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Home Energy Advisers Should Deliver CFLs

Submitted by: MikeC (Admin) on 15-Apr-09 10:18:11 PM

This has been weighing on me since last week (so apologies to Northgate for not publishing it sooner). I began research on a couple of points I wanted to pick up on but ran into several other responses from various organisations and other strands of interesting info too.

However it was late and I simply haven’t found time since to pursue it (AKA: information overload).

So anyway, Northgate has published its response to the Government consultation on the amended Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT).

You can view (or download) the full Northgate response at Scribd.

Three measures Northgate supports/calls-for caught my eye.

Real-time Displays

Northgate suggests that Home Energy Advisers (HEAs) supply and install Real-Time Displays (RTDs) whilst performing a home visit.

I’m not convinced this is a good idea for two reasons:

  1. RTDs are basic devices and, IMO, a short-term stop-gap measure until the potentially more useful smart meters are rolled-out. I also don’t believe they will have a lasting impact beyond the short “novelty” period people will actually look at them (I've discussed RTDs, Smart Meters and the EPC before).
  2. Asking HEAs to supply and install them introduces a conflict of interest because there are several manufacturers gagging to get into the mass market.


Allied to the last point, whilst delivering CFLs during a home visit might seem a noble and innocuous endeavour, it does again pose some conflict of interest scenarios, not least because it invites utility companies into the HEA business model – and many DEAs already fear it will be them that will run the show.

It would benefit the utils to cram the car-boots of HEAs with as many carbon offsetting measures as physically possible, ordering that they dump them in homes during visits and tick another box.

Don’t forget, this will be in addition to the other proposed roles of HEAs, such as providing State benefits and grants advice. There will also be pressures of time in conducting as many home visits in a day as possible.

And that’s before anyone has discussed how much, and on what basis, HEAs will be paid.

Obviously, there’s more to it than that but these are off the top of me head thoughts.

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Posts: 1
CERT and RTDs and other consultations
Reply #1 on : Wed April 22, 2009, 12:58:04
You're right that these RTDs are a stop-gap, and many people will only look at them for a couple of months. Despite this, I think there is some evidence that they do serve a purpose during their short useful life, by helping the homeowner to get an instinct for which appliances use most energy. Once they've done this, the user has learned what's ok and what's not, and doesn't need to refer to the RTD so much.

For what it's worth, I've also submitted a response to this consultation. Anyone interested may read it on my website at

There are two more consultations relevant to DEAs that are finishing on 8 May - links to them are given on the same page. I think these consultation links have been provided before, but DECC moved them! the links on my page were correct today (22 April)
Posts: 1
Re: Home Energy Advisers Should Deliver CFLs
Reply #2 on : Wed April 22, 2009, 15:29:03
Thanks Linn.

I see your point regarding RTDs but my (less well-made) point is why roll out RTDs, only to later do the same with smart meters which are more powerful?

Seems a waste of both plastic, manpower and money, which we'll all end up paying for.

I also believe, from the research I did manage to do - and subject to poor memory - that only around 20% of RTD users paid any attention to them.

Well done for submitting a response and thanks for reminding me to update my own links to the consultation too!

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