In April, Which? magazine splashed with a report that many people who drive a new car may have long suspected – the mpg given in the handbook does not quite fit with the number of times they were having to fill up. And three weeks ago the Volkswagen Group dropped its bombshell – test results for levels of dangerous nitrous oxides cars emitted by its vehicles had, in effect, been fabricated.
This is a key time for the social housing sector. Shaped with the regulatory uncertainty and recent budget and funding cuts, the highest priority for the sector is to ensure it is prepared for the future.
There is increasing attention being paid to design versus as-built energy use. Some homes that were built to higher standards were tested and found not to be delivering the energy performance that had been specified – sometimes significantly underperforming. Understanding the reasons behind this ‘performance gap’ is vital to ensuring that new build homes are warmer, more comfortable to live in and cheaper to run.
The proverbial man from mars would not have to look far for evidence that humans are taking seriously the threat to their planet of climate change. No annual report, CSR statement or ad campaign is nowadays complete without an environmental statement of intent. But he may be puzzled to read this proliferation of earnest literature in conjunction with dire warnings about the consequences of a global temperature rise of 4 degrees C. Which should he believe?