Blackout Britain. Prepare for winter and the cost of living.

“Ofgem, the energy regulator, has said there was a “significant risk” of gas shortages this winter because of the war in Ukraine,” according to The Guardian

“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

74 thoughts on “Blackout Britain. Prepare for winter and the cost of living.

  1. Dear Carolyn, We are with you, central heating not on yet, and don’t plan to until there are frosts outside. I have a thermometer for the sitting room, and an infrared thermometer just to check that I am not getting cold, because I am older, but so far I have just added a jumper and got back into wearing warm socks. I have plenty more layers I can add, and a doggy foot-warmer, rugs on the sofa, and a rug to put over me when I am reading. We have WW2 stoneware hot water bottles.

    We set the heating at 16°C, (which is a 61°F summer day for goodness sake!) an hour early morning and evening, and to come on at night if it is below 7°C, and find that comfortable.

    I need to put up an old fashioned door curtain, Granny had thick chenille ones with a band of flower pattern near the bottom. They were very popular in the 40s.

    There was a good article in the Times on indoor temperatures. I photographed it to send to my daughter. Naughty, I know, but it is worth a read.

    We foraged 85lbs of apples on Monday on the village green and round the overgrown Staffordshire hedges. Last year we had free apples until April. The apple picker paid for itself. I shall store the good apples in the garage in a stack of plastic mushroom boxes, and use up the ones with little residents first. More protein for the chickens. We are starting to get chestnuts now. Lots of love, Janet

    Sent from my iPad


    • This sounds very practical and thankyou for sharing this sound advice! I must try and set up my heating to come on automatically when we reach the colder months, just to regularly make sure the house doesn’t get too cold. C xxxx

  2. I too remember the 1970’s blackouts! Oil lamp for light, candles were taken to light you to bed, and then taken back down by Mum or Dad. No radio, no television and lits if early nights under a thick eiderdown. We used to be notified when the blackouts were anticipated so thermoses and stews could be cooked in advance.
    I remember your huge fireplace too!

  3. I remember the ‘70’s blackouts, candles & early bedtimes, hot water bottles & gas fire at the top of the stairs to heat the landing & bedrooms & the fact that suddenly another human joined our family…..often wondered what my parents did to strive off the long winter nights🤷🏻‍♀️many, many years later I realised😆

  4. I don’t have heat in my apartment/flat (which is illegal in my area, but that’s another story). When it does start to get cold I have a few strategies: Cover windows with plastic sheeting, wear a hat and thick socks at all times, boiling a pot of water on the stove that can be used for heat, hot drinks, and filling hot water bottles. I go to bed early and usually just read an ebook since they are backlit and you don’t need to put a light on. I even once put a hot baked potato in my bed to keep my feet warm. My friends thought I was nuts, but it worked.

    • Nico, my mother grew up during the depression on a remote Minnesota farm. They would take bricks and cover them with foil, and put them in the bottom of the oven to heat while dinner was being cooked, and then at bedtime they would wrap a brick in a towel and put it in the bottom of the bed. I think your potatoes makes perfect sense! ☺

      • I think I had been reading the Little House On the Prairie series at the time and I vaguely remember Laura keeping her hands warm that way during a snowy sleigh ride. Either way, I was warm and had a potato for breakfast the next morning. haahaa

  5. I don’t have a tumble drier……too wasteful of electricity.
    What I do use if I’m having trouble drying my washing is a dehumidifier. This makes the air indoors drier, so the washing dries quicker……without all that lint producing bashing around that the clothes get in a tumble drier.
    An added bonus is the water that is taken from the air is pure and is perfect for my steam iron!

  6. Such a lovely and original post!
    Here in America, the natural gas shortages in Europe have very much been on my mind. I know that our president has committed to sending natural gas to Britain and Europe, and that our natural gas costs here will also go up, perhaps doubling. I am also used to saving energy. I have clothes on a clothesline in the autumn sun right now. I used my hot water bottle last night. (My husband also gave me an antique ceramic water bottle years ago, sending to Scotland for it… for the strangest Valentine’s Day gift I ever received! 😂
    I will be eagerly reading any wartime tips you have, and I will also try not to turn on our heat until Nov. 1 (I’m in NE Ohio, and frost will be here soon!).

    My tips: Anyone can use putty rope to wedge into cracks to stop drafts. Go around on a windy day and check all windows. Add draft guards and whatever else is needed to exterior doors. The windiest days make it easiest to find the leaks!

    A short, ten to fifteen minute walk outdoors will make home feel cozy when you come back, plus it raises the metabolism for about four hours, so you feel warmer. I walk around the block in the morning, and then again after dinner dishes.

    Ovens/cookers use the most energy of ways to cook. If yours is run with natural gas, look up recipes for an electric pressure cooker and slow cooker, and perhaps get a larger toaster oven. I am hoping to use my oven less this year, perhaps organizing bread, roast, and other recipes to use the oven once on Sunday. Wish me luck!

    • Great tips Holly! I HAD to run the tumble dryer and the main oven today (don’t do it very often) the combination of both has cost me an extra £1 today, doesn’t sound much but it soon ads up!

      • I think most of us have to use a tumble dryer sometimes. One thing I liked in Scotland is it seemed every home had radiators, and when we weren’t hanging clothes outdoors in “a brisk drying wind!” ..we were draping them on all the radiators for when we turned the heat on in the early evening. 😊

      • Get out the slow cooker as it costs as little as an LED light bulb does to run – over night cooking on off peak power is another reason to use a slow cooker.

      • You can get an Eco egg dryer which is said to cut down tumbling time by 28%. It seems to separate the clothes better whilst tumbling. You can put smellies inside, but it’s not essential. They cost around £3 on ebay in the UK.

  7. My hot water bottles are already in use and have been for a couple of weeks now. My birthday is early November and I always delay using any form of heating until then, my daughter’s birthday is the end of March and I aim to have stopped any form of heating by then. During the summer I knitted myself a huge shawl with matching hat and fingerless mittens, these are for wearing in the house!
    I go swimming in the evening, so I get exercise, use the sauna and shower all without using any home electricity and I plan on keeping this up all winter. It’s actually much cheaper.
    My current electricity usage per day is actually considerably less than the standing charge, which irks me somewhat, but I am NOT paying the energy company any more than I absolutely have to. I am already aggrieved with them for their complete inability to know how much to charge me, which varies seemingly at whim and the fact that they have a good sized loan from me, which I can’t seem to get refunded. They are all rip off merchants, there needs to be an enquiry into the methods they use.

    • Ooo feeling all cosy thinking of your knitted shawl! Now the fingerless mittens sound like a great idea! I work partially from home and already my hands are freezing sat typing on my computer all day. I can’t get on with fingerless gloves but I think fingerless mittens would be perfect! Will look into it xxxx

  8. I put on layers of clothing as needed to stay comfortable and even jog in place to warm up my feet. But this year I have thick wool boots that reach to my knees to add to the mix. My metal vintage hot water bottles are good when sitting down to keep feet warm, as I made covers for them out of folded towels. I close off the room I am in and just heat that one a bit with a heater. The rest of the house gets quite cold. But we do what we must to save money. Where I live it can get extremely cold in the winter, more than where you live. I am glad it is just for about four months and this last summer I used fans and no a/c, was comfy and lowest utility bill by a little bit. Can’t go any lower now. Bundle up and stay cozy this winter.

  9. I too feel worry for those on a fixed limited income. Renovictions have skyrocketed here leaving many unable to find affordable housing in time. Food prices have skyrocketed too. I keep myself cheerful by reading Nella Last’s diaries and others written to Mass Observation. I also have the wartime cookbooks which were reissued. Perhaps I will make a hay box. I shall definitely do more than one pot per burner. As for the cold, I will layer on more clothing. So good to read your post!

    • I hear you, its awful, I just don’t know how people are getting by with the cost of living, energy and housing rising significantly. I think reading books that people have written about their true hardships and how they got through them is really useful and comforting in a way xxx

  10. Thank you so much for this post. I am in the US, so our issues are different but very similar. I had to laugh at your always aiming not to turn heat on until Nov 1. I am exactly the same, but like you I am determined to do it this year. We must. Not only for our budgets, but Global Warming could not be more of an existential threat. This winter, with heating costs and inflation, will be awful for people living in poverty. I really appreciate your blog and your perspective. Thank you for sharing both with us. xx

  11. I appreciate your views on energy usage and rising costs. I, too, have always been frugal but still look for ways to conserve.

  12. Thank you for bringing this up! I have been wondering for a good long while how everyone was managing/planning to get through.
    Here in the Pacific Northwest (USA), it gets pretty damp, which makes things feel colder. I’ve pulled out my thermal bed socks already, and will be piling on the blankets soon. Thankfully, our heating/energy bills (short of petrol-gas) haven’t gotten too high yet. Petrol/gasoline has been high, though it had lowered lately.
    Out of curiosity, many of you have mentioned using hot water bottles. How are you heating these?

    • The hot water bottles we use over here are, for the most part, literally a very flecible, flattened bottle made of rubber or silicon with a very tight and efficient twist in stopper. To use them we heat water to just under boiling in our electric kettle and pour the hot water into the bottle, making sure to only fill it 3/4 full at most. We then push out as much air as possible for safety and screw in the stopper. Most of us then put a cover, often a woolly or fleece one, onto it and so to bed, warm and snuggly. They are very efficient and comforting.
      In high summer they can be used with cold water too, v helpful this past summer!
      Hoping this helps. We do find our electric kettles very handy for making tea and coffe etc. too 😁

      • Thank you so much! That makes a lot of sense. Our hot water bottle is the same but, alas, homes in the US (mine included) generally don’t have electric kettles. (…And the ones that do exist take longer to boil because of the voltage difference. There’s actually a YouTube video on this.) That does sound like a good idea, though.
        I may ask for an electric kettle for Christmas.

      • I’ve read that heating one or two cups of water in the microwave is more economical than using a kettle, but with three or more, a kettle is cheaper. You’ll have to time them in the microwave, though, to ensure that they get hot enough!

  13. I live on my narrowboat on England’s canals and, while I am slightly better placed than most in having solar panels and not being hooked up to an international gas or electrickery corporation, I am living on a fixed pension. Coal has increased in price by 50% and more a sack, and I will likely end up spending a third of my income just on that, before I eat, pay boat bills/licences/insurance and wotnots. Everything that I have is as efficient as I can make it, and the solar array works wonders – but not in the depths of even an English winter. What really gets my goat is that this is all down to politics and corruption, there’s not a genuine shortage or price increase in there anywhere. Globally the politicians have failed us – betrayed us – and all while liberally lining their own pockets.

    What was it that the leader of the Tory Party said at last week’s conference? ‘If you can’t pay your energy bills then just get a job with a higher salary…’

    Lovely. You’ve got to laugh. 🙂

    • That quote sounds very much like, “Let them eat cake.” (attributed to Marie Antoinette). Good luck this year, Ian.

    • To Ian Hutson, I think we all find electrickery expensive – who is a fan of Catweasel then ? Don’t some politicians get right on your wick with their stupid comments ? They don’t live in the real world.

  14. Hi I am Natalie from Cape Town, South Africa. Here, we have been experiencing load shedding (electricity being off for 2 to 4 hours at a time) for quite some time. During winter we also used our hot water bottles instead of using the heater and we use our oven once a week. We are now getting to summer and will have a cooked meal once a week, the rest of the week its salads.

    We pay a lot for electricity amongst other things and we wonder how the poor and elderly manage with their meagre pensions / salaries.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • This is a really great comment Natalie and so glad you shared it. I had read about load sharing in South Africa as part of my day job. Do you have scheduled days and times when the electric goes off so you can prepare in advance? Thanks xxx C

      • Thank you Carolyn – Yes we are advised on a daily basis via WhatsApp, the radio (which I enjoy listening to) and from our local newspapers, so we fill flasks and hot water bottles or cook, do whatever needs to be done timeously. The power always switches on at the expected time.

        I also enjoy reading all the comments. Thanks again.

  15. It’s going to be a tough one. We’re used to cold here on the windy croft here in Skye, in a badly insulated caravan at 57 degrees North. Lap blankets, hot water bottles, lots of layers. Hot drinks. I couldn’t live without my electric blanket which takes the chill off the sheets for thirty minutes before turning in for bed. We will survive. But what a difference insulation makes. We’re in the final stages of building a well insulated eco home and already without any form of heating it’s maintaining 17-19C on its own. Sadly most older housing stock can’t be made that heat efficient.

      • Thank you! We’re nearly there. It won’t be finished but we hope to be in before the end of the year

    • Hi Luffy

      We too have built an eco home from SIP’s for maximum insulation, with fireproof PIR foam and we have an insulated concrete floor for maximum thermal mass. As we are down under we have all of our full height windows on the north wall for maximum solar gain with none on the remaining three walls. Since completion (2 years ago) we have never needed heating or cooling from our HMRV system, only air exchange for moisture control. We just open or close the curtaining as required to keep the heat out in the summer and in during the winter.

      We agree that it’s not as effective to insulate the loft, under floor and walls in an older home but if you can afford it then do it It goes without saying that some form of insulated glazing is a must, also fit an HMRV as the 3 main requirements for a warm, dry healthy home are ventilation, insulation and heating.

      It’s our pension/nest egg blow out as it’s our form of insurance for the future.

      • That’s fascinating to hear. Thank you for sharing. It’s good to know that it’s as effective at keeping the heat out as in! This is our first SIP home and we are keen to be in to see how well it works. All signs so far are positive 👍❤️

      • Hi Luffy

        The only thing we couldn’t fit to the house that we wanted to were the German style shutters that are worked from inside the house, add insulation to the windows when closed and protect the glass during stormy weather – not the chalet type but the steel roll down type, but no such shutters available in NZ and expensive if we could only get permission.

        The building of rammed earth, straw bale and SIP’s houses here in NZ is sporadic and still considered a bit quirky or eccentric, but then housing in general isn’t very forward thinking in NZ. For innovation you need to look at the European nations such as Sweden, Norway, Germany, Denmark and The Netherlands for innovation and inspiration ! The Centre for Alternative Technology at Machynlleth, Wales is an inspirational place to visit in the UK for energy efficient information in general, worth a visit for great ideas.

  16. Hi Carolyn, A couple of possible ideas, if you have a pedestal fan put that in the bathroom blowing over the washing, they cost very little to run, and may save the tumble drier. Also, when you put your hot water bottles in bed, put your pillows over them (on top of the quilt) and you will have nice warm pillows to snuggle into. I have been following your blog for many years, and it has given me a lot of pleasure. Thanks. Valerie

    • We have a couple of friends who live in the Keilder forest and they too do as you do for ‘bed warming’ they also throw the clothing they are going to put on the next day on the duvet with a fleece blanket over the top so as their morning clothes are warm too.

    • Hi Valerie H

      A fan in the bathroom still needs a great deal of ventilation to the outside of the house, without that the moisture stays in the house, but yes it does stir the air helping laundry dry.

  17. It’s very sensible to be instigating all these changes now.

    My hot water bottles are already in use in the evenings. With my last cup of coffee of my ration, I boil enough water to make the drink and fill the hot water bottle. I cuddle it while I’m drinking and then have it in the small of my back to warm me through, then it goes into the bed to take the chill off the sheets before bedtime.

    I always have a door curtain on the front door and close all bar one curtain in the rest of my small home as soon as I feel the evening chill starting to creep in. It really works for keeping things slightly cosier.

    My modern rationing is going well and I’m just into week two now.

      • Hi Carolyn

        As it seems that door curtains seem be an issue for renters (due to the terms of a lease) wouldn’t it be sensible to see if the landlord would agree to such ‘alterations or improvements’ to a lease if the tenant offered to pay (in part or even in full) for what is an obvious improvement ?

  18. Hi Carolyn, Here in Nova Scotia we are digging out from Fiona. She left swaths of large trees down all over the property and took down power lines all across the province ( NS Power came yesterday and dealt with mine.)
    Aside from wood heat, I heat my antique house with oil. I close off half of the house in the winter where the plumbing doesn’t run- frozen pipes are expensive!! I put clear plastic sealing sheets over all the windows and draw the heavy drapes in the unused rooms. I also use the weather sealing plastic in my bedroom and put up heavy velvet drapes. When it is cold, the drapes stay closed unless the sun is out to help heat the rooms. I also have a long draft stopper which is a sand filled yard long tube that goes along the base of the door to stop cold air from leaking in. Mine has a tail and a cats head. I have a few old ratty blankets that I afix over the outside door to stop drafts. Its amazing how much warmth can be lost from even double glazed and well insulated doors.
    I am a firm believer in pure wool for insulation and have several Woolovers jumpers and two Hudson’s Bay blankets ( the real thick pure wool ones, not just the pseudo tourist ones). Wool socks are my favorite christmas present. As Dumbledore said, one can never have enough socks!
    My heat won’t go on until after Samhain, though I will use the wood stove in the kitchen if it gets too chilly. I also keep my furnace set to 12-14 C at night and 16C during the day. That is well below the suggested 19C but the people making the suggestions aren’t paying my bills!
    A few other things that I do is make tea for the morning and store it in the thermos, well wrapped in a towel when I make my evening hot beverage.
    I also make a large veg soup once a week which I can reheat in small quantities on the wood stove if its on. At night, I boil water in a pot, add steel cut oats and tightly lid it. The next morning, the oats just need to be heated for five minutes instead of cooking for a half hour.
    Its also the time of year when living small is cozy and frugal. Moving the TV and my sewing table into the kitchen.
    When things get bitter cold, I have been known to wear winter boots or mukluks in the house, layers of flannel and wool, a toque all day long and fingerless gloves indoors.
    I hope that we can all take the energy issues as a challenge that we can conquer. We are stronger and more capable that we might imagine.

    • A lot of great tips here, A.W. I also prefer real wool, particularly in socks! And I close off some rooms and use door draft dodgers, too, but I love the way you have organized your cooking. I have some lovely thermoses that I could be putting to better use! I have not made overnight oats as you do, but I do similarly when I am cooking dry beans or peas – I bring it to a boil, put the lid on and turn off the heat, come back in an hour and do it again. Then there is only a little cooking time. But this winter I think I will use my electric pressure cooker for more meals, which uses electricity (our community electric is 90% solar and other renewables), but has shorter cooking times. Stay cozy!

      • On things that can cook long and slow. Porridge (oatmeal) should always be soaked over night for a creamy finish, so if you have a powerless yogurt maker then use that. You will also find that soaking rice over night then rinsing before bringing to a boil barely needs any simmering to be fully cooked. Most beans can be soaked overnight before adding to soups, stews, etc but not all – some beans must be boiled hard to kill toxins, eg kidney beans.

    • This is such a wonderful comment. I have been following the challenges my friends in Nova Scotia have been having regarding power outages, downed trees, no broadband etc, communities are coming together and slowly things are getting back to normal, When I lived in NS we missed any hurricanes making landfall really, most were downgraded to a tropical storm as they hit land. We moved to NS after white Juan. You’ve shared some fabulous tips. I am hoping to knit myself some fingerless mittens, I’ve pulled my round knitting loom out and will find a YouTube tutorial and with great excitement yesterday, I found my old Canadian mittens which I think I may have bought from Canadian Tire 12 years ago! Take care xxxx

  19. I’m in central Ontario where we often get brutally cold snowy winters. We use a propane fireplace in the living room but costs have gone way up for that fuel. So i bought 2 electric lap robes to help keep us warm. Just finished covering some of the windows in heavy plastic. Will do the others that get the worst winds. We have an electric mattress pad that we use to take the chill off the sheets in addition to hot water bottles and microwavable rice bags. Do a lot of batch cooking as well. The clothes dryer isnt going to be used very often this winter. We have some wood stacked for our woodstove in case we lose total power for an extended time. It has a cooktop on it if needed. I was thinking of getting a space heater but I’ll need to calculate the cost once we find out if our electric rates are going up (Nov 1). I also plan on putting up a door curtain for the front door. Have the hardware and finished the final measurements for it this morning. Would have been done earlier but had to explain what it was to hubby. Showed him pics that I found on the internet so he understood what they were. He’d never heard of them before. Watching old movies from the 40’s can also give you an idea of how people lived back then.

    • You will be thankful you are getting prepared. I love the idea of a wood stove. All we have is a propane BBQ, which we did have to use to heat up tea & coffee water.

    • I’m seeing a common tip among many comments with heavy door curtains! I wish I could put a couple up here but I live in a rented property and I’m not allowed to drill into the walls. Sounds like a great idea, and wish we still had a woodstove. Thank you for sharing Mary! xxx

      • For the apartment dwellers, If you can bring 3 two by fours into your place, you can saw one in half and hammer the ends to make a four by eight food frame, cover it in a thrift shop blanket or three, stapled along the edges you will have a cozy frame to put over your door each night or when you are not using your door. A bit cumbersome but it should keep your door cozier. For the summer it can be dismantled and kept under the bed or in the back of a closet.

      • Hi Carolyn.

        I had pinned an old wool blanket to the curtain on my back door last winter. It really helped. This year I think I’ll use some of those adhesive backed hooks. I’ll stick them to the door frame or wall. No holes to damage the door/wall. Instead of the blanket I’m going to cut down a very old quilted mattress pad I had saved to fit the entire door. Leftover ribbon can become the loops for hanging the “curtain”. Hate throwing out something that can be used at a later date! Depression era mind-set I guess.

      • 🤔 If the door is steel – one can get magnet mount curtain rod holders then if the holders haven’t come with a fiberglass curtain rod, just get a wooden dowel of the right diameter/cut to length of the doorway space & hang the heavy curtain/ HW fleece fabric in front of door that way.
        Or in a pinch – one can use those removable “command” adhesive strips with sticky back Velcro type patches & match Velcro patches sewn on to the felt backing of a blackout curtain or even just press the felt fabric to the Velcro hooks it would hold for your needs. Also another option to cover windows/doors => pretty vinyl shower curtain or even a basic lace/sheer curtain will help to keep the heat in & still be able to look out (helps with not making home feel like a cave)
        Huge hugs 🤗 HTH

      • Hi Carolyn

        As it seems that door curtains seem be an issue for renters (due to the terms of a lease) wouldn’t it be sensible to see if the landlord would agree to such ‘alterations or improvements’ to a lease if the tenant offered to pay (in part or even in full) for what is an obvious improvement ?

      • I have a heavy duty tension rod (narrow hallway with wall each side) that should theoretically run high up above the door and coupled with a lined curtain with large eyelets should do the job. I will give it a go anyway! 🙂

      • Sounds like a plan, but as you have a narrow hall way with two walls why not try an extending shower curtain rail ?

  20. I’m in the US, but we could eventually have the same type of problems. I am especially concerned about the elderly and those not in good health. We had an ice storm several years ago and lost power for 10 days. It was 40 degrees (about 4 degrees celsius) in our bedroom. We can burn wood in our fireplace but it wasn’t enough to keep things warm. Thank goodness I’m a blanket hoarder. I wasn’t happy but we survived it.

  21. 10 days is such a long time in the cold…and yes little kids, babies and the elderly and poorly people would struggle. You have reminded me I need to get more blankets xxxx C

  22. Totally nothing new for me I am always aware of any waste and used to nag my daughter who had so many lights left on etc, but now she is determined to turn off any unwanted lightsAnd has ordered cosy clothes for herself and her toddler.The crockpot will be used and I have my faithful hot water bottle too.

  23. Come to south Africa, we enjoy power shedding (power cuts) each day of the week as the powers that be, I am certain do not have the foggiest idea how to run a power station. Put your food into the oven and as it is half cooked the power goes off for two and a half hours, We have to share with others. Ha, Ha Alan

  24. Eco egg Dryer Eggs for tumble dryers are said to cut down tumbling time by 28% and in the UK cost only about £3 on eBay. You can put a smelly thing inside, but that’s not essential. They appear to separate the clothes inside which dries them faster.

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