Archive for the ‘Energy’ category

LCCN Session: Homes and Energy Efficiency – lessons learnt from projects

January 21st, 2012

Another workshop on energy efficiency focussed on lessons from projects run by two low carbon community groups: Low Carbon West Oxford and Muswell Hill Sustainability Group

Firstly Low Carbon West Oxford which covers the area from Oxford’s railway station and extends along the very busy Botley Road and includes 1600 households in mainly terraced housing and an industrial estate where the King’s Conference centre is located which hosted the conference.

» Read more: LCCN Session: Homes and Energy Efficiency – lessons learnt from projects

LCCN session: homes and energy efficiency

January 18th, 2012

How can you get people to care about the link between fuel and climate change when they can’t even afford to pay the gas bill? This question kept coming up, in different ways, during the second morning session I attended at the Low Carbon Communities conference. As Chris Church, session facilitator, put it: “Energy is about bills for many people, not about climate change or renewables.”

» Read more: LCCN session: homes and energy efficiency

LCCN session: carbon allowances and trading

January 17th, 2012

The Low Carbon Communities conference was split into various different sessions, with a choice about what to attend. I’m interested in carbon allowances and carbon trading, so my first session was the one entitled Community energy, carbon allowances and the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Unsnappy title, but a very interesting discussion.

» Read more: LCCN session: carbon allowances and trading

Getting started at the Low Carbon Communities conference

January 14th, 2012

When a national low-carbon event happens just a short bus ride away, it would be rude not to pop along. That’s why Sustainable Witney sent two delegates to the Low Carbon Communities conference today.

» Read more: Getting started at the Low Carbon Communities conference

Community Energy, Osney Mead

January 2nd, 2012

9:15 to 16:30 Saturday 14 January 2012, Kings’ Conference Centre, Osney Mead, OX2 0ES.

The Low Carbon Communities Network (LCCN) 2012 annual conference will look at new ways forward for community action in a time of significant economic and social change.

It will focus on

• Community Energy – now and for the future

• New partnerships to tackle climate change

Full agenda here…

Online booking here…

(Sustainable Witney is a member of LCCN)

Low Carbon Hub

December 7th, 2011

There’s much you can’t see in this picture, the other half of Oxford Town Hall being one of them. Stretching back behind the lens are more wine and nibble laden tables, packed with people from 65 community groups around the county, including Kate, Katherine and yours truly from Sustainable Witney. Really an impressive turnout of people to celebrate the launch of The Low Carbon Hub.

» Read more: Low Carbon Hub

Cocoon: 8 things I wish I’d known

August 16th, 2011

I wrote yesterday about getting my home insulated with Cocoon, the subsidised scheme where you can get loft or cavity wall insulation done for just £99. I’m very happy we had it done, but there are a few things I wish I’d known before I started the process, things that weren’t clear from the Cocoon website or the literature I saw before booking.

» Read more: Cocoon: 8 things I wish I’d known

Wrap your home up warm for winter

August 15th, 2011

Sometimes it feels like a conspiracy to wish the summer away. The fashion mags are talking about autumn collections, department stores are doing “Back to School” deals,  and now Sustainable Witney is blogging about insulation. But if you can bear reading on, we’ll explain why now is the perfect time to get it sorted.

» Read more: Wrap your home up warm for winter

Cutting carbon begins at home

May 31st, 2011

The current government promised to be the “greenest government ever”, but the UK’s carbon emissions are still too high, risking catastrophic climate change. However, many people don’t realise that 80% of emissions are as a result of local activity. We talk a lot about government action, but it’s time to bring the discussion closer to home.

Friends of the Earth, with the help of their partners in the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, have been organising meetings all over the country where people can meet their elected representatives and discuss local action to cut emissions. The meetings have been timed to happen while the Energy Bill, the first significant piece of green legislation to come from the current government, makes its way through Parliament.

Picture of the room at the Corn Exchange filled with people

The Witney meeting on 25th May

David Cameron declined to attend the Witney meeting on 25th May, but Councillor David Harvey took his place. As a town, district and county councillor, Cllr Harvey represents three levels of local government.

» Read more: Cutting carbon begins at home

Local Energy From Food Waste

May 25th, 2011

Green Officer’s visit to Agrivert’s anaerobic digester at Cassington on Thu 3rd March 2011

The 6 month old facility is on the edge of existing gravel pits and is run by 3 operators and supporting staff. It’s one of 5 commercial sized digesters in Britain.

The 2 products of the anaerobic digester are:

  • Digestate/ liquid agricultural no odour fertiliser which is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur which is used on their own farm and by farmers in the local area and produces enough to cover 3,000 hectares. They don’t process the digestate to turn it into a liquid and solid as this is energy intensive so the carbon emissions in producing this fertiliser are much less than other fertilisers.
  • Methane or biogas gas (4.5 million cubed units a year) used to turn turbines to generate electricity in the 2.1 MegaWatt plant. 11% of the electricity is used to power the plant and the engines, the rest is fed into the national grid to power 4,500 homes.

» Read more: Local Energy From Food Waste

Greenest Government Ever? – Corn Exchange

May 20th, 2011

Sustainable Sainsburys?

February 20th, 2011

How does a profit-making business stick to its ethical commitments? Can a national supermarket chain really have a relationship with the local community? And why do supermarket apples have those silly stickers on them?

All these questions, and lots more, were answered when Vince Brimble, store manager of Sainsburys in Witney, spoke at the Sustainable Witney AGM.

» Read more: Sustainable Sainsburys?


February 17th, 2011

We now have a year’s worth of actual data on The Carbon Account. It’s not as detailed as it could be because I’ve had some long periods where I’ve forgotten to read the meters – I kicked myself last week when I found the email reminder option! But anyway, we have the year covered even if it is a little coarse.

We’ve insulated the loft but there are plenty of other things we can do in the coming year to reduce our domestic energy consumption, cutting our regular bills as well as our carbon emissions. It’s a process known as eco-renovation or ecovation.

» Read more: Eco-Renovation


January 26th, 2011

You know civilization is advancing at warp speed when your toaster wakes you up, tells you the time in Tokyo and displays the state of play, via twitter pic, of the carcinogised crispiness of your optimised bread product.

Can-openers with mains leads, tooth brushes with massage settings, so much choice but so few sockets – what’s a 21st century eco-warrior to make of it all?

Well fear not fellow waste watchers, for here is one wifi-display-with-a-mains-lead to rule them all. What’s more it’s free to use and it’ll save many times its weight in equivalent CO2 emissions, once that is, it’s finished saving YOU money on YOUR electricity bill. All hail – the Current Cost Meter.

» Read more: Electrickery

SW Energy Project

September 23rd, 2010

Meeting in the back room of the Plough at 7pm on Thursday 18th November to set out Sustainable Witney’s energy project.