Our new project: Severnside Housing Group Environmental Impact Review

We are pleased to have been commissioned by Severnside Housing Group to refresh the Environmental Impact Review (EIR) that they delivered in 2011.
The EIR recommended carbon reduction targets which were integrated into the group’s Environmental Strategy and Corporate plan.
MEA also modelled the energy savings possible from installing photovoltaic panels and LED lighting.
Severnside Housing Group reported that following working with Marches Energy Agency they installed 60kWp of PV panels on 15 of their non-residential buildings. The expected CO2e savings being just under 29 Tonnes per year, each year, for 25 years.
In addition Severnside have installed LED strip lights in their Offices in Brassey Rd and Knights Way. This gives considerable energy savings over the fluorescent tubes which they replaced along with an improved quality of light.’

Green Deal Home Improvement Funds re-opens TODAY


A new round of the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) will opened for applications at 9am on Wednesday 10th December.

Up to £5,600 will be available to households in England and Wales to help with the cost of installing energy saving measures such as solid wall insulation, double glazing, boilers, cavity wall insulation and floor insulation.

Domestic energy customers can now receive:


  • up to £4000 for installing solid wall insulation (note that this has dropped from £6000 in the first round);
  • up to £1000 for installing two measures from an approved list;
  • up to £100 refunded for their Green Deal Assessment;
  • up to £500 more if applying within 12 months of buying a new home.

Up to £30 million in vouchers will be available and details of further releases will be announced on a quarterly basis with the next release expected in February 2015. The £30 million will be split into two categories:

  • Up to £24 million for solid wall insulation;
  • Up to £6 million for two measures from a list of home improvements available under the scheme.


Once the funding under each category has been committed, no more applications will be taken for that category – though applications will still be taken for the other category if funds are still available.

Making an Application

To complete the two-stage application process, householders will need:


  • A Green Deal Advice Report (GDAR) or Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) that is less than two years old
  • A quote from a GDHIF registered installer or provider for work specified on the GDAR or EPC and included on the list of GDHIF approved measures
  • Proof of property ownership (for landlords/undertakings only)
Householders are encouraged to get more than one quote, particularly when they are having expensive work done, to make sure they are getting the best deal available.

Funds are Limited

Funds are limited and DECC may vary the terms of the scheme (including the incentive rates) or suspend or close the scheme, with immediate effect, without notice and at any time as happened earlier this year.

More information about how to apply to the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund.

Community Climate Action Newsletter December 2014

Welcome to the Community Climate Action newsletter, with all the latest news, events and resources in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. A special hello to new subscribers and thanks to those who have contributed items this month.
Highlights This Month

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it isn't always very good for our planet! This month we have some top tips for a Greener Christmas.

Win a Book About the Environment by a Local Author

There’s still time to recommend this newsletter to someone and be entered into a prize draw to win a copy of The Astronaut, The Cake and Tomorrow by Nottinghamshire-based author Matt Sisson. Anyone signing up to receive the newsletter before 28th December will have the chance to win one of three copies of the book. If they provide your name as the person who recommended the newsletter to them then they’ll be entered too:

Get news throughout the month:
Twitter: @CCANNetwork

Got Any News?
Most of the items in this newsletter are contributed by readers. If you have anything you’d like us to include in the December e-newsletter please send it to us by Monday 29th

You can also submit information about events via our website

Local Events

Community Rules OK
Tuesday 9th December, 7:30pm
Friends Meeting House, Chapel Row, Bakewell
Organised by Bakewell Quakers

Following from Bakewell’s Green Festival earlier this year, which was attended by more than 4000 people, Bakewell Quakers are organising a series of evening events. This one will explore community action. From local shops to allotments, house building and much more - this is a meeting to encourage each other, inform each other and build a united front.

ADVyCE Project Meeting
Tuesday 9th December, 7:30pm
St Anne’s Church Hall, Ambergate

An open meeting to discuss progress on a community-owned hydro project at Ambergate. There will be an update on feasibility work completed so far.

Derbyshire Climate Change Charter Launch
12th December, 9:30am-1pm
Derbyshire Eco Centre, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, DE4 4LS

Derbyshire County Council would like to invite you to the formal launch of the Derbyshire Climate Change Charter (2014-19). This exciting document has been developed in conjunction with the Derbyshire Partnership Forum and will form the basis of on-going action to mitigate and adapt to climate change across the whole county. The half day event will see the Charter formally introduced and a short PR launch, followed by a number of workshops and lunch. The full agenda can be found online.

To book a place email: with an indication of which two workshops you would like to attend and any dietary requirements.

Sumac Centre Winter Fair
Sun 14th December, 2pm-6pm
Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone street, Nottingham NG7 6HX

Winter Fair with handmade gifts from local crafts people, plus food from Veggies. On sale: patchwork, preserves, candles, jewellery, poi, flower sticks, prints, winter festival decorations, bags, cards, craft packs, glassware, plaques, soaps and much more!

Frack Free Nottinghamshire Christmas Party
Tues 16th December, 7pm
Fade & The Hard to Find Cafe, Mansfield Rd, Nottingham

Following a fantastic year of campaigning in Nottinghamshire the group are organising a party to celebrate.

Hockerton Housing Project Tour
Wed 17th December, 2pm-6pm
Nr Hockerton
£20 (£15 for students, £55 for a family, Hockerton residents: free, NG25 residents: £2.50)

Tour a self-sufficient co-housing development. See inside one of five earth-sheltered homes, tour the grounds and find out how the householders generates their own clean energy, grow most of their own food, harvest our own water and recycle waste materials.

Foundation Derbyshire Funding Appointments
Thursday 18th December, 10am – 3.00pm
The Granville Centre, Long Eaton

An opportunity to meet with the foundation if you would like to bid for funding from them. Book a 20-30 minutes

Public Ownership For Railways Protest
5th Jan, 7am-7pm
The following train stations: Derby, Nottingham, Sheffield, Burton

A call for the railways to be brought back into public ownership. from Derby Climate Coalition

Rich World-Poor World
Tuesday 13th January
Friends Meeting House, Chapel Row, Bakewell
Organised by Bakewell Quakers

Following from Bakewell’s Green Festival earlier this year, which was attended by more than 4000 people, Bakewell Quakers are organising a series of evening events. Is charity enough? A look at economic systems which shows how we can encourage the rich world to downsize and the poor world to upsize in order to build a fairer world. Changing goals!

Hand Held Bouquet Workshop
Mon 19th January, 10am-1pm
£25 (£20 per person for students or for a group of three or more)

Learn how to create a beautiful hand-tied bouquet to take home or give as a gift. Includes materials for making a bouquet to take home with you, and home-made refreshments. Homemade soup and bread lunch available for an extra £5.00.

Derbyshire Eco Centre Courses
Jan- Feb 2015

Courses coming up in January and February 2015 include Permaculture Design Certificate, Introduction to Beekeeping, Family Bird Boxes Using Recycled Materials, Explore Renewable Energy, Organic Gardening and Introduction to Green Homes.

Sumac Sewing Club
Fortnightly, 12:30pm-5:30pm
Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone street, Nottingham NG7 6HX

A fortnightly gathering for pattern cutting, dressmaking, general sewing, clothing, household, crafts, alterations & mending.

National News

FUNDING: £10 Million Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) Launches

The Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) is a £10m fund to kick-start renewable energy generation projects in urban communities across England. Grants of up to £20,000 are available for the early stages of a project’s development, such as public consultation and preliminary viability studies. UCEF will also provide loans of up to £130,000 to develop planning applications and a robust business case to attract further investment.

The fund is being administered by a partnership between CSE and Pure Leapfrog – a charity that has supported over 100 community projects with either finance or investment readiness support. UCEF is a counterpart to the Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) launched in summer 2013. Between the two, a project anywhere in England could be eligible for finance.

EVENT: Urban Community Energy Fund
Mon 10th Dec, 10am-4pm
Directory For Social Change, London, NW1 2DP

CSE and Pure Leapfrog are running a free one-day surgery for community groups, which aims to get them ready to make an application to the Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) (see above item). The event will offer access to a range of experts as well as more general information sessions on the fund and support available.


PROJECT: Join the Big Energy Race

Community groups are invited to join the Big Energy Race starting in January 2015. Register as teams and undertake energy-saving challenges. The more challenges completed, the more points you’ll earn and the better chance you’ll have of winning the race – and there’s great prizes for the best teams and team members! To register your interest visit /Twitter @bigenergyrace

FUNDING: The 10 Minute Fund

Fund My Venture will be providing £100 grants via a 10 minute application process on an annual basis, distributing some of its profits to social organisations across England. We want to make it easier and quicker for organisations to apply for small grants; hence we set up the 10MinuteFund! This first fund has a total value of £2,000. Deadline: 14thDecember.

RESEARCH: Case Studies sought for ‘Community Organisations and Household Energy’ Project

Are you involved in, or aware of, any projects run by community groups or voluntary sector organisations that use home visits to support householders to carry out energy efficiency measures? 

Researchers at De Montfort University are working with the Chesshire-Lehmann fund to map what activity is taking place across the country, and to explore the impacts of these projects (on energy efficiency or otherwise), how these projects are set up and resourced, and how local and national government can best support this work. They are looking for projects to explore in more detail and are interested in hearing about as many projects as possible (big or small, urban or rural, on-going or no longer running).

Contact Dr Andrew Reeves at De Montfort University on or 0116 250 6569. More information about the research:


Local News

New Opportunity to Invest in Local Hydro Project

Local people have a rare opportunity to invest in a community-owned renewable energy project thanks to a new share offer from Torrs Hydro. Generating clean, green electricity since 2008, Torrs Hydro is a hydro scheme located in the Torrs Riverside Park in New Mills, Derbyshire.

The owner of the scheme is a volunteer run Community Benefit Society, a co-op, with around 230 members. The society took out a bank loan, as well as selling shares, to build the project. Now members want to sell more shares to raise money to pay off the balance of the loan. Paying off the loan early will release more funding for the local community.

New shareholders can invest as little as £250. An ‘Invitation to Invest’ document is available online:, by email:, or by telephone (answering machine): 01663 898070.

Design a Frack Free Notts Christmas Card

Frack Free Nottinghamshire are looking for a design for a Christmas card. Send yours to:

Thermal Imaging Available in Belper

Belper households have the opportunity to take advantage of Transition Belper’s Thermal Imaging Service this winter. If you would like to find out where your home may be leaking heat contact the group:

Energy mentor offer for community projects

Hockerton Housing Project, a Nottinghamshire-based project, is delighted to join a new community energy mentoring service, adding to our range of advice services. The scheme will match existing and new community energy groups to mentors on the basis of the type of project and location, and there's a great range of experience to learn from.

Are smart tickets the way forward?

Fed up of having multiple tickets and passes for journeys around Nottinghamshire with different operators? Then have your say on whether Nottinghamshire should introduce integrated ‘smart tickets’. Survey closes 31st December 2014.

Grants Available to Plant Trees in Nottinghamshire

Greenwood Community Forest is offering schools and community groups advice and up to £250 to help them plant trees in schools and publicly accessible land in the Mansfield, Ashfield, Newark and Sherwood, Gedling and Broxtowe areas of Nottinghamshire. The theme for this year’s grant is  ‘Trees for Shade’ as planting trees is one way of dealing with the adverse effects of climate change – a 10% increase in tree cover can significantly reduce temperatures in an urban area.

Deadline: 12th December. Application form:

Belper wins Great British High Street

Belper has won the Great British High street ‘Market Town’ and ‘Winner of Winners’ awards. The judges were impressed with the way the whole community uses the High Street. Transition Belper’s Totally Locally Belper project played an important parts in the competition entry. Ian Jackson, a Transition Belper member, will be attending a prize giving at Westminster on 11th December.

Derbyshire Pilots National Love Food, Hate Waste Resource

Derbyshire Adult Community Education Services (DACES) has piloted a new resource designed to help people cut down on food waste. ‘Save More’ was piloted in early 2014 with young mums, the unemployed and those with lower levels of literacy and numeracy in the Derbyshire area. It has been produced by the Love Food Hate Waste campaign and is now available nationally. 97% of those taking part in the pilot said they would use at least some of what they had learnt at home.

The ‘Save More’ resource is now available for download for use in your community:

Nottinghamshire Top Tips To Keep Warm This Winter

Nottinghamshire County Council has lots of information online to help you keep warm in your home this winter, including energy efficiency advice.

Wirksworth’s French Twin Holds Eco Event

Die, the French town twinned with Wirksworth, is holding a number of green talks and other events as part of its Ecologie au Quotidien (Ecology Daily) event in January and February 2015. Topics include climate and growing local. Wirksworth residents are invited to take part by either travelling to the event France or in some other way from a distance. Anyone wishing to know more can contact Alastair Clark

Rural Community Energy Fund

Village hall and community building committees can access help with applying for Rural Community Energy Funding from Rural Community Action Nottinghamshire (RCAN).  If you’re interested in installing solar panels on your building then funding is available. Contact Rob Crowder, RCAN Chief Executive, for more

Become a Nature Reserve Volunteer

There are five nature reserves in the Amber Valley area and the ‘Friends’ groups who look after them are looking for new volunteers. The groups are made up of local people who get involved in the management of these sites through meetings, practical work, surveying, events and walks. Activities include planting trees, shrubs, bulbs, hedgerow laying, improving access points and footpaths, creating wildlife habitats, clearing shrubs, establishing wildflowers.

To apply contact Amber Valley CVS: 01773 512076

Recycling of Unused Medicines Begins in Wirksworth

Wirksworth residents can now pass on surplus medicines to rural health centres in the poorest countries in Africa by taking them to Hannage Brook Medical Centre. The medicines will be passed to charity Inter Care. The practice will take any medicines with at least 15 months before expiry and in complete strips in the original pack. Nationally over 1200 GP practices are now registered for this scheme. Last year Inter Care sent off nearly £700,000 worth of vital aid to those who can't afford to buy it. Until this year any surplus medicines in Wirksworth could only be disposed of in landfill or by incineration.

BESPOKE Grants Available to Derby City SMEs

Free advice and grants of up to £5000 to help pay for measures that cut costs, save energy and reduce CO2 emissions are available to businesses in Derby until the end of December 2014. The project is keen to hear form businesses engaged in manufacturing, engineering and business-to-business services. Whilst retail businesses are not eligible for this grant, the BESPOKE project can still provide free advice on how to save on energy costs.

Shrewsbury Community Energy Savers

Shrewsbury Community Energy Savers have been busy this Autumn and Winter talking with people about how to save energy in their homes, about how to get free loft and cavity wall insulation and also showing householders what their homes look like with a thermal imaging camera.

In September they held an Energy Efficiency in the home stall at the Flaxmill Open Day and also at the Senior Safety Day at Monkmoor Baptist Church.

In October they joined members of Autonomy, the Aspergers support group, at the Red Barn public house to talk informally about energy related issues.

In November Energy Savers were at the Shrewsbury Abbey Christmas Fair, giving advice about keeping warm and telling people about the free loft and cavity wall offer. 
In December the group made contact with Shrewsbury Town Football Club and are looking forward to hearing about how the club are taking on the energy efficiency challenge.

In January the group will launch it’s Thermal Imaging sessions with the first in Mountfields on the evening of Thursday 29th between 6.30 and 8.30pm. Neighbours will be able to use a special heat seeking camera to see where their homes are leaking heat.

If you would be interested in having a go with a thermal imaging camera contact Phil Newcombe at Marches Energy Agency on 01743 277118.

If you would like a free no obligation survey for free cavity and loft insulation (loft top-ups may incur a charge) please ring 0800 112 3743 and quote ref: Phil Newcombe.

Power project keeps residents warm this winter

A new energy and money advice project has been set up to help people struggling to keep warm across the West Midlands this winter.
The ‘West Midlands Affordable Warmth’ project has been initiated by Western Power Distribution (WPD), the electricity distributor for the region, as part of its commitment to address fuel poverty and help customers who are vulnerable to the adverse effects of living in a cold home.
The project, which is being run over the winter months, is being delivered by Warm Zones cic, Beat the Cold and Marches Energy Agency. Together they are aiming to help more than 600 people who are vulnerable to the effects of living in a cold home.
Alex Wilkes, WPD’s Stakeholder Engagement Manager explained: “Helping to address fuel poverty is something that’s very new for WPD. We don’t sell electricity and therefore don’t directly affect a customer’s expenditure or debts, but we’re uniquely placed to put people in touch with agencies that can help.”
He said the point of the scheme was to team up with local expert partners who can assist customers by providing advice on a range of home energy and money issues, including changing tariffs or available energy efficiency grants.
“We hope that the project will make a real difference to the lives of our customers. By working with local agencies that are already providing excellent services we can be more effective with the support that we can provide.
“This project is part of our ongoing commitment to partnership working. We already work with local agencies, such as Coventry Citizens’ Advice Bureau, on projects that help local people. The project with Coventry CAB has supported more than 500 people over the past 10 months."
Lorraine Gumbs from Warm Zones cic said: “This partnership project will enable us to work directly with people who really need our help. It will mean that we can reach and help more people across the West Midlands, resulting in more people being able to keep warm this winter.
“We want as many people as possible to be prepared for the approaching cold weather and we encourage people living in the West Midlands to contact us on 0800 033 7967 for help to find the best deal on energy costs and advice on keeping control of their energy usage.”