Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Does SEAI Assist Dishonest Traders?


(Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland)
Assist Dishonest Traders?

Hi Tony

I have read your blog with interest because I have been caught out by a building company registered with the SEI. They did a really bad external insulation job on my home and I have the photos to prove it. I now have a judgement against them and, of course, they say they are going into liquidation!!! The thing is that they are still trading and I was wondering if you have any tips on getting the word out there as I just couldn't bear to see anyone else in my situation. This has cost me thousands to rectify so far and things are still not finished as I have run out of money.   Regards.


I believe that some cowboys benefit by being able to state on their literature that they are SEAI registered. SEAI therefore bears at least some of the blame for poor, dangerous, or dishonest work done by those bearing their apparent seal of approval.

I believe that it is SEAI's responsibility to warn the public where poor workmanship or dishonest trading is carried out by dealers bearing their apparent seal of approval or  in other words their registration.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Custom Made Fireplace Doors


Custom Made
Fireplace Doors

I got another letter requesting specific information or the name of a manufacturer doing custom made fireplace doors.

As far as I know there is no company in the Irish Republic doing custom work of this nature. It would not be in any way cost effective having one-off units made to specific measure and design. I would only guess, but I would suspect a figure of (updated) €700 - €1500 for a one-off unit, depending on materials etc., would not be out of the way. The only way it would prove economical is to go with standard units. If you check with your heating hardware suppliers they may be able to help you there.

Here is the letter:

Fireplace Doors - Dampers

I desperately need a glass fireplace door with dampers - do you know of anyone, in Co. Mayo or anywhere in the Republic, who can make custom tempered glass fireplace doors (with locks) and adjustable damper?

Thank you.

19 August 2011


Friday, August 12, 2011

LED bulbs an update short Review


LED Lamps
Short Review and Update

I have been trying a variety of different cheap Chinese LED bulbs over recent months. The quality and quantity of the light output from these lamps has improved a great deal over earlier samples of say two years ago. The reliability has however been a bit haphazard and I have written about some of the shortcomings and how I have overcome them by tweaking the lamps before use.

Some of the latest examples of these MR16 and GU10 type LED lamps have been the latest 6 watt bulbs. In a recent post I reviewed two different types of 6watt, made up of 3 x 2watt emitters with GU10 fitting. I found that the light output from these 6watt bulbs was no better than from a 5watt lamp.

I have recently bought another type of MR16 3 x 2watt LED, seen in the above photo, which has exceeded my expectations with regard to light output and light colour. I will make some attempt at a comparative analysis of the performance of this lamp in the near future. Suffice it to say for the moment, I would not waste my time and money on the other types of 6watt LEDs!


Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Celtic Tiger Sleeping Tiger


Sleeping Tiger
(A Sustainability Issue - but nevertheless a rant! - 
Sorry for two rants in a row - I cannot contain my frustration)

In my last post I was marking just a few of the many gross social imbalances that exist in Ireland. The news today carries yet another revelation.

It emerged that FÁS the National Training Agency gives 70 days holidays, which is 44 extra to already generous regular holidays, to those nearing retirement to "Ease the Retirement Process". OMG - my stomach is churning -  talk about milking the system for the last possible drop.

Self-serving Institutions

What strikes me as way worse than the crazy over-generous self-serving by the institution, is the reaction by the Trades Unions and the Fás employees scrambling to retain this utterly crazy benefit.

I would be completely mortified and ashamed to be the recipient of such a - system milking perk - at the best of times, but in these times of real hardship, the Trades Unions should do a little soul searching before supporting this sort of craziness.

The Sleeping Tiger of the Celtic People does not want to be awakened. This sort of effrontery by the privileged public service is not too far distanced from Tsarist Russia's disregard for the starving masses. Little wonder that Russia had a revolution.

Ireland is certainly heading for some sort of a revolution, hopefully it will be a political and not a bloody one.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Dam Burst Coming in Ireland


Over-Load or Serious Imbalance
May Lead to a Dam Burst
Ireland is facing some very serious Non-Environmental Sustainability Issues

Ireland has a very serious social imbalance. This imbalance worsened during the Celtic Tiger years, and now in the recession it has been even further stretched.

So serious is this social imbalance,  that it may lead to dire consequences, some consequences I can think of such as:

(1) Big increase in psychological depression and it's many consequences,
(2) Disaffection, dissatisfaction, and social unrest,
(3) Massive growth in the black economy,
(4) Increase in money leaving the country, and
(5) Emigration on a biblical scale.

Latest figures show that 1 in 4 Irish people are surviving solely on part-time work, while some 300,000 people, close enough to 20% of the Irish workforce AFAIK,  have seen their incomes cut by a massive 50%.

Social Tension Building like Water behind a Dam

The social tension, like water building up behind a dam, is created when the hard pressed coping class are forced to look on in disbelief at a public sector where, for a large part, wages are some 10 - 20% higher than in the private sector, and additionally public employees enjoy pensions and job security unseen in the private sector.

Top that off with the fact that Ireland is paying the many public servants and in particular the judiciary some of the highest salaries in the entire world. And the cherry on the top of all that are members of Parliament and government ministers who are paying themselves more than their US and German equivalents.

Professional services in Ireland are another factor in the imbalance. Many professions in Ireland are some of the highest paid in the world, the feeding frenzy is driven in large part by the medical and legal professions expecting to earn €200,000 as a ballpark figure. This in turn leads to very expensive medical treatment and other services.

Ireland needs to take serious and immediate steps to re-balance the dangerously high level of the waters of imbalance, or prepare for a catastrophic flood