Just had an email from Sainsburys – my local store has just opened a ‘Home Energy Centre’ which promises, among other things, advice and possibly sales on Solar PV systems “which could provide up to 50% of your home electricity needs”, solar thermal systems and, best of all, advice on an “Air Source Heat Pump System”, which uses heat generated from the outside air to heat your home and water.”

Good grief. Now, I’m all for bringing these ideas and products to as many people as possible. But, and I say this as someone who spends a good two hours a week trudging round my local Sainsbury’s, somehow I doubt the majority of my fellow shoppers have anywhere near the independent knowledge to be able to buy these items with any degree of satisfaction.
I think pretty much everyone could benefit from a solar thermal system, and with the new Feed-in-Tariffs then PV panels become more realistic, but, really, air source heat pumps? Have you seen the type of house that most people live in?

I will definitely be hanging around my local Home Energy Centre this weekend and eavesdropping on the advice that Sainsbury’s staff give their customers. As an ex Sainsbury’s employee myself (Saturday job, 1993) I am sure they will be exceptionally well trained and just as happy to say, sorry, an air source heat pump is a complete waste of money unless you can actually insulate your house and install underfloor heating, for starters.

Good for them on supplying insulation, though.

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