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Floods in Britain and our solution... EPCs

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 27-Jun-07 10:54:06 PM

Can Energy Performance Certificates stop floods like this?Thousands of householders have become refugees; At least 5 people have drowned; Major national arterial roads have been closed; A resevoir threatens to burst its banks under the weight of water; Train lines closed because of landslides; Thousands without power...

... and there's more to come!

It's not been a good week for the UK. The summer season has, so far, been atypical.

Not so, a few weeks ago; Many people could have been forgiven for thinking that summer was definitely in the air.

Then it changed.

We had rain. But it wasn't your typical British summer rain. It began with a series of heavy, but relatively short, downpours. The word "tropical" passed the lips of many I spoke with. I agreed.

I was driving home during one of these "tropical storms" one night. One of the roads climbs ever so slightly - Certainly not enough to break any sweat during a walk. It had only been raining for around 10 minutes but already, the clouds had dropped that much water onto the road there was a good 3-foot-wide shallow stream cascading down alongside of the kerb.

Someone downhill will cop for that, I thought. The drains certainly weren't catching it - The width of the stream meant most of the water flowed right-on-by!

Half an hour later... rain stopped!

Next day, a friend who works "down-that-hill", told me he was pumping-out water from their warehouse until the early hours.

There followed a series of similar, short-but-torrential, downpours over the next few days. But then last week it changed; Short bursts became whole days and nights; Britain was - and still is - a dumping ground for overladen clouds.

Cut to Sheffield

Watch the news and you'll see householders in Sheffield mucking-out their homes of thick, wet, mud. The waterline still visible on the walls - 7 foot high in some cases!

I'm watching and I think, Energy Performance Certificates. What would be the reaction of those so terribly affected, if they were forced to buy one, today?

To be honest, I don't know, I've not asked. But I did find myself getting angry when I imagined it was me, in their (muddy) shoes, mopping out my house having lost all my possessions and facing months - possibly years - trying to reclaim my life.

In a previous blog-post - EPCs is Not Paedophilia - I wrote:

Certificates don't cut carbon emissions, people do

If people can't actually experience a direct connection between possessing a certificate, and reducing C02, then there'll be a level of resentment and hostility from the public for "suffering" the imposition of being forced to pay for an unwelcome stranger to enter, and record details of their homes, before receiving their "get out of jail" card.

Within that transaction, there is no C02 reduction - Indeed, quite the opposite.

I can hear the deluged householders on the council estates of Sheffield angrily protesting to the DEA: 'How would this certificate have helped me prevent 7-foot of water occupying my house, huh?!'.

'What I need is flood defences, not some fuckin' certificate!'.

In that same blog-post, I also wrote:

Are we serious about this or what?

If climate-change is the real threat to mankind that scientists and Government say it is, then this is a matter of serious national importance. It has even been said to constitute the highest threat to national security.

I also backed that up in one of the podcasts by saying words along-the-lines of: If this is so serious - in the past - the "fight" would have been a national effort. There would have been a Nationalised body akin to the National Health, the Water Board, the GPO, Public Transport, British Rail etc... All infrastructural organisations that wouldn't be where they are now if it were not for the initial start-up costs and grunt work/manpower made possible by the then, National effort to build (what we've now largely sold off).

On Radio 4 (I think it was), some climate-change scientist claimed that we've already crossed the point of no return; the battle was now one of damage-limitation.

Is a certificate that only targets mobile Britain, and will take generations to effect, not just a tad too little at this stage?

This is why I have empathy for those who disagree with epctruth in his recent blog post, where he says:

The petty bickering about HIPs, EPCs and domestic energy assessors is distracting from the most significant threat that are all facing, climate change. Those who campaign against EPCs are selfish, greedy individuals who are incapable of seeing the bigger picture, and the are undermining the process of change which we all have to face up to

Yes, EPCs are a start, but oh-so-small of a start. The big picture has been highlighted in fearful abundance this last week; The need to protect the families, homes and infrastructure of this country before the insurance industries: First, fleece us; then, pull-out completely because the Govt - that is "we" - are not adapting our infrastructure to minimise the damage.

This "picking-at-the-sides" approach gives rise to the suspicions of Govt interference because it is perceived as disingenuous...

... Energy Performance Certificates have to do something!

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