Tuesday, 11 June 2013

MPs want to turn your lights off. A shame no one told you

Within six years you could be expected to reduce your electricity consumption by a quarter

What MPs were being asked to endorse was that, within just six years, we should all be forced by law to make a mind-boggling cut in how much electricity we are allowed to use.

The reason why no one seemed to grasp this was that the amendment was so opaquely dressed up that only an MP with some knowledge of the basics of electricity might have twigged the enormity of what was being proposed. By 2020, it said, Britain must reduce its electricity use by “103 terawatt hours”, rising by 2030 to “154 terawatt hours”. This could have been understood only by someone aware that we currently use each year some 378 “terawatt hours”. So what was being proposed was that this must be cut down in six years by 27 per cent – more than a quarter – rising 10 years later to a cut of more than 40 per cent, or two fifths.

In the course of his mind-numbing speech, Greg Barker, the minister proposing this, carefully avoided any explanation of what it was all about. Not one MP picked him up on it. At the end of a vacuous debate, during much of which the House was virtually empty, MPs dutifully poured in from all over Westminster to nod the Bill through by 396 votes to eight.

full article


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