Thursday 24 October 2013

Perhaps we all ought to sit in the dark and cold!

This past couple of weeks, the main energy companies have all been putting up their prices. A lot. Like 10-12%. This is despite making huge profits, and paying those at the top massive wages and bonuses.

And leaving their lights on - as was pictured in a couple of newspapers..

And the head honcho of one of them having a big country pile with heated swimming pool...

At least John Major, who I had assumed had gone to live out his retirement at Lords or the Oval, was willing to put his head above the parapet to complain about the injustice of it all. Although he probably doesn't need to worry about a 10% increase in the cost of his leccie....Nor I assume do the rest of the present government especially as presumably quite a lot of the cost of the energy they use comes from the public purse....

It's not just gas and electricity, look how the petrol price has stayed at over 130p for ages now. I think that it the Government adjusted the tax such that petrol was a stright £1 a litre, then this would reduce haulage costs, thus decrease the cost of goods in the shops, increase employment by increasing profitability and reducing costs for business, and give people money back in their pockets which could then feed back into the economy by increasing purchasing and investment. More employment means more tax receipts, more profits means more business tax paid and so on.

Friday 4 October 2013

Little ways to save energy - 10 tips

1. Switch off lights when not in the room and use natural daylight as much as possible.
2. Switch off the cooker ring - if using electricity - before the end of cooking time, the residual heat will keep a pan boiling for several minutes afterwards.
3. Drive slower - I generally drive at 60mph and get average of 41.5mpg from a 2005 Renault Scenic - in a mixture of urban and motorway and A road driving.
4. Boil only what you need in the kettle. I have heard that it is more energy efficient to boil water in a kettle for vegetables than heat the water up on the hob, but this needs verifying.
5. Invest in a wind-up radio, you get exercise as well from all the winding!
6. Shut curtains at dusk - a lot of energy escapes through windows at night.
7. Put a jumper on rather than the heating when reasonable - obviously there comes a point where the heating needs to go on!
8. Laptops and tablets use less power than PCs
9. Share a bath! (You may do this anyway for reasons other than energy saving!)
10. Re-use heat - keep your toast warm by heating the plate up on top of the toaster, removing just before pop-up! Put plates in the oven to warm, do more than one dish in the oven, or do enough for 2 or 3 days in one go - e.g. Sunday + Monday plus a tub full for the freezer.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Autumn jobs - almost in the dark!

It is a good job I have got good eyesight in the dark! Even the local bats seem to want to stay close to streetlights (definitely Pipistrelle, and another larger species, fyi)

It is becoming a rush now to try and get things done in between coming home from work, having tea, picking the kids up and the sun going down, and frequently these past few days I have been trying to do work in almost darkness.

Still has to be done though, and for the record I have:

Finished digging over the potato patch - although I am sure a few will pop up next year as always
Dug over where the broad beans were
Planted winter onions in the former bean patch
Planted overwintering broad beans where the potatoes were
Watered - until today it has been very dry and the lettuces were suffering.
Started to pick windfall apples, and there's still some late raspberries to pick

There;s still plenty to eat, courgettes, tomatoes, leeks coming, parsnips coming, lettuce, beetroot, broccoli, green beans and in store onions and potatoes, broad beans in the freezer, and plenty of jam made from damsons, strawberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and raspberries.

And baby carrots from the window boxes in the yard - high up on the wall away from the carrot flies and they are really sweet and free of black dots and holes that the flies create.

Next job is to pick and store apples and pears, though they are really quite late this year with only one or two windfalls so far (which are eatable) and the rest not seeming in any hurry to be pickable.