Ditch those fossil fuels

Living in Jersey, we're very fortunate in so many ways, including the choice of energy available to us.

Unlike most places in the world, we have the choice of heating our homes with zero carbon energy.  That is, via the JEC from French (EDF) renewable (35%) and nuclear (65%) power, and directly using solar panels and other microgeneration systems on or in our homes.

Right now, we can easily replace environmentally damaging oil and gas boilers with electric ones (which are simple direct replacements), or even opt for heat pumps which can be as cheap to run as oil or even cheaper.

There is no longer any argument in favour of using fossil fuels.

Why the contribution is important

>   Extracting oil and gas (and coal!) is environmentally damaging - Very damaging, not just in day to day mining operations, but when it goes tragically wrong (oil rig fires, tanker disasters, etc.).

>   Burning oil and gas (and coal) releases huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere, trapping heat through the greenhouse effect and causing global warming.

>   Fumes and smoke from fossil fuel boilers and fires create harmful pollution.

We need to ditch those fossil fuels and do it now - No more excuses!

by SimonLanglois on February 08, 2021 at 10:39AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 5 votes


  • Posted by SheenaBrockie February 10, 2021 at 00:32

    I agree wholeheartedly, but the stumbling block for many will be cost to switch out from oil and gas to electricity. It may simply be down to not affording the cost of replacing boilers (when the existing ones still work perfectly well) rather than the will to make these changes.

    Absolutely agree we have the technology and ability to make use of the decarbonised power supply - but how do we make it fully accessible to all in the shortest timeframe?
  • Posted by Nigelblandin February 11, 2021 at 07:15

    I fully agree and have recently changed my house to electric radiators . The process was expensive, but offset by the projected cost of renewing the 40 year old boiler and loads of plumbing that was reaching the end of its life.
    No cheaper to run than oil, but oil is currently cheap... But we are now not creating pollutants every time we have the heating on.
    FF heating should be removed from the equation now, what’s the point of fitting it?
    By the way, the government has to lead by example...they are currently replacing defunct gas boilers in large buildings with new ones rather than electric heat pumps because of the cost, without considering the pollution or even the long term running costs.
    Not exactly enlightened is it?
  • Posted by sylvainforet February 12, 2021 at 11:41

    Many contributors appear to be well meaning, the two topics of oil and gas boilers versus the electricity supply from France feature often. A fundamental issue is however overlooked. Thousands of properties in the Island have an electricity supply from the above ground 'low voltage' network owned by Jersey Electricity plc. Also properties which have an underground service cable, may rely also on the above ground network somewhere in the supply route from La Collette. For the main part this 'low voltage' network does NOT have the capacity needed in order to replace all of the gas or oil boilers by an 100% electric system. Major investment in the region of hundred of millions of pounds would be needed to install underground cabling with the capacity needed. Who is going to pay?
  • Posted by JerseyElectricity February 16, 2021 at 09:58

    Jersey Electricity has invested millions of pounds in infrastructure over the last three decades to ensure we meet increasing demand with reliable, affordable, low carbon electricity, and that investment continues. Our St Helier West Primary Substation, opened in 2019, cost £17m, and we are currently working on multi-million projects to install new 90kV transformers at both La Collette and Queen’s Road along with the decommissioning of aged cables.
    We are, therefore, fully supportive of the Government’s carbon neutrality ambitions and are ready to invest further to meet the significant increase in demand displacing more fossil fuel would bring if the Island commits to this with long-term Government policy.
    We are aware of pockets of the network that would require particular attention, however, our well-invested low carbon electricity system is the perfect platform to facilitate a zero carbon future. We have done studies and know how much this would cost. Importantly, the way we operate means we believe we can achieve this without a material increase in electricity prices. This is because the more extra units we distribute across the network, the more efficient the network becomes to operate due to economies of scale. This is one factor that helps to keep prices low for customers and is a key reason why power prices in Jersey are so competitive with other Islands and countries. So, Jersey has a real and credible opportunity to go further and faster to decarbonise and at a lower cost than many other jurisdictions.
    As well as heating, road transport is a key area for decarbonisation. Electric vehicles are 4x as energy efficient as internal combustion engines and what’s more, that electrical demand can be met by lower cost off-peak overnight supplies when there is significant spare capacity at all levels of the network. This in turn brings further efficiencies by ‘levelling the load curve’.

    We acknowledge that the proposed time scale of 2030 is challenging. Achieving it will take a considerable shift in attitude and the will of the people to move from fossil fuels in favour of cleaner energy and energy efficiency.

    Our grid is designed to be compatible with local renewables which are introducing in increasing volumes. This, and our successful roll-out of Smart Meters across the Island could transform how electricity is generated, distributed and consumed in future. We see technologies such as demand-side management (including use of ‘big data’ analytical techniques) and vehicle-to-grid discharging (V2G), renewable distributed generation and energy storage – all of which we’re currently trialling – becoming mainstream on the road to carbon neutrality which we are confident the Island could achieve.
  • Posted by NickyW February 18, 2021 at 17:23

    We are well insulated, use night stores which run on Economy 7, and top up with halogen heaters. It works well.
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