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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
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      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    Has anybody looked at the government's Simple Energy Advice website:

    https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/energy-efficiency/reduce-bills

    I just filled in their assessment and it came up with complete rubbish suggestions! Fit a new gas main (that won't cost anything!). Replace my doors (200 year payback according to them). Fit solar thermal and solar PV. etc etc.

    I'd be interested to know if it comes up with equally silly suggestions for other people or if it's just because I live in an unusual house.
  1.  
    What kind of advice are you hoping they could sensibly give, without a survey?

    You could try Energy saving trust, they used to have an online assessment?

    But very few energy saving measures actually payback money, apart from the usual 'turn down the thermostat and take shorter showers' stuff. Loft insulation perhaps?
    • CommentAuthorvord
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    I've got an older house. I've been adding insulation as I've been going around fixing it up. It's a pain as ground levels aren't where you might want them everywhere and modern muppets have tended to try to waterproof exterior walls so that needs fixing before insulating inside.

    They nagged me on the windows and true enough I still haven't finished the secondary glazing. I doubt the conservation officer would be happy with me replacing the original door with UPVC. There is a draught lobby that fixes that. I'll keep on going around and doing things where sensible.

    It always amazes me there is never any account for water content in the walls. My house warmed up enormously when I removed the waterproof paints from the outside face of the bricks and repointed them with lime. Soaking wet bricks are poor thermal insulators and bone dry bricks mean they overestimate my energy consumption by 2 times.
    • CommentAuthorrevor
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: djhHas anybody looked at the government's Simple Energy Advice website:

    https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/energy-efficiency/reduce-bills" rel="nofollow" >https://www.simpleenergyadvice.org.uk/energy-efficiency/reduce-bills

    I tried it did not work looks like it gets address from an EPC database somewhere There is no EPC for my property.

    Posted By: WillInAberdeenYou could try Energy saving trust, they used to have an online assessment?


    I tried this a few years ago when we were planning our build. Played around with putting different boilers in and a pellet boiler gave me an A rating and LPG boiler a B rating. As due to other improvements we were not planning to use much energy we went for the LPG. Think it would probably give me a different answer now. I cringe when I hear on the news how much some people are paying to heat their home, insulation insulation and more insulation has to be the answer a once off cost but very difficult to do with most houses and I am left wondering just how as a nation we are going to reduce our energy use.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    No 1 is reduce energy use, turn off or turn it down, draught proof (rarely mentioned), insulate, for starters
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenWhat kind of advice are you hoping they could sensibly give, without a survey?

    I'm not hoping for anything, except perhaps Simple Energy Advice, whatever that is, even if it's 'get a survey'. What I am hoping for is what I asked. And I'm also hoping that if the government has funded the provision of a website that it provides something useful. I'm not asking about any other website nor indeed am I seeking suggestions for my own house.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 8th 2021
     
    Posted By: tonyNo 1 is reduce energy use, turn off or turn it down, draught proof (rarely mentioned), insulate, for starters

    Any information relevant to my question?
    • CommentAuthorMike1
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021 edited
     
    Tried it and the suggestions are sensible though, as the site suggests, the advice is indeed simple.

    However the cost estimate - £1,200 for the whole house - to 'upgrade double glazing' would only buy the cheapest PVC windows imaginable. It cost about that to replace just one window with decent quality softwood, including fitting.

    £1K for replacement doors is similarly well off.
  2.  
    @DJH, can you clarify what you are trying to achieve here, then someone might help you?

    You want some simple energy advice, but you don't want to improve your own home?

    Are you looking on behalf of someone else - Tony's list would be a good start - what is their home like?

    If you just want to complain about some website, try see if they have a 'feedback' link, but I wouldn't have high expectations of what advice could be delivered that way.
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: djh

    I'd be interested to know if it comes up with equally silly suggestions for other people or if it's just because I live in an unusual house.


    The site accessed our currently valid EPC which notes we have solar thermal and PV. After answering all the questions the site suggested to turn the thermostat down and...........fit solar PV! Ive no idea if the site can pick out the detail from the EPC but I cant see the point of linking to the EPC if it cant pick out the detail and make sensible suggestions.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeen@DJH, can you clarify what you are trying to achieve here, then someone might help you?

    I think I was pretty clear. Other folks seem to have understood.
  3.  
    The link in the OP is for England. In Scotland, the equivalent website is https://homeenergyscotland-advice.est.org.uk/

    If you don't have a Scottish postcode, you could try it out by using: 6 Charlotte Square, EH2 4DR

    Then, the more details you enter about your (actual) home, the more accurate the advice gets. They suggested I could fit an EV charger and linked to some local sources of funding, which seems like fairly good advice.

    They keep steering you towards letting someone come round and look at your house (but you will actually need to be in Scotland for this).
    • CommentAuthorJeff B
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Recently on the BBC Wales TV evening news they did a story under the banner headline how householders could save up to 50% of their home energy costs. They interviewed a couple who have installed solar PV and who extolled the virtues of such a system which was fair enough. IIRC the couple did not specifically claim that having solar PV panels saved them 50% of their energy usage. I would love to meet a householder anywhere in Wales who has saved 50% of their home energy usage by installing solar PV! Maybe if they already live in a PassivHaus, well....

    The whole item was a classic case of snake oil selling albeit probably unintentional on the part of the journalists concerned.
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021 edited
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenThe link in the OP is for England. In Scotland, the equivalent website ishttps://homeenergyscotland-advice.est.org.uk/" rel="nofollow" >https://homeenergyscotland-advice.est.org.uk/

    If you don't have a Scottish postcode, you could try it out by using: 6 Charlotte Square, EH2 4DR

    Then, the more details you enter about your (actual) home, the more accurate the advice gets. They suggested I could fit an EV charger and linked to some local sources of funding, which seems like fairly good advice.

    They keep steering you towards letting someone come round and look at your house (but you will actually need to be in Scotland for this).

    Thanks. That's interesting; the Scottish site is produced by the EST whereas the site I referenced claims to be 'government' and doesn't give any hint it isn't UK-wide unless you type in a Scottish postcode (and maybe a Welsh or NI one?). It says:

    "This site has been developed in conjunction with the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy. Recommendations you receive using the services on this site, are based on standards developed for Government as a way of understanding how houses and flats use energy, and how your home’s energy use could be improved." No geographic limitation there, and no real indication of who actually developed it or is responsible for it. But a clear claim of UK government.

    Interestingly if you go to the EST site https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/ and look at their Energy Savings Tools https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/energy-at-home/energy-tools-and-calculators/ it says "Location notice - Please note that this page contains information and links most relevant for people living in Scotland." But they don't explain why their advice is geographically restricted and in fact claim "We are committed to supporting the devolved governments of the United Kingdom with their own energy saving policies. Our teams are based in London, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast to reflect this approach." No pointers to the Scottish site you linked to either.

    It all seems pretty mixed up.

    edit: Just to add that they do have a feedback link and I had submitted a detailed response to their advice. I'm looking forward to seeing if they respond.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: djh: “…whereas the site I referenced claims to be 'government' and doesn't give any hint it isn't UK-wide unless you type in a Scottish postcode…”

    Well, yes, that sort of thing happens all the time. E.g.,

    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/building-regulations-and-approved-documents-index

    Not exactly bleedin' obvious that this gov.uk site is only for England. If you didn't know better you might think this would erk people who live in other countries in the UK. /s
  4.  
    You'd maybe wonder if folk in Scotland were irritated by all that talk in the 'national' media and by the British government about "net zero in 2050"...

    https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/net-zero-by-2045-how-scotland-is-tackling-the-climate-emergency/
    • CommentAuthorphiledge
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Quote from the EST link above
    "And in 2018, Scottish Power became the first major UK energy company to generate all its electricity from wind"

    Puzzled as to how Scottish Powers customers managed a few weeks ago when there was calm across the UK, I had a look on their web site where the energy mix table shows they only generate 40% from renewables!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: Ed DaviesNot exactly bleedin' obvious that this gov.uk site is only for England.

    ???

    You mean apart from the big highlighted banner very near the top saying "Applies to England"?
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: WillInAberdeenYou'd maybe wonder if folk in Scotland were irritated by all that talk in the 'national' media and by the British government about "net zero in 2050"...

    https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/net-zero-by-2045-how-scotland-is-tackling-the-climate-emergency/" rel="nofollow" >https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/net-zero-by-2045-how-scotland-is-tackling-the-climate-emergency/

    Fascinating. I certainly hadn't heard that Scotland had set a more ambitious legally-binding target. So thanks for the heads up. And demerits all-round to the press for apparently not reporting it. (apologies if I've been blind :) And now I'll be watching closely to see how Scotland leads us into the promised land (and how they account for energy supply etc).
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021
     
    Posted By: philedgeQuote from the EST link above
    "And in 2018, Scottish Power became the first major UK energy company to generate all its electricity from wind"

    Puzzled as to how Scottish Powers customers managed a few weeks ago when there was calm across the UK, I had a look on their web site where the energy mix table shows they only generate 40% from renewables!!!

    Yeah, that's the kind of thing I'll be interested in following. I know there's a lot of wind generation in Scotland but a lot of it is exported to England, so how is that accounted for etc.

    How do you pronounce 'greenwash' in Scottish?

    And especially what's with this EST / Scots mutual admiration society? Follow the money says there's something deep and dirty involved.
  5.  
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/oct/16/scottish-power-wind-drax-sale-uk-energy-firms

    "Scottish Power has ditched fossil fuels for **electricity generation** and switched to 100% wind power, by selling off its last remaining gas power stations to Drax for more than £700m.

    "Iberdrola, Scottish Power’s **Spanish parent company**, said...


    ** = my emphasis
    •  
      CommentAuthordjh
    • CommentTimeOct 9th 2021 edited
     
    Excellent, thanks! From the same article:

    "However, the company’s 5 million domestic customers will still be supplied with a mix of green and brown electricity, with some bought from other coal and gas power plant operators."

    I suspect **greenwash** is a more important concept in this case than the nationality of the owners, though I'm sure the comfort of distance adds to their wellbeing :)

    edit: the Drax b'tards must be feeling well-pleased with their acquisition at the moment.
    • CommentAuthorEd Davies
    • CommentTimeOct 10th 2021
     
    Posted By: djhYou mean apart from the big highlighted banner very near the top saying "Applies to England"?
    Oops, I actually missed that. Comes of skipping so much fluff on so many web sites, I suppose - anything which isn't obviously body text just gets ignored.

    Still, it does look like an afterthought. I wonder if it was added after similar complaints.
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