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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

PLEASE NOTE: A download link for Volume 1 will be sent to you by email and Volume 2 will be sent to you by post as a book.

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    • CommentTimeAug 14th 2021
    Posted By: revorI have diligently been changing my halogen floods around my buildings with LED. This year 3 of the recent ones have failed at less than 3 years old. I have a couple of halogen ones left in use 12 years old still functioning even thought they are looking a bit tatty as paint has flaked off. Guess I made more damage to the planet by making the switch to LED.

    Full marks to you for your campaign/crusade. I have a house full of GU10 LEDs and haven't had a single failure yet after six years (all Crompton). But you're also using electricity with your halogens and that has a CO2 cost.

    Similarly with solar PV. You'd have to look at the lifetime figures to see whether a solar panel made using coal-power was a net cost or benefit. Please do that before making claims about global increases in CO2.
    Conversely, a PV panel or wind turbine installed in China would be really helpful as it displaces high carbon power. In the UK the benefit is decreasing, as the grid decarbonises here, and the installed cost per panel/turbine is more expensive here because they are manufacturing/installing vast numbers already.

    If UK taxpayers had £1000 earmarked to subsidise some PV, we'd get more CO2 reductions for our money if we paid for some more panels to be installed in China, than installing them in the UK. Kind of the reverse of emissions offshoring.
    • CommentAuthorjms452
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2021
    Marginal carbon emissions seem like a clever way of driving some very stupid behaviour.

    It takes some very simple maths that most can understand and and turns it into much more complicated differential system that may even need invisible expert knowledge to work out emissions. To me it rings of some of the less transparent accounting practices that big companies game leading to scandal after scandal.

    Electrification of the grid is needed for all zero carbon scenarios afaik and needs both electric demand and renewable supply. Renewable generation is already gated on demand (it will only be built when it will definitely be needed) so also gating new electricity demand on available renewable supply (which is where marginal emissions are leading) creates a catch-22 that potentially delays everything.

    I can see marginal emissions calculations being very popular among carbon accountants, big business and anyone who wants to justify inaction.
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2021
    Individual response to climate change? I wonder. I live in a block of 44 flats. Only 8 of those, mine included, cook on electricity, the rest use bottled gas. Where I live we don't need winter heating so the change over from gas to electric would be relatively simple. Except.

    The price of electricity during this August for a variety of reasons has risen to €11.39 per kWh. Aside from that anomalous increase in price, changing over to electricity would imply for many the additional cost of the supply tariff increase based on anticipated maximum load.

    I imagine you would have to subsidise through a very generous grant to persuade my neighbours to make this sacrifice for the good of the planet and I can already hear the plaintiff cry, "My changing over isn't going to make much of a difference so why should I bother?"

    Welcome to an increased 2º C world.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2021
    Posted By: marktime€11.39 per kWh
    That's … quite a lot. Do you mean €0.1139/kWh (i.e, 11.39 eurocents - if so, that's pretty cheap) or is something else going on?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2021
    Posted By: marktimeIndividual response to climate change? I wonder.
    Posted By: revorYou do not know where goods are made it is not declared, goodness I have tried.
    Individual efforts are commendable, but we've gone way past the point where individual effort can turn this around. Only national and international action can implement change on the necessary scale.
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2021
    Ooops, Ed! That's €114.39/MWh or as you say, €0.11439/kWh. Previous months we paid on average €0.09/kWh.
    • CommentTimeAug 15th 2021
    Posted By: marktimeOoops, Ed! That's €114.39/MWh or as you say, €0.11439/kWh. Previous months we paid on average €0.09/kWh.

    I don't remember where you are, sorry, but as Ed said, that sounds remarkably cheap. And you say it is expensive. Is there a standing charge? How do tariffs work where you are?
    • CommentAuthormarktime
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2021
    I live in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and among the many things I enjoy here is a VAT equivalent of 7%.

    My last bill for electricity indicates I used 195 kWh over 32 days, a fraction below my average use over the year. The cost was €53.45, about €10 higher than my average monthly bill of €43.

    It breaks down to the following; 33% supply contract costs, 60% energy usage and 7% for renewable energy tax, meter rental and VAT.

    Is my energy cheap? Probably not compared to someone cooking on gas and heating hot water with a gas boiler.
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2021
    Posted By: Ed DaviesDo you mean €0.1139/kWh (i.e, 11.39 eurocents - if so, that's pretty cheap)
    For comparison, in France my base rate is €0.0931/kWh, though that rises to €0.1502/kWh after additional charges & 20% VAT. Plus fixed charges of €12.91/month, including 5.5% VAT.

    Marktime's 195 kWh bill would therefore work out about €1/month cheaper in France, while at my UK rates (converted to euro) it would cost about €13 more.

    Which suggests that it's the UK rates which are expensive, despite the UK's low 5% VAT rate.
    • CommentAuthorowlman
    • CommentTimeAug 16th 2021
    I came across this the other day whilst looking to change supplier.

    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2021
    Posted By: Mike1
    osted By: revorYou do not know where goods are made it is not declared, goodness I have tried.
    Individual efforts are commendable, but we've gone way past the point where individual effort can turn this around. Only national and international action can implement change on the necessary scale.

    My reasons are several fold CO2 being one, Quality, I spend so much time sorting out issues and at my age don't have the time to waste and thirdly I do not want my hard earned money going to an authoritarian regime that puts up 2 fingers to human rights and runs roughshod over anyone who dares complain.
    I am lobbying my MP to get all goods labelled with country of origin so I, and others can make a choice but not been successful in getting any result yet.

    The web is full of reports like this one here. Buying from China just increases demand. If there was no demand there would be no need for so many dirty power stations. China promises to be net zero by 2060 I think I read. It will be too late.

    • CommentTimeAug 18th 2021
    An interesting twist on ToryGov's heel-dragging:

    "Johnson had claimed his government would achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 with policies such as stripping out gas boilers and switching to electric or hydrogen cars. But a Treasury review of the costs has been delayed since the spring with Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, said to be increasingly concerned that the costs would make the policy politically toxic in the “red wall” seats won by the Conservatives in December 2019."


    "“This is a travesty because the working class in the UK’s most deprived communities are harmed by climate emergency more than any other [UK] people,” she said. “This is a social justice issue and the government needs to stop using the working class as a political football to kick around and a convenient excuse to not to live up to its word.”"

    "The quickest way for government to achieve net zero targets, argued Jamie Driscoll, the mayor for North of Tyne, would be by devolving funds and powers to mayoral combined authorities. “We are efficient and know how to make things happen quickly in our local areas”"
    There have just been (largely unreported) auction rounds in England and Scotland for another 18-20GW of offshore wind, enough to replace the legacy nuclear power stations many times over. I don't think the public have heard enough about the truly amazing build-out of offshore wind that is going on in UK, compared to the acres of coverage that were devoted to a single 3GW nuclear station at HPC.

    The results of the Scottish offshore wind license auction are out today and I will upgrade my adjective from 'amazing' to 'incredible'.

    They had expected to award licenses for 10GW, but the auction was many-times oversubscribed and they have accepted bids for 25GW, in addition to 8GW licenced in the English auction last year.

    Over half the bids are for floating wind farms, another game changer.

    For comparison, Scotland currently has ~10GW of wind capacity, mostly onshore, and 2GW of hydro. So this auction is for a huge expansion of renewables.

    Brilliant news, can't understand why this isn't on all the front pages!
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