Lessons in the "energy" Category

'Smart' meter to cost every UK household £200

Today, let’s talk about ‘smart’ meters. These electronic meters will measure your electric and gas usage. They are meant to replace your existing meters. The catch in the UK is – it will cost YOU £200 to install one, even though legally you don’t need to.

Next year UK energy companies will begin the mass installation of these ‘smart’ meters. The expense of which will be passed on over time to customers. The idea is to save customers money. Seeing as they will cost £214.80 to install, any saving will take at least eight years before anyone begins to benefit!

The £11 billion project is supposed to cut down energy consumption and reduce bills! Really? So far, five EU countries considering similar such plans have decided it would cost more money than it saves.

Category: Energy / Smart Meters / Business

Russia begins to cut off gas to Belarus

Russia has begun to cut off gas supplies to its neighbour Belarus. On Monday it cut gas supplies by 15% amid claims Belarus owes ₤135m (US$200m) in unpaid bills. On Tuesday it cut the gas supply by another 15%. This follows Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s order on Monday to Russian gas monopoly Gazprom to cut supplies from Monday.

Russia has said the cuts will rise day by day to 85% if Belarus does not start paying off its debts, accrued when it failed to pay increased prices. This has raised fears in European countries in that deliveries to Europe might again be disrupted. Relations between Russia and Belarus have soured since they failed to agree on unified customs rules and Belarus gave refuge to ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

Russia supplies a quarter of Europe’s gas needs. It uses Belarus, which borders European Union member Poland, as one of the key transit routes for oil and gas to the continent. Previous pricing disputes with Minsk led to oil supply cuts, with Poland, Lithuania and Germany being affected most. A similar standoff with Kiev halted Russian gas supplies across Ukraine for two weeks in January 2009. This left many Europeans without heating and fuel during a harsh winter.

Category: Energy / Belarus, Russia / Gas