Energy use by the public sector

Many people in the public sector are much exercised by climate change ideas. I myself am all in favour of energy efficiency and cutting fuel bills without cutting standards of heating and lighting. The public sector could do much more to offer a lead in these matters.

Highways authorities squander a lot of power on traffic light sets that could be replaced with roundabouts, and on all night street lights in places where they could be safely switched off at midnight owing to a lack of pedestrians after that time. Railway companies keep train engines running for long periods when parked at terminus stations awaiting turnround and scheduled departure. Most trains keep their engines running when stopped at red lights or in intermediate stations. Buses too often keep engines running in stationary traffic, at traffic lights and at bus stops. Most lack the switch off switch on technology enjoyed by many modern cars. Trains and buses are often far too large and heavy for the passenger numbers and route they are travelling, worsening the fuel per passenger figures.

Public sector building managers often keep lights on when outdoors light is sufficient to light the rooms. I remember attending a big conference on overuse of energy in a large room with huge candelabras with many bulbs on, all blazing when the sun was pouring in through all the windows. I was the only one to suggest we find a light switch. There are not emough movement sensors and other controls on the public estate to cut the bills.

Ministers could initiate more studies of energy use by building and function, and see what divergencies there are. Some of the investments needed to cut consumption are low cost with high pay off. Lagging of tanks and pipes, stopping drafts, putting in better controls and installing more efficient boilers may all have good payoffs.

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44 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Indeed getting rid of road humps and the many unneeded traffic lights can save a lot in vehicle fuel and indeed pollution. Also have a left filter (when on red) if nothing is coming (at most traffic lights).

    The government has for years deliberately blocked the roads with largely empty bus lanes, bus stops that project into the roads (so the bus blocks the road at every stop) environmental areas that force you to drive further and large islands at junctions. They have also restricted parking so people drive round and round looking for it all the time.

    Also we need more runway space so that aircraft to not have hold above and wait at the end of runways for twenty minutes at Gatwick and Heathrow especially.

    Undo all the damage government has done first. The renewables and the back up energy storage systems they then demand are largely a big mistake. The energy is absurdly expensive and them costs even more for storage, smart meters and back up systems it demands. It is just exporting jobs, wasting engineers talents and freezing poor pensioners.

    Above all we need more road space, at peak times, the average speed on the M25 and some other motorways is often about the same as cycling. You need to set of hours early just to be sure of getting there on time with the endless starting and stopping.

    Yes draft exclusion and only heating/ lighting rooms you are using is sensible. But in the state sector there is always the not my money mate attitude. They would probably do these energy improvements so inefficiently and expensively anyway. Just cut the size of government by about 50% that is the best way, few would even notice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

      The peoples time that is wasted by the congestion is even more valuable than the wasted energy of course.

      • Hope
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Companies like SSE could put consumer prices, increase of 15 percent, before CEO £1.7 million pound bonus taking his earnings to over £2.5 million! An example of a greedy company putting itself before providing service.

        • Hope
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          Local authorities could work with energy companies to provide hydro power from water sources as well as distributing water better around the country. The govt could help with infrastructure money using canals as a way of distributing water around the country, it could also help to prevent flooding in the process. No, instead it wants HS2 spending £100 billion for one railway journey saving 30 minutes of limited use with overwhelming detriments. Headed by EU fanatic Odonis who equates leaving EU to some form of natzism! An EU infrastructure plan to provide fast transport across EU countries!

    • stred
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Re. The brilliant idea of saving energy with smart meters. Mine is still not working, having gone back to the energy company that put it in because the other company could not operate it. They say they are having to rationalise the communications.

      So far they have spent £450m on meters that do not work on the standard system invented by DECC. The will have to be changed. Meanwhile the quango charged with putting them in and British Gas is wasting money on constant advertising with little leccy and a junior penguin aimed at customers who don’t read about it and like cuddly animals. British Gas will have customers who can’t move without contorting themselves to self read the dumb meter if they leave. They can also offer complicated tariffs.

      The final cost of the scheme is estimated at over £10bn but mistakes are evident in the calculation and it may be £14bn, while the savings in energy have also been fiddled. Separate link below.

      • stred
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        £450 was just on the admin. The cost of the ‘stranded assets’ is over £4bn.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Bus’s are already using the, Stop-Start tech seen on cars. Do keep up Mr.Redwood MP sir 🙂

    Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for all large buildings and sites. Reducing energy loss through transmission lines and encouraging energy independence.

    Not building and / or subsidising White Elephant energy. That would save a fortune !!!

    Cladding the Palace of Westminster with insulating panelling like the one’s used on Grenfell. Well if it is good enough for the plebs then why not our so called betters 😉

    Fewer people living in the country. Less traffic means less pollution, delays and so on. That would save us a fortune. And we would not have to build so much infrastructure.

    Fewer layers of government. Less nonproductive State employees means fewer buildings to rent and heat. ie Smaller government. Win-win.

    Less is definitely more.

    • Hope
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Mark, common sense is abandoned when viewing May’s left wing govt. still all this hype about a transitional deal that will cost us billions with EU oversight! Still trying to remain by another name. No, we voted leave by 2019. JR might think the same but his govt does not.

      I think the only cliff edge will be the Tory party walking over with the electorate.

    • stred
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Believe it or not, the Green anti NOx brigade are already worried about saving energy using CHP in London. They think they will all be dropping deaf because of the NO2 coming out of the boilers. It causes lung irritation and function problems. Particulates actually cause disease, but gas boilers are very clean. The statistics are comlpletely misleading. Re the Up in the Air doc sent to JR.

      • stred
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        dropping dead!- though it won’t be long until they will be claiming they tell us diesel and boiler will make us go deaf

  3. MikeP
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Hmmm, where householders and private companies take action, and may have done so years ago, the Public Sector needs to initiate a study. I feel another Government consultation on the way, beam me up Scotty. Whatever happened to taking initiative, empowerment, setting and meeting objectives and targets? Talk is cheap, just get on and do something about it.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      I agree with MikeP, many large hotel groups have lights on sensors now in the corridors and rooms that the lights turn off automatically when the pass/door key is removed. The technology is there, the public sector just needs a decision maker to say yes to energy efficiency. You often see large buildings with lights on after everyone has left the office in the evening, heating is often left on high all weekend when space isn’t occupied. Stairwells are heated too high unnecessarily.

  4. Epikouros
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    When the cost of something is not born by the user then expect an I could not care less attitude and abuse of use. You are always pointing out that in the public sector management should do more to address this problem or at least the multiple other issues arising out of that behaviour. Of course it is not just confined to the public sector and it can be observed almost anywhere.

    Good education and a responsible attitude helps to combat this problem but unfortunately in today’s modern progressive left society those things are in short supply. Sanctions and exhortation help but then other factors like the generous welfare state, free at the point of use, sentimentality and the removal of personal responsibility and self reliance work assiduously in the opposite direction.

    The only salvation as you point out is the use of technology that does our thinking for us and does that which we cannot be bothered to do. At the same time monitoring us to ensure that we behave ourselves As it is increasingly doing in the world of work, policing and more. The consequences no doubt being we become more indolent and reliant on machines. The danger being that we first lose all our civil liberties and eventually become superfluous and our existence pointless. We should take heed of science fiction writers they appear to have worked out what exactly what that means.

  5. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Let’s start by stopping all subsidies in any form including constraint payments which are extortionate to wind farm developers and solar panels. If saving the planet is so very important then surely all homes being built should have panels installed but with no subsidies. What you get is free and what is left and put back into the grid is free so that perhaps energy prices could come down for all?? It seems to me that many homes have insulation in the walls and attics but when it comes to floors?? Our floors in our bungalow have a void underneath them of around 3 feet. There was no insulation at all. Our garage is underneath our lounge and before we put in insulation it was freezing in the winter even with the heating on. More should be done on this front and not have a load of conditions attached to it. Yes, public buildings do waste money on unnecessary lighting etc but then they waste money on a lot of things not least staff that aren’t needed and managers that don’t manage but manage to get a high wage. With the announcement of expensive battery storage what is happening to fracking? Has that been put on the back burner in case we all die of an overload of CO2?

  6. Edward
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Attempting to ‘saving’ energy via piecemeal ideas are great PR ‘blue sky thinking’ jobs for the apparats eh what? and not worth much else but virtue signalling.

    It also pays lip service to the great green scam.

    We pay enormous levies on fuel, domestic prices for electricity and gas, now why do you think that is, to feed a government which is too vast, bloated and which devotes much of its time to think ing up daft ideas to ‘conserve’ what their other hand is seeking to make scarce – ie the great green energy boondoggle.

    Cheap energy is the only way to guarantee the lights staying on and to make the UK business, industry, manufacturing internationally competitive, energy – generation of electrical energy is possible* – without the green miasma of lies and deceits.

    * reference: Japan who have committed to the Paris accord and yet are building 54 new coal fired generation – how zat?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      @ Edward

      * reference: Japan who have committed to the Paris accord and yet are building 54 new coal fired generation – how zat?

      You forgot to add Germany, India and China to the list as regards new coal burning power stations

  7. agricola
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    A privately run entity, be it a home or a factory has an incentive to minimise power use. Public run enterprises do not, as they have unhindered scrumping right to the magic money tree while using moral blackmail on their critics. ” You are attacking our NHS and all those dedicated people who work in it, you are committing blasphemy” Privatise and detachment from the money tree is the answer in most cases.

  8. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    A good follow on from yesterday and a bit of ‘drill down’ on managing budgets. Whilst I don’t know what happens currently, a means to increased efficiency would be for each building to have it’s own budget set and managed on an incentive scheme with one person responsible for it and cost effeciency. Frankly I would be astonished if this is not widespread and I feel it must seem niave of me to write this, but given the waste described I can only assume it doesn’t.

  9. Tom William
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    If public sector workers were told that energy bill reduction in their building would result in a bonus all round there might well be changes in habits.

    Is this too complicated for the civil service to arrange?

  10. Shieldsman
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Why are the Taxpayers being conned into paying through their energy bills for the £billions cost of ‘Smart Meters’.
    Do they save the consumer money – the simple answer is NO. You can watch them all day and they won’t save you a penny. Only the consumer can save himself money by controlling his use of gas and electricity, he has to be determined in switching off appliances. He is saving money when his gas and electricity are not going round.
    Who benefits from the installation, the meter manufacturer and installer, the energy supplier who does not need a meter reader.
    So why are these smart meters being forced on us? Quite simply as a result of Miliband’s Climate Change Act. All those clever Ministers and people at the old DECC, aided and abetted by NGO’s like FoE decided to phase out gas for heating and cooking.
    With not enough renewable electricity 24/7 how would they cope? Ration the supply? Hardly feasible. A brilliant idea – let us have an instantly variable tariff WHITE METER – the Smart Meter!! We will price you into using electricity when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.
    You might even be able to hook up the battery of an electric car!!!

  11. Peter
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    To bid for public work you need to demonstrate green credentials. So I think the public sector does its bit.

    “The Government has to set the best example when it comes to being green. With their sustainable development agenda now in place, contractors are now being pushed to demonstrate their environmental credentials. How much this is factored into the actual decision making depends on the particular contract and the industry involved. Generally, an Environmental Policy is a minimum. If you wish to stand out, implement an Environmental Management System such as ISO 14001.”

    Look at all the lights left on in The City of London.

    The pot calling the kettle black?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      @ Peter

      Look at all the lights left on in The City of London.

      If you wish to stand out, implement an Environmental Management System such as ISO 14001.”

      Peter, I do hope the Mayor of London is reading this blog and understands your line of thinking!!

  12. Prigger
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The Public Sector are likely to hold natioanl conference about energy saving. Have Council Heads earning well over £100,000 per year attending, with their grossly underpaid female private and personal secretaries to take notes over a long weekend…in Malta, and then decide to create jobs specifically for “Energy Tsars” who their cousins are very much qualified to do and have them in charge of telling people to “switch that light off now!!”

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    You have some excellent ideas on energy saving in the public sector, which does lag far behind the private sector in insulation of public buildings (often old legacy structures) and using smart technology to reduce consumption. I’m all for it!

    We are now leading the world in renewable energy technologies, solar farms and wind turbines are regularly producing 50% of our energy needs in the summer months and solar power is now the cheapest form of electricity in the UK. Consequently, I welcome yesterday’s announcement of £250m of investment in energy storage technologies and R&D. There are a number of UK start-ups working in this field who will benefit from this and once we have the right mix of industrial scale lithium batteries and grid scale vanadium redox flow energy storage systems, the cost of renewable electricity will fall even further.

    Now, if we could harness even more of the free energy available we could build a new industry exporting electricity to the Europeans, if the right tariff can be agreed…….

    • David Price
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      You are not helping anybody by exaggerating the contribution of renewables. If you review sites like gridwatch.co.uk you’ll see that peak wind and solar rarely even approach the base load provided by nuclear let alone CCGT.

      The grid does not even monitor solar production, those figures come from Sheffield University estimates that are based on sampling panels while the FIT scheme assumes registered panel arrays contribute a fixed percentage of generated power.

      Battery chemistry, material science and electric traction are certainly useful areas to develop though I would not place bets on the Faraday Challenge as the government and it’s academic cronies are woefully inept in choosing and fostering winners.

  14. Bert Young
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    All households as well as other users of energy are capable of exercising economies ; only yesterday I visited a friend at 3.45 pm who was in his living room with 2 lights on !. Others I know simply leave their lights on as a precautionary feature . One of the criticisms I have of the trend in car manufacture is the switch to electric power ; these cars have to be charged and largely depend on the National Grid for replenishment . The same criticism applies to battery inspired telephones and other technically innovative devices .

  15. Terry
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Roundabouts only work efficiently during off-peak times. So there should be a combination of lights and roundabouts at key junctions.
    Replacing traffic lights with roundabouts creates congestion and thus wastes more vehicle fuel.
    When I was last on Long Island USA I did not see one roundabout only lights but everywhere the traffic flowed easily.

  16. behindthefrogs
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Ban standing charges on gas and electricity bills. These should be replaced by a small increase in the standard rate. The result should be more efficient use of power.

  17. Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Roundabouts instead of traffic lights? But the fashion now is for roundabouts with traffic lights! Like most fashion, it’s idiotic. The fellow who decided on it should be severely punished.

  18. stred
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    The most effective way to save energy is draught prevention around doors, windows and chimneys. Heat loss can be huge if not dealt with. Then insulation, but as more is added it payback becomes less through the law of diminishing returns. The conditions of the green deal and regulations make installation expensive and on walls space consuming.

    The government should allow competition between insulation companies to show a choice of methods and assess cost, payback and effectiveness. This could be published online for people and builders to follow, with details, clear specification and advice. Then remove VAT on materials and labour. Far more would be done than through the obstructive Green Deal.

  19. Atlas
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    What you say is true John, but could I council some caution.

    Stop-start operation increases wear and tear on the mechanical and electrical parts in question – you have to be sure that the cost of the energy saved is not exceeded by the cost of repairs.

    I think by far the best an individual can do is to have adequate loft insulation in their home. Good loft insulation does not deteriorate over years and hence does not need replacing unlike double glazing (loss of vacuum) or fancy central heating boilers. These are net energy losers if you factor in the energy used to make them.

    The recently trumpeted “battery initiative” had myself and an electrical engineer friend agreeing that the lack of any scientific or engineering knowledge at the top of Government costs this country dear when it come to not seeing a ‘rent-seeking’ ploy for what it is.

  20. NickW
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    The air in our atmosphere has a very low specific heat; i.e. it only takes a relatively small amount of energy to heat a large volume of air.
    All the fossil fuel used for transportation ends up as heat which is dissipated to the atmosphere, direct heat from radiators and exhausts, and indirect heating from brakes and air resistance. All the energy used to heat buildings ends up as heat dissipated to the atmosphere.

    The reduction of thermal output per se, has to be considered as being as important, or even more important than any heating effect caused by increasing CO2 levels.

    The public sector is failing to properly address its duty to reduce waste and reduce global warming because buildings are consistently overheated, poorly insulated and inadequately protected from heat gain from solar radiation.

    Those who wish to combat global warming would have a far more plausible case if they concentrated on the reduction of thermal footprints rather than the contentious effects of increasing CO2 levels.

    Global oil consumption is around 100 million barrels per day; (https://www.eia.gov/outlooks/steo/report/global_oil.cfm

    Most of the heat produced by burning that fuel ends up directly heating the atmosphere.

    • Mark
      Posted July 27, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      The atmosphere weighs approximately 5×10^18 kg, and air at 270-300 Kelvin has a heat capacity of about 1kJ/kg/K, so the total heat capacity is about 5×10^21J/K. Global energy consumption is slightly over 5×10^20J per year, so that would imply a temperature increase of 0.1 degrees per year – if it were not for the fact that energy is radiated into space at a rate that is proportional to the fourth power of the Kelvin temperature (Stefan’s Law), which acts as a temperature stabiliser.

      However, you should be much more worried by the earth’s exposure to the sun. On average, the earth receives 342W/m^2 in solar energy, and given its area of over 500 million sq km or 5×10^14 sq m, and about 31.5 million seconds per year, totals an input of around 5.4×10^24J per year – or around 10,000 times as much as human energy consumption. If energy were trapped by the oceans rather than the atmosphere as suggested by certain climate scientists trying to explain the famous pause, then in the absence of earth’s ability to radiate and reflect energy away, the oceans (which have about 1,000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere) would get hotter by 1 degree Kelvin per year, and would long since have boiled away. Variations in the earth’s orbit are a far more significant factor in the earth’s energy input budget, as these affect the solar energy received by enough to create ice ages.

      The climate debate is rather about the degree to which clouds and other particles reflect heat back to space, and to which the atmospheric composition affects the basic Stefan’s Law radiation. The biggest contribution to that comes from changes in water vapour in the atmosphere, and climatologists argue that CO2 acts as a catalyst for higher amounts of water vapour, although there is no real proof of the effect.

  21. ian
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    The old route master run for 55 years, was still going strong, and were exported to poor overseas countries where they are still going strong. Here, they now change the buses every few years, with two lots of buses changes so far since 2007, and to be change again by the new london leader of the GLC , and id sacking all the bus conductors, so the buses that have just been bought will have be changed. This how they carry on these days, wasting money all the time, instead of making things that will last for 50 years or more, always changing their minds to drum up more business, because they have no real work to do. So just keep changing everything every 5 years.
    I don’t take any notice of them, because they changing their minds all the time for big businesses and investment bankers, so they can stay in business, because work is hard to fine these days, and build thing that last for years, but replace them as soon as they can by citing all sorts of reason of the ones they just built are longer any good after hand full of years.

  22. ian
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    China has had electric buses running in it city for years now, and top up after every run of 20 odd miles, we have diesel hybrid buses that only run diesel. they have wasted billions on buses,and still are, and will continue to do so. for good of the country as thet say.

    • stred
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      I read the DEFRA proposals for electrifying transport in central London and the proposals to ban diesel taxis and make drivers buy electric taxis made in a new factory in Coventry, supported with a £100m? grant.
      The share of transport given for taxis is 7%. Of this exhaust is PM pollution is40%, the rest being from brakes and tyres, which are also used on electric vehicles. Theis means that banning taxis reduces PM10s by 2.8%. The life expectancy improvement given in another document for central London is 40 days for PM10 (particulates) and 147 days for NOx. (men and women average for a person who spends their whole life in central London to age 80+) 2.8% of 40 is 1.12 days and 147 is 4.118 days. One might wonder how these estimates can be arrived at so accurately, but this is the logic of the calculations being used. Links posted below.

      I came past a newish London taxi for sale at £5k on my bike ride yesterday. Many drivers are giving up because the cycle lane congestion has reduced earnings to a pittance. Diesel cabs will not be licenced in 2019. Their living has been destroyed for less than a week of life for people already old and ill. While politicians, some doctors and green pressure groups are still repeating the lie that diesel is ‘killing’ 40,000 people a year.

      • stred
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

        Sorry, the NOx figure should have been 10 days, as the 60% reduction does not apply.

        PS. Capcha thinks a motorway gantry is a bridge.

  23. ale bro
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    many listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas are exempt from energy efficiency requirements in building regs. This includes lots of town halls and other high status buildings that are owned by the public sector.

    it is very easy for the government to extend energy efficiency requirements to listed buildings – this seems like a practical solution to the problems covered in the article.

  24. lojolondon
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Fuel usage and emissions in London – the banning / taxation of poor people in old (cheap) cars and vans will make no difference to the emissions in London – eg. a tradesman drives for 30 minutes within the M25 to get to his place of work, works all day, and leaves, total 8 hours work and 1 hours driving. By contrast, London taxis, council and emergency vehicles typically drive all day, and many larger vehicles for 24 hours of the day, eg. buses. So clearly, electrifying one bus will reduce far more fuel comsumption and emissions than banning / taxing 24 old vans. Current plans are all lies, and focus on tax/stealing money from hard working people.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    I have a friend in the Green Party. I think I’ll send him your blog and ask for his comments. I’ll also ask him why motor cars have been cleaning up their act environmentally for nigh on 50 years whilst the rail industry has not. Given how many trains run nearly empty, average emissions per million passenger mile by rail exceed average emissions per car occupied by two or more people. It will get worse when HS2 provides extra capacity. So get car sharing.

  26. Turboterrier.
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    You have to go back to basics. Until you know the real heat loss of any property and the areas within the property that are the real major concerns of poor insulation. As with several areas of public funded areas you can throw money at it until the cows come home and achieve nothing as it all hinges on how you spend it.

    Council, Government authorities have a high number of basic house and flat types built over the years. The councils should have by now a complete portfolio on the detailed Steady State Heat Loss of the property. It details the major elements of the build, walls, floors, ceilings and windows taking into account any insulation that may be present. These figures should be available and for those owners of properties sold to the private sector should be aware of the SSHL so as to be able to best invest in the improvement of their property. For purchasers a more detailed energy report would be far more informative than the current ABC rating which tells the vendor nothing.

    Before computers as design heating engineers this was done on every project new build or refurbishment in a manual way that was time consuming but it enabled more in depth investigation to take place. For all of that the computer does speed up the process especially when changes have to be introduced in design criteria of the heating requirements. An important part of the process is also the allowance for hot water load and for far too long it has normally been just a blanket figure of a stated kilowatt allowance based upon the experience of the engineer. The length of hot water draw offs were rarely considered and this is also another important waste of energy area. Today with high insulation values and very low SSHL the use of combination boilers which have outputs based solely on being able to provide and meet the hot water load, but in a heating only mode the boiler is often well over rated and then even with an internal bypass it is critical that the external heating controls are matched to meet the build and occupation requirements of the dwelling.

    As a by the by it seems no coincidence the day after a minister highlights the investment in the new generation of battery storage that the leader of the renewable energy snake oil salesmen wants to talk to the government about subsidy free turbine installations on shore as long as they have the right locations. They still don’t get it , like HS2 without the infrastructure in place turbines need fossil fuel back up and the infrastructure to get the power to where it is needed and if it is not in place the power generators can earn more money out of constraint payments than from the power actually generated. It may have escaped the attention of the present generation of politicians that we need cheap energy and we need it now today and this and next year. Battery storage on a scale to meet the requirements of this nation let alone the world as we seem to be descending into a downhill out of control race for an all electric transport system with no consideration to the real infrastructure needed to support such a project. Is this the governments way of putting fracking on the back burner to allow the relentless march of steel to eventually cover the country in the shape of turbines and pylons?

  27. Turboterrier.
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    When diesel and petrol usage diminishes with the all brave new electric world , where and how will government then raise the revenue that it will lose?

    Just a thought!!

  28. NotaMayFan
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Just a personal view on this issue…

    I was a building manager for some years in the private sector. I had severely constrained budgets and populations of employees with a genuine interest in doing their bit to save energy and water. I tracked and managed the energy and water usage and spotted problems early.

    The end of my working career was in the public sector, where there was no interest whatsoever in saving energy or water.

    The difference could not have been more stark. A dripping tap, toilets not stopping after flushing, nobody turning off lights or electrical equipment when leaving the office. The list was long.

    My part of the public sector was filled with a lazy attitude of waste, waste, waste.
    ” The facilities are all part of the recharge fee”. Don’t worry about it”.

  29. Mark
    Posted July 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think there is a lot to be saved by not running diesel engines in terminus stations. The engines supply all the electric power to the train for lights, heating and air conditioning and these days to run the wi-fi and intercom as well. By having the engines warmed up before departure, emissions are reduced when the engine is called on to provide maximum power output to accelerate the train away from the platform.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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