Families and businesses are facing huge increases in their energy bills, many will be looking for ways to lessen the blow. Those that can afford to, will invest in more energy efficient tech and appliances.
In response to customer demand for more sustainable and efficient products and services, there is lots of information and options available. I recently spent longer than perhaps is healthy researching brushless motors, in order to justify purchasing a quieter and more efficient washing machine. I am now turning my focus on our rather tired fridge, which is humming away in the corner of the kitchen. As I am evaluating our domestic appliances, I imagine many business are also assessing their processes and equipment to see where energy and costs can be saved.
Individuals or businesses that can’t afford to invest will be looking for support and there is growing pressure on governments to announce their strategies. We can hope to see subsidies and grants that support and encourages homeowners and landlords to improve home installation, and for businesses to update energy hungry processes or equipment.
Beyond the actions that individuals and businesses can take to reduce their energy consumption, we need to understand the factors at the root of the crisis. As is often the case with price rises, it comes down to supply and demand. Many nations have committed to be net zero by 2050 and in order to meet these goals are encouraging huge investment in renewable energy, whilst reducing investment in fossil fuels. We must wait to see the benefits of this investment, Karen Ward explains the impact of this in her recent article:
“We can see the impact on energy supply already. Rapidly rising prices in the past couple of decades would have spurred new oil projects in North America, but this is not happening. Without the threat of new supply coming on-stream in the States, Opec – the organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – is in no hurry to increase production and cut prices.”
Whilst a large price rise is never welcomed, we must hold on to the hope that this situation will accelerate change. In much the same way as the global pandemic gave rise to a heightened awareness of climate change, because our lives and livelihoods were threatened by environmental degradation. The energy crisis is throwing light (make it an LED one!) on our over dependence on fossil fuels and the need to speed the shift to renewable energy, which will in time be more affordable.