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Life under lockdown- a view from a HWA member

Monday 27th April 2020

“In the words of my old dad, “well who’d have thought it”? This is very likely the words he’d be uttering if he was still around whilst we are in this lockdown situation, he’d probably go onto say “it’s a fuss about nothing” and “it’s just a bad bout of flu”.


We certainly are in new waters here though, a situation that has never happened before and it’s very odd. Notwithstanding the awfulness in the illness and loss of lives, for the majority of us who are still working it's very odd. I have been with my company for approaching 35 years and whilst I’ve always had several days a week not working from the office, it’s hardly ever been working from home either. I might be in a meeting somewhere, on a train, hotel room, etc. still working but not working from home. I like some of the aspects of it, the coffee’s cheaper and the time it takes to get to the office is about 20 seconds rather than the normal 30 minutes. The distractions are there though, there’s a dog always wanting a walk or a ball thrown to it, there’s food too close to hand as well. I have a different set of clothes that I feel compelled to wear- although not quite as fancy as Beau Brummell (pictured). I’ve tried working in gardening/dog walking attire and it doesn’t happen.


I find working from home strange although I am getting used to it after 5 weeks or so of doing it. I am quite lucky in that we have a study so that’s where I reside, I have colleagues who aren’t so lucky and they’re in the lounge or a bedroom so little things like the furniture isn’t really conducive for desk type working. I have one colleague from a well know installer trade association who has to sit in the car on the drive to take conference calls as he has two boys doing their schoolwork at home and his wife all vying for space to put their laptops or tablets.


Whilst business, particularly sales seem to have dropped off a cliff the after-sales service and technical support carries on as though nothing has happened. The same can be said for the regulations and standards side of the industry with trade associations and responses to draft standards and regulations still going on as though nothing has happened.


MHCLG and BEIS have stated that the target deadlines they have in mind for much of the decarbonisation agenda they intend to still hit, this I think will be very hard to achieve. Many businesses have employees and representatives who sit on the various committees for these standards are furloughed or worst still have lost their jobs.


Even if the deadlines are met, will there be any funding available to prime some of the renewable technology markets or provide grants or subsidies in one form or another to help householders finance these changes. So I admire the ambition of trying to carry on as if nothing has changed but it has. Some would say that a decarbonisation push could actually help revive the countries fortunes and start us on the road to recovery once this is all over. I guess it’s how long it carries on for is the decider, until there is a cure or a treatment life will never be the same and that will impact every previous target or ambition until there is.


Ahh well, it’s been twenty minutes, time to wash my hands again.       

Driving to improve standards within the domestic hot water industry