Monday, May 07, 2007

Harrow Council helping you be green, Yeah right!

I give you a tale which I am beginning to see as typical, not just for Harrow Council, but most councils and government agencies in this country, and despite the rhetoric, they certainly can't back it up.

A person I know told me this

Last October I applied for Solar Panels to heat my water, I had a visit from a person who measured up to see if we were suitable & seek permission from the Planning department. I got a letter dated 20th December to say someone will carry out a survey on 3rd January to submit drawing to the Planning department for approval.

This approval was given on 19th February according to the web site.

I telephoned the Sustainable Energy Project Team on 13th April because I have not heard anything and left a message to telephone me. I telephone again today & spoke to a girl/lady who tells me they have just got the list of people whose planning approval has come through and will be sending me a letter and application form for me to fill in by the end of the week. I am to fill this in & send it back with a cheque which when they get it; they will then order the parts. It takes two weeks for the parts to come in. It will then take another two weeks to fit me in their delivery/installation program.

All in all from October 2006 to possible fitting of panels in June/July will take 9 months!!

So much for things happening fast!!? Think of the money I could have saved if they had got their act together!

So as you can see, Harrow certainly don’t make an effort to sort things out fast, and then to make it worse, they have the audacity to say that people need to do more, and when the person above tried, this is what they got.

So much for being green Harrow, and Harrow is supposed to be a leading council in being green, I think if that is the case, we are screwed.


Ian said...

Come to Cali mate!
we get a 50% rebate from the state, the rest of the cost is tax deductible.
our power company MUST buy back any spare power we put onto the grid at the top rate (the meter spins backwards basically) and they eithe knock it off your bill or send you a cheque.

its all very civilized, depsite our general plannning proces being expensive it's pretty fast.

right now the solar cells that look like roof tiles, rather than large boxes on the roof cost about 10% of a new construction budget and should have paid for themselves in 5-7 years.

it only gets better as they get more efficient..

Speakers Corner said...

If only we had that situation in the UK, it would be so much better.

This is the country that says we want everyone to be green, and then says it is happy to put new nuclear power stations in England, and only England, can't guess why, and say that we need them.

Whilst we need more power, but if the amount of money that would be spent on the power stations, be spent on putting solar panels on each and every roof in the country, I am pretty certain that we wouldn't need the power stations, plus we would have something more efficient and more green, plus it would mean that we have a government that backs up its word.

We have a lot of difficulties selling excess back to the grid, there have been many cases where churches, etc haven't been able to sell back as they are classed a businesses!

Never thought I would think, we would should take a leaf out of Arnie's book!

Ian said...

Interestingly, even here in sunny california (well, someone sunny northern california) the optimal hours for solar are 10am to 2pm.
Anything outside of that is basically just ticking along - if you turn on anything serious you can't generate enough.
Therefore, batteries are needed and they are expensive.
My boss is totally off grid so he's all solar and propane. His fridge is propane (like a caravan fridge) but otherwise he uses regular stuff. He does have to watch power consuption though so no plasma tv.
He has a big bank of batteries that he draws from, and they get recharged, usually full if he can get 2 hours of sunlight between those times.

it's a balancing act of usage, but it is possible.
Our chargeback system is awesome though.
I nearly went for the solar shingles that look just like roof tiles. I wish I had now, but I couldn't drop the 10-15% of the build at the time ;-(
They're less efficient but almost invisible, the roof just looks a bit shiny.