In an article by Alan Simpson for the Daily Mail on 8th January 2014 Scottish Housing Minister Margaret Burgess rightly made the point that energy efficiency measures can make a difference to families trying to make end meet. Not rocket science exactly.
Additionally, in an article by Tamara Cohen in the same paper on the 26th December 2013 it was pointed out that the National Grid being was unable to cope with the extra energy provided by wind farms in periods of high winds or periods of low demand. The current solution seems to be to pay wind farm owners money not to produce energy. In other words while families struggle in fuel poverty the government not only allows that energy to be wasted, but pays out money to facilitate that waste.
These costs, according to the article, amounted to £30 million this year alone. This is a £25 million increase over sums paid out last year.
It is not the first time that this issue has been brought to the public’s attention. This is a very big issue not only for today but going forward with trying to make energy greener. It is a great shame to waste this energy especially here in Scotland, where we have high levels of fuel poverty and two-thirds of the UKs wind farms.
One concern must be the fact that it is impossible to see that governments have looked properly at the alternatives and been sufficiently robust in encouraging them. Currently the electricity providers offer cheaper rate electricity when the national grid is at low demand. This is usually through the night for obvious reasons. Exploiting this cheaper energy requires heating and hot water systems that can convert the energy into heat and store it efficiently for use when required. It surely makes sense to ensure that this potential is properly assessed and promoted more, rather than continue to pay money out for nothing.
On today’s market there are highly efficient wet electric storage systems such as the Thermaflow range produced by Thermaflow Ltd. The government, its agencies and energy advice forums should look again at how use of products such as these can be better used in the fight to reduce fuel poverty. Electric storage heating has been with us for some time now, but only in recent years have companies such as Thermaflow Ltd brought such highly efficient electric storage options to the market place. It is time for a fresh look at the options for exploiting the national grid issues. Encouraging the storage and subsequent use of cheap rate energy by families in fuel poverty, especially in off gas areas, must be more appealing than paying businesses for doing nothing.