It is clear that Climate Change is the biggest threat to society, the economy and even humanity as we know it – trumping the threat of nuclear war, disease or terrorism. Today (16th December), I interview David Draper (CEO of Energy Point and Wakefield City’s Entrepreneur of the Year) on his thoughts on UK Green Energy and Climate Change.
IN 1979, David was born in the small mining town of Castleford, West Yorkshire, where he grew up working in the Prince of Wales colliery (coal mine) in the late 90s. It was in the coal mines that David grew his understanding in fossil fuels and the need for them to run the country. David quit working in the coal mines and became the managing director of his father’s ‘man with a van’ company, Gas Fast, and grew it exponentially – hiring 100s of people over next 20 years.
When 2012 rolled round, David launched Energy Point Solutions to offer other heating solutions and energy consultancy. His success as an entrepreneur was officially recognised in 2021, after winning two accolades at the Wakefield Business Awards. Mr Draper received the Best Business Transformation Award and the Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Wakefield Theatre Royal.
Photo Credit: Wakefield Business Awards 2021 | Gas Fast Team
Interviewer: So David, can you tell me a bit about Energy Point and what you do?
David: Of course, Energy Point is one of the biggest boiler and heating solutions comparison companies in the UK. We help consumers find the cheapest prices and the best deals – helping them save money. We also release insights and consolidate data on climate change and green tech.
Interviewer: Thanks – what is Energy Point doing to fight climate change?
David: We install 1000s of energy efficient boilers in homes, sometimes for free, across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. What this does, is that it helps reduce carbon emissions – in fact, if every home had an energy efficient boiler installed, we could save at least 13m tonnes of CO2 reaching the atmosphere.
Interviewer: Boris Johnson has recently announced a massive push for heat pumps – what do you think about this?
David: Heat pumps are great… don’t get me wrong… but… I don’t think they’re the best solution for the majority of the homes in the UK. They’re expensive, they’re really hard to install correctly and they’re not a universal, ‘one size fits all’ solution to the issue.
Interviewer: If heat pumps aren’t the answer, what is then?
David: I think the Government should really focus on a few things, investing in better technology, such as hydrogen and microwave boilers and making renewable energy the norm… really, I believe in the idea that every new build home should be fitted with solar panels as standard.
Interviewer: So you’re fond of solar panels – is that fair to say?
David: Absolutely! Solar panels, wind turbines and all other green tech are great. Renewable energy is the UK’s best solution against climate change and that’s really clear to see.
Interviewer: Why is it clear to see?
David: Renewable technology is great because it’s clean. There’s no pollution involved, no smog, no mining involved. I worked the coal mines in the late 90s, early 2000s and it’s dirty, polluting and doesn’t do the planet any good. Switching to 100% renewable energy is the best thing the UK, the world even, can do.
Interviewer: People say that climate change is the biggest threat to humanity – do you believe that David?
David: No and yes. I believe that the biggest threat to humanity is the inaction around climate change – governments and people, like me and you, aren’t doing enough to fight back against global warming and teach each other about the issues that it causes. That’s why we’ve launched the Energy Point Media Centre – to educate people about climate change and promote action.
Interviewer: OK, so we’ve touched down on what Governments can do, but what about people? What can people do?
David: That’s the easiest part – everyone is in charge of themselves, not everyone has a stake in government decisions after you’ve voted. The best thing we can do is be more conscious of the environment in our daily lives… think ‘will this hurt the environment’ when you do something, if it’s a ‘yes’, then think ‘do I need to do this’. Littering, wasting food, not recycling, not turning things off when you’re not using them; all of these things are easy to stop doing and will help the planet, society and in some cases, your local community and economy.
Green energy needs to look appealing too – every home needs to have the ability to take advantage of joining and being part of the green ‘revolution’ in how we heat our homes, drive our cars – all of this stuff is out of the price point of most homeowners.
Interviewer: So we’ve been through Government and People, what about businesses now? What can businesses do?
David: Businesses stand to make a ginormous leap in energy savings by upgrading their lighting, heating and adding solar to their buildings. Although investment can be fairly high, due to the size of some commercial properties – the returns can be very attractive. I don’t think that commercial property owners fully understand the rewards that they can yield by engaging, or thinking in a renewable way.
If you’re paying £5,000 a year for energy and you pay £50,000 for solar panels to be installed, you’re actually saving over £100,000 over 30 years.
Interviewer: How do you think we could educated more people about the benefits of renewable energy?
David: I think that in order for us to have the best results and increase in uptake in homeowners purchasing renewable products, we really need to shine the light on the return on investments that be actually be generated. For instance, take solar panels – an average home owner would probably, as a round figure, pay £10,000 for installation of solar PV and battery storage; although this is a direct cost to the consumer, the actually yield can be projected over the next 30yrs – in this timeframe as an average, a customer could expect to save up to £40,000 on their electric bill.
The figures I’ve mentioned, are just a vague example of what the returns can look like – and they’re based on the current costs of electricity in the UK. Once these costs go up as they’re projected to in 2022, these figures could look even more attractive.
The media need to shout about the benefits of adding this one simple product to your property to kickstart more installations throughout the UK, and globally as well.
Interviewer: Fantastic, thank you for your time today David.
David: Thank you for the interview.
Energy Point is a renewable energy & energy efficiency consultancy organisation located near Leeds, UK. We specialise in publishing reports on climate change and the latest renewable energy technology. Our data is gathered from top organisations such as the White House, the UK Government, the UN and other institutions and research establishments.