Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
22 May 2013
Talking point: Immovable objects

Talking point: Immovable objects

No doubt most people will have suffered the frustration of sprinting to the next room, leaping over furniture to answer a ringing phone – only to find out the caller is trying to sell them something.

When it’s not about PPI or an alleged downloaded ‘computer virus’, there’s a high chance it’s for something like new windows, loft insulation or installing solar power cells – and most of us will deal with them with the same curt brush-off.

We have become cynical about such calls so if someone tries to sell us anything, we assume it’s probably a con.

But, this urge to dig our heels in could sometimes hold us back from taking up genuine offers that might improve our lives; and it is a frustration certainly felt in the growing green technology industry.

At a recent event hosted by ecoConnect in Edinburgh, Stewart Little, who runs Dundee-based IRT Surveys, said getting people to change their behaviour was often difficult.

His company had turned up on doorsteps with the thermal images to prove just where homes lost heat – often easily remedied with simple energy-efficiency measures like double-glazing or insulation. Tenants were not even being charged for the work – which would be carried out by their local authority – yet they refused to budge.

Only when it was pointed out precisely how much money lost the red blotches on the images represented per year did take-up increase.

Businesses too, large and small, are often slow to turn to what they see as relatively untested technology – despite the potential financial savings and CO2 reductions. The delay and indecision is also right at the top. The UK Government wants to install energy smart meters in 30 million homes across Britain but has delayed the £11.7bn project until autumn 2015 to give industry more time to design, build and test the systems.

Energy bills are now, for some, extortionately high, and from the top down, there should be a greater focus on measures to reduce energy consumption. At the same time, homeowners should, maybe after putting the phone down on a window-salesman who ‘happens to be in the area’ think, is their home as efficient as it could be?

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe



Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top