Karl Darge presenting at the Leamington Spa College TEDx talk.
This TEDx (TED events) talk, ‘Climate Change and Fuel Poverty: Engineering a Solution with Ground Source Heat Pumps’, aimed to encourage more consumers to adopt ground source heat pumps, and influence government policy to deliver a future of sustainable, low carbon heating infrastructure in place of fossil fuels.
During his talk, Karl delivered hard-hitting truths about the current climate crisis and the stark effects of fuel poverty before offering a viable and tangible solution to these issues in the form of heat pumps.
Mr Darge said: “The way in which we heat our homes is currently at the very heart of the climate crisis and this has got to change. Heat is the single biggest factor in UK domestic energy consumption, contributing one-third of our greenhouse gas emissions, and is the single biggest cause of air pollution and climate gases.”
The talk outlined sobering statistics: 11 per cent of households in England and Wales and 35 per cent in Scotland are currently fuel poor (equating to 3,751,000 people), 50,000 of whom will die this winter in the UK because they are simply not able to heat their homes. Furthermore, the cost to the NHS from problems with cold homes is over £1.3 billion pounds. That cost doesn't take into account the reduced quality of life of people and communities living in cold, damp and rotting homes.
“These statistics are pretty hard to swallow,” continued Mr Darge. “Given that the technologies exist right now to solve the climate change problem, eliminate early winter deaths and cure fuel poverty.
“We are experiencing a disruptive change in the heating industry. Just like we have seen Uber change the way we hire Taxis, over the next few years Heat Pumps will completely change the way we heat our homes.”
Kensa has adopted ground source heat pumps with ambient temperature shared ground loop arrays, with the aim of delivering substantial carbon emission reductions and running cost savings utilising the most efficient renewable heat technology.
Mr Darge concluded his talk by calling on homeowners to drive the demand for heat pumps and renewables to tackle the issues of climate change and fuel poverty head-on. He also explored the possible shape of a post-renewable heat incentive funding package to enable the wide-scale adoption of renewables, in the form of ‘Heat as a Service’, which in years to come will enable consumer adoption of this low carbon, low cost technology without the upfront cost.