My Energy Crisis (OS023)

This morning, I received the dreaded email from my energy company, informing me that prices are going up (again). It was worse than I thought, far more than the average £2500 you hear about on the news. I guess this is because three people live in the house. Clearly, I need to do something about this so I set about producing an energy reduction plan.

Some years ago, I bought one of those wireless thermostats. It’s easy to turn that down a couple of degrees. I take it up to my bedroom and turn off the radiators in the lounge and kitchen at night. They’re really good but sometimes I turn the downstairs radiator off but leave the thermostat down there and bake all night. Alternatively, I take the thermostat upstairs but don’t turn the bedroom radiator on and freeze all night whilst the rest of the house bakes.

I moved the tumble dryer to the garage and bought an air fryer which are said to be more energy efficient than an oven.

There were a few more changes to save energy:

  • Wear more clothing layers day and night.
  • Make sure all the bulbs are LED.
  • Start just putting the amount of water I need in the kettle before boiling it. Measuring jug provided.
  • Turn down the water temperature and the central heating temperature on the boiler.
  • Turn the fridge in the freezer temperature up a bit.
  • Drink more cold drinks.
  • Eat cold food, salads and steak tartar.
  • Use a vegetable and rice cooker in the microwave.
  • Make sure I only cook soft boiled eggs.
  • Keep the curtains closed most of the time.
  • Go and sit in the library or sports centre when cold (during opening hours).

Pam bought an electric blanket and a sausage dog draught excluder.

I dressed warm in my lined fleece and Aran cable knitted woollen jumper. I looked like I’d put on a few stones.

I completed the energy plan and passed it to Pam (one of my housemates) and wondered how to let Mal Evolent (my other housemate) know. Mal is quite a disagreeable person and I can’t see reacting very well to turning the temperature down. I decided not to tell him and just hope he doesn’t notice.

Just then, I heard a creak in the hallway. I thought it might be Mal coming to berate me for turning down the temperature. But then, I saw it, backlit by the front door. It looked human like but with a huge head and enormous body. I grabbed the ornamental poker from the gas powered imitation Victorian log fire to protect myself. It came closer and closer and then through the lounge door into the light.

“Pam is that you?” 

Good grief. It was Pam dressed in something like a huge sumo wrestling suit with a hood.

“Yeah, do you like my electric hooded blanket?” she asked

“Scared me. I thought it was a Yeti in the hallway.”

“Oliver, this is Manchester not the Himalayas. I could order you one if you like?”

“I think I’ll stick with my lined fleece and Aran cable knitted woollen jumper. Thanks though.”

“Your loss.”

We both sat in the lounge dressed like a couple of yetis when in walked Mal in boxer shorts and t-shirt, grabbed the thermostat turning it up to max, grabbed a cold can from the fridge and then returned to his room.

Pam looked at me.

“You know it’s got a fan heater in his room, don’t you? Are you going to have a word with him?”

“I know. “I resigned myself. “Maybe I should buy him an electric Sumo costume?”

“Blanket…. I don’t think it’s his thing though.”

Just then, the phone rang. It was the doctor’s surgery who said that they are doing a survey.

“Could I ask are you an organ donor?” they queried.


“Oh! that’s good. Thank you. Goodbye” they said putting the phone down before I had a chance to say anything further.

I rang back.

“Sorry, I thought you were going to ask me if I’m an organ donor.” I queried.

“Oh! I thought you said you were.”

“No, I was just saying that you can ask me that. I thought it was a GDPR thing. Anyway, I’m not.”

“OK thanks anyway. Goodbye.

He put the phone down.

I suddenly remembered that I’d had my appendix out when I was young.”

I rang back and said:

“Sorry, I forgot, I am an organ doner, from when I was young.”

“Oh! OK thanks for ringing back.”

Pam, confused by the phone calls asked what was going on.

“It’s a guy from the doctor asking me if I’m an organ donor. I said no but then remembered that I donated my appendices when I was young.”

“Oliver, you didn’t donate your appendix it was just removed. They remove them when they get infected. It’s not like anyone would want it anyway. No one needs an appendix.”

I rang back.

“Thinking about it Oliver, if they said ‘are you an organ doner?’ they don’t mean have you donated any organs, they mean are you a registered organ doner, you know you allow your organs to be used, you know …… when you don’t need them anymore.”

“Are you sure? Why did they not say that? I do carry a card and have registered online.”

I rang back.

Misunderstandings resolved, I finally finished the energy report, detailing the additional cost, what I had done and asking Pam and Mel to take steps to saving energy. Feeling concerned about Mal’s reaction, I slipped it under his door. I heard nothing but hoped he was in agreement.  I didn’t see Mal but two days later I could still hear the fan heater inside his room.

I decided to get an electrician in to make a few changes to allow me to monitor the usage in Mal’s room. After a few days monitoring the usage, I drafted a document showing his high-power usage.

Plucking up enormous courage, I knocked on Mal’s door with the information.

“Mal, this is the cost of the power you have been using. Pam and myself have really cut back and we’d appreciate you doing the same OR you could just pay for your usage as shown on the printouts I can let you have.”

“I’ve got a third option which is, everyone keeps warm and we’ll share the cost of energy between the three of us as we agreed in the first place.”

“But Mal you’re walking around in boxer shorts and a T-shirt using a fan heater.”

“I don’t want to dress up like we’re a family of Yeti’s. It may be your thing but not mine. Tell you what, I’ll compromise.  I’ll put some trousers on.”

That was the end of the conversation. He shut the door.

It would be great to hear from you. Drop me a comment (at the bottom of the page). Just some thoughts on possible subjects but feel free:

  • I’d love to hear your energy saving tips.
  • Is anyone in your house not on board with energy saving ideas?

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Mark Carter
27/10/2022 at 11:59

I’ve another energy saving idea. Hug the dog 🙂

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