The smart meter roll-out has been bumpy, and bedevilled by technical issues around its communications systems. To date, about 6m have been installed towards the goal of achieving 50m+ installations by 2020, and the Government remains adamant that that date is not negotiable.
We are de-commissioning old coal-fired and nuclear-fuelled generating plants, and replacing some of that capacity with enormous wind farms. Solar power is becoming more commonplace (nearly 1m householders now have a solar panel on their roof), and we are experimenting with tidal power and other technologies. But all our existing cables and wires are in the wrong place to transmit this electricity to our homes. Continue reading
Posted in Consumers, Energy, Money Matters
Tagged #energybills, #SmartMeters, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, older people, smart meter rollout, smart meters older people
In the spring, Ofgem announced its Insight for Future Regulation project, and has now produced the first paper of a series: first Future Insights discussion paper. It sets out some of the dramatic changes in the way we use and buy energy which might come about in the next five or ten years.
First, a health warning – past predictions are not a firm guide to the future, though they are the best we have got. Between December 2012 and March 2016, the number of active gas or electricity suppliers in the domestic market doubled from 20 to 43. Forecasts by the (then) Department of Trade and Industry in 2000 for electricity demand in 2015 turned out to be 20% too high – our appliances are much more efficient than anticipated. Continue reading
Posted in Consumers, Economy, Energy
Tagged #energybills, Age UK, Age UK blog, Ageing, ageing population, ageing society, energy bills, energy older people, Insights for future regulation Ofgem, Insights for Future Regulation project, Ofgem, Ofgem Future Insights programme, older people
“[Energy Adviser] who came to assess our needs was very thorough and offered advice and suggestions. The work was promptly completed and has been a boom in the cold weather. It involved draught proofing our doors which had warped over the years. What a difference to the warmth of our home this winter”
We know cold weather increases the demand on the health service, and with cold homes in particular, it is believed to be one reason behind increases in respiratory and circulatory diseases in winter. Older people are more likely to suffer from cold weather and in addition to affecting their health we know it can have an impact on their quality of life. The personal and family costs from becoming seriously ill or from a premature death because of the cold can be devastating. But it does not need to be this way. Continue reading