Monday, 12 October 2009

Reheat Britain - sign the Number 10 petition for a boiler scrappage scheme

I got an email letting me know about this petition a while ago. We've all heard and read a lot about the car scrappage scheme, being a government led initiative to boost UK car sales and encourage the purchase of more environmentally friendly cars and scrap the inefficient gas guzzlers.

Given that homes and transport are the biggies for consuming and wasting energy and heat, and emitting greenhouse gases, the petition to start a boiler scrappage scheme seems really sensible to me.

Quite frankly, we can't afford to replace our boiler and will only do so if it were to break down and not able or viable to be repaired.

If a scrappage scheme for old inefficient boilers were implemented, it would certainly be attractive to us as energy prices go up. To me, this seems like for minimal tax-payers investment, we will all save in the long run.

The petition owner states the following benefits for supporting this petition and scheme:

According to the 'Energy Saving Trust' if everyone in the UK with gas central heating installed a high efficiency condensing boiler, we would save enough energy to heat 3.4 million homes for a whole year and save around 13 million tonnes of Carbon Dioxide. The householder could also save around a third on their heating bills.

The recently introduced Car Scrappage scheme has proved a success for the car industry, but a Boiler Scrappage Scheme, along the same lines, could be even more successful.

It would help the Government to achieve it's climate change targets, it would benefit boiler manufacturers, plumbers merchants and installers by stimulating demand and it would benefit the householder by saving them money.

This has gained some momentum with Sian Berry, Green London Mayor canditate in the last elections, beingthe campaign manager. She is getting the petition some much-needed publicity with TV coverage and a new website. She hopes to sign up some high-profile MPs to support the campaign.

To find out more, please visit the Reheat Britain site and click on the link to sign the Number 10 petition.

I've signed it.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Green Party residents survey in Eaton

I guess with the main political parties having their conferences, we should expect more knocks on the door and questions about our main issues locally, nationally, and oh yes, who do we intend to vote for?

I get a bit weary of politics and politicians like most people. That said, I'm not sure what the alternative is? Given that there are some good people out there who do have a calling to serve the public and are brave enough to have a go at politics, I guess we should try to support them. The rest is up to them.

When our doorbell went at lunchtime with some far-too-young canvasser asking us to complete a residents survey form for the Green Party, we decided to fill it in. Apart from a bit of a leading question on re-nationalising the railways and having more regulation on the buses (would have preferred a series of options here), it was a good survey and I hope Adrian Ramsay listens to the residents of Norwich South when he stands at the next election.

Not sure who I'll vote for but it is so important that you vote, if only so you don't lose the right to moan about whoever gets in.

After months of disillusionment with politics and politicians, I think it is time we helped them out to turn things around and tell them like it is.

I've dcided that I'll fill in any surveys that I'm asked to do, even by the Conservatives, who I'm definitely allergic to! ;-)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Commuting hell - there must be a better way than the car? Not in Norwich!

Normally it takes me 20 minutes to commute to work by car. For 2 days a week, I need to drive because of childcare needs (one going to nursery and one to school, and pick up later).
Just now, I was on the A47 southern bypass in Norwich for an hour and 30 minutes. Clearly something serious must have happened as the road was closed next to the turnoff for Trowse, and I hope no one was hurt.
I abandoned the journey and came home, thereby wasting time, fuel and emitting CO2 for no real benefit.
Apart from the need to look after my children's needs, it would be great to cycle to work. The reality is though that for me, an unfit thirtysomething bloke, the 20 mile roundtrip along busy roads in Norwich, particularly now the weather is turning is not a tempting prospect.
If I had an electric bicycle, such as the ones a colleague let me know about at work from Gocycle, that might help, if I could be brave enough to get back on a bike saddle after about 14 years! The sad reality though is that the tipping point for me financially falls on the side of the car, and not via the Gocycle-To-Work scheme.
Public transport for me is poor. Park and Ride buses have a later timetable than the regular buses but of course, they have few stops and do not pick up fares on route. Instead I see them driving around Norwich virtually empty later in the evening, contributing to congestion, and adding fumes and greenhouse gas emissions.
This is madness.
At the moment, I have to look at what meets our needs and the costs, with the environment and the social considerations taking a back seat. Excuse the pun! ;-)