50 euros bill burning with a bright flame

BBC: Young Renters Suffering Unaffordable Energy Bills

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The BBC paints high energy bills as a renters rights issue, that landlords should be forced to improve insulation on rental houses. But the proposals will do nothing to help renters. Both the BBC and the British Government are ignoring an obvious solution which could provide immediate short term relief.

Climate change: How can renters make their homes warmer and greener?

By Becky Morton
BBC News

Making the UK’s ageing housing more energy efficient will be key to the country reaching its climate targets – but campaign groups representing renters and landlords say more action is needed to drive improvements.

“At one point you could see your breath in the living room it was that cold,” says Erin Davy. 

The 29-year-old was renting a two-bedroom flat in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire. 

The letting agent had given an estimate of around £80 a month for the electricity bill. But when she moved in, her direct debit ended up being just under £200 a month – and over winter her monthly bill soared to as much as £400 a month. 

“Privately renting now is so expensive for young people as it is. Just the rent, let alone having a massive energy bill on top of it,” she says. “It was crippling.”

The ballooning costs meant they had to be careful about when to turn the heating on and rarely used the living room because it was so difficult to heat. 

After asking their landlord to take action he replaced their old storage heaters with newer models – but it didn’t help. The problem was the flat didn’t seem to stay warm at all. 

As a converted outhouse, the building was badly insulated, especially the floors and walls. 

But if landlords refuse to take action you can ask the local council to carry out an inspection. Councils are responsible for enforcing health and safety standards of homes and if they find serious issues with damp or heating, they can force the landlord to make improvements. 

However, research by Generation Rent suggests many renters are reluctant to demand or invest in improvements because they are unsure whether they will live in a home long enough to benefit from the cheaper bills. 

Others may be worried that if their landlord does pay for improvements, they may increase the rent to recoup costs or even evict them. 

Read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-59223081

Saying houses should be better insulated is easy, but lot of houses in Britain can’t be insulated – there are places in Britain where the ground is so wet, any interruption of airflow in the hollow walls causes severe damp problems.

No doubt there is some extreme remediation which is possible in such cases, like jacking the house a few feet off the ground to allow totally unimpeded airflow underneath, but jacking up a really old house is not a cheap solution. There’s a real chance any serious structural disturbance to an old house will simply cause it to fall apart. You just don’t spend that kind of money or take that kind of risk with a rental house, the idea is to make money, not spend all your rental income on compliance.

The BBC article also mentions that the government is planning to increase renters rights, to make it harder for landlords to evict a tenant who gets too pushy over government regulations on property insulation, but this will do nothing for to help people who rent. Landlords who don’t want to comply will simply sell up, and the rental market will get even more impossible.

The obvious solution, the relief the Boris Johnson government could offer young people renting on a low income in the short term, is to restart Britain’s coal fleet and eliminate market distorting renewable energy mandates, to drive down electricity prices. That way young renters could stay warm regardless of the quality of the insulation in their rental property.

But BoJo is too busy fighting climate change, to take care of young, low income Britons.

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Izaak Walton
December 18, 2021 10:29 pm

“But BoJo is too busy fighting climate change, to take care of young, low income Britons.”
It is simpler than that. Young people don’t vote Tory. Pensioners who do get an automatic winter fuel payment every year to keep them warm. And an automatic pension increase in line with inflation while the government says there is no magic money tree to pay nurses.

Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 19, 2021 12:30 am

I’m a pensioner in England. December in England has been 1’c above average. It is not a cold winter so far Izaak

tonyb(@climatereason)
Editor
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 19, 2021 12:41 am

Eric

That is a wild generalisation of modern pensioners. Have you been reading Charles Dickens again?

tonyb

Alan the Brit
Reply to  tonyb
December 19, 2021 2:07 am

I knew a couple of pensioners a few years back who were doing something very similar, turning the heating off because of the bills. However, just like young people, elderly people can be easily influenced by propaganda in the compliant meedja outlets!!! Many pensioners a reasonably comfortable but not all by a long chalk!!! I agree Eric’s comments were a generalisation but I disagree about them being “wild”!!!

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 19, 2021 6:12 am

More ignorance from you Mr Worrall:

thanks to a wildly wrong “warm winter” prediction”

Apart from it being not even 3 weeks into winter …..

Colder than average conditions for the start of winter?
https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2021/10/21/colder-than-average-conditions-for-the-start-of-winter/

“…..La Niña doesn’t just affect the tropical Pacific as it can even influence the Atlantic jet stream and our weather here in the UK. In early winter it is associated with Atlantic ridging and northwesterly winds which is consistent with the current Met Office long range outlook. In late winter it is associated with westerly, milder and wetter conditions when compared to normal.”

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 19, 2021 7:09 am

“thanks to a wildly wrong “warm winter” prediction.”

It’s nothing of the sort.

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2021/10/21/colder-than-average-conditions-for-the-start-of-winter/

Also the first 3 weeks of the winter (3 months) hardly constitutes the “winter prediction”.
It takes in the 3 months as a block and not individual months, never mind weeks Mr Worrall.

https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/binaries/content/assets/metofficegovuk/pdf/business/public-sector/civil-contingency/3moutlook-djf-v2secure.pdf

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 18, 2021 10:52 pm

And an automatic pension increase in line with inflation while the government says there is no magic money tree to pay nurses.

I think you’ll find that automatic pension increase has been suspended for a while.

Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 19, 2021 12:28 am

It hasn’t been suspended

tonyb(@climatereason)
Editor
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 12:39 am

No, it hasn’t been suspended. Eric writes

“The letting agent had given an estimate of around £80 a month for the electricity bill. But when she moved in, her direct debit ended up being just under £200 a month – and over winter her monthly bill soared to as much as £400 a month”

for a 2 bed flat that is an astonishing amount of money, some 4 times that of my own much larger house. Does it have walls or a roof? Clearly it needs much better insulation than it appears to have.

The problem with damp generally comes not from very wet ground-Britain is nowhere near as wet as is implied in American movies. The problem arises that old houses often don’t have physical damp proof courses and cavity walls were not universal until some 50 years ago.

Basically the place to start with much better insulation is with new housing stock which generally do not have high enough standards.

tonyb

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  tonyb
December 19, 2021 4:33 am

You have to wonder what they were smoking….

ATheoK
Reply to  tonyb
December 19, 2021 3:56 pm

One forgets that pension inflation adjustments are not at full inflation rates. Such adjustments are calculated by government at substantially less than inflation as consumers experience inflation.

Meanwhile, fixed income pensioners have to deal with the dollars/pounds/euros buying much less than they did a year ago.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 4:06 am

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/money/other/pensions-are-set-to-rise-by-just-3-as-triple-lock-pledge-suspended/ar-AAQ2EXH

Ministers have scrapped the pledge for a year after the pandemic distorted wage figures to show earnings rose by more than 8 per cent.

Instead, pensioners are in line for a rise of just 3.1 per cent from next April.

The automatic increase has been suspended

Last edited 5 months ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
Redge
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 18, 2021 11:18 pm

Pensioners are the people who made your life so easy

Without pensioners, you wouldn’t have the internet, television, avocado on toast for brunch, EV’s, etc, etc, etc

They deserve their retirement

Ungrateful little twonk

2hotel9
Reply to  Redge
December 19, 2021 4:48 am

I agree, to a point. Those same pensioners also gave everyone the f**ked up mess they are now in by voting for a bunch watered down socialist crap which has destroyed energy production in England. A dagger has two edges, and both are currently ripping the guts out of that and many other countries.

Redge
Reply to  2hotel9
December 19, 2021 5:01 am

It was the B-liar government that brought in the unreliables mandate, wasn’t it?

2hotel9
Reply to  Redge
December 19, 2021 5:29 am

Really? He has been in control for 50 years making all these f**ked up decisions? Is that your story and you are sticking to it? Wow.

Redge
Reply to  2hotel9
December 19, 2021 8:48 am

Really? He has been in control for 50 years making all these f**ked up decisions?

Is that what I said?

2hotel9
Reply to  Redge
December 20, 2021 1:25 pm

So, again, he has been in charge for the last 50 years and NOBODY ELSE made these sh*tty decision, or voted for them? It is all a man’s fault and everyone else in England is totally innocent? You are going to ride that busted flush down in flames merely because you don’t like one person. One question. How many times did you vote for Joe Biden and in how many different states? Asking for a friend.

Redge
Reply to  2hotel9
December 20, 2021 10:58 pm

I have never in my life voted for a democrat.

Nor for that matter have I voted for a republican.

I’m British

2hotel9
Reply to  Redge
December 21, 2021 5:58 am

Which has nothing to do with how many times you voted for Faux Joe. You sillily believe BoJo is the only one responsible for the growing disaster in England, so yea, you could have voted multiple times for any leftarded idiot on the planet, since clearly you have in England. Your problems are 100% based in leftist ideology. Until you accept that and DO SOMETHING about it you are lost. BoJo ain’t the problem, just a symptom.

Redge
Reply to  2hotel9
December 21, 2021 6:48 am

LMAO

First of all, you know nothing about me other than what’s in your imagination.

Which has nothing to do with how many times you voted for Faux Joe.

I vote Tory. I class myself as a compassionate Tory because, whilst I believe in a low tax, market driven economy, I realise some people are vulnerable and in a civilised society it is our duty to look after the vulnerable.

I believe we have a duty not only to people but to our environment, although the idiots claiming CO2 is going to kill us all are just barking mad.

BTW, in the UK, we don’t vote for a Prime Minister. Our PM is selected by their fellow MP’s. If we had a vote on PM, I certainly wouldn’t have voted for BoJo, Blair, Brown, Cameron or May. To be frank, given the recent crop of career politicians, I would probably have scrawled “none of the above” on my ballot paper.

You sillily believe BoJo is the only one responsible for the growing disaster in England

I don’t think BoJo is solely responsible. I think BoJo is just the current incarnation of a series of MP’s who are not fit to wipe the crap off the shoes of the likes of Thatcher or Churchill

Your problems are 100% based in leftist ideology. 

As a life long Tory, I recognise BoJo is a Tory in name only. He’s a fop who blows with the wind and will do anything and say anything to get elected and stay in power. He’s a joke, a clown, an inelegant dandy.

Enough of this crap.

If you’d understood my initial comment, you would have realised I only attributed the start of the renewals madness to B-Liar. Subsequent governments have compounded the problem for the UK.

Let’s leave it there, eh?

Rich Davis
Reply to  Redge
December 19, 2021 1:15 pm

If BoJo was more interested in his country than his country matters, the UK would be better off. (With apologies to the bard).

Mr.
Reply to  Redge
December 19, 2021 9:44 am

Isaak is an old person.

(who personifies that old adage –
“there’s no fool like an old fool”)

alastair gray
Reply to  Redge
December 19, 2021 7:06 pm

Not very woke Redge are you . We pensioners bear the stain of guilt for all these things that you mention. We deserve to pay and between inflation and maybe property tax we will soon be like the middle classes of Venezuela.
I did not think to see Boris and the lamentable Maduro in the same leaky boat.

Redge
Reply to  alastair gray
December 19, 2021 11:04 pm

I’m respectful of others regardless of their gender, race, religion, politics etc, but woke? Nah, not at all

Jeremy Poynton
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 18, 2021 11:24 pm

You reckon? Guess you don’t know any. Most around us are in social housing, and get have key meters for their lecky or gas – which charge eye-watering prices. To assume all pensioners are rolling in it is, well, stupid.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Jeremy Poynton
December 19, 2021 2:10 am

Retired bankers & college professors are rolling in it!!!

fretslider
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 19, 2021 1:40 am

You do realise you have to pay in for at least 35 years to get a state pension?

Better get started

Anthony Banton
Reply to  fretslider
December 19, 2021 7:12 am

No, you need 35 years for a full one.
10 years will get you one, though it will be reduced as a proportion up to the full term.

https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/understanding-and-qualifying-new-state-pension

fretslider
Reply to  Anthony Banton
December 19, 2021 9:39 am

A full pension doesn’t mean a high life

Anything less isn’t worth much at all; absolutely naff all

ATheoK
Reply to  Anthony Banton
December 19, 2021 4:03 pm

In the states, there are laws against double dipping.

Meaning that at the end of a government career, they coalesce the various times spent working for government into one pension.

I would be surprised if one can earn multiple government pensions in the UK just by working in different departments.

Paul C
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 19, 2021 4:57 am

While some pensioners in Britain do live in poverty – which can include fuel poverty, many are relatively well off. House price inflation has meant that many pensioners bought a house at what is now an extremely low price, and struggled to pay the mortgage through a high inflation period. That sacrifice has reaped rewards in that whether or not they have downsized to a smaller property, the outright ownership has led to them investing in sensible improvements in insulation and efficiency of the building. New build property is constructed to relatively high insulation standards, though probably not as robustly resistant to constantly damp British weather, but the large housing stock built over 50 years ago can only be upgraded so far. Sure, a converted shed in the garden might look like a nice place to live in the summer, but the young renter found out to her cost that winter is cold! Presumably she was mis-informed by listening to BBC weather forecasts.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Paul C
December 19, 2021 7:14 am

Presumably she was mis-informed by listening to BBC weather forecasts.”

Not if she read it properly or wasn’t misinformed by the likes of Eric Worrall.

https://blog.metoffice.gov.uk/2021/10/21/colder-than-average-conditions-for-the-start-of-winter/

Paul C
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 19, 2021 5:29 am

The winter fuel payment is in itself part of the problem, and not part of the solution. It is an admission by the authorities that the cost of heating is too high, but their solution is to support the high price by making a subsidy. The sensible solution would be to put the resources into insulation as a longer term solution which should reduce both specific, and overall demand for fuel, and take pressure off prices. However, government involvement is guaranteed to mess anything up. Just look at the Australian Home Insulation program requiring a Royal Commission Investigation. Better to eliminate the (currently lower rate) VAT on insulation products – now we have left the EU and are free to set our own tax rates.

MarkW
Reply to  Izaak Walton
December 19, 2021 6:53 am

Once again, the socialists solution to every problem is for the government to steal more money in order to buy more votes.

MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2021 5:19 pm

I’ve often commented how to those on the it’s only democracy when they win.
Various left wingers, especially those in the media, have been proclaiming that Sen. Manchin coming out against Biden’s Build Socialism Better plan is the death of democracy.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/manchin-media-critics-predict-vote-democracy

Zig Zag Wanderer
December 18, 2021 10:58 pm

Landlords who don’t want to comply will simply sell up, and the rental market will get even more impossible.

I had plans, long ago, to invest in a property portfolio in the UK to help fund my intended lavish retirement lifestyle. When I came to the point where it was possible, I discovered that the conditions and regulations regarding rental properties has become a nightmare, and a quagmire of bureaucracy. The little hitler council employees are breeding beyond a sustainable level.

Frankly, I’m surprised that anyone bothers any more. Investing in shares is so very much more profitable, and risk can more easily be spread, and maintenance is almost nil.

Last edited 5 months ago by Zig Zag Wanderer
John the Econ
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 19, 2021 6:50 am

I had long planned to be a landlord again as one of my “retirement jobs”. Not anymore, now that “rent moratoriums” are a thing along with governments imposing additional costs.

It’s a shame as all our local officials and activists talk about is the dearth of “affordable housing”. I would have been happy to help with that problem in my local community, but instead I’ll be spending my free time and money rent seeking in the financial markets elsewhere instead. Their loss.

MarkW
Reply to  John the Econ
December 19, 2021 6:58 am

Using Covid as an excuse, many locations have banned evictions, even if the tenant hasn’t paid rent for months.

Mr.
Reply to  John the Econ
December 19, 2021 9:52 am

Same hand-wringing over affordable housing by governments where I live.

But in reality, they only have themselves to blame.

Housing investors have been chased out of being landlords by punitive rental regulations.

So now housing investors are mostly all “flippers”.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 19, 2021 11:03 am

Well, Zig, you finally Zagged in the right direction. I got out of rental properties years ago because of governmental mismanagement.

Drake
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 19, 2021 11:56 am

I started renting SDF properties 30 years ago. I bought a house 2 doors down from mine at a good price. At that time in the US you still could assume a loan, long since stopped by bankers, the fees were negligible, therefore not sufficiently profitable.

I still have 2 homes that I intend to sell over the next 6 years. I am 65, have always done my own maintenance and management and am ready to be done with the properties. In the US, If you have lived in the home for 2 years, you have NO tax consequences for any profits on the home, so I will be moving into each home for 2 years then selling. It is more about not having to be able to prove all my expenses over the last 30 years than just the tax bill, especially with the 80,000 new IRS agents the OBiden infrastructure bill funded.

As to “rent control”, I have always had a policy of NOT raising the rent for a tenant while they are in the home. It makes for longer term renters, although overall I may have made less net income, I am sure I have spent less time turning homes over for renting when someone moves out. I am probably about $200/month or more below market for EACH home now. Both homes have been rented long term, one over 10 years, the other over 5.

I am a government “pensioner”, city government and only 24 years. That pension is about 1/2 of my monthly income, but I have rental income, other pensions from earlier employment and always invested additional funds in IRAs and the city’s 453B fund and am doing well.

BUT: I didn’t spend every penny I made every year I worked, I also SAVED.

SFD=Single Family Dwellings
IRA=Individual Retirement Account: Governed by ISR regulations for pre-tax savings and investments.
452B=An US IRS section specifically for government employees who are not required to pay into US Social Security allowing them to set aside pre-tax income for retirement. Much more liberal withdrawal and borrowing rules than a IRA. Typical of swamp people configuring laws and regulations to benefit swamp people.

Brad-DXT
December 18, 2021 11:08 pm

From what I have heard, BoJo’s solution is more windmills.
I wonder what happened to him. From what I heard, he started out rational.

Redge
Reply to  Brad-DXT
December 18, 2021 11:14 pm

BoJo has never been rational. He’s an opportunist who jumps on any bandwagon he thinks will get him elected

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  Redge
December 18, 2021 11:49 pm

He’s never managed a coherent sentence in his life. Which should have been a warning to the nation, but somehow he’s managed to hoodwink enough people with bucoonery. The gullibility of the electors never ceases to amaze

Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 19, 2021 12:31 am

Arrant nonsense

alastair gray
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 7:16 pm

Neither arrant nor nonsense . wiffle waffle is how I would describe the lamentable buffoon

Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 19, 2021 12:48 am

He’s written a very erudite book on Churchill, been a successful magazine editor, a successful 2 term mayor of London, is a very good public speaker and won a thumping general election win.Of course arrogant and intellectually lazy people put it all down to the gullibility of the people, which is palpable nonsense

Gerry, England
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 5:07 am

Couldn’t agree more, David. What you have written is ‘arrant nonsense’. I wonder how our new Prime Minister will get on.

Ron Long
Reply to  Ben Vorlich
December 19, 2021 1:55 am

“bucoonery.” and “twonk”, thanks for enhancing my education. When I look them up I see twonk is a stupid person, but bucoonery? I like the sound of it.

Mr.
Reply to  Ron Long
December 19, 2021 9:56 am

I think it was meant to be “bufoonery”.

Look at the proximity of the ‘c’ key to the ‘f’ key on a QWERTY.

Rod Evans
Reply to  Redge
December 18, 2021 11:55 pm

BoJo… hmm, …it’s not only bandwagons he jumps on.
Carrie on.

Redge
Reply to  Rod Evans
December 19, 2021 12:49 am

BoJo thinks with his MoJo

H B
Reply to  Brad-DXT
December 18, 2021 11:39 pm

In Bo Jo’s case it is little head controls big head keep nut nuts happy

Mr David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  H B
December 19, 2021 12:44 am

So juvenile a comment

Robert Hardy
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 3:36 am

But, sadly, accurate.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 5:25 am

True tho, innit.
Bojo has been busy mugging off the UK population with his green idiocy.

“Saudi Arabia of Wind”. What a twat.

Ruleo
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 20, 2021 1:22 am

Wait until you say there’s no such thing as greenhouse gases on here…

alastair gray
Reply to  Brad-DXT
December 19, 2021 7:15 pm

Boris always thought with his brains in his genitalia , and princess Nut-Nut is extracting a high price (from us) for her fragrant favours.

Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
December 19, 2021 11:04 am

… and in an Open Letter to the British Undersecretary for Energy and Climate Change in 2013:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/31/blind-faith-in-climate-models/#comment-1130954

Remarkable how politicians can be so wrong for so long, harm so many people, waste so much money and resources, and suffer no consequences for their colossal incompetence.

Last edited 5 months ago by ALLAN MACRAE
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
December 20, 2021 4:07 am

And in 2015 – again sorry kids, I’ve tried to prevent this obvious green energy debacle since 2002.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/12/26/the-value-of-petroleum-fuels/#comment-1679101

[excerpt]

I have worked in the energy industry for much of my career.

When challenged on this question by green fanatics, I explain that that fossil fuels keep their families from freezing and starving to death.

Cheap abundant reliable energy is the lifeblood of society – it IS that simple.

[The rest is technical analysis of current “wind-baggery”, for anyone who is numerate.]

Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
December 21, 2021 7:25 am

Please see the article below from the Daily Express:
“Perfect Storm”… Oh yes, I used that term in 2013 in my Open Letter to Baroness Verma, the British Undersecretary for Energy and Climate Change, warning that this green-energy-shortage would happen within ten years, by 2023 or sooner – nailed it again.

I also warned in 2002 and again in 2013 that climate would be cooler by this time, which is also correct.
Excerpt from my 2013 Open Letter to Baroness Verma:
IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, Baroness Verma, then you and your colleagues on both sides of the House may have brewed the perfect storm.


I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the UK as cooling progresses.
I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality, the British rate of which is about double the rate in the Scandinavian countries, should provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.
 
Excess Winter Deaths in Britain this year will probably number tens-of-thousands more than the average and will be concentrated among the elderly and the poor. All this was avoidable, with competent analytical ability and a touch of common sense.
 
Note that most so-called climate-and-energy “experts” rarely ever predict – they just comment on past events. So they can never be wrong – or useful.
 
Best wishes to all for the Holidays, Allan MacRae


EU ENERGY CRISIS ‘PERFECT STORM’ AS PRICES EXPLODE 
Daily Express, 20 December 2021
EUROPE’S energy crisis has hit new levels driven by a perfect storm of surging demand and falling output from renewables.
[excerpt]

Across the continent prices per megawatt hour (MWh) now exceed €300 (£256) in most countries. With the exception of Poland and Scandinavia all countries in Europe have broken the €300 MWh barrier with France and Switzerland nearly at €400 (£341.60).

Head of Analytics at research firm Enappsys Andre Bosschaart said he’d “never seen this kind of volatility and high prices” adding that predictions for tomorrow’s prices suggested France and Germany would break past €400 (£341.60) MWh.
 
Head of Oil and Gas Research at Investec Nathan Piper described the prices as “phenomenally high”, adding that (natural) gas prices were now 10 times higher than the US in Europe.

Speaking to Express.co.uk Mr Piper explained higher gas prices were, in turn, driving up electricity prices due to gas being increasingly used to generate electricity.

This year has seen power output from the wind fall in Europe meaning gas has been increasingly relied upon.

Meanwhile, Asia has seen a fall in output from hydroelectricity increasing demand for gas and further straining prices.

While demand for electricity typically increases in winter Mr Bosschaart explained wind power production would usually be higher than in the summer, with this year proving an exception.

He described the current mix of low wind power and surging demand as “a perfect storm.” 

Last edited 5 months ago by ALLAN MACRAE
TonyG
Reply to  ALLAN MACRAE
December 21, 2021 1:51 pm

Allan
Excess Winter De@ths in Britain this year will probably number tens-of-thousands more than the average

and will probably be blamed on Covid

Reply to  TonyG
December 21, 2021 11:37 pm

Hi Tony,
I fear there will also be many Excess Winter deaths in the UK and elsewhere that will be blamed on the Covid-19 virus, but will be caused by the Covid-19 injections.
I have fought against these toxic, ineffective injections for the past year with little success.
Slaughterhouse 6.

Ben Vorlich
December 18, 2021 11:44 pm

Not much of Britain’s coal fired generation left. Only last week Longannet was terminated when the chimney was demolished. Even then coal would have to be imported. We’re committed to being the Net Zero Saudi Arabia of wind.

The only solution is fracking, but the citizens of Blackpool will have to suffer a few weeks of power cuts and freezing nights for that to happen.
It’s 07:30 Sunday morning and over half our electricity is being generated by gas, coal is off at the moment.
Wind is at about 3% of installed capacity at best.

I bet Griff hasn’t taken up the challenge to match his energy consumption to renewable’s contribution on a cold foggy morning

michel
December 19, 2021 12:16 am

An odd story. £400 to heat a one bedroom flat is quite extraordinary, even with storage heaters. These, for readers who do not know the UK scene, are electricity powered heaters with blocks of heavy dense material around the heating element. They store heat at night and then release it during the day. The electricity tariff is much lower for this usage, and they run of separate meters.

They are not very common now. Their main use is in rural parts of England where there is no piped gas supply. The usual recourse in such properties would be oil fired heating, but it may be that there is no room for the tank. Replacing the storage heaters wasn’t going to help, the problem is probably insulation and also the tariffs.

If the storage heaters don’t put out enough heat, its usually possible to draw on standard price supply to give them a boost in the evening. The problem is that just when you need them, say at 7pm, is when they have lost most of their heat by not being powered for 12 hours but still radiating. This is probably what the renters were doing, which accounts for their huge bills.

The owner is going to have to do some or all of the following:

  • install roof insulation
  • install new triple glazed windows
  • replace the storage heaters with a heat pump
  • or, if he is quick, replace them with oil fired boiler

It is possible to put foam insulation on the outside, but its not cheap, and its also possible to put it on the inside faced with plasterboard. That would make a substantial difference. Its also possible to put down dense foam flooring, raise the floor a few inches. Not sure how much difference this would make, its probably the lowest return of the alternatives.

The central problem facing the owner however is that unless they bring the property up to ratcheting up standards of energy efficiency they are not going to be legally permitted to rent it. Selling may also be a problem. Because these rising standards are about to be put into law. But all this is going to incur costs that cannot be recouped by increasing the rental income.

The thing that is coming towards everyone in the UK is the insane Net Zero project. According to this, electricity generation is moving largely to wind. Oil fired boilers will be banned from installation from about 2025, leaving owners with the option of heat pumps. However, heat pumps require insulation and the ripping out of the rads and pipework and depend on the wind generated electricity to run, and even with their added efficiencies are greatly more expensive than either gas or oil to run.

Climate fanatics optimistically quote prices of a few thousand for a pump. Yes, but that does not cover all the other work that is required to get them installed and viable. The usual bill is going to be well north of £10k and they are going to cost more to run, even with improved insulation. And that is if you can find anyone competent to install them. The scale of heat pump installations that Net Zero is proposing is huge and way beyond what the industry can do. There simply are not the trained installers available.

We are talking 600,000 heat pumps a year by 2028. Current installation rate is about 30-40,000. Dream on!

At the same time as home heating moves to heat pumps, and power generation moves to wind, the Government is also going to move automobiles to electric. Its already being recognized that this has the potential for disaster as everyone comes home at 6pm in January, plugs in the car and turns on the heat. So its now being proposed that your EV charger will restrict you to charging in off-peak times.

Even with that however, there will inevitably be prolonged power failures when the wind stops in winter, as it always does. As it seems to have done now, which is a bit early. The blocking highs and dead calms usually occur in Jan-Feb, just when its coldest. The grid now struggles to supply demand. But under Net Zero you have to imagine that millions of new heat pumps all turn on at the same time just at the point when the wind project has made the supply unreliable.

And that assumes you can actually install all the wind turbines offshore in the North Sea. And keep them all running. The scale of the required installations is huge. The Independent says:

UK ‘must build equivalent of worlds biggest wind farm every 10 weeks for next 20 years’ to hit net zero targets

There are no concrete plans to do this, and its obviously impossible of achievement.

Meanwhile, in another part of this crazy wood, the gas grid is to be converted to hydrogen. This will require the country to find a source of it. Boris seems to think this will come out of the air, and has said that Britain is going to be the ‘Qatar of hydrogen’. The difference is, Qatar actually has oil. Britain does not have hydrogen. If we had eggs and if we had bacon we could have bacon and eggs.

Its also going to require gas suppliers to convert the pipework in the grid and the houses using it to replace their pipework and their appliances. But if they are all converting to heat pumps, why would they do that? Who is going to buy all this hydrogen, even if you can find a source for it?

The project is mad. The individual projects it consists of are both largely impossible of achievement individually and inconsistent with each other as a set,

How can one advise the owner of this unfortunate property? They should minimize losses by insulating it from top to bottom to a very high level as soon as possible, and replace the windowsi. While they still can, if there is room for a tank, they should install an oil fired boiler. Raise the rent as much as possible to partly pay for it. Total recouping is not going to be possible.

Its going to be very expensive, but at least it will be legally rentable and saleable. If its left as it is, its probably going to be neither.

Iain Reid
Reply to  michel
December 19, 2021 12:52 am

Michel,

regarding off peak, I’m not sure if it is really understood what this means, it is not a specification of the grid, but a reflection of demand. If the majority of electric vehicles are charged at night there will not be an off peak period. How the local area network is going to cope with that sustained load is another matter,it is difficult and expensive to upgrade.
Presently load is applied for relatively short periods at random times so the peak load will be X. This variation in load with time is called diversity and if the diversity factor increases it tends to rquire ahigher capacity of the network. Another factor is in how our network is built, it is three phase with domestic loads being single phase; The system maximum load is reached when one phase is fully loaded even if the other two phases are not so the apparent capacity of the system, is less than reality.

Heat pumps, in my view are seriously over rated and are not the magic heating system they are perceived to be.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Iain Reid
December 19, 2021 11:20 am

 If the majority of electric vehicles are charged at night there will not be an off peak period.”

Only possible for those that have a personal garage available for installing the charging system. Without even mentioning the possibility of an EV generated fire burning the house down. How many ordinary folks don’t have such a garage?

Anyone who parks on the street, or in a public parking lot, or an apartment common garage is so out of luck. And anyone who mentions using public charging stations doesn’t understand the high cost of using them, the problem of driving to and from them, and the 30 minutes or more of waiting around while the charging is going on, assuming no one is using it when you arrive. 🙁

TimTheToolMan
Reply to  Iain Reid
December 22, 2021 11:30 am

“off peak, I’m not sure if it is really understood what this means”

“Off peak” isn’t directly related to the state of peak energy usage on the grid, it’s defined to be a time period that typically isn’t peak energy usage. Historically here in Hobart, Australia it’s been a specific tariff on a specific timed circuit.

michel
Reply to  Eric Worrall
December 19, 2021 6:36 am

But, they are supposed to be on storage heaters which really should make that kind of bill almost impossible. Unless they also use direct heating at normal day time rates, and keep them turned quite high? Were yours storage heaters on the economy tariff?

Malcolm Chapman
Reply to  michel
December 19, 2021 5:05 am

My grandmother (born 1889) put it with a better twist: “If we had some bacon we could have some bacon and eggs if we had some eggs”. Same lesson: poverty teaches you things.

Mr.
Reply to  Malcolm Chapman
December 19, 2021 9:59 am

Sounds like something one of my 2 Irish great grandmothers would have said 😆

Dave Fair
Reply to  michel
December 19, 2021 11:29 am

Government business planning at its finest: Jack up the costs to ensure one loses money.

Leo Smith
December 19, 2021 12:24 am

But BoJo is too busy fighting climate change, to take care of young, low income Britons.

Right now he is fighting for his political life.Brits have discovered that democracy is a tool they can use to get rid of people who aren’t doing what they were told to do.

And Boris is listening to the wrong people, especially his concubine.
He was elected to deliver Brexit. He hasn’t really finished the job and all this covid lockdown, high energy price green blobbery does not go down well with tory grass roots or voters.

They did for Theresa May…

The disastrous by-election results last week have probably sealed his fate.

FOM.jpg
Gerry, England
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 19, 2021 5:14 am

It will be a surprise if the lying incompetent womanising oaf makes it to the end of January. The moron has staked everything on the Ohmygod variant running rife and leaving corpses left right and centre, and only his booster programme to prop up the failing vaccines can save us. When we reach January and nothing like this has happened but businesses have been hammered once again by the scare stories driving people away, then the required number of letters will arrive at the 1922 Committee.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Gerry, England
December 19, 2021 2:55 pm

That is why it is so bad for the alarmist politicians when many do not have a booster and show the variant is not Death from Discworld.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 19, 2021 6:01 am

Leo Smith,

I agree all you say but remind of some important truths.

There were inevitable problems of too rapid a transition to Brexit.
All who pointed out those inevitable problems were reviled as being scaremongers who were spreading “Project Fear”.

Those who reviled sensible comments about ill-considered initiation of Brexit are now reviling Boris. And they are reviling him because he was so stupid that he did what they wanted in the manner they said they wanted it done.

People can be strange.

Richard

Drake
Reply to  Leo Smith
December 19, 2021 12:08 pm

It is a wonderful thing that the ignorant, brainwashed young are learning the HARD way that they have been mislead by their liberal teachers and the labor or green politicians they have probably voter for. Lessons learned the hard way are usually lasting lessons.

OBiden in the US and BloJo in the UK could be creating a lasting conservative base of voters for a return of a Thatcher type government in the UK and a new TRUMP! presidency in the US followed by 8 years of Desantis.

With the Current makeup of the SCOTUS, 50 years of liberal judicial overreach could be reversed.

SCOTUS=Supreme Court of the United States

ATheoK
Reply to  Drake
December 19, 2021 4:26 pm

OBiden in the US and BloJo in the UK could be creating a lasting conservative base of voters”

A large portion of whom are embittered liberals, now confirmed conservatives who are thoroughly sick of democrats and rampant corruption.

Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 12:25 am

There’s no way that even today, a 2 bedroom flat would have a £400pm energy bill. That claim is just a lie or she leaves every heater and appliance on 24 hours per day at full blast

kzb
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 4:49 am

I think the £400/month bill is conceivable. There are 744 hours in a month. Electricity costs about £0.26/kWh at standard rate.
If she uses 2.75kW for 18 hours a day she will get through £400 of electric in a month.
This is complicated somewhat by the storage heaters; they should be cheaper.
But I wonder if the flat actually has an off-peak tariff in operation? Greedy landlords may simply get the cheapest tariff, without considering that the flat needs an off-peak tariff for the storage heaters.

Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 12:28 am

I live in a 100 year old draughty 3 bedroom end terrace ex council house. There are 3 of us. My latest power bill for November was £100. The person in that article is a liar if she claims a £400 bill

ghl
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 1:47 am

Google says 20p /kWh. 200 pounds is 1000 kWr over 672 hrs is close to 1.5 kW average. Including light and cooking and HWS. I can’t see a 1kW heater 24/7 overheating a flat. Say two people, so maybe two rooms, a cold snap, lockdown home all day, Sounds highly plausible.

Drake
Reply to  Mr David Guy-Johnson
December 19, 2021 12:24 pm

BUT, the MEDIA and the JOURNALIST would have surely verified all of the woman’s claims. We all know that today’s journalists do ALL THE RIGHT THINGS, investigating all claims for EVERY article they write.

So the woman could not be a liar.

Comic/Sarc Note: Sandmann just settled his 3rd libel/slander law suit with his 3rd media company. Why are they paying up? Because they are propagandists, not journalists.

griff
December 19, 2021 12:48 am

and one more time: this is a crisis of fossil fuel’s making, not renewables.

fretslider
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 1:27 am

Have you convinced yourself yet griff?

tonyb(@climatereason)
Editor
Reply to  fretslider
December 19, 2021 4:43 am

Griff

You do realise that power from weather dependent renewables has been only a few percent of the total for weeks due to the sunless windless weather?

Where do you think power would come from if we got rid of reliable power stations?

tonyb

MarkW
Reply to  tonyb
December 19, 2021 7:11 am

griff and his cohorts restrict the supply of oil/gas/coal, then they proclaim that it is the fault of fossil fuels that they go up in price whenever wind and solar fail.

ghl
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 1:57 am

No, it’s not

Teddy Lee
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 3:46 am

Griffy,that statement is beyond stupid!

MarkW
Reply to  Teddy Lee
December 19, 2021 7:11 am

So’s griffy

Tom Halla
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 4:48 am

Griff, you twit. I live in Texas, and wind and solar do not do well in freezing rain and no wind. Add in the demand curves of heat pumps, and we nearly totally crashed the grid.

Charlie
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 6:53 am

And one more time : you’re an idiot.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 7:09 am

One constant with griff, a lie will be repeated until even griff believes it.

Last edited 5 months ago by MarkW
Lrp
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 10:27 am

Explain to us your magistral reasoning

Last edited 5 months ago by Lrp
Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 11:54 am

I hate to say it but maybe there comes a point where stupidity becomes so debilitating that maybe you should be removed from the internet, or at least blocked by common sense sites like this. It seems there is no point in allowing you to comment as it isn’t even funny mostly.

For a decade or two in some jurisdictions we have been putting all new investment in renewables while restricting and limiting reliable generation. It serves no purpose to then allow you to claim FF are responsible for shortages and high prices.

What is wrong with you?

LdB
Reply to  griff
December 19, 2021 5:24 pm

There is a simple answer Griff lift all Fossil Fuel bans and burn baby burn 🙂

Cheshire Red
Reply to  griff
December 21, 2021 12:34 pm

Greens deliberately restricted supply of an energy source, gas, that’s in huge demand.
It’s in demand because it works.
Renewables failed due to lack of wind, leaving the market desperate for a reliable energy source.
They flocked to gas, spiking the price upwards.
Renewables failed. Gas worked. The price of gas went up.
So simple a child could understand.

Climate believer
December 19, 2021 12:53 am

You’re 29 years old for goodness sake, you have money, stop playing the victim and move, no one is forcing you to live there. Merry Christmas.

Andrew Wilkins
Reply to  Climate believer
December 19, 2021 5:33 am

How do you know how much money they’ve got?

Climate believer
Reply to  Andrew Wilkins
December 19, 2021 7:21 am

They have two working adults salaries coming in, enough to get together a deposit, pay the rent and pay the bills. I presume they have a least one car as Melbourn is a village, though it is quite well served by public transport, so maybe not.

I don’t know how much money they have, but enough it would seem to have gotten them into this scenario.

They’ve made a mistake renting a dodgy property, we all make mistakes. Hanging around being miserable, complaining and getting the BBC involved somehow to write an article about it just seems weird to me.

Cut your losses, own it, and get the girlfriend to somewhere she feels more comfortable in a pair of shorts than in a Parker 😉

Lrp
Reply to  Climate believer
December 19, 2021 10:32 am

Yeah, but it’s society’s fault, and that’s why their personal tragedy is elevated to a national level

Climate believer
Reply to  Lrp
December 19, 2021 12:33 pm

Indeed, personal responsibility can’t be exploited, but the oppressed, oh there’s a group we can use.

Alexy Scherbakoff
December 19, 2021 1:08 am

I have always thought that an outhouse was an outside toilet. I’m not sure I would like to live in a converted toilet.

kzb
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
December 19, 2021 4:52 am

Welcome to the London property market. People dream of living in a converted toilet.

Mr.
Reply to  kzb
December 19, 2021 10:08 am

beats living in box in middle of road, getting handful of gravel for breakfast.

auto
Reply to  Mr.
December 19, 2021 1:41 pm

Hot gravel, though!

Auto

Doug Huffman(@doughuffman)
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
December 19, 2021 4:53 am

I noticed that bon mot also, “outhouse”?

I live on a Lake Michigan island and have two outbuildings, legally sheds, required to be built not weather tight to preclude occupancy. Here the concern is un-permitted sewerage from ‘bedroom’ occupants. POWTS are rated by number of ‘bedrooms’ supported.

MarkW
Reply to  Alexy Scherbakoff
December 19, 2021 7:12 am

In the states, it would be called an out building.

John Hultquist
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2021 9:25 am

And not intended for living in.
Details are important.
It sounds like a chicken coop with drapes.

aussiecol
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2021 12:27 pm

In Aussie, an out house is commonly referred to as a long drop.

ATheoK
Reply to  MarkW
December 19, 2021 4:40 pm

In the USA, barns and stables are outbuildings favored for upscaling into houses.

Both are built weather tight to protect animals and feedstock. Most are built of solid timbers.

Rural properties rarely connect to sewers. Instead they use septic systems scaled to the house and residents.

Read an article less than a year ago where a couple rebuilt a barn, sold the barn’s original wood, Chestnut and oak timbers and sheathing, while using structured wood to replace the big timbers and walls.

Reclaimed wood is a hot item amongst those who want to display their repurposed weathered beams in their own upscaled houses.
Reclaimed wood is a definite virtue-signal, as it implies environmental friendliness.

fretslider
December 19, 2021 1:15 am

The real issue is the fact that since Bliar was PM the UK hasn’t built any housing

There’s a huge shortage

That’s what needs fixing

Rusty
Reply to  fretslider
December 19, 2021 5:23 am

The problem is a population boom driven by immigration. A net 330,000 people are added to the UK every year and those are the ones we know about. They also have much higher birth rates than the indigenous.

fretslider
Reply to  Rusty
December 19, 2021 6:06 am

The housing shortage is a lot older than the more recent Channel invasion. And it has never been addressed.

Immigration is kicked down to the local authorities to sort out

“Torbay Council will not take in any refugees from Afghanistan, the council leader has said, blaming the Bay’s existing housing crisis. The announcement follows urgent calls from the government to councils across the country asking them to provide homes for up to 20,000 Afghans in need of sanctuary.

Council leader Steve Darling blamed the housing crisis in Torbay for his decision, saying that the council could not afford to make room for people in Torbay as it is.”

https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/torbay-wont-take-any-afghan-5805074

I wouldn’t describe it as a boom

tonyb(@climatereason)
Editor
Reply to  fretslider
December 19, 2021 6:31 am

The problem in Torbay is mainly driven by second home owners buying up new property and putting prices beyond the reach of local buyers and airbnb landlords wanting holidaymakers and pushing up rents beyond the ability of locals to pay for them

fretslider
December 19, 2021 1:48 am

Wanted

Brexit negotiator

Apply to B Johnson

10 Downing Street

Last edited 5 months ago by fretslider
December 19, 2021 2:06 am

Both the BBC and the British Government are ignoring an obvious solution which could provide immediate short term relief.

Which of course is – Make the Climate Warmer!

Adriaan
Reply to  Philip Mulholland.
December 19, 2021 2:38 am

So China is helping the UK by making the climate warmer.

MarkW
Reply to  Adriaan
December 19, 2021 7:23 am

Not by enough to matter.

Mike Forster
December 19, 2021 2:25 am

Getting the details right still seems important to me. The lead in photo shows 50 Euronotes aflame. The U.K. has not and does not use Euros, their currency is still the British Pound.

pigs_in_space
December 19, 2021 3:50 am

Bojo is too busy Princess-nut-nutz, the latest sprog and peppa-pig to start a single cell working up top, not enough blood to go round for brain & p..nis sums up the Johnson perfectly.

latest speech to the CBI, illustrated the level perfectly.

Vincent
December 19, 2021 4:29 am

There’s a fundamental economic issue about the cost and supply of energy which doesn’t seem to penetrate the minds of many politicians, and perhaps most people in general. I think that most people probably understand that there are basic requirements in life, such as adequate food supplies, clothing, shelter and basic medial care. However, all requirements in modern civilizations, whether they are basic necessities or unnecessary ‘show-off’ products that are produced to satisfy the vanity and the ego of both the relatively wealthy and the extremely wealthy, require energy supplies.

In other words, the prosperity and well-being of every person on the planet is totally dependent upon the cost of energy supplies and the ways we use those energy supplies.
If the actual, true cost of energy rises, for whatever reason, then the ‘average’ standard of living must fall proportionally, unless there is an increase in the efficiency of the use of that energy which can compensates for the increased cost.

It doesn't add up...
December 19, 2021 4:31 am

The government plan is to forbid the letting out of any property that doesn’t meet its EPC C energy standard, initially as new rentals, and in due course to sitting tenants. They also plan to forbid the sale of such properties. If they pursue this plan then not being able to afford to heat a property will be the least of renters’ problems. It will be being evicted by government edict, with nowhere to go. The government is planning on creating a massive housing crisis.

The economic problem is that the cost of insulation far exceeds the likely benefits. In the real world, insulation has a negative payback. If we look at the insulation installed in the Grenfell Tower, it had a 200+ year payback period, assuming that the cost was interest free. Charge interest, and it would never pay for itself. No-one would assume that the building would survive that long. As it was, it burned, with the insulation being the main way the fire spread. Green trumps safe.

Of course the simplest way to make energy bills affordable is to produce affordable energy. That means developing gas resources, being prepared to use coal, and not wasting moeny on renewables. It also means avoiding moving to all electric homes. Gas is a much cheaper way to heat. Where that is difficult to arrange in more rural locations, oil is a good substitute.

2hotel9
December 19, 2021 4:57 am

Insulation will do absolutely nothing to bring down energy costs. Not. One. Thing. Only thing that will is building more gas, coal and nuclear electric generation plants.

John Hultquist
Reply to  2hotel9
December 19, 2021 9:43 am

Insulation will do absolutely nothing to bring down energy costs.

This is true in a general sense, but not to an individual in a house.
Thicker walls with more insulation therein and over the ceiling will reduce heat loss.
In Washington State the older building code required 3.5 inches of insulation. That was raised to 5.5 inches. Windows, doors, and siding of higher insulating character also reduce heat loss. The cost of heating goes down.
The climate doesn’t care but living in the house is more comfortable.
Detailed economic considerations might be interesting, but won’t change the comfort level of those inside.

2hotel9
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 20, 2021 1:20 pm

Ok, John and Drake, you are clearly missing the only point that matters. No matter how much insulation you put in a structure it is NOT going to bring down energy costs THAT ARE BEING INTENTIONALLY DRIVEN UP BY THE UK GOVERNMENT. And any structure built less than 30 years ago damned well better not need more insulation. UK and all other European governments are slashing energy production capacity and driving up prices, insulation will do f**k all to change that.

Drake
Reply to  2hotel9
December 19, 2021 1:34 pm

In every house I have lived in over the last 30 years I have increased the insulation thickness in the attics and where the homes were with single glazed windows, installed dual glazed windows. The cost of heating and cooling was noticeably less. US tax code gives credits for the purchase and installation, although since I did the installation, I only got the credit for the purchase, I think 30% of the cost off of taxes owed.

I also replaced very old (late 70s) HVAC (Rooftop gas pack) units with new much higher efficiency units on 2 of the houses. The old units were shot. The monthly cost in the summer were noticeably less.

Adding or improving insulation in homes is almost always beneficial. Upgrading windows is REALLY important. In HOT climates with sun exposed windows, Low E windows help a lot.

In cold climates, dual or triple glazed windows help and allow you to leave the drapes open in the winter to get more natural light into the home. When I grew up in the 60s, with single glazed windows, it was like living in a cave since the insulating ceiling to floor drapes were always closed against the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer

Finally, if LED lighting had not been “invented” and become widely available, the total electrical load would be higher everywhere. The savings from LED lighting is being eaten up by electric cars, and soon the savings from LEDs will be overtaken by them.

As a political side note in the US. When GE saw the LED lighting revolution coming they got busy in congress and got a law passed with a phased ending to the manufacture and sale of incandescent lamps. Why? Because they had manufacturing facilities making the crap fluorescent replacement lamps and needed to sell as many as they could before LEDs became economical. I bought a couple of cases of 60 watt and 100 watt lamps to keep from buying the crap lamps. By the time I ran out of incandescent lamps, LED were reasonably priced and often subsidized by the power company. LEDs are especially nice for the longer life and not having to change them as often. The less you have to get out the ladders to change lamps, the less likely you are to fall off of a ladder.

Jim
December 19, 2021 7:28 am

There is something rotten in Denmark and the UK on how things are being run and turning out re spiralling electricity and heating costs. I wonder how many people will die in the UK this winter because they cannot afford to properly heat their homes so their health is not affected. This is a tragedy which is being ignored by your wonderful know it all politicians.

Here is the frozen north 30 minutes north of Toronto in Newmarket it cost £85 to heat my medium sized 3 bedroom house last month and this after significant price increases this fall for natural gas. It was way cheaper a year ago. Oh and the electricity bill was only £44.-

It may be cold outside with 3 inches of snow on the ground but I have no problem paying the bills and its decently warm inside.

John Hultquist
Reply to  Jim
December 19, 2021 10:02 am

Jim,
Tell us about your house.
It is not a drafty old stone or brick building, right?
Nor, I suspect is it a converted outhouse.
My 3-bedroom house was “stick” built in 1981 with standard code-compliant materials and methods. As mentioned above, current code standards require thicker walls and better insulation.

Jim
Reply to  John Hultquist
December 19, 2021 4:21 pm

I understand from the article that older building standards in Britain are poor. My house is a properly built insulated house built to good Canadian standards in the 1980’s and properly insulated. It better be as our winters are a lot colder than yours.The point that I am trying to make is that your energy costs are way too high as compared to ours and getting much worse. People simply cannot afford to pay their bills. And for older folks on fixed incomes it is a recipe for utter disaster. People should not have to choose between heating their home in winter and being able to eat and paying for everything else. Its almost a crime.

Joao Martins
December 19, 2021 7:39 am

Landlords who don’t want to comply will simply sell up …

It is worse than that.

With more stringent regulations, landlords will sell their property at very low prices!

This amounts to a confiscation of wealth dictated by the state to the benefit of a few building conglomerates that will buy those properties with peanuts, demolish them, and build new houses for selling or renting at much higher prices.

An expropriation led by the state to the benefit of a few citizens, at the expense of many others.

kzb
Reply to  Joao Martins
December 19, 2021 1:34 pm

No. House prices in Britain are insanely high, particularly in London. Home ownership is an impossible dream to most young people. Property ownership is declining.
The young really want a house price crash. More than 1 in 3 UK pensioners is a millionaire (in pounds) due to house price inflation. It is this that represents the actual expropriation, because the young are excluded from property ownership. If landlords had to sell up it would be a good thing overall.

TonyG
Reply to  Joao Martins
December 20, 2021 10:30 am

I could even see some landlords saying ‘screw it’ and just stop paying the mortgage, if the regulations are onerous enough.

very old white guy
December 19, 2021 7:47 am

Government has created the problem, how the hell is anyone else going to solve it?

Joe Gordon
December 19, 2021 11:06 am

Sounds like the plan is working as designed – the goal being complete government dependence, cradle to grave.

The young are being indoctrinated. Soon enough, the UK will be Venezuela, only colder. They’ll be burning books in the living room for heat during the long winter power outages. No one needs books after a thorough indoctrination.

Robert of Texas
December 19, 2021 2:26 pm

This is just the beginning of increasing prices. There will be a few disasters where power is completely unavailable to large areas, and the fix will be to install more base power plants that run only when “green” energy fails to deliver and so they will be inefficient and expensive.

The solution is to just build base power plants and stop chucking money into unreliable intermittent power sources – but for reasons I cannot understand that is unacceptable to so many in government.

Once the world starts deploying standardized nuclear power units backward countries (by that time) like the U.K., Europe, and the U.S. will play catch up.

JEHILL
Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 20, 2021 8:42 am

And remember kids, a former US Secretary of State allowed the sell of our own Uranium to literally an enemy of the State.

paul marchand
December 19, 2021 2:32 pm

Why isn’t nuclear power the solution?

ATheoK
December 19, 2021 3:11 pm

“At one point you could see your breath in the living room it was that cold,” says Erin Davy.”

My first house, lease-purchase, during the banking/sky high interest rate crisis during the mid 1970s, I could only afford to heat three rooms during winter.

All three rooms held plumbing and were kept at 55°F so the pipes within the walls wouldn’t freeze; kitchen, utility room and the second floor bathroom.
And yes, during cold nights and mornings, seeing one’s breath was normal in unheated rooms.

When guests came, we turned on the radiator in the living room. We hung blankets across the entrances to hold in the warmth.

It was normal back then to live within one’s earnings, whatever it takes.

Figures, alarmists want to use similar allegedly sad stories to force government/property owners to spend £trillions rebuilding housing and businesses.

Right in the middle of alarmists demanding such actions is the proper time to break out in belly laughs while kicking the silly bugger out.

JEHILL
December 19, 2021 6:39 pm

Myself I give a rat a… about pensioners, renters, whomever predicted weather, nor any of the other pedantic points raised in the comments for this topic.

The fact is they elected some of these people, specifically elected them, to fight “climate change” (the chasing of windmills and trying to catch the wind). These are the chickens coming home to roost. If this causes some to have the last embrace, it’s your Darwin Award. You put you or are putting yourselves out of our misery or at least my misery. Good Riddance. Now that we all have given these really bad humans more power there will be no kind, peaceful, democratically benign way back. They are a cancer. They are predators. You cannot negotiate with either. They are too close to achieving their stated primary goals.

kzb
Reply to  JEHILL
December 20, 2021 7:31 am

We couldn’t realistically vote against it. Every UK political party is staunchly Net Zero.

Adrian
December 20, 2021 5:49 am

I would have thought she should check to make sure she isn’t paying the electricity bill for the whole building, also bottle gas heaters are fairly cheap under £100 and a 15kg bottle about £42.00 and would last 3 weeks in a really cold period , might be worth changing heating to this . Electricity is about £0.16 per kilowatt hour in the UK so £200 of electricity would be about 41kw per day

TonyG
December 20, 2021 8:25 am

“Landlords who don’t want to comply will simply sell up, and the rental market will get even more impossible.”
Why is this so impossible for so many to understand?

Alba
December 20, 2021 12:21 pm

and over winter her monthly (electricity) bill soared to as much as £400 a month. 
Crikey. My Scottish Power monthly direct debit is currently £180 for electricity AND gas. It was over £200 but SP informed that a review had cut it to £180.

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