“They don’t like it up ‘em”

9th Jul 2018


A great catchphrase from that BBC classic Dad’s Army, suggesting that some don’t like the cold hard truth being told.

Last week, I experienced another example of this, when The Times newspaper ran a story (from a so-called whistle blower) alleging that the gas boiler industry was holding the UK back from reducing consumer bills and hitting the UK’s climate change targets. The journalist attacked the industry for not investing in the future and implied it engaged in cheating the public with test results (just like VW it was implied).

Apart from the anti-German bias more suited to Basil Fawlty than a serious newspaper, the whistle blower was not uncovering some secret, given the information given was in the public domain. My suspicion is that far from being a whistle blower, the source is more likely to be that of a failing technology that cannot comprehend the changes being undertaken by the industry to meet the challenges of the energy trilemma. As Corporal Jones would say, “they don’t like it up ‘em”.

So let’s recap. In 2005, the UK was the first to mandate the fitting of condensing boilers, saving consumers hundreds of £s a year (not test data but from actual meter readings) and reducing GHG emissions. This year Boiler Plus regulations, devised by industry, came on stream another UK first that improves the efficiency of heating systems.

Further upstream the gas boiler industry is involved with the blending of hydrogen into the grid (HyDeploy) and has built prototype boilers using 100% hydrogen. Both involve heating systems that consumers are familiar with; avoid major and costly retrofitting and importantly contribute toward meeting our GHG reductions. But that’s good news and we can’t report that in newspapers. The BBC produced first class comedy, Corporal Jones and Basil Fawlty being two great characters but they are to be laughed at and not form the basis of policy debate.

Best wishes

Mike Foster, CE