Click images for more details



Recent comments
Recent posts
Currently discussing

A few sites I've stumbled across recently....

Powered by Squarespace
« What will net zero cost? | Main | Another Attenborough tragedy porn exposé »

Making the poor cold, and miserable

I have an article up at Think Scotland, on the subject of induced energy poverty

WE HAVE JUST learned something of the human cost of the government’s increasingly absurd energy policies. It’s not a pretty story. Buried in depths of a rather obscure statistical report, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has given details of how much energy households use for heating and lighting compared to the amount that they actually need.

Astonishingly, 69 per cent of households consume less energy than they need, with an average underspend of 10 per cent. This may overstate the case somewhat, but it’s clear that there is a real problem for those in fuel poverty, who underspend by 20 per cent. It’s particularly acute for households with children.

Why should the poor find it so hard to heat their homes properly? It is probably because they disproportionately rely on electricity to stay warm. This is particularly a problem in Scotland, where a higher proportion of households use electricity for heating than in the rest of the UK, a legacy of past efforts to soak up surplus output of hydropower stations.                                                                                                                                                               

Electrical heating is often used in flats because it’s simpler – if everyone runs on gas then you need shared flues. Unfortunately, electrical heating is much, much more expensive than gas, and the government’s own figures suggest that the gap is going to widen quickly in the future.

The data thus suggests that many poor households are being priced out of the ability to keep themselves warm.

And the problem looks set to become much more widespread, because the government is forcing more and more people to use electricity rather than gas. First, they have mandated the use of condensing boilers, which won’t work with shared flues, leaving housebuilders and those whose boilers have broken down with no choice but to go electric. What is worse, the government has recently announced that new homes will soon not be allowed to have connections to the gas grid at all, so the number of people burdened with hugely expensive electrical heating is going to skyrocket.

From their taxpayer-subsidised flats in Westminster, the political classes are probably entirely unaware of the pain that they are causing. Why worry about what’s happening in Glasgow or Gateshead when you can virtue signal to the world by setting crazy decarbonisation targets for 2050? But as politicians across Europe are finding, eventually the pips squeak, and then there will be a day of reckoning.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

Reader Comments (29)

<sarc>If one really believes in existential threat of "global warming" and all that, then is not the best solution to spend our moving simply moving the population to places where home heating not req'd. Could be lower risk/cost than the energy policy plans I've seen.</sarc>

Apr 24, 2019 at 10:42 AM | Unregistered Commenterrms

What I don't get is the inherent contradiction in the AGWs intentions. Attenfraud harps on about how humans are a plague on the earth through one side of his mouth, and then harps on about how to save humanity from a terrible global warming future from the other side.

Sure, if we are the plague, the quicker we off ourrselves and leave the lovely planet to itself the better.

They should actually be encouraging it.

Apr 24, 2019 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

What? Not allowing new homes to connect to gas mains is absolute craziness!!

Who the f89k comes up with these ideas?

Apr 24, 2019 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMailman

It is perhaps pertinent to cross-post a comment made in Unthreaded earlier in the week:

There's another renewables bond being advertised, a 'Secured Fixed Rate Wind Bond" paying a generous 12%. It's described as "government-supported subsidy & fully asset backed". Econuts like to tell us that renewables have never been cheaper blah blah blah. I wonder where they imagine an assured 12% return comes from?

Apr 24, 2019 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS


I believe, along with announcing the closure of the British motor industry, it was a Gove announcement.

Apr 24, 2019 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Who the f89k comes up with these ideas?

Perhaps a decent fellow on the climate change committee has accepted a small consideration to announce the 'all electric world' the government should implement?

Apr 24, 2019 at 7:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve Richards

Climate Science hits the poorest hardest, and helps to kill them off early. This fits in with the Malthusian ideas of Paul Ehrlich, but why did Obama appoint one of his disciples, John Holdren, as his White House science expert?

Greens and those from the political Centre/Left preach Climate Science euthanasia but only the French are revolting.

Apr 24, 2019 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

TBYJ (Apr 24, 2019 at 12:10 PM): only when there are no humans around to monitor it will climate change cease, does seem to be the logic. But, then, how will anyone know this is so?

(BTW – good to see your wisdom on these pages again.)

Apr 24, 2019 at 10:59 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Apr 24, 2019 at 10:59 PM Radical Rodent

Climate Scientists and their Computer Models should be isolated from reliable sources of electricity generation, dependent on Unreliables only. Then we will see how well they don't work.

This would be the best way for the human race to Rebel against Extinction

Apr 24, 2019 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

A reminder of the fantasy world that those at the top live in:

With each passing year I keep hoping that we've hit peak stupid, but evidently not.

Apr 25, 2019 at 9:02 AM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

I'm regularly amazed that governments can set teams of cross party politicians, alongside seasoned Civil Servants, to solve a problem. Have them spend months deliberating and end up with something that doesn't take into considerations the most obvious pitfalls. You seriously wonder what if anything MPs do... other than fawn over and get their pictures taken with Greta.

Apr 25, 2019 at 9:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I've begun to wonder if Gove and Mr. Bean are related - but I was set straight by commenter Jerry Palmer at WUWT

I don’t think it’s fair to compare the comedic character of a gormless, babbling, clumsy buffoon with Mr. Bean.

Apr 25, 2019 at 4:16 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, it is just possible that when Conservative MPs finally get an opportunity to choose our next Prime Minister, that Green stupidity amongst the candidates may get discussed behind closed doors, and be leaked immediately to the MSM.

Those photos may represent the peak achievement of at least one unwanted and highly unpromising career.

Apr 25, 2019 at 5:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Micheal Gove the new John Selwyn Gummer.

Apr 25, 2019 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

I see we have an estimate for plans to bring our housing stock up to "modern" insulation and heating standards of £2 trillion. Across 28 million homes, that's £71,400 per home. If we assume that half a £1,200 annual energy bill can be saved (which is a generous estimate), then it means that the crude payback is 119 years, which probably exceeds the average remaining life of the housing stock by some margin. Add in borrowing costs, and the forced use of more expensive electricity, and we could be waiting for Godot.

You have to be a special kind of bonkers to work on green proposals.

Apr 26, 2019 at 9:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

I’ve just been inspired .Im just back from evening shopping ,I went into Tesco’s there was a bunch of loud teenage kids buying crisps and Red Bull normally I would have been tutting away but something wonderful happened ,these kids tried to go to the counter and buy six cans of Heineken and two bottles of White wine.Needless to say the woman serving on the till asked for ID and they quietly shuffled off watched to the exit by the security guard .

After this weeks pathetic shenanigans in London Oxford Circus my faith in humanity and the young generation has been restored ,it seems our snotty nosed youngsters are too busy having parties when their mums and dads have gone out for the evening ,the kids are too busy looking at internet porn , getting drunk ,trying desperately to get laid and then being sick in the flower bed.Poor Greta NoFunBerg looks like her British youth Cult won’t be marching in her Green Party Climate Change Hitler Youth Wing after all.Just because she’s a miserable cow don’t mean the rest of us have to be.Immaturity has just saved the human race.

Apr 27, 2019 at 8:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamspid

There is a lovely picture in the Guardian of Jeremy Corbyn with the darling Greta:

She seems very impressed with him.

Apr 28, 2019 at 8:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterdennisa


I think you are right. Most young people are the same as they have always been - sneaky, selfish, lazy and rebellious. What's changed is that the concept of "rebellion" has been co-opted by the libs. Music has been co-opted - the spirit of punk may still be out there, but it's not on the mainstream channels.

If you believed the BBC, the "rebellious youth" of today are actually a bunch of anxious toadying squares, going along with what those in authority tell them are the pressing issues. I cannot and will not believe that this is what the human spirit has come to. What I can believe is that the left metrolibs don't mind weaponising their hapless, and equally dull and stupid children. Unfortunately, I think this will come back and bite them in the bums.

I have yet to speak to a millennial who cares about all that baloney.

Apr 29, 2019 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

Amazingly, the following is from an interview in the Guardian. Were the gatekeepers snoozing?

James Lovelock now believes that “CO2 is going up, but nowhere near as fast as they thought it would. The computer models just weren’t reliable. In fact,” he goes on breezily, “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change. You’ve only got to look at Singapore. It’s two-and-a-half times higher than the worst-case scenario for climate change, and it’s one of the most desirable cities in the world to live in.”

Lovelock had been trying to heat his old mill in Devon, where he lived for more than 35 years, inventing contraptions in a workshop that resembled a Doctor Who set. He and his wife recently packed up his life’s work and downsized to a remote cottage on Chesil Beach in Dorset, after the bill to heat the mill for just six months hit £6,000. “I remember George Monbiot took me up on it and wrote that it was impossible, that I had to be lying. But I wasn’t lying, I’ve got the figures.” Monbiot doesn’t quite accuse him of lying, in fairness; just of “talking rubbish” and “making wild statements”. In any case, he says that in the US he found he could heat a house for six months, in temperatures of -20C (-4F), for just £60. As a result, he has withering contempt for environmentalists’ opposition to fracking. “You see, gas in America is incredibly cheap, because of fracking,” he says. But what about the risk of triggering earthquakes? He rolls his eyes.

Apr 30, 2019 at 12:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterRudolph Hucker

Waste and subsequent rationing is a inherent characteristic of monopoly capitalism.
How can any intelligent person be unaware of this now ?
The politicians know very well the monopoly which gives them ample company credits expects war like legislation to counter various mythical dragons as the age of nuclear weapons makes the scarcity produced by their more normal general warfare a bit problematic.

May 1, 2019 at 4:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Play with this to see how dramatic the energy balance is skewed in Ireland.
Despite or because of large gas transformation increases post Corrib the residential electricity and gas inputs are decreasing also ( despite continued massive migration influx and smaller family unit size )
Also oil inputs are decreasing in residential .
Peat and coal inputs in residential has totally collapsed because if legislation and carbon pricing.

Recently talking to a French couple walking the Kerry way , they were quite struck by the number of houses and the lack of people .
I explained to them they were now mainly financial assets and there is plans to make more ...
They did not seem to understand the absurdity of it all.
Typically in rural areas they use a combination of fuel oil , bottled gas and locally sourced wood and peat.
The reason for the flight to urban prisons of course is not just because of fuel costs .
It's the general increase in price level caused by a mixture of tax ( especially VAT ) and increased population without a increase of net income.

May 1, 2019 at 4:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Off topic, but of concern. Today my attempts to access GWPF get this error message:

Your connection is not private
This server could not prove that it is; its security certificate expired yesterday. This may be caused by a misconfiguration or an attacker intercepting your connection. Your computer's clock is currently set to Wednesday, May 1, 2019. Does that look right? If not, you should correct your system's clock and then refresh this page.

You cannot proceed because the website operator has requested heightened security for this domain.

May 1, 2019 at 5:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRon Clutz

Joe Postma efforts to convey logic.

May 1, 2019 at 8:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dork of Cork

Perhaps this might help give some idea of how and why so many refuse to believe the evidence in front of them.

May 2, 2019 at 10:13 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Perhaps this might help give some idea of how and why so many refuse to believe the evidence in front of them.

May 2, 2019 at 10:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Out of interest, that comment took an awful lot of work to get posted, with the page tripping out to a variety of different "Error" messages - 404 and 403 being two that I can recall; these showed up when I was logged in, but there were others after I logged out. It is almost as if there is someone monitoring, intercepting and generally trying to balk comments, here.

May 2, 2019 at 10:26 AM | Unregistered CommenterRadical Rodent

Hmmm.... perhaps after reading the comment, it was decided that there wasn't too much damaging in it, so they let it through..... Curious.

May 2, 2019 at 10:29 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

RR, we welcome our new bookburning overlords.

RH, frequent small earthquakes prevent the Beeg Wahn! A win/win for fracking.

And yes, climate alarm is a war on the poor, raising the price of and limiting access to electrical power, and so many other wastes and abuses.

It is sad that the Pope doesn't understand that, suckered as he has been the meme that climate change will be hardest on the poor. Well, no, though changes do usually impact the poor relatively adversely, these changes of slight warming and great greening will be net beneficial for the poor.

Mebbe we could all pray for his improving understanding of the matter.

May 2, 2019 at 8:54 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

What? Not allowing new homes to connect to gas mains is absolute craziness!!

In my line of work, I get to work in many sectors, and at the moment my biggest client is in the "last mile" utility sector, and I was talking about the "plans" to stop new builds connecting to the gas network, and he had a few choice things to say about it:

1. Developers will need to lose 1 house in every 5 to cater for the extra substations required to service 100% electric heating plus 100% electric car usage. Imagine your typical new build winding Acacia Avenue with redbrick houses at jaunty angles. Roughtly for evety lampost on that street there will be a substation (with all the electromag controversy they brings)

2. This is only for new builds. Post-build suppliers are still allowed to connect houses to the gas supply. With a bit of ducting cooperation, and 'accidental' separation of companies, the first-fix companies can over-size their feeders and allow post-build subsidiaries to blanket provide gas connectivity on the down-low.

3. It won't happen.

May 3, 2019 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>