Taste of what to expect with Patrick’s law - John McLellan

I know Glasgow’s Herald is not the first title most Edinburgh folk turn to for their news, but anyone owning a pre-First World War home would be well advised to read Monday’s article about how a family retrofitted their 1905 terraced house.
The family fitted an air-source heat pump.The family fitted an air-source heat pump.
The family fitted an air-source heat pump.

Under the Scottish Government’s proposed Heat in Buildings Bill, fronted by Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie, by 2033 owner-occupiers must meet the minimum energy efficiency standard or abandon fossil fuel heating, and this is a taste of what to expect.

This family were determined to go green so fitted an air-source heat pump, with extensive insulation to make it effective in a draughty old house. According to the Herald, the retrofit cost £28,000, covered by grants worth £9,500 and borrowing £5,500 interest free from Home Energy Scotland. The other £13,000 came from savings.

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The heat pump, underfloor heating and radiators cost £13,730, with a £9,500 grant and another loan of £2,500. But because the grant money didn’t come through when needed, they had to borrow money from parents, and having the floor ripped out meant lodging with family for four months.

So, to comply with Patrick’s Law you just need to borrow £8,000, plunder your savings to scrape together £13,000, get a bung from your parents (if they are still alive, or have spare cash) and live with a relative while your home is torn to bits. But if you can’t find free digs that’ll be another £5,000 or so. And this is hailed as a success? If only self-righteousness like Mr Harvie’s was legal tender.