Switch it off

Article on BBC News highlights how much electricity is wasted by having devices constantly in stand-by. For the UK alone it’s the equivalent of the output of two power stations a year – that’s amazingly high and a lot more than I expected. I’m bad at leaving things on for convenience but more and more I’m switching things off, not just to standby but actually at the mains socket as well. The energy that we waste would only be brought into focus if we went through some of the power blips that California suffered over the last two years or the threat to our gas supplied turned into reality – who’ll know what Russia will do next?

It’s time that a sliding scale for paying for our gas and electricity came into use. Like the proposed new road tax where the more you drive the more you pay we should introduce higher unit costs for those that use and abuse energy. There would need to be a scale of when this kicked in i.e. a guy living on his own should use less than a family of four hence their increased unit charge would kick in at a higher level. Awareness alone doesn’t make a difference – hitting people in their pocket certainly would especially when most of the waste is due to our convenience led society.

5 Comments

  1. We already pay for energy by usage, and are taxed on that, just like we are for fuel for our cars. A fairer way to discourage over use would be to just use the tax that is already there, that doesn’t require any extra administration either, so won’t add costs. More you use, the more you pay, completely fair.

    In my opinion all of the “energy” tax should be used to fund renewable/alternate power supply projects. If there was enough venture into that it might even be possible to avoid building one or two nuclear power plants.

  2. Agreed, I know I’d rather see a field of wind turbines than having another nuclear plant pamped on the coastline.

    I was watching some old James Burke ‘Connections’ documentaries the other night and he made a comment about how we’re so lucky to have almost limitless free power from nuclear power stations. Ok, this was back in the 70’s but I think most people would now agree that it might be limitless, but it certainly isn’t free… and I’m thinking of the clean-up and containment costs just for a kick off.

  3. It’s annoying that we’ve dragged our heels on wind, wave and solar power over the last few years and now we’re lurching towards panic decisions about nuclear power.

    I’m all for wind farms and I don’t think they blot the landscape at all. However with the UK now becoming dependent on others for gas, nuclear maybe the only option available. I hope it’s not all nuclear though – we shouldn’t have all our eggs in the one basket.

    Some nuclear and a big push for wind and solar. For example, every new built house should have a solar panel in the roof or one of those small wind turbines as standard – even both. Make it law, force it to happen – time for the government to govern and not listen to focus groups.

  4. Surely Mr Bru would need a wind turbine all of us own to keep on track towards downloading the entire internet?

  5. I remember my amazement when I found out that my washing machine consumes almost as much when left on overnight at the end of a cycle as it does DURING a wash!! EEK!

    I think Solar panels are the way to go, as you say, one on every house would be a HUGE step forward, it would also stop those “no wind farms here” demonstrations (I like them too)

    P.S. You’ve been tagged

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