just few thoughts about the energy situation

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lindatoo
lindatoo Posts: 61 Forumite
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Like most people my gas bills have increased (not my electricity, I fixed last November until Nov 23). When I spoke to someone from British gas on Monday I was informed that my costs would be doubled in October (I did query why this was more than the anticipated increases I'd read about in media and was told that it was dependent on the area I live in which I don't really understand, so if anyone could enlighten me that would be really helpful.) Anyway I have worked out the eye watering costs based on 100% in Oct, 40% in Jan and 40% in April. I have to be warm so I will be heating to the same extent as last year but it got me thinking that maybe I could offer houseroom for the day to someone (foc) who might struggle to heat their own home, I'm sure there are some pitfalls I haven't considered and not too sure how I would go about, so all comments welcome.

Another thought, in the US during this years heatwave the government opened cooling stations with a/c and cold drinks for the vulnerable and elderly. Should we not be offering warm havens, places where the elderly can sit and be warm, get hot drinks etc again free of charge. There are loads of empty buildings around, would just need heating, hot water, seating and a tv. We already lose over 10,000 lives a year due to under-heated homes and this year of course it will be worse. Our government should be doing something to alleviate the problem. Sure there would be issues such as covid, transport etc but I'm sure they could be overcome, after all this is a crisis. Off my soap box now, but all comments welcome.
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  • [Deleted User]
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    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Sadly, we have a Government in state of complete statis, and many would say complete denial.

    There is of course the thorny issue of who pays? Councils are facing a massive increase in their energy costs? As a result, some Councils have decided to reduce their swimming pool heating and so on. 

    When a Council emergency planner was asked on Radio 4 recently about the advice which came out of Cobra meeting re the recent record-breaking heat wave, her answer was somewhat surprising: ‘we were told to expect a higher number of excess deaths and we were told to order more body bags!’

    I fear that the same advice will be offered in respect of the forthcoming Winter.
  • jimjames
    jimjames Posts: 17,669 Forumite
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    lindatoo said:

    There are loads of empty buildings around, would just need heating, hot water, seating and a tv. We already lose over 10,000 lives a year due to under-heated homes and this year of course it will be worse. Our government should be doing something to alleviate the problem. 
    While it's a great potential idea I think the "just" is probably underplaying the level of complexity in arranging such a thing as well as the costs of running it. There are already day centres that places like Age UK run so they might be better to get running more quickly.
    Remember the saying: if it looks too good to be true it almost certainly is.
  • lohr500
    lohr500 Posts: 963 Forumite
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    Meantime our local council (Craven District) have just spent a fortune installing an Air Source Heat Pump to heat the swimming pool in the interests of reducing their carbon footprint.

    Guaranteed to cost loads more to run with the latest uncapped commercial electricity rates compared to the gas system it replaced.

    Cost now for a family swim is £14.80, or £5.20 per adult. Not a cheap way to warm up or to keep fit any more.
  • TheGardener
    TheGardener Posts: 3,303 Forumite
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    edited 24 August 2022 at 10:46PM
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    A neighbour is a senior accountant at a local authority - she says they'll be struggling to heat the council offices let alone pay to create 'heat stations'. There are already plans being discussed as to how the council buildings will function - WFH is part of those discussions as is closing many of them down. Aside from all the public buildings (some of which are huge Victorian monster buildings) the average street light is around 80w and think of the lit road signs and street lights, our local authority (relatively rural) has around 200,000 lights
    It's entirely possible that the Libraries and Sports centres will be the first to close. 
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 1,000 Forumite
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    I know that my City Council (Bristol) is setting up some buildings as "warm banks" from October that people can go to, at least during the day. 
    Sad it has to come to this, but it's happening. There are a few similar community schemes being organised as well.
  • daveyjp
    daveyjp Posts: 12,589 Forumite
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    lohr500 said:
    Meantime our local council (Craven District) have just spent a fortune installing an Air Source Heat Pump to heat the swimming pool in the interests of reducing their carbon footprint.

    Guaranteed to cost loads more to run with the latest uncapped commercial electricity rates compared to the gas system it replaced.

    Cost now for a family swim is £14.80, or £5.20 per adult. Not a cheap way to warm up or to keep fit any more.
    Councils purchase their power in advance and most Councils in Yorkshire buy through a single framework contract.

    When you are buying 1.3 trillion watt hours and have 17,000 meters you tend to get a much better deal than an uncapped commercial rate.

  • Section62
    Section62 Posts: 7,894 Forumite
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    ...the average street light is around 80w and think of the lit road signs and street lights, our local authority (relatively rural) has around 200,000 lights
    It's entirely possible that the Libraries and Sports centres will be the first to close. 
    The regulations on lighting traffic signs have been significantly relaxed over the last 15 years - yet many councils still burn their way through (usually unmetered) electricity unnecessarily, rather than do anything about disconnecting the lighting on signs which don't need it.  Maybe this will be a wakeup to them.

    Closing libraries is the last thing they should do.  If lindatoo's idea has a practical application then it would be encouraging those struggling with heating to come into their local library to keep warm.  There are lots of activities people can do in the library, as well as volunteering opportunities.  It would make far more sense to encourage people into the libraries by restoring their opening hours (cut before and during the pandemic).  And there's also the benefit that the more people you have in a room, the less heat you need to add.
  • VohnnyJegas
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    lindatoo said:
    Like most people my gas bills have increased (not my electricity, I fixed last November until Nov 23). When I spoke to someone from British gas on Monday I was informed that my costs would be doubled in October (I did query why this was more than the anticipated increases I'd read about in media and was told that it was dependent on the area I live in which I don't really understand, so if anyone could enlighten me that would be really helpful.) Anyway I have worked out the eye watering costs based on 100% in Oct, 40% in Jan and 40% in April. I have to be warm so I will be heating to the same extent as last year but it got me thinking that maybe I could offer houseroom for the day to someone (foc) who might struggle to heat their own home, I'm sure there are some pitfalls I haven't considered and not too sure how I would go about, so all comments welcome.

    Another thought, in the US during this years heatwave the government opened cooling stations with a/c and cold drinks for the vulnerable and elderly. Should we not be offering warm havens, places where the elderly can sit and be warm, get hot drinks etc again free of charge. There are loads of empty buildings around, would just need heating, hot water, seating and a tv. We already lose over 10,000 lives a year due to under-heated homes and this year of course it will be worse. Our government should be doing something to alleviate the problem. Sure there would be issues such as covid, transport etc but I'm sure they could be overcome, after all this is a crisis. Off my soap box now, but all comments welcome.
    We don't have "warm havens."  I suppose you could stick all the old bids in a classroom with the kids, but that's as far as it gets.

    The reason why the US can get away with doing that is because when it gets hot, the kids are not at school, and the school facilities are unused, and they are generally cooled or at least sheltered.

    In fact, I think most of the facilities used were sports grounds.
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