Podcast: Heating bills – is it such a crisis?


Our latest Dividing Lines podcast in partnership with The Near Futurist asks if the energy crisis is actually a useful tool to dampen demand. Guy Clapperton pitches Robin Peters, CEO of Snugg Energy against Dr Carol Nakhle of the University of Surrey. Take a listen here.

By now everyone with their faculties intact will be all too aware that we’re heading for a cold winter and heating isn’t going to be cheap. There are a number of questions to be asked about this, one of which is: is it such a bad thing?

Dr. Carole Nakhle of Surrey University is used to her view on this being met with a certain resistance, but she remains firm – nobody welcomes higher bills but the economics are clear: if we want to reduce our carbon emissions then making power cheaper probably isn’t the answer. The difficulty is that neither is making it more expensive, suggests Robin Peters, CEO of Snugg Energy. Prices have already been going up and are we turning those thermostats down? It appears we are not.

There need to be other nudges, they tell the Near Futurist podcaster Guy Clapperton, in an episode that covers the time it’s going to take us to get payback financially for turning to alternative means of warming ourselves up (one scheme apparently suggested it would pay for itself in 125 years which is fab for our as yet unborn great grandchildren who can enjoy it with their as yet unborn parents, but that might not be much of an immediate comfort to those of us who are around right now), whether it’s all really Russia’s fault and whether we in the UK shouldn’t be doing more to address the state of our houses. It also considers alternatives and how realistic some of them are.

Nobody should assume there are any easy answers in any of this. As always it’s the aim of Dividing Lines, the mini-series within the Near Futurist podcast, to speak to experts and stimulate debate – we’ll be returning to this topic again!

The Near Futurist “Dividing Lines” debate is available to stream or download now.