Tuesday, 10 April 2012

All In The Name Of Reducing Carbon Footprints

Yesterday I had a telephone call from a 'green' company asking me if I was aged between 55 and 75. Without waiting for a response, the chirpy chap at the end of the telephone line immediately fell into his sales speech about solar energy and the benefits.  I let him ramble, for around 30 seconds, before I advised him my age was none of his business and he'd probably be out of a job shortly since solar panel companies are folding weekly. "We're the biggest company in the UK and have been for over 10 years," he boasted. My response was: "Phone me in ten year's time and we can discuss it then."

Later I read about this. Currently the rules do not affect Scotland, as the Scottish government has its own green energy policy, but that's not to say it won't be copied by the present, or future, Scottish governments.

These regulations should concern anyone who owns their home. Those who want to build an extension, replace a broken boiler or install new windows will have to notify their council which can require them to do other works - such as loft and wall insulation - as a condition of receiving approval. The cost of  insulation methods on older properties can run into thousands of pounds and if owners can't afford to meet their council's requirements, they will be required to get into debt by borrowing through the Green Deal scheme. This is due to come into force in October but trials have shown the payback rate, which will be estimated on how much an average occupier would save, were less than predicted in many cases.

I see the Green Deal scheme being a modern form of hire purchase, although with hire purchase the account was in the name of the purchaser. With Green Deal the account is on the property and should the occupier move house, the account stays with the property and becomes the responsibility of the new owner. How many property buyers will be interested in buying a home with an outstanding loan? Hire purchase was provided by a variety of credit companies and repayments were made directly to the companies. With Green Deal repayments are to be added to regular utility bills and therefore will be collected by energy companies.

Repeatedly in the proposals, the word 'accredited' is used. This will curtail the consumer's choice if they are required to use a Green Deal accredited adviser and installer if they need or wish to improve their property's energy efficiency.

Richard Lloyd, 'Which?' director, said: "We think it's unacceptable effectively to require people to take on Green Deal finance to comply with Government regulation."

In case you've forgotten - all this is being done in the name of reducing a home's carbon footprint.


WitteringsfromWitney said...

Ahem, I believe Salmond wants his independence and then join the EU?

And these proposals don't/won't involve Scotland?

Just asking....... :)

Quiet_Man said...

Actually I find it closer to loan sharking than hire purchase. You're being charged an extortionate amount for something you have little or no say on, simply the word of an "accredited" expert.

Unknown said...

Obviously none of politicians have bothered to read this devastating book which was published in Dec 2009 and debunks climate change or they wouldn’t be still pushing this mania which is devastating our lives and the economy http://is.gd/IWAlTM
The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is The Obsession With 'Climate Change' Turning Out To Be The Most Costly Scientific Blunder In History? by Christopher Booker

Quiet_Man said...

@ Peter, It has nothing to do with climate change, carbon footprints or any other bits of the farce that is part and parcel of the AGW con, this is a revenue raising scam by the government, for the government.

Unknown said...

WitteringsfromWitney said...
Ahem, I believe Salmond wants his independence and then join the EU?

This whole crazy mania derives from the EU Climate Change Directive, which spawned the the Climate Change Act (UK) which spawned the Climate Change Act (Scotland) which is the driver for all these Carbon Cons and Renewable Targets. Remember when this was passed in Holyrood NO ONE opposed it from ANY Party.

RMcGeddon said...

SR. You should have told the salesman you were 75. At that age you would be 100 before the solar panel renting contract was terminated. Or before the panels 'paid' for themselves if you bought the panels with cash. Oh and while talking to him constantly fein deafness and ask him to speak louder and slower. I do this sometimes if I'm bored.

I'm surprised that you say this 'green deal' won't effect Scotland since we're part of the UK and must follow EU Directives.
Here's the pdf file of the Directive..


Most folk will just get the boiler work done 'cash in hand' rather than wait weeks for an 'accredited' tradesman and the accompanying Inspector with clip board. Heck you would freeze to death before the council gets round to inspecting your property.

RMcGeddon said...

Forgot to say , Mr Booker did a great article about the subject in today's Daily Mail..


I see that new build rural houses will not be allowed to use oil central heating in a years time.
Chip wood boilers or soil heat transfer to keep houses 'carbon neutral'

Brian said...

This is a clumsy way of achieving something worthwhile, ie the upgrading of notoriously badly insulated British housing stock (due to Britain having lots of cheap coal for heating).
The present system of surveys on properties is inadequate (mortgage valuation survey is for the lender, homebuyers' report points out which further surveys are needed, as does the building survey). The Energy Performance Certificate is deeply flawed and simplistic.
Far better would be a survey against current building regulations on sale, with properties meeting the standard receiving a 25% Council Tax rebate.

subrosa said...

They will involve Scotland WfW. It's said the people here support the EU far more that those south of the border, but I would think there would have to be another referendum about EU membership when we get independence. The SNP will not be the only party in town then because the others will quickly U-turn.

subrosa said...

QM, good point. Thanks.

subrosa said...

Peter, I read part of the book but unfortunately had to return it before completed. I really ought to purchase my own copy because there was little with which I could disagree.

Although Scotland has it's own policy, which appallingly was waved through by opposition parties, I foresee both Westminster and Holyrood working together on this. The customers will fund their 'enterprise' while the companies tuck their interest payments into their pension pots.

subrosa said...

Oops, I see you've already mentioned that Peter. Surely it must have been the only policy labour have approved since 2007.

subrosa said...

RM, it's my business now old I am.:) But I do like the thought of feining deafness. Must try that next cold call I receive.

I couldn't find anything on the SG site to say that council approval would be needed before home improvements could be approved RM, hence my comment. But I see you've found a link. Thanks.

The 'cash in hand' business will grow and we could end up with a lot of homes having inferior workmanship. That's sad really.

More to the point, who would willing have the council crawl over their property just because you need a new boiler?

subrosa said...

For new builds there are lots of sensible solutions, but some are expensive and of course developers won't want to use them. So chipwood boilers will be their cheap option.

subrosa said...

Brian, I haven't seen an Energy Performance Certificate as yet so can't comment.

In Scotland much housing is old and thus cavity wall insulation is unsuitable. The alternative is very expensive (as I know to my cost). I couldn't possibly afford to insulate my interior walls because the cost would be around £20,000 and I've no intention of borrowing from any Green bank or anywhere else.

This Green scheme does nothing to encourage people like me to upgrade older property. I've done as much as is necessary to make my home comfortable without getting into debt.

Brian said...

This is what an EPC looks like. It's basic and full of assumptions, ideal for box ticking on a laptop.
External insulation is probably the best solution for solid walls. I wouldn't touch anything with a payback longer than five years unless it's a major refurbishment.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Soon we'll be back where we were in the 50's and 60's, when many older people lived in house which had central heating which was never used (or possibly had been broken for years and just ignored).

They couldn't afford it; they just put on another jumper, filled the hot-water bottle, and got on with life.

I certainly won't be borrowing money to have damaging and un-necessary work carried out, which I don't want, and which will involve all sorts of prodnoses poking about my property.

Just say no thanks.

As for them banning oil-fired heating, it's almost unbelievable - but not quite; they are totally and utterly insane. Please tell me this is a bit of Daily Mail-style exaggeration for effect. Please?

Brian said...

Weekend Yachtsman, wouldn't it be a nice change if the givernment treated homeowners like this favoured group?

Joe Public said...

As usual, I fear the Torygraph (& yeterdays' Daily Fail too) use particularly inappropriate headlines to gain attention.

"Millions of home owners will be forced to pay hundreds of pounds more to ....... replace broken boilers because of "green taxes" "

If you replace an old boiler with a new one, the latter will (inevitably) be more efficient, so the buyer won't have to pay 'extra, green taxes' because boiler itself reduces the building's energy requirement.

[However, for the past few years (?5 or so??) it has been mandatory that the replacement has to be a condensing boiler.]

dognamedblue said...

the "torygraph" [made me giggle anyways] has a piece on what the UN has planned for you next:


all in the name of "greening you up" of course

Brian said...

Joe Public, I've read the section on consequential improvements and the 10% figure (page 37 onwards)in the consultation paper.

RMcGeddon said...

Joe..The new EU Directive gives councils powers to make you upgrade your insulation or whatever they deem necessary when you request permission for a new boiler or conservatory or whatever. The Inspector will visit your property and decide what green improvements are required before you proceed with the new boiler or whatever. They will let you borrow from their green bank to cover the costs. Up to £10,000 I believe.

Joe Public said...

Brian @ 18:04

Thanks for the link.

As the document states at sections:-

"99. It is important to note that if a building had already undergone energy efficiency improvements (a modern boiler, loft insulation, filled cavities), or if it was a relatively new building with a high energy performance, then the strong likelihood is that there would be no further requirement, because it is unlikely that further improvement measures would be technically, functionally or economically feasible."

"112. Where a homeowner replaces a boiler or windows, this is notifiable work, and the performance standards required by the Building Regulations for replacement services and fittings typically result in an improvement in the energy efficiency of the building, unlike an extension which will usually increase the emissions of the building. "

"131. By contrast, domestic gas boilers are installed by Gas Safe registered engineers1 and the majority of domestic window installations and non-gas (e.g. solid fuel or oil) boiler installations are undertaken by members of Competent Persons schemes2. Except in cases where this work forms part of a larger project (e.g. a new kitchen) these installations tend to be standalone jobs. In these cases a building control body has no involvement in the work, though local authorities receive notifications from Competent Person Schemes within 30 days of the work being done."

Elby the Beserk said...

Meanwhile, some all American heroes, made of the right stuff, take issue with the climate fanatics. If Hansen is still in Edinburgh, could one of you fine Scottish people collar the .......


subrosa said...

Thanks for the link Brian. I should think it's understandable to around 1% of the population.

Interesting to see Wrekin Council is now Telford and Wrekin. Used to work there many moons ago.

subrosa said...

That's what will happen WE and more and more folk will stop maintaining their homes because they're too frightened about councils insisting they must 'comply' and thus get into debt.

I'm not sure it is exaggeration.

subrosa said...

Joe, the point you've maybe missed is that it's proposed you get permission from your council before installing a new boiler. How they're going to implement that I've no idea. Then the council would come and inspect your property...

subrosa said...

I read that dognamedblue. Have just watched Jim Hanson on Newsnicht insisting we're all going to dissolve into a pile of lard if we don't spend all our money on reducing emissions. The BBC dedicated the whole programme to his rhetoric.

subrosa said...

Elby, he was here today. You'll see his interview on Iplayer under BBC Scotland Newsnight.

Joe Public said...

SR @ 00:28

No one needs a Council's permission to replace a boiler.

Probably 95% of boiler replacements are Distress Purchases.

Only after the new boiler has been installed must the council be notified of the change.

[Little more than a government Job-Creation Scheme to keep a few JobsWorths off benefits. They add no value whatsoever.]

Elby the Beserk said...

Subrosa - I am not sure I can bear to. I see the likes of Hansen and Mann as enemies of mankind. Why? Well, not just the corruption of science in the name of a political cause (that itself is bad enough), rather that as a result of the likes of he and Mann, trillions have been pissed away which could have gone to real good works. Enough money has been spent - to no intent - to provide clean water supplies for everywhere that need them. Thanks to these fanatics.

pa_broon74 said...

I watched newsnight too, a whole show decicated to this? I don't have any strong views on this, I don't believe a word Hanson said though, I think he's 'done a blair' and started to believe his own press clippings and mania.

He obviously dedicated his life to a certain area of study, a theoretical area of study at that and its proved (not sure if thats the correct word) to be shot full of erroneous assumptions and modeling. I suppose he can't do anything else other than press on regardless or have his life's work rubbished.

Typical newsnight, no proper rebuttal of the main peice then a quick look at the headlines (meaning a bash at the current Scottish Government) by way of a full stop to the show.

As for councils sticking their noses even further into people's business? I couldn't be more against that, they already have far too many powers that need curtailed if anything.

RMcGeddon said...

Joe.."Only after the new boiler has been installed must the council be notified of the change."

If we follow the EU Directives( and we usually gold plate them) then from October the council will have to be informed before the boiler is replaced. Any work done to a business or private residence that will effect it's energy efficiency must be reported to the council so that they can send out an inspector.

Take time to read through the Directive. It's quite plain and easy to read ( for a change )


subrosa said...

Joe, I know I read in the blurb that the council needed to be notified prior to installation. What I wrote in the post was quoted from it.

Don't have time to rake through it all again right now.

Why should the council be told if anyone instals a new boiler? It's nobody's business.

RMcGeddon said...

from article 4..

"Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that minimum energy performance requirements are set for building elements that form part of the building envelope and that have a significant impact on the energy performance of the building envelope when they are replaced or retrofitted, with a view to achieving cost-optimal levels."

subrosa said...

Good decision Elby. No point in increasing our blood pressure.

You're right. So much money wasted by being put into the scammers' hands.

subrosa said...

It was shocking not to have someone with a sceptical view pa_broon. I found it hard to listen to the brainwashed spouting their mantras.

subrosa said...

Ah RM, yes that's the document which I read. Sorry Joe, stated the wrong document in my last reply to you.

RMcGeddon said...

"1. Member States shall adopt and publish, by 9 July 2012 at the latest, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Articles 2 to 18, and with Articles 20 and 27."

The excluded articles are applicable to rental properties etc which have until 2015 to comply. Bless
Mosques and churches are exempt. Funny that.

subrosa said...

I'm afraid I've no intention of telling any council of any small internal changes to my home RM, but I realise that won't be easy for those who want to expand or erect a garage etc.

Maybe it's time the churches moved in and offered consecrations.

RMcGeddon said...

If my boiler explodes SR I might come over all religious and open a mosque here at RMcGeddon Towers ;)

subrosa said...

That could possibly be a lot speedier than waiting for a minister or vicar to do something RM.:)

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