It was decided early in the 1990s that the unit for pricing of domestic gas should change from the therm to the kilowatt hour, which is a metric unit but not SI. We ask if this made ‘metric sense’.
Continue reading “Energy units – muddle in the making?”
Readers may have seen a recent TV programme that was highly critical of the energy smart meter “roll out”. Some of you may now be wondering why a nation that made a mess of the simple task of adopting a modern measurement system is now embarking on a complex and expensive technology project of questionable value.
Continue reading “Smart meters, or not?”
In contrast to his last article, John Frewen-Lord takes a look this week at some of the activities of seven famous people who later had SI units of measurement named after them.
Continue reading “Maybe they were moonlighting …”
After many recent setbacks, it is pleasing to report a small but significant bit of progress in the long campaign to make the metric system (SI) the default system of measurement in the UK. This minor (but perhaps somewhat pyrrhic) victory concerns front-of-pack (FOP) labelling.
Continue reading “Joules – rare but minor progress for metrication”
Visitors to the Cabinet Office website will see that this branch of the Government is measuring its energy use in “kilowatt-hours per hour”. It is a sad reflection on the quality of civil service support given to this crucial part of the Government machine that such an incongruous and scientifically illiterate measure should be published.
Continue reading “Cabinet Office gets its kilowatts in a twist”
A recent consultation by the UK Department of Health about food labelling has drawn attention to two long-standing issues, both relating to food energy and the calorie.
Continue reading “Two enduring controversies are highlighted by a food labelling consultation”
One of our readers wrote to Sainsbury’s to ask that guideline daily amounts (GDAs) of energy shown on packaging should be shown in kilojoules, the SI unit, as well as or instead of kilocalories. He has received a reply that provides cause for optimism.
Continue reading “Prospects improve for food energy labelling using SI units”
The recent consultation on so-called “calories” on menus, together with the launch of more new models of electric cars has prompted these thoughts on the dysfunctional way in which we measure energy and power. This muddle reflects a lack of understanding of basic science and prevents people from making useful comparisons. We should standardise on the joule (J) and the watt (W).
Continue reading “How should we measure energy (and power)?”