The Spanish government is lowering the temperature - literally - on a heated debate about limiting the use of air conditioners. Last week the government announced plans to prevent offices, shops and other venues from setting air conditioning below 27°C in the summer, as part of a drive to cut the country's energy consumption and limit dependency on Russian gas. The new rules would also stop heaters being raised above 19°C in winter. Although the government is standing firm on the plan as a whole, in the face of a wave of criticism, it is relenting a little. A new list of establishments which will be exempt from the new rules has been published, and includes hospitals; universities, schools and kindergartens; and hairdressing salons. Bars, restaurants, and certain shops will also be able to use air conditioning "at around 25 degrees" and not the 27 degrees originally announced. The amended rules are supposed to cater to work places where staff have "physical … [Read more...] about Europe’s energy crisis: Spain lowers the temperature on strict air conditioning rules
Why is my energy bill so high
Energy bills: Cancelling direct debits is risky says expert SUBSCRIBE Invalid email We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you've consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info Solar panel suppliers have reported an increase in orders this year compared to last year due to more people wanting to install the green energy provider on the roofs of their properties. As the prices of electricity and gas continue to rise, it seems that Britons are finding alternative ways to heat their homes. Related articles ‘Works every time’: ’Homemade’ solution for getting rid of ants Pensioners asked to leave London homes to make way for young familes The time it would take to recoup the cost of installing solar panels from savings on energy bills is expected to get much shorter, according to … [Read more...] about How to ‘reduce your electricity bill’ with solar panels – ‘save hundreds!’
France is allowing nuclear power plants to pump hot water into rivers in a bid to keep reactors running during the heatwave. State-owned nuclear power giant EDF will be allowed to discharge hot water from five plants after a temporary waiver to environmental rules was extended. France has one of the largest nuclear fleets in the world, with 56 nuclear power reactors supplying more than 70pc of its electricity. They operate under stringent safety and environmental rules, overseen by regulator ASN which carries out more than 1,800 inspections per year. Those rules include measures to protect nearby rivers from high water temperatures that would harm wildlife and plants. Many nuclear power plants use vast quantities of water to absorb waste heat produced by the plants and to cool down its equipment. They are often built next to rivers, lakes or the sea so they can draw up water, flush it through the plant, and send it back. Depending on the type of the reactor, … [Read more...] about Why Macron is easing safety rules to flood rivers with hot water from nuclear plants
Another attack on Europe's largest nuclear power plant amid the war in Ukraine "underlines the very real risk of nuclear disaster", according to the United Nations watchdog. Rafael Grossi, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), described shelling at the Zaporizhzhia plant in southern Ukraine on Saturday as "out of control" and "extremely serious". 'No basis' for Zelenskyy-Putin peace talks - follow Ukraine updates live While Russia and Ukraine blamed each other - accusing the other side of "nuclear terrorism" - Mr Grossi urged for the "utmost restraint" around the site. Experts, meanwhile, warn that the plant getting caught up in the conflict could result in a nuclear accident similar to the one in Fukushima, Japan in 2011. Advertisement What happened over the weekend? On Friday, shelling near the city of Enerhodar in southwest Ukraine hit a high-voltage power line that feeds into the nearby nuclear power … [Read more...] about Ukraine war: What are the risks of a nuclear accident at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant amid the war with Russia?
Downing Street has rejected calls for Boris Johnson to summon an emergency COBRA meeting to deal with the cost of living crisis. Gordon Brown, the former Labour prime minister, has called for Mr Johnson to meet with his two potential successors and thrash out a financial package of measures before energy bills soar in October. He said people will go cold and hungry this winter if urgent action isn't taken now, telling Sky News he was seeing poverty in his hometown in Fife " that I did not expect to see ever again in my lifetime ". Politics Hub: Brown slams 'vacuum' at heart of government A leading business group, the CBI, also urged Mr Johnson to "act now" as they set out four actions the government could take to ease the impact of the crisis. Advertisement But the prime minister's spokesman said that although the government recognises the challenges facing struggling households, "by convention it is not for this prime minister to make major … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson will not intervene in cost of living crisis as that is ‘for future prime minister’
Soaring temperatures and a conspicuous lack of rainfall have left many European countries grappling with historic droughts this summer. This is having wide-reaching effects across the region, significantly impacting agriculture, energy production and water supplies. But how is each European country being affected and what are local authorities doing to combat the problems caused by these extreme temperatures? France The French government has set up a crisis team to tackle a historic drought that has left more than 100 municipalities short of drinking water . Trucks are taking water to those areas as "there is nothing left in the pipes", said Christophe Béchu, the country's minister for ecological transition. "This is a situation like nothing we've ever seen... And the bad news is that, as far as we can see, there's no reason to think that it will stop." Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has warned that France is facing the "most severe drought" ever recorded … [Read more...] about ‘Nothing left in the pipes’: How is Europe tackling unprecedented water shortages?
The Biden administration is getting ready to send Ukraine a small number of high-tech, medium-range rocket systems, a critical weapon that Ukrainian leaders have been pleading for as they struggle to stall Russian progress. The rocket systems are part of a new $700 million tranche of security assistance for Ukraine from the US that will include helicopters, Javelin anti-tank weapon systems and tactical vehicles. Meanwhile, Russian forces have now seized half of Sievierodonetsk, a key city in eastern Ukraine, as heavy fighting between Russians and Ukrainians continues. Follow Wednesday's developments in Ukraine as they unfolded in our blog below: 06.01.2022 06:52 A Kremlin spokesperson says US plans to send more missile systems to Ukraine are ""deliberately and diligently pouring fuel into the fire." Russia claims to have completed testing of a hypersonic cruise missile. Russian forces now control 70% of the strategic city of Sievierodonetsk, according … [Read more...] about Ukraine: Russia accuses US of ‘pouring fuel on the fire’ with missile shipment
As the new week begins, the battle for eastern Ukraine continues to be both bloody and uncertain, with Russian forces focusing their attacks on the Donetsk region in the east. Meanwhile, Sweden and Finland's moves to join NATO have raised tensions with Russia, and negotiations over a new set of EU sanctions continue to hit roadblocks. See our blog below for a summary of Monday's key developments or watch our live coverage in the player above. 05.16.2022 06:30 Ukrainian troops have regained control of part of the border with Russia near Kharkiv, pushing Russian forces back into their own country, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. Belarusian special operations forces have been deployed along the country's border with Ukraine. The Russian rouble climbed towards a near five-year high against the euro on Monday, supported by continuing restrictions on currency trading. Sweden is applying for NATO membership. Prime Minister Magdalena … [Read more...] about Ukraine war: Kyiv troops reach Russian border near Kharkiv
Published 20 July comments Comments Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Prices are rising faster than they have done for 40 years. The increase in the cost of living is putting a squeeze on people's finances, as incomes fail to keep up. What is inflation? Inflation is the increase in the price of something over time. For example, if a bottle of milk costs £1 and that rises by 5p compared with a year earlier, then milk inflation is 5%. Every month a figure is released, estimating how much prices are rising overall - it's currently at 9.4% . Why are prices rising so fast? Many things are contributing to the high rate of inflation, including: Energy bills , which have risen rapidly because of high oil and gas prices. They're expected to increase sharply again from October Petrol and diesel prices , partly because the war … [Read more...] about What is the UK inflation rate and why is the cost of living rising?
The Christchurch businessman behind online postings warning the public about Earthquake Commission (EQC) staff has a chequered past. The commission was yesterday considering legal action over several online postings made by Consumer Advocates Ltd, a Christchurch company that acts on behalf of people disputing EQC claims. Consumer Advocates posted names and photographs of EQC engineers online and advised people to deny the engineers entry to their property. The Press can reveal the businessman behind the company, Victor Cattermole, has a colourful history. Companies Office records show that more than 20 businesses that Cattermole has been involved in over the past 10 years have been struck off the register or liquidated. He has had many run-ins over the years with the Securities Commission, including one where it was claimed his Hong Kong-based investment company, Endeavour Plan, was involved in pyramid selling and the Commerce Commission said the company plan risked … [Read more...] about Man behind EQC postings has chequered past