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With all the green proposals for a zero carbon UK being planned,  it appears the issue of home heating could explode in our faces.   The theory suggests that gas central heating must go and homes better insulated to compensate for reduced capacity green heating systems.   However costs may prove astronomical and take up limited. So where is this vision of a zero carbon future going to go ?    :rolleyes:

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When I did all the modifications to our house making it open plan, I was concerned that it might make it feel colder but the amount of insulation that went in just to comply with modern building regs, especially under the floor, has made the whole place much warmer than it was before. I probably went over the top a bit with what I did so I doubt any simple remedial insulation measures would get anywhere near to achieving the sort of savings we have seen

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I’d never have considered using electrical heating while gas was so comparatively cheap but if that has to go and get replaced with something like a hi-tech heat pump then because my insulation is good, I doubt it’s going to make a lot of difference to my bills.  

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In short, better insulation can drastically reduce energy consumption but there will be limits to what can be done with many of the older houses .

 

Bill 😊

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And I believe that if you fit a heat pump it will have paid for itself in only 50 years 😉

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2 hours ago, Bill said:

When I did all the modifications to our house making it open plan, I was concerned that it might make it feel colder but the amount of insulation that went in just to comply with modern building regs, especially under the floor, has made the whole place much warmer than it was before. I probably went over the top a bit with what I did so I doubt any simple remedial insulation measures would get anywhere near to achieving the sort of savings we have seen

 

I’d never have considered using electrical heating while gas was so comparatively cheap but if that has to go and get replaced with something like a hi-tech heat pump then because my insulation is good, I doubt it’s going to make a lot of difference to my bills.  

 

In short, better insulation can drastically reduce energy consumption but there will be limits to what can be done with many of the older houses .

 

Bill 😊

Heat pumps for most will have to be air sourced since we can't get the wherewithal to drill for ground sourced into place. If I remember correctly the efficiency is just over 200% so take the number of kWh you use in gas each year and remember the cost estimate for the year from your last annual statement. Now halve the number of kWh then multiply by the cost per kWh for electricity and divide by the cost per kWh for gas. Subtract from that number the amount per year you pay for gas according to the statement, that is the extra cost per year.

Remember too that the water temperature from a heat pump is less than the 70 degrees you get to heat the radiators with gas so you will need to make the radiators bigger, ie replace them all, or you will be much colder for more cost. Time for some of that expensive whisky perhaps?

 

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But the electricity will be free won't it, from all that free wind and free sunshine? Plus the government will be paying for the installation costs and extra insulation from the Magic Money Tree? All we'll have to do is decide how to spend all our savings 😉

And we won't have any Council Tax to pay because of all the income WBC will get from their Green Investments.

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The house I’m in at the moment is a dormer type bungalow (semi) and was built about 55 years ago but prior to that we lived in a conventional semi just thirty years older and that place was always cold. Building standards now are heavily focused towards insulation efficiency so today’s newbuilds are probably twice as efficient as mine at keeping the heat in.

I couldn’t believe how good my underfloor insulation worked out. I get up of a morning and walk bare footed into the kitchen and it feels like we have underfloor heating. The bathroom floor on the other hand is always freezing cold. The slab of concrete is six inches thick and sits on top of five inches of insulation and so acts like a giant storage heater, holding the heat from the previous day.

As for heat pumps, well my new combi boiler was only installed three years ago so I guess that’ll be staying for now. If the price of gas was to rise significantly, I might rethink the situation but it’d have to rise a lot as I’m not quite that full blown eco-warrior that some think I am.

The easy answer is to scrap the old houses and move into all those new flats in the town then you’ve only got one outside wall to worry about.  

The whiskeys all gone btw, didn't even last the week out.

 

Bill 😊

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So if they are going the route of getting rid of gas central heating, why do i keep getting calls on free boiler replacement on a government scheme?

They all seem genuinely flummoxed when i patiently explain to them that Not only do i not have a boiler as i do not have central heating.

Next door neighbour has just had gas central heating fitted at no cost to him under the government scheme.

I do not qualify as i am not on any benefits or anything else on the criteria list, Mind you growing up in a house that used to ice up on the inside every winter and then riding a motor bike to work has toughened me up somewhat when it come to cold weather.

Having to walk a dog twice a day everyday helped as well, rain dog got walked, snow,dog got walked, zombie apocalypse dog got walked.

 

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We’re made of stronger stuff up north Sid, not at all like the softies down south. My biggest problem is with my wife getting old and always feeling the cold a lot more than me. Maybe it’s time to trade her in for a younger model, purely to save energy of course.

And if your house is so cold Sid, adding insulation might help it to stay cold a bit like a fridge. :)

Just a thought about these hi-tech heat pumps; if they suck heat energy from the outside air will that bring down global temperatures?

 

Bill 😊

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An interesting report on Sky News this morning claimed that 25% of people were not in favour of taking any personal steps to help with the environmental issues, although I suppose it’d depend on how the questions was asked. I’ve just crossed swords with a crazy person on Facebook who suggested we should give up our cars and walk more or use busses. Maybe he was one of our local road planners or member of the green party but it’s this sort of one-sided extreme thinking that puts a lot of people off.

I’ve never been a believer that we should give up on our modern lifestyles to live in a cardboard box, huddling round a candle for warmth. We should be able to resolve many of the environmental problems without having to give up too much at all. It certainly wont happen overnight but as new technologies evolve our power consumption and pollution levels will always drop. Just about everything in our homes and cars these days is infinitely more efficient and less polluting, and we’ve achieved this without becoming eco warriors or even noticing it happening.

The same will be true with heat pumps, we’ll all eventually end up using them just like we did with LED lights which were also expensive but lasted longer and used a whole lot less power. I think people will go down this line not to save the planet but because it can save them money, especially if the price of gas were to increase.

 

Bill 😊

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One of the greatest problems with all these earth saving ideas is that the man in the street can't afford them.

As for the idea about using buses & walking more ,that is a great idea. We just need the powers that be to provide a joined up ,efficient & effective public transport system that is affordable to the public. Anything that reduces harmful exhaust fumes has to be good.

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But the point I’m trying to make Davy is that we’re all saving the planet, it’s just that we don’t recognise the fact. The chances are that if you’re using a PC for your reply and it’s not prehistoric, then it’s probably only using a tenth of what it would have been using ten years ago and it’s exactly the same with Observers new telly. The technology has got so much better in everything we use in the home or in the cars we drive but it’s all completely invisible to us.

As for the busses, yes we need them because not everyone has a car but they’re not a perfect solution especially living on the outskirts of a town. I look at it this way, I could save the planet by swapping my petrol car for a none polluting electric one or I could walk to the bus stop and wait in the pouring rain for a bus. Both solutions work but I don’t accept the argument that we should only use busses simply because it’s unfair to those who can’t afford a car.

As long as we live in a capitalist society, there’ll always be inequalities. The heat pump is more expensive so only the more affluent get to benefit from the energy savings. But if this is the direction that we’re destined to go then two things need to happen. The price of a heat pump needs to drop but that should happen as the numbers and competition increases and secondly, the government needs to provide financial assistance for heat pumps in the way they do now for electric vehicles.

It’s all bit academic though if all our planet saving technology ends up being made in bloody China.

 

Bill 😊

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But all this has to happen by 2050 (I think?) in order to achieve a zero carbon future, so I don't think it'll bother any of us !  💀  The green fanatics may want us on busses and bikes, but alas the great majority want to motor everywhere in their own little metal box, and will no doubt cling on to their petrol and diesel types for as long as possible.  Home insulation won't be affordable or effective in 100yo houses and so won't get done.  Remember the 20mph limits round town, cost a bomb but proved meaningless waste of money on roads that were already traffic calmed; now there are Councils blocking off streets to traffic, thus diverting more cars down those streets still open.   :rolleyes:

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Saving the planet, aka stopping climate change. Even if you accept the, frankly absurd, idea that we can have any control over the climate, what climate do we want? Do we want to halt the climate where it is now with its droughts, floods, hurricanes, polar vortexes, heatwaves, unseasonal blizzards, etc, or would we prefer the climate of 100 years ago with its droughts, floods, hurricanes, polar vortexes, heatwaves, unseasonal blizzards etc, or perhaps the climate of 500 years ago with its droughts, floods, hurricanes, polar vortexes, heatwaves, unseasonal blizzards etc, or maybe the climate of 1000 years ago with its droughts, floods, hurricanes, polar vortexes, heatwaves, unseasonal blizzards etc.......................I could go on but you may see my point. Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose as the French might say, humans are never happy and can't see beyond the ends of their noses. Things will improve but only at a sustainable rate. What is the point of making the ICE illegal if the only alternative is electric vehicles which require batteries that can only be manufactured by making parts of the planet (allegedly our "precious" planet) uninhabitable and killing of the previous inhabitants of those parts? The same could be said about the bird mincers windmills and solar panels which also require the use of materials which damage the very ecosystems which they are supposedly saving. Climate change is real, but only because that is what climate does and has always done, and making me give up my central heating boiler in the vain hope that it will somehow "save the planet" when the planet isn't in any danger from us puny humans is a joke.

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I think the zero-emission target for the UK will be hit well before 2050. Looking at the progress graphs, we’re doing far better every single year than we were originally expecting so much so I’d put money on us reaching the target by 2035 if not sooner. All the car companies have pulled electrification forward so much that very soon there will be no other choice. There’ll be some that’ll try to hang on to their old cars, but their contribution will be negligible on the grand scale of things.

As for the old houses, they can be made a lot better at a cost but people won’t want to do it because it wouldn’t be reflected in the sale price. Someone’s just moving in a couple of doors from me and they’ve had so much work done on the house the builder told me they’re not that far off the cost of a full rebuild to modern standards.

Asp. I’ve never been 100% convinced that the warming we’re seeing is all down to human activity however I don’t deny the fact that we’ve been emitting a lot of CO2 and that won’t have helped. But for me it’s not just some theoretical notion about saving the planet but also an ideal opportunity to make the world a better place to live in, and the best thing is that we can achieve this without making me stand in the rain waiting for a bus.

 

Bill 😊

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But if enough people took a bus ,we could get many cars off the road ,cars which are allegedly helping to strangle earth's eco systems but more importantly are producing more hazard to public health than the covid pandemic. Perhaps workers should be furloughed in order to reduce the pollutant emissions that cause so many deaths.

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I hear what you’re saying Davy, but I think we both know that in reality that’s never going to happen. Even if we could make a mega efficient national bus service with none polluting vehicles, it’d take so long to put into place that by that time, most of the cars would already be electrified. We’d be moving people from one none polluting form of transport to another with no net CO2 reduction but with a great loss of practicality and convenience.

The technology is moving so fast now it’s hard to keep track, but I’m convinced there’ll be answers to all our current problems. The biggest argument about electric cars was the batteries with their heavy metals and toxins but these are already being phased out and replaced with more efficient and environmentally friendly materials. They don’t explode or catch fire anymore, that’s real progress. 

So having nailed just about all of the issues, what do the critics come up with, brake dust particulates and tyre wear, seriously? In a recent WWW news report, some local MP was banging on about the need to spend more money on expensive equipment to monitor the particulate levels in our town. He made the point that because electric vehicles are heavier, they produce more harmful brake dust. Aside from the fact that most of the braking on an electric car is done by the motor rather than the brakes, any that does get released is now minimised by a recently developed brake pad material that gives enhanced braking with almost no dust.

 

Bill 😊

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I don't understand the obsession with CO2 (AKA "plant food") which is at historic low levels on geological scales. It's at around 400PPM at the moment, at below 200PPM all plant life would die which would sort out our climate change worries because we would die off too.

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I don’t fully understand it either and 400ppm doesn’t sound a lot of anything but just like the pandemic we form our own opinions but need to follow the advice of those that do know.

Clearly the planet has seen huge changes in CO2 in its history and yet we’re still here but here’s the rub. If people are prepared to believe what the scientists say has happened in the past, then why would they doubt what the same scientists are saying now? You either believe in the science or you don’t, you can’t believe it in one part that suits your argument then reject it where it doesn’t.  

For years, I was once one of the greatest sceptics and would often be quoting stuff like expansion of airport runways creating larger heat islands right where the weather data was collected. Eventually though, it finally sinks in that it’s not just me that knows this, and the experts would have already allowed for it. But look, forget about all the numbers and theories and just take a long look at what’s happening with the long-term weather trends and you’d have to be blind not to notice how things are changing.

That’s the last of my beer gone so that’s me done for the night in a very quiet house.

 

Bill 😊

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42 minutes ago, Bill said:

Eventually though, it finally sinks in that it’s not just me that knows this, and the experts would have already allowed for it. But look, forget about all the numbers and theories and just take a long look at what’s happening with the long-term weather trends and you’d have to be blind not to notice how things are changing.

 

Bill 😊

The problem is that the temperatures of the past are being continually revised. Also remember that you have to compare today's weather with that of 50 years ago, so they revise those numbers to make the point they want. There are many more places to measure so it is likely that records will be continuously broken by that mechanism alone. I am afraid that the experts are driving an agenda and it isn't just about climate.

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