A Short Talk about my Low-Carbon Home

Friends, today I abandoned my usual Saturday morning ritual of doing a quiz and a crossword with my wife at our local café.

Instead I travelled far beyond the borders of Teddington to give a  “A Short Talk about my Low-Carbon Home” at the Kingston Efficient Homes Show. There were many celebrities there include Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Man, whom Wikipedia informs me is not in fact a pagan mythological figure.

The Green Man visited the Kingston Efficient Homes Show.

I was a little discombobulated at the start of the talk because nobody turned up to introduce me, and the clock in the lecture room was slow. And so while I was just waiting to start, I should already have started. And at the end I was being told to wind up, when in fact I still had many minutes left. Hey Ho.

I promised the audience I would put the Powerpoint slides from the show here, and below is a belated re-recording of the 20 minute talk for those who missed it. Somehow, it is 30 minutes long :-(.


I found the event very moving: it was full of people trying to make the world a better place.

  • There were slightly bewildered members of the public prepared to spend money on heat pumps and insulation and solar PV and batteries.
  • There were installers – the shock troops on the front line of combating climate change.
  • There were architects – including the designers of the fantastic Bale House in Hastings.
  • There were members of the local Council and politicians.

But one thing annoyed me: the endless request for estimates of ‘payback time’ or ‘return on investment’.

As Bill Nye, the mild-mannered American science communicator so eloquently put it, “The planet is on fire“. And people still want to find out whether it’s worth their while to put out the fire? He was actually rather more pithy than that.

If you found that video amusing, here’s another more upbeat version.

4 Responses to “A Short Talk about my Low-Carbon Home”

  1. Chas Baker Says:

    Couldn’t agree more. I’m just putting in a solar panel with battery system and people keep asking about the Return on Investment. My reply is always “I don’t worry about it because at the rate we are increasing global warming, we’ll all be dead before I need to decide if it was a good or bad investment”.

  2. jonfray2014 Says:

    I was delighted to attend for most of your presentation as I knew of your blog and had found the exhibition space confused and confusing. I think you pitched it well, and what you have learned is interesting and useful. And inspiring. I understand your sentiment about the Return on Investment questions. An interpretation may be that people want to know where to start – what makes the biggest difference, and following from that, what to spend their money on first. You’ve made a sizable financial investment in reducing your carbon emissions; I’m sure you appreciate not everyone has that kind of money to spend up front. I’m inspired to do more starting with more insulation. Thank you.

    • protonsforbreakfast Says:

      Jon, Thank you for taking the trouble to stop by and leave me some feedback. I appreciate it.

      And I do indeed appreciate my good fortune. If I can help you at all with your plans, do feel free to drop me a line.


      Best wishes


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