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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 (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.

RichFewster Wed 13-Feb-13 11:22:39

How do I go about applying for an ECO grant to get insulation work done on my property?

I think I qualify for some work to be done under ECO (loft, cavity wall etc) but having a hard time trying to find anyone who will sign me up. And can part of the work be done on ECO then I pay the extra?

How do I find out about the eligibility criteria for ECO?

finecheese Wed 13-Feb-13 11:22:43

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?


MrsHelenJK Wed 13-Feb-13 11:24:27

Hi Mr Davey,

I'd like to say that I do support anything that we can do as a country to reduce our carbon emissions (I work in the climate change field), but I am concerned that in a time of financial austerity we are encouraging citizens to take out significant loans. DEBT is an increasing problem today with students taking out massive loans, and mortgages being often unaffordable. Is a policy of adding to debt a sensible one at this time?

LittleTyga Wed 13-Feb-13 11:24:33

Good afternoon Ed,

Firstly fracking (sp) I don't think we should be supporting this what are your thoughts?

Also drilling for oil in the Arctic - this must be stopped it's so damaging to the wildlife especially if there is a spill.

Finally will you be supporting Tim Yeo and his call for clean electricity?

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 13-Feb-13 11:24:47

Hi Ed,

I really love the ideas for green energy but why should the consumer foot the bill when the energy companies are bleeding us dry with their constant price hikes?

LittleTyga Wed 13-Feb-13 11:25:46

Oh good question LadyMary smile

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Wed 13-Feb-13 11:27:33

smile Thank you.

Energetically Wed 13-Feb-13 11:32:28

Dear Mr. Davey,
We are anxiously awaiting details of the 2nd Tranch of the Energy Entrepreneurs Fund but there appears to be a deafining silence? There are opportunities to radically reduce heat poverty for households if the FIT could be applied to CHP across more than one home. What plans to you have to help families in this context?

KitandAdamsmum Wed 13-Feb-13 11:34:30

Hi Ed

The UK has some of the most energy inefficient homes in Europe, and some of the highest levels of fuel poverty ie when people can't afford to keep warm.

What impact do you think the Green Deal is going to have on levels of fuel poverty? If, as I suspect, it won't have much impact, what else is the government going to do to make sure every family can keep warm in winter?


wendy36912 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:37:12

I work for a local council. We think the Green Deal is a very good scheme. However, why does the Green Deal Pioneering Places funds have to be spent in such a short period of time. Most Green Deal Providers are still not ready. Furthermore, there is not enough Green Deal Assessors in place yet to cope with the demand. Can you be more flexible and let this money be used beyond the end of March?

Meglet Wed 13-Feb-13 11:42:15


When are the government start being tougher with the big energy companies alwys putting their prices up? There is only so much insulation and energy saving that families can do.

And I second gaelicsheep question about what you are doing to ensure big companies save energy. Offices lit at night, shop doors wide open etc.

armchairbackpacker Wed 13-Feb-13 11:42:40

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?


neilwilliams Wed 13-Feb-13 11:43:07

I want to do the Green deal because I have a hard to treat home(c.1780) with solid walls in conservation area. I have done the obvious insulation measures but hope to put external insulation on the side wall. I would hope to get ECO assistance, but don't want a loan. Can I get an ECO grant under the Green Deal without taking out a loan?

PaulJHarrison76 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:44:25

Hello Ed
I am a qualified energy assessor working for one of the accreditation schemes involved in the EPBD scheme and Green deal scheme.

I am living in a property that was built in the 1990s and the EPC that is issued against my property states that the cavity wall is assumed to have insulation in it, because the building regulations at that time state that it should have been installed.
However I've have had a bora scope of the cavity wall which shows that there is no insulation in the walls. Also my house gets very cold shortly after the heating goes off, and my energy bills are very high.
My question is: When I produce an EPC for my property, there is no recommendation for cavity wall insulation with a green tick to enable me to apply for Green Deal funding. Is this something that you are aware of, and are there any plans to tackle this problem in the future.

AnonymousDad Wed 13-Feb-13 11:50:24

I am a Green Deal Advisor and a Provider. I allways try to assertain if a homeowner is eligible for an Energy Company Obligation grant before discussing Green Deal as I feel this is in the best interests of the householder.

I am dissapointed that the marketing campaign does not include information about ECO, is there any intention to include it in future marketing?

mikey9 Wed 13-Feb-13 11:54:45

Isn't it about time the governement started bieing very clear about the amount of subsidy (in all it's forms) all types of electricity generation has had (and continues to have) over the years. This would need to include the finance for construction of Coal and Gas power stations and especially Nuclear - but also the huge projected de-commissioning costs - also the payments for non-production that go out to all production (no just wind as the media would have us believe).

You seem to stand on the sidelines quietly allowing misinformation to be put out there (because YOU don't like onshore wind perhaps) rather than putting the record straight with some facts - with something as important as how our future energy needs will be supplied - I would expect full and complete information - supplied by governement to be a given - allowing us make an informed choice.

When writing press releases always remember - "information without perspective" is useless.

AlbanThurston Wed 13-Feb-13 11:58:19

Adding to finecheese's terrific question; How does the Sec of State square his Energy Bill's complete lack of detail on communities generating their own energy, with his Department's supposed advocacy for local energy co-ops? Isn't he facing both ways, with a bill which offers under-the-counter handouts to expensive nuclear? The consultation run by DECC on Community Energy will report only in October, long after he wants his Energy Bill to become law. And the Bill as presented by the coalition with a low ceiling of 20 Megawatts on the amounts of energy permitted for generation by communities, actually makes it more difficult for co-ops to scale up, along the ambitious lines of cities like Berlin, Munich, and the UK cities - Sheffield, Stoke, London - which would like to copy them?

JasonC Wed 13-Feb-13 11:58:50

Can we use the Green Deal if we get cheaper finance than the 7% on offer, with all the safeguards? Nationwide are offering Green additional borrowing loans at 2.29%.

mylittlechamp Wed 13-Feb-13 12:04:04

Insulate my loft or pay for nursery fees - which do you recommend?

GreenerSky Wed 13-Feb-13 12:15:11

The Green Deal (or energy efficient measure) will become compulsory for landlords over the next few years are there plans to make it compulsory for all households?

Thank you

energy act 2011
The Energy Act 2011 contains powers so that from
2016 landlords should not be able to refuse reasonable
requests for consent to install Green Deal measures
from their tenants. From 2018 landlords should ensure
their privately rented properties meet a minimum
energy efficiency standard (likely to be set at EPC
rating ‘E’) or that they have installed the maximum
package of measures under the Green Deal.

JonLew Wed 13-Feb-13 12:15:44

Hi Ed..Looks like landlords will do well out of the Green Deal..they can get the dwelling refubished to make it more energy efficient, and as the monthly electricity bill is in the tenant's name, the tenants will be the ones who cover the cost ?

DerekfromBerwick Wed 13-Feb-13 12:16:44

For Ed Davey: Many sceptics are doubtful about whether the Green Deal and ECO are going to deliver what they should. How open to ideas for changing the scheme are you.

Falkor Wed 13-Feb-13 12:19:15

As a worried working mum, I have a more general cultural and educational question from me. With public figures such as Matt Damon on his last Gus Van Sant film about hydraulic fracturing in the US titled Promised Land now becoming mainstream worldwide, and also the London's Southbank Centre hosting public figures as such Yoko Ono, who is currently leading an artists campaign against fracking in NYC, curating the Meltdown this summer, would you be able to stand up to your decision that current shale gas extraction methods are safe for british water supply and earthquakes free for this country and their future generations?

Tianc Wed 13-Feb-13 12:20:09


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?

WoodysMumJess Wed 13-Feb-13 12:21:19

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?


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