Wednesday, December 10, 2008 not interested in reducing coal usage

is not interested
in reducing

coal usage

In recently hassled and SEI about the idea of supporting a campaign to promote the fitting of fireplace doors. These simple and inexpensive doors would immediately reduce solid fuel usage by 50% or more, and at a very small cost in terms of money and effort.

Here is the reply I received from

Dear Tony,

Thank you for showing an interest in the Change Campaign. Your energy efficiency question related to open fires is an interesting topic.
Installing a fire front or glass doors will increase the efficiency of a fireplace. Also an adjustable throat restrictor may be a viable option. It is essential to ensure that an external air source is used to draw the oxygen supply for the fire to ensure that a high ventilation rate is not experienced and that air already warmed is not wasted.

However we would like to point out that the Change Campaign in no way advocates the use of fossil fuels. We are attempting to raise awareness about such fuels and their contribution to climate change. It is essential that Ireland’s dependence on such fossil fuel imports be changed.

That is why the Irish Government have heavily subsidised renewable space and water heating systems as they represent the greatest carbon saving with respect to investment. Information on these grants is available from Sustainable Energy Ireland at
If you have any further comments or queries please do not hesitate to contact us. Kindest Regards The Change Team

My reply:

Hi Guys,

Many thanks for your reply and for the time you have taken to address my proposition. However, I think you have missed the point somewhat.

The point of the proposed exercise is to reduce the use of fossil fuels drastically as an interim measure. The million or so (Irish) open fires this winter will burn coal etc. regardless. Would it not be a very useful effort to REDUCE that consumption by 50% or more immediately??

Two factors mitigate heavily against rapid Irish implementation of alternative and sustainable domestic heating systems. One is the very high relative cost, especially at the "Irish" prices which are well above much of the EU. Secondly, many people are reluctance to undertake the large inconvenience and household disruption involved, not to mention the risk of investing in systems like pellet boilers which are yet to prove their reliability and cost efficiency.

On the other hand, a very small inconvenience and cost would reduce the fossil load by 50% and could be easily sold to the public.

The other factor in reducing the load is to heavily promote attic insulation and CFL/LED lighting.

In summary, would it be true to say then that and the Irish Government are not interested in reducing the fossil fuel load by supporting low tech - low cost ways, as much as by pushing very expensive biomass and geothermal systems?

Tony McGinley


1 comment:

Operahouse said...

Those guys missed your point COMPLETELY
In summary, their response is: "reducing consumption of fossil fules supports the use of fossil fuels"
Are these donkeys supposed to be serious about climate change?