Utility Week

UTILITY Week 11th December

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

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UTILITY WEEK | 11TH - 17TH DECEMBER 2015 | 31 Community Editor, Utility Week, and content director, Utilities: Ellen Bennett, t: 01342 332084, e: ellen. bennett@fav-house.com; News editor: Jillian Ambrose, t: 01342 332061, e: jillian.ambrose@ fav-house.com; Assistant editor (insights): Jane Gray, t: 01342 332087, e: jane.gray@fav-house. com; Associate insights editor: Mathew Beech, t: 01342 332082, e: mathew.beech@fav-house. com; Research analyst: Vidhu Dutt, t: 01342 332026, e: vidhu.dutt@fav-house.com; Reporters: Lois Vallely, t: 01342 332080; e: lois.vallely@fav-house.com and Lucinda Dann, t: 01342 332083; e: lucinda.dann@fav-house.com; Business development manager: Richard Powell, t: 01342 332062, e: richard.powell@fav-house.com; Business development executive: Sarah Wood, t: 01342 332077, e: sarah.wood@fav-house.com; Publisher: Amanda Barnes, e: amanda.barnes@fav-house.com. General enquiries: 01342 332000; Membership subscriptions: UK £577 per year, overseas £689 per year, t: 020 8955 7045 or email membership sales manager Paul Tweedale: paultweedale@fav-house.com. 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 3,580 Average circulation Jan–Dec 2014 Membership subscriptions: UK £577 per year. Overseas £689 per year. Email: paultweedale@fav-house.com Top Tweets Cheap to heat If thri is a virtue, then Colin Usher – an architect in the Wir- ral – is surely going to heaven. The eco warrior has built a super-energy-efficient detached four-bedroom house that he reckons costs just £15 a year for heating, lighting and cooking. Colin reckons similar houses could be built for the same cost as a traditional home, which should be a cause for concern for energy companies. It's built of a special con- crete to retain heat and has a solar panel-bedecked roof, but it looks pretty much like a regu- lar house, not a space capsule or a Scandinavian log cabin. It has the usual high tech stuff to keep bills near zero: air source heat pumps, triple glazing, insulation worthy of an hazmat facility, that sort of thing. The only drawback is that it's virtually hermetically sealed, so there isn't much of a breeze, but what the hell – 15 quid a year! It occurs to Disconnector that it's hardly worth running gas and electricity pipes and wires to the house at all. Surely a carrier bag of batteries should top you up with all the energy you're missing. Trickle charge If you did have a house that used £15-worth of electricity a year, it could drive you bonkers working out exactly where that last 15 quid was going. Most of us know about not putting TVs on standby because some of them consume as much power as they do when they're on. Likewise DVD players, PVRs and the like. Fewer people are aware that even mobile phone chargers and other computer chargers (tablets, etc) consume electric- ity when they're plugged into a power socket, even if there's no device hanging off the end. The Mail Online got particu- larly hot and bothered about this last week. It's all part of an energy company rip-off conspiracy… or something. But these are all DC devices, which need a transformer, which takes a trickle charge regardless of whether it's doing anything else. However, unless your name's Colin and you live in the Wirral, it's not worth worry- ing about. Even if your tablet charger is le in a socket all year, it won't cost you more than a few pence, less than the value of the calories you'd expend pulling the plug out every night. The real reason you should isolate transform- ers at night is that they can be a fire hazard. That goes double for ones bought "down the market". A lot of that is counterfeit stuff from China, where all the expertise has gone into the counterfeiting rather than the electrics. It's like Disconnector's dear old mum used to say: "Don't buy anything electrical with 'made in China' on it." Except nuclear power sta- tions, of course. Sail away Not everyone is worrying about where the last penny is going, of course. For the super-rich the problems are quite differ- ent. For example, no matter how good the view, eventually you get bored of it. The answer, according to 32-year-old Londoner Gianluca Santosuosso, is a floating hotel. Guests at the "floatel" would have an ever-changing view from their rooms while at sea because the buoyant structure would always be moving. It's genius, thinks the great man. Mind you, with extreme flooding hitting the country at increasingly frequent intervals, you'd never know quite where your hotel might wash up, and that could be annoying to the locals for whom a night at the floatel wasn't an option. It's bad enough waiting on the roof for rescue services without a hotel sailing past from which the super-rich can observe your plight over the rim of a gin and tonic. Disconnector Saskia Daniel @hasenschneck Respect to @wpduk for coming out so quickly to reattach our overhead power cable. Storm Desmond fecit. Devutopia @D_Raval Oh come on @BBCNews, you can dig up what Corbyn said 35 years ago, surely you can find Cameron's "money no object" for flood defence clip? Guy Shrubsole @guyshrubsole PM off to #Cumbria floods. If govern- ment was doing more on climate and flood defences, wouldn't need his wellies so much. Huw Irranca-Davies @IrrancaDaviesMP Sitting next to @johnprescott as he takes deserved applause as "father of 2 degrees target" at @GLOBE_intl #COP21 #Paris2015 Barry Gardiner @BarryGardiner MPs laugh as president explains Blue Lagoon charges €40 for tourists to bathe in spill from geothermal power plant. Glen Peters @Peters_Glen 1.5, 2, 3°C? Whatever level, climate stabilisa- tion requires ZERO emissions. Leonie Greene @LeonieGreene Hadn't realised Europe's largest solar farm is east/west orientated to better match consumer demand. #JoyOfSolar William Marchant @richonlyinname Update on COP progress from the bear- ometer. Some people like the bear-ometer. Others don't. It polar-ises opinion. Richard Dixon @Richard_Dixon Amber Rudd given the important job of accelerating short-term action on climate change. What a joke. #COP21 John Kerry @JohnKerry Great to see my friend @LeoDiCaprio at #COP21 – committed advocate for our planet. Peter Burton @peteswildlife #COP21: Arnold Schwarzenegger says leaders "must act now on climate change".

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