The UK government’s recent proposals for a ten-point plan to help reduce carbon emissions has been met with praise this November. However, at the same time, it has been met with questions regarding practicality and feasibility.
In the plan, Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposes large changes to gas boiler installations in new build homes by mid-decade, and a ban on petrol and diesel only car sales cross-country by 2030.
The news has been welcomed by many clean energy campaigners, with SaveMoneyCutCarbon CEO Mark Sait amongst them.
“My instant reaction was ‘fantastic’ – it’s the right vision. It’s got a bit of typical Boris gusto and power behind it,” Sait says. “I think in general, (the plan is) really, really positive.”
However, Mr. Sait is concerned as to how the UK will adapt to a green switchover in the years to come. Is there infrastructure and technology in place to help support such a migration, and an increasing demand for EV, in particular?
“As an operator in the space (SaveMoneyCutCarbon), it’s less about ‘talking green’ and more about ‘building green’. It’s about ‘how do we actually do it’ – and ‘how do we actually build it’?”
SaveMoneyCutCarbon helps to introduce energy-saving measures and resources to public businesses and UK households. While their focus is on helping to cut down as much CO2 in the atmosphere as possible, their main ethos surrounds making simple, practical changes – ones which are non-detrimental to the British public.
Along a similar line, Sait believes that to prepare for the Prime Minister’s ten-point plan, we need to start thinking about freeing up the energy we already consume, not just considering new ways to accommodate rising demand.
“I talk a lot about the government talking green, rather than doing green. I’m very interested in what the detail looks like,” he says.
“I’m never quite sure whether they’re making these big statements and whether people on the ground have thought it through.”
SaveMoneyCutCarbon’s office parking has spaces reserved purely for the firm’s fleet of EV and hybrid vehicles. “We’ve had to upgrade all of our cabling and our fuse boards to make that happen.”
Sait believes that planning around current infrastructure is going to be more beneficial than exhausting further resources on building anew. “It’s not about building Sizewell B or C.”
“It’s about ‘how do you dig up the electric cables in (for example) Cringleford? And what’s the implication of closing the A11 while we do it?”
Sait confirms that the UK’s infrastructure needs to be ready for big demand for EV in the years to come, and that this will likely need to start with breaking down ‘barriers’ to welcome new green initiatives.
“At the coalface, the government is (advising) “Oh, we’re going to do all of this” – but it’s really about ‘how’ do you deploy that at the factories and the businesses around Bury, around Norwich, around Ipswich?”
Sait equates the conundrum with that of a home in need of broadband internet supply, albeit on a less critical level. “You can put the big (telephone) exchange in, but it’s that last mile of copper or house to your business.”
“SaveMoneyCutCarbon is well-placed to use our experience and our tools and our manufacturing network – and everything we’ve built – to help knock down some of those barriers.”
Sait confirms that SaveMoneyCutCarbon is already working hard to re-educate business owners, building managers and homeowners on how to practically and comfortably scale back on energy use. This, he states, could be a more efficient way to help prepare for increasing electricity demand with the rise of EV. He believes that instead of looking at the big picture in one sitting, it is prudent to consider smaller, more convenient ways to welcome and to adapt to the Prime Minister’s proposals.
“Don’t try and get your head around all ten points,” he continues. “There are lots of little changes that people can make in their homes, from reducing their plastic waste, to moving to LED light bulbs, through to solar EV charging. (But) don’t try and do it all at once.”
“Start small, because a lot of small changes make a really big difference.”
“There’s 29 million households in the UK. If they all changed a couple of LED light bulbs, if they all moved away from plastic bin bags to bin bags that will biodegrade faster, if they all reduce their water flows a little bit – if they all did a little bit, (it) makes a big difference.”
SaveMoneyCutCarbon’s message is, crucially, that now is the time to re-educate ourselves on practical, efficient ways to free up energy pressure – and thus reduce the need, collectively, for huge infrastructural developments in the years to come.