After the government announced its Energy Bill plans, we wondered how it would be funded. Many of you also joined the debate – we’ve gathered a selection of your views surrounding the future of energy.
My colleague Pete Moorey recently shared his reaction to the government’s Energy Bill. The Bill sets out plans to ‘keep the lights on’, with large investments in energy infrastructure – paid for through our gas and electricity bills. It had more than 100 comments, so here are some of the best.
Which? Convo commenter Barred feels customers shouldn’t foot the bill:
‘The energy companies should foot the bill for cleaner energy. For years they have been fleecing the general public by putting bills up when prices go up and keeping them high when prices fall. They should put their hands in their pockets, not us.’
Gordon C is worried about how energy infrastructure costs will be controlled:
‘If the customer provides the capital as seems to be proposed, where is the incentive for the companies to keep costs down to a minimum?’
Mike H thinks we should pay for improving energy infrastructure if we want to keep using gas and electricity:
‘Everyone has plenty of the appliances that we just plug in, or get fitted, and use the power that is supplied. If we wish to maintain this convenience then we have to pay for it and what can be fairer than those that use it pay for it?’
Reducing our energy usage
Some of you felt that we should concentrate on reducing our energy usage. Dave D thinks it’s now or never:
‘Regardless of what generation methods each of us like or dislike, we have to reduce consumption to do anything other than delay the inevitable.’
Nordic prefers a more traditional approach:
‘Surely blocks of well-built flats and terraces are more efficient than the multiple estates of detached family homes spreading like wildfire over the country. Communal heating can be built into structures with triple glazing and sound ventilation engineering techniques… Many people with cars consider the running costs when making a purchase, why not with houses.’
Alternative energy sources
You discussed the different options that could be used to provide energy in the future. Roger Metcalf is asking for more focus on tidal energy:
‘We have very tidal waters round this country. Why are we not looking further into building tidal barriers across estuaries that will be able to generate power all day every day as long as the Moon circulates the Earth?’
Colleen wants more investment in solar power generation:
‘Why doesn’t the government invest in the safest option of compulsory installation of solar panels on all south-facing roofs? That would reduce the cost to the consumer within those south-facing homes, as well as providing for surrounding areas with non-south-facing homes. The electrical infrastructure is already in place to connect you to the grid, so why is this not being considered as an option?’
Beehive03 doesn’t think we should rely on wind farms:
‘There is no doubt that without more generation coming on line within the next seven to 10 years the lights are likely to go out. I do not think that wind farms will supply this needed generation reliably. They may reduce our carbon footprint, but if the wind doesn’t blow, they do not work. They are also highly stressed machines in very exposed positions, many of which are out to sea where maintenance must be more difficult.’
A final creative suggestion came from Williambarn:
‘Would it not be possible to have exercise equipment that generates electricity? With a supposed overweight population, two birds with one stone, no?’
Have these comments sparked your imagination? How do you feel about paying for new energy infrastructure?