A glimpse into the real world

10th May 2021


During the past few weeks a stalwart band of individuals have been knocking doors, come rain or shine (this year snow and shine) as part of the local election campaign. Some of you may have been lucky to have been canvassed, even luckier ones will have been the canvassers. Door knocking isn’t to everyone’s liking, walking up to a stranger’s front door and asking them how they intend to vote can be intimidating. I love it.

It puts politics into perspective. It gives you an insight into the lives of people who you are trying to represent. It breathes a healthy dose of realism into the nostrils of those who want to change the world. And yes, for some, that experience is too much to handle because the voters more often than not, do not share the same enthusiasm for policy debate.

For me, well I’m just nosey. I walk up a path thinking where would they put a heat pump? The flume suggests they have gas central heating, so looking at the house and garden, do you think they are willing to pay an extra £300 a year to save 1500 kgs of carbon? What reaction would there be to digging up the drive to connect to a district heating scheme? Yes, I now live in the energy world but those questions are central to the debate over Net Zero.

So let me be blunt for a moment, please don’t take offence. There is not a cat in hell’s chance of forcing people to switch their heating system, to give them at best the same benefit, but costing them more for that privilege. The sooner a politician is brave enough to say that the better.

What might be great schemes in the comfort of a faculty tea-room, simply will not wash in the cold, hard light of day. I know some will say they have proof it “can” be done, but that misses the point. Spending a bit more time walking the streets of our housing estates and less on Twitter, will soon bring a dose of realism. The sort of realism that gas installers, engineers and networks know full well.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CEO