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Some people are so ignorant! (about energy)


Wolverine2

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
34
No, I don't mean rude.

In a nutshell, I work in the renewable energy sector (supplying and installing solar hot water systems), and I'm becoming more and more amazed as time goes on at the sheer ignorance of many people toward energy costs.

I've been to houses with rubbish insulation, places where even rudimentary improvements (like a bit of putty around the windows) would make a huge difference, places where they might as well be burning money, and yet so many of these people are highly suspicious of ANY home improvements that would cut down on their bills. Even with oil so high and electricity going up, there is such a marked reluctance to do ANYTHING that might improve matters. I got an earful last week when I showed a customer a wood pellet stove I have in my showroom - remarking on the fact that it was a) cheap to run and b) environmentally friendly, I was suddenly treated to a lecture on the environmental movement and how "people like you" want to stop me working on my land (I think he meant cutting hedgerows).

Blow me. The grant scheme is not enough - efforts to inform people about energy efficiency need to be stepped up, big time. The Change campaign and Power of One have yet to impact on some people, and even oil at E150 a barrel isn't having a big impact.

Anyone got any other suggestions?

<MOD>Altered the title to make it a little clearer as to what the thread is about<MOD>
 

rockyracoon

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
181
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

There's definitely a problem with the introduction of energy savings policies that may highlight a general ignorance on the populace's understanding but may also highlight the way in which energy efficiency had been talked about by politicians and the media. Almost all energy efficiency ideas are now imbedded in grand ideas like global warming, and all subsequent conversations talk about higher costs and ever more regulation. The average punter is starting to associate the environmental movement with ever greater regulation. They believe that some politicians are using the environmental issue to ram through regulations which are only marginally beneficial to the enviroment are more motiviated towards controlling resources and markets.
 

JCSkinner

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
1,250
Website
skinflicks.blogspot.com
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Wolverine2 said:
No, I don't mean rude.

In a nutshell, I work in the renewable energy sector (supplying and installing solar hot water systems), and I'm becoming more and more amazed as time goes on at the sheer ignorance of many people toward energy costs.

I've been to houses with rubbish insulation, places where even rudimentary improvements (like a bit of putty around the windows) would make a huge difference, places where they might as well be burning money, and yet so many of these people are highly suspicious of ANY home improvements that would cut down on their bills. Even with oil so high and electricity going up, there is such a marked reluctance to do ANYTHING that might improve matters. I got an earful last week when I showed a customer a wood pellet stove I have in my showroom - remarking on the fact that it was a) cheap to run and b) environmentally friendly, I was suddenly treated to a lecture on the environmental movement and how "people like you" want to stop me working on my land (I think he meant cutting hedgerows).

Blow me. The grant scheme is not enough - efforts to inform people about energy efficiency need to be stepped up, big time. The Change campaign and Power of One have yet to impact on some people, and even oil at E150 a barrel isn't having a big impact.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
Perhaps people suspect that you have a vested interest when you suggest they should spend more money on repairs? Especially when you start showing them 'deals' in your showroom?
Perhaps they are also still smarting from how mercenary and outrageously expensive it became in recent years to pay a tradesman to do absolutely anything?
 

COMMIE

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2007
Messages
101
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Ideed it perhap tthe price are very high for a average person to afford. And then when thay do get something, you make comments on how thay live!
 

HP

Active member
Joined
Jul 12, 2006
Messages
254
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Wolverine2 said:
No, I don't mean rude.

In a nutshell, I work in the renewable energy sector (supplying and installing solar hot water systems), and I'm becoming more and more amazed as time goes on at the sheer ignorance of many people toward energy costs.

I've been to houses with rubbish insulation, places where even rudimentary improvements (like a bit of putty around the windows) would make a huge difference, places where they might as well be burning money, and yet so many of these people are highly suspicious of ANY home improvements that would cut down on their bills. Even with oil so high and electricity going up, there is such a marked reluctance to do ANYTHING that might improve matters. I got an earful last week when I showed a customer a wood pellet stove I have in my showroom - remarking on the fact that it was a) cheap to run and b) environmentally friendly, I was suddenly treated to a lecture on the environmental movement and how "people like you" want to stop me working on my land (I think he meant cutting hedgerows).

Blow me. The grant scheme is not enough - efforts to inform people about energy efficiency need to be stepped up, big time. The Change campaign and Power of One have yet to impact on some people, and even oil at E150 a barrel isn't having a big impact.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
The reason they are suspicious is that they think you are some kind of snake oil salesman (I'm sure you are not!) and because our govt. and media have spent years training people to be very careful before believing anything.
They will change their minds when they start seeing real people they know with your system, assuming it works well. Do you have a website or leaflets with quotes from local people??
 

Wolverine2

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
34
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

JCSkinner said:
Wolverine2 said:
No, I don't mean rude.

In a nutshell, I work in the renewable energy sector (supplying and installing solar hot water systems), and I'm becoming more and more amazed as time goes on at the sheer ignorance of many people toward energy costs.

I've been to houses with rubbish insulation, places where even rudimentary improvements (like a bit of putty around the windows) would make a huge difference, places where they might as well be burning money, and yet so many of these people are highly suspicious of ANY home improvements that would cut down on their bills. Even with oil so high and electricity going up, there is such a marked reluctance to do ANYTHING that might improve matters. I got an earful last week when I showed a customer a wood pellet stove I have in my showroom - remarking on the fact that it was a) cheap to run and b) environmentally friendly, I was suddenly treated to a lecture on the environmental movement and how "people like you" want to stop me working on my land (I think he meant cutting hedgerows).

Blow me. The grant scheme is not enough - efforts to inform people about energy efficiency need to be stepped up, big time. The Change campaign and Power of One have yet to impact on some people, and even oil at E150 a barrel isn't having a big impact.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
Perhaps people suspect that you have a vested interest when you suggest they should spend more money on repairs? Especially when you start showing them 'deals' in your showroom?
Perhaps they are also still smarting from how mercenary and outrageously expensive it became in recent years to pay a tradesman to do absolutely anything?
I don't supply insulation so I have no "vested interest" in suggesting that they improve their insulation. And I don't show them "deals" - I show them solar panels if they want to see it. You would prefer that I show them nothing, and have no showroom?

At any rate your argument doesn't explain why people are reluctant in general to consider energy saving measures - they should become more price and quality conscious, not reject the idea outright, which is what I find many people do.

On costs, you're right - costs are high, due in no small part to high costs of doing business and competition constrictions higher up the supply chain. The guys on the ground are competing strongly, but many suppliers further up the chain are not. Add to that 21% VAT, higher fuel costs and rates, and you have a high cost economy. I'm actually cheaper than the competition across town, but I would like to be cheaper still. But when you're a sole trader and you're asked to fork out 3.5K for insurance, as I was this week, the costs add up. And they have to be passed on. If there was more competition between insurance companies...
 

Wolverine2

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
34
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

COMMIE said:
Ideed it perhap tthe price are very high for a average person to afford. And then when thay do get something, you make comments on how thay live!
I make a suggestion - "you know, your insulation is very thin in your attic - would do you no harm to put some more up there".

And the whole point I'm getting at is that there are a huge number of small, inexpensive things you can do - draught excluding for example - which cost feck all and make a big difference - and so many people aren't doing it.
 

rockyracoon

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
181
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Would it be worthwhile to do some simple sums for the average punter to look at? Right now we're in a pretty severe economic downturn. I'd imagine that many people are reluctant to dip into their cash reserves in order fund future savings right now. However, there must be a percentage of the population who can see the benefits and only need to see how their initial outlay will result in quick energy savings come this winter. Just a thought. gl.
 

Wolverine2

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
34
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

And a good one. Will try to put up some sums/simple tips for saving energy over the next few days

And I won't charge a cent for it, JCS. ;)
 

Twin Towers

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
Messages
5,885
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

There are a lot of simple things like draught and attic insulation that any reasonably fit householder can do for themselves.
 

rockyracoon

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
181
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Twin Towers said:
There are a lot of simple things like draught and attic insulation that any reasonably fit householder can do for themselves.
You're absolutely correct TT. But, you might be surprised to learn that there is a new generation of people who believe lifting a finger around the house is beneath them.
 

rockyracoon

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2007
Messages
181
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Wolverine2 said:
And a good one. Will try to put up some sums/simple tips for saving energy over the next few days

And I won't charge a cent for it, JCS. ;)
[This is only a suggestion based on past experience in the US.] If you go down this route, you should try to keep your sums reasonable - ie don't make extravagant claims if you can help it. If you can come up with reasonable examples, you can obtain follow-on business if the punters are able to see actual cost savigs. They are prone to brag to their neighbors and friends about their savings. We used to make up cheap fridge magnets with a company name, phone # and short logo. Word of mouth advertising is priceless and the most cost effective. gl

PS Hope for a mild winter!
 

Wolverine2

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
34
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Energy Saving tips by SEI

Link

I have the reflectors down behind the radiators - will wait and see this winter what they do for me.

One simple tip, that often brings up houses a notch on the BER scale, is to seal off your chimney, either by:

a) installing a small stove
b) shoving some rockwool or fireproof insulation up it (if it's not used)
c) putting a cap on top to seal off the chimney.

Chimney's have a constant draw, even when there's no fire it's still sucking heat out of the house. Stopping that draw, by whatever means, has an immediate impact.

Attic doors are another common problem - the attic is well insulated, and then in the middle is a simple sheet of plywood (or whatever) for a door, with no insulation behind it. Result? It acts like a funnel, with all the heat passing right through it.

I sealed up my chimney with rockwool and did the same for the attic door, I just went to my local builder providers and asked if they had any scraps of rockwool around (there's always the odd roll that get's damaged). They gave it to me for free (saves them having to dump it). End result is savings at minimal cost.
 

COMMIE

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2007
Messages
101
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Have you a web site for solar panels by the way? :)
 

EoinMn

Active member
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
Messages
215
Website
eoinmadden.ie
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Loads of people are quite anti-insulation and I don't know why, but it is changing.
I know one (otherwise sensible) couple who built a house in the 80's with no insulation in the attic. None! Nada! They felt insulation was some sort of snake-oil.
They installed a ***** bidet though, that was never used!

But last year they insulated the attic and admitted they should have done it from the get go.

I've heard that loads of builders didn't insulate houses to the minimum regulated standard in order to 'save money'. And they were doing this with the full approval of the clients they were building for. And many thought they were being cute-hoors, rebelling against the government and getting away with it.

But I think the attitude is changing.

Sometimes you wonder if the government should regulate a maximum standard.. and then the cute-hoors would insulate their houses to the hilt in order to get one over on the goverment! ;)
 

JCSkinner

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 17, 2005
Messages
1,250
Website
skinflicks.blogspot.com
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

Wolverine2 said:
JCSkinner said:
Wolverine2 said:
No, I don't mean rude.

In a nutshell, I work in the renewable energy sector (supplying and installing solar hot water systems), and I'm becoming more and more amazed as time goes on at the sheer ignorance of many people toward energy costs.

I've been to houses with rubbish insulation, places where even rudimentary improvements (like a bit of putty around the windows) would make a huge difference, places where they might as well be burning money, and yet so many of these people are highly suspicious of ANY home improvements that would cut down on their bills. Even with oil so high and electricity going up, there is such a marked reluctance to do ANYTHING that might improve matters. I got an earful last week when I showed a customer a wood pellet stove I have in my showroom - remarking on the fact that it was a) cheap to run and b) environmentally friendly, I was suddenly treated to a lecture on the environmental movement and how "people like you" want to stop me working on my land (I think he meant cutting hedgerows).

Blow me. The grant scheme is not enough - efforts to inform people about energy efficiency need to be stepped up, big time. The Change campaign and Power of One have yet to impact on some people, and even oil at E150 a barrel isn't having a big impact.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
Perhaps people suspect that you have a vested interest when you suggest they should spend more money on repairs? Especially when you start showing them 'deals' in your showroom?
Perhaps they are also still smarting from how mercenary and outrageously expensive it became in recent years to pay a tradesman to do absolutely anything?
I don't supply insulation so I have no "vested interest" in suggesting that they improve their insulation. And I don't show them "deals" - I show them solar panels if they want to see it. You would prefer that I show them nothing, and have no showroom?

At any rate your argument doesn't explain why people are reluctant in general to consider energy saving measures - they should become more price and quality conscious, not reject the idea outright, which is what I find many people do.

On costs, you're right - costs are high, due in no small part to high costs of doing business and competition constrictions higher up the supply chain. The guys on the ground are competing strongly, but many suppliers further up the chain are not. Add to that 21% VAT, higher fuel costs and rates, and you have a high cost economy. I'm actually cheaper than the competition across town, but I would like to be cheaper still. But when you're a sole trader and you're asked to fork out 3.5K for insurance, as I was this week, the costs add up. And they have to be passed on. If there was more competition between insurance companies...
Aw diddums. You show people your wares, they don't buy them and you're moaning that it's their fault and they're wrong?
Maybe you're wrong. Maybe you're a crap salesman. Maybe you need to make a better effort to explain the benefits of what you provide. Maybe your prices are a total rip-off.
 

Twin Towers

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2005
Messages
5,885
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

rockyracoon said:
Twin Towers said:
There are a lot of simple things like draught and attic insulation that any reasonably fit householder can do for themselves.
You're absolutely correct TT. But, you might be surprised to learn that there is a new generation of people who believe lifting a finger around the house is beneath them.
Teach your children from a young age how to use and look after tools and do practical things around the home and garden leading by example. Its very satisfying for them, encourages self reliance and learning and in a way is every bit as important as academic education.
 

Wolverine2

Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
34
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

JCSkinner said:
Wolverine2 said:
JCSkinner said:
Wolverine2 said:
No, I don't mean rude.

In a nutshell, I work in the renewable energy sector (supplying and installing solar hot water systems), and I'm becoming more and more amazed as time goes on at the sheer ignorance of many people toward energy costs.

I've been to houses with rubbish insulation, places where even rudimentary improvements (like a bit of putty around the windows) would make a huge difference, places where they might as well be burning money, and yet so many of these people are highly suspicious of ANY home improvements that would cut down on their bills. Even with oil so high and electricity going up, there is such a marked reluctance to do ANYTHING that might improve matters. I got an earful last week when I showed a customer a wood pellet stove I have in my showroom - remarking on the fact that it was a) cheap to run and b) environmentally friendly, I was suddenly treated to a lecture on the environmental movement and how "people like you" want to stop me working on my land (I think he meant cutting hedgerows).

Blow me. The grant scheme is not enough - efforts to inform people about energy efficiency need to be stepped up, big time. The Change campaign and Power of One have yet to impact on some people, and even oil at E150 a barrel isn't having a big impact.

Anyone got any other suggestions?
Perhaps people suspect that you have a vested interest when you suggest they should spend more money on repairs? Especially when you start showing them 'deals' in your showroom?
Perhaps they are also still smarting from how mercenary and outrageously expensive it became in recent years to pay a tradesman to do absolutely anything?
I don't supply insulation so I have no "vested interest" in suggesting that they improve their insulation. And I don't show them "deals" - I show them solar panels if they want to see it. You would prefer that I show them nothing, and have no showroom?

At any rate your argument doesn't explain why people are reluctant in general to consider energy saving measures - they should become more price and quality conscious, not reject the idea outright, which is what I find many people do.

On costs, you're right - costs are high, due in no small part to high costs of doing business and competition constrictions higher up the supply chain. The guys on the ground are competing strongly, but many suppliers further up the chain are not. Add to that 21% VAT, higher fuel costs and rates, and you have a high cost economy. I'm actually cheaper than the competition across town, but I would like to be cheaper still. But when you're a sole trader and you're asked to fork out 3.5K for insurance, as I was this week, the costs add up. And they have to be passed on. If there was more competition between insurance companies...
Aw diddums. You show people your wares, they don't buy them and you're moaning that it's their fault and they're wrong?
Maybe you're wrong. Maybe you're a crap salesman. Maybe you need to make a better effort to explain the benefits of what you provide. Maybe your prices are a total rip-off.
Or maybe you should read my posts before replying?

I said I was cheaper than my competitors across town. I also said my main source of amazement was the ignorance about any form of energy saving, and the reulctance to do anything about it - even things that cost feck all, like draught excluding.

I give my customers some free advice because it costs me nothing and at least leaves them with the feeling they've got some service. What''s your problem with that?
 

Munion

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Messages
319
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

If you want to sell energy efficiency to the masses the marketing focus needs to be on saving them money rather than saving the environment.

€€€ SAVE! SAVE! SAVE! €€€ Installing insulation to your attic will SAVE you €XXX per year! (Please note there may be some benefit to the environment but nothing compared to the benefits IN YOUR WALLET!)

Appealling to peoples natural greed is the best way to get things across.
 

eyeSpy

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2008
Messages
2,550
Re: Some people are so ignorant!

try and explain payback periods.
most consumers (very few citizens left) only care about how much it will cost.
you need to show how much it will save over the life of the installation.
 
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