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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Reader: Why not make city councils produce energy audits?
Keith Kondakor from Green Nuneaton has been in touch to suggest that city councils should be made to provide annual audited energy accounts, which the public could then scrutinise. He has also given away 240 CFLs to his friends and family. Both great ideas... Please keep your suggestions coming!

Hi Matt.

I have been promoting low energy light bulbs here in Nuneaton.

I started at home, where I also work.

I have cut my electric usage form 8 KWhr a day to 6 KWhr [a 25% saving].

Last year I bought 240 low energy light bulbs at trade price and sold, gave or forced them on to any one I knew.

This year I am doing it again with another 200 bulbs and have just getting going. I have been mainly pushing small 9W spiral bulbs which have smaller savings but tend to the the ones that people find hard to buy.

I am now taking on our town council. Using the Freedom of Information Act I obtained the meter readings for their main buildings.

I was shocked to find that their leisure centre uses 4200 units per day.

Even if I can get them to save 0.16% of the use there it will be more than all the electric that me and my wife use. The leisure centre is only 3 years old and should be as good as it gets. What has happened is that they use massive flood lights over the pools and have thousands of low energy bulbs coving the roofs in other parts.

What I would like to see is some form of energy audit required when these things are built. I would also like to get every council to report its energy used.

We could do this the hard way and send out 430+ Freedom of information requests. Better would be to get the government to add this to the list of best value information it requires councils to report. My aim is to have a giant effect on the CO2 footprints of councils.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Making the switch...
Ban The Bulb would like to encourage a debate which explored how a large share of the public could be encouraged to stop using old, familiar technologies (which use energy in a profligate fashion) and to start using newer, more efficient technologies which have never been used in large numbers and thereby become cheap to buy.

Will McNeill has been in touch with an idea which takes advantage of the cheaper running costs ofCFLs and LED light bulbs...

His idea would be for all electricity providers to be required to send each household 10 energy saving light bulbs.

The electricity providers could claim back the costs of providing these bulbs over the course of 12 months, as an appendage to the household's bill. The yearly costs to the household, however, wouldn't rise because they would be using less electricity.

Over the coming years the household would save money, and reduce the carbon emissions.

The scheme could be either'opt-in' (weak) or 'opt-out' (strong).

It would have the following benefits:

(1) Lower the costs of CFLs due to the huge buying power of the electricity providers.
(2) Lower the inertia level of switching to CFLs
(3) Reduce the difficulties of moving to the new technology for those onlower incomes

The problem with 'stick' methods (taxing incandescents, for instance) is precisely the fact it puts a basic need further out of reach of those leastable to pay for it.