Reasons for hope in the green revolution – Part 1
As we begin a New Year it is easy to feel overwhelmed by with all the bad news about climate change. Of course, it is right to worry with 2023 being the warmest 12 months in 125,000 years, but there are also some reasons to be optimistic as Midlands energy expert Ron Fox explains.
Over the next four weeks he will be giving two positive green stories in each article.
All pumped up: The number of people applying for a grant to swap a gas boiler for an air-source heat pump surged after the government increased the money by 50 per cent from £5,000 to £7,500 from October 23 last year.
The figure soared by 173 per cent from 1,231 in September to 3,355 in October – more than three times higher than the average weekly rate before the change to the boiler upgrade scheme.
The plan, which is available in England and Wales, provides financial support for householders to switch from fossil fuel heating systems to a cleaner, energy efficient, carbon saving heat pump alternative.
The incentive is now one of the most generous of its kind in Europe and will mean with government help residents will now have to pay on average £2,250 themselves for a heat pump.
Experts see heat pumps as a way to move away from boilers which are a key reason homes are responsible for 17 per cent of the UK greenhouse gas emissions.
At the moment some households need to seek full planning permission to install a heat pump. However, the government is now looking at a change in planning rules to make it easier for households to install heat pumps.
Customers can check their home is eligible on www.gov.uk. Anyone interested needs to agree a quote for the work with an MCS certified installer, who will then do all the Boiler Upgrade Scheme paperwork. Ofgem will contact the customer after that to confirm that they would like to proceed.
Olympics’ goal: Organisers are planning to make this year’s Olympics Games in Paris from Friday July 26 until Sunday August 11 the most sustainable sports ever.
They want to more than halve carbon dioxide emissions of previous events and make the Games powered almost entirely by renewable energies.
The games will use low-carbon equipment and renewable energy across all their venues, which will be entirely accessible by public transport. And all catering, internet use and other activities will be as sustainable as possible.
The 42,000 chairs, 10,000 office tables, 6,000 shelves and 800 workstations used for the Games will be recovered after the event. Three-quarters will be resold, donated, recycled or reused.
As for the 13 million meals that will be served, the organisers plan to use 25 per cent of products sourced from within 150 miles of the Olympic venues and to double the number of vegetarian options available compared to the previous Games.
Any unavoidable emissions from the Games will be offset by investments in projects to protect the planet including forest conservation.
“If Paris achieves all this it will be very fitting,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd which is based at Keele University’s Science and Innovation Park, “as the French capital was where the Agreement on Climate Change was adopted in 2015 and now this would be where the first ever climate positive Olympic Games would be held.”
For more advice on green energy and recycling contact Ron Fox on 01782 756995. In the mean time have a happy and peaceful New Year.
Caption: The number of people applying for an air-source heat pump surged after the government increased the grant.