Sunday, October 27

Ecotricity freezes energy prices

Whilst the big six energy companies, (rightwing) newspapers and politicians lie their way through the current energy price rises and forget to mention climate change (which rears it's ugly head this weekend in the shape of a statistically significant storm).

Ecotricity is freezing its energy prices until 2014.

Dale Vince was on 'Broadcasting House' this morning pointing out that Ecotricity produced about 40% of it's own energy from renewable sources and was less vulnerable to external price rises from fossil fuels.

The propagandists will say that Ecotricity gets it's energy from the same place as anyone else. But the whole point is the big six don't have 40% of their energy from renewables. People sign up with companies like Ecotricity to 'invest' in renewables, with companies like Ecotricity you know they are commited to de-carbonisation, something that isn't obvious from the two faced big energy companies and politicians.

The dishonesty is in the way green energy is being used as a scapegoat to cover up fossil fuel price rises and the big six profiteering. Knocking £30 (the cost of FITs and RO) of renewable energy support off a £1250 energy bill in order to hide fossil fuel price rises and economic mismanagement, pretty much sums up how corrupt some people are in pursuit of power and business.

The science is fact, current climate change is caused by our carbon emissions, yet some people are willing to lie their heads off in order to save their political butts and investments.

Wednesday, October 23

The Star bus service

The new number 7 and 8 'Star' service between Waterlooville and Portsmouth has started and like the Eclipse service between Fareham and Gosport includes a bus stop announcement system and leather seats.

The display at the front of the bus shows the next stop once the current stop has been left and a 'ticker tape' feature at the bottom displays the latest news headlines.
I think the display is a bit under used. There is a large area that is used to display messages about the free WIFI and other onboard features.

Maybe First could do a 'deal' with The News and display local news in that space?

As well as the display, an audio voice announces the next bus stop. These systems are great for people with disabilities and also great for people new to buses or new to an area and don't know where to get off.

The seats are smart with leather coverings which should make them easier to clean. The padding in the seats is also good, giving comfortable support.

On some of the buses the display didn't seem to be working (one displayed the Windows command line and some error messages), but hopefully that is just initial teething trouble and on most of the buses I used it was working. The system certainly appears to be an improvement over the bus stop information systems installed years ago which took a long time to get working.

I have to say that despite some displays not working on some buses, the voice 'next stop' announcements were still working on those buses.

Whilst using the service, I did notice that some people were deliberately waiting for 'Star' buses and avoiding other bus numbers!

Saturday, October 12

SSE Energy Supply Ltd put a spin on the numbers

Just been analysing some statements made by SSE Energy Supply Ltd about their price increases this week and spotted inconsistencies between their press release (eagerly reported by The Daily Mail etc.) and their web page about bill costs.

As mentioned in the previous post about the Daily Mail, the average bill can be split into proportions spent on SSE operations.

Here are some of the figures from their public page:

52% is purchasing energy..
8% is for renewables, energy saving for homes etc and subsidising energy for vulnerable people.
6% is for IT and bill managment!

Whilst here we have the 'political' press release from SSE, supporting their 'views':

In the press release SSE state that energy efficiency measures, supporting renewable energy and helping vulnerable people account for £100 of the average bill (8% based on the SSE web page pie chart). So they are basically stating the average bill is £1250 per year and £75 of that is required to manage their web site, post bills and support IT etc. Yep, £75 to burn energy to run a load of computer servers and pay staff to phone you up when you haven't paid a bill.

Note that in the press release SSE do not mention what percentage of the bill the £100 is, but of course it sounds a lot until you realise the total bill is £1250. They also imply that the environmental support and 'social schemes' are taxes, which they know when regarding renewable energy support is incorrect (renewables are not supported through taxes and placing the costs of renewables on a bill is not a tax). The following quote is from page 2 of the press release:
"You pay for the costs of government taxes collected through energy bills and these costs have more than trebled since 2005 
Over recent years, successive Governments have introduced a number of energy policies which are paid for through your energy bills. These costs make up around 10% of your bill and pay for..." 
( Note that in the press release, the 8% from the web page pie chart is rounded up to 10%!)

What is enlightening is that the press release includes renewables with 'social schemes'. That says more than anything else about SSEs management attitudes towards climate change and carbon emissions reduction. If a company saw the real need to cut carbon emissions and saw it as an essential energy policy to combat climate change and establish green energy as their core business, they would not lump them in with 'social schemes'.

Friday, October 4

The sad case of The Daily Mail

This weeks Daily Mail and Ed Miliband brouhaha highlights the long running failings of the Daily Mails attitude towards journalism and the reporting of news.

Many years ago (decades) I once read the Daily Mail, but unfortunately my need for true knowledge and news was scuppered by the Mails journey away from news reporting, and instead towards an extreme form of manipulative politics, bad science reporting and a dumbing down of content to appease gossip and extremism. This change applies far more to it's online Mail persona than the paper one and in some respects the elderly generation who don't use the internet are being conned, because they don't see the exploitative images and articles published online.

I don't regularly read any national newspaper today, there is no point. I have direct access to opinions around the world and I don't need a jounalists opinion on climate science or renewable energy or on other issues.

The Mail can never be forgiven for misrepresenting climate science and environmental issues in it's journey to attract American readership and a fawning UK readership.

I remember reading in the mail a number of years ago about a new 'green' fridge technology, the article was completely neutral and received no comments. A few months ago the Mail reported on the same technology, this time a deep seated political rant was present in the article and like many 'online' articles it attracted extremist comments from American political sources.

One way of judging the Mail is by doing a quick search of climate science using Google, the following list of online Daily Mail headlines appeared on 04/10/13:

  • World temperatures have barely risen in the past 15 years.
  • MIT scientist ridicules IPCC climate change report, calls findings 'hilarious incoherence'
  • The poster boys of climate change thrive in the icy Arctic: Polar bears defy concerns about their extinction
  • It's not as bad as we thought - but global warming is still a disaster, warn UN experts
  • Climate change models may not have been accurate after all as study finds most widely overestimated global warming

The summation of those headlines is a basic indicator of the political stance The Daily Mail takes on climate science and climate change. It isn't one based on reporting facts that paint the true picture, it's one based on having a political view and then reporting a story to fit that political view. This of course results in misrepresenting the true picture.

Even if the Mail wishes to attract a certain audience with articles about celebs, it doesn't excuse the political campaign against climate science and renewable energy, or using numerous people in this nation as scape goats for political purposes.

Tuesday, October 1

Is Crichton obsessed with parking?

The Liberal Democrat propaganda sheet was delivered today and it appears that the new local candidate (David Crichton) is obsessed with parking and as a consequence one assumes motor vehicles.

Out of the 4 articles about his desires and achievements, 3 of them are about parking.

Lets take a look...

'The new development'
Apparently he doesn't know the name of the place or is worried about naming it Berewood!
He wants more parking and parking spaces for the Berewood properties.Yes this wishy washy character seems to be oblivious to the need to cut carbon emissions and getting people walking etc.

Parking issues in Beaconsfield Road
Yep another crucial issue dealt with! The big solution? A sign.

Parking in Waterlooville
Yet more car parking campaigning.

Watching paint dry is more exciting.

Well I guess with all this concrete sterilising Waterlooville there will be more opportunities to highlight the destructive nature the car has on our lives and environment.