More Green Crap

Via TT I see a story doing the rounds. He links to the Daily Mail, but they have just cut and pasted the standard press release published elsewhere.

So, you want to carry out some home improvements? The latest government idea is that you get permission from the local council who will insist that you waste money on loft insulation or cavity wall insulation –  and borrow the money if you don’t have it. I refuse, absolutely, to do either. The loft is boarded out, so it’s a non starter. The walls do have a small cavity, but I resolutely refuse to put gunk inside them. The cavity is there for a purpose and filling them up undermines their effectiveness. Indeed, you want to encourage condensation and damp? Fill your cavities with crap. Once again, we have the obsessive watermelons trying to enforce their lunacy on the rest of us.

Given that I already ignore government diktat when it comes to minor wiring work (I am sufficiently competent to carry out such work myself, so do not seek permission or get in an electrician) I will likewise sidestep any such government approval should I decide to carry out further home improvements.


  1. I ignore Government diktats even when it comes to electrical wiring work on Government premises. If it needs doing, it gets done. If someone asks for the paperwork, 2 minutes with a laser printer takes care of that. If someone then questions it, I can give them the opportunity to hold two bare wires whilst we test the circuit.
    Funnily enough, not only have I had no problems, but other departments have asked for help!
    As for loft insulation, I have paperwork that says I have the required minimum already, and don’t have cavity walls.

  2. They seem to be saying that if you want to borrow money from the ‘Green Deal’ for ‘energy efficiency measures’ for your home that you will have had to do some basic insulation first and may borrow more to do that.

    Hardly something worth getting het up about. Just don’t borrow money from this agency if you don’t want to meet their criteria for lending it. It makes sense to me that a ‘Green Deal’ might try to make sure that basics are covered before lending money for a more efficient boiler (for example). Hardly much point in improving individuals energy efficiency if the majority goes in heating up the neighbourhood.

  3. No Voyager they are not saying that. They are saying that if you want to make a minor house improvement such as a conservatory, or have repairs such as a new boiler or windows – at your own expense- then you must go through a process to get council permission. At present those things do not require council permission, so a whole bureaucratic process to (eg) fit a new window!
    Furthermore such permission will be denied if they consider aspects of your house insulation need improvement. You may be eligible for a green deal loan to help have the extra MANDATED work done but you have no choice about getting the work done.

    • I would also add that if my boiler breaks down and I need a new one, then that is all I am expecting to pay for. I do not expect to have to fork out for extras that I do not need, do not want, cannot afford and in the case of cavity wall insulation is potentially harmful to the property. It is up to me, the home owner, to make decisions about what I spend and when, not some jumped up politicians engaging in a green willy waving contest in Brussels.

      I was not consulted on this and I do not consent. The only reasonable reaction to it is civil disobedience. I will not comply.

    • If you bother to look at what the ‘Green Deal’ is you will see that is exactly what is being suggested. If you choose to borrow money from them to make energy efficiency improvements to your home, then they will require that the basics of loft and wall insulation are also done and loan the money to do this at the same time. If you don’t borrow from them you won’t need to do this.

      The links posted by Longrider seem to be more bullshit, unattributed, made-up comment being reposted (perhaps masquerading as a ‘press release’) that seems to be based on a piece of badly researched shite originally from the moronic Daily Wail (no surprise there).

      • The Groan is quoting a government source, for what it is worth. The green deal as it stands is as you say. HMG it seems is concerned that the take up isn’t enough and is planning to force us using the energy bill. We will see, eh?

  4. Well one is reminded of what a complete fustercluck “home improvement packs” were. This seems to be that on steroids!

  5. Well, as far as interior stuff goes, the answer is “It was like that all the time – now sod off and try and prove otherwise.”

    Having recently become responsible for a house that needs a LOT of modernization I am a little concerned though.

    Luckily I have plenty of contacts in the trade who are still willing to do a few favors for my late Father.

  6. There’s a lot of papers available for download from this page:

    I’ve started reading “Section two: Proposed changes to technical guidance” from here:

    Just a few extracts: (My bolding)

    “It includes proposals for tighter carbon dioxide emission standards for new homes and non-domestic buildings, to take the next step towards ‘zero carbon’ standards, plus tighter performance standards for works to existing buildings. The paper also contains proposals to introduce, on a phased basis requirements for additional energy efficiency improvements to be carried out when other specified works (eg extensions) are planned

    From the document: (Their bolding)

    “1.3 If guidance in an Approved Document is followed there will be a presumption of compliance with the requirement(s) covered by the guidance. However, this presumption can be overturned, so simply following guidance does not guarantee compliance; for example, if the particular case is unusual in some way, then ‘normal’ guidance may not be applicable. It is also important to note that there may well be other ways of achieving compliance with the requirements. There is therefore no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in this Approved Document if you would prefer to meet the relevant requirement in some other way. Persons intending to
    carry out building work should always check with their building control body, either the local authority or an approved inspector, that their proposals comply with building regulations.

    But in the next paragraph is this (rather contradictory) message: (My bolding)

    1.4 It is important to note that this Approved Document, as well as containing guidance, also contains extracts from the Regulations. Such regulatory text must be complied with as stated. For example, the requirement that the target carbon dioxide (CO2) emission rate for the building shall not be exceeded (regulation 26) is a regulatory requirement. There is therefore no flexibility to ignore this requirement; neither can compliance with this particular regulation be demonstrated via any route other than that set out in regulations 24 and 25.

    There are loads of tables and calculations further down, which appear (at a quick glance) be be a complete minefield, and will doubtless be used by local authority jobsworths to tie householders in knots, and cause endless hassle and expense…

      • Hardly. It is a consultation document that closes on the 28 April 2012 and nothing has been decided yet.

        It may well be that they decide to bring this sort of thing into the planning process but they have not done so yet.

        I expect all sorts of people to be up in arms if they have to actually do something about saving energy. But my next house will take me to retirement and beyond. I want it to be as low energy use as possible. One thing I am sure about is that the cost of heating the thing will not get less as I get older.

        • You claimed that it was badly researched when it demonstrably isn’t.

          The issue here is not about energy efficiency, it is about the state deciding what measures we should take and when. I prefer to make my own decisions based upon my own circumstances and my own budget. As for borrowing, having just come out of a business failure, I’ll be damned if I am in a hurry to borrow more money. Government and its targets be damned.

        • I live in a small terraced house with two external walls, one south facing. The loft is insulated and the place is warm and comfortable enough for me, my monthly energy bill has actually gone down a few quid recently, I can’t see it needs to be any more energy efficient and as Longrider says, that’s my decision anyway. The boiler has done sterling service now for twenty five years but the likelyhood is that if it suffers some major malfunction there won’t be any replacement parts and I shall have to have a new one, which won’t last half as long. Why should I have to go through bureaucratic hoops and wait possibly months for permission to proceed whilst sitting in the cold with no hot water, how does that aid energy efficiency ?

        • @ Voyager – you display a remarkable degree of naivety (or just blind faith?) if you think a consultation this detailed will simply be torn up and thrown away. The coalition have shown no sign of backing down from the ludicrous 80% CO2 reduction targets signed by Liebor, and forcing people to “reduce” their carbon footprint is an ideal opportunity to further that agenda.

          If you wish to upgrade your home, fine, that’s YOUR choice. But, as Longrider says, it should be up to the individual householder, NOT at the whim of yet another public sector bureaucrat…

          And you might want to keep an eye on Pierre Gosselin’s “NoTricksZone” blog where you will see that the same legislation in Germany hasn’t achieved quite the desired effect – houses that have been retrofitted with insulation are now suffering serious damp problems, leading to dangerous aspergillus mould. Also it seems that many people are putting off improvements as they simply can’t afford the work.

          • No, I’m well aware that ‘targets’ are sometimes being set and not being met. But what would you rather do? Nothing?

            I’m not sure a badly written piece in the Daily Wail is better to base an argument on that a consultation document that is not even concluded.

            IF(!) they bring in measures to ‘upgrade’ the nations decaying, aged, housing stock to a slightly less than minimal level of insulation by applying restrictions to planning applications so be it. But changing your boiler does not have a planning component. Nor does changing your windows. Building an extension? That will already have to comply so all they will be doing is checking basics on the rest of the house when they do the building inspection.

            The current building regulations are in place to ensure we don’t live in slums. Various requirements are already in place to make sure the houses we have meet a basic standard. It seems to me that they want to raise that standard a tiny amount. Is that really so bad?

          • But I remember you getting all upset when I suggested knocking down the streets of substandard shoddily built Victorian housing. The reason this does not often happen is becasue Government stick their noses in and ‘preserve’ our pointless ‘heritage’.

            Seems like you want them on one hand but not the other.

        • Voyager – insulate your home as you wish. Do not support State policy which forces others who cannot afford to do the same, at the risk of criminalising those who want to heat their freezing homes.

  7. I’m looking forward to the first prosecution of someone who could afford to buy a new boiler to heat their freezing house but could not afford the extra green bollocks mandated by the State.

    He’ll be a fucking hero. It will knock 5 points off any government’s opinion poll, at least.

    • It wont come to prosecutions though, no firm will agree to do the work unless you’ve got the relevant permission. Thus the state will get someone else to do its dirty work for it, as usual and also as usual everyone will just grumble and accept it, if the poor can’t afford it well no one’s going to bother about that much either, least of all the Greens and their socialist mates who will be doing very nicely in all the extra public sector jobs and environmental consultancies it creates and anyway they can always bring in some tax funded grant or other to compensate their voter base, which will involve yet more non jobs. I can’t see how any statist could turn down a win win like that.

  8. Sorry to be OT but further to a previous post about not being able to visit from work, the problem is now solved.

  9. Seems like you want them on one hand but not the other.

    Post hoc ergo proctor hoc. Because I disapprove of bulldozing perfectly good homes, I must also approve of government intervention. I presume that in your fantasy world, 2+2=5?

    I most certainly do not approve of government intervention because it is none of their business.

    For someone who has been proven wrong repeatedly on this discussion, you seem to be really determined to compound it, don’t you?

    • I have not been ‘proven wrong’ about anything. You suggested that the ‘latest government idea’ is that people who do ‘home improvements’ will need to seek council approval and must show they have their houses insulated before doing the work and borrow money to do so if they can’t afford it.

      But this is not the case at all – what does seem to be proposed is that loans from the Green Deal will require a basic standard of home insulation before being offered. So (for instance) if you do not have enough money for a new boiler you can apply for a loan from the Green Deal and if you are seen to need to require home insulation you would get loaned the money for that at the same time. But if you want to buy your own boiler ‘the council’ are not going to be involved at any stage.

      Quite why you need to get so hostile because more dross from the Daily Wail has, yet again, enraged the hard of thinking little Englanders, I don’t know.

      • Er, so you choose to ignore the government consultation and the fact that it was not just the Daily Mail? You claimed (wrongly) that this was cooked up by the Daily Mail without any research. You have been comprehensively proved incorrect in that statement.

        I have not been ‘proven wrong’ about anything. You suggested that the ‘latest government idea’ is that people who do ‘home improvements’ will need to seek council approval and must show they have their houses insulated before doing the work and borrow money to do so if they can’t afford it.

        Yup and my statement was an accurate statement of fact. It is the latest government idea.

        But this is not the case at all – what does seem to be proposed is that loans from the Green Deal will require a basic standard of home insulation before being offered.

        No, that is not what is being proposed. What is being proposed is as I accurately related in the original post that was ultimately a consequence of the consultation document.

        Sure, it might not happen, but I wouldn’t place any bets on that given the observable control freakery we have witnessed so far.

        As for hostility – that is purely in your imagination. Or do you just not like it when people gainsay you and point out your logical fallacies?

        • No, I said that the details of the loans provided by the Green Deal were being conflated (by bloggers and Daily Wail ranters) into ‘Waaaah! The government are making me borrow money to insulate my house’ – which is NOT happening.

          The (last) government have signed us up to a reduction in carbon emissions and since a lot of these come from houses it is inevitable that they will be looked at as a way of meeting these targets.

          Will householders be ‘forced’ into taking measures to improve their insulation? Ultimately I don’t think they will. There will be a lot of coercion to do so (like the Green Deal loans) but I expect the rise in the cost of energy will get householders doing what they can to reduce consumption before the government need to intervene.

  10. Yup, it’s ALL bollocks, and as someone said, the jobsworths will screw it up anyway.
    Since I have an M.Sc. in Engineering, I take no notice AT ALL of the stupid regulation about wiring. I re-wired my entire house (the original 1908 wiring had had it) some years ago. And I still have a stock of the old colours cable …..

  11. What Voyager has a problem considerng are property rights.

    It is my house, I’ll do what I want in it. Or not.

    • No you won’t, there are restriction on what you can build and where. The are, in places, restrictions on what colour you can paint your front door and if you can have a satellite dish hanging off the roof.

      You can do some things you like, but not what you like. I’d like to live in an area where bulldozing a shoddy Victorian house and putting up a new one is considered a good idea. But the little Englanders think it is ‘heritage’ and will stop me doing it – and depending on where I chose to live when renovating I would even be forced into what style of windows I could replace in it!

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