Putting the Heat on Consumers

13th January 2012

It is perhaps no surprise that energy companies are cutting the prices. In our test house the use of convention energy has dropped to a third compared to the same period last year. Part or this reduction is due to the amount of energy the system is receiving from the sun. However the weather is unseasonably warm and, when it comes to space heating, electricity and gas consumption is down across the UK. Even so the 5% reduction in energy prices only goes some way to offset the 18% increase towards the end of last year. On top of this there is still the issue of the 37% of the UK’s energy supply used for heating and cooling.

Obviously anything that eats a hole into that 37% would be welcome. One idea put forward a few years ago was for energy companies to charge for heat energy rather than just delivering fuel to the consumer’s doorstep and letting them get on with it. A number of power stations do something similar when they pipe hot water into local houses. Other energy providers have started to adopt a more hands on approach by encouraging householders to insulate their houses. However, if energy companies took ownership of the whole domestic heating system away from the householder, and provided all the energy saving modifications to the house, it is feasible they could then charge for the number of KW hours of heat energy the householder uses. This would be a radical way to cut the amount of energy that currently leaks out of houses and it would only work if the consumer shared the cost savings.

Have a good weekend – Peter Kruger

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