Low-energy housing – a thing of the past?

I was thinking the other day about how many electrical appliances run, even when they are not “directly” in use.
I don’t mean simple things like a television on standby, but things that in a sense need power, such as a video recorder or radio-alarm clock.
However much I attempt to reduce my power consumption (or “carbon footprint”), eg. by using bio-fuels or switching to renewable power sources, things still run on electricity.
Take the humble telephone.  In the old days they used power from the phone line.  These days I use a telephone exchange and cordless phones – all of which require power to run that is not supplied down the phone line.  And I can’t turn them off, in case someone rings!
Thinking back to my childhood in the 1970s, I worked out that our house used almost no energy at night whatsoever.  There was no video recorder waiting to record, no answerphone waiting for a call.  Heating was provided for by a coal-burning boiler, which went out at night and had to be re-lit in the morning.  My alarm clock had to be wound up before I went to sleep!
I am pretty sure that the only thing in the house consuming any power at night was the fridge!
Why can things not be so simple today?  Our modern society is so reliant on electricity, that instead of finding ways to consume less, we seem to be looking for better ways of producing it.
How about looking into ways of saving it instead?

Electricity prices

Every year I have the feeling that our electricity bill has gone up.

The electricity company estimates at the beginning of the year how much you are going to use, and then charges you monthly based on this estimate. At the end of the year they either refund or charge you the difference to your actual usage.

Normally they estimate quite well, but I still end up paying a difference at the end of the year because the price of the electricity itself has gone up.

Now the Tagesschau news has reported that prices have indeed gone up – by 50% in the last 7 years.

It seems to me that the electricity companies are making huge profits, and still passing on price rises, eg. in the oil price, to their customers. My supplier even has a bonus card scheme where you can get discounted entry to theme parks etc.

I don’t want discounts! I just want to pay a reasonable price for my electricity without the big shock at the end of each year!

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