Free energy audit poster
This brand new local initiatve has come about quickly in response to a government energy programme known as LEAF, the Local Energy Action Fund. The aim of this fund is to support communities to take the initiative to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that meet the needs of their community. We only heard about this opportunity in the New Year and the deadline for applications was Jan 22nd, so we had to move quite quickly. All projects have to be completed by March 31st 2012, so most this this part of the initiative will be happening over Feb and March.
The aim of the project is to offer informed and impartial advice on energy efficiency and alternatives, it is not linked to sales and there is absolutely no commitment.
It been initiated by a local social enterprise: Permanent Housing Cooperative, who are working with local sustainability consultants Sector39 and Sustainable Buildings to deliver this project. See the More about this project page for more info.
This Website and blog will publicise the project and share the results and findings.
Energy prices are set to rise and rise
Noone has a crystal ball but in all likelihood energy prices will continue to rise faster than inflation as global demand is high for oil and gas – our main sources of energy and of course they are finite resources and are getting harder to extract all the time. As well as supply pressures there is of course a lot of pressure for people everywhere to reduce their carbon emissions because of the impact on the environment.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change are providing a new fund which is available to communities in England and Wales who are playing an active role in the development of a low carbon society. Money is available to finance projects that increase understanding and uptake of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and help to make energy supply secure and affordable for everyone in your community.
This programme is part of an on going process to support the transition to more sustasinable energy use/
As a local social enterprise with a background of work with the Centre for Alternative Technology and the Permaculture Association, Permanent Housing Co-operative hope to be able to make a useful contribution to the community of Llanrhaeadr YM via this project.
Energy advice generally follows the following hierarchy of importance:
1. Insulate, use the energy that you have as efficiently as you can,
Make sure you thermostat works and you know how to use it etc.
2. Upgrade to the best appliances possible. Make sure you are using the most efficient appliances, eg. central heating boilers, water heating, washing machines, fridges etc.
3. Generate. Once you have considered the first two options, then it is time to think about installing energy generation technologies like solar water heating, solar PV, and biomass heating.
The government will be offering grant schemes over the coming year to support all three of these strategies.Hopefully this initiaitve will be part of process whereby we can move towards a much more sustainable energy footing over the coming years.
Efficient use of energy and more local generation from clean and sustainable sources will make Llanrhaeadr YM much more resilient to changes in global energy markets whilst keeping costs affordable.