Are you "Green"

  Diemmess 16:57 25 Oct 2004

In our government's pipeline is a scheme to require anyone applying for planning permission to improve a building with a cost > £8000, to be required first to make the property energy-efficient.

Apparently a civil service minion will call and assess what must be done according to a check-list.......... BBC Working Lunch today screened a "dummy" version of the visit.

The girl proudly pointed to a mobile phone charger claiming that whether or not the phone was in for charging, current was being used just the same. --- (.01 watts???).

The survey summarised a saving of about £70 p/a, but what was not said was the capital cost to correct matters. I would make a wild guess at >£3000.

The young surveyor was clearly working from a simple checklist drawn up by some other minion who was wanting to do something else......It reminded me of some of the less useful helplines which go round and round a multi-guess loop until it is obvious that it has all been a waste of time.

It was a story of fit new fridge/freezers, boiler, thermostats on every radiator, 8" now of roof insulation, double glazing throughout...... and so on. Computers of course like the TV must be off, not just on standby.

There are various meanings for Green!

  georgemac 17:22 25 Oct 2004

I try to be as environmemtally friendly as possible or green, I try to recycle as much as possible.

This civil servant will probably travel to the house on her own in a car and do more damage to the environment than good.

Everything that they want to do to new buildings to make them environmentally efficient can be built into the planning and building regulations - this will then be checked by the architect/building inspector and there will be no need for a jobsworth doing nothing.

As for taking an old building up to the new standards, this in may cases will be impossible. I would say as long as the new extension is environmentally efficient and meets the regs this should be good enough - why only make people who want to spend money improving their home make the whole building enviromentally efficient - what applies to one should apply to all?

Given the ever increasing cost of fuel and electricity, I see nothing wrong with trying to educate people how to use less, it will save them money & help the environment.

When my house was built 4" of loft insulation was required. This week I ma going to finish off increasing it all to 8".

My 4 year old sun lounge has glass wool under the floor - that is one floor I never want to have to crawl underneath!

  Diemmess 17:33 25 Oct 2004

OK - but please put the "use/cost" to the planet's resources in manufacturing new energy efficient appliances into the equation. Also the inefficient use of fossil fuel to generate electricity (when it is then used for heating), be it for plastics or steel making.

I'm an unashamed sceptic when our Whitehall masters come up with something like this. In this case, being green is next door to being foolish.

  end 17:40 25 Oct 2004

I am "green " in that I have a white car ( well a bit grey now as it needs a good wash)that runs on "green" fuel;
but, on the other tack, I keep on getting "green" bills estimating the amount of gas and electricity I do or do not use;

having been at my property for several years and have , therby, built up a picture of my "usual useage " of those products, it still amazes me that, each time the "estimate" arrives, I can guarrantee almost 100% that my gas bill will be grosssly ( and I MEAN grossly)overstated; they will not allow me to NOT have gas fired central heating,nor to not use my gas cooker every day, or to not have masses of appliances requiring huge amouts of electricity to be consumed.

I have even explained by phone ( how stupid of me!!) that I do NOT have these things...but to no avail; they just will NOT have it that I do not use the gas that I do not use::))))

  Diemmess 17:51 25 Oct 2004

georgemac - agree with almost everything you say.

Have lived in an "improved cottage" for some years since retirement. New extension was up to date, and all sorts of other items were included.
However, I help to keep the last Welsh anthracite pit in business by using an ageing anthracite gravity feed boiler. It is proving very efficient and at least without a recommended condensing boiler, I an not stuck for hot water when the water pressure fails.

The roof space has 4" covered by chipboard and wodges of might-be-useful bits which add cost free insulation!

end: I am close to an A road. I and about 2000 people live between nearest gas supplies -6 miles one way and 4 miles the other...... Transco have us firmly on the back burner. Of course I get phone spam offering to to save me zillions if I pay through British Gas instead of the admittedly expensive N-Power. 'Seems I was wise to ignore their promises.

  Dorsai 17:53 25 Oct 2004

Throwing out a load of domestic appliances that still work, and fitting new glazing when there is nothing wrong with the old single glazing would strike me as more of a waste than a saving.

All that i would have thought necessary was to make it mandatory for all New glazing to be double, and all New appliance to meet certain requirements re efficiency.

Loft insulation is fair enough i would say, as it does not require the removal of the old, just adding more.

And thermostatic rad taps? Probably a good idea.

I try to be green by using a device as long as i can, which tends to be up until it dies, and repair not possable or more expensive than new. How green that is i cant really say. My partner never understands when i say 'i dont need a new "whatever" the old one still works' All she sees is that it is old and not 'modern styled'

  spuds 19:26 25 Oct 2004

Green and Environmentally friendly are two words that seem to conjure up all types of miracles.I live in an area that as a council that seems to preach one thing yet doe's another, depending on cost of course.Recently they have introduced a new recycling system at great,and I mean great expence.The only trouble is the fact that all used tins,magazines,cardboard and certain plastic containers plus many other items still end up in landfills fifty miles away.

  Dorsai 19:43 25 Oct 2004

It looks like a case of 'i have nothing better to do'.

It may sound like a good idea (but to whome, i am not sure), but, in fact, is rather stupid.

but that sort of covers a lot of government schemes, quango ideas, and just daft stuff that originates from 'TPTB'...

just some minor functionary trying to justify their existence/index linked pension they are working towards, by coming up with something (however daft it may-be).....

  It's Me 20:06 25 Oct 2004

It always seems to me that the Greens are very green indeed. They don't live in my world.

  Tenacious Green 20:35 25 Oct 2004

My User name - enough said

  end 21:00 25 Oct 2004

put another way ; if we do not look after this plannet on which we are actually guests and live but a few short years in time and space, then the ozone layer will be so irrepairably destroyed that life as we know it will cease to exist; look at the "unexplained " changes in world climates; "explained" in the ozone layer vanishing slowly; whta happened to the English summer ( although the typical deluge as soon as "Wimbledon fortnight" happened "happened").

we jest about it, but the world needs looking after, else it will not be here , and neither will we....and those of us who believe in God ( however you interpret that for your religious tradition)know we have a responsibility to the world"s Creator, and how we have,or have not respected and used the world"s resourses:)

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