Having a say on the future of heating

Dear Editor,

While reading an article about rural properties moving to electrically driven heat pumps and the current government’s thinking, I have to say that there are issues in how we decarbonise the way we live.

Firstly, our only method of heating is via our ‘heritage’ range (size of an aga) that does all our hot water, heating and cooking. It relies on a pump electrically driven with several programmers to operate.

To help us with the already large oil cost (£118 per month) we also have solar panels installed some years ago. This does not belong to us but it helps our bills. At the time, we could not afford to pay for them outright.

We also have our electricity cost which ranges from £300- £550 per quarter.

We don’t have gas in our area.

Just before last Christmas we had several power cuts which caused a catalyst of problems whereby several programmers within the heritage became faulty resulting in us not having any heating or hot water for about three weeks. Our electric bill came to over £500 due to having to use electric fan heaters and emersion heating for water. We have a hob which uses small bottled gas as a backup.

The electric bill was way over what we were used to paying and it caused us some hardship.

An engineer finally came after the new year and put us back on the right track and all was good until February when another major power cut occurred doing exactly the same.

This time we bought the programmers ourselves at £85-150 a piece but it took a further two weeks to resolve due to no stock and ordering etc. So, we were back to using electric fans to heat etc. It also snowed twice in that time which was the first time in eight years ago. Suffice to say we were extremely cold and fed up, with the added following electric bill being over £550 and financially a strain.

I feel alarmed with any ‘all out electric supply’ when the supply is not that great.

We all want to help the environment and reduce carbon usage and I am all for it, but we are not in a high income earning bracket and only just get by. To change for all electric, I would have to ask where does the electricity come from? Is it through wind and solar powers only or through unethical methods?

Also, rural communities need to rely on an array of energy system and one size does not fit all.

If we could be guaranteed never to have power cuts and to have low emissions and carbon foot prints plus reasonable costs to manage in our daily lives, then bring it on. However, I can’t see that happening any time soon.

I would welcome any suggestions from other readers in how we could move forward to help our precious planet and help the individuals who are willing to make changes.

Mrs F Privett
via email