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I'm on the way home from the Citizen's Assembly @NetZeroUK. Some thoughts from me. Firstly what an honour to be able to speak at such an event. The scale of it and organisation was way beyond what I was expecting. Total respect to everyone @MillerJDavid @Bankfieldbecky etc
Goes to show how tough deliberative approaches can be but clearly huge value. Onto heat. My presentation was one of the toughest I've ever given. Never before have I spoken at length to a group of strangers about heat decarb. And what a pleasant surprise!
My talk was red carded (stopped for a question). And what a cracker, how can heat pumps work below 0 degreesC? I think I explained kinetic energy and absolutely zero adequately but I have never been asked that, even by a student (sorry physics, I hope it was OK).
A key issue which got some heads turning immediately was the need for a hot water cylinder. This is *THE* consumer issue for heat pumps. No, its not choice, its space and having enough hot water. Hopefully @SunampLtd or similar can help.
Rather than a panel discussion, what followed was speed dating where each speaker went from table to table in 10 minute periods to all 5 tables. And answered pre prepared questions! Back to back. Not tough at all.
I was struck by how good and thoughtful all of the questions were. Great questions on costs, speed of delivery, electricity network and generation capacity, etc. Everyone was also so welcoming, so thanks members it was a total pleasure.
There was also a question about the role of lobbying on policy change! Great question and I encouraged more focus on that issue to support transparency on energy and decarbonisation!
On costs, people were interested in costs but didn't seem worried. It was accepted that if this were to happen, it would cost more but the issue was more how it should be paid for rather than whether it should.
The issue of capital costs for energy efficiency and heat pump installs was recognised. @MatthewLipson hopefully you can help with some of this tomorrow. But BEIS needs to get this issue. I was lucky to have a nice chat with someone from the treasury select committee about this!
I was also amazed by how measured people were. There was none of this 'ripping out gas boilers' nonsense. It was, yes we get the problem, now how do we manage the change. What are the issues and what can we do to mitigate them. Very heartening.
But I feel so lucky to have been involved and hope I added some value. Thanks for having me! I am now on the train back to Cornwall hopefully home at 11. #StormCiara may have something to say about that.
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