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CCC Says We Must Spend £9000 To Stop Homes “Overheating” In Thirty Years Time!

July 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

Another silly report by little Emma Gatten:

 

 

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Homeowners face paying thousands of pounds for retrofits to make their homes habitable as the climate warms, experts have warned.

More than half a million homes have been built since 2017 that will need to be retrofitted to ensure they stay cool, despite the Government acknowledging at the time that “urgent action” was needed to address overheating.

By 2050, heatwaves like that seen in 2019, when the UK recorded a new all-time high temperature of 38.7C, are expected to happen every other year, according to assessments from the Met Office.

The Climate Change Committee, the Government’s statutory advisers, has estimated the costs of retrofitting cooling features into a property to be £9,200, compared to £2,300 when done at the building stage.

“Since the last climate change risk assessment, when the government recognised this as a risk to people in the UK, we’ve built almost half a million new homes, which overheat, in our already hot summers, and that will get worse in the future,” said Baroness Brown, chair of the CCC’s Adaptation Committee.

“And those new homes are now locked in to higher retrofit costs, which are four to five times the cost it would have been to address overheating at the time they were built.”

The CCC called for the introduction of new regulations to ensure developers were not building homes that are “uninhabitable as temperatures rise”.

Some 8,000 deaths annually can be attributed to high temperatures in the UK, according to a study from Monash University this week.

Measures that can easily be incorporated when building new homes include avoiding large south-facing windows, including external shutters, trickle vents, green roofs, and green walls covered in vegetation.

Nicki Percival, 31, who works in regulatory affairs, bought a newly built townhouse in 2019 in the Cotswolds with her partner, but was forced to install an air conditioning unit after suffering 27C temperatures in her bedroom throughout that summer.

“The extreme heat in the summer was definitely a shock. It’s just a bit crazy,” she said. “We open windows at the front and back, but they’re very small and it just doesn’t seem to have any effect.”

Many new homes are built with improved energy efficiency, which can exacerbate overheating in the summer.

Ms Percival said. “The house just won’t lose heat. In the winter it’s great, in summer it’s a nightmare.” The AC installation cost £1,000 as it was carried out by her father, a trained installer, but would otherwise have cost double.

The problem of overheating is not limited to new builds. Nearly a fifth of bedrooms reached average temperatures of 26.9C during the 2018 heatwave, the joint hottest summer on record, according to a survey by Loughborough University for the business department.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/environment/2021/07/10/homeowners-face-9000-bills-stop-new-builds-overheating/

 

It is hard to know where to start with such drivel.

For a start there is no evidence whatsoever that summer temperatures will be any higher than now by 2050. 

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https://www.ecad.eu/utils/showindices.php?7o4or0md4elf6bn6gkdcbv380a

 

And even if they are, why on earth should people waste good money retrofitting their homes now for something that might happen in 30 years time? After all, despite the hyperbole, we actually only get a handful of hot days and nights each year.

It is not exactly rocket science. If you want to keep your house cool, you simply need to draw the blinds to keep the sun out during the day, and throw the windows open at night. Invest in a few fans. Indeed, last week I bought a couple of air coolers from Home Bargains for £69 each – they work brilliantly.

What is interesting though is the case of Nicki Percival’s newly built townhouse. There is a strong suggestion that her overheating is the result of “improved energy efficiency”. Certainly there must be something seriously wrong with the design of her house if temperatures in her house really were 27C throughout the summer. After all, it was a pretty average summer as a whole.

Once again though, we find that the CCC is trying to force public policy with their scaremongering, leaving the public to pick up the bill.

34 Comments
  1. Thomas Carr permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:21 am

    Without air conditioning Australians in Tasmania that I met said that the way to keep a house coolish was to get up at 4am and open all windows and doors consistent with house security.
    At about 7am the house was closed down i.e. nothing done to let the ‘fresh’ air in.
    In the UK we are now advised to fit outside blinds or shutters.
    Nicki Percival , above, might get the hang of this and stop ‘opening the windows front and back’.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 22, 2021 12:31 pm

      Living in Central France for 10 years we quickly followed the locals who had a similar hot weather regime. Open windows and shutters early when it was cool. Then close the shutters and windows, shutters on shady could be left open for light. Very effective in an old stone property.
      We used to say that you could tell which were owned by expat Brits. They were the ones with shutters that were only ever closed when the owners were on holiday.
      Since moving back to the UK I miss the shutters. If anyone can think of a better solution than opening windows early then closing the curtains on sunlit windows. I leave the windows open with closed curtains going on the theory that the hottest place would be between closed windows and closed curtains, and the objective is to have warm air outside

      • Phoenix44 permalink
        July 22, 2021 1:40 pm

        Yes in souther France at the moment where it’s a few degrees warmer than the UK. We open the shutters and curtains until the sun comes round, then everything is shut until 8pm or so. Our old stone farmhouse is cool and airy all day.

    • Steve permalink
      July 22, 2021 1:39 pm

      This is what we do in our insulated holiday house in France near the Spanish border. In very hot weather we also run an aircon unit. This is insufficient for heating from October to spring when reversed. Where do these CCC goons come from?

    • It doesn't add up... permalink
      July 22, 2021 3:05 pm

      Other options include devising your own “shutters”. A solar reflective blanket can be hung outside in front of sunny windows with little difficulty, and is very effective and relatively low cost. Even a canted large patio umbrella can be quite effective. Formal shutters or solar blind installations can be a lot more costly. Fans are helpful when the air is still. Last night, indoor temperatures remained obstinately around 75F while the outside dipped below 60F until fans were deployed to create a through draught.

  2. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:21 am

    Of course now that Covid has struck, the government and its “advisors” are saying that more air changes are needed to reduce transmission of nasties. High air-change rates need either a lot of extra heat or a heat exchanger to be fitted: recirculation is less desirable, as on aircraft. This poses the quandary of letting a few people die a bit earlier from overheating or saving the planet, which will win?

    In the tropics air coolers tend to be fitted in a few rooms: the rest of the house is naturally ventilated and shielded. If we had more warm days it is amazing how quickly one accommodates to them: personally, I preferred to be hotter rather than using A/C units in my bedroom.

    • David Wild permalink
      July 22, 2021 11:52 am

      I’m with you. On holiday in Antigua (temperatures 30+ – sometime a fairly big plus!) we have always turned off the aircon at night – too damn noisy and the cheap versions spit out moisture as well.
      As for preparing for possible hot weather that might come in 30 years – not a chance.

  3. July 22, 2021 11:24 am

    You must spend your money now to buy the food that you will need to eat in 30 years time.
    Yeah right.

  4. Robert Christopher permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:28 am

    Shutters, on the outside of the house (over the windows 🙂 ) to allow free air flow while keeping the Sun’s heat out, work well in France.

    They might even work well in Britain.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      July 22, 2021 12:36 pm

      See my comment on a earlier post. Shutters are a wonderful method of keeping cool. I’ve also always assumed that they keep heat in in winter. Many French homes don’t have curtains.

  5. LeedsChris permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:31 am

    8,000 deaths a year from heat? Even the common sense ‘sniff’ test tells you that this must be wrong. I can only find England and Wales monthly death data https://www.statista.com/statistics/1115077/monthly-deaths-in-england-and-wales/

    But let’s look…

    in 2015 the lowest monthly death rate was in August (36,199), highest in January (60,891). In 2016 the lowest rate was in July (38,983), the highest in March (48665). In 2017 the lowest rate was in July (38,425) and highest in January (57368). In 2018 the lowest was in September (37137), but the second lowest was July (39767). highest in February (64154). In 2019 the lowest rate of death was in June (38606), the highest in December (47469). Even in the year of Covid (2020)… the month with the lowest deaths was August (37187)…

    Surely any heat deaths must be in summer, and mostly going to be July or August, yet deaths decline markedly in summer. England and Wales is about 89% of the UK population, so we estimate that of the proposed 8,000 heat deaths a year that 7,100 of these are in England and Wales. Does that look remotely likely?

    • bobn permalink
      July 22, 2021 12:07 pm

      Good stats Chris. Interesting that in 2020 WITH the Chinese Flu plague the death rate in summer was still lower than in 2016, 2017, 2019 and about the same as 2018. So for all the shrill panic and paranoia, Covid wuhan flu has just done what OTHER FLUS DO EVERY YEAR ANYWAY. They destroyed lives and the economy for nothing.

    • Beagle permalink
      July 22, 2021 12:46 pm

      I think the criteria they are using is “Anybody who dies within 30 days of a max daily temperature of 30 deg C is a heat related death”!

  6. Bloke down the pub permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:32 am

    I would bet a months wages that the existing building regs are not being enforced . There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest modern build houses are no-where near as good at retaining heat as they are meant to be. There is no point in introducing new legislation if they can’t be bothered to enforce the existing. As for the suggestion that houses shouldn’t have large south facing windows, I haven’t heard anything so stupid. If gas boilers are banned and we have to rely on electric heating, the passive heat gain from sun shining through windows will become essential. I think in the future, many home owners will choose to have shutters or screens fitted to their windows. Whether this will be to keep out the sun, or to protect against the zombie apocalypse, will be anyone’s guess.

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      July 22, 2021 12:01 pm

      Just like insisting on windows with fantastic heat retention performance, then drilling holes in the frame to fit trickle vents….

    • T Walker permalink
      July 23, 2021 10:01 am

      BD the P.

      It isn’t as straightforward as that. Even the best windows are an order of magnitude worse at keeping heat in as the walls. U circa 0.7 for windows and walls circa 0.1. There needs to be a careful balance. Given that the only time you really need keeping warm is winter when strangely the current bun is absent 14 hours of the day.?? You need to get the heat in when you can but not lose it through the windows during the long night. The trend for huge south facing glass with no curtains doesn’t help in this regard. Some house designs have surfaced with moderate glass to allow the gain, but with sophisticated shuttering to minimise the night time loss. If we return to some colder winters as some think we might, the balancing act will get more demanding.

      Those of us with a south facing conservatory which is unheated have done this experiment.

      The best way to benefit from solar gain is to store the heat in Summer and use it in the Winter and some have done that for years but it is expensive to arrange.

  7. GeoffB permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:40 am

    CCC now demands air source heat pump heating conventional water radiators to heat homes in the winter, replacing gas. Now another air source system driving standard air conditioning units blowing cold air because it is too hot, So do we now have TWO compressor units outside, this is double madness. My daughter in USA had a single system that blew hot air in the winter and cold air in the summer (I guess the ins and outs were swopped over) it worked OK in summer but was useless in winter, switching to resistive heating in the inside units and the outside to stop it icing up.

  8. steve permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:51 am

    According to a report in the Telegraph today. Smart meters are not compatible with Hydrogen boilers. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/environment/2021/07/21/smart-meters-will-useless-uk-homes-go-green/

  9. Matelot 65 permalink
    July 22, 2021 11:55 am

    I wonder if anyone has correlated Covid deaths against age of houses? I don’t know anyone who has contracted it who lives in a nice draughty (1930’s) dwelling. Modern houses are hermetically sealed bug factories IMHO.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      July 22, 2021 1:42 pm

      As are hospitals and care homes!

  10. Ray Sanders permalink
    July 22, 2021 12:13 pm

    Meanwhile in the Saudi Arabia of wind “generation”, 25,100MW of turbine capacity has dropped to a majestic 59MW. Given that most of the otherwise stationary turbines will be using power turning to avoid brinelling, rotor warp, dehumidification etc, the overall likelihood is that they are in negative “generation” territory.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      July 22, 2021 12:44 pm

      Just when I thought it could not get any lower, wind generation has now just dropped to 35MW – can somebody notify Boris please?

      • Harry Davidson permalink
        July 22, 2021 5:05 pm

        UK energy policy is governed by the PM’s sex life, or rather, his understandable need to have one.

      • T Walker permalink
        July 23, 2021 10:07 am

        Not worth your time. He would not know what you were talking about.

  11. saveenergy permalink
    July 22, 2021 12:34 pm

    “Measures that can easily be incorporated when building new homes include – external shutters, trickle vents, green roofs, and green walls covered in vegetation.”

    Wot !! Just like housing in the Medieval Warm Period … & in winter they were – Cold, drafty, damp, needing huge amounts of wood to be burned (if you were posh) or bring the animals inside to keep you warm (if you were poor).

    “Measures that can easily be incorporated when building new homes include avoiding large south-facing windows,”
    WTF !! For yrs the ‘green x-sperts’ have told us we must build with large South facing windows for max solar gain to cut fuel use.

    In the 1947 heatwave many people in Cardiff moved their beds outside to gardens, yards & streets. My mother was in labour & the midwives used wet sheets on the windows & women & the fire brigade set up a spray system to cool the hospital.

  12. Harry Davidson permalink
    July 22, 2021 1:00 pm

    This heatwave has been like the early noughties. I have had to drag out my cotton kimonos for comfort, the full ‘house breeze’ routine, cycling in the warm air at 7am, later riding up hills in the blistering heat with that wonderful equilibrium between effort, heat and cooling.

    Can we have some more please?

  13. Adam Paul Turner Gallon permalink
    July 22, 2021 1:13 pm

    O/T. A new record for wind generation today?
    0.1GW
    Unreliables have been producing under 1GW, from 8.30pm last night, to 6.30am this morning.

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      July 22, 2021 1:58 pm

      Looks like July 2021 could go down as a month where wind was effectively AWOL more than 1 day in 3.

      • It doesn't add up... permalink
        July 22, 2021 3:15 pm

        It’s been a truly awful year for wind generation. I haven’t managed to update all my downloads yet, but here’s the performance of the main offshore windfarms from the beginning of 2020 until part way through April this year

        https://datawrapper.dwcdn.net/KruT3/1/

        Note the big dip at the beginning of March for example.

    • Ray Sanders permalink
      July 22, 2021 3:49 pm

      Adam, 0.1GW is 100MW. At 11.35 today it actually bottomed out at just 35MW! In reality when turbines own electrical use is deducted (which is NOT a reported figure) then the reality is that wind turbines were negative and actually a power draw on the grid and not a contributor. At the end of July I bet the main stream media will not be reporting that wind turbine output is down year on year for each and every one of the last 8 months by rather a lot.

  14. Phoenix44 permalink
    July 22, 2021 1:37 pm

    Seriously, who would spend any money to avoid a few days of hot weather every two years in thirty years time?

    It’s a stupid idea

  15. Michael permalink
    July 22, 2021 1:54 pm

    A friend of mine had a similar problem to the lady in the article. It turns out the heating was on 24/7 @25C, all because the battery was flat in the remote thermostat! You couldn’t make this up….

  16. mervhob permalink
    July 22, 2021 2:37 pm

    Having lived for 2.5 years in Singapore in the 1960s, we lived in well ventillated billets with roof fans on all day and night. Daily temperatures were in the 90s but night time temperatures with the fans meant we could sleep comfortably. Humidity was awesome!
    We had some personnel that worked in an underground radar station – they were forced to live in air-conditioned billets and they were always sick with colds and flu. The hottest temperatures in the UK I remember were summers in Sussex in the late 1950s. Very high humidity, temperatures in the low 90s, gorse fires on the South Downs and local peat fires all over the Weald and very difficult to sleep at night. And spectacular thunderstorms!
    So far, nothing to compare with that; the summers of 1976 and 2018 came close. As Paul’s careful analysis of historical data shows, there really is no need for continual panic – in the early sixties it was all, ‘the ice age is coming’.
    As both weather and climate are part of a non-linear planetwide system, computer modelling using only a fraction of the variables that apply cannot possibly predict the actual future – time series solutions must diverge from reality. Statistical analysis can only be accurately applied to ‘post priori data’, in effect a ‘closed’ data set and then the results must be treated with caution. Modern methods of data analysis have highlighted how ‘popcorn’ events can skew the assumption of centrality in a data set – such events are a fundamental property of non-linear systems – so far in the data Paul and others have presented, there is little sign of an increase in such events. If an increase in such events does occur, giving a clear fingerprint in the data, I will be amongst the first to panic! So far, there is only the signature of a ‘sawtooth’ of the kind predicted by Mandelbrot, a slow rise and a rapid relaxation, the natural response of a non-linear system.

  17. Coeur de Lion permalink
    July 22, 2021 3:09 pm

    I heard a little twizzet from the CCC on Radio
    4 BBC this morning talking about the new normal of heatwaves. We haven’t had one since 1976. The BBC chap licked her all over as she rabbitted on about making houses cooler. Then he said “SURELY DEATHS DUE TO COLD EXCEED HOT WEATHER DEATHS BY AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE! WE SHOULD BE INSULATING NOT COOLING! Oh, sorry, he never said that. Complaint going in.

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