02 July 2008

Rising Energy Bills And Renewable Heat

The city council in Coventry has voted to seek a meeting with energy minister Malcolm Wicks over rising energy prices.

The reason that energy bills are rising in Coventry is the fuel that we use. We heat our homes with oil and gas, but we are entering an era that will be defined by a peak in the supply of oil, as well as a growing dependence on a few countries (Russia, Iran) with large supplies of natural gas.

In response to this, we need energy security. Energy security won’t come from hopeful letters from the city council to Malcolm Wicks. Energy security won’t come from Gordon Brown urging Saudi Arabia to pump even more oil.

Energy security will come from investments in insulation, in far more efficient white goods, and in renewable heat. We need a multi-year, multi-million pound public/private partnership to make these three measures affordable to working-class families in Coventry.

- The Green Party on Kirklees Council (in Huddersfield) introduced the country’s first universally-free insulation scheme. Any household, no matter what their income, qualifies for free cavity wall and loft insulation. It will save over £4.5 million in fuel bills, and it will create over 100 new local jobs.

- Coventry could be a pilot city for only A and B rated white goods (ovens, refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers) to be sold in stores.

- We need to start thinking about not just renewable energy, but renewable heat. This can include solar thermal collectors, which heat water in pipes on your roof; wood-burning boilers; or air/ground source heat pumps. A basic solar thermal system roughly costs £1 800 and provide 80% of a typical family’s hot water during summer months. A 20kW wood boiler can cost £5,000.


Anonymous said...

'peak oil' isn't here yet, there is simply a lack of refineries.

the 7 oil tankers moored in iranian ports with nowhere to refine them (high sulphur) is evidence of this.

also, you need to price in real terms - inflation is going mental at the minute & all figures quoted are totally inaccurate

also, there are more countries than you think with huge gas supplies, kazakhstan, tadjikistan, turkmenistan, uk (shetland), nigeria, venezuala the list is endless. if u are anti oil, fine but why perpetuate the ridiculous notion that prices will never drop?

i reccomend Danial Yergin's 'the prize' as it charts the history of the oil industry and is pretty good evidence that this period of price rises, like the others is a result of political (high risks atm), economic (low price = low investment) and psychological (whay we believe is whats true) factors.

an interesting point for you to pick up on would be his analysis of japan and germany's quest for oil and the parallels that we see today.

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