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It’s our last radio show of the year, and the weather is getting colder. This week we take a look at Norwegian repair culture, before turning back to the UK, where the growing fuel poverty problem needs some serious attention.
After writing her masters thesis on the Restart Project, Kaja Ahnfelt started running “Fiksefest” – Restart Party in Norwegian – in Oslo. This new branch of the movement is part of a growing wave of environmental initiatives in Oslo, including clothes swapping parties and other local efforts. But it’s also part of a rapidly emerging maker culture. We talk to Kaja about how these two agendas can be merged.
We are also joined in the studio by Dave Lukes, a longtime Restart volunteer and IT team leader. We take a look at the recent hype around ‘smart meters’. Dave explains that their impact on helping save energy is minimal: the main problem is home insulation.
With badly insulated homes that are expensive to heat, the UK has been labelled the ‘Cold Man of Europe’. Fuel poverty in the UK is increasing, and now effects an estimated 2.38 million households. The Ken Loach film ‘I, Daniel Blake’ recently drew attention to some of these issues; but at this rate, the problem could still take eighty years or more to solve.
Luckily, there are some solutions with promise. Oldham council’s Warm Homes Scheme has helped insulate many homes in the area, alleviating many of the mental and physical health problems that come from living in a fuel poor home.
Dave also lets us in on some cheap ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home: find out how to make your own draught excluder, and why a full freezer is better than an empty one.
Links to things we discussed:
- Restarters Oslo
- Radi-Aid: “Africa for Norway” parody video
- The Guardian: Smart meters
- The GreenAge: 100 ways to save energy in your home
- YouTube: Winter Life Hacks (at 1’59” learn how to make diy draught excluders)