News

Developing a vision for local food in North Staffordshire

Over the last few years MEA has been working with an increasing range of partners to explore, map and develop a wider vision for local food in north Staffordshire.  
This has been made possible as so many local food growing initiatives have started to emerge.  There is also significant interest from Stoke-on-Trent Public Health who see this as an opportunity to address both physical and mental health and wellbeing issues, which are already emerging at grassroots level.  
There are opportunities around growing, food preparation, community development, localising supply chains and creating economic opportunity.  
It feels like it has the potential to be very creative and exciting space and we look forward to developing both the vision and the opportunity in the next few years.  
An immediate step is to run a conference in early 2015 to develop and strengthen the vision.
This work has been possible by the generous support of the Middleport Environment Centre. 

Free Energy Advice Sessions for Your Community

Free Energy Advice Sessions for Your Community
Available until 13th March 2015

Are there people in your community living in inefficient housing, on low incomes or in fuel poverty? Do they struggle to: 
  • Stay warm in their home?
  • Stay healthy in cold weather?
  • Keep their bills affordable?
Marches Energy Agency has funding from the Department for Energy and Climate Change to offer free sessions at which we can help people to:
  • Switch energy supplier and tariff
  • Understand and change their payment method for energy bills
  • Tackle fuel debt
  • Access grants to improve the energy efficiency of their homes
  • Make no and low-cost energy efficiency changes to their home
  • Make simple behavioural changes to use less energy and keep warm and healthy
If your community group or organisation can provide a venue* and bring together 10-15 people who would benefit from this help then we can provide an experienced Energy Advisor and a session lasting between one and two hours. Sessions include a short presentation, followed by 121 help and advice for all attendees who would like it. We can help people to switch and apply for grants during the session.

To find out more and book a session contact: Caroline Harmon:caroline.harmon@mea.org.uk / 07748 508704.

Working with Derbyshire Eco Centre

We've recently made some display boards for Derbyshire Eco Centre.  They were launched by one of the council's elected members at the council's Climate Change launch on 12th December.
 
Posters included:
  • What is climate change
  • What are the impacts of climate change
  • What can we do
  • Whats happening locally
For more information contact caroline.harmon@mea.org.uk

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.