Well, with all this talk of winter and the energy crisis, I thought I would have a quick assessment of my house and how it would survive a power cut (or NOT! as the case my be).
I turned off anything on standby some years ago so I only have the following slowly draining electricity away during a 24 hour period; broadband router, digital ansaphone [ although I am thinking of getting rid of the land line and just use my mobile], immersion heater timer [and heater when on during E7 rate], fridge, freezer and gas boiler. The gas boiler needs electricity to ignite and run, including the water pump. Everything else is switched off and only switched on/plugged in when I need it. I don’t think I can reduce my electricity base level any further.
My house was built in the 1990s, it has double glazing, good insulation and was originally going to have storage heaters fitted, which is why there is E7 installed, but for some reason the builders put gas heating in. So I have a gas boiler for the central heating and an electric immersion heater for the hot water. When I first moved in I was going to get the hot water tank ripped out and get the gas boiler to heat the water but I am now glad I did not as I can now look to use solar to heat the water as an option in the future.
Anyhow back to how it stands today, what happens if I have a power cut?
- No central heating as the gas boiler will not run.
- No house lighting.
- Maybe no hot water – depending upon when the power cut happens, I could have hot water stored in the tank, if the electricity comes on in the evening then I can reset the timer and get water heated again
- No broadband – so no entertainment or connection to the outside world – backup would be mobile until that ran out of power.
What do I have?
- Gas hob – which I can light with a match.
- Gas stove – I have a camping stove so can also use this to also cook food/ heat water for drinks.
- Candles and camping torches for alternative lighting.
- Mobile phone – until it runs out of charge.
- Power bank for recharging mobile – until that runs out too.
So the main problem will be a lack of heating. I guess this will be when the hot water bottles and ski gear/thermals will come in very handy to keep me warm and follow the advice to heat the person not the house. In some ways it is good I live on my own as I just have to focus on keeping myself warm.
I am not sure I can do much more other than stocking up on gas canisters for the stove, matches and batteries for the torches, keep the power bank fully charged…
I just hope that this winter is not a cold one and with power cuts. I know the government say that we will not have power cuts but how can we be sure? During my working life I came across situations where management said it would never happen only for the situation to happen – so in my eyes it is “never say never”.
I will start prepping and see if there are any things I can do to prepare. I could do what others in Northumberland did and sit in the car and use the heaters in there to warm up and recharge things.
Is anyone else prepping for the winter? If so, what are you doing?