Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Queen on the Brink of Fuel Poverty

We’ve come across a feature in the UK’s Financial Times newspaper this week concerning the Queen and her struggle against high energy bills. We only wish Her Majesty had stopped by the SmartNow office on her recent trip to Australia for some advice!

Never one to be left behind, the Queen’s five “occupied royal palaces” have been fitted with Smart Meters in an attempt to monitor and control energy consumption. Despite an initial drop in consumption there is no hope of lower electricity bills for Her Majesty with a shocking 20 per cent rise in the UK’s average combined gas and electricity costs. In fact, the Queen is close to “fuel poverty” whereby a household is spending 10 per cent or more of its income on heating the home.

Buckingham Palace is in need of various repairs and replacements to its archaic heating and electrical system. We suspect it is not the most energy efficient of homes. Whilst the article suggests that the royal household could exercise choice in its energy provider and even purchase energy in advance on the wholesale market, writer David Blair concludes the the Queen’s best option may be to turn to renewable sources of energy. Construction has begun on a hydroelectric scheme on the Thames which would enable another home of the Queen – Windsor Castle – to generate its own energy and sell any surplus back to the grid.

This is all well and good but it is the energy efficiency of the palaces themselves that should be tackled first and foremost. Insulation and overhaul of any ancient systems should be the priority as well as reviewing the lighting and seeing if energy is being wasted. We’d delighted to give her Majesty some advice or send her over an EnviR home energy monitor to get her started!

Read the full article here: