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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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The report published this week by the Committee on Climate Change on UK housing (you can read it below), which suggests that no new homes be connected to the gas grid after 2025, makes interesting reading and has some excellent and valid points. As was probably only to be expected though, much of the mainstream press jumped on the idea that gas cookers and boilers would become obsolete and our energy bills would rocket if the recommendations were to be adopted, thus making those who haven't read the full report, believe that the ideas are all bad, when in reality they're not.

One piece of advice I find most surprising however, is that appliances be relocated upstairs to improve flood resilience - it particularly mentions washing machines! I can only surmise that the report's writers have never tried to move one of these machines themselves...

The incredible weight and the idea that we'd be expected to manoeuvre them up the stairs, around corners and through the doorways of ordinary houses makes me wonder whether there are enough osteopaths and chiropractors in the country to be able to deal with all the injuries. And where upstairs would there be space for a machine that could be adapted to dampen the noise and vibration, when upstairs is where most of us sleep? And that's without the potential for flooding which comes with many of these machines as they age. OK the appliances won't be steeped in floodwater and thus won't need replacing following a flood, but the potential for damage created by an upstairs washing machine that's perhaps not been plumbed in correctly or whose pipes have rotted or come adrift, doesn't bear thinking about, does it? And are we expected to relocate our kitchens upstairs too, since it's impractical to have fridges, freezers and cookers upstairs if the rest of the kitchen is still on the ground floor?

On a positive note, the report advocates the use of super energy-efficient appliances (it talks about A** and A***) and highly water-efficient devices with low-flow showers and taps, insulated tanks and hot water thermostats - something this industry cleverly already has at hand, along with ever-improving designs of induction cookers. While 2025 isn't too far away, I think that with clever marketing and great products, we can go a long way to saving energy and reducing our emissions long before that, don't you?


Jan Hobbs



22nd February 2019

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