Nine out of ten cats prefer gas heating

7th Sep 2020


There was a good humoured article in The Times on Bank Holiday Monday concerning how to heat the home, but beneath all such pieces, there was also as serious point.

It concerned a piece of research that considered how to heat a home using cats. Apparently, a 3kg cat gives off heat output of 130 kWh a year, so the article calculated how many cats you might need to heat a home.  It examined how the cats were fed in the most environmentally friendly way, from waste feedstock from abattoirs, but the cost was high compared to gas. The alternative, letting cats hunt the neighbourhood wildlife population would cause damage to the natural environment and so was also rejected. The light hearted piece makes the very valid point, that trying to weigh up all the conflicting costs and benefits is exhausting. 

Well we’ve been working through the challenges of the trilemma for a number of years. We understand that conflict. We also recognise that not every suggestion is realistic. 

When those arguing for all electric heating claim carbon savings, they never mention the capital costs of new appliances. When some argue against hydrogen as an untested technology, they never question how electric will be fully decarbonised, with flexibility, without gas. When it is suggested that hydrogen cannot be produced in sufficient volumes, they never mention the need to triple power generation to meet future peak demands.

When some claim huge job creation opportunities making these electric appliances, they never mention that these are abroad and UK boiler manufacturing jobs would be at risk.

These conflicts deserve careful consideration; they should be the topic for a national conversation because the costs and benefits will fall on all our shoulders. I’ll end by using the words from the author of the article about cats, when faced with all these conflicts, she concluded “I think I’ll stick to gas.”

Best wishes, Mike Foster, CEO