Thursday, 7 January 2010


An interesting problem with some modern gas boilers has come to my attention in the past 24 hrs as the 'Big Freeze' continues. As mains gas pressure drops, as it did yesterday, many boilers close down and do not fire up again. Fine if you are at home but leaving an empty house with bolier setting on low heating as you jet away from temperatures of -17C could lead to some problems awaiting your return!

Despite this Government being in power for 13 years, it has failed dismally to address strategic gas supplies that are needed for electricity generation, home heating and cooking. We have only about 14 days worth of reserve stored in Centrica's Rough Field in the N. Sea and in a number of underground salt storage areas in Yorkshire. Most sensible countries aim for 80 days of strategic gas reserves and the Chinese set themselves a goal to have 90-100 days of oil and gas reserves.

'Sound- bite' Government and 'the just in time' mentality could give us all a major headache in the next few days or so. While the media has been concentrating on the'white stuff' with all its pretty pics, how many of us realise that there was a crisis in late December when electricity generators had to cut back on gas use to maintain mains pressure to householders? We are now in the middle of at least two weeks of some of the lowest temperatures recorded in the UK  for over 20 years and what is striking is that almost the whole country is affected, unlike in  normal hard winters.

Gas main pressure went down yesterday again and I have a pessimistic thought that our strategic gas reserves are going to be found inadequate. Should the worst happen look out for power cuts and your boilers and gas cookers not having that welcoming blue flame burning to heat your house or cook your food. What will be a Labour Government's chances in an election in a few months time if this happens?  As low as the temperature at RAF Benson?


Tony Beachcomber said...


Strange you should quote China a country where human rights mean zilch.
Do you honestly think that China holds energy reserves to keep the workers warm.
I don't think so mate, it is more about keeping the industrial machine going.

Bertie Biggles said...

I am sure it is, Tony. The point is that their idea of a strategic reserve seems more sensible, whatever the main purpose!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone believe that this government does anything for it's people?

What's the difference. The ruling party looks after it's own. Communist China or Brown's Britain. Same difference, they're only in it for themselves, and we pay the price!

Anonymous said...

Minor point but can I ask who privatised the energy industries and, therefore, handed over control to the PLCs and their directors?

Anonymous said...

If we had kept the mines open we would have mastered eco fuel technology by now (coal combined with household waste) and coal's part in a hydrogen based energy system.

So I take your point anon. There was a vandal and her name was Maggie.

Anonymous said...

Oh Anon 8 January 2010 00:42- same as TDC then. Does it do anything for it's people? The ruling party makes very sure it looks after its own and they are only in it for themselves. We all pay the price.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Good point Rick,

I also think that we should bear in mind that part of the energy strategy for this country does include energy conservation, which includes all the advances both technically and politicaly that have taken place in the last ten years.Of course we have a long way to go but at least we are pointing in the right direction and things have been done .
I am sure that that a lot of government energy conservation policies have really paid off in this cold snap something the conservatives would never admit to.

Anonymous said...

I take it Tony that you mean the turn off the hugely expnensive energy sources and freeze to death ploy that is being enacted around the country!

What this country needs is nuclear power. Not crappy wind farms and solar panels on the roof. If you think that they are that good, then sod off to Russia with your mates and see how you get on then!

This country needs proper power systems and that means nuclear.

So lets all the bed wetting labour tarts tear up their CND membership and actually vote for something that might benefit this country.

And if you don't like the idea, then buy some logs and sod off to Siberia. Then tell us how out of touch we are!!

Bertie Biggles said...

01.37, I have posted your comment as the nuclear option should have been sorted out years ago in this country. However, please refrain from an abusive tone against other 'posters'; concentrate on your argument and keep personal animosity out of it.

Tony Beachcomber said...


Actually, I was referring to all the home insulation programmes that have taken place over the past ten years funded by government which helps reduces energy demand at peak periods.