The Curajus State’s !Green! Army to insulate Britain’s housing

This is one of Ritchie’s pet schemes. Go to the magic money tree to get all of Britain’s housing insulated. A !Green! Army, offering jobs, and insulation, and investment, in every community in Britain! Paid for by !Green! QE!

Yes:

More than 1.5 million homes have been left blighted by botched cavity insulation work carried out to meet Government energy targets, experts say.
Properties across Britain have suffered dampness and mould, causing smells, crumbling plaster and stained walls. In some cases, the value of homes has plunged.

The problem being that we did actually go and do that and it didn’t work.

Just because national plans never do. There are always too many details, too many exceptions. You simply cannot wave a wand over 65 million people, 25 million households, and expect the reaction of all to be the same.

National planning doesn’t work because there’s not a uniform nation to plan.

22 comments on “The Curajus State’s !Green! Army to insulate Britain’s housing

  1. That is easy. He will say there was not enough Green QE.

    This is what you get by the neo-liberal state trying to do the right thing on the cheap.

  2. Beats me why anyone cavity wall insulates. It’s loft insulation & D/G provide the major heat retention. And the cavity airgap itself is a pretty good insulator.. Along with the inner skin being usually aerated blockwork.
    Of course, you do have to ventilate the cavity. Because no masonry’s totally impervious & you’ll get moisture build-up ….. Oh look!
    Of course, if you really wanted to counter heat leakage you’d do something about all those homes with solid walls. Wouldn’t those Edwardian terrace des-res’s look great with thermal tiles plastered all over them? But you’d need to remember those houses were designed around having constant airflows. Those fireplaces in every room & the ill-fitting sash windows. And that the brickwork’s full of untreated softwood structural members. And how much dry rot thrives on high humidity levels

  3. National planning doesn’t work because there’s not a uniform nation to plan.

    And of course people like Murphy are in charge of it.

  4. Incidentally, if anyone wants to economise on heating costs or deal with a “cold” house, here’s a neat trick.
    Hot air rises & you’ll often find the warmest place in your house is under the ceiling over the stair well. So install some ducting – with a small electric ventilator fan in it – sucks in that hot air & pipes it down to ground floor, floor level. So you get to use your house heating twice. Works within those lofty Edwardian/Viccy rooms, as well. You’re freezing in the bottom half of the room, whilst the chandeliers are tropical. So put in a ceiling fan.

  5. I did a cost/benefit analysis of cavity wall heating when I put my last house up for sale and it got a poor energy rating. IIRC it was about a 40 year payback.

    As BiS says, full loft insulation was the fastest payback, about 5 years.

  6. “National planning doesn’t work because there’s not a uniform nation to plan.”

    True, but this was a grant scheme rather than a national plan, and it probably could have been implemented better than it was. The real issue here is not national planning, but that the over-riding aim was to reduce CO2 emissions rather than encourage people to insulate their homes appropriately, and this resulted in poor management of the scheme.

    I think cavity wall insulation is over-rated. I live in a 4-bedroom Georgian terrace with solid walls that are two feet thick. It costs us less than £650pa to heat and light the house. Thermal linings in curtains with blinds behind them are as good as double glazing, and a foot of loft insulation works wonders.

  7. Cavity wall were designed to keep out damp, filling the cavity and blocking the airflow is not a good idea. The trouble with these fads and government subsidies is they attract the spivs like wasps to a jam pot: doube glazing, insulation, solar panels…

    I have just moved to a house with cavity wall insulation. The previous owners spent much money over many years trying to cure ‘damp’. The only damp patch I have found is caused by the fancy air bricks installed in an attempt to cure it. It isn’t damp but condensation, ‘lifestyle issues’ as my surveyor put it; in plain language not opening the windows often enough.

  8. “It isn’t damp but condensation,”
    Don’t know how many times I’ve tried to explain this to people. A person exhales litres of moisture a day.* It will condense on any cool surface.
    Ventilation!

    *As for those bottle gas room heaters. If I remember rightly, they produce about 3 litres of water for every litre of gas they consume. Without adequate ventilation, if you don’t asphyxiate, you drown.

  9. Elsewhere the crazy numpty claimed that the EU could retaliate if the UK reduced corporate taxes by imposing withholding taxes and this would greatly reduce UK tax. He even blathered on about a Singapore style level of GDP spending of 17% being the likely result.

    I pointed out that:

    The UK could also impose WHT
    Corporation tax was small compared to IT/NIC
    The vast majority of CT is generated internally and would be unaffected.

    The great man had his answer. He deleted my post.

    He spouts this shyte on radio!

  10. BiND,

    “I did a cost/benefit analysis of cavity wall heating when I put my last house up for sale and it got a poor energy rating. IIRC it was about a 40 year payback.”

    It only added up for us because I got us and the neighbours together and we went to a company and told them they could come and do both together, so we got a decent discount.

    Loft insulation’s where it’s really at. And if you need new windows anyway, pay for the best glazing you can get. Beyond that, buy some sausage dogs to sit under the doors and stick a sweater on.

  11. We had loft insulation here about 25 years ago, cavity insulation about 15 years ago and a new boiler (to replace a back boiler from the 80s) about 3 years ago. All on government schemes. The double glazing is council double glazing, all the houses in this block had them done the same.
    Have had to pay for 2 doors myself.

  12. I got cavity insulation and loft insulation done under the grant scheme, and (this being a post-war house) we paid ourselves to have all the casements replaced with DG.

    I was told a while back by someone in one of the national trade bodies for the building industry that one reason the scheme is/was being wound up is that most of the houses that can be insulated have been – we are simply running out of houses with unfilled double skin cavity walls

  13. Theo,

    “The real issue here is not national planning, but that the over-riding aim was to reduce CO2 emissions rather than encourage people to insulate their homes appropriately, and this resulted in poor management of the scheme.”

    I can assure you that as far as the civil service was concerned the over-riding aim will have been to spend the money in the timescales. Not doing so is a heinous crime. There will have been secondary measurement like houses completed and etc but nobody will have been that bothered, missing those will have been a couple of bad news stories for a news cycle, at worst.

    Climate change was just the excuse used by politicians to spend more of the money they collect.

  14. “In some cases, the value of homes has plunged.

    Gasp! Heads must roll!”

    If they had actually killed people I think the outrage would have been less. But reducing the house value – unforgivable.

  15. BiND

    “I can assure you that as far as the civil service was concerned the over-riding aim will have been to spend the money in the timescales.”

    With a grant scheme, the civil service cannot control the uptake of grants. It can try to stimulate demand, but, even so, some grant schemes have low uptake – Clegg championed an eco one that was an abject failure, IIRC.

    “Not doing so is a heinous crime.”

    Not so much with grant schemes, as, AFAIA, grant scheme budgets don’t count if a department has a zero-based budget review.

    “Climate change was just the excuse used by politicians to spend more of the money they collect.”

    No, they believe in climate change religiously, and they are stupid enough to believe that what the UK does is of significance to global CO2 emissions. That said, if a grant scheme has a PC objective, monitoring and official guidance seem to have a low priority – perhaps because they just know the out-turn will be good.

  16. Theo,

    I worked for BDUK for 3 years as a consultant on the grant funded Mobile Infrastructure Project and saw other grant funded projects in operation.

    Maybe other departments have a different approach but I can assure you those teams were under extreme pressure to spend the money, come what may.

  17. Adrian

    Good work in getting a ‘please don’t waste my time again’ – a sure fire way to indicate you have argued him into a place he can’t extricate himself from. For an accountant his grasp of a balance sheet is worryingly poor…..

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