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Energy prices... what if?

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 The Lemming 25 Jul 2022

What if during the winter, the entire domestic population just stopped paying for gas and electric in favour of paying for food and mortgage bills?

16
 arch 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

They'd put you a card meter in.

 Jack 25 Jul 2022
6
In reply to The Lemming:

If everyone stopped, I'd imagine pretty quickly we would have 

1) Supplies of fuel to the UK stopped as if customers wont pay wholesalers, wholesalers won't have cash to pay suppliers.

2) As a consequence deliveries of goods (including food) stop as there would be no fuel for lorries etc.

3) Social breakdown or a rapid rethink about the wisdom of this plan.

5
 wintertree 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

So you're assuming that we'll still have enough gas and electricity to supply everyone, thereby allowing them to rack up bills they can refuse to pay?

I like your optimism.

3
 dread-i 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

I expect they would use the processes they already have in place for non payment. Red letters, disconnection of supply, bailiffs, court. It doesn't mater if it is one person or a million, their system will send it down the same route. They will recoup some of the lost revenue, when they sell the debt onto the bailiffs. I expect they have an insurance policy to cover any additional losses. The share price might wobble, but they are the only game in town. No alternative supply without either paying a fortune for home solar and wind or digging your own gas well. I expect the hedge funds will do well out of the share price fluctuations.

A better solution might be to get the people who cant afford to pay, to write/ email/ txt their MP and say they wont vote for them. But as many of people on low(er) incomes wont vote for certain parties, the impact will be negligible. Perhaps set up camp in the MP's warm surgery, might be an alternative.

We've also seen turkeys voting for xmas. All the government have to do is announce a tax cut and people will put them back in power. The maths may show that they are still massively out of pocket, but, no one does the maths and; 'Hey! Tax cut. Lets stick it to the man.'

In reply to The Lemming:

Gas will rise substantially again in October https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/cbp-9491/

For those already on/close to/over the edge this will have serious implications and knock-on effects. For those wealthy enough to absorb it, it'll still have an effect on money going spare for other things. 

Not paying will result in not-having, not a freebie.

 jimtitt 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> What if during the winter, the entire domestic population just stopped paying for gas and electric in favour of paying for food and mortgage bills?

Why wait for winter? Try it now and tell us when the bailiffs/debt collectors come calling.

1
In reply to The Lemming:

> What if during the winter, the entire domestic population just stopped paying for gas and electric in favour of paying for food and mortgage bills?

Then we'd be thieves. A product becoming more expensive doesn't justify stealing it.

11
 Maggot 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

Exorbitant gas and electricity bills?

Pah! A few tools, bit of wire and some piping are your friends.

Otherwise, having an 18.5kVA generator in my hallway should cover me if we have power cuts whathaveyou.

2
 Maggot 25 Jul 2022
In reply to rj_townsend:

> Then we'd be thieves. A product becoming more expensive doesn't justify stealing it.

When you see utility companies CEOs getting massive bonuses and energy companies making huge profits that they don't know what to do with ... F*** em!

9
 wintertree 25 Jul 2022
In reply to rj_townsend:

> Then we'd be thieves.

I agree.

> A product becoming more expensive doesn't justify stealing it.

Again, I agree.

However, individual senior staff and investors profiteering from essential commodities set against a rising cost-of-living crises, seasoned with a failure of government to regulate large business any better than it regulates itself justifies something.

I'm really not clear what an effective something is, but we need it more by the day.

2
 Stichtplate 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> What if during the winter, the entire domestic population just stopped paying for gas and electric in favour of paying for food and mortgage bills?

Predicated That one in three households will be in fuel poverty by this Winter so I suppose we’re about to find out.

interesting couple of facts: until 2004 the U.K. was self sufficient in energy. We now have to import 50%. Last year saw the U.K.s energy production fall to a 50 year low. 
 

I’m really starting to wonder if there is anything that the Tories haven’t managed to completely F up.

8
 critter 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

No being a raving anarcho, but:

If a few people don't pay their bills it's their problem.

If the many don't pay their bills it's the companies problem.

I'm surprised nobody has used the term ' war profiteering'!

If companies are making significantly more percentage profit against a time weighted average since March 2022 then that is what it is.

The revolution starts after last orders!

Post edited at 18:50
3
In reply to critter:

> If companies are making significantly more percentage profit against a time weighted average since March 2022 then that is what it is.

1) They were all making loses when energy prices were low a couple of years ago, a longer time-frame is needed.

2) Profits>dividends>pensions>personal financial security.

3) Energy prices are global. If we don't pay the going rate, someone else will and we don't get fuel.

Be careful what you wish for.

4
In reply to Maggot:

> When you see utility companies CEOs getting massive bonuses and energy companies making huge profits that they don't know what to do with ... F*** em!

No different to any supermarket. Do you shoplift?

5
 Babika 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

They'll cut you off. 

My son moved into a rental property last December with 2 friends.  Due to the chaos of moving in they didn't reply to an EON email. They cut off their gas and electricity after 7 days in the property and have now installed a prepay meter despite being offered DD details. 

That was all before the price hike. 

Best of luck with your strategy

 Stichtplate 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Babika:

> They'll cut you off. 

> My son moved into a rental property last December with 2 friends.  Due to the chaos of moving in they didn't reply to an EON email. They cut off their gas and electricity after 7 days in the property and have now installed a prepay meter despite being offered DD details. 

> That was all before the price hike. 

> Best of luck with your strategy

That’s presuming they have a really, really big stockpile of prepay meters.

 wintertree 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Stichtplate:

> That’s presuming they have a really, really big stockpile of prepay meters.

Given how long it’s taken EON to not replace my faulty meter (5 months, 4 hours of phone calls, 20 WhatsApp messages and half a dozen emails) I wouldn’t bank on meter supply being the problem…

I suspect some of the downplayed capabilities of smart meters feature in the details of the contingency planning going on.

 Babika 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Stichtplate:

They don't need a prepay meter to cut you off. 

They just did it. 

I guess if you pay they reconnect but that rather blows a hole in Lemmings cunning plan

Post edited at 19:28
In reply to Maggot:

> When you see utility companies CEOs getting massive bonuses and energy companies making huge profits that they don't know what to do with ... F*** em!

Far from huge profits, many of the utility companies have gone bust!

1
 kevin stephens 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Thread

However excessive bosses’ bonuses and company profits are they are a small percentage of turnover. If they were eliminated it wouldn’t make much difference to retail gas and electricity prices which are due to what gas costs on the international market (over 40% of electricity is generated by gas fired CCGT power stations). If there is a mass refusal to pay for retail energy then the suppliers won’t have any money to buy the gas, they will simply stop importing gas and generating electricity, or more likely sell it to Europe via the cross channel inter-connectors.
  

3
 jiminy483 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

I don't see anyway to reduce prices in the long term other than more nuclear power and less fossil fuels. I'm no expert but I think we're in the process of building several new plants, I was reading the French have much cheaper energy because they have a lot of nuclear plants. 

1
In reply to jiminy483:

> I don't see anyway to reduce prices in the long term other than more nuclear power and less fossil fuels.

Another area where the national "consciousness" is a bit oxymoronic - we don't like nuclear, we want energy security and we want cheap energy - at the present time (technology wise) you can have 2 of those but not all 3.

 Lord_ash2000 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

You can buy some pretty warm and snazzy jumpers for the cost of a month's gas at this winter's prices. That's what I'll be doing.

But more seriously, I think we're going to see a recession next year. People haven't fully realised the cost of fuel now as it's summer and we're using minimal gas, once winter kicks in combined with another huge price rise it is going to wipe out a lot of people and even people in the middle are going to get a shock. As the necessities start to take up more and more of people's budgets, spending on none essentials will plummet and that'll hit business too. Add in higher interest rates on a very indebted society and we're looking at a massive economic hit. Money wise 2023 is going to make everything that has happened so far look like the land of milk and honey, a lot of people are in for a bleak year or two until things settle down. 

1
 Forest Dump 25 Jul 2022
In reply to jiminy483:

Renewables are the cheapest around per MW and storage solutions are progressing at pace. Nuclear is a yesterday solution to todays problem.

See French reactors struggling to access enough water as the river runs too low and too hot

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 wintertree 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Forest Dump:

> Renewables are the cheapest around per MW and storage solutions are progressing at pace

Grid scale seasonal storage is however still a pipe dream.  Interestingly, grid scale single-day storage (a precursor to seasonal storage) makes nuclear more attractive as it can bridge the baseline/diurnal mismatch.

> See French reactors struggling to access enough water as the river runs too low and too hot

The last time I checked, the UK was still surrounded by oceans, with no point being more than 85 miles or so from the sea.  We’ve been able to send electricity over wires for 85 miles for around a century…

> Nuclear is a yesterday solution to todays problem.

Catchphrases do not make sound policy.

IMO the future is either in fusion devices that aren’t giant tokamaks or in orbital solar power farms.  The former is reaching make of break point in terms of privately funded reactors, and the later is rumbling up in pace

But none of those futures come in time for this winter. 

2
 profitofdoom 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> What if during the winter, the entire domestic population just stopped paying for gas and electric in favour of paying for food and mortgage bills?

Then - how do we cook, heat the house, and heat water for washing / baths / showers? Life with out these is not much fun for adults, and maybe worse for children (especially babies)

OP The Lemming 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Lord_ash2000:

> People haven't fully realised the cost of fuel now as it's summer and we're using minimal gas

I don't think you give people enough credit to see the shitstorm that is only three months away.

OP The Lemming 25 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Why cant we have big floating solar farms charging to big batteries that can be taken on shore?

 Forest Dump 25 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:

True that none of that comes on line for this winter. As for catch phrases building sound policy, neither does Tomorow's World tech. Its just a distraction from solutions that can be implemented in the here and now. Such as massive programme of home insulation, and grid scale renewable at a cheaper cost than nuclear

Respectively disagree with you on nuclear, not least as i'm very uncomfortable building potentially lethal infrastructure in coastal regions.

Post edited at 21:45
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 wintertree 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Forest Dump:

> True that none of that comes on line for this winter. As for catch phrases building sound policy, neither does Tomorow's World tech. Its just a distraction from solutions that can be implemented in the here and now

You seem confused.  I explicitly stated that "none of those futures come in time for this winter.".  I'm not trying to distract from what we can do now.  I'm giving my view that it's far from clear to me that renewables are the eventual future.

>  Its just a distraction from solutions that can be implemented in the here and now. Such as massive programme of home insulation, and grid scale renewable at a cheaper cost than nuclear

But you're living in a pipe dream if you think any of that is going to make a difference from Winter 2022/2023, which is the subject of this thread.  

Citing those  things as able to be implemented in the "here and now" isn't just a distraction, it's wrong.  I can't get a builder to come and do a job for me for another 3 months - they're booked up - and they're already trying to secure the materials they need for the job.  The idea that we can insulate and deploy renewables to avert the current crisis is la-la-land of the highest order.

Over a timescale of 2-15 years, yes I fully agree that insulating houses (and installing PIV for the millions of houses that will otherwise overheat in summer [1]) and deploying more renewables is great.  Absent a "Tomorrow's World" tech leap in grid scale storage however, more renewables means more CCGT (gas) in the short term to provide infill when needed.  The problem there being the supply of gas.

 > Respectively disagree with you on nuclear, not least as i'm very uncomfortable building potentially lethal infrastructure in coastal regions.

You're not disagreeing with me, you're speaking to a point fundamentally different to the one I made.  

You said slower and warmer rivers are a problem, I pointed out that's not true for the UK.  You're not disagreeing with that.  You're making a new and different point.  On that point, I suggest that we currently have highly lethal infrastructure everywhere - fossil cars, fossil heating, fossil power generation.  It's f***ng the world up royally, beyond belief.  The difference is that well managed nuclear plant poses a small  increased risk of harm to the people it directly serves, where-as we off-shore most of the concrete, actual harm from our fossil usage to the poorest parts of the world.

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62126463

 Forest Dump 25 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:

Aren't you a joy to engage with. And yes, we're doomed for this winter.

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 wintertree 25 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> Why cant we have big floating solar farms charging to big batteries that can be taken on shore?

Cables work just fine.  It's what the big ocean based wind arrays use.  Waves are a problem though.  Solar-PV works well on "inert" reservoirs purposefully kept from of aquatic life - water cools the panels for higher efficiency and panels slow evaporation of the water, and no equating life Is inconvenienced.

But none of that is going to make an iota of difference mid-winter when we have pathetically little sunlight.

> I don't think you give people enough credit to see the shitstorm that is only three months away.

Much to my surprise I'm with Lord_ash2000 here.  The worse end of reasonable predictions for this is bad, and it remains to be seen how well our electricity grid will handle that - there've been a spate of grid-scale blackouts internationally in recent years for a range of embarrassing reasons showing infrastructure isn't as robust as perhaps was hoped.

I still recall a week without power after the Great Storm of '87 when I was a bairn, and we kept our lights, heating and so on going in the multi-day power cut after Storm Arwen but the people around us had real problems - especially those without open fires or wood burning stoves.   As the power cuts were localised (for up to 11 days) people could go to friends, relatives, restaurants and  hotels etc as their houses cooled to low single digit temperatures, but that only works if the power is on in the next village.

It's normally as we head in to August that I start wishing with all my might for an epic winter of the likes not seen since 2010/2011, but this year I'm hoping for the warmest winter on record in England.

1
In reply to Forest Dump:

The basic problem with nuclear is the waste - but we've already got that problem and when it's properly solved, having twice the amount of waste or five times, won't make the solution any harder.

The main advantage of nuclear is that it gives you a completely reliable base load.

With those in mind, we should have been building a few nuclear power stations for the last 20 years, so that they were there when older power stations were decommissioned. But instead we (as a country) have basically had no proper long term energy strategy for the last 20 years (at least). It's all been "dash for gas" and market forces which may well be fine as long as you can guarantee supply - but as this year has shown - to have a 100% guarantee, you need to be in control of the supply.

Having those nuclear power stations would have given us the luxury of a breathing space, whilst sorting out the next generation of power stations (and storage) that would better fit in with our environmental aspirations.

Post edited at 22:30
 flatlandrich 25 Jul 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

Just an FYI but Sizewell C, the third nuclear power station in Suffolk, got planning consent on 20th July 2022, but is unlikely to be online before 2033 at the earliest. 

In reply to flatlandrich:

2033 is probably a bit optimistic with the way these huge projects go.

Hopefully, the Rolls-Royce smaller nukes proposal will bear fruit allowing much quicker construction.

 neilh 26 Jul 2022
In reply to MG:

With our interconnected energy, I am sure they will just go and sell the unpaid energy to Europe.Afetr all tankers of LNG can easily off load elsewhere.

Like you I am on board with careful what you wish for.

We are lucky in the UK to be alot less reliant on Russian Gas than some of our European neighbours, let us at least count our chickens.

 Pedro50 26 Jul 2022
In reply to neilh:

> let us at least count our chickens.

A somewhat scrambled metaphor!

In reply to Pedro50:

> A somewhat scrambled metaphor!

Gegs? 🙄

 spenser 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

They are aiming to lower construction, operating and decommissioning cost as well as making them easier to build to a defined time frame. If the approach works (I think it has lots of potential) I can see the modular approach being applied to a wide variety of construction projects. 

In reply to Lord_ash2000:

You can pay a house deposit in China with watermelons at the moment…

The global economy (part from the US) is on the brink of collapse.

We’ll be in a global recession by the end of the year.

1
 Umfana 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

> Another area where the national "consciousness" is a bit oxymoronic - we don't like nuclear, we want energy security and we want cheap energy - at the present time (technology wise) you can have 2 of those but not all 3.

Spot on.

Cheap - reliable - green.

Pick two. At best.

 magma 26 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

Neil Oliver having a bash at the green energy levy and the green agenda sham..

youtube.com/watch?v=Y_Jk4dt-VjE&

4
 Brown 26 Jul 2022
In reply to spenser:

I used to work for a DfMA specialist architects (design for manufacturer and assembly) and worked on the small scale nuclear project.

IMO it is a pie in the sky political industrial complex gravy train. Ministers dish out r&d funding to RR to do another trial and then five years down the line are retired from politics and have cushy non executive directorships to lobby government for more funding from.

You can observe the public opposition to remote nuclear power stations. You can observe the public opposition to local pollution sources (perceived) such as energy from waste incineration. Do you think any government will be courageous enough to distribute small scale nuclear across the country.

Another political industrial roundabout is carbon capture and storage.

Post edited at 16:15
2
 jimtitt 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

> The basic problem with nuclear is the waste - but we've already got that problem and when it's properly solved, having twice the amount of waste or five times, won't make the solution any harder.

If you lived nearer Chernobyl you might have another view! There's a few of the same design uncomfortably near me.

1
 bridgstarr 26 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

One way to reduce energy costs is to tip the balance of supply and demand. I understand that its a global market and one country cannot fix it on its own, but by the same token, if no one acts then nothing changes.

I'd change the domestic pricing per KWH to scale exponentially.  Try to incentivise people to cut their usage, and those that are profligate will ultimately subsidise those who are miserly. 

Even if it is barely noticeable on the global markets, at least the profligate users in the UK would subsidise those barely able able to afford energy, and it might be enough to stop some people freezing to death

 montyjohn 26 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> If you lived nearer Chernobyl you might have another view!

This may be true, but Nuclear has proven itself to be one of the safest ways to produce power.

https://ourworldindata.org/safest-sources-of-energy#:~:text=They%20estimate%20that%2012%25%20of,for%20electricity%20production%20each%20year.

Post edited at 17:37
 jimtitt 26 Jul 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

That is based on one criteria, another way of looking at "safest" could be the potential for a minor mistake to make huge tracts of land uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years.

2
 S Ramsay 26 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

There aren't, or at least not operational ones, all in use German reactors are Pressurised Water Reactors, these are typically much safer than Boiling Water Reactors of which Chernobyl was one

In reply to The Lemming:

Some less popular what ifs.

What if we removed green levies for the duration of the crisis,would energy companies simply soak these up?

What if we returned to burning coal for the duration of the crisis?

Capacity issues? What if we reopened some pits?

What if we reinstated the fracking program?

What if we soften our line against Putin and negotiated an early peace and return to the norm of gas supply?

What if we re nationalised energy generation and introduced some price control measures?

Looking to future new builds is fine and the right thing to do but we must also deal with the present. Some short term thinking needs to accompany the long.

3
 neilh 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Softening the line with Putin just means he will push harder for his next objective. It’s a no win position.

He will just squeeze you even harder for what he wants if you concede. He really does not care about what you think. 

Post edited at 18:19
 jimtitt 26 Jul 2022
In reply to S Ramsay:

Typically much safer is great, the next one to me is maybe 20 miles away. The Czech ones 150 miles away might be another matter.

4
In reply to jimtitt:

Rest easy Jim. Globally there have been 52 radiological deaths attributed to the civil nuclear industry since its inception.

OP The Lemming 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

I'm guessing my glowing alarm clock from the early 70's was safe?

 ExiledScot 26 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> That is based on one criteria, another way of looking at "safest" could be the potential for a minor mistake to make huge tracts of land uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years.

How many deaths are contributed to poor air quality, ie burning more lignite for power production, some deaths are just easier to quantify. 

Nb. Some set aside land hasn't been so bad for wildlife around Chernobyl and that's just a few decades. 

 jimtitt 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Rest easy Jim. Globally there have been 52 radiological deaths attributed to the civil nuclear industry since its inception.

The UN, IAEA and WHO give a figure of 4,000 for Chernobyl alone but this is widely considered to be a low estimate.

3
 wintertree 26 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> The UN, IAEA and WHO give a figure of 4,000 for Chernobyl alone but this is widely considered to be a low estimate.

It’s widely contested in a very wide open sense.  

How many deaths have been enabled by the $50 Bn spent by NATO members on Russian energy in the last 100 days?

No source of energy is without its risk of death to humans.  The accounting applied is rarely consistent.  Wind is estimated to have killed more people than nuclear per GWh, and hydro is much worse.  I’m going go have to dig in to OWiDs methodology - interesting to see biomass (which I have little time for) scoring so badly on deaths.  Wind I suspect is construction workers but hydro will I expect largely be civilians in catastrophic failures.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/death-rates-from-energy-production-per-twh

Post edited at 19:49
In reply to jimtitt:

Whichever figure you choose to take, doubled due to pessimisms, it will be a drop in the ocean compared to coal,oil or gas.

Analyse the data further,look at energy generated per fatality across both industries.

You are safe.

 jimtitt 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Presley Whippet:

Why are you (and Wintertree) telling me things I already know? It was montyjohn that introduced the deaths, not me. My response was pointing out that his "safe" based on deaths could be countered by "That is based on one criteria, another way of looking at "safest" could be the potential for a minor mistake to make huge tracts of land uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years."

3
In reply to jimtitt:

You get more radioactive crap out of a coal plant than a nuclear plant. Loads more. Like, crazy amounts more. If you're scared of radioactivity you don't want to be anywhere near a coal plant.

Fossil fuels are on course to make huge tracts of land uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years without even going wrong. Live by the coast? Not for long.

In reply to wintertree:

Solar is the one I want to know more about. There must be a story or two there.

 wintertree 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Solar is the one I want to know more about. There must be a story or two there.

As tempting as it is to imagine a recreation of the Sunflower attack from the Ringworld novel happening at a solar thermal plant, I suspect it’s as simple as working at height is dangerous.

Edit: HVDC isn’t much fun either…. 

Post edited at 21:15
 montyjohn 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Solar is the one I want to know more about. There must be a story or two there.

Since many panels are made in China, it wouldn't surprise me if the deaths for solar are a lot higher than recorded.

They don't have the best safety track record in Chinese factories or the honesty to record such things.

 montyjohn 26 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> That is based on one criteria, another way of looking at "safest" could be the potential for a minor mistake to make huge tracts of land uninhabitable for hundreds of thousands of years.

I'd say deaths per kWh is the only sensible way to compare them. Your scary scenario is so unlikely it's not worth worrying about (much). And if you are worried, don't research how many astroids there are up there.

It's the boring stuff that will get you in the end. Falling over putting your trousers on, an infection from a thorn, a chesty cough. 

 S Ramsay 26 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

OK inherently safer, you said that there was one near you with a similar design to Chernobyl, this is patently not true. Germany's electricity co2 intensity is way worse than average for a European state largely because of Merkel's bonkers decision to shut down nuclear after Fukushima. This additional warming will kill far more people than German nuclear plants ever would have. Even the Japanese have restarted most of their nuclear plants and Fukushima will get cleared up and the radiation from it is believed to have killed no-one. 

Post edited at 22:04
 Forest Dump 26 Jul 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

But its fine to put nuclear there apparently 

 Jamie Wakeham 26 Jul 2022
In reply to S Ramsay:

> ... Fukushima will get cleared up and the radiation from it is believed to have killed no-one. 

I'm a reluctant advocate for nuclear (I think it's the least worst option to support renewables overall) but this isn't true.  The Japanese government has already paid compensation to one worker who died of cancer following the accident, and estimates of eventual mortality run from the low hundreds to the low thousands. Evacuated children have around a 1% increase in their lifetime cancer risk.

1
 jkarran 26 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

They'll cut us off one by one until the protests/riots then the bets are off. Whatever, it'll be a cold rough winter for millions with power in the same hands come spring. My guess is they'll piss borrowed money onto pensioners hoping for a poll bounce and spring election. The question is will how much blood will spill to get to spring and how draconian will the response be to that. It may not be a self stabilising situation (but probably is this year, we're like a beaten spouse and it is afterall actually mostly our fault, we voted for it).

Jk

Post edited at 23:56
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 jkarran 27 Jul 2022
In reply to bridgstarr:

> I'd change the domestic pricing per KWH to scale exponentially.  Try to incentivise people to cut their usage, and those that are profligate will ultimately subsidise those who are miserly. 

Exponential pricing (or an approximation thereof) is the obvious way, in parallel with really easy finance to deliver huge energy savings. I can't see how you implement it through the sham market we now have and i can see a dozen ways to drive a coach and horses through well meaning piss weak legislation even if we nationalised energy.

Jk

 ExiledScot 27 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:

> It’s widely contested in a very wide open sense.  

> How many deaths have been enabled by the $50 Bn spent by NATO members on Russian energy in the last 100 days?

Wouldn’t too hard to work, cost of Russian military per day and death rate. Or average cost of a missile they use most.

1
 neilh 27 Jul 2022
In reply to jkarran:

The sham market has not signed up on mass in the U.K. to Russian gas……a point a lot of people seem to forget.

 Richard J 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Longsufferingropeholder:

> Solar is the one I want to know more about. There must be a story or two there.

I looked into this a while ago and the only definite solar related fatality I could find was a worker killed in a PV factory in Taiwan in 2005, in a silane gas explosion.  Silane (a precursor to electronic grade silicon) is a pretty evil substance so I wouldn't be surprised if there had been more such accidents in the huge ramp up of Chinese PV production.

I believe that the largest single energy related accident is still the bursting of the Banqiao Hydroelectric Reservoir Dam in China in 1975, which killed 26,000 people.

1
 Richard J 27 Jul 2022
In reply to jimtitt:

> If you lived nearer Chernobyl you might have another view! There's a few of the same design uncomfortably near me.

I don't think this can be true unless you live in Russia, which is where the only currently operating RMBK reactors are to be found.  Chernobyl was a RMBK reactor, graphite moderated and cooled with light water.  This has the really ugly design feature that if the coolant water starts to boil you get less neutron absorption, so the fission reaction can run away.  This is the result of a design optimised for producing weapons grade plutonium rather than electricity.

 wbo2 27 Jul 2022
In reply to wintertree:  When you've got a working fusion device then it goes into energy supply policy.  Otherwise you may as well be reliant on sky pixies.

Michael Hood: Nuclear is very expensive, I don't know why you think it's cheap.  High CAPEX, high OPEX.  Renewables are cheapest in the long run, but reliability and storage are currently challenges so you need a mix.

Ultimately tho' if you don't pay, you won't be getting .  The UK isn't energy reliant, and other countries aren't a charity

I agree with LordAsh on the subject of a recession, and probably not a great recovery after either.

1
 wintertree 27 Jul 2022
In reply to wbo2:

> When you've got a working fusion device then it goes into energy supply policy.  Otherwise you may as well be reliant on sky pixies

I agree.  I said where I think the future lies.  I did not in any way advocate including that in current policy for delivery - rather the opposite - I explicitly recognised it’s not going to deliver anything soon.

I say “current policy for delivery” - there is room for sky pixie stuff in government policy on the R&D side,  Developing clean, cheap, scalable, ultra low harm, robust sources of sufficient power for ever growing requirements should be policy no brainer.  On the fusion front, government spend is largely going in to a black hole but industry thinks alternatives are close enough that they’re raising billions of private cash for demonstrators.  On the orbital solar plant, the UK Space Agency is showing great interest - they’re talking quietly to people who know their beans on various technical barriers.  Should be a grant call out this week on the subject.

> I agree with LordAsh on the subject of a recession, and probably not a great recovery after either.

Seems a very reasonable prediction.  

Post edited at 08:23
 jkarran 27 Jul 2022
In reply to neilh:

> The sham market has not signed up on mass in the U.K. to Russian gas……a point a lot of people seem to forget.

I'm not sure I understand the point.

Mine was about consumer pricing, not the impact of sanctions on wholesale prices.

Are you suggesting we have a fell functioning consumer energy market because there is little to no Russian gas (currently unpopular) sold in it? I'd argue that, and more to the point, how much remains in our neighbour's markets, has more to do with how we and they import gas. We can pick and choose day by day where the boats come from.

Jk

 timjones 27 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

> What if during the winter, the entire domestic population just stopped paying for gas and electric in favour of paying for food and mortgage bills?

I susect that a lot of the less well off would go cold and hungry whilst those who are better off and  champion such gestures would dodge such hardships by eating out in nice cosy restaurants.

 neilh 27 Jul 2022
In reply to jkarran:

We did not build up a reliance on Russian gas possibly as a result of a fragmented U.K. energy market. There were a lot of players . Were being the key word. All buying gas from different sources etc.in Europe more concentrated and fewer buyers. 
 

Post edited at 13:11
OP The Lemming 27 Jul 2022
In reply to timjones:

> I susect that a lot of the less well off would go cold and hungry whilst those who are better off and  champion such gestures would dodge such hardships by eating out in nice cosy restaurants.

That's provided that the cosy restaurants can afford to stay in business with the fuel bills required to prepare the food for the fewer and fewer people that are fortunate enough to walk through their doors.

 kevin stephens 27 Jul 2022
In reply to jkarran:

> They'll cut us off one by one until the protests/riots then the bets are off. Whatever, it'll be a cold rough winter for millions with power in the same hands come spring. My guess is they'll piss borrowed money onto pensioners hoping for a poll bounce and spring election.

There's no way that there can be a spring election after the UK faces it's worst winter in living memory.  A large proportion of voters will face real fuel poverty with increasing heating costs, people on lower wages generally live in accommodation that has poorer insulation and will suffer disproportionately from cold. All this is likely to put further demands on the beleaguered NHS.  Most energy intensive industries have now reached the end of their fixed price/hedged energy purchase contracts and will have to pay through the nose for very expensive gas and electricity and will have to reduce or halt production with layoffs and financial losses (this already happened to a lesser extend with the first price hike at the start of Putin's Special Operation).

As well as price hike there are real fears of lack of capacity restricting gas availability; there's only a limited amount that the UK's LNG shipping terminals can import.  A significant proportion of this is already feeding gas starved Europe via the cross channel interconnectors. Also the Arab Nations don't seem inclined to increase output as Biden found out on his recent visit; they want to retain their power and influence with Russia as well as the West.

These problems apply equally to electricity of which between 40% and 50% comes from natural gas in the UK  see www.gridwatch.co.uk

Whichever PM the blue rinse and disgusted of Tunbridge Wells Cabal appoint for us there's no prospect of alleviating these problems, but all likelihood of making them worse, indeed we may be facing a wave of industrial action and civil unrest unseen since the 1970s.  But this isn't like the poll tax; the Government is powerless to reduce energy prices substantially other than giving out loads of cash, strikes, refusing to pay domestic energy bills and civil unrest won't convince Putin or the Arabs to provide more or cheaper gas. (arguably the opposite!)

Those who think that simply slashing profits and corporate bonuses etc can make of the difference are too deluded or lazy to do the arithmetic, or to appreciate that France's electricity is cheaper because of more use of nuclear than natural gas.  Sure temporarily cutting the green levies would help a little but not significantly, with currently high prices the renewable generators will be making an enhanced return on investment at the moment without the levies.

Long term of course it is a good idea to reduce dependence on gas for geo-political reasons as well as mitigating climate change.

Renewable generation is great and capacity can be increased further and cost effectively.  But be under no illusion WE CANNOT RELY ON RENEWABLES ALONE.  I keep reading on this thread and elsewhere that all we need to do is resolve the little problem of storage; it ain't going to happen.  Grid battery storage is great for evening out short duration peaks and troughs, an hour or two max but cannot provide sufficient back up for long cold, dark and windless winters, especially with increased electrification to replace domestic and industrial gas use (heat pumps are least efficient and effective in sustained cold weather).  To put this in perspective battery technology would have to evolve to give a Tesla car a range of several thousand miles to be able to make a meaningful contribution to supporting renewables.

Nuclear power is great for continuous base load electricity, but the capital and operating costs are similar whether working flat out or turned down to make room for renewables when the wind blows and sun shines, therefore if we had enough nuclear to meet demand on cold windless days there would be no financial benefit to investing in renewables.  Simply put gas generation is essential for renewable power to be economic.

I think nuclear has an important future for the UK, it is expensive but not too much compared to CURRENT energy prices. One reason it is expensive is that it is much safer these days, and decommissioning / waste costs have to be built in at the start.  The Rolls Royce modular reactors may have a part to play in reducing lead times (using technology and skills evolved from the UK's nuclear submarine programme).  A big factor against then is that it is only realistically feasible to get planning consent to add new reactors to existing nuclear sites which favours a smaller number of larger reactors.

A major obstacle to these long term energy strategy investments is that one day the war in Ukraine will end, Putin will be out of power (due to old age and death if nothing else), the Nordstream 1 gas pipeline will return to full capacity and the completed but not yet commissioned Nordstream 2 will start to flow.  Gas (and hence electricity) prices will plummet and we will be back to where we were (more or less)

Post edited at 14:00
In reply to Presley Whippet:

> Some less popular what ifs.

> What if we removed green levies for the duration of the crisis,would energy companies simply soak these up?

dunno, but by how much do they increase the cost of energy? is the reduction worth it?

> What if we returned to burning coal for the duration of the crisis?

Can't be done in time

> Capacity issues? What if we reopened some pits?

Can't be done in time

> What if we reinstated the fracking program?

Can't be done in time

> What if we soften our line against Putin and negotiated an early peace and return to the norm of gas supply?

Has potential

> What if we re nationalised energy generation and introduced some price control measures?

The problem is the market cost of gas, and there's nothing the government can do about that.

> Looking to future new builds is fine and the right thing to do but we must also deal with the present. Some short term thinking needs to accompany the long.

The problem is that a short-term solution to increase energy supply simply isn't possible. The only option is subsidisation of energy costs.  The question is, will government do it and can it afford to?  The banks were propped up in the 2008 crunch, but I believe government will get the money back (if it hasn't done so already). There's less of a chance of that for subsidising energy costs.

1
 montyjohn 27 Jul 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

Great rant.

> A big factor against then is that it is only realistically feasible to get planning consent to add new reactors to existing nuclear sites which favours a smaller number of larger reactors.

Sounds like an obstacle that's in the governments control. Might not be popular for future site neighbors, but not as unpopular as the whole country struggling to afford energy.

 neilh 27 Jul 2022
In reply to Toerag:

I see that another poster still does not grasp that softening the line with Putin just means he will push even harder for more and make the position worse. Have you not figured out his playbook ?

 kevin stephens 27 Jul 2022
In reply to montyjohn:

> Great rant.

> > A big factor against then is that it is only realistically feasible to get planning consent to add new reactors to existing nuclear sites which favours a smaller number of larger reactors.

> Sounds like an obstacle that's in the governments control. Might not be popular for future site neighbors, but not as unpopular as the whole country struggling to afford energy.

It's bad enough for on-shore wind turbines

 Richard J 27 Jul 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

> The Rolls Royce modular reactors may have a part to play in reducing lead times (using technology and skills evolved from the UK's nuclear submarine programme).  A big factor against then is that it is only realistically feasible to get planning consent to add new reactors to existing nuclear sites which favours a smaller number of larger reactors.

It's worth noting that the design Rolls Royce have ended up with for their SMR really isn't that small - it's 470 MWe, pretty much the same as an AGR.  So this isn't going to be about every town having one; they'll be installed as multiple units on existing nuclear sites.  I believe Rolls is aiming for 12 units in the UK, which together with some export orders makes the economics work for them, and would supply about 15% of current electricity demand.  They've expressed an interest in Trawsfynydd & Wylfa in North Wales and Moorside in Cumbria as sites.  

Completely agree with you about what a difficult winter the UK is facing.

In reply to wbo2:

> Michael Hood: Nuclear is very expensive, I don't know why you think it's cheap.  High CAPEX, high OPEX. 

I never indicated that nuclear was cheap, I just think it's the only sensible solution for a significant chunk of our energy needs for probably the next 30-50 years - a "medium-term" stop-gap whilst we develop the technologies to provide virtually all of our energy needs in a sustainable way.

 kevin stephens 28 Jul 2022
In reply to Richard J:

Thanks, interesting

In reply to neilh:

> I see that another poster still does not grasp that softening the line with Putin just means he will push even harder for more and make the position worse. Have you not figured out his playbook ?


Oh I fully understand that. I'm thinking of some sort of temporary reprieve long enough to alleviate the energy crisis.

 henwardian 28 Jul 2022
In reply to rj_townsend:

> Then we'd be thieves. A product becoming more expensive doesn't justify stealing it.

Hahaha, are you sure?

The problem with moral absolutism is that it invites people to present you with scenarios where your rules are either impossible to follow or would result in a consequence so terrible that you cannot in good conscience continue to insist upon them.

1
 yorkshireman 28 Jul 2022
In reply to Toerag:

> Oh I fully understand that. I'm thinking of some sort of temporary reprieve [in the war with Russia] long enough to alleviate the energy crisis.

There is the small matter of Ukraine having a say in this. We're suffering from energy insecurity but they're having their territory stolen and their people killed and so probably deserve a bit of agency in any negotiation with Russia and I doubt they would quite rightly want to make any concessions with somebody as untrustworthy as Putin. 

 timjones 28 Jul 2022
In reply to The Lemming:

Businesses probably have en even bigger price hike coming than domestic users as they do not benefit from any form of price cap.

Because we are a farm we are stuck with a business meter even though over 97% of our use is domestic. I'm concerned that our bill could increase to at least £6000/annum when our current contract expires in December.

Post edited at 16:43
 neilh 28 Jul 2022
In reply to timjones:

Can you just not get two meters, one for domestic in the house and one for the farm?

 timjones 28 Jul 2022
In reply to neilh:

> Can you just not get two meters, one for domestic in the house and one for the farm?

I've tried that at each of the last 3 renewals with no success, the reality is that the elecricity used by the business would probably not justify a seperate supply without a large standing charge.

As a livestock farmer with no heavy consumption such as grain stores or milking parlours our only significant use is in a workshop which probably consumes no more than a car enthusiast tinkering away in a garage attached to their home.

It may also be down to the fact that whilst we only have a single phase supply beyond the meter we do have the wires for a 3 pahse supply which currently terminate just before the meter.

In reply to timjones:

Ah I see why you only have the one supply. Our friends have 2 supplies, one for the farm (mainly the milking parlour) and one for the house. I was absolutely horrified at the size of the electric bill for milking a fairly small herd of cows when they told me.

 neilh 29 Jul 2022
In reply to timjones:

Do you not get other accounting advantages by putting it through the business instead of via personal account 

Post edited at 09:53
In reply to henwardian:

> Hahaha, are you sure?

> The problem with moral absolutism is that it invites people to present you with scenarios where your rules are either impossible to follow or would result in a consequence so terrible that you cannot in good conscience continue to insist upon them.

Yes, I'm quite sure thanks. Regardless of how one tries to justify theft to oneself, it's still theft. Doubtless there are examples of the starving stealing food to survive - although desperate, the act is the same. Fuel bills currently being high doesn't alter the fact that non-payment for goods used is theft.

1
 henwardian 29 Jul 2022
In reply to rj_townsend:

> Yes, I'm quite sure thanks. Regardless of how one tries to justify theft to oneself, it's still theft. Doubtless there are examples of the starving stealing food to survive - although desperate, the act is the same. Fuel bills currently being high doesn't alter the fact that non-payment for goods used is theft.

I wasn't disagreeing with the definition of theft, the problematic part of your statement was where you said that increased cost doesn't _justify_ theft. The most famous test of this sort of reasoning is obviously the Heinz dilemma.

In reply to rj_townsend:

The question isn't whether or not the act is defined as theft, but whether there are ever circumstances under which theft is justified. You said that theft can never be justified by something being unaffordable. As henwardian says, by stating this you are taking an absurd (IMO) moral position where property has more value than life. Since without life the idea of property ceases to have any meaning, I can't see how property ownership can outrank preservation of life in a moral hierarchy.

I strongly suspect that if you ever found yourself in a position where you yourself needed to steal food to survive, you would quite suddenly decide that you could justify theft after all.

Edit: only saw after posting that henwardian replied with essentially the same point

Post edited at 11:01
In reply to henwardian & Stuart Williams:

Thanks both - they're good and valid points that you make. The Heinz Dilemma isn't one that I'd heard of so looked it up - an interesting example.

I think where I was coming from was a place of non-payment of energy bills being used as a protest rather than an act of absolute desperation, at which point that seems like straight theft in my view rather than justifiable. At the more extreme end I can entirely see the rationale and moral aspects although I do feel there's a fine line between "excusing" the theft and "justifying" it.

 henwardian 29 Jul 2022
In reply to rj_townsend:

> I think where I was coming from was a place of non-payment of energy bills being used as a protest rather than an act of absolute desperation, at which point that seems like straight theft in my view rather than justifiable.

I agree with you for most people, we might be sitting here getting hacked off that energy is expensive but we can get by just fine through a combination of paying more and/or using less.

However for some people, it can take on a threatening note. If it's winter time, properly cold and in a household with old people and a very limited income, the energy keeping the house warm may literally be keeping them alive.

So the justifiable course of action depends very much on who you are and where you're standing.

 john arran 29 Jul 2022
In reply to henwardian:

Also remember that refusing to pay the Poll Tax in the 80s was illegal. Many people who refused to pay it did so on principle rather than out of necessity. The fact that so many did so ended up benefitting society as a whole once the scheme was finally shelved.

The law is not the only, and sometimes is not the best, guide to responsible behaviour. 

3
In reply to rj_townsend:

I'm thinking there is probably still a grey area depending on the circumstances, goals and outcomes of the protest. With around 1/5 people overall and 1/3 children already living in poverty, rising fuel costs are going to be a really serious problem for many people. For those who are older or have health issues, no money for heating and cooking could be life-limiting. I think there are circumstances under which protest non-payment from those who can afford to pay would be justified if it helped bring about support for those who cannot afford to pay. 

As a very, very broad assessment I reckon, in order from most to least justified:

A) "I cannot afford my bills alongside other essentials, having made best efforts to do so, and my health is deteriorating as a result": non-payment justifiable (and likely inevitable).

B) "I could afford to pay my bills, but I am choosing not to as a protest against the plight of group A": potentially justified and probably not a clear cut answer.

C) "I could afford to pay my bills, but I am protesting exploitative profiteering practices from the energy industry or bad government policy which is artificially inflating prices": potentially justifiable. Bonus points if evidence of clear corruption. Would probably overlap heavily with B. (n.b. I'm not saying that this is necessarily happening, only that I see it as hypothetical grounds for protest)

D) "I could afford to pay my bills, but I don't want to because then I might not be able to afford the latest iPhone": Non-payment not justifiable.

Post edited at 15:36
1
 timjones 29 Jul 2022
In reply to neilh:

Maybe I'm too honest but I try to claim a fair amount against tax rather than the whole lot.

However, we don't earn  a huge income and even if I was a bit sharper and claimed the  whole lot the tax savings probably wouldn't cover the climate change levy and standing charges that are charged to business customers. There is also the issue of 20% VAT on business accounts which doesn't get claimed back due to the fact that our usage is mostly domestic.

Up until now I have managed to get somewhere close on matching domestic tariffs but the lack of a priice cap or the grant for domestic users is really going to hurt this winter.

If our prices are hiked as much as I fear in December I may have to start claiming more of it as a business expense but I like to play as straight and fair  as possible in the hope that they will be more lenient if they ever dig into my books and I find that I have made genuine errors elsewhere.

In reply to Stuart Williams:

I get very wary whenever "poverty" gets mentioned because there are basically 2 measures but neither are universally defined:

  1. Relative poverty - household with less than a certain proportion of the median UK disposable income (usually 60%), usually different amounts for different households, single person, single parent, "typical" family with kids, etc.
  2. Absolute poverty - household income below some defined level where not all essentials can be afforded.

Nearly always the figures quoted are relative poverty, I suspect yours are too.

However in your "justifiable" argument, IMO only those in absolute poverty would be justified, whereas those "only" in relative poverty may well have sufficient means for non-payment to not be justified.

I would expect that some in relative poverty really will be struggling, but others just need to reassign their spending priorities.

If our (UK) standard of living was significantly higher, then the 60% median might well be sufficient to afford everything except conspicuous luxuries.

3
In reply to Michael Hood:

> I would expect that some in relative poverty really will be struggling, but others just need to reassign their spending priorities.

I wouldn’t have put it so dismissively, but that is why I was explicit that I was talking about people who could not afford to pay for essentials regardless of how well they budget.

> If our (UK) standard of living was significantly higher, then the 60% median might well be sufficient to afford everything except conspicuous luxuries.

I’m sure anyone going without heating or food this winter will be thrilled to hear that if we all had more money it wouldn’t be a problem. 

2
In reply to Stuart Williams:

My point was more about the uselessness of the relative poverty measure, simply because it doesn't really tell you what those "in poverty" can afford, merely that they can't afford as much as those with median disposable income.

If energy (an essential) is more expensive then I would expect absolute poverty thresholds to go up correspondingly.

Having said all that I'm sure that there are many who are in relative poverty but not in absolute poverty who won't now be able to pay for all essentials.

But I also think it wouldn't be hard to find people in relative poverty who won't be able to "afford" their energy bills yet have a full Sky subscription and more than one £25/month phone contracts in the household. I'm not being dismissive of such people because they and those even worse off will be worst affected by all of this.

1
 Offwidth 01 Aug 2022
In reply to Michael Hood:

Have a look at this JRT report.

https://www.jrf.org.uk/report/going-without-deepening-poverty-uk

Deep poverty has worryingly grown 20% in the UK in the decade to the pandemic (partly hidden as poverty has remained fairly constant). Imagine the impact of reduced benefits, the higher rate of food inflation faced by the poor (as wonderfully highlighted by over the last few years by Jack Monroe... the cost of basics were increasing much faster than food inflation and the range of products was also reducing) and the massive rise in fuel costs. The Trussel Trust estimate 2.5 % of households were using food banks last year... I can see food banks becoming overwhelmed. Martin Lewis is saying unprecedented risks are faced by ordinary people unless the government act fast.

youtube.com/watch?v=8DgCHblN_x0&

Post edited at 08:54
2
 neilh 01 Aug 2022
In reply to Offwidth:

And in turn linked to UK Productivity where the latest analysis ( amongst many on this subject) shows the gap

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/jul/13/average-uk-household-8800-a-year-worse-off-than-those-in-france-or-germany

An improvement in the Uk's productivity will have significant benefits to us all and even more so for those in relative or absolute poverty.

1
 Offwidth 01 Aug 2022
In reply to neilh:

It's going to be hard to match their national workforce productivity levels when we are so far behind in training, employment  rights and health care. Even if we fix these it's a medium term fix. It can be done... we have plenty of examples where in particular organisations, that take such matters seriously, brits do very well on international productivity comparison within the same multinationals.

Unfortunately things are so bad we need an urgent practical fix to the cost of living crisis for the deep poor right now.... even the likes of Martin Lewis are sending out emergency  signals. I agree with him and really worry about what's going to happen to the poorest in the UK this winter. I've travelled  to the US a lot and it's horrific what happens ro the 'left behind' out there... we are sadly accelerating towards them rather than the richer countries of Europe.

Post edited at 10:27
2
In reply to Michael Hood:

So, to summarise, we agree that there are people who won't be able to afford the increasing energy bills and that this number will rise as bills rise. We also agree that it would be morally justified for these people to not pay those bills while continuing to consume energy required for their health/survival. That was the crux of my original post, rather than how accurately we can define exactly who these people will be.

> My point was more about the uselessness of the relative poverty measure, simply because it doesn't really tell you what those "in poverty" can afford, merely that they can't afford as much as those with median disposable income.

"Uselessness" is entirely context dependent. As with anything, whether something is useful or not depends on what you are trying to achieve with it.

I said that 1/5 people overall were already in poverty. I wanted a rough proxy for the number of people at greatest risk from rising energy costs, and then specifically defined the sub-group I was referring to. I thought that was sufficient to illustrate the point that a large number of people may be unable to meet increasing energy bills (i.e. I thought it was useful, albeit imperfect, in context).

This briefing suggests that 17% of the overall population were in absolute poverty after accounting for housing costs in 2020/21, while 20% were in relative poverty. https://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN07096/SN07096.pdf (page 18). There are plenty of other measures you could choose to use but whichever way you slice it, a lot of people are going to struggle this winter. Establishing the exact number is a) bloody complex at the best of times b) impossible since we don't know how much the cost of essentials will rise by and c) not actually necessary to establish that a significant problem exists.

 Offwidth 01 Aug 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

I'm very greatful for your posts. I'm really worried we could hit some perfect storm of issues, if we are not very careful. A super-serious combination of some or all of:  a snafu incompetent new government, a cold winter, a bad flu season on top of any remaining covid (with risk of local NHS services being overwhelmed), a food bank system unable to cope with big increases in capacity needs, a UK individual debt crisis, impacts of a global recession, even an escalation of war..... risks on these various combinations look way too high a probability for me. I really hope I'm wrong but way too few seem to be sounding warning signs with the degree if urgency I see from Marin Lewis or the povety charities. The opposition are saying the right things but we need a step change in their public volume and they can't do that. By the time the press start posting real world impact headlines it will be too late.

2
In reply to Stuart Williams:

I'm not disagreeing with you on any of those, I agree it's going to be very tough on a lot of people.

I'm not in that group but I'm far too near it to feel at all comfortable.

Post edited at 14:51
In reply to Offwidth:

> It's going to be hard to match their national workforce productivity levels when we are so far behind in training, employment  rights and health care.

With the likelihood of a PM who wants to shrink the state for the next couple of years, "going to be hard" is bit of an understatement.

In reply to Offwidth:

Yeah, it feels like a scary time at the moment and, as you say, by the time any of those things are too big to ignore it'll already be far too late. I don't feel too hopeful that it'll play out any other way though.

When you add in the mid-long term problems like climate change hurtling along I really don't like imagining what my daughter's future will look like. I was joking with someone the other day about what martial arts classes we should enrol my daughter to prepare her for food riots and societal breakdown when she grows up; sadly it wasn't entirely a joke.

I really appreciate the thoughts you share on things like this. And I find a lot of the articles you link to really useful/interesting (not sure those are quite the right words given the topic!) I think you mentioned Roy Lilley above (or on another current thread) - I've got you to thank for putting me onto his commentaries a while back. I don't think I said thanks at the time for the recommendation, so "thanks"!

 Offwidth 02 Aug 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

You're welcome. Thanks for all your posts as well, and everyone else who cares and wants to see things improve, despite recognition of the complexity.

I think Roy's blogs are fabulous, even though I disagree with him on staff side stuff at times. I really wonder how people can put him in a 'has been' box when he is so experienced, so well connected, so often read, actively involved in spreading good practice and so often spot on with problems (especially ones I'm hearing through NHS contacts that are not being reported in the press yet).

Post edited at 16:28
 jkarran 02 Aug 2022
In reply to kevin stephens:

It's a good rant and I broadly agree.

I'm not convinced a spring election is off the cards though. As you say the future is very bleak but it's not short term and the tories are already mid parliament. Their core constituency is the comfortable and the old, the comfortable will likely to ride out the worst of this winter better than most, though it'll be expensive to heat the house their assets will hold up for now and they can be told it's a global energy crunch (it is). Also who else will they vote for! Bribing the old for one winter to keep them comfy is totally possible. F*** everyone else! It *probably* won't win a majority but it's deliverable and things aren't getting better for them (unless they declare war on Russia). Total oblivion is possible at this juncture.

Jk

Post edited at 22:14
 jkarran 02 Aug 2022
In reply to timjones:

> Because we are a farm we are stuck with a business meter even though over 97% of our use is domestic. I'm concerned that our bill could increase to at least £6000/annum when our current contract expires in December.

Can't you have it split, house and yard?

Jk

 wintertree 02 Aug 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

Sorry, jumping in from a deleted thread.  On the “Mick Lynch” thread today, you replied to another poster thus:

”You had gleefully called multiple other people racists on that same thread for them taking an interest in equality issues, demanded “evidence” and then refused to acknowledge any validity in any opinions from anyone who wasn’t white, and then descended into quite possibly the most verbally abusive, expletive ridden rant I’ve ever seen on UKC which got the thread nuked”

Now it seems the “Mick Lynch” thread has been nuked.  It was a good, polite thread with some good insights and challenges to viewpoints.

Should I speculate on what I missed that got the thread nuked?

In reply to wintertree:

Ah that’s a shame. I’ve no idea what was said after I left - I didn’t open UKC again last night so I wouldn’t be tempted to reply any further.

 Offwidth 03 Aug 2022
In reply to Stuart Williams:

It is shame as there was a lot of really good stuff on that thread.

I would still say everyone here should stick to responding to what is said rather than making personal attacks (and not just because ad hom attacks are against forum rules).

In reply to Offwidth:

Agreed and I should really have ignored that particular line of discussion from the start.

 Duncan Bourne 04 Aug 2022
In reply to rj_townsend:

> A product becoming more expensive doesn't justify stealing it.

Largely depends on the product. Stealing some non-essential because you don't want to pay for it is one thing. Stealing bread you can't afford to feed your family is the recourse of the desperate and if in such a position I absolutely would steal and take the risk. When your life and those of your children is on the line people do all sorts of desperate stuff.

We aren't quite their yet but we seem to be creeping closer

2
 timjones 05 Aug 2022
In reply to jkarran:

I have tried at after contract renewal for at least the last 10 years and have always failed.

Hopefully I might get better luck this time but the business use is so low that I fear the standing charge will be horrendous.


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