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Readers’ letters: Gas cooker and coal fire a godsend in power cut

This is the Burger can parked in Tesco Car Park, Turriff, provided by SSEN.
This is the Burger can parked in Tesco Car Park, Turriff, provided by SSEN.

Sir, – I totally agree with Anne Wolrige Gordon’s comments regarding the dangers of ditching fossil fuels.

Arriving home on Friday evening after a four-hour drive up from Fife to Cullen we found our power off, if it hadn’t been for our gas cooker and coal fire we quite possibly would have been stuck.

My wife and I are in our seventies and are practical people, but we aren’t ready to ditch our reliable sources of power quite yet.

Alan McPherson, Grant Street, Cullen, Moray.

We need back-up for electricity

Sir, – With up to 60,000 homes in mainly rural locations across UK suffering loss of electric supply for three days or more, Storm Arwen has shown up many drawbacks to having every home so reliant on electric supply.

Emergency measures involving diesel and petrol generators are drafted in to keep old folks and nursing homes warm and well lit, while homeowners have to rely on portable gas heaters and coal fires as well as wood-burners for heat ,and deploy gas rings also for heating and cooking.

Many householders had loss of telephone and internet as their house apparatus is all electric, but a corded phone of earlier years can still be plugged in at a master socket and work fine, unlike the electric car in the drive going nowhere without a charge.

Plan B needs households to have a generator, wood burner or coal fire, and gas canisters to survive a winter power cut, but a supply of logs and kindling set on a bed of P&J newssheets in the hearth provides cheer and warmth until service is restored. Fore-warned is fore-armed, is the message for surviving storms of Arwen’s severity.

Angus McNair, Farnachty, Clochan, Buckie.

Renewables are not ready yet

Sir, – As a result of the recent catastrophic damage to the electricity network we were without electricity in Upper Deeside for almost 3 days (67 hrs).

Others even longer. During this time external temperatures ranged from a few degree above zero during the daytime to minus 5 degrees at night. During this time we had no electricity, no mobile phone network, no wi-fi, no local shops open and for some of time, no radio reception.

We were fortunate to have a wood burning stove, a Calor gas hob, Calor gas radiant heater, candles and battery torches, which with numerous layers of clothing allowed us to have a reasonable degree of warmth, hot drinks and food. Our kerosene heating system was of course useless without electricity to control the boiler and pump. With a petrol powered car we were also able to travel far enough to get a bottled gas refill and a few essentials for ourselves and neighbours.

We were much more fortunate than those with all electric heating, cooking facilities and electric powered cars.

We realise that some form of renewable energy lifestyle may be achievable at some time in the future but not in the short timescale being sought by the Green/SNP alliance.

Their aim to have us all living in all electric-powered housing, buildings etc and be transported in electric vehicles within a few years is totally unrealistic.

Can anyone from this alliance tell us in realistic terms (no fantasies) how we will cope if such an event happens in the future, as it may well do?

Harry Wight, Ballater, Aberdeenshire.

Legal system bereft of life

Sir, – I recently purchased a washer/dryer for a few hundred pounds, and had it installed and working four days later.

I am a single male in my late 70s and, back in June, I paid a few hundred pounds to register a younger relative as having power of attorney for me if something goes amiss with my health.

The paperwork has been sent on to the authorities by the solicitor, but up till now I’ve had no indication of the legal system being anything other than a corpse. It’s John Cleese’s dead parrot again.

In the meantime, say I’d been unfortunate to have had a stroke, how would my relative have been able to look after my affairs?

It seems I’ve parted with money for a service I’m not getting.

At least I’m getting my clothes washed and dried.

Gordon, Garthdee, Aberdeen.

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