Utility Week

UTILITY Week 2nd May 2014

Utility Week - authoritative, impartial and essential reading for senior people within utilities, regulators and government

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UtILIty WEEK | 2nd - 8th May 2014 | 31 Community Disconnector Editor: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen.bennett@fav-house.com; News editor: Jillian Ambrose, t: 01342 332061, e: jillian.ambrose@fav-house.com Energy editor: Megan Darby, t: 01342 332087, e: megan.darby@fav-house.com; Features editor: Karma Ockenden, t: 01342 332086, e: karma.ockenden@fav-house. com; Reporter: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house.com; Reporter: Conor McGlone, t: 01342 332083, e: conor.mcglone@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Ed Roberts, t: 01342 332067, e: ed.roberts@fav- house.com; Sales executive: Nicky Shaw, t: 01342 332070, e: nicky.shaw@fav-house. com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year, t: 01342 332011.ISSN: 1356-5532. Registered as a newspaper at the Post Office. Printed by: Buxton Press, Palace Road, Buxton, Derbyshire SK17 6AE. Published by: Faversham house Ltd, Windsor Court, Wood Street, East Grinstead, West Sussex Rh19 1UZ LEDs reveal the grubby truth The quest to cut carbon and cre- ate ever-more efficient lighting has brought us LEDs. Already common in torches and portable lamps, they are now making their way into street lights. They use a fraction of the power of fluorescent bulbs and throw out a lot of light, but as regular read- ers of this column will be aware, this has not pleased everyone. Residents of some streets report that LED street lighting it is like having the spotlights from a sports stadium blasting through their windows at night. Now another unexpected problem has emerged with LEDs, this time when used indoors – they make people's gleaming white shirts look dirty. Or rather, they reveal a trick used by many soap powder manufacturers who use "whitening" agents. The reality is that these agents don't whiten fabrics at all, but leave a chemical residue on the material that reflects extra blue light. This counteracts the yellow tinge that white fabrics acquire with age and, ta-dah! Your shirt looks whiter, longer. The production of these chemicals is a big industry – their use is ubiquitous across all manner of products – but they all work the same way: by turn- ing the invisible UV emitted by fluorescent lamps into blue light visible to the human eye. The problem is that super-efficient LEDs are, well, super efficient. They don't generate any UV. So Disconnector in an LED-lit world nothing will be "whiter than white". Worse, the same chemical trick is used in paper and cosmetics, such as conditioners for blonde hair that increase luminance, and make-up used to treat dark areas under the eyes. Once this effect is widely known, it's really going to test people's dedication to energy efficiency and "doing your bit for the planet". On the one hand you have human survival and the need to cut emissions. On the other, vanity. Disconnector thinks it's too close to call. The eyes have it Of course, it may not matter if we all walk around with bags under our eyes in the future because our eyes may not be visible. Let the great man explain. If Google has its way (and so far it has), we'll all be walking around in Google glasses, complete with built-in camera, computer and heads-up display (y'know, those computer readouts used by fighter pilots and Iron Man). So far, so scary, but it could get worse, much worse, if professor Hirotaka Osawa has his way. The Japanese boffin has invented what he calls Agency- Glass, which comprises an OLED display of human eyes on the surface of Google Glass-type glasses. The computer-controlled animations of eyes can display whatever emotion you tell them to without you having to actually move your eyes, in surprise or mirth, for instance. The good professor said the idea was inspired by the work of a US sociologist who coined the phrase "emotional labour" to refer to the use of facial expressions and body move- ments to show feelings. The target market is nurses, wait- resses, teachers, therapists and others working in interaction- intensive professions. So in the future when a traffic warden is writing out a ticket for you, his eyes can be looking at you with profound sympathy, even if his mouth is framed in com- plete indifference. If Disconnector ever finds himself in such a world, the only expression he'd need his OLED glasses to express would be incredulity. It's downhill from here We're all big kids at heart, it seems. Disconnector muses thus on learning that when artist Luke Jerram announced plans to build a temporary art installation comprising a 90-metre waterslide running down one of Bristol's main streets in the city centre, nearly 100,000 people applied for tickets. "Park Street's steep incline and prominent location makes it perfect for the slide site," said Mr Jerram, who was overwhelmed by the public response. Disconnector notes that 100,000 is about a fih of the population of Bristol. 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2013 Subscriptions: UK £577 per year, Overseas £689 per year fhcustomerservices@ abacusemedia.com 3WhitehallPlace @3WhitehallPlace Today Ed has rewarded SSE for their two-year price freeze by awarding it a fat contract for their Offshore Wind project. Apologies to Drax. John MacAskill @John_G_MacA 5 #offshorewind farms get FID from DECC | Would be great if we can build on this step now, or lose momentum… again. Chris Pearce @chrispearce Much overdue initiative from Ofgem, neatly packaged in beautiful, simple new website (from tmw, I might add)… Richard Hall @richonlyinname With Cornwall achieving minority status, expect a future Better Together campaign to focus on strategic benefits of a GB-wide pasty market. Jonathan Reynolds MP @jreynoldsMP Great visit to Warm Front Ltd in Duki this aft. Wanted to see first hand the paperwork re- quired for an ECO job – it really is astonishing James Beioley @agreendegree Doubt there was anyone else…"@DECCgovuk: Fallon commissions joint UK-Poland research into #shale gas potential Barry Sheerman MP @BarrySheerman Should I be honest & say I don't understand how a heat pump works? National Grid UK @nationalgriduk We have been sharing best practices with @British_Airways to help them with the development of their situational control room Megan Darby @UW_Megan How do you get the consumer interested in green heat? Get someone in the Archers to buy a heat pump, says delegate #futureheat Emily Gosden @emilygosden Ovo community energy plan open to all. Fitzpatrick: "Church of England could be in the business of selling energy as well as payday loans." Top Tweets

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