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Westminster loses it

Christopher Booker's article in the Mail is extraordinary. The idea that we are intending to add massively to the cost of making home improvements by forcing people to complete a variety of other works at the same time is quite mindblowing.


Anyone thinking of building a new conservatory, replacing their old boiler or putting in new windows had better move fast.

If they wait a couple of years they could find themselves falling foul of a deluge of new ‘green’ red tape that will leave them having to pay thousands of pounds extra.

Under plans being discussed by the Government, revealed by yesterday’s Daily Mail, anyone hoping to make improvements to their home from 2014 may have to carry out a whole lot of additional works to show their property is ‘energy efficient’.


I find the idea that it will be forbidden to replace a broken down boiler without spending thousands more quite immoral. Are people supposed to sit in the cold if they can't afford it?

This is going to make ordinary people very, very angry.

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    - Bishop Hill blog - Westminster loses it

Reader Comments (111)

More interesting background to this over at ConservativeHome

Apr 11, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterretireddave


I agree more than you imagine since I am beginning a self-build.
I like guidelines because they can represent good practice but I dislike regulations because they can criminalise otherwise reasonable behaviour. Some years ago I did not need an energy certificate to sell a house, then for some time it was compulsory and now it is not. Someone could still be serving a sentence after society decided its latest regulation was unnecessary.
It strikes me that we are massively over-governed. In some parts of the country the public sector represents 70% of the economy. I believe that society should begin to develop a clear sense of how much government we really need and only budget for that.

Apr 11, 2012 at 3:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

Dreadnought: yes, you are right. But perhaps Trade Associations are best placed to make well considered representations. I would hope that the Consumers Association (Which?) was involved on behalf of the rest of the population.

Retireddave: I'm curious why a GW skeptic should be interested in low energy housing. It seems like a contradiction. Shouldn't you be running your house at 25C, leaving the windows open and driving everywhere in 1st gear to emit as much CO2 as you can ;-) Just kidding :-)

HuhneToTheSlammer: sticks and stones, etc; hurling insults from behind a pseudonym demeans you, not me. Insulation costs are normally in the hundreds, not thousands and there are subsidies. Generalisation are necessary; making policy on the basis of specific cases would never work.

I don't understand why it is controversial to reduce fossil energy use. The West largely relies on imports: US imports are around 9 million barrels a day - $1 billion a day. One doesn't have to believe in GW to see that reducing consumption and keeping that money in our own economies is sensible.

Apr 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Registered CommenterWilliam Morris

Here in USA a man had stripped the siding off his house to replace it and then lost his job. Unable to afford siding, he covered the walls with a temporary covering. He was arrested for violating building codes and spent some nights in jail. It appears that one can now be arrested for poverty--does this bring back the poor house? There are also laws on the books or proposed that one must upgrade one's house before selling it, but again what if you are broke or the house is under water (worth less than your mortgage)?

Apr 11, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

William Morris

Nope. Trade Associations are there to represent their own interests and their "well considered representations" will reflect that fact. As for the Consumers Association, did they consult their subscribers? I doubt it.

I thought the Existing Homes Alliance mentioned in Annex A might be representatives of homeowners but they are yet another advocacy group.

Apr 11, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

Craig Loehle

...It appears that one can now be arrested for poverty...

That reminded me of G K Chesterton's essay on The Mad Official. You might find it relevant:

Apr 11, 2012 at 5:55 PM | Registered CommenterDreadnought

Here in the UK one can be summarily fined £50 - by a primary school headteacher. Soon we'll all be able to summarily fine our neighbours at will so we won't need any other form of income. Exports will be made by fining people overseas. Lawyers will become redundant overnight.

Apr 11, 2012 at 5:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan Reed

To insulate your home does not only cost much money, it also transforms your healthy home to a dangerous mouldy place. If that doesn't make people really very angry - what else would?

Apr 11, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtto Wildgruber


Apr 12, 2012 at 5:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterThomas Payne

Apr 11, 2012 at 4:31 PM | William Morris

My name is Paddy Meiklejohn - have you heard of me? No, I thought not. Therefore I prefer to use a pseudonym to express my feelings. Now you can oblige me by following these links and acquainting yourself with some details of the problems associated with insulating older properties, many of which are owned by people who just cannot afford to embark on a scandalously expensive, ineffective programme.

Apr 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

In the US, everyday people have their entire property and savings seized in a moment's notice without ever being even charged, based on trumped up drug war violations. With no money left for a lawyer or publicity campaign they go away softly, ignored by a government cheerleeding press. This has been going on for decades based in a few stray pot plants, usually, most often planted by local kids. This is the main income of the DEA.

The first thing ugly women did when given the vote was to produce Prohibition. Good luck surviving a few initial romantic dates to this day with a pissed off harpie if her probing reveals that you harbor skepticism about saving Bambi. Drug war hysteria was how conservatives obtained the female "soccer mom" vote, and global warming hysteria stole them back. The maternal instinct is not libertarian, it is neurotically manipulative. Repulsive women need to play mind controlling games to actively obtain attention. Notice how passive aggressive Judith "Plain Jane" Curry is compared to the spunky clarity of Mrs. Nova or that Donna chick! Woo woo. When ugly women were allowed to vote, democracy doomed itself. Hot women revel in luxury goods, with no exceptions worth noting, the bigger the diamonds the better, and big closets, oh my yes, of course!

Apr 13, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterNikFromNYC

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