Feeling the cold at work? Well toughen up to save the planet, Dacorum workers told

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by David Tooley

david.tooley@jpress.co.uk

AN eco champion said office complainers should ‘toughen up’ instead of going on about it being ‘too cold’ at work.

Ed Horgan, of the Carbon Trust, was outlining to firms how they can save money and the planet when he spoke at the Dacorum Business Exchange in Tring, today (Thursday, March 29).

“In every office there are people who are too cold and they want to turn the heating up,” said Mr Horgan, speaking to an audience of 50 people at Pendley Manor. “It’s a real issue.

“I suggest you do a vote in the afternoon when the thermostat is at 20 degrees and ask people whether they feel too hot or too cold or just right. In nine out of 10 cases more people will be too hot than too cold.” Turning the heating up often made more people uncomfortable, he said.

He added people were being turned into ‘tropical plants’ as the default answer was always to turn the heading up. He added: “People who feel too cold should take responsibility to toughen up. We are all different but they need to use more, thinner layers of clothing. It’s a responsbility on them, rather than making everybody else too hot. We’ve got to work on this.”

If all else failed, it would be cheaper for businesses to buy electrical pack heaters to put under someone’s feet than to turn the heating up, he said.

Mr Horgan said businesses need to get a grip on energy costs because he reckons they could rise by 100 per cent by 2020. Even conservative estimates reckon energy prices will rise by 40 per cent by 2020, he said. But he thought prices would skyrocket once the world comes out of recession.

Mr Horgan also had little regard for air conditioning, or comfort cooling systems. “Don’t use it if you can avoid it,” he said. “It can be avoided with careful design or thought, including external solar shading which does work and it can be done.”

Mr Horgan urged businesses to challenge their energy use, not only to save money but because it is vital to tackle climate change, which he said “costs more than terrorism.”

“It’s not rocket science, try to make some time and get the message across to everybody,” he said.

For mor information visit www.carbontrust.co.uk/empower and for cash help and tax advice www.energyefficiencyfinancing.co.uk and www.eca.gov.uk/etl There is also a Carbon Trust telephone helpline on 0800 085 2005.