How to send a simple signal that energy efficiency is important
Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 September 2012 at 10:49 am
We can bang on about the importance of energy effiiciency as much and as loudly as we want, but maybe there are more subtle ways of stating its importance and raising it up people's consciousness. On my recent holiday in France I saw two examples of simple, yet really effective awareness (and consciousness) raising that it would be wonderful if we could adopt over here too.
As I walked past an estate agent's window, I was surprised to find that virtually all the properties advertised in the window had the energy efficiency rating displayed prominently. And it wasn't just one estate agent - it was every one I saw.
This is a major contrast with estate agents in England, where you're more likely to be told that the EPC is an annoying bit of red tape, and I've never seen one in a window.
There were a minority of ads which said that the energy data wasn't available for this property, and it had the effect of making you wonder what they had to hide!
If we want to help people to understand their energy use better, and to realise that the choices they make will have a huge impact on their energy use - and of course energy bills, then making it compulsory to display this information on the front of house sale and rental particulars would send out a strong message that it matters.
The other sign I liked is less directly relevant to the normal content of this blog, although still vital to the success of attempts to reduce energy used in transport.
I was in Haute Provence which, despite the heat, is a popular place for cyclists. Most of the roads that we cycled along had signs displayed regularly along them with a picture of a cyclist and a clear indication that there should be a 1.5m gap between any overtaking car and the cyclist (see picture above).
This is fantastic on so many levels. Firstly it says that cyclists are legitimate road users. Next, that they should be given space. But most importantly, drivers take notice.
Cycling at home in Devon I'm constantly holding my breath and hoping that nothing comes round the blind corner, as yet another car squeezes past, pushing me into the hedge. It was bliss to ride on roads where cyclists are treated with respect!
If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.
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