“The UK is planning for several days over the winter when cold weather may combine with gas shortages, leading to organized blackouts for industry and even households,” says Bloomberg.
Judy Young remembers, “during the electricity blackouts in the 1970s, the family had to quickly adjust to the fact that they might be left without power for hours, and so make the most of the time in which the electricity was on, including cooking when they were able to.”
Let’s have a conversation. Whether we experience organised blackouts throughout the winter, or more likely self-imposed blackouts because lets face it, most of us will struggle with the doubling of energy prices and the rising cost of living, how will we reduce our costs? What changes will you make? Is it time we got back to basics?
I’ve just had a smart meter installed. I’m probably one of the last 20% of the people in the UK to get one. I’m already anxious that yesterday, the first full day on my smart meter, registered a daily spend of £3.52 (last year my average daily spend was less than £1.50 according to my bills). Needless to say that today I have refrained from running the tumble drier and nearly everything has been switched off at the wall and all my office computers and screens were turned off completely overnight too. Todays spend so far (its 8pm) is £1.94 so likely to be at least £1 less than yesterday.
Let me just say that I’m always mindful about power usage. I do try and line dry my laundry and am now hanging clothing over the bath to dry too but there will be occasions I have to use the tumble dryer. Usually its 10 minutes to finish off drying the clothes from the bathroom that are still slightly damp after two days drying!
This year we are determined not to turn any form of heating on, not even for a minute, until November the 1st. It was a rule we lived by 20 years ago when we lived in a leaky old farmhouse in Wales that seemed to have the ability to burn through half the earths natural resources during the winter, cost us hundreds of £’s in oil yet still always guaranteed that we were always feeling cold.
During WW2 fuel was of course rationed. The coal ration was set at two and a half tons per household per year and when you consider that nearly everything was run by coal, from heating to hot water, you had coal fires, coal boilers & coppers, and coal fired cooking ranges. Cutting back on coal was real hardship for most.
I’m spending October in contemplation. Mindfully creating small actions that lead to small savings, but small changes in abundance soon add up. I already have my trusted hot water bottles poised and ready to heat the bedding and warm my feet like our grandparents often relied on. Thick socks and knitted hats and jumpers and even gloves if needs be will joyfully be worn indoors uncomplainingly (we’ll see how long that lasts!)
Finally, on a more serious note, I worry for families on the poverty line that are elderly or have small children, what a miserable winter they will have. How are people who truly struggle going to make it?
Much love, C xxxxx