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*Delayed start - starting c 12.45pm* Webchat about energy-saving with Ed Davey, Energy and Climate Change Minister, Wednesday 13 February, now 12.45pm

(123 Posts)
JustineMumsnet Belgium (MNHQ) Mon 11-Feb-13 17:31:30

Hi all,
We'll be welcoming the Rt Hon Edward Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, for a webchat on this Wednesday, Feb 13th at 12.30pm - 1.30pm.

Ed Davey has been the LibDem MP for Kingston and Surbiton since 1997 and lives in Surbiton with his wife and son. He served in a number of shadow roles since 2001, including Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Shadow Education and Skills Secretary, and became a Minister in the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) in May 2011, after the forming of the current coalition government.

Ed is interested in hearing your thoughts on a wide range of issues, including the Government's new Green Deal policy, which launched in late January

Please post your question in advance on this thread, or join us live on Wednesday from 12.30pm-1.30pm.

fadgers Wed 13-Feb-13 13:33:56

Sorry i broke the in house rules i only registered today for the first time , just trying to help everybody save money with cost effective energy saving products which are almost unknown to most Brits . will somebody explain what is permissible and what is not

PaulJHarrison76 Wed 13-Feb-13 13:35:06

SteveSmith48 - I personally think this is a good idea, but as an auditor, I would be required to provide evidence of how I have determined the U-value, or i will fail my audit. This is stated in the RdSAP convention 3.08.

NearlyEverything Wed 13-Feb-13 13:36:06

Hi Ed

Please answer aliceb4's question about Osborne, Cameron, Patterson et al - aren't you pushing jelly up a hill when so many senior cabinet ministers are so deeply hostile to the carbon agenda?

The loss of Chris Huhne doesn't help in this respect either; do you think he will be missed?

Chrisjw Wed 13-Feb-13 13:37:03

I was at a roundtable last Friday with 2 DECC officials responsible for businesses getting Green Deal. Unfortunately they couldn't answer many of our questions. The interest rates are set by the Green Deal provider, so there will be no protection on what businesses can be charged. SBEM is also onlt a very rough guide to savings; so many commercial building Green Deals that in theory should hit the Golden Rule will in reality fail. Who is responsible when savings don't cover the cost of the loan? Sadly the DECC officials did not know!

KateSMumsnet Cameroon (MNHQ) Wed 13-Feb-13 13:37:34

fadgers

Sorry i broke the in house rules i only registered today for the first time , just trying to help everybody save money with cost effective energy saving products which are almost unknown to most Brits . will somebody explain what is permissible and what is not

Hi fadgers, thanks for joining Mumsnet.

You can find out more about our site rules in our talk guidelines If you're interested in advertising on Mumsnet, please contact sales@mumsnet.com, as we do not allow people to advertise on our talk boards (or on webchats!)

Tianc Wed 13-Feb-13 13:40:40

Btw, apologies KateSMumsnet as my post has two actual questions - I'm not expecting an answer to either both. But I put it all in because your OP says Ed wants thoughts on a wide range of issues.

Screaminabdabs Wed 13-Feb-13 13:41:09

If my question about Fukushima isn't to be answered, could you answer Tianc's question about Smart Meters, please?

JonLew Wed 13-Feb-13 13:42:22

Am not sure if Ed's still here..would have asked him if the Green Deal is the left shoe and the right shoe will be the obligation on every householder to live in an EPC-level D and above house, or be penalised..the Green Deal financing mechanism is in place to make it possible for all to comply..

EdwardDavey Wed 13-Feb-13 13:42:43

OneLieIn

Sorry change of question.

What are you doing about fuel poverty?

Energy prices up by 7%, 300,000 more homes on brink of fuel poverty, including mine

Dear OneLieIn,
Are you up today?
Seriously, fuel poverty is a critical issue, and we are very active.
First, we have had an independent analysis done of how we measure fuel poverty - and guess what it turns out we dont do that well. The real challenge is helping those people who live in fuel poverty year in year out - grinding fuel poverty - that affects their health, their kids' health, their kids' education, etc, etc. And the independent report suggests we need another measure that captures "the depth" of fuel poverty.
So - with much better measures, and by identifying those homes and families who are really in fuel poverty, our policies can be far more effective.
And we have loads of policies!
From warm home discount ( targeted at those on lowest incomes including senior citizens and disabled people) to cold weather payments (the coalition has permanently TREBLED these); from energy efficiency programmes like green deal; from the Energy Company Obligation, where we are forcing the energy companies to subsidise insulation and others measures to the tune of £1.3 billion a year, with around 50% of that targeted at the fuel poor; to our plans to make the energy market more competitive, to my push on "collective switching" or "energy co-oops" (see DECC's "cheaper Energy Together" competition), to our plans to insulate the UK long term from the effects of high fossial fuel prices.
And if you still dont thinjk I care deeply about fuel poverty, we are publishing a new fuel opoverty strategy later this year - the first in 12+ years - so we renew our focus on it, and that will invlve not just decc but treasury, department of health and others.
pklease dont believe everything you read in some newspapers!

finecheese Wed 13-Feb-13 13:42:59

Hello Mr Ed Davey,
As a mother who works for a young 'crowd-financing' company that provides the opportunity for ordinary people and families to invest in renewable energy projects I'd be interested to know the following:

I know the government is trying to get people more involved in community renewables - generally speaking, how do you see the government supporting these business models which both support community energy and provide the much needed economical growth within the UK?

PS - what did you have on your pancakes yesterday?

Thankyou!

EdwardDavey Wed 13-Feb-13 13:45:54

WoodysMumJess

Hi Ed,

I like the idea of the Green Deal and want to take advantage but having contacted a Provider, been told there's a delay in the software. Half the providers I contacted never came back to me. This isn't a great start!

Also, from chatting to people (fellow Mums!), not that many people seem to know about it - I'm a bit of an Eco-geek - but do you think there needs to be more home owner education?

Hi Woody's Mum!
Sorry to hear you've had a problem - I guess there was always likely to be a few teething problems. Because this programme is really a new market, some of the firms have been waiting to see demand grow, before they finally press the "green" button and go - with training and investing. We've been monitoring closely how the "supply chain" of firms and trained employees has been growing - and the great news is that itis growing fast - so I hope all grteen geeks will find the green deal getting better and better

Chrisjw Wed 13-Feb-13 13:46:04

I have to say, although I don't agree with all the answers; it is refreshing to be able to engage directly with a senior politician on their responsibility area

UpOverAndOut Wed 13-Feb-13 13:47:00

blush can't remember where I read it now but glad to hear. I'm a big fan of them and look forward to seeing what happens later this year

EdwardDavey Wed 13-Feb-13 13:47:31

Tianc

Ed

Most people don?t realise that the main purposes of smart meters include:

a) to charge higher prices at peak times and cause localised power cuts within the house

b) to enable utility companies to effectively cut customers off without going through the current check and justification mechanism of a magistrate?s court.

Purpose (a) is because the Dept for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) have decided to manage falling generation capacity by rationing power, rather than increasing capacity. But instead of using a per capita method of rationing, as with food during WWII, DECC has plumped for pure ability-to-pay.

The rich will continue using what they like when they like; the poor will face unaffordable prices at peak times, and localised power cuts switching off their freezer and washing machine. The working poor ? Clegg?s ?alarm clock Britain? - will be disproportionately impacted, as they have little choice about when to shower, cook, dry clothes, etc.

Why has there been no national debate about this?

Obviously the utility companies are delighted at being able to pass on peak prices, instead of averaging as now. It dumps their commercial risk onto the individual customer.

It?s less clear why DECC are supporting this method.

But then this is the same DECC which allows utility companies to charge more for the first so-many units and then discounts on the excess. Which is jolly nice in commercial terms of competing for high-usage customers, but has no place in reducing overall consumption.

Which brings me to (b). And indeed all the other lovely things packaged with Smart Meters to benefit the utility companies but which put customers at risk.

Like the facility to reprogram Smart Meters remotely, via internet and mobile phone technology.

Utility companies will be able to reprogram Smart Meters into prepayment meters, or cut supply completely, or restrict it to a trickle, without having to access the premises ? and therefore without asking permission from the customer or satisfying a magistrate.

They?ll promise not to be naughty, of course, but their track record isn?t convincing (utility co takes 854 out of a MNer?s account in breach of direct debit regulations and another doesn?t even know what meters are at MNer?s address. And these are hardly unusual.)

But this pales in comparison to the risk to critical national infrastructure of remote reprogramming, which makes every Smart Meter in the country vulnerable to everything from software-update failure a la NatWest, to Chinese state hackers. The government?s own Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure has warned continually about this.

There?s also the little matter of privacy, which I won?t try to cram in here. (See previous thread with detail and links to DECC documents and cybersecurity analyses: Anyone having a gas/leccy meter replaced with a Smart Meter? Something you need to know. )

Smart Meters, of a rather safer kind, could potentially have a role to play in reducing carbon footprint. and there is a valid discussion to be had about how we as a nation wish to ration essential goods like power.

But the Smart Meter package as currently envisaged is primarily about utility companies? bottom line, using DECC?s green agenda as cover. Why on earth are you playing along with this?

Dear Tianc
Sorry - you are COMPLETELY wrong.
In almost everything you type
The aim is to save people money. It will give them more control.

EdwardDavey Wed 13-Feb-13 13:49:29

aliceb4

Hi Ed,
Thanks for coming to Mumsnet. This government promised to be the "greenest ever" but all the noise coming out of the Treasury and No. 10 including the appointment of environment minister, Owen Paterson, (who many see as a climate change denier) seems to indicate that they've had a massive change of heart. You are obviously committed to the Green agenda, however. Do you really feel that Cameron and Osborne are too?

(Oh and by way of tradition, what's your fave biscuit?)

The whole government is pledged to be the greenest government ever - it's a coalition commitment.
My really favourite biscuit is a fig roll - but I am partial to bourbons too. In fact, I'd better stop now....

EdwardDavey Wed 13-Feb-13 13:52:51

I'm told i have to go now - just when i was getting started! (Actually they want to take a photo of my eating a bourbon!)
Thanks for all the questions - sorry i couldn't answer the all.
My question to you is - will you please go and visit www.gov.uk/greendeal or ring 03001231234 (not all at once now), and find out how you can save energy, save money, save the planet and employ local people! What's stopping you?
And my question to Mumsnet is - will you look at our ideas around collective switching and co-operative energy? Why not organise for mumsnetters an energy switch to help everyone out there save money?
Best
ed

Tianc Wed 13-Feb-13 13:53:37

In that case, can I suggest people mosey over to my thread "Anyone having a gas/leccy meter replaced with a Smart Meter? Something you need to know", and follow the references to the DECC's own documents, ICO documents, etc. And I'd like to add this one from the European Data Protection Supervisor, since we're here.

Screaminabdabs Wed 13-Feb-13 14:21:05

Haven't read your thread yet, Tianc, but do you know there is a national UK campaign against smart meters?

stopsmartmeters.org.uk/

Glad to see another MNer concerned about this - will get over to your thread when I have time.

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Thop Thu 14-Feb-13 13:17:23

A question regarding finance deals...
I really like the idea of the Green Deal but there is one thing that may put me off - If I wanted to buy back the loan early, if I have more money later or if the buyer of my house is not keen to buy with the loan in place, then the loan company has the right to charge for the all the interest they would have earned! I understand paying off a loan early looses the loan company money, but is this not favouring them too much?

Could I please urge for this to be reviewed so that it has the same consumer protection on charges as other loans?

MylinhMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 26-Feb-13 12:26:54

armchairbackpacker

Regarding the GreenDeal. I had my survey done in December 2012. The cashback portal is now open but I cant register as I havent had my report back yet. My supplier said it is because the government software to produce the report isnt available yet. and I have queried this with another supplier who said the same (that the questions to decide the cost reduction in our energy were still not confirmed and until they are the software isnt available).

When will I get my report, I am desperate to get cracking with the GreenDeal and am a big supporter of the scheme but this delay is frustrating?

Thanks

Hello Armchairbackpacker - we've just been sent this response to your question from Ed Davey and the Green Deal team. Hope it's helpful! MNHQ

Ed Davey said:

"Hi Armchairbackpacker

We hope that your assessment report has now come through but, if not, we wanted to assure you that Green Deal assessment software is available to assessor organisations and has been since 5th December. Green Deal assessors are required to finalise green deal assessments within 14 days of the assessment taking place. We have spoken to a number of assessor organisations and where this hasn’t happened, we have asked them to re-do the assessment at no additional charge to the consumer.

Please do let us know if your assessor still hasn’t been able to do this for you, contact correspondence@decc.gsi.gov.uk"

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