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More sustainable expertise required at all levels

Dear Sir,

Having read through the recent Government Consultation on Microgeneration dated December 2010; much of the content could and should be applied over a far greater spectrum of Sustainability.

What is painfully obvious is that the “expertise” required over the whole subject, simply does not exist, or if it does it is not forthcoming in practice in the body of the consultation.

The consultation constantly quotes the obvious and justifies the above paragraph. MCS is another layer of cost similar to what we now call Gas Safe, formerly CORGI. Simply put, a badge that merely suggests that the expertise is fit for purpose.

My argument is for 50-60 years we developed heating and cooling markets as a result of fossil fuel technologies which remained as the default energy, and cheap to use. Our developing society over this period of time, neglected to recognise the issues we face today, as a result of a double whammy, this being carbon reduction combined with escalating fossil fuel prices. We need to change our habits, and produce the expertise at all levels of our Construction and HVAC Industries well before 2020.

Would the resource put into so many consultations be better served by choosing more basic and humble solutions. What it shows is the ignorance of our peers in not understanding the issues, failing to provide more useful and tangible results. Have we got to the stage in our society where all we do is ask questions of each other?

We as a developed society make life so much more difficult by asking questions where answers already exist, complicating the issues, creating more questions than answers. The new and so called alternative energies are potentially so over stated and present our Industry with greater issues than we face now.

If we cannot apply correctly existing heating products and heating solutions, which from my perspective we don’t, what chance do we have in applying PV’s, solar thermal, heat pumps, wind energy and biomass heating solutions, at any realistic scale of production and installation to meet unrealistic CO2 targets. We simply put “cannot”.

If our energy crisis is as serious as what we are told or comprehend from our peers it to be, a real threat to our modern society, then we need a far better attempt at solutions than we are currently being fed with. I think a whole stratum of our direct Industry and political masters are enjoying a comfortable trip to a breakdown of society. People get angry when they are cold, some die!

Again, if our peers fully understand the issues over “simple energy”, that which keeps us warm and chilled at the touch of a thermostat, we need better leadership, a better quality of debate, less corporate sound bites and to take on board the seriousness of the energy issues we face, or do we!!

As a result of the way in which we have operated our construction methods over too many

years, (cheap fuel may suggest poor thermal performance, cost), we have designed and installed low performance heating solutions, which now cost much more to operate. We are paying the price for poor construction methodologies long after the horse has bolted.

Why should a developer simply embrace a Heat Pump or any other thermal heating solution, when we all know that the quality of expertise is not out there to deliver the solutions?

Equally so, users ignore and don’t bother to understand their heating installation because of historic cheap heating fuel costs. Possibly 80-90% of modern condensing boilers fail to deliver through applied ignorance at the time that they were installed, with very few retro-fits working in a condensing mode, low carbon heating.

It would be reasonable to suggest we have all failed each other over the years, including out politicians, simply as a result of decades of indifference, and having to face what we are told are the future heating alternatives for our creature comforts in our homes and workplace.

I think the Consultation Microgeneration Strategy paper is at the very least disappointing in its quality of content. I would conclude that the Minister of State Greg Barker representing the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has presided over a less than compelling

argument to facilitate any real change in our perception of the “simple energy” issues.

Bruce Boucher

Bruce Boucher Consultancy

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