Do you have any energy-saving tips to keep your home warm this winter?
Edwina Currie came under fire this morning after telling people to ‘don’t get emotional’ about the ongoing energy crisis and suggesting Brits put radiators in their homes with aluminum foil to keep warm this winter.
Martin Lewis was speechless when the former politician insisted for the second time in a week that the media should not use the word ‘catastrophe’ to describe the current economic climate.
Last week, the pair were involved in a Twitter spat after she berated the money-saving expert for labeling the ongoing cost of living a “catastrophe” and telling him to “stop pretending governments can do anything” to help out.
The former Tory MP went on to suggest that the government would follow in Germany’s footsteps by turning off streetlights and asking shops to reduce the lighting they use.
Frustrated viewers took to social media, claiming that Ms Currie was “out of touch with reality”, pointing out that many people may not be able to afford to turn on their radiators during the colder months.
Money-saving expert Martin Lewis (left) can be seen with his head in his hands as former Tory MP Edwina Currie tells households to wrap aluminum foil around their radiators to spread heat around homes this winter
In a speech on Good Morning Britain this morning, Ms Currie said: ‘What we need to do is don’t understand it, don’t get emotional about it, to the exclusion of using common sense, to try to sit down and think about what we can all do, whether it’s in our businesses, or in our homes, not everyone can do that, I accept that, but many of us can do something and when we can, it helps everyone.
“We have to be really cool and calm.”
She gave viewers tips on how to keep their homes heated this winter, including the “dirty cheap” method of wrapping aluminum foil on the backs of radiators to disperse heat and take couches away from stoves.
During a speech at GMB this morning, the former MP held up a sheet of aluminum foil and urged people to wrap the material around their radiators to spread heat throughout their homes this winter. A cutout of outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson could be seen in the background
Will aluminum foil REALLY help keep homes warm during the winter months?
Using silver foil behind radiators can help provide extra heat in the home.
The reflective foil does this because it bounces heat back into the room, rather than letting it seep through the walls, which means less energy is wasted.
However, they are only effective behind radiators on exterior walls, as Caitlin Bent of Energy Saving Trust explains.
‘You don’t have to place them behind radiators on interior walls or on walls that are shared between two houses in a semi-detached house or terraced house.
‘This is because they prevent heat from escaping to the outside, so that more heat stays in the house. Heat always moves from a warm place to a cold place, which is why it is always drawn out in the end.’
She added: ‘As long as the room on the other side of the wall is also heated on interior walls, there won’t be the same temperature gradient to take heat out of the room, so the radiator panel isn’t necessary.
“The same goes for a wall between two buildings.”
The reflective panels are most effective in non-insulated buildings with solid walls – and will have a negligible impact in a home that already has wall insulation.
In a typical semi-detached, gas-heated house with uninsulated walls, installing DIY radiator panels can save households an estimated £10 a year on your energy bill.
You can buy specialty film from hardware stores or online in rolls or sheets, which can be cut to size, for just a few pounds.
Most retailers and manufacturers make bold claims about energy savings to reduce heat loss by 50 percent.
However, swapping this specialist foil for the aluminum foil in your kitchen cupboard is a popular “hack” that has been suggested online before.
The idea is the same, it reflects the warm air back into the room, but it costs a fraction of the cost.
Unfortunately, there is little data on the effectiveness of using aluminum foil.
Some people argue that it becomes less effective over time as the material oxidizes and therefore becomes less reflective to heat radiation.
However, the Reflective Insulation Manufacturer’s Association has said that oxidation has no negative impact on emissions.
Ms Currie added: ‘Here’s one of my suggestions for a tip, something dirt cheap, Martin knows about this stuff, you put some of this behind your radiators, it really works, it makes the whole room nice and warm and it means you can turn the thermostat down without it bothering you more.
“Most people my age have lived in houses without central heating, but we now depend on that and things like this make such a difference.”
Mr. Lewis could be seen clutching his head in her hands as she held a sheet of shiny aluminum foil to the screen.
While he agreed that the ex-politician shared some helpful tips and looked annoyed, he pointed out that many Britons simply cannot afford to heat their homes this winter.
Viewers have also hit back at advice that claimed the former MP is “out of touch with reality”.
One social media user said: “It points to a lack of understanding of the crisis at the ground level.
‘People can’t afford the fuel to heat the radiators, and in many cases people can’t afford the foil. A cold radiator does not heat anyone, no matter how much foil is used.’
Another added: ‘Edwina Currie is currently telling people to just get their couch away from the radiator and wear a sweater to save us from the cost of living on #GMB – finger on the pulse as always.’
After calling on the UK to turn off street lamps and reduce retail lighting in stores, such as in Germany, Ms Currie added that the media should be careful about using the word ‘catastrophe’ when describing rising energy bills, which she claimed the language was “catastrophe.” not helpful’.
Mr Lewis responded to her criticism, saying: ‘You can’t ignore the rise in bills. That’s the catastrophe, it’s not my language, it’s the practice of what happens’.
The pair clashed again with the former politician who claimed the word catastrophe is not beneficial to people’s mental health.
In the midst of the on-air dispute, Ms Currie said: ‘This is all of Europe at war. And it’s because of what Putin is doing, turning off the tap.
‘Although the United Kingdom is in much better shape in terms of energy security than many other countries such as Germany, we still buy our gas on the international market.
“And this means we’re going to have a really, really hard winter, I’m not downplaying that.”
Britain faces 22 percent inflation in January, leaving millions of people unable to pay their bills.
The energy price cap, set every three months by the energy regulator Ofgem, is expected to rise from £1,971 to £3,549 for the typical UK household, leaving millions across the country in fuel poverty.
Families also suffer in stores as inflation drives up the price of regular staples.
Shoppers are paying up to 20 percent more for basic items off the shelf, including butter, milk and spaghetti, than last year, new figures show.
Last week Lewis said on BBC Radio 4’s Today Program that he was “accused of catastrophizing”.
He said, ‘The reason I’ve done catastrophe is because this is a catastrophe.
“It’s astonishing that we’ve had this announcement made… and still no help has been announced. It’s catastrophic.’
After hearing Ms Currie’s tips, viewers took to social media to call the former politician “out of touch” and remind her that “people can’t afford fuel to heat radiators.”
This morning, gas prices across Europe rose 30 percent after Russian state-backed energy company Gazprom announced it chose not to resume pumping gas to Europe via the Nord Steam 1 pipeline.
European leaders have accused Russia of arming energy supplies in retaliation for Western sanctions imposed after Putin’s, although Gazprom claimed the shutdown was due to a mistake.
While the UK only receives 4 percent of its gas from Nord Stream 1, other countries such as Germany are much more dependent on the pipeline, meaning its closure is driving prices up in international energy markets.
In the UK, the price of natural gas was £4.96 per therm this morning, up 86p or 21 per cent. At the start of 2021 it was only 40p per therm.
Do you have any energy-saving tips to keep your home warm this winter? Email firstname.lastname@example.org