Sunday, January 06, 2008

Today's Independent has a welcome note of caution regarding Brown's obsession with nuclear power - unless the government backtracks on its promise to subsidise atomic energy (and don't rule that out, as it already appears to be breaking that promise by offering sweeteners for the disposal of waste near to our homes), the private sector is unlikely to ever be in a position to happily risk investing billions in a project that won't see any return for at least 10 years.

As the Independent says, this government should be boosting energy conservation - this house's energy bill halved when we moved in (despite the fact it also serves as my workplace) without any loss of comfort to ourselves, simply by investing in energy efficiency, which will have paid for itself by the end of this year. Not only will our bills be halved, but our energy consumption will too. That requires more than just banning regular light bulbs - a brake should be put on the sale of large-screen TVs that draw hundreds of watts of power (why is it that a 19-inch LCD from Grundig consumes under 50 watts of electricty, but its 26-inch model consumes 180 watts?), for example, undermining any other energy saving measures people might take. Non-A-rated appliances should be banned, and more done to promote products like the sava-plug, which reduced the consumption of our old C-rated fridge freezer before it finally gave up the ghost last month. Of course, the government should promote this, but people should be more savvy too - instead of complaining about rising bills, why not save money by performing an energy audit? Forego that mid-winter break to Egypt and invest the money on your home instead, reaping the benefits in the months and years to come. It's common sense, surely?

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