Sunday, 3 February 2008

Patio heaters (again)

According to interfering busybodies at the super-quango, the Energy Saving Trust:

"FACT: the CO2 emitted by 2.3million patio heaters is as much as would be emitted by driving from Lands End to John O'Groats 200,000 times"

Hmm ... let's look at the numbers ...

1. From Lands End to John O'Groats is 875 miles.

2. 200,000 times 875 miles = 175 million miles

3. Let's say that those 2.3 million patio heaters are used for ten nights per year on average = 23 million heater-nights

4. If 23 million heater-nights is equivalent to 175 million car-miles, then having a heater on for a couple of hours uses as much energy as driving a car for, er, 7.6 miles.

5. Furthermore, at an average speed of 30 mph, a car uses that much energy in 15 minutes, as against a patio heater that might be on for a couple of hours.

Oooh! I'm scared! Not.

This calculation inspired by Jock Coats' post entitled 'Liberal bansturbators'.


Simon Fawthrop said...

Another good piece of analysis, what a pity that journos and burocrats can't do simple maths. Or maybe they can and its all part of the plan to stop us enjoying ourselves.

Mark Wadsworth said...


The other Energy Saving Trust statistic is that a patio heater generates 50 kilogram of CO2 per year. Divide that by ten evenings per year = five kilos per evening.

Given that you use about three kilos of charcoal for a small-ish barbecue, and one kilo of charcoal creates three kilos of CO2, actually patio heaters are twice as CO2-efficient as a good old fashioned barbecue.

So clearly, they'll be banning barbecues next!!!

Jock Coats said...

I can just see us all with kebabs on eight foot pikes to cook them under the patio heater!

Talking about bansturbation - seen this?

Mark Wadsworth said...

LOL, that is fantastic!

Jock Coats said...

"Good evening sir, can I take your body mass index now, or do you want a few more minutes?"

Hidden behind this story there is a real issue here. An American friend of mine says that there are so many "All You Can Eat" places that look like cattle sheds at fattening time with people lugging themselves round and around the buffet. Apparently there is real skill involved in running such a restaurant in ensuring you have the high volume low quality foods in just the right place and the right time so they don't all eat you out of quality bacon rashers and the like! Sounds like a case for the MacDonalds Academy!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Until manufacturers are required to remove the factor of 'built-in obsolescence' re their and consumers are then educated out of incontinent consumerism and too many meals out (of whatever quality), everything else is academic really, but I agree with the great simpleton. A good piece of analysis Mark.

Longrider said...

If I didn't already have a perfectly adequate chiminea for heating up the patio, I'd feel compelled to go out and buy one. Then again, Mrs Longrider and I do enjoy burning a bit of carbon on a summer evening...