Whilst thinking about what to do for my first proper blog post, it started snowing in Bristol. Not much, but it got me thinking about climate change and how it is relevant to the residents of Easton, many of whom don’t have enough money to heat their homes properly and many originally from less developed parts of the world, with little historical responsibility for causing climate change.
Of course, a bit of snow in February is pretty normal, but it made me think of the last few years, where temperatures have plummeted to -9°C at night and Bristol’s floating harbour froze over completely. The cold temperatures lasted for weeks on end and were definitely not normal. For those already struggling with their energy bills it must have been a nightmare. In 2011 energy companies put up their prices by 20% in anticipation of another cold winter, which so far, fortunately hasn’t materialised. Instead, it was so warm that the energy companies dropped their prices by 5%. Not that this makes up for the previous 20% hike, mind you.
So this is why the term “climate change” is now preferred term over “global warming”, because warming is not the only consequence of increased CO2 emissions. We have to be prepared for more extreme and unpredictable weather, including colder spells. One way to do that is to make sure our houses are as well insulated as possible. This ensures that energy bills are as low as possible, that people don’t have to choose between heating their home and crippling debts (and possibly damaging their health) and that we minimise those nasty CO2 emissions which just make the problem worse.
According to Bristol City Council, Easton’s houses are particularly inefficient, and much harder to treat. This means Easton residents are at higher risk of struggling with their bills when there is a cold snap, and the solutions (such as solid wall insulation) are much more costly to install. This LEAF project aims to raise awareness of the current support for installing energy efficiency measures, but also to gauge reaction to the upcoming Green Deal.
If you are an Easton resident, please fill in a house survey: tinyurl.com/eastonenergysurvey
If you are willing to be interviewed about energy and the Green Deal, please get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org