Feeds

Lights out, Britons told - we're running out of power

Do your bit because Labour didn't

High performance access to file storage

Public sacrifices to save political face?

Lilley doesn't think so.

"If people are being asked to use electricity as efficiently as possible, they should do that because it's a cost-efficient thing to do, rather than because the government created a crisis through bad planning," says Lilley.

Complicating things is an additional dilemma, of the government's own making.

The Whitehall department responsible for keeping Britain's lights on now has additional duties of "tackling climate change" and "moving towards a low-carbon economy" - it's the new "Department of Energy and Climate Change" (DECC). This means it is obliged to oppose exactly the kind of fossil-fuel power generation capacity that will save Britain from blackouts. So which will it choose?

On the department's own website, under the heading "What We Do" - Climate Change is a higher priority than maintaining the UK energy supply:

Energy: Not the Energy Department's top priority, apparently

Saving... for what?

The Energy Savings Trust has a budget of £43m a year. Around 150 staff are on secondment from BERR, the former Department of Trade and Industry. Much of its work is duplicated by two other quangos - the £250m a year Carbon Trust, and Envirowise.

The remit is explicitly to change people's consumption patterns. The umbrella project "Act on CO2", intended to co-ordinate the output of different government departments, was described as "the premier government-backed behaviour change brand" according to tender documents seen by The Register.

"The Energy Saving Trust is about making you feel guilty about 'your impact on climate change'. It is about how you can generate your own energy – no doubt as efficiently as a normal power station," says Woudhuysen.

"With rights, Tony Blair enlightened us, come responsibilities. This clearly means that New Labour has the right to screw up on energy supply - while hectoring us about how we should take responsibility for its failures."

The Trust was named as the 9th most useless quango in 2005 - along with the Potato Council. ®

Footnote

For a quango that puts communications as priority, the Trust doesn't half drag its feet on responding to enquiries - reader Graham Crocker spent a fruitless three months trying to get answers. Eventually, the Trust admitted, the low energy bulbs make little difference to the householder because the lower heat output in cool climates - like ours - means people spend more on heating. "The Trust do not seem to have fully formed policies or a coherent strategy to deliver them," Graham concludes.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Solar-powered aircraft unveiled for round-the-world flight
It's going to be a slow and sleepy flight for the pilots
Russian deputy PM: 'We are coming to the Moon FOREVER'
Plans to annex Earth's satellite with permanent base by 2030
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Saturn spotted spawning new FEMTO-MOON
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
India's GPS alternative launches second satellite
Closed satnav system due to have all seven birds aloft by 2016
Curiosity finds not-very-Australian-shaped rock on Mars
File under 'messianic pastries' and move on, people
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.