Just to finish this off, the event seemed to go well. I had a long talk with our MP, John Glen. Nice enough chap but really not at all up to speed on energy saving issues and had clearly been knobled by lobbyists at some point, as he kept quoting that housebuilding in Wales had rapidly slowed down when building regs energy saving measures were improved. The fact that he'd worked for Eric Pickles for two years didn't inspire confidence, either.
On the positive side I managed to give him a copy of Paul Buckinghams's excellent paper on the appalling standard of new builds and offered to show him just how bad new builds were with an evening of thermal imaging. I think he may well have accepted this challenge, so come the colder weather I will remind him of it and see if we can go around some of the local new estates that I know to be poorly insulated. I'll have to simplify things to get the message across, so I will have comparison images of our house to show the differences and problem areas with new builds. He seemed up for this, but time will tell.
I had a lot of feedback after the talk, and was gratified to find that there were a lot of people, of all age ranges, wanting to cut their energy use. One has a problem that someone here may be able to offer help with, She's a lovely lady, living on pension support, who has received some bad advice in the past (like fitting electric underfloor heating in a Victorian flat would be an energy saving measure!). She's switched on and knows the benefits of insulation and energy saving ventilation, but is obviously in need of grant support for the higher cost items. I suggested that a single room heat recovery ventilation unit may help with her condensation problem, as currently she's had to use a dehumidifier to cope with the extra condensation from added insulation.
I've encouraged her to join this forum, as I know some here have fitted these single room heat recovery ventilation units with some success, She really needs grant funding assistance, too, if it is available. If she joins, please welcome her and offer her the best advice you can.
I can report that I had a long conversation with another passive house architect in the area, who may join our community. He already has a good grasp of the problems and issues and is keen to design and build more passive houses. He's experienced the same sort of problems with some suppliers (notably Munster Joinery, as usual) as others, but if he takes the time to join up here I reckon he'll be a real asset.
Finally I spoke for a time with a lovely lady who has clear ideas on the design style of house she wants and seems to have been convinced by my presentation that it should be a passive house. I mentioned the Bicester self-build programme in passing, and she may be interested in that. I know that one or two here have experience of the Bicester scheme, so if she joins her perhaps you could take the time to explain how it is working out.
Sadly I didn't get to have a gripe at the council, but given the general good humour of the event this may have been a step too far. The only signs of friction I saw were between some on the environmental activist fringe and John Glen, our tory MP, and that's no less than I'd have expected. My talk was apolitical and I made it very clear that I did not support any political party, including the Greens, Friends of the Earth etc. I think this was popular with the majority, although at least one wind turbine supporting green came over to re-educate me.....................
Edited by jsharris, 27 June 2015 - 06:23 PM.