This week has seen a definite warning shot across the bow of HMS Great Britain.
With the unseasonable snow leaving our already vulnerable nation with little gas supplies, we should all use this proximity of potential rationing of gas supplies as a ‘call to action’ to reduce our dependence on this most vital of modern necessities.
The additional news this week of a tanker from Qatar relieving Britain’s gas supply drought will see most people breathing a sigh of relief. However, the energy-savvy among us will see this as an opportunity to protect our homes from future problems.
If the whole of the nations gas supply does depend on a single tanker’s arrival, then we all need to take a good long hard look at how we not only heat but power our homes. With the current government’s strategy of replacing ageing power stations with more gas-powered installations, and a single tanker coming to the rescue of our once-great nation should ring alarm bells within us all.
Interruptions in the supply may range from extended national cold snaps or pipeline closures, with international supply problems or significant financial price hikes from the North Sea and further afield. This situation alongside the increased amount of demand year on year could potentially leave many of us left in the cold in future years.
As a Britain with rationed gas supplies and producing electricity with gas, the problems quickly become apparent. Who’ll prioritise you in times of rationing? Keeping the flow of power ongoing will undoubtedly take precedence over anything else because the nation’s infrastructure such as banking and governmental systems will undoubtedly take priority.
Of course, this is only a short-term problem and the real issue with what has transpired this week is the long-term problems of gas shortages and restrictions. As already seen this week, the price of gas will spike upward causing more energy bill misery for us all. Just when you think it couldn’t get any worse, a single week of snow can increase your annual energy bill by hundreds.
For those hoping that ‘fracking’ will be our saviour, the bad news is that it can only be a sticking plaster remedy on a gaping hole, haemorrhaging life-essential resources.
Protecting oneself from the international energy markets and the failing national energy policies must become everyone’s priority from this week forward. With solar panels and other alternative energy technologies considered by most people as green energy technology, this view is now becoming outdated.
Most people are installing today, do so to protect themselves from energy price and supply shocks.
Solar panels to use as an example, may obviously not be able to heat or power your home with a layer of snow on top of them. What they do, is keep your annual import of energy into your home down over the rest of the year and leaving you with that extra-ability to spend more of your yearly power spends during the more critical winter months.
Using traditional solar heating panels as an example, many users of this technology, have reported saving a tank of oil fuel from March to September. These savings can be used as an extra resource for the winter months, if or when required.
With more erratic weather patterns predicted over the coming years through climate problems, the nation’s ability to ‘weather out’ these storms have yet again have been thrown into doubt.
Reducing dependence on increasingly expensive oil, gas and electricity should be every homeowner’s priority now, especially that our nation’s cold and vulnerable underbelly now exposed.