Jan. 19, 2022

Ep72: Nathan Gambling 'Solving the Low Carbon Skills Gap'

Nathan Gambling is a heating engineer and lecturer who has taught in colleges and a prison. As well as industry, teaching and assessing qualifications he has a psychology degree in Behavioural studies and is regarded as a leading expert around training and the learning process within plumbing and heating.

He has a remarkable heritage within the heating industry: As central heating first started to take hold it was his grandfather who brought Swedish oil burner technology to the UK and was the UK’s leading oil combustion expert venerated throughout Europe. His great uncle was lead engineer and European Energy manager for Unilever and his dad was a technical rep for Trianco Redfyre who back in the 80s was the UK’s leading boiler manufacture.

He sometimes works with his cousin who is the UK’s leading acoustic sensitive heating and ventilation engineer installing and maintaining the comfort cooling and heating systems in some of the world’s best recording and post production facilities here in the UK.

Nathan often jokes that some of the radio/tv stations who’ve had guests on dismissing heat pumps are actually sitting in facilities heated and cooled with heat pump technology his cousin’s engineers installed, and that if heat pumps were that noisy you’d hear them on some of the world’s most famous record albums."

He currently hosts the award winning low carbon and renewable heating podcast BetaTalk and provides consultancy. He is regarded as knowing who the best engineers in the UK are and has helped senior figures in the energy discourse find competent engineers for their own homes. He is also able to help local authorities receiving money from the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund understand who the competent suppliers are on their Dynamic Purchasing Systems

Further reading:



Miriam Violet Griffith






Click here for Edited Highlights

Michael Liebreich: Before we start, if you're enjoying these conversations, please make sure that you like or subscribe to Cleaning Up, it really helps other people to find us. Cleaning Up is brought to you by the Liebreich Foundation and the Gilardini Foundation. Hello, I'm Michael Liebreich, and this is Cleaning Up. Today's is a slightly different episode, my guest is Nathan gambling, an expert lecturer on plumbing and heating, who also runs his own podcast BetaTalk, which is surprisingly popular given that it's all about plumbing and heating. This is a joint episode. It will go out both on BetaTalk and also on Cleaning Up. So please welcome to Cleaning Up and BetaTalk Nathan Gambling. It's great to be here. And this is a bit of an experiment for us both doing this joint show. So let's see how that goes.


Nathan Gambling: There's a name for it actually, I think there is a name for when two podcasts double-up, and I can't think what the actual name is called though.


ML: I don't know, it's probably something like a ‘shower of podcasters’.


NG: It is only the two of us, though.


ML: But it's great to have you Cleaning Up. And I don't know if you realise that the guest last week was Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary General of the UN, so you're in good company.


NG: Well, you have some fantastic guests. I mean, I do try and listen to as many of your shows as possible. And yeah, they're very interesting.


ML: So Nathan, why don't we start by, you know, introducing ourselves. You and I met, I believe we were introduced by Guy Newey of the Climate. What is it…the Catapult? Energy Systems Catapult. Exactly. Or at least I noticed that he had sponsored and supported your podcast, which I started to listen to. And I found it incredibly, incredibly helpful. So that's how we met. But why don't you go first and give a bit of your background for my audience.


NG: Who I am, where I come from? Okay, so yeah. I suppose one thing I would point out is I always worry about being called an expert, a heating engineer. There's, I like to disseminate the voice of the experts. So there's some fantastic men and women out there in this industry. It's the first time in the history of our industry that the world is now looking at it. So I've always tried to disseminate the voice of some of the good engineers, there's some good ones out there and then obviously as we move to renewables. There isnt that many what I would call real, real good experts, and I try to disseminate their voice. But I did my apprenticeship. I come from a quite remarkable background in sort of heating. My grandfather was sort of considered the guru of all combustion back in the 70s, 80s in the UK He was actually venerated all throughout Europe. I would like to point out he always said the best engineer he knew was a lady from Germany. He was a feminist, my grandfather, he always wanted to, obviously, in the 70s and 80s people, unfortunately, thought women couldn't do engineering and they can and there's some fantastic women out there now. But my great uncle, he was the lead engineer and European Energy Manager for Unilever, which was, I think, the world's first corporation and they bought Birdseye back in 1930, or something to do a Birdseye so they had very, very big industrial plants, steam plants. Heat pumps for refrigeration. My cousin, he's considered one of the best in the UK for acoustic sensitive heat pumps and air conditioning. So he's worked in lots of recording studios and post production studios for many years. My dad was a technical rep for a boiler maker which was considered sort of the premier boiler maker of the 80s. So yeah, I did my apprenticeship with the Ministry of Defence, I probably spent a lot of time trying to get out of the industry, I was preferred to travel and stuff like this got into teaching in 2005-2006, I was asked to teach in a prison that was the first prison to teach the City and Guilds course. And then I stopped teaching around about five years ago. I really loved the teaching aspect of it, but the education system is broken, I think. And so I thought, well, I'll use this new digital technology, we've got to sort of help. One of the things I tried to do is activate engineers as learning resources for one another so they could learn. This peer learning is a fantastic way to learn and of course with our new sort of computer mediated communication that we have like Facebook and Twitter and WhatsApp. I like to activate them as learning resources for each other so I do my podcast where I'll disseminate their voice because now the world is talking about heating. What I was founding it, was no one's actually, you know, the policy that's coming out of the government talking about it, everyone talking about it, no one was listening to the on the ground engineers, the ones actually doing it. So that's the whole reason I started my podcast to sort of get their voices out because they're very important voices, you know, if you want people, I see two challenges in this whole thing. We've got the technology, and we'll talk about how the technology has been there for decades. But the big challenge is the money. That's sort of your bag. And the other big challenge is who's going to do this work? Because the accreditation system and our qualification system doesn't work. We teach people to be qualified, not competent, there's a big difference between competent and qualified. So you need to know who's gonna be able to do this work. And that's sort of my expertise. So how about you, Michael, how did you get into this whole thing of heating and energy?


ML: Well so um, I actually studied engineering at Cambridge, I've got this kind of highfalutin academic engineering background. The reason I went into engineering is that my dad was a mechanic. And my parents were very determined that I would go to university, but they didn't have the knowledge and the skills and the network to know what I should study. So I just well, I don't know, what's a mechanic with a degree? Well, it’s an engineer. So I studied engineering. And it turned out that I was very good at this kind of academic engineering. I was very fast at solving differential equations. So what I specialised in was really very theoretical mechanics, fluids, nuclear, and thermodynamics. But I had this kind of epiphany, when I realised that I wanted to live in London, because there is only London, I'm very kind of a capital city, I want to be at the centre of things. But as an engineer, there are, of course, no jobs in London. At the time. Now, of course, there are because engineering has changed so much, and digitization so on, but at the time engineering was in Barrow-in-Furness, and I wanted to be in London. Anyway, I wanted to go skiing. So I did that for a whole bunch, did all sorts of things, was involved in.


NG: You were an Olympic skier?


ML:  I was an Olympic skier. That's right, I went to the Olympics in 1992. And so I didn't really take my career particularly seriously. But after that, I was very involved in the dotcom, the boom bust period. And that left me having at one point been worth get this $30 million on paper, I got none of it out. I got about 1% out. And I was completely unemployable, went back to basics. And I started New Energy Finance, which became, of course, when I sold it to Bloomberg became Bloomberg New Energy Finance. And that was an information provider about the new energy technologies. So I kind of had gone back to my basics of engineering, and I encapsulated it into this subscription service, which I then sold, and I built a team to sell to banks, to private equity investors, then to governments, to utilities. And I ended up sort of sitting right at the intersection of all these different groups that were thinking about what is now known as the net zero transition. Now back then 2003-2004 it was just renewable energy. But then we started to layer in the smart grid, and batteries, and electric transportation and so on. Now, of course, it's all net zero. And there's these different constituencies, which is you've got the technologists, whether they're big companies, so the GEs of the world, the Schneider Electrics, the Worcester-Bosches, and so on, or whether it's the little startups, the kind of the Sunamps, and, and, and so on. But then you've got the policymakers, because in energy policy is destiny. If we don't get the policy right, nothing moves. So you've got all of the policymakers, the regulators, and you've got the finance of all of the providers, whether those are massive debt providers, or whether they are venture capitalists providing startup equity, there's a huge community of finance. And then of course, there's the big energy companies, you've got the EDFs, you've got the Centricas, you've got the BPs, you've got the Shells, and so on. So you've got all these different constituencies. And I guess I'm kind of the guy that speaks all these different languages. I'm like, the Rosetta Stone of this weird, you know, sort of set of communities that are driving to net zero. And, you know, you and I met I've already said, you know, kind of technically it was through Guy Newey and because I heard of your podcast, but really what I end up my story is exactly where you ended up your story, which is that you've got, I agree with you 100%. We've got to listen to the engineers on the ground. You know, I got sick of listening to incredibly smart people, theoretically managing the transition, and designing policies and trying to design financial instruments, who had never installed a heat pump or a boiler or done anything practical themselves. And some of the stuff they were talking about was technologically absurd. And some of it was absurd from a sort of financing perspective. Some of it was absurd from a human behaviour perspective, because you actually got to, you got to get this kind of decision science a bit right. And, nobody was really listening to the only people who've ever done any of this, which is of course your network of BetaTeach engineers. And, you know, since I've interacted now with you, and with a few of them, I can warrant that they are the best in the country, there's no question some of them are the best in the world.


NG: Yeah, I mean, you touched on something there about policy interacting with engineers, I mean, they, they will argue that they have done but they, but they're not interacting with the right ones. So they'll go to the big, very well established, I'm not going to mention names, but very well established companies that have got lots and lots, lots of engineers on their books, perhaps and they are the ones that often get involved in sort of the policy and get chatted to, but it's they're not the ones you should really be talking to because unfortunately, they've got vested interests. And they don't actually know too much about good practice. There's a lot of practice out there that isn't really that good yet.


ML: And that's a general problem, I think, throughout the net zero transition, that the companies that are able to lobby are the big companies, but big companies are not the innovative companies. And there's a huge literature about the attacker’s advantage, how it's not the incumbents who innovate. It's always the up and comers, and it was Elon Musk, who has transformed transportation by designing an electric car that could have come out of GM. But of course, GM killed its electric car. And so you've got these big companies that have got the resources and the people and they've got people in Brussels and in Westminster, and they can lobby, but they don't actually want to change anything. Fundamentally, they want to milk their own assets, don't they?


NG: Yeah, and we've got sort of innovators now come in, I mean, obviously, the classic one is, is Octopus, you know, people, I find Octopus very interesting, they know me, I think they can be a bit of an arm's length, because they never know what I'm going to say, because, but I'm all for Octopus, we need companies like this, because if we we've got a big energy transition. And you know, we’re so we're a sole trader industry, over 80%, we never used to be so when central heating sort of first sort of was engendered, say around the 70s. I mean, people had heating their homes like the electric bar fire, it might have been a coal fire or whatever. And they, and they tended to do hot water in a bit of a separate system. But central heating came into play, that's when my grandfather he brought the Swedish sort of oil burner technology over to the country. And you had people that were employed there working for the local gas board, for instance, local authorities, the councils, and then it started to become a, you know, in this country, we have a lot of self-employed people. I mean, since the economic turndown 2008, I think, in 2008-2012, something like nearly 400,000 people became self-employed. So there's a lot of self-employed, we aren't gonna solve the challenge with self-employed people, because there's a bit of a concern about who's competent there. Doesn't mean that you've got companies like Octopus, and some of the really good engineers are a little bit frustrated with Octopus at the moment. There's all sorts of things why, yeah, they put out some information the other day, which is great, it sort of what you and I have worked quite close with one of my sponsors, Sero Homes who were part of the Optimised Retrofit Welsh Government thing about how you can just turn the boilera down. But you can only deal with the condensing boilers with combis. It's a little bit of a different thing if you've got a cylinder because then there's the Legionella and Octopus put out some information that actually contradicted the Health and Safety Executive advice. And I think some of the engineers are a little bit frustrated, or why they don't like, talk more to us, but they're going to do good things because they they're agile.


ML: Let's give a little bit of context here because you and I have done what we always do, we dive in and we get into the details. But Octopus, now we had Greg Jackson on Cleaning Up. I can't remember which episode it was. Actually, Greg, if you're listening to this, it was our most popular episode so far, more popular than Tony Blair, more popular than Tony Abbott. And still until perhaps next week, more popular than Ban Ki-moon. But now Greg runs Octopus, which is the challenger utility in the UK, but it's also the provider, Octopus also provides a tech stack which it sold in Australia in Germany and Japan and I suspect they're going and Al Gore's investment company Generation has just put some money In. And it's really a tremendous up and coming name. Now what you're referring to they've also, Greg and his team have announced that they're going to be doing heat pump retrofits. And they've named this figure, I think 5000 pounds to do a heat pump retrofit. And they haven't really started to deliver that, they've announced it, but they're not yet doing it. So there's a lot of kinds of rumours and backwash in the industry, is that fair to say? Nobody knows quite how they're going to do it, quite what they're going to offer. And so there's a little bit of friction there. But if you, you know, if you agree with that, then let's get back to the structure of the rest of the industry.


NG: They’re doing some really good things. I've got people on the ground that know what they're doing. And I wanted to say that we need people like Octopus and they are agile. So they'll innovate, innovate, innovate, and obviously, but some, there are some engineers who get a little bit frustrated about the fact that there's big companies, because I think why what's happened is big companies have been involved in this industry, and they don't care. And they've gone in, they do it all wrong, make their money, and then they get out. Octopus, obviously aren't going to be like that, that's a totally, they're not gonna be like that they're an energy supplier for start. So they're going to want to do it right. So yeah, it's very interesting what they're doing.


ML: But let's talk about that. Those kinds of eras if you like. So you started where there was, obviously, there was pre-central heating, I remember when my family got central heating, and we were still putting a shilling in the meter. And, and that was going pretty fast. But at least we had a warm house, I remember, but then we had central heating, but you had the sort of the British Gas era. And then you had privatisation, deregulation. And that's when you got all these sole traders. And that's where we are today, you have sole traders, with big companies selling them, essentially, or distributing boilers. And the skills have been, where do the skills reside? Or are there skills now? Because these lone operators, some of them are very brilliant plumbers and engineers, but do they, you know, have the skills for what comes next? Are they training the next generation? Where are we in your view?


NG: Well, some of them do have the skills already. Let's say there's this. There's a lot of great engineers out there. But the trouble is, that competition meant that the industry had a race to the bottom. So obviously a boiler has a flame temperature of 900 degrees plus it's very easy just to plunk it on the wall and walk away, everyone's happy. Customers got warmth, and hot water. And we've got the most complex, overcrowded heating industry market in the world. So we had the biggest gas boiler market in the world in 2016. So essentially, your boiler companies have to sell boilers if they don't crumble . They even incentivize people to not repair but to put new boilers on the wall so like we've got the big four at the moment that in this country: Ideal, Worcester-Bosch - has been knocked off the top spot by Ideal, and then Vaillant then Baxi. Ideal will fly you to Las Vegas so they flew 160 people to Las Vegas before COVID And then to Miami the year before that, or might be the other way around. If you sell it or if you're putting boilers on the wall, they fly you, this goes against the grain of what we're all trying to achieve.


ML: Is that peak not net zero? I fly you to Las Vegas if you sell enough gas powered boilers that by the way are all set up wrong, aren’t they? Because they're not even condensing even when you do set them up right?


NG: Well this is the other big problem in 2006 about 2005 2006 we mandated condensing boilers you need they did have a day’s training for all, so all the engineers had to go on a day's training and they were told you know get to 54 return and actually do port that's when it condensed. Well that's just when you dip your toe into condensing. You need to get down about 35 before, return temperature this is, to 35 degrees before your boiler becomes this badged up efficiency that they all sell in their boilers around about 93%. But the boiler industry hasn't. The central heating industry quickly became the gas boiler industry. You know they're what they're the ones with the power they all belong to this trade body. I don't know if I should mentione their names. They banned me off Twitter now but I told him off. I said let your heat well, I'll be oh, we went to the nine the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council I said that you can't You're the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council stop keep talking about hydrogen. There's a lot of heating technology out there. They have sort of backed off a little bit about chatting and too much about hydrogen. They've got good people in them, all these entities and have fantastic people. It's just that there. There are entities that I think veer off the track sometimes. But yeah, there's people out there with a heat pump if you do need that design knowledge. And I mean if we go back to where I grew up near Norwich, Sir John Sumner built a fantastic heat pump. He had all the factory workers up in 1948 Up and up till about 2010. Perfect. It was a river source heat pump taking energy from the river. Yeah. But around the same era. You had the one that's put into the London Festival House, 1952 that wasn't designed well, because they didn't account for the fact it's very, very well insulated and soundproof, so all the body heat meant the heat pump was oversized, it had what, a centrifugal compressor, the <inaudible> and noise so it got shut down. And the media back in 1952 jumped on it, oh, heat pumps don't work. We can't get in now. You know, the bad bad ones, get the media to jump on it, where there's fantastic heat pump systems out there working. Technology is old technology. It's not as, we heat lots of commercial spaces with air to air heat pumps. My cousin's been doing it for 40 years. Millions exist in London already. So it's a technology that works. But you've got to do it right.


ML: Because you've got there's a whole sort of genre that you've got going on Twitter, which is when people say heat pumps don't work, you spot the fact that they've got a heat pump in the background when they actually have the photos that they actually post on. So let's do a little bit of a let's come back to the question of skills, because I do think it runs through this whole discussion like a red thread, you started because obviously you said how fascinated you are with education. And then we talked a little bit about the skills that went during that process where people became lone operators. But let's do some myth busting around not just around heat pumps, but also around hydrogen or all the future technologies, right? Because at the moment, what percentage of let's… we're in the UK, we're talking about the UK, there are lots of parallels from elsewhere. But in the UK, what percentage of homes are heated by gas? I mean, presumably, it's mainly gas and oil and a few percent of electrical at the moment, right?


NG: Yeah, so I think when the 10 year review came out, the gas safe register did their 10 year review. 21.5 million homes heated with gas, I think Of-tech will say something like 4 million being heated with oil, I think. And then obviously, there's some resistive heating as well.


ML: So all of that has to change, right? So we're talking about 2050, net Zzero, not all of that, some of that is resistive heating. There are a few heat pump, heated homes already, but not that many that's in that's probably less than a few hundred thousand. But you've got 25 million homes, and of course, all the industrial, commercial properties, it's all going to change. And there's this big battle about what does it look like? What is going to be the winning technology? And there's all these things that are said by all sides about heat pumps, whether they can work, whether they can't work, how much they'll cost. And conversely, you've got this huge lobby that is pushing hydrogen. So let's take some of the myths. First of all, do heat pumps work in a climate like the UK’s?


NG: 100% yes, because they are everywhere in commercial buildings. Yeah. I mean, they are air to air systems. They're what we call variable refrigerant flow systems. So these are what people look up in their city and think, well, that's air conditioning, it's not actually air conditioning,air conditioning does exist, it's very rare. Does what it says on the tin, it conditions the air to very, very strict parameters. So like, you know, your British Library might have a room where rare artefacts are being kept at that very sort of specific humidity. That's air conditionimg. But what you look up at your ceilings comfort, cooling, comfort heating systems, VRF. And they're everywhere. Pubs, clubs, restaurants, my local pub, now Tescos. It's been proven for a long, long time, that it works in this climate for a long time.


ML: My favourite statistic there is that 60% of homes in Norway are heated by heat pumps. So if anybody says, oh, no, it doesn't work, and it's too cold, and they don't work at cold temperature, all that stuff. I'm like, tell that to Norwegians, because 60% of them will instantly feel cold. If these things you know, if that's right. So they definitely do work. What about this, you know, and now drawing on the experience, perhaps more of your, your BetaTalk engineers? How, how much do we have to change the fabric of houses and homes and offices? Indeed, if we want to switch from gas heating to a heat pump, because some people say oh, you got to rip out you know, all of your radiators, all of the pipe work and it wilI all have to change and it will cost absurd amounts of money. It's a non-starter. What's the truth?


NG: Well, the truth is you don't have to rip. What people need to understand is this. I mean, I sometimes use the analogy of a marquee. If you had a marquee, in the middle of winter, and you stuck a load of people in it and danced you know, you're probably from the punk or soul I'm a bit younger. You know, you stick all these people in this marquee that heats up, it gets too hot. And that's because we emit that if we're moving about well we’re emitting about 100 watts of energy, which is, as you know, 100 joules per second. So you can heat anything up with a heat pump. But then this is where the design comes in, it's you think, well, I've got the size heat pump, I need to have, have I got the size emitters to be able to get that energy into the home quick enough. And the pipe work in between becomes important, because that's what carries the flow, that's the energy is carried in the water, and you get them things, right, you've solved the problem. And then obviously, it can be disruptive. And for some people, it can be costly. So there's a balance of do we need to insulate this property much, then I mean, like I say, a lot of the commercial buildings out there have not been historically insulated at all, to an air to air you can get COP of five, with air to air. 


ML: The coefficient of performance or COP of five, means you're only paying for one unit of electricity, but you're getting five units of heat. So you're getting four of them free. So just for my audience, your audience will know all of this, my audience may not. So a COP of five is a fantastic performance. I mean, if a COP of three I'm thinking of is normally regarded as you know, it definitely starts to make sense if you can get to three.


NG: Well, like they got him in the Lucas Electric Company in 1948, I think they build two test houses for air source heat pumps, and they had COPs of three back then. I mean, funnily enough, I think they were getting better COPs than the Energy Savings Trust heat pump trials of 2009-2011. Because this is the problem when they did that study. And when they just don't they've just done the BEIS one as well. Aren't they 750 homes? They use accredited installation companies, MCS-accredited installation companies. And what they found is that the spectrum of competence is huge. You know, you've got my sort of engineers at this end of scale, the experts and you've got some very good ones, loads of sort of in between. And then there's some very, very poor people that are accredited as well. And of course, if you're doing a study, and you're using MCS-accredited people that's conflicting the results, I think they don't even got as high on average as three back in 2009. Because a lot of them were not been installed properly, without design considerations. I mean, I had Steve ring up today. You've met Steve, one of my favourite engineers, Steve Webster, and Steve Webster. He's just he's just quoted for a job he quoted a, it's a, it's not been built yet so very, very well insulated, it's, it's gonna be a very well insulated home, triple glazing, this kind of thing. MVHR, which will reduce your heat load. And he's sort of ballpark figure said yet, you'll need a 12 kilowatt pump. But the other four quotes, we have three quotes for this, this customer, this client, 16 kilowatt heat pump, 17 kilowatt heat pump and 24 kilowatt heat pump. So all these people that are involved in this game, there's a lot of incompetence out there. And there's a lot of unconscious incompetence, they don't know, they're not that good. There's a lot of conscious incompetence, which is where engineers know, or they get the anxious or I don't know it quite yet. So that's good, you can sort of give them some information from it, or there's the ones that we call cowboys, you know, conscious incompetence, but they don't, they're not worried, they go out there, just charge the money. Skills is a massive problem, a massive problem


ML: I think we should come back and summarise on skills, because we're going to see it pop up at all sorts of points here. And I can definitely say that, you know, as you know, I'm sitting in a home, which was a poster child in 2013-2014, for it was and is the most energy innovative Victorian house in London. But as you know, we're about to rip out the systems we've got because what we designed back then was not really it was you know, it was a good attempt, state of the knowledge that I had, certainly back then. But I did not find the engineers that I was using were not skilled, you know, were not at the top of that stack that you've just described. And one of the morals of all of this, one of the one of the key key takeaways is, if you're a homeowner, you have to put in the work to find an engineer who knows what they're doing. And then as you say, and of course, we've got to figure out the systems to disseminate those skills and that learning, but yeah, go ahead.


NG: It's so hard for the homeowner because there's no reference point but, local authorities <inaudible> energy hubs, how do they know who's competent? And that's one of the things I'm trying to solve. I mean, you've got all this money coming out of BEIS soon to the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. So you'll have sustainability teams in local authorities and Leps. And they don't know who's competent, just because someone's got their qualifications and their accreditations. And there've been some historic failures with this whole retrofit, you know, the Preston one, Fishwick, that, even in my sort of <inaudible> housing have that sort of, I mean, they don't talk about them, because it's taxpayers money going away. But if we're having all these billions coming towards all this, we need to get this, get this right. But yeah, the poor homeowner hasn't really got a good reference point.


ML: It's very difficult because, as I say, the engineer that I work with didn't know what he was doing. And I'm sort of supposed to know at least what questions to ask now that I've listened to your BetaTalk podcast a bit more, I at least know what questions to ask. But let's come back to it. I want to talk about technology just a little bit. Because you are wearing a heat geek sweatshirt, your podcast listeners, and mine won't know that. But the ones who are watching this on YouTube, some of my about 10% of my audience is on YouTube, they will see that to show us show us show us the sweatshirt,


NG: My friend Adam…


ML: Adam, and he was telling me the other day about how much better the technology was now than even five years ago, and he actually I think he's also got some, he does his own videos. And so some of these failed installations. Okay, the good ones, even back in the 1950s had great performances, great COPs. But it was very difficult as a homeowner or as an average person to get those sorts of jobs done. Even five years ago, and 10 years ago, certainly there were a lot of failed installations. But now, are we really getting to the point where in most cases, the answer is number one, yes, you probably can go to a heat pump without vastly disruptive new works. But number two, you but you've got to get somebody competent to do it. Is that a fair summary? Or not?


NG: Yeah, you've got to get someone competent to do it. And the first, like Adam, and I always say there's no panacea, you have to look at the individual home. And the individual occupants, occupants live very differently to each other. And you just assess what you need, basically. And then you design the parameters. And that's, that's the key thing. There's, there's some engineers out there who don't know that design process. And that's where sort of larger companies might. So back in the day, you'd have, like City Engineering, for instance, in Norwich, they would do all the design, and then all your workers and fitters would go out and put it in to the design. So we might see companies forming where they've got their designers, and MCS actually have just sort of made that they've now split it. So there's a design, accreditation, and obviously, installation as well. Getting that design is key, it really is key. But again, the consumer doesn't know who's capable of doing it.


ML: Now, one other thing that comes up as a sort of a myth is that they're much too noisy. And I do worry about you know, especially if you've got, let's say a row of terraced houses, and each one has got its heat pump. Does that end up being noisy? Or are these now have we now reached the point where no, they're well designed, well maintained? There's no reason why these things should, you know, sound, make any more noise than a just noise, normal boiler flue.


NG: Boilers are noisy. I mean, my grandfather helped design that technology. You can get noise issues with some of them if they're not well maintained, obviously. But though the technology is there, now that noise isn't an issue, and I sometimes joke, you'd hear them on some of the world's most famous records because my cousin does all this acoustic sensitive sort heat pump technology to extract body heat out of the recording studios. But noise is just one of them things I think people have jumped on. It's definitely not something we have to worry about. Unless, if they're installed incorrectly. Yeah. But if it's installed properly there's nothing to worry about with noise.


ML: Okay, so given the picture that's emerging. Why is anybody talking about hydrogen?


NG: Why are they talking about hydrogen? Well, obviously, you've got a network that wants hydrogen and the boiler companies are in a strange position because they've got all they can all they're all part of groups that make heat pumps. So wherever the boiler companies make their own heat pumps, or they're part of groups. So Ideal is part of a group Atlantic, they make heat pumps BDR Thermea which is Baxi, who obviously are associated with hydrogen, they make heat pumps. Your network? You know, obviously wants hydrogen, you know, I imagine.


ML: People who own the pipes? 


NG: Yeah, they don't want it to become obsolete, do they? Yeah, and hydrogen will have its place in little certain corners of the country. I don't think we're ever going to see our National Grid be like what it is at the moment or distributed into all these boilers around the country, because I just don't think it's going to work. That's me personally.


ML: But do you get any of your engineers saying, you know, all you guys banging on about heat pumps? I'm just going to skip that and wait for the hydrogen stuff, because that's just going to be a better solution. I don't know if it is easier to work with more, you know, more lucrative for an installer or an engineer. Does anybody, do you come across anybody who sort of amongst the real aficionados putting their money on hydrogen?


NG: There are engineers out there putting them I mean, there's the average age of the engineer for instance, out there it's sort of 46 to 50. So some of them think I don't really need to sort of invest my time into learning about new technology. It's not new technology, but making it they're going to be quite happy till their retire, because there's going to be gas boilers around for quite a long time still to maintain. So, yes, it's horses for courses that are aficionados and those, whoever that is that they see that, are. Definitely the best engineers. I know, see, heat pumps are the future and other things like that. I'm a very big solar thermal advocate, as you know. I was just there speaking to Christoph, you know, Christoph from Naked Energy. <inaudible> 


M: So yes, yes. Naked Energy that's photovoltaic and thermal technology combined. So you put one thing onto the roof or onto the side of your house, and it produces electricity and heat. Right?


NG: Yeah. And I think Chris has just been asked to be the chair of the working group for solar thermal. Solar thermal did take off a few years back, and PVT. PVT is because of solar thermal, a PV panel for your electric, they become very inefficient, they get hot, they're very inefficient when they get hot, so  keeping cool with water. And then you can use that water to do something to provide the energy for heat pumps. <inaudible> have just got a fantastic I think that the University of College or one of the universities in London, Naked Energy are doing something with the British Library at the moment. So this PVT technology is really exciting, because it's sort of helping your PV become more efficient, and then you're using that energy that's in the water to do something useful as well.


ML: So that's PVT, so photovoltaic and thermal. Yeah. But you'd still use a heat pump and that they would combine it with a heat pump, right?.


NG: Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, it's a bit like a water source heat pump. Water source heat pumps are actually ground. So you're taking the energy from that body, where it's the groundwater, and with PVT, you'll take the water that's cooling, cooling this stuff down. Yeah, that good, good, exciting technology. So like, like you were saying earlier the technology is, I mean, we've had great heat pump technology for a long time. Because you got to remember the HVAC industry sort of Mitsubishi's and Dakin, and LG and Toshiba. And Hitachi and Fujitsu. They've been doing this for a long, long time. 


ML: So it is always good to remember that it's only new in the UK, it's not new at all, in Japan or in Scandinavia. But the thing that worries me a little bit about the PV side of this is I've got PV on the roof here. And the ratio of PV in summer and winter is 13 to one. So the electrical output in the winter is 1/13th of what it is in the summer. And I've got a sloping roof. And so it's facing east and west. And there's some reasons why it's particularly bad. But I just worry about anybody relying on solar, whether it's via PV or even frankly, solar thermal during the winter, looking at that huge ratio.


NG: Solar thermal is actually quite good in the winter for heating systems. Believe it or not, we've, we've traditionally used it with domestic hot water fired for the summer, we have a problem of overheating sometimes, if we use in these low temperature systems now, which is going to be mandated. So I mean, Sweden mandated low temperature heating back in 1984, for 55 degrees. So it does work. Sweden's pretty cold. And it's worth remembering everyone says, well, why did Sweden go down the route? And then and then the heat pump? It was because there are lots of islands. It's one of the world's biggest archipelagos, isn't it and so you can't have a gas <inaudible>. So they've always been involved in technology. We've obviously got this gas grid, so we sort of just, but we're going to be mandating 55 maximum flow temperature, which is good. So... 


ML: There's an interesting thing about Sweden, though, you said that they've got this archipelago. That's not where most of the people live. Most of the people live in Stockholm and on the mainland. And here's an incredible statistic. They have connected 1% of their homes to district heating every year for 60 years. So now the challenge is, what do you use for your district heating, because obviously, it can't be gas, but they're using I mean, a lot of it is renewable, a lot of it is biomass. And of course, as we now see people like, was it Star Energy, Dave Pearson, you can use a big heat pump, use a water source for a heat pump to put heat into a district heating network? 


NG: Yeah, I mean, that's Dave's technologies, but I mean, Stockholm in its own right, it's an archipelago that's made up of islands. And of course, they got all the water bodies, same as Scotland, you know. So, I mean, district heating is something that gets started is being talked about a lot now. I mean, you know, I should ask you a question, really, from what it is, I mean, you know, lots about finance. I mean, the big one. I know about, you know, why there isn’t skills and what we can do. I mean, obviously, you're the finance kind of guru around this. I mean, how does all this get financed?


ML: I think I mean, look, that's a great question. There is a vast amount of money around. I can't tell you how much money there is. Right, that's $400 trillion in the world of cumulative savings of various sorts, you know, sovereign funds, asset managers, pension funds, life insurance, asset management of all sorts, there's just a lot of money. And now, about a third of it is explicitly looking for something that is, you know, net zero compatible, something sustainable, something with, you know, so called ESG, environmental, social and governance, kind of tick boxes being checked. So there's no shortage of money. The problem is all that money. It can only go into instruments that are structured in a certain way. And the thing with heating, plumbing engineering is, how do you, you need to put all the money up front, and then you get the revenues over a period. And that those revenues need to be kind of guaranteed, or they need to be safe, not necessarily guaranteed, but you need to be able to calculate what default rate you'll get. And of course, it's just, I suppose, I'm rambling a little bit, because the way I look at this is, it's like the tumblers of a lock, you know, you've got to get the engineering, you got to get the physics right, you got to get the engineering right, you got to get the policy right, you got to get the economics right. And then, then finance is the most innovative bit that will probably click into place by itself. But if any of those other things are not right, it's just not going to work. And where it falls down is partly poor policy. I think we've, you know, we've gone through a bit of the technology, the technologies, and the physics is easy, the technology, the engineering is basically doable, the regulation, and the policy is very often not in place. So you know, it's just not, we'll try and provide a subsidy at the wrong point in the life cycle of either the family or the home. Or we'll structure it, if you remember the Green was it the Green Deal, which was about 2011, or something like that. And, you know, you could borrow money to do an energy retrofit of your home. But that money was available at 7%. And, you know, the sorts of people who were interested were all middle class people sitting on, you know, their savings accounts, which were earning 1% at the time. So why would you borrow it? Seven, if you had money available at one, so the policy didn't kind of fit. So I think we've got a lot of barriers like that. 


NG: What do you think of the new BUS? The boiler upgrade scheme?


ML: Well, I think I actually think that I've been following what you and your engineers have been saying, which is more around, how will you make sure that the work is done? Well, because like, free money is great, everybody will want to have some free money. It's a bit of a blunt instrument. I would like to see, how do you make sure that that money is directed to people who are doing good work? In other words, you know, what, what have they avoided in terms of emissions? Have they got systems that actually save the homeowner money? What sort of COPs are they going to be achieving? How do we make sure that those systems are going to be maintained over time, because it's very easy to do a system, walk away, and when you know this better than better than me, and your network knows it? Well, you can walk away, and the thing stops working, and nobody can work out which pipe is connected to which bit? That's the problem I've got. So I think I would like to see it in practice. And I think, I mean, I say I'm going to be doing more listening than talking about the boiler upgrade scheme. And if possible, you know, if I can amplify some messages, if I can bang a few heads together in policy world and say, well, you know, if you don't do this, then you'll get that, then that's probably the most use that I can be, rather than pontificating about how to do it. What do you think?


NG: Well, it’s interesting, obviously, homeowners can't afford this stuff. And one of the reasons is because heating is a system. It's not your heat source. The boiler industry that made it about heat sources. And I sometimes use an analogy, like, you know, my brother, my little brother is super fit, he really is super fit. He is 46 got arrested heartbeat, high 30s, low 40s. Now, if you put a super duper efficient heart into my body, which isn't optimum, I can assure you, you're older, but you are a lot fitter, I won't be able to run any faster or for any longer. Because I'm just not efficient. My system isn't efficient. So not matter how efficient this And the trouble is, we in our industry, we say, right, we've got an efficient heat pump, or we've got an efficient boiler. It's not that it's the system that needs to be efficient, and boilers are forgiving. So you can stick a boiler on the wall and everyone's happy, they're warm, and then 40 eco we're coming up to the fourth iteration of eco the energy companies obligation. Some of the work has been going on that is the most shocking that's ever been seen. It's just literally no design considerations or whatsoever. And, you know, we're running the risk of this with the heat pumps because you'd need to get that right, you really need to get that right and this is where it comes back to training. And unfortunately, we're following the education model when we train people. I had Nick Shackleton Jones on the podcast who are some of the world's experts on learning. Education is a bit of bureaucratic nonsense really, it actually gets in the way of learning. And if you look at when I was training, I went on an apprenticeship and apprenticeships are not the panacea because an apprenticeship learns that their main learning is with the employer . We've got low skill that perpetuates the problem. So apprenticeships are actually perpetuating the problem at the moment because they learn from low skill. And when I went to college, only apprentices went to college. That changed the civil servant Jessup he engendered the NVQ system in this country around 99 for the plumbing industry. It created two pathways. So when I started teaching in 2006, we taught 48 that are City and Guilds issued 48,000 level two certificates to 48,000 people,


ML: This is for plumbing and heating engineers


NG: For plumbing and heating, there's only 4000 of them that are apprentices, because we're a sole trader industry. So you know, a company or sole trader might take on their daughter or their son. But most there's not that many apprenticeships available. So every year, we have around 4000 apprenticeships available. But we're teaching. I mean, this is back before 2013. 2013, we changed the law, young people now have to go to college. So before that they chose to go to college, we're teaching hundreds of thousands of people on construction courses that are getting these useless certificates. They're called diploma certificates. Now City and Guilds and the college and that was complained about in 2011. Unite and the skill sector, which the government said, we're teaching all these people is non-work based. And they're getting non-work based qualifications. And it was overturned, the Association of Colleges successfully lobbied the Department of Education. And so it still remains to this day, we teach hundreds of thousands of people construction, we give these certificates. And City Guilds will tell you oh yeah, but they're doing the theory side of it. So you know, maybe in the future, they might be able to get an employer or to take them on to get their NVQ. It's not good. How can I teach someone about, you know, the cold water system in the loft? If they've never been in a loft? Some of these youngsters have never seen an airing cupboard! Can you teach about airing cupboards and covered heat systems? When they've got a combi boiler, they've never seen an airing cupboard. And you teach them basically to pass an exam on a computer. And they're allowed to take that exam as many times as they want. And that's the same with the competency person scheme. So in our industry, we've got the competent person schemes, which was set up in 2002. So anyone that's listening to this could become a plumber, anyone, you've just got to work through water regulations. And then if you want it to go and do your <inaudible> check, you've got to then join that competent person scheme, you've got to go on a course. But you're going to be given the theory and then you do it on multiple choice. Everyone passes, everyone passes. So no one's really competent with these competent person schemes either. And it's where you can self-certify your work. So instead of building regulations, build regulations coming to expect it, you can self-certify your work. You know, there's a good thing called water safe, which is approved plumbers, approved plumbing is actually a legal term, it was in the Water Industry Act 91. And in the regulations, 1999 approved plumbers, but to get that status, you go on a half day course. And I've been involved in training, it's a half day course PowerPoint, watch PowerPoint, everyone passes, if you get your questions wrong on your on your multiple choice, you get another go and you get another go if you need. So there's no competence. Well, there is competence out there, but no one knows who it is. And these are big money making schemes. These are big, big money making schemes, that sort of certificate companies behind them and the training companies behind them. And it's nonsense, it's got to stop.


ML: So I'm just really struck because, you know, what we've talked about is you've got an industry, which basically sells boilers and sends you to Las Vegas if you sell lots of boilers, and presumably they can pivot and do the exact same thing with heat pumps and just send you to Las Vegas for selling a heat pump. And you've got the things like the boiler upgrade scheme, and you've got lots of other schemes similar around the country, around the world, that are really about saying, you know, you need one of these, and we'll give you money if you install or if you buy one of these, and, and that's again, it's box ticking. It's a bit like if we wanted to make our fleet of cars more modern, we would say, well, we'll give you money if you install a turbocharger. So you'd have all these vehicles driving around with turbo chargers, whether they need them or not, because what you pay for is what you get. So we have this very box ticking culture. We've also talked about the incredible complexity of these systems. You've got to do heat loss calculations. You've got you've got legacy pipe work, you've got legacy emitters, radiators, they may or may not need work, you've got solar thermal, you've got heat sources to think about, you've got potentially PVT you've got ground source, you've got air source, you've got hydrogen. And everybody knows it's very noisy, everybody's got a theory. So incredible complexity. And then you have an education system or a learning system, which is all focused on essentially, box ticking, that doesn't really care about whether somebody can make sense of all that or not. And you've got an apprenticeship system, which doesn't work, because everybody is a lone, sole operator, and they don't have the fat in the system to take on somebody who's going to slow them down for the first few months, and then may end up being a colleague and partner but may end up competing with them, in fact, so yeah, it's a mess, right?


NG: We are in a bit of a pickle,


ML: What's the solution? Nathan, we've only got a few minutes left, we cannot you and I do not have the personality to leave our audience depressed. And thinking that everything's a big mess. 


NG: I am optimistic. There's engineers out there. So I've set up a platform. So there's a lot of peer learning going on. On social media, I've set up a platform that uses artificial intelligence to sort of monitor peer learning. So in the future, if you've got, if you want to engineer and you know that engineers have been constantly constantly talking hours and hours and hours, every week, every month about whatever technology you want,  it's more likely, they're going to be more competent. And someone's just got their accreditation. To solve this problem, I think, for the local authorities that want to have work done, you know, they can come to someone like me, actually and say, look, is this these people, these suppliers on our DPS system? Are they competent? Because yeah, I'll know how to assess that. So I am optimistic because there's a lot of enthusiasm out there.


ML: Can I ask a question, what is your platform that Checkatrade doesn't do? Why should I go to your platform? Why should a homeowner and how are you going to when you go to help homeowners to find competent engineers? Because right now, they probably go to the Checkatrade and they find somebody with a 4.4, 4.5, 4.6. And they're like, well, I don't know. I went on Checkatrade. What am I supposed to do?


NG: Well, these systems don't work because they rely on consumers to rate my competence. No consumer can rate my competence unless they're in the game. They can rate my punctuality, politeness, and tidiness. They can't rate my technical competence. I might put you in a system that works. And you're going to be happy. It might look nice, but you don't know it might break down in five years, it might not be efficient. So that system doesn't really work. My system. And I've only just started it and I'm not a salesman, I'm not a marketeer. So I've got to try and encourage engineers to come on it. But it will give you digital awards. So you'll get started to get these digital open badges. They can be verified. They're going to exploit open badges, the education system will jump on them. And they'll say, watch a webinar and you'll get a reward. A bit like our CPD. So everyone says this CPD in our industry but all you gotta do is watch a webinar and you'll get your 50 points, you can have your Zoom on and the webinars on if you're not actually in the room. So everyone's getting all the CPD, they don't even know where mine, actually ascertained that you are involved in conversations, specific conversations, because it's not only social media, social and unsocial, both. So it's making you talk about specific conversations, and the system knows that you're being invested hours and hours and hours in them conversation. So in the end, you know, essentially you can start issuing these badges. And it means that you've been, you've, you've taken ownership of your own learning, basically, you can't, this is a very complex industry. My cousin always says, you know, this isn't rocket science, it is more complex. Because rockets actually do use thermodynamic cooling systems. And so it's a very complex industry, and you've got to keep talking about it to keep learning from your peers and your mentors and your experts. And so my system kind of then will allow them to prove that.


ML: Okay, so it's a bit more I think, is it Quora, where people kind of get uprated for answering questions, but it's amongst experts. So if you're helping other experts, it's gonna say, right, you're the person, you get the badge, you get the, you get the job.


NG: It's for everyone to go on, not just… any gas engineers that want to get on it, they can get on it, and they can learn from each other. They ask questions, you answer a question, ask a question, answer. 


ML: How do we find that system? Just because I'm going to let you plug it for my audience, your audience already knows. We're going to put it in the show notes. How do we find it?


NG: Well, if you go to my website, betateach.co.uk, I've only just literally started. It's like I say, I'm just me, I'm only I'm only myself, my company, I'm okay. So I'm learning as I go along a bit how I market it, how I mean, I've got a wide audience, but you know that an engineer pays 96 pounds for the year to be on it. And then hopefully over time, gives them that accreditation that they have invested in their own learning.


ML: This is great. And for my audience, you know, first of all, good luck with that, and I hope it works. But you know, in the end, we may come back in 10-20 years, and this is the next, the sort of professional Facebook or it puts Checkatrade out of business because it's based on the real stuff. I want to finish if I can, you asked me about finance, but there's something more complex than finance where finance is really involved, which is this idea and you've talked about it on your podcast with a number of amazing folks, which is heating as a service. Because you know if our problem is a box ticking culture, right? And I said, we want to be optimistic and what is the solution. So the solution is to have a culture, which is ultimately pay for results. Pay when you're warm, pay when you're happy. Not pay because you've got some box on the wall that looks nice, and it's got some cute pipework. And one way to do that is to structure everything. So it kind of untangles, this Gordian knot of complexity of all these different players and agents and so on, is, you know, if we could move to a system where a homeowner no longer buys a boiler, or buys a heat pump that just pays, you know, X hundred quid a month, a year, whatever, for the service, which is a nice, warm house, and you need certain things to be in place. I mean, you need continuity, you'd need to be able to make sure that the person who instals It is also prepared to stand behind it and service if it does go wrong. But do you see a trend towards that? And I know there are various people talking about it, are you optimistic that we're going to see sort of heat as a service? Because that's financeable. Right. Now, all of the big finance providers could come in and say, oh, well, wait a minute. If you're really, you know, if you're a trader, and you're being paid 150 quid a month by somebody, or 100 quid a month, or 75 quid, whatever the number is, we can finance that we can lend against it. And you can do your work, get paid up front, because you need to, you know, pay the bill of goods, you need to pay your you know, if you're subcontracting anything, that can be done. But you need a big market of heat as a service, is that going to happen?


NG: Well, I think it's a fantastic model. And I hope it does happen because it engenders competence. Because if you're doing that model, whoever's running it, they really need it, because they're paying for the energy and the consumers are paying for the heat. So you want to make that system as efficient as possible. So whoever gets involved in that, I think it just needs kicking off. Because obviously, I suppose the model works on different groups who supply heat as a service, they want to be able to offer the best price for the customer, for their heat. And so what they'll be competing with, and one of the things they will need is very, very good engineers. So if any of them are listening to your show, want to get in touch with me, because I'll tell them who they are. But I think it's a great model. I'm surprised it hasn't started yet. So my old sponsor Sero Homes, kind of they call it comfort as a service. They're kind of in it, but maybe more so with new builds. Maybe I think if you're going into a new home, maybe you're more prepared to sort of rent, rent your heat, as it will. But we're all used to that. But I mean people are paying more for their phones and their Spotify and Netflix than they do their heating. So when these engineers go in and they give a price and all that's a bit too much. You know, heat keeps people alive if you're a certain age group, and yet people pay more money for their phones than sometimes for their heating. But yeah, I think it's a fantastic model. I'm surprised it hasn't taken off yet.


ML: Yes, I think one of the challenges is I suspect that it's very difficult to deliver heat or comfort as a service, if you are one of these sole installers, just because you're going to be expected to you know, respond to callouts, and you're going to have to finance this work, and you're gonna have to tap into it, you're gonna have to guarantee that you'll have to buy the energy and sell the comfort. So you've got a kind of a, there's a little bit of risk involved there. And I suspect that that means that it can only work with companies that have got, you know, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 engineers, so maybe we'll see a real glomeration of engineers into whether they're cooperatives or whether they're companies, I suspect they have to be slightly larger organisations.


NG: Without a doubt, yeah, without a doubt, this is not for, not for the sole trader, I just before we go, I want to sort of mention a woman came across Miriam Griffith, because I sort of try and support women getting into engineering into this space. And I found out the other day that there's this woman in 1952, who was writing all these books. I think I sent it to you tonight, about heat pumps. I said, this should be a Wikipedia page. And so people have said, well, you should write a Wikipedia page. And so yeah, I just wanedt to mention her. Because I think someone would say if you mentioned it on a podcast that then links to Wiki and and I don't know how it works, but there's a fantastic lady called Miriam Griffith.


ML: That's right. Miriam Violet Griffith. And I'm glad you brought her up, because I wasn't quite sure how to work her into the conversation. But I wanted to finish because there are two. In fact, there's somebody that I want to mention as well. And I wanted to finish with that. But Miriam Violet Griffith is actually extraordinary. And you said at the beginning of the podcast, you said now finally, the world is starting to actually care and the attention of you know, right, the way up to sort of cabinet minister level are worrying about how we're going to heat our homes and how we're going to, you know how we're going to switch all of that to net zero. Miriam Violet Griffith wrote books about the impact of putting carpets on underfloor heated floors back in the 1950s. Absolutely, clearly a brilliant woman completely forgotten. Let's rehabilitate her with a Wikipedia page. And that the other person I wanted to mention in the other company I wanted to mention is I'm not sure how to pronounce it. Depher.


NG: And yes, yeah.


ML: That’s an entrepreneur up in Barnsley, Barnsley. I think I'm pretty sure… Preston, Preston is Preston, it's not a bar. And he is where there are people who are unable to pay their, you know, they've got their boilers broken down, they don't have the means to repair it, their gas bills are too high, their electricity bills are too high, he runs a business, which for those who can pay, they do pay. And for those who can't, they get the work done free. And he collects money, and he raises money. And I've donated a bit and everybody listening to this podcast, whether it's a BetaTalk podcast, or a Cleaning Up podcast, or watching YouTube, we'll put a link into the notes. And please push for a Wikipedia page for Miriam, Violet Griffith. And please donate some money to depher.co.uk. Because that's something incredibly concrete you can do this winter when it's cold. And it will help an incredibly important group of people, those people who are vulnerable, and they cannot afford their hot water and their heating. And it's tragic, and they need to be helped. And this guy's helping them.


NG: Yeah, he's great. I never know how to pronounce it myself. Depher…Depher? I don't know how to pronounce it. But yeah, to get a Wiki page, it's a bit like Hidden Figures. My favourite film is Hidden Figures. It makes me cry in a few places. But yeah, we need to get this lady known about.


ML: Absolutely. So we will, we'll push for that. And when we get it, or when we do it, when we put the Wikipedia page, I don't know anything about her biographical story. Now when we get that, we will also put that into the show notes. Nathan, on behalf of my audience, I want to thank you because it's been a great conversation. Great fun. It's always fantastic to catch up with you, so much information there. Thank you very, very much.


NG: And thank you, Michael. For my audience. This is the first time we've done this was the first time I've done a double podcast. We'll have to see how it goes.


ML: Well, I look forward to hearing any of the feedback and meanwhile, have a good day. Have a good rest of the day. Okay, you take care Nathan.


NG: Take care and happy new year.


ML: So that was Nathan Gambling, an expert lecturer on heating and plumbing. And this episode of Cleaning Up is going out not just on my platform, but also on Nathan's because he runs a great podcast called BetaTalk, all about heating and plumbing. My guest next week on Cleaning Up is Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, who led the work on the UK Ministry of Defence's climate change and sustainability review. Please join me this time next week for a conversation with Richard Nugee. Cleaning Up is brought to you by the Liebreich Foundation and the Gilardini Foundation.