Home Forums General Discussion Hub Workshop: Details & Invitation Reply To: Hub Workshop: Details & Invitation

Norman Smith

I’m sorry I missed the workshop; belatedly the following may assist “going forward”

I think we agree we are all working on initiatives which have the objective of increasing the uptake of best energy and sustainability solutions for NZ households.The Hub can be an important source of information in the challenging task of helping transform homes and improve lives. In that I see The Hub joined at the hip with the other current  CEN-lead proposal — training and accreditation of Home Performance Advisers.
Together they are most important players. This is not because they represent the major source of advice but for the opposite reason – they will only ever make up one percent of the total information provided about home energy use and resource efficiency.
Yes, one percent, but note I said ‘information provided about’ not independent information about….
This ‘information about home energy use industry’ are of course the marketing and communications arms-tentacles of the building products and services industry and its growing sub-set the energy services industry. Toegther these operate with a combined budget of many, many, tens of many millions of dollars. Compared to these resources we are but a barnacle on the keel of the SS Free Enterprise.
I see the role of the Hub as a highly leveraged means of enabling a small number of independent advisers to work together; to keep up to speed with the new products and services as they and launched onto the market beamed into our homes as the means of providing perspective and context in the face of hype, selective half truths and sometimes downright lies disguised as statistics as the like..
Here’s an example – As a homeowner I am considering a more efficient hot water system. I need a household and house-specific solution which is both supplier independent and technology agnostic. By the latter I mean, for example, advice without bias any one over the others –  solar panel compared with heat pump compared with photovoltaics. Who is going to guide me through this labyrinth?
The collaborative approach which we have been trialling over the last few months may – or may not – result in consensus but at least individual advisors will have access a substantial body of perspectives and experiences from people who they trust rather than operating in isolation
Even with the involvement of fellow travellers such as Beacon, BRANZ, Eco-Design Advisers and EECA, Consumer and others, it’s always going to be an unequal engagement – but I can’t think of a better strategy to create a counter point.
Since it has been operating I have sought to be an involved as possible and tried to encourage discussion by seeking to comment on every topic raised; hopefully adding value – but I would say that wouldn’t I! While I haven’t done a breakdown – Sally I’m sure has – it is my observation that only a modest number of enquiries have come from CEN members.
I find this unsurprising, in these complex and challenging times the priority of CEN members and the main call on their time is to keep their retrofit businesses in business – and we know it’s not going to get any easier in the next 12 months.