An extra day in the leap year – use it to help or harm the environment?

Today is the 29th February a date that is on the calendar every four years (or less frequently in some centuries). Depending on how you do the maths (whether you are paid on an hourly basis, or weekly basis or a monthly basis or a yearly basis), employers might get from the day an extra day’s “free” labour every four years. 

I shall not be giving Genersys employees the day off but the National Trust is giving their staff a day off. Continue reading

The China Argument and using cars less


I watched a television programme about Ms Kris Murrin, a woman who tries to persuade people to use their cars less and walk and cycle more. In the Channel 4 documentary series The Woman Who Stops Traffic, Ms Murrin encounters all sorts of arguments about why people should not give up their cars for a day, some of which are so specious that it is hard to figure out how to answer them. One argument crops up all the times when environmentalists try to persuade people to change their behaviour; I call it “the China Argument” Continue reading

Geomagnetic reversal theory of global warming – an alternative view

Traditionally global warming theory goes like this. We are releasing huge quantities of carbon dioxide that was locked underground in oil, gas and coal, by burning it to create energy. The additional carbon dioxide is more than the normal mechanisms of nature can process, so it stays in the atmosphere and acts as insulation stopping heat escaping so the planet warms up. 

There seems no doubt that the planet is warming up, but there are other reasons advanced by some scientists to explain climate change and one of the most interesting is that put forward by Keith Foster. It is a radical theory but one which regards human made carbon dioxide emissions as exacerbating the effect of the movements in the earth’s geomagnetic field. Wow, that’s a mouthful.   Continue reading

Smart meters – who wants them and why turkeys don’t vote for Christmas

When I wrote about smart meters yesterday I published my post before the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) had announced the result of a 32 month enquiry into the National Grid’s practices in relation to smart meters. National grid have been fined £41.6 million. Ofgem, as a regulator, has a duty to ensure that a business with a dominant market position does not abuse it. Continue reading

Smart Meters – and consulting with experts, not vested interests

I first learned about “smart” metering when I heard Joanne Carr talk about them at National Energy Action, the fuel poverty charity. “Smart” meters replace the somewhat uninformative boxes which show our electricity and gas consumption in units and kilowatt hours. Most people only look at their meters when they want to get a reading for a gas or electricity bill, or when they want to dispute an estimated reading.  

I have already provided an explanation of how to read your meter and how to query your energy bill. Many people think that if we knew better what each appliance, light, or heat creating device actually costs us we would be more careful in using energy. 

I am sure that it true; knowledge is strength. Continue reading

Biofuels in Brazil and the environmental cost of them

In Brazil people are talking about biofuels.  Biofuels were hailed as the solution to fossil fuel carbon emissions, rather like biomass is in the United Kingdom today. Brazil produces large quantities of biofuel, mainly from sugar cane, which is turned into ethanol. This is pumped from what used to be petrol pumps and propels transport all over Brazil. 

Of course there is no free lunch in energy, and the complexities of life on earth means that the biofuel panacea turned into a biofuel poison. Continue reading

Rising energy prices – why they will go up and what we can do about it

Energy is getting more expensive. The Office of Fair Trading has launched its seventh enquiry in fifteen years to establish whether the energy companies are profiteering.  Oil has reached almost $100 a barrel. That highest ever price in itself does not tell us the full picture. Continue reading

A very short guide to home renewable energy


Are you thinking of installing some kind of renewable energy for your home? If so, I offer this guide. 

These are the main ways of generating energy from renewable sources. All of them have their pluses and minuses. None of these forms of energy supply 100% of the energy that you need at all times, and they do need back up. All forms suffer from some kind of intermittency. That should not stop you considering one of these which will give you clean energy some of the time. Continue reading

Genersys Mexico on youtube!


Our subsidiary, Genersys Mexico, are launching a series of youtube videos where they explain our solar systems to the Mexican public. The first two now out there.   

Carlisle loses the plot with green homes advice

I have previously written about the excellent work that Suzanne Burgess’s team of energy advisors do at Carlisle’s Energy Efficiency Advice Centre. Their efforts, expertise and commitment over the years have saved tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. They were one of the first energy efficiency teams to support solar thermal and provide an economic high quality local program, which provided for people in Carlisle, and then Cumbria to undertake high quality energy efficiency measures, including renewables, at low cost.

When Hilary Benn announced that there would be a new Green Homes Service to replace the work that Energy Efficiency Advice Centres were doing, my reaction (20th November 2007) was that it “ain’t broke, so don’t fix it.” I have always thought reinventing the wheel never improves locomotion, but simply Continue reading