At last I have a photograph of building work.  Work was due to begin two weeks ago but was stalled by torrential rain.  Finally it’s underway.

Meanwhile we’ve been engaging in more shananigans with the Energy Saving Trust.  Having previously given up on them (see here:, and here: I suddenly get a phone call from the Trust out of the blue as I’m rushing out of the office.  “Did you know, Ms Bradford, that you can get an interest free loan of up to £10 000 to install renewables?”  No, I most certainly did not.  “Would you like us to send you more information?”  Yes, I most certainly would.  A few days later a letter arrives which thanks me for my inquiry but is sorry to tell me that this loan scheme has now expired.  I call them and ask how a loan scheme, which was offered to me only days ago, can now have expired.  They say that perhaps the confusion is caused by the fact that I’m living in Glasgow and converting a property in Moray and that the loan is available in one area but not another.  Anyway, I’m told I need to book a session with a consultant in order to qualify. As this is something I’ve been trying to organise without success since last year, I’m happy to agree.

The consultant arrives on time on the specified date and is extremely knowledgeable and pleasant.  He talks through the various options and warns us that he’s visited several properties where the owners are removing air source heat pumps because they’re so expensive to run.   It’s not that the technology doesn’t work – invariably the right amount of insulation wasn’t installed or the pump wasn’t sited in the most effective position.  He gives us a long list of things to double-check with our architect.   I would recommend this kind of consultation highly.  If only we’d had it earlier.

I ask him about the interest free loans and he’s unsure but tells me to check with a local recycling initiative called REAP.  I call them, and the local charity is clearly better briefed on the situation than the Energy Saving Trust.  The loans offered to me a month earlier by the Energy Saving Trust finished a year ago.

Time to sigh another exasperated sigh, and have a beer around the camp fire.

  • arkenna

    Heat pumps are all very well, but just think about the physics for a while. The coefficient of performance, at best, of either an air source heat pump or ground source, is around 4. At best. More like 3. This means that you are turning each unit of electricity (at around 12p per unit nowadays), into 3 or 4 units of “heat”. This means you get each unit of “heat” for around 3 or 4 pence. i.e. about the same price as a unit of heat costs using heating oil. Without the

  • Post a comment
    You must be logged in to comment. Log in