Fatal Advice

As you enjoy the present heat wave that is warming much of the United Kingdom as I write, you might find the temperature uncomfortably hot in your home, if your home has been highly insulated. Insulation is a good way to reduce the use of energy on heat; an uninsulated home emits heat particularly through its roof, and successive governments have encouraged the use of insulation as a means of reducing emissions and energy bills. It is the Government’s major way of reducing energy use in the home and its use is founded on the basis that the easiest and cheapest way to reduce emissions is to conserve energy. Continue reading

The Green Deal is No Deal

The UK government has spent now four years, I think it is four years, in designing a Green Deal. When it was announced the purpose of the Green Deal was to create a means of finance for people who want to invest in energy efficiency and in micro-generation for their own homes. The concept was that there would be a loan to cover the whole cost of all approved measures by approved installers so that householders could borrow very cheaply and repay the loan out of the savings they made over the years. Continue reading

Pussy Footing Around

There is a great deal of big talk about climate change but when it comes to actual measures there is a great deal of pussy footing around. We talk big numbers, in terms of emission reductions, but policy is based on targets, not results, and no politician is prepared to mandate measures to prevent climate change. The government’s Green Deal is a classic example of what I mean. Conceived by the Labour Government the Green Deal was conceived as a way of enabling those who wanted to fit home insulation to be able to do so with soft loans that are paid for out of energy savings, financed by a levy on electricity bills. Continue reading

Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Solar – some inaccurate stuff about solar

On 26th June the Mail on Sunday published an article in its “Live” supplement about solar, both the electricity generating kind and the thermal heat producing kind. It claimed to tell you everything you ever wanted to know about solar roof tiles and unfortunately not only failed miserably in its claim but was full of errors, so perhaps a better title would be “ Some inaccurate stuff about solar”. Continue reading

Standard Assessment Procedure and Reduced Data Standard Assessment Procedure – flawed tools in the toolbox

One of the reasons why the microgeneration of energy (which is the use of small household technologies to generate energy which is created and used on site) is employed so infrequently is that there is little government support of it in the United Kingdom. Microgeneration is wrongly seen as a lifestyle choice, rather than an environmental imperative. As microgeneration industries have grown in the United Kingdom, government incentives have been introduced (also in the case of some important technologies they have been turned on and off, creating instability. The second reason is that the ordinary consumer cannot be sure about its value, because the government approved methodologies for calculating the benefits are deeply flawed. Continue reading

The Green Deal needs a small but essential fix

The Renewable Heat Incentive will enable householders to pay for the cost of their solar thermal and similar installations from the savings that they will make over a ten year period. The way that fuel prices are rising many people will find themselves financially better off within the first ten years and having had the equipment pay for itself will enjoy tax free savings for up to a further twenty years. Continue reading

Protecting renewable energy consumers in the Green Deal

If clean renewable energy technologies are to gain consumer confidence and understanding, it is terribly important that consumers are not mis-sold when they come to by, and the government seems to understand this well. Its new “Green Deal” (a name which they borrowed from the Green Party) will come into operation in stages and will be fully up and running in 2012. In order to protect the public from unscrupulous practises there will be three measures:- Continue reading

How Green Was the Budget?

On Wednesday the British Finance Minister, who is rather grandly called the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced the budget for the coming financial year. I have never understood why it is called a budget because a principle of every budget it that it should balance. The economies of the world’s developed nations rarely have balanced budgets; it is all about borrowing and more borrowing. I always look at the budget measures from an environmental perspective, so how green is this budget? Continue reading

Waiting for renewables

Mr Greg Barker, the United Kingdom’s climate change minister, is concerned that there is what he calls “a lot of resistance” by householders to fit renewable energy measures. His department proposes incentives to enable householders to do this. The most popular  form of renewable energy, solar water heating, which can be easily retrofitted to most homes and where the home itself will enjoy the savings in terms of money and emissions, will soon benefit from incentives under the renewable heat incentive, the details of which Mr Barker’s department has yet to publish. Continue reading

Mr Huhne’s Green Deal – but don’t hold your breath

Mr Huhne is the Secretary of State for Energy & Climate change in the United Kingdom. This post was previously held by Mr Ed Miliband, who is now leader of the opposition. I can only hope, for the sake of the environment, that Mr Huhne makes a better fist of the job than his predecessor. Continue reading