I have embedded a SlideShare presentation at the bottom of this page which was delivered at Cambridge University as part of its energy saving week in November 2014. In it, I try to make the point that the bulge in electricity demand at around 5pm in the UK winter represents a risk to the stability of the National Grid and an unnecessary cost to consumers and electricity supplies. The bulge arises because of a rapid increase in power demand in domestic homes as the light falls, particularly in December and January.
I contend that the simplest, cheapest and most effective way of shaving peak demand, and thus reducing household power bills and decreasing the risk of power cuts, is to replace domestic halogen bulbs with their LED equivalents. Halogen bulbs now flood modern kitchens and other living areas with bright light, but a very substantial cost in peak power demand and annual electricity bills. Other schemes to cut peak demand, such as automatically turning off freezers for two hours, increasing the use of induction hobs for cooking and utilising battery storage devices are interesting but more expensive and more difficult to implement.
I argue that the time is now right for a national campaign, possibly starting in universities such as Cambridge.