Environment, Social Policies, Economics

REFRIGERATORS AND FREEZERS

ELECTRICITY 2, AUGUST 2021

With in these pages, I hope that people in all spheres of life may find something with which they can associate. My mantra is thinking small in no way implies that thinking big, aspiring, having goals should not be applauded. Without hope, without actions, moving forward, human nature would have failed many moons ago.

Taking a deep breath, pulling ones-self up to full height is essential. Various issues are now occurring in Great Britain. Whilst hindsight tends to be a perfect science. None when we entered Brexit foresaw, Covid, tankers jamming up the Suez, (something which though only happening a few months ago, was forgotten by me). Had not a delivery driver reminded me. And yet as an Island community our reliance upon imports from land, sea, and air, cannot be more relevant than today.

What seemed like a small thing at the time had big implications. All the above are leading to a need to tighten our belts, as individuals, we all have our own priorities within our own homes, with in our own world, every family has its own needs, and the wants in our lives in Britain may need to be curtailed somewhat as we move forward.

The priorities for life are water, which we can survive 3 days without, food we can last possibly three weeks and then shelter. We must consider ourselves in United Kingdom, overall as lucky if not totally content , we are within a far better situation than those in other parts of the world.

Starting with electricity is logical, encompassing all parts of what a human requires in this country, we like many things take it for granted. Our desire for clean energy continues, still only producing a small part of the Grids requirement. Ofgem has announced that utility companies supplying Electricity and Gas, will be increasing the cap this year. And unless a contract exists between you and your electricity company, your electricity and gas bill will be increasing.

Therefore, can you negate that increase using a sustainable approach, in my view it is feasible, requires time patience plus a routine. Things like increases in utility bills can be dreaded, can cause mental health issues such as anxiety, plus and element of what next?

My journey with sustainability started with one module about Sustainable Development. Yet, my whole time at University studying Land and Conservation Management and then a couple of years studying the topic explicitly taught me one thing, that my age and life experiences to many extents made me realise, I had been living with a sustainable approach for many years.

My life a complete mix, of order and disorder infact a mess!. My young working life encountered Conservation plus environmental matters. My mid-life marriage then divorce, being coming a single mum struggling with the benefit system and with mental health issues, my own needs and wants started shortly after my daughter left home.

My childhood was extremely normal, arriving upon this planet after rationing and after WWII. For those from 60 years plus in 2021 onward there is no doubt, whether war babies or not, rationing something or everything was still in the minds of parents who survived WWII.

I appreciate totally the young dislike listening to their elders, I trust the young and now it is time to trust those with experiences they have not encountered to date. Life changes do without the extraordinary events of the past two years, life comes for all ages, with concerns and fears. With something like covid being the worse of the worst.

Yet as with other past pandemics still vaguely in my mind from childhood, either lived or told by parents, the options available to government really have not changed stay indoors.

We of our age found it easier, even if it happened as a vague memory. A pandemic of Asian Flu in 1957 was mine. There were more pandemics after that time all called the same, most likely because the skills and technology now available to the scientists, did not exist, as it does today to identify various strains. If Covid did anything for all of us it took us to reviewing various parts of our lives and lifestyles which is only the start of this new journey where climate concerns will and are now requiring adjustments and change.

We will learn to live with covid as we have influenza. It was not a slow emergence, living with changes of climate is not either. It is here. So how do we negate something so valuable to all as electricity and souring prices ahead.

I am unable to tell you how to lead your lives, all I can do is assist and help you review your own. My home, I have lived in for over 30years I have learned most of its idiosyncrasies over that time and my own.

Whilst isolating from Covid I admit that in terms of electricity I put the wants on a level with my needs. Attempting to keep myself as mentally sane and not concerning myself of the cost of my electricity bill. I neglected to check my annual review finding to my horror and after only increasing my overall usage, by adding the chest freezer my direct debit had shot up to over double it had been previously. Bare in mind I am retired and have been for some years. Therefore I was stunned. I then became my own Smart meter, checking useage regularly, and submitting my findings to my supplier. Slowly and surely, by reverting back to old habits, it is now back to a manageable level. By omitting that annual review of usage; my fault entirely, when my dirct debit did not meet my usage through 2019/20, My provider was raking it back!

In 2020 (although in the planning for some years) I took to my garden as many did There were practical reasons an ailing body wracked with arthritis for one. Growing my own helped with my aching limbs, the spring and summer were good growing seasons, and I did something. intended with time and purchased a chest freezer. Something that I had not possessed since my married days. And something to store all my abundance of veg into. I purchase the most environmentally friendly freezer within my price range.

Refrigerators and freezers of all of the electrical items possessed in any property, are the one thing that ticks over day and night. I do not advocate replacing any item just for show or status. However, if your refrigerator or freezer does die a death, when you need to change it really look at what is out there on the market. Check the capacity that you require especially if life has changed somewhat i.e. children at university, divorce there is little point in buying larger, requiring more electricity than needed plus look at the most eco-friendly rating available within your price constraints.

I have for years bulk purchased when finances allowed, it usually pares pennies off prices and I did I admit with many reasoned intentions including a glut of runner beans last year, bought bigger than needed. How have I compensated? Empty litre plastic squash bottles converted to 2/3rds full water .(There are square ones out there) which makes packing them in easier and plastic milk bottles tend to be stronger . I do not see this as wasting water. It can always be used at some point as the freezer fills.

Being sustainable as you follow my path and lifestyle, bearing in mind we all live differently, and I have no distractions regarding family, things can still be thought through to compensate or negate costs. Large plastic bottles once single use now, have more purpose beyond single use, creating volumes of ice which makes the freezer work more economically, rather than the freezer cooling just air.and reducing the electricity need to cool it. To be cont'd.......

Would say milk bottles last longer in this process

Electricity

ELECTRICITY

The compiler owns a social housing property built in the late 80,s early 90’s. And it is all electric, it remains with ageing storage heaters and is still on Economy7 tarriff. Using gas to cook was normal so losing that option was a concern. An now as a nation it should remain a concern.

We can live without gas light unless in a blackout. Whilst this country was concentrating upon Brexit it slipped through that a new nuclear power station was not going ahead. So we continue to rely upon old and ageing systems both gas and electric to power our homes.

It is right and great that in Britain the intent to stop producing anything other than electric cars is now five years closer than the original target. Brilliant that we have engaged with renewable energy. But think it is safe to say at this present moment in time we have issues of continuity with our electricity supply.

New houses could be built with solar an integral part, council properties could be converted, and with that there would be additional power to the grid. However; tomorrow 9th February, 2020 a storm Ciara will hit the whole of the United Kingdom. Whilst some would have seen the weather news on Wednesday announcing its arrival, and rural areas will again brace themselves for electricity cuts, many more possibly should.

To be continued…..