The energy cost of Christmas

Dec 23, 2016   //   by Nicholas Milton   //   Blog  //  No Comments

turkeyLooking forward to the Strictly Len Goodman special tonight? According to a great piece by the Guardians environment editor Adam Vaughan Len “will provide one of Christmas TV’s top challenges for the people tasked with keeping the lights on. When the judge finishes reminiscing over 12 years of Strictly Come Dancing on Friday night, kettles will be boiled, lights switched on and water company pumps powered up as toilets are flushed across the UK”.

Christmas is a challenging time for energy companies because demand is much more difficult to predict. So how much does Christmas cost us in energy? The figures are quite amazing. According to GoCompare Energy cooking Christmas dinner costs the UK £15m and leaving the Christmas lights on costs an incredible £3.75m a day.

All this means the average household can spend up to £50 extra on gas and electricity in December.

But despite the cost as you cook the Christmas meal this year spare a thought for the three billion people who don’t have access to the energy we all take for granted. According to Amanda Ross at Practical Action “In many developing countries, and especially in rural areas, the only cooking fuels available and affordable are wood, crop waste or dung. And the most common cooking appliance is a three stone fire.  Not only is this energy inefficient, it’s also dangerous. Diseases caused by smoke from cooking fires kill 4 million people each year. That’s more than malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/Aids combined”.

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Nicholas Milton

I am a marketing and communication expert with over 20 years experience. Over this time I have campaigned on issues I feel passionately about - conservation, climate change, racial equality, land reform, rural poverty and most recently international development. I am also a successful freelance journalist and have been published in the Guardian, Times, Daily Telegraph and the Independent.

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