The Government’s plans to force Britain to achieve ‘Net Zero’ CO2 emissions by 2050 seem to be falling apart. Few people seem interested in buying expensive, range-limited electric vehicles. Even fewer want to replace their cheap efficient gas boilers with expensive and poor-performing heat pumps.
Offshore windfarms were a key part of our Government’s ‘Net Zero’ decarbonisation plans, yet there were no companies bidding for the recent group of offshore windfarm contracts. And our rulers seem unable to make up their minds about which technology to choose for Britain’s new generation of SMRs (small modular nuclear reactors) even though Rolls Royce has already developed a version which can work in the hostile underwater operating environment of nuclear-powered submarines and so could be quickly and inexpensively adapted for use on dry land.
However, having realised that it cannot provide sufficient electricity to power Britain as a supposed ‘renewable energy superpower’, the Government has come up with a brilliant solution – force us to use much less electricity.
I recently wrote an article for the Daily Sceptic explaining some of the more worrying aspects of the Energy Bill currently approved by a massive majority in the Commons and likely to be enthusiastically passed with a similar massive majority in the Lords.
In my article I quoted several sections from the Energy Bill. However, as these were written in almost incomprehensible legalese, I thought it might be useful to describe three common scenarios which will arise once the Energy Bill has become law.
- First, there is the replacement of existing electricity and gas meters. Our electricity and gas meters have a registered lifetime of anywhere between 10 and 25 years depending on the type of meter. Once a meter’s lifetime has expired, it should be replaced. Under the terms of the Energy Bill, someone from your power supplier will have the right to enter your home to replace your current meter with a smart meter. If you refuse him entry or try to refuse having a smart meter installed, he can legally return with police back-up, force entry into your home and use what is called “reasonable force” to restrain you while he rips out your old-fashioned meter and replaces it with a smart meter. “Reasonable force” might just mean handcuffing you during the installation or could even mean detaining you in a cell at the local police station while your meters are changed.
- Second, there is what happens when you wish to rent or sell your home or another property. It seems likely that we will be banned from renting out or selling any residential property unless it has an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating of ‘C’ or above. Currently there are just over one million home sales a year in Britain. Of these home sales, around 41% have an EPC rating of ‘C’ or above. This means that under the terms of the Energy Bill, over 590,000 homes a year would have to have alterations made to improve their EPC rating before they could be rented out or sold. These alterations could range from just installing double glazing or adding a little loft or wall insulation to spending tens of thousands of pounds installing a heat pump which would include replacing all the pipes and radiators in a home and could even require ripping up carpets and floors to install underfloor heating.
- Third, there are what are known as Energy Saving Opportunity Schemes (ESOS), where “opportunity” has a distinctly Orwellian flavour. With ever more homes having smart meters, energy suppliers will be able to identify towns, neighbourhoods, streets and even individual homes which Government ‘experts’ consider to be using too much electricity. The Energy Bill introduces ESOSs, which would give the legal right for energy inspectors to enter any home, using “reasonable force” if necessary, in order to make an energy-saving assessment and propose ways the homeowner could improve the property’s energy efficiency.
In all three of the above three scenarios, refusal by the homeowner to comply with the Government’s requirements would be a criminal offence with penalties of fines of up to £15,000 and imprisonment of up to one year.
That a supposedly ‘Conservative’ Government would use its parliamentary majority to introduce such intrusive and oppressive eco-totalitarianism is something that few of us would have imagined possible.