You know things are changing when Evan Davis on Radio 4’s ‘PM’ programme starts talking about Air Source Heat Pumps. Yep, that’s exactly what happened on my radio yesterday.
Evan Davis did a long feature on heat pumps and even visited a home that had one installed.
Unfortunately, he went to a big posh house in London where the install costs they mentioned were massive and over a third over the cost of a typical 4-bedroom house installation, so I’m worried his feature may have inadvertently put people off.
Anyway, Evan is going to be talking about heat pumps again tonight and over the next few days, which is all very exciting for us heat pump fans.
So why is he talking about this? Because things are changing and they are changing pretty fast. At last!
For me, the rate of change hasn’t been fast enough or big enough, but things are definitely happening. The next few months are massive for the UK and for the global green economy.
Energy theft is a serious problem for housing associations and there are a number of reasons for this. In this article we will focus on the theft of electricity, though tampering with gas supplies and meters can have devastating consequences if a leak causes an explosion.
Interfering with electricity supplies and meters can be extremely dangerous. Electric shock can cause burns, injury or death, not only for the culprit but also cohabitants, neighbours, future tenants, housing association staff and contractors. As they are landlords, housing associations have a statutory responsibility for electrical safety as well as a duty to prevent personal injury caused by defects in the property. They also have a duty of care towards staff and contractors.
If you’ve been paying attention to the news recently and especially stories about carbon reduction targets and the build-up to COP26 in Glasgow, you can’t have missed mention of heat pumps.
There has been good, bad and uninformed comment but the main message is clear: Heat pumps are here now, and they offer a viable solution to heating our homes in a low carbon way that will help tackle climate change.
And the country really needs to find a way to decarbonise society, if we are to get anywhere near the ambitious targets for carbon reduction that the government has signed up to.
And this is where heat pumps can really help!
Social housing can help reduce society’s carbon footprint with renewables
The United Kingdom has set a legal goal of reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To achieve this, the government wants to increase household energy efficiency and transition to greener heating methods by the end of the decade, halving the energy use of new builds.
Considering 40% of UK emissions come from households, it’s clear to see that our homes have an important part to play in meeting the 2030 emissions reductions.
In 2020, around 4 million houses were occupied by households socially renting.
This just goes to show how big a role housing associations and local authorities will play in tackling the climate crisis.
Introduced on 4th May, the new Debt Respite Scheme, also known as ‘Breathing Space’, could have a significant impact on residential landlords considering possession proceedings to recoup rent arrears. So, what do registered providers (RPs) need to be aware of and what steps must they now take when considering bringing legal proceedings against tenants?
Implemented to give those facing debt problems protection from their creditors, the Debt Respite Scheme includes two types of Breathing Spaces; Standard Breathing Space and Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space. Standard Breathing Space is available to anyone with problem debt and provides an individual with legal protection from creditor action for up to 60 days. This includes most enforcement action being paused, the prevention of contact from creditors and the freezing of most interest charges on the debt.
The Mental Health Crisis Breathing Space is only available to a person receiving mental health crisis treatment, with protection lasting as long as the individual’s treatment lasts, plus 30 days after their treatment ends.
TV presenter and architect George Clarke looks at the global shortage of construction materials.
The global pandemic has been difficult for everyone. I still remember the turmoil in the first few weeks of the national lockdown with everyone trying to work out what we could do and couldn’t do.
Construction was allowed to continue and was seen as ‘essential work’ to the UK economy.
However, there was still massive disruption across the industry. Fearful of catching the virus some construction workers simply wouldn’t turn up to work, others found it difficult to travel to physically get to site.
Some would catch the virus and have to self-isolate for weeks, others would catch the virus and not make it through. My heart goes out to anyone who lost a friend or relative to Covid.
George Clarke explores the contradictions in government housing policy
So, the government has published a new, draft National Model Design Code (NMDC) to ‘bring back beauty’ to the way new-build homes and estates are built across the country.
Following on from the ‘Building Better Building Beautiful Commission’ that published its report in January 2020, the government has since appointed URBED, a design and research company based in Manchester, to produce a checklist of design principles to consider for new developments covering everything from urban design to street character, facades, building types, environmental design and well-being.