The evil gnome who has taken up permanent residence on the shoulder of British prime minister Boris Johnson and whispers dark instructions into his ears, last week pronounced energy efficiency as boring.
His name is demonic comings. Im sorry, that was a mistaken auto-correction by my dictation software; it should have read Dominic Cummings, who is chief political strategist to the UK PM.
If this view succeeds in influencing government policy it would represent a reversal of the Conservative party election pledge at the end of last year to invest 9.2 billion (AU$16.5b) in the energy efficiency of homes, schools and hospitals.
As part of his much taunted new deal, Johnson announced last week a paltry 8 million (AU$143m) to cut CO2 from homes and industry, alongside 200 million (AU$358m) of funding for cutting edge R&D efforts, fuelling fears that the 9.2b efficiency upgrade program could be sidelined.
Cummings is said to want the money spent on building homes instead, with insulation perhaps added as an afterthought (which is never wise and often simply not possible).
Philip Dunne, the Tory chair of a House of Commons committee looking into home insulation, has urged the Prime Minister not to listen to this gnome.
And a major report from government climate change watchdog, the Committee on Climate Change, published on Thursday, warned that presently we are heading for a disastrous 4 higher world and said that low carbon retrofits were an essential part of avoiding this, as well as useful for tackling post-pandemic economic regeneration.
Perhaps that is boring too.
If he wants energy efficiency to be not boring, Cummings could do worse than take a look at what is going on in the Republic of Ireland (although he probably wont want to since it voted to remain in Europe).
There, a Climate Action Plan sets an ambitious target of 500,000 energy efficiency retrofits by 2030, to be supported by the Project Ireland 2040 allocation of 3.7b (AU$6b) as well as the range of other measures according to Richard Bruton, the minister for climate action.
A pilot whole house-based approach to deep retrofit was funded from 2017 to 2019 by the Sustainable Energy Association Irelands Deep Retrofit pilot program. A total of 17 service providers were funded to explore the pros and cons of various solutions on different housing types, securing some interesting results that could be replicated later and elsewhere.
Buildings treated have been transformed from an E or G Energy rating to A3, the highest, using techniques including airtightness, elimination of thermal bridges, underfloor heating, mechanical ventilation with any recovery, solar power and heat pumps.
The real Dominic Cummings
Sorry, perhaps I shouldnt mention underfloor heating since it might involve boring (holes that is).
The Irish government grants provided 50 per cent of the costs (95 per cent for those on low incomes) and the average deep retrofit household would beforehand spend between 1600 (AU$2593) to 2000 (AU$3240) a year on heating, a figure that would be slashed in homes with an A3 rating to around 500 (AU$810) per year. Bored yet? You wouldnt be if you lived in that home.
Whats more research from the Irish Economic and Social Research Institute suggests that an A-rated home has a significantly higher sale and rental price.
One organisation named SuperHomes has retrofitted over 200 houses, the majority to A3 BER but only by using grant funding for all of them.
It turns out that government or any investment in green construction is a highly effective way to create jobs and thus repay the investment long-term.
CCC chief executive Chris Stark, and Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive at the UK Green Building Council, have both observed that construction and retrofit is one of the best ways to create jobs, for each 1 or 1 invested. Energy efficiency is shovel ready with labour-intensive projects rooted in local supply chains, Hirigoyen says.
A 15-year program of deep energy retrofit would return 1.25 (AU$2.24) to the government for each 1 (AU$1.79) invested from the increased tax take resulting from job creation plus supply chain activity, increased household disposable income, and a lower state welfare bill. This is according to research by Verco and Cambridge Econometrics for UK climate change think tank E3G in 2014.
Dominic Cummings should note that that makes government borrowing in order to fund energy efficient construction rather good sense. But perhaps he does not want to see sense.
Clean energy (both renewable generation and boring energy efficiency work) and construction yield up to three times as many jobs for each 1 invested than investments in fossil fuel, according to further research an Oxford University evaluation of 700 stimulus packages implemented after the 2008 financial crash. Construction projects also keep more of the investment locally.
Funding retrofits by savings on energy bills which the UK government has tried before hits the poorest hardest and should be avoided. Unless thats your policy objective, Dominic. Who knows?
If he did not think they were boring he could look at tax incentives (such as relief on stamp duty).
Or maybe hes turned on by subsidised lending, in the form of a rolling loan fund, where low cost finance is offered by private investors. Plenty of these are now seeking green, future-proofed investments, wishing to take their money away from unsafe fossil fuels.
This work would likely be undertaken in line with the retrofit quality protocol, PAS 2035, in order to give them the confidence they need to lend.
Since its a rolling fund, the returned investment is reinvested in further projects, boringly ad infinitum.
Dominic Cummings allegedly likes maths and data. There would be a great deal of both behind that approach. Then again he could just go back to playing Warhammer, as he did at university. Thats not boring at all.
David Thorpe is the author of Passive Solar Architecture Pocket Reference, Energy Management in Buildings and Sustainable Home Refurbishment. He also runs the online course, a Post-Graduate Certificate in One Planet Governance. He is based in the UK.
See the original post here:
Yes, Mr Cummings, energy efficiency is boring if you have a one inch deep mind - The Fifth Estate
- DeepMind extends hunt for the worlds best A.I. researchers to Toronto - CNBC - May 10th, 2021
- ECO V2 by Pangeanic: Deep Adaptive Machine Translation Document Translator and Anonymization Solution - PRNewswire - May 10th, 2021
- Matters of the Mind: Compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma and hopelessness - The Indian Express - May 10th, 2021
- Prison education alums work with undergrads on theater piece | Cornell Chronicle - Cornell Chronicle - May 10th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Insights, Deep Analysis of Key Vendor in the Industry 2021-2030 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies Limited,... - May 2nd, 2021
- Matisse & Sadko unveil the mind bending progressive tune 'Heal Me' - We Rave You - May 2nd, 2021
- The Deep-Sea Podcast review: The mind-boggling mysteries of the deep - New Scientist - May 1st, 2021
- Three Books: Zena Hitz *05 on a Life of the Mind - Princeton Alumni Weekly - May 1st, 2021
- Flavor 1st has Georgia on its mind | Produce News - TheProduceNews.com - May 1st, 2021
- Young attorney digs deep to make a genuine mark in the profession - Loop News Jamaica - May 1st, 2021
- Figures of Speech: 40 Ways to Improve your Writing - Visual Capitalist - May 1st, 2021
- Tony Bailie's Take on Nature: Bear in mind the simple principles of Leave No Trace - The Irish News - May 1st, 2021
- Food & Wine names 10 best pizza states in America and New York isnt in the top spot - KXAN.com - May 1st, 2021
- Essence Group Announces 'Peace of Mind' Strategy as Top Objective of All Future IoT Products and Services - PRNewswire - April 28th, 2021
- Centring of The Mind - Economic Times - April 28th, 2021
- PLU professors and students dive deep into the psychology of the pandemic - Pacific Lutheran University - April 28th, 2021
- Derby Undercard: Eclipse Winner Whitmore is a fan favorite in deep field of 13 for the Churchill Downs - Past The Wire - April 28th, 2021
- How Luxury Travel Is Leading the Recovery: A Skift Deep Dive - Skift - April 28th, 2021
- 'I recall it with deep despair': North Sea marks five years since Norway helicopter crash - News for the Oil and Gas Sector - Energy Voice - April 28th, 2021
- Single-Use Plastics Found at the Deepest Points of the Ocean - Technology Networks - April 28th, 2021
- Global Ai In Healthcare Market Top 10 Key players in 2021 |DeepMind Technologies Limited, IBM Corporation, Nuance Communications Inc, Microsoft,... - April 28th, 2021
- Has pharma missed the boat? - PharmaTimes - April 28th, 2021
- BlanQuil weighted blankets: Products and brand review - Medical News Today - April 28th, 2021
- A New Book Explores the Connections Between Music, Physics, and Neuroscience - Columbia University - April 28th, 2021
- Global Mindfulness Meditation Apps Market (2020) to Witness Huge Growth by 2026 | Deep Relax, Smiling Mind, Inner Explorer, Inc., Committee for... - April 19th, 2021
- Line of Duty, season 6 episode 5 recap: Davidson is in deep but who fired those cliffhanger shots? - The Telegraph - April 19th, 2021
- Calvin University Selects Noah Toly As Provost - News - Calvin News - April 19th, 2021
- I'm an insomniac who's tried everything from meds to sleep sprays. This meditation app is the only thing that' - Business Insider India - April 19th, 2021
- 'We've had this in mind for some time' - Gosden aims for another Blue Riband win - Racing Post - April 19th, 2021
- What two pieces of unrelated pop culture are forever connected in your mind? - The A.V. Club - April 19th, 2021
- Bringing China-US ties where they need to be - Chinadaily.com.cn - China Daily - April 8th, 2021
- Deep in the heart of the Texas Butterfly Ranch - The Picayune - April 8th, 2021
- Cultivating a Diverse and Inclusive Culture: Recruiting - ATD - ATD - ATD - April 8th, 2021
- The Mavericks Who Brought AI to the World - Review of Genius Makers by Cade Metz - Forbes - April 8th, 2021
- 'I can't unsee them': Rockland woman copes with trauma from Haiti earthquake by writing - Enterprise News - April 8th, 2021
- Q&A: How The Atlantic's Ed Yong navigated a year of deep coronavirus coverage - Poynter - April 8th, 2021
- Healthcare AI Market 2021 Is Rapidly Increasing Worldwide in Near Future | Top Companies Analysis- Apple, GE Healthcare, Google Deepmind Health, IBM... - April 8th, 2021
- Easter is when we go deep into the enduring stories of death and life - The National - April 4th, 2021
- How Open Source is Driving the Future of Data Science - RTInsights - April 4th, 2021
- Space Regime in Deep Distress: Experts The Diplomat - The Diplomat - April 4th, 2021
- Gulf News webinar to focus on fasting with health conditions during Ramadan | Uae - Gulf News - April 4th, 2021
- When it rains, it floods, and you better know what to do - Columbia Daily Herald - April 4th, 2021
- Opera Meets Film: How Opera is Used to Immerse Us Deeper into Anthony's Mind in 'The Father' - OperaWire - April 2nd, 2021
- Dive Deep Into These Mind-Blowing Underwater Photographer of the Year Entries - Yahoo News - April 2nd, 2021
- Sunfield Farm and Waldorf School dig deep to the root of learning - Port Townsend Leader - April 2nd, 2021
- Dear Eonni: A Filipino UAENA respects Lilac singer IU as a lyricist because her songs are 'active and awake' - PINKVILLA - April 2nd, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Is Set to Experience Revolutionary Growth by 2030 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies Limited KSU | The... - April 2nd, 2021
- Brain Tracking: Unraveling Mysteries of the Human Mind - WGEM - April 2nd, 2021
- On My Mind: The Solution To Gun Violence? More Guns, Apparently - WFAE - April 2nd, 2021
- System on Chips And The Modern Day Motherboards - Analytics India Magazine - April 2nd, 2021
- Artificial Intelligence Drug R&D: Market By New Business Developments, Innovations, And Top Companies Forecast To 2025 | Gatehouse Bio, Google... - April 2nd, 2021
- Artificial intelligence kept expanding through a turbulent year, with some exceptions - ZDNet - March 21st, 2021
- The Book Corner: The Deep by Rivers Solomon, Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes - University Press - March 21st, 2021
- 12-foot-deep sinkhole 'accidentally' discovered near Williams Arts Center The Lafayette - The Lafayette - March 21st, 2021
- DeepMind is building a team of A.I. researchers in New York - CNBC - March 16th, 2021
- AI & Robotics in the Global Defense Industry to Reach $61 Billion by 2027 - Robotics Anticipated to Account for the Largest Share of Expenditure -... - March 16th, 2021
- Your horoscope for the week ahead: Mercury enters reflective Pisces allowing deep insights to flourish - CBC.ca - March 16th, 2021
- The Father (2021) Movie Review | Screen Rant - Screen Rant - March 16th, 2021
- On My Mind: Paying Our Emotional Bills - WFAE - March 16th, 2021
- The Secret Auction that Set Off the Race for AI Supremacy - WIRED - March 16th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Growth Opportunities Witnessed Around the World to Support Expansion by 2030 | DeepMind Technologies Limited, IBM Corporation,... - March 16th, 2021
- Tai Chi vs. Yoga: What To Know About These Mind-Body Practices - Women's Health - March 16th, 2021
- From a Faith Perspective: Daylight Savings Time reminds us the long winter of COVID is almost over - Bucks County Courier Times - March 16th, 2021
- Fire Brings Down The Internet, NFT Mania And More: Weekly Top News - Analytics India Magazine - March 16th, 2021
- Artificial Intelligence Is A Gamechanger In The Battery Boom - OilPrice.com - March 16th, 2021
- Cold shower? The routine of the most productive people when they wake up - Entrepreneur - March 16th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Huge Business Opportunity, Size growth, Top Leaders Acquisition analysis by 2030 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind... - March 16th, 2021
- Mind your head - Law Society of Ireland Gazette - March 16th, 2021
- Mind Cure Health Appoints Rob Hill To Board Of Directors - The Deep Dive - February 28th, 2021
- Quotes of the quarter: Pipeline executives talk energy transition, deep freeze - S&P Global - February 28th, 2021
- Billie Eilish: The Worlds A Little Blurry review: inside the mind of pops teen pioneer - NME.com - February 28th, 2021
- Why Plug Power Stock Is Deep in the Red Today - Motley Fool - February 28th, 2021
- WandaVision Recap: How Wanda Became the Scarlet Witch - The Ringer - February 28th, 2021
- Deeper Study on Breathing and Five Important Deep Breathing Techniques - Part 1: NJ Reddy, YPV Sadhana - Free Press Journal - February 28th, 2021
- From vision to reality: the rise of Artificial Intelligence in the healthcare sector - Health Europa - February 16th, 2021
- Henry Louis Gates Jr. takes viewers on a deep and joyous journey through history of 'The Black Church' - Worcester Telegram - February 16th, 2021
- Who Are the Covid Investigators? - The Wall Street Journal - February 16th, 2021
- AI in Healthcare Market Growth Strategies And Competition Background Through 2020 To 2030 | Nuance Communications, Inc., DeepMind Technologies... - February 16th, 2021
- Inside the five-year battle food companies have fought to resist stricter labelling norms - Mint - February 16th, 2021
- Mind Cure Sees Warrants Approved For Trading | the deep dive - The Deep Dive - February 16th, 2021