With all the news about energy costs and all the measures that the government is urging upon people in the United Kingdom to reduce their energy costs by switching suppliers, it seems to me that the government is missing a fairly simple way to reduce energy consumption and save money which will benefit the consumer and the environment.
The idea that I have revolves around electricity costs. These are not for most people the largest energy bill they receive – they usually spend more on gas , but the government has for at least the past ten years equated energy with electricity, so perhaps they will like this idea for saving electricity costs and consumption.
Much of the fuel used in generating electricity from non nuclear power stations is used in firing up the power stations. Nuclear produced electricity cannot be turned on and off quickly – it takes days or weeks to get the nuclear power station working and to stop it working. Gas, coal and oil supplied power stations can be turned on and off (or up and down) more easily and they do this. In the course of doing this much energy is wasted as they will turn up the power some time before they expect a surge of demand and turn it down when they expect the use to be less.
Our UK power supplies at the moment stable, which means that the management of power is done well, but in order for it to be done well the power generating companies inevitably have to waste fuel, which means that emissions are wastefully produced and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions are produced.
Some but not all parts of the country have “off peak electricity” so called because there is a separate meter that is feed to electric storage heaters which is fed at night using cheap electricity when electricity is not in demand, and the storage heaters feed their heat in the day, when heat is needed.
My concept is to expand this use of white electricity. With the technology available to us today there is no reason why every electric meter could not be set to charge at different rates according to the time of day when the current is used. People then, who use electrical appliances could set their appliances to come on when electricity is in low demand and current could be used then. It would not be rocket science to set up and the technology could easily be incorporated into the smart meters that are supposed to be rolling out over the country.
My concept will not save billions of pounds or millions of tonnes of greenhouse gases but it would produce savings because on many matters people act to benefit their wallets and not their conscious.
Filed under: carbon emissions, climate change, Coal, electricity, energy, gas, global warming, nuclear | Tagged: off peak electricty and climate change, power stations firing up and slowing down | Leave a comment »