Monday, 13 December 2010

EDF Alerte Orange

I just received this in my inbox:

La Bretagne est placée sous Alerte Orange EcoWatt demain, mardi 14 décembre. Les consommations d'électricité vont connaître une augmentation significative, notamment aux heures de pointe. L'ensemble des partenaires EcoWatt est mobilisé.
Nous vous invitons à modérer vos consommations d'électricité particulièrement demain matin et demain soir entre 18h et 20h.
 What that means is that they are expecting colder-than-normal weather here in our region, and as a consequence EDF, the electricity company is warning there might be brown-outs.

The reason being that people crank up the two-bar fires and oil-filled radiators to cope with this bitter snap cold snap we're experiencing here.

This morning it was 3°C in our living room! That's 37°F! OK, it was colder outside, but not by much.

The building where we live was built sometime mid-1800s. It is granite block construction, however, when it was dry-lined a few years back, they failed to put even a smidgeon of insulation between the granite and the plasterboard. As a result of the mean and centime-pinching economy of materials, it's often cold enough to hang meat in here, and safely at that.

Last winter I spent a mind-boggling 1000€ plus keeping it warm enough for all three of us. This year I'm only warming the girl's room (they've moved into the same room together) and warming the living room first thing in the morning and again after sunset around 5 pm or so, at night. Of course during these 'Alertes', I hold off until after 8pm. I'm so thankful we are no longer under dreaded Tempo, because during Alertes, the cost of electricity sky-rockets.

I've taken to wearing two pairs of socks, sweatpants, a camisole, turtle-neck sweaters, a cardigan, gloves and a hat. Sometimes even to bed. Très sexy. I have placed down duvets on the couch and we snuggle underneath at night together and watch TV. I'm making loads of warming soups, so even though it's parky, our tummies aren't complaining.

Possibly because we are forcing our bodies to adapt to the cold, none of us have had so much as a sniffle for months. Last illness was this horrid 'gastro' that caused severe cramping for weeks, literally. I had it quite bad, but luckily the oldest just had a touch, and youngest went completely unaffected.

Well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? I'm certainly hoping that's true. About a lot of things...


English Rider said...

That sounds unacceptable to me. I have lived in cold climes and poorly insulated houses. No More!

Kitty said...

English Rider: It is unacceptable, I agree. And if I was in my earlier incarnation of an outspoken, employed member of a society with choices and laws that back people up, I would complain loudly, persuasively, possibly even eloquently and at great length in my native tongue until somehow something was achieved.

Alas, my complaints have roused nought but a, "If you don't like it, leave, there are plenty behind you in a queue waiting for this place."

If the French disagree with what I say or find it too much like work, they just pretend they don't understand me. Clever and effective. I run into it constantly.

So I step back, regroup and rethink.
Yes, a change is gonna come.

the fly in the web said...

What happened to the eco efficiency test on this property?
Or does that only apply when you're a foreigner renting out your property?

Kitty said...

Dear Fly in the Web
It's a Brit (in every sense of the word) renting this out. They can't be bothered with silly things like regulations, besides, it's all in French!
Had I known then what I do now, I would have gone elsewhere, had the carpet not been lifting, just a couple weeks after moving in, I wouldn't have tripped and fallen and broken my Achilles tendon, I wouldn't have spent 6 weeks in plaster after they finally sussed it wasn't just a sprained ankle... a month later. I wouldn't have lost my job because I would have still been working. Lot's of little dominoes lined up that fell down. But, you live and learn and hopefully don't get taken for a ride the next time.
I guess the 'Mug' birthmark on my forehead is appropriate....

the fly in the web said...

Oh, just tell me about incompetent diagnosis in France!
This so called wonderful health system! Humbug!

We jumped through the hoops when renting...though the whole thing was always a farce, just another way of extracting money for nothing...

Kitty said...

That's the first bad experience here regarding Health Care. And, if I'd seen my real doctor at the time, instead of a Locum, it would have been diagnosed properly. I'll do a post, sometime, about my daughter losing her hearing and then later, nearly dying, my heart attack, the ulcers, depression, stress-induced diabetes, gall bladder removal, etc, etc.
I'll make sure to mark it as 'HUGE HEALTH SYSTEM MOAN: BEWARE!' so people can avoid it and keep their rosy-tinged glasses nicely polished.

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