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Jillian Ambrose’s Latest Howler

August 14, 2017

By Paul Homewood

There were two incredibly poor articles in the Telegraph yesterday, even by their recent low standards.

The first was by the renewables shill, Jillian Ambrose. I’ll run the other later.


Britain’s landlords could cost the energy system hundreds of millions of pounds by using loopholes in the Government’s housing standards to avoid improving ­energy efficiency.

Landlords are expected to file for ­exemptions from the forthcoming efficiency guidelines to avoid shouldering the expense of upgrading the country’s most poorly insulated homes, at a major cumulative cost to energy consumers who will pay for new power ­capacity through their bills.

By upgrading 300,000 homes at the lowest end of the energy efficiency scale, tenants could save £600 off each energy bill. This is the equivalent of £180m in savings on energy bills overall, and the cost of building a new gas-fired power plant or two large offshore wind farms.

Joanne Wade, from the Association for the Conservation of Energy, said “the bigger prize” would be a move to include all homes under a C band of ­energy efficiency.

“The total annual energy savings would be the equivalent to turning the Drax coal plant off for eight months, or avoiding construction of 4GW of new capacity,” she told The Sunday Telegraph.


What planet is she on?

Ambrose appears to have just reprinted what Joanne Wade has told her.

For a start, most households actually use gas for heating, so any savings there will have no effect on electricity.

My gas bill comes to about £500 pa, and includes water heating and cooking. Improving insulation might save £50 a year, but certainly not £600. (Question – does Ms Ambrose live in a mansion?)

Spread over 300,000 homes, this saving would amount to only £15 million a year, a mere rounding error in an electricity market worth near to £40bn annually.

And where does she get 4GW of new capacity from? This would add about 10% to the UK’s current generation. And all just for 300,000 houses?

The Association for the Conservation of Energy seems to be a rather small and extremely amateurish lobby group. They are entitled to their opinions.

But Jillian Ambrose now spends most of her time acting as a mouthpiece for green lobbyists, like Emma Pinchbeck from Renewable UK.

If she is going to publish information that is so obviously fake on their behalf, how much longer will the Telegraph allow her to trash its reputation?

  1. David permalink
    August 14, 2017 10:48 am

    Sadly I think the Telegraph is losing its grip. Lets hope it’s only temporary and they’ve all gone away and left the tea boy (sorry person) in charge.

  2. August 14, 2017 10:54 am

    It’s a wonder. How do wildly inaccurate numbers make it into a national (international) newspaper? Paul just refuted them with his own heating bill. He only had to think about it for a moment and he knew the numbers were worse than wrong – they were fraudulent.

  3. Jack Broughton permalink
    August 14, 2017 10:55 am

    Saw the same article and was thinking about writing to the Torygraph about the junk news. However, saving £ 600 / year on gas bills of about £ 600 / year is quite an achievement even for the junk news people. The idea of equating gas usage in the winter to Drax “Coal” burning is beyond any credibility. OMG/ LOL to quote one of our great leaders.

  4. Dung permalink
    August 14, 2017 12:07 pm

    Strange name Ambrose, it applies to two columnists in the DT that I do not read for fear of beating my wife.

  5. August 14, 2017 12:25 pm

    ‘tenants could save £600 off each energy bill’ – ‘each’ can’t be right unless they mean annual.

    Have they added both cavity wall and solid wall savings? Obviously you can’t have both at the same property.

  6. Gamecock permalink
    August 14, 2017 12:40 pm

    ‘tenants could save £600 off each energy bill’

    Ignorance of finance. The utilities have to pay their fixed cost regardless. Use £600 less, the utilities will change their rates to get the £600, anyway.

  7. Bitter&twisted permalink
    August 14, 2017 12:46 pm

    Ambrose must be imbecilic- there is no other explanation- apart from the money she gets for writing this puerile rubbish.

  8. Gerry, England permalink
    August 14, 2017 12:49 pm

    Is she writing about the future when gas use has been banned perhaps? Or she is just stupid.

    ‘….the cost of building a new gas-fired power plant or two large offshore wind farms.’ Or of course the cost of both as you need the gas plant for when it is not windy.

  9. August 14, 2017 1:12 pm

    I am curious why England’s homes are not insulated. In the USA, people have been insulating their homes since the 1970 by law. I read somewhere that the constant humidity in England was part of the reason—the walls don’t “breathe” and mold is formed.

    If one lives in a cold climate, insulation is basically a requirement. When I was in high school, my parents bought a home that had no insulation (a modular home made in a factory). It was freezing inside the first winter—frost on the walls around the windows, snow blowing in. Needless to say, insulation was added ASAP. Now, in warm climates, the insulation helps with air conditioning costs.

    As for exaggerating cost savings, I’ve seen web pages saying super-insulation can save 75% of energy costs for a home. There’s a lot of exaggeration going on everywhere in an attempt to sell insulation. Once you add insulation, unless you have completely filled the walls and attic, there is a push to sell you more. It’s about marketing. I find that caulking windows is much more helpful on cutting energy costs.

    • Nigel S permalink
      August 14, 2017 1:28 pm

      Current Building Regulations require high levels of insulation but the majority of UK housing stock is older than 1970, some is more than 200 years older. You are right about dealing with drafts but adequate ventilation is essential to health, very few houses have air conditioning. The climate is pretty mild and not particularly humid, try Google rather than Charles Dickens.

      • August 14, 2017 5:58 pm

        Charles who? (Just kidding) Google sent me to the Met Office where maps of England show the humidity is over 75% most of the year.

        I hadn’t considered the age of the buildings. Thank you for reminding me of this element.

        Yes, adequate ventilation is necessary for health. However, caulking windows cuts down on the cold air coming into the house. One or two windows could be skipped if that’s an issue. (Or you can do like Americans are told to do and install an air exchanger. That is the recommendation when radon is a problem and works for any other nasty buildups in the house.)

      • Nigel S permalink
        August 14, 2017 2:38 pm

        The other aspect is that once insulation is improved people take off their sweaters and enjoy the extra warmth rather than turning down the heating so that even properly calculated savings are rarely achieved.

  10. August 14, 2017 1:19 pm

    Duplicity seamlessly blending into hypocritical lying from the ‘Telegraph’ Business Writer. Just put this comment on one of her articles – don’t know if it will survive:
    Jillian Ambrose is a Business Reporter ????? covering oil, gas and utilities, writing:

    “…£180m in savings on energy bills overall, and the cost of building……….two large offshore wind farms…”

    £90 million for a large offshore wind farm, Jillian ?????

    Beatrice cost £2.6 billion. Search for:
    “the bigger the turbines the more it all costs”

    Rampion cost £1,956 million. Search for:
    “rampion ramps up the costs”

    Business readers of Jillian Ambrose beware !!!!!

  11. Rasa permalink
    August 14, 2017 1:28 pm

    If you are interested in australias experience with home ceiling insulation google
    Rudd Pink Batts Deaths

  12. John Peter permalink
    August 14, 2017 1:45 pm

    I used to subscribe to DT on line for £50 p.a. and they bumped it up to £100. Every now and so often I read the headings for their Premium articles and praise myself for having saved said £100 p.a. DT has gone from “worth reading” to “not worth reading”. Sad but true.

  13. August 14, 2017 1:52 pm

    Lol. Australia’s ‘been there done that’ !
    Google: pink batts + Kevin Rudd to see the death and disaster accrued.

    • Nigel S permalink
      August 14, 2017 2:35 pm

      Interesting and horribly inevitable, on a not strictly related topic I worked on a project financed by Heriatge Lottery (‘idiot tax’) where putting insulation into the ceilings meant that electrical trace heating had to be installed in the roof spaces above so that the overwintering bats would be comfortable.

    • August 14, 2017 7:54 pm

      Somehow I can’t see this being the fault of citizens being asked to insulate their homes. Looks more like poor workplace training and lack of safety measures.

  14. Nigel S permalink
    August 14, 2017 2:48 pm

    On the ‘pink batts’ theme most energy certificates are issued by poorly trained people. They are generic at best and largely unrelated to the specific property.

  15. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 14, 2017 3:59 pm

    The ‘low hanging fruit’ has already been picked. Most houses have loft insulation and most of the suitable (and an awful lot of unsuitable now getting damp) have cavity insulation.

    The next stage is internal or external wall insulation, which is expensive and disruptive – no one under 40 (at a guess) would recoup the cost in their lifetime.

    The increased cost of energy caused by insane green policies is still paid by us, it doesn’t matter if it is a massive upfront cost for insulation and a smaller amount on the regular bills, or a larger amount through higher usage extorted on the regular bills.

    We’re still paying through the nose. No one is ‘saving’ by installing insulation, just shifting the cost around.

  16. David permalink
    August 14, 2017 4:36 pm

    I think the biggest worry is if the government, to please the greens, made any insulation compulsory. As previously pointed out, wall insulation would have to be either internal or external. Inside insulation would result in all the rooms being much smaller and outside covering of old brickwork would destroy the appearance of the house.

  17. keith permalink
    August 14, 2017 8:22 pm

    Jillian Ambrose is just an example of the poor quality of journalists now in the media business. Clive James in his recent paper set it out very well in an recent GWPF article. It was very well worth reading. All our current journalists are only capable of cutting and pasting PR documents sent to them, and as we all know PR documents are lies to start with .So current so called journalists have no ability to check facts sent to them. It all adds up to the fact that most media news today is fake news.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      August 15, 2017 10:09 am

      All of the western news meja are truly more fake / Big Brother than ever before. Russia Today and Al Jazeera are a class above, even allowing for their clear bias: that’s why the establishment are trying so desperately to close them.

  18. buffin47 permalink
    August 15, 2017 8:30 am

    The declining circulation Telegraph trashing its reputation? What reputation would that be? This, remember, was the paper that employed Louise ‘Green Goebels’ Grey.

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