Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Conservatory Tax

Capitalists @ Work do a decent job today of trashing the government's lunatic ideas for compulsory energy saving. However, the government have done a decent job themselves of trashing the reasoning behind the idea; the table below is from the Communities department's own report on the energy efficiency of dwellings;

Thus solar PV is one of the least effective energy saving measures but with a strong industrial lobby to ensure we pour tax subsidies into this technology; the subsidy distorts the true payback of almost 50 years. And it will take almost a century to get your money back on double glazing ...

Since the figures clearly don't make sense, it's almost as if Dave and George had some personal financial interest in the Great Green Con.


pjt said...

I generally agree with your sentiment - subsidising solar PV sounds a particularly crazy idea - but I don't understand this pricing for double glazing.

Where I live, the standard is triple glazing with selective glass (to pass heat one-way) and an argon filling between two of the layers (for insulation), and the windows for my house cost less than 4000 £ (and it is a rather big house, 260 m2, 5 bedrooms etc.)

What's more, good insulation is not only about saving energy, it's also a considerable thing for convenient living.

G. Tingey said...

One SMALL point.
Solar PV prices are falling, and continuing to fall. At the same time the technology means the efficiency of PV is going UP.
The wrinkle is the ridiculous imposed costs on installation - a stitch-up by the big power generators, in fact.
Which changes the equations just a little bit.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

Have they done their capital accounting correctly in arriving at these figures? Have they done any capital accounting at all?

The technological complexity and fragility of solutions like micro-CHP, micro-wind, and "A-rated boiler" practically assures that those items simply won't last long enough to provide the predicted payback.

My good old clockwork oil-fired boiler may well last twenty or even thirty years, but the electronics-stuffed nonsense that constitutes a modern gas-fired condensing boiler will struggle to last five years, even without the British-Gas-inspired "ooh, you can't get the parts for those old things any more" stuff, which seems to start when they're about three years old.

The figures, for the high-tech items at least, are fantasy.

Raedwald said...

WY - agree wholly. My 1990 vintage boiler is chugging on nicely (despite having lost an overheat stat) and I'll run it until failure.

The big boiler con of course is having to upgrade the gas pipe to 18mm from the meter if your existing boiler runs on 12mm. This is compulsory with no exemptions. I even found a new boiler with a 12mm gas inlet; my friendly fitter said makes no difference, they still have to run 18mm to the inlet then use a reducer. Insanity.

EU, or Whitehall goldplating? Who cares. It's a con.

Thud said...

WY is spot on.

outsider said...

I have just checked the Energy Saving Trust estimates on solid wall insulation. It gives a median payback period of 15.7 years for internal and 23.6 years for external,instead of the 7.5 years quoted by your Communities Department table. The vast majority of the difference is accounted for by the projected cost. The EST uses a three bed semi so hardly exceptional.

Chris Morriss said...

A water-sourced heat pump is approximately twice as efficient as a ground-source one, so if you have a stream running through your property it's a no-brainer for a ROI in a reasonable period.