Tuesday, 22 November 2011

What price freedom?

So there I was in the Gift Shop at the Bosworth Visitor Centre. They have some nice related stuff in there but I have enough ‘stuff’ on my boat so I wasn’t buying. In came two men and borrowed the counter assistants stool. One of the men climbed up on the stool and looked on a high shelf where the transformers for the Christmas lights were resting and read out the voltage and current consumption. Man No 2 wrote the figures down. "24 V .12 A X 4 sets of lights which for 9 hours a day for 39 days comes to about 4kw. Oh we had fun working that out.

Apparently someone had made a Freedom Of Information (FOI) request to the Leicester County Council asking how much power was being used to illuminate the Christmas lights through the county. So consequently every local government department had to come up with a figure so HQ could add them all up. What a waste of resources. The cost of answering that question must be phenomenal and to what end?

9 comments:

MortimerBones said...

Maybe it is a way of pointing out that if people didn't have all these Christmas Tree lights on the worlds resources would last a nanosecond (or more) longer...?

artymess said...

perhaps it was someone who wanted to keep their job !!.....

Halfie said...

If the Christmas lights and their power supplies are in a building then the heat (what little of it there is) needn't be being wasted. It just means that whatever else is being used to heat the place won't have to work so hard. Though eleven and a half watts (the power consumption of the four power supplies, assuming 100% efficiency) is hardly going to make any difference, being about half a light bulb. The total power used over the period, again, assuming 100% efficiency, is, as you say, just over 4 kWh. This time last year I was using 5.3 kWh per day at home, so 4 kWh over nearly six weeks is peanuts. (I have since cut down my consumption!)

Even at the highest rate e.on charges for leccy, 24.31p/kWh, the 4 kWh will cost less than a quid. And how much did it cost in fuel, let alone wages, to get the power checkers to the shop? I think I've made my point. As have you.

MortimerBones said...

Yeh, I think the nanosecond was a bit optimistic...

Anonymous said...

it was probably someone or an organization that gets twitchy about their council spending "their" money. roll out usual suspects.skpt

Paul said...

should have been refused usinf FoI fees limit

Maffi said...

Paul link/explain

Paul said...

Hi

FoI has a compliance fees limit for local government of £450, or 18 hours - each hour is valued at £25.

The fees limit regulations identify what can be counted when considering refusal because of cost. However the council is actually creating information to respond to the request, something which it need not do. The ratings are on equipment but likely as not the consumption has never been recorded, so they are wasting tax payers money on creating information which, to some, has little intrinsic value. I would prefer that this is spent on services not rhetoric.

Maffi said...

Thank you