It May Be Hot, But Most British Homes Don’t Need Aircon. Switch It Off
Fifteen years ago, it was the wood burner: an unnecessary middle-class indulgence that, despite causing untold environmental damage, started popping up in homes across the country. They became symbolic of a certain affluence that allows a privileged few to live in optimum comfort at all times.
Now there’s a new kid on the block: the portable air-conditioning unit. As we adjust to a changing climate, with mid-summer temperatures regularly exceeding 25C and occasionally reaching 35C or even higher, this is the new “must have”. Sales of air-conditioning units were up more than 500% during last year’s heatwave and, according to property website Rightmove, searches for homes with air-conditioning tripled over the same period. At between £300 and £1,000 a pop, they’re not cheap – but they certainly make three or four weeks of good UK weather each year easier to handle.
At what cost? This week National Grid readied another coal-fired power station to cope with the extra demand placed on the energy networks by offices and homes switching on air-conditioning units. Greenpeace UK shared its outrage at this request: “We’re using MORE coal to cool down the effects of the coal we’re using. It makes no sense.” And I agree.
Many climate-controlled buildings with artificial ventilation systems, such as hospitals or laboratories or large office and retail complexes, rely on air-conditioning to keep them at a stable temperature all year round. This is essential to ensure staff are protected from high temperatures in the workplace, and for those who are vulnerable in a heatwave, such as people with certain medical conditions or disabilities.
But given these are always running, keeping temperatures at a consistent pace through hot weather and – more often in the UK – cold too, it’s unlikely they are responsible for this sudden spike in demand. The more likely culprit is increasing numbers of small units inside homes that are suddenly cranked up in warm weather. In other words, the completely unnecessary ones.
The source of information comes from website pages jasa
Ratcliffe-On-Soar Coal Plant
Ratcliffe-on-Soar coal plant, which National Grid requested be readied to burn coal to generate power late on Sunday night after soaring temperatures caused a spike in electricity demand
Why did National Grid use coal to meet surge in electricity demand?
Just as wood burners are being phased out as we start to fully understand the damage they do to climate and also lung health, we now need to consider a ban on some air-conditioning units – particularly when used at the mildest of warm temperatures. And until then it’s up to us not to buy them.
When it’s 26C outside, the average British home simply doesn’t need air-conditioning. It might feel nicer, but making you a little more comfortable isn’t the government’s job. Preventing further damaging climate change most certainly is. For healthy people, let’s not pretend this new trend is anything other than extravagance. Air conditioner sets you back at least £80 a month to run every night in a single bedroom. Compare that with just under £5 a month to run a classic fan by the bed.