News
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Shrewsbury Green Doors - Energy Smart Shrewsbury Homes Open for You to Visit

On the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of October 20 homes in and around Shrewsbury will be open to the public.
 
Visitors will be able to talk with homeowners about the ways in which they have made their homes more energy efficient and also made use of renewable energy.
 
Marches Energy Agency (MEA) and Transition Town Shrewsbury have secured funding to run a Shrewsbury Green Doors Green Open Homes network (www.greenopenhomes.net/) funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change.
 
Phil Newcombe of MEA said ‘This type of event is becoming more popular nationally, as they are seen as an invaluable way for people to find out what they can do to make their homes more comfortable and cheaper to run’.

As in previous years, a broad selection of homes will be included that have had a whole range of energy efficiency measures introduced - everything from brand new eco homes to efficient extensions, retrofitted insulation to solar panels and bio-mass boilers. 
 
In addition to family homes there also the Crabapple housing co-operative at Berrington Hall, Karuna project at Picklescott, Fordhall Farm Land Initiative at Market Drayton and the renovated Pumphouse at Coton Hill.
 
For more information contact:
Phil Newcombe, phil@mea.org.uk or James Smith, sgd@j3buildingfutures.co.uk  

Shrewsbury and District’ Green Doors

Marches Energy Agency and Transition Town Shrewsbury have secured some funding to run a ‘Shrewsbury and District’ Green Doors event this autumn (via Green Open Homes).
 
The provisional date that we are working with is the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of October. Our patch includes Shrewsbury town and surrounding areas.
 
We are currently looking to hear from potential open home hosts.
 
Have you done any home improvements that make your house a more environmentally sustainable building? Would you like to ‘show and tell’ to other interested local people. If so then please let us know asap.
 
We are looking for anyone who may be interested in volunteering during the lead-up or on the weekend itself.
 
As with previous years, we to include a broad selection of homes that have had a broad selection of energy efficiency measures introduced - everything from brand new eco homes to efficient extensions, retrofitted insulation to solar panels and bio-mass boilers.
 
Even if you've just carried out a number of small home efficiency measures we'd love to hear from you. We'd also like to include places which perhaps display alternative ways of doing things, such as the Crabapple Community at Berrington Hall, Karuna, or Fordhall Farm.

As you can tell from the Green Open Homes website, these events are becoming more widespread, as they are seen as an invaluable way for people to find out what they can do to make their homes more comfortable and cheaper to run.

Please forward this to anyone who you think might be interested in being involved.
 
Contact Phil Newcombe, phil@mea.org.uk mob: 07930342832 or James Smith, sgd@j3buildingfutures.co.uk 

Government Ends Support For Flagship Programme for Energy Efficient Homes

The government has announced it will cut all further funding to the Green Deal Finance Company, and also end grants for solid wall insulation and other energy efficiency measures. This is likely to lead to the company immediately halting the issuing of new loans.
 
The Green Deal offered loans to help people install measures such as insulation, boilers and renewables. The government launched it in 2013 claiming it would create the ‘biggest home improvement programme since the second world war’. In reality, an upfront cost for an assessment and an uncompetitive interest rate has meant that only 15,000 loans have been issue or are currently in progress.
 
The Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) offered grants of up to £6000 at one point for solid wall insulation and up to £1250 for householders who installed two measures from a list of 11, plus further funding for people who had recently bought their house.
 
The government says it still has a target to insulate more than 1 million homes in the next five years but it currently has no specific plans for replacing the Green Deal or the GDHIF. It says it will now work with the building industry and consumer groups on a ‘new value-for money approach.’
 
The move to scrap the Green Deal follows recent moves to scrap subsidies for onshore wind, proposals one year earlier than a pre-election promise, remove preliminary accreditation for renewable schemes and scrap a target of all new homes being built to zero carbon standards by next year.
 
In a statement Daisy Sands, Greenpeace UK Head of Energy said: ‘The Green Deal was far from being a success, but coming right after the scrapping of the zero-carbon homes target, this latest move suggests ministers are giving up on efficiency. This would be a false economy. Fixing our heat-leaking homes is a triple-win policy that can bring down bills, cut carbon emissions, and reduce our dependence on energy imports. If ministers really want to cut emissions at the lowest price for consumers, they can't afford to ditch energy efficiency. A new, ambitious programme for warmer homes is sorely needed.’
 
The Government has commissioned an independent review to look at standards, consumer protection and enforcement of energy efficiency schemes and ensure that the system properly supports and protects consumers. For now the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme will continue to provide support to low-income and vulnerable households, offering measure such as insulation and boilers. However, its future will be considered by this review.
 
Today’s announcement has no impact on existing Green Deal Finance Plans or existing Green Deal Home Improvement Fund applications and vouchers.

Live4Less now available via distance learning

Live4Less is Marches Energy Agency’s action-budgeting course which helps individuals and families to live well and more sustainably on a limited budget. Uniquely, Live4Less facilitates ‘crowdwisdom’ and encourages participants to share knowledge of local services, tips and tricks for living well for less. It generates discussion and reflection on consumption and frugality, sharing resources and swapping skills. Topics covered include utility bills, energy efficiency, budgeting, food, transport and volunteering.

For several years now we have provided a ‘Train the Trainer’ version of the course taught over one day in a classroom-style setting which equips people to run their own Live4Less courses. We have also had demand for a more flexible, more affordable version of the course. So we’re pleased to announce that we’re now launching a distance learning version of the course. It comes with all the resources you need to learn how to run your own Live4Less courses in your community and you can work through the material at your own pace.

The course costs just £49+VAT which includes a certificate once you’ve completed it. For a limited time only (until stocks run out) this includes a free single appliance energy monitor plug (useful for one of the course’s activities).

More information and a sample module can be found on our website: www.mea.org.uk/live4less

To purchase the course contact caroline.harmon@mea.org.uk / 07748 508704.

Energy Efficiency What next?

Lightfoot the energy conservation charity based in Bishop’s Castle is holding a talk on Energy.

7.30pm for a start at 8.00pm at Bishop’s Castle Town Hall on Tuesday 21st July. Entrance is £3.00 under 18’s F.O.C.

Over the past year Light Foot has been looking at various community and individual projects on energy, and if the models would benefit our area.

They range from installing renewables to creative ways to overcome insulating tricky loft spaces. People do say “we have done as much as we can”, but that was then. Time has moved on products have evolved, adapted, got cheaper and improved to overcome the challenges of making a home as energy efficient as possible.

Mandy Brick Light Foot’s coordinator said,” this is an excellent opportunity to learn, what can be done now, and how to do it. By working together, we can achieve so much more than we thought possible”

This will a chance for discussion, and the exchange of information.  This an exciting time, there so many innovative ideas out there now.  

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