If you have central heating problems, plumbing issues like leaking taps or burst pipes, electrical testing requirements or certification, landlords annual safety certification on gas appliances, bathroom fitting or repair, tiling or decorating in these areas call now to get your 15% locals discount on most services!!

Just quote ”Locals Discount” and state the area you are in!!

 

Call now!!

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CIPHE Sets Up New Renewable Energy Group

THE organisation which represents thousands of heating and plumbing engineers across the country has set up a new working group to look at the issues surrounding renewable energy.

The Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) has launched the group and its first meeting will be held in the New Year.

The country’s leading heating and plumbing organisation has more than 12,000 members across the country and represents the interests of the industry at local and national level.

And with increasing subsidies for renewable energy schemes and growing interest in sustainability the CIPHE believes the time is right to create a new advisory body. Changes to the law have also meant that there is more pressure than ever before on the industry to cut emissions.

The Climate Change Act which was introduced in 2008 set legally binding reduction targets which mean the emissions will have to reduced by 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050. And with heating leading to the highest percentage of carbon emissions in homes the pressure is on the industry to lead the way in introducing new renewable technologies.

The group is being headed up by leading industry expert Keith Westcott and it has already drawn up a set of core objectives and aims.

Its core mission is to keep a close eye on emerging technologies and pass on the necessary advice and information to CIPHE members. The newly created body is also keen to take part in the ongoing debate on renewable energy and advise the Government on policy.

Mr Westcott, who is chief executive of the Lafarge J.V. Thermoplane specialising in eco-radiant screeds for heating and comfort cooling, has been named as the chairman of the new advisory group.

He said: “The overwhelming response from our members has been very positive. We recognise the importance of education, communication and interaction with the UK’s heating and plumbing installer and contractor network especially at this time.

“We also want to make the best use of the vast knowledge of our members and relay the information back to the industry and to outside organisations.”

He added: “The complex nature of renewable sector from the point of view of a tradesman can be intimidating due to many factors. We want to help our members get to grip with all the important issues and new technologies.

“Through our quarterly meetings and regular up-dates we will be looking to inform and educate plumbing and heating contractors. We also want to place ourselves at the centre of the interaction and conversations between the installers of renewable technologies and all other industry sectors.”

The first meeting of the new advisory group is due to take place on January 10th at Lafarge Cement offices in Solihull, Birmingham.

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X RATED PROTECTION FOR WINTER

With some experts predicting a return to the freezing temperatures much of the country experienced before Christmas last year, water treatment specialist Sentinel is highlighting the benefits of its X500 Inhibited Antifreeze. The X500 has been formulated to protect heating systems against freezing, limescale and corrosion.

 

Part of the company’s X series of products, X500 works in all types of indirect heating systems including those containing aluminium components. It is also effective at preventing hydrogen gas production in the system.

The dosage for a system will depend upon the level of frost protection required — for example, a dosage of 20% will give protection down to -6°C, 30% will protect to -11°C and a dosage of 35% will protect down to -15°C.

Because of the big increase in demand experienced last winter, Sentinel is offering the X500 in 10 litre containers this year, making it to dose heating systems in bulk. They are also designed to be easier to handle and easier to transport.

“X500 has always been a popular product for us, particularly in Scotland, in the Highlands and Islands,” says Sentinel’s Director of Sales John Lynch, “but last year there was huge demand across the UK due to the arctic conditions. This year we’re well stocked up and ready to roll, ready to help keep heating systems working efficiently right through the cold spells!”

Rail card

The most recent addition to the X range of liquid protection products is the X100 Towel Rail Inhibitor, designed to prolong the life of heated towel rails, including those fitted to heating systems and ‘stand alone’ units.

John Lynch says “Failure to use an inhibitor product in the circulating water of a towel rail will result in corrosion, scale debris and sludge build up in the system that can cause common problems such as cold spots and pin holing.

“We’re extremely proud to be the first to introduce a towel rail inhibitor to the industry. It’s a quick and easy to use product that can give homeowners the reassurance that it will provide long lasting protection against corrosion and scaling problems. It’s a ‘must have’ liquid insurance that can help extend the life of the towel rail and it is a great addition to our award winning X range.”

http://www.phamnews.co.uk/

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PHCA WELCOMES REVISED ENERGY SAVING MATERIALS VAT ADVICE

PHCA WELCOMES REVISED ENERGY SAVING MATERIALS VAT ADVICE

Following communications with HMRC earlier in the year related to the application of VAT on energy savings materials, the Plumbing & Heating Contractors’ Alliance -. the overarching ody for plumbing and heating businesses in the UK – advises that HMRC has now issued revisions to its guidance on VAT and energy saving materials.

In May 2011, APHC and SNIPEF issued warnings to the industry to make sure they applied the appropriate VAT rate when installing heating systems. This followed increasing industry confusion about when and how the lower rate could be applied, with installers receiving dramatically different messages depending whose advice they took.

HMRC has now produced further guidance about the application of VAT  on energy saving materials. Notice 708/6 – November 2011 seeks toclarify a number of issues relating to VAT, with the main point of interest for plumbing and heating engineers being the guidelines in section 2.3, which give more specific advice on the VAT rate to be applied to energy saving materials installed with other works.

John Thompson, Chief Executive, APHC said: “We are pleased that our dialogue with HMRC has been productive. These updated guidelines mirror the advice HMRC provided in a letter to us in response to our enquiries. At the time we received the letter in the summer, we advised members and the wider industry to think very carefully when applying VAT to certain types of work and we would reiterate this advice. Now that the guidance is laid out in black and white, I’d urge all installers to take the time to read it.”

Robert Burgon, Chief Executive, of SNIPEF, added: “The clearer guidance from HMRC is welcomed as many installers have been confused by the information which has been circulating about this issue”

Both trade bodies do, however, agree that  a policy change is needed to allow the lower rate of VAT on all home improvement work as a stimulus to the plumbing and heating sector which has been hit hard in the recession. A policy change in this area would also address the complexities of VAT application on energy saving materials.

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Elderly targeted by ‘energy saving’ box scam

Elderly people are being duped into buying a device billed as an “energy-saving box”, which has been found to be dangerous, according to an article published by BBC News.

So far, Trading Standards has stated that they have had more than 200 complaints.

Claiming to be energy suppliers, dodgy sales people are putting out calls offering the device, which plugs in to the mains, stating that it cuts the use of electricity by around 40 per cent.

These calls are thought to be made from overseas.

However, officials have stated that the device – priced at £99 – is dangerous and could potentially cause both fire and electrocution.

Chief executive of the Trading Standards Institute, Ron Gainsford commented on the device.

He said: “We have had a number of the items tested which not only failed to satisfy electrical safety standards but do not deliver any tangible energy savings.”

Sue Jones of Westminster trading standards also spoke about the issue, stating: “Often consumers do not realise that they have been defrauded until they receive the dodgy looking device with instructions in broken English and the accompanying invoice which names an unknown supplier and often gives an American address.”

Latest gas and electricity news brought to you by UK Power – the energy price comparison site.

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Huhne claims government policies will mean net savings on energy bills from 2013

Energy secretary Chris Huhne claimed today that by 2020 the average household bill will be 7 per cent or £94 lower than if the Government were not pursuing policies to achieve energy savings and incentivise the shift from fossil fuels to alternatives.

Huhne insisted that the net saving would start to kick in from around 2013.

This assessment came as the government published its annual energy statement to Parliament and further detailed proposals for its flagship Green Deal initiative.

The government said that by the end of 2011 household electricity prices will have increased by around 16 per cent and household gas prices by 25 per cent since the start of the year, due mostly to global fossil fuel prices.

The Coalition has insisted that Government policies currently account for around 7 per cent of an average household energy bill and have contributed very little to recent price increases. 

Comments


By Richard Lloyd, executive director, Which?,
It s difficult to see how hard-pressed homeowners will have confidence in how the Green Deal might work for them if the suggested savings are initially based on averages rather than on their personal energy use.

The Golden Rule was supposed to reassure people that Green Deal repayments would not exceed the savings made on energy bills. But if this is based on average figures then it could be meaningless for many.

The Government estimates that average household energy bills will be 7% lower than they would have been by 2020 because of new energy and climate polices. But this is based on the big assumption that schemes like Green Deal will appeal to consumers. If take-up is lower than expected, energy bills will be pushed up even further


By Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner Paul Steedman
Our energy bills are rocketing because the Big Six power companies are keeping us hooked on expensive imported gas.
Government figures show that building costly and dirty fossil fuel power stations will simply pump up bills while investing in clean energy will create new jobs and ease the burden on cash-strapped consumers.
Our politicians must face the facts the Green Deal proposals must be strengthened if they are to tackle energy waste.
And Ministers must get tough on the energy giants and put the UK on the path to a clean and affordable energy future.


By Ray Cope
If we had not wasted our gas supplies on power generation we would not be hit so hard by the cost of imported gas.Its too late now to do much about it but it would probably pay to invest in synthetic natural gas.I would like to see the figures as I am sure it would be viable. In the meantime I am at a loss to understand why the government has not told Ofgem to impose a price formula of RPI-2.It was taken away when ofgem said there was adequate competition. That was clearly a huge error of judgement.


By Rugbygirlsdad
While I agree with Richard about the green deal, there’s a lot of over-simplification here of a very complex issue. My understanding is that energy companies overall profit levels are no higher than supermarkets and that we have the lowest energy prices in Europe. Also wind and solar are intermittent generation and cannot solve the enrgy issue by themselves – if the winf doesn’t blow the lights go out.


By Ray Cope
It looks like at last all the major suppliers have signed up to a simplification of tariffs which will hopefully improve competition and perhaps bring down prices a little. It does beg the question why it has taken so long for this to happen. There is a regulator with a budget of 50m a year and consumer focus with about 14m a year. What are we paying these organisations for if they cannot bring pressure to bear and sort out these issues more quickly.


By RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery 
It s common sense that if you save fuel, you save money. Our existing power plants are reliant on increasingly expensive fossil fuels, and with more wind farms on the grid, we can use the free energy of the weather when it s available, slashing our demand for costly imported gas.

The figures in the Government s Annual Energy Statement demonstrate this simple truth that green measures, far from being expensive, can actually save us money. The 18p we re paying for wind power now means our bills will be lower in the future and we ll have tens of thousands of new green-collar jobs, thanks to that investment

 

Source: www.utilityweek.co.uk

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