Energy Sub-group meeting notes 2nd May 2012

Energy Group Meeting May 2nd 2012, Swan in the Rushes pub.

1. Solar PV bulk purchase discount scheme. We’ve had another 3 houses done in February and two more are being surveyed. Need more marketing opportunities as JSH launch event didn’t attract many takers. Philip suggested that we put an advert in the Echo or with Oak FM. With our 10th installation we might have a chance for a press release. Also suggested a market stall but SteveK’s experience of markets is that it would need to be done regularly to have an effect.  Picnic in the Park energy stand a good time to promote this and other Energy group initiatives.

ACTION: Jon to take Caroline’s Solar PV scheme leaflet and rework it as a double sided A5 to hand out at party in the park.

ACTION: Steve to contact the Echo for an advert – he’d already contacted them about a skill share advert which was priced at £27.50.

ACTION: Jon to write a small ad text based on the leaflet information and post a regular note about it on Twitter.

2. Models for Energy Saving Projects. Green Deal is a new government scheme that is coming along whereby you can get energy saving equipment installed with no up front costs, and the repayments on the loan are made on the energy bills paid at the building. If you move, the repayments are passed onto the next occupier.  We’ll be hear more about this during the year, though there is currently debate about how well it will work and what the actual costs will be.

Ewan and Bob came to talk to us about whole house energy saving co-op (www.energysaving.coop). Members who join the co-op can either be:

  1. individuals that want to make energy savings themselves or invest in helping other people (potentially with around 3.7% rate of return on the investment), in addition to any dividend payments,
  2. organisations like Transition Towns type organisations, Midlands Counties Co-op who want to encourage energy saving schemes,
  3. tradesmen (suppliers and installers, including New World Solar) who do the installations.

It is a “for dividend” rather than “for profit” scheme that is focusing on reducing energy consumptions (rather than low carbon micro-generation).  The dividend is based on the amount of work each member accrues for the co-op, either themselves or by getting other people to use the scheme.  They aim to promote the use of local tradesmen, despite the co-op itself being a national scheme.

The energy efficiency measures installed by the co-op backed installers can be paid for using the Green Deal in the future, but the co-op can also access other forms of finance such as

  • up front payments,
  • ethical finance sources such as Coop Bank or Ecology Building Society loans,
  • the coop’s own capital that can be loaned to members (at 6.5%),
  • Energy Company Obligation (ECO) to help solid wall insulation, etc for low income householders
  • community based finance schemes

Bob & Ewan were asking Transition Loughborough to consider becoming a member of the co-op at the cost of £100. They would like us to feed potential new members (individuals, installers, etc) in the same way that some of their existing community groups in Oxford and Lincolnshire are already doing.  Transition Loughborough would get a fraction of the annual dividend based on the amount of work we have provided for the co-op.   We will need to bring this suggestion to the full Transition Loughborough meeting, probably at the June meeting (as the May meeting agenda is already pretty full).  We might still want to promote the co-op at the Picnic in the Park energy stand.

For individuals, the minimum membership investment is £10 (£5 unwaged) and £20K max.

3. Shelthorpe CESP. Tolu told us that Community Energy Saving Programme is the last project in the country to be going ahead in taking money from energy suppliers to help low incoming social housing tenants. Housing stock is managed by an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) called Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing. E-On approached CHN with a £1.2M scheme for 800 homes on the Shelthorpe estate.  The first tranche consists of 159 social tenants and a matching 159 privately owned homes. Started on Ling Road and now moving forward – focus is mostly on cladding with half brick rendering with boiler replacements and cavity wall installations. Uptake is hoped to increase when people see the results of the initial rennovations.

Privately owned houses get a discount which depends on the uptake. Philip suggested that CNH could give out our bulk purchase PV scheme leaflets to private house holders who’ve had energy efficency measures installed.

ACTION: Tolu to get Jon some leaflets for CESP to give out at Picnic in the Park to spread the word.

4. Promoting Energy Efficiency in Loughborough. Philip would like some exemplar houses of retrofits so that people can see what’s been done, what the impact is, positives/negatives, etc. This has been done in Bristol, Transition Loughborough and Transition West Bridgeford. Maybe we could make contact with someone who has benefitted from the current Shelthorpe CESP scheme. Need to get the message out that bills will be reduced and homes are warmer.

University could link to CNH to do some surveys to analyse what difference the scheme has made.

ACTION: Philip to contact Neville Stork about getting some CESP folk involved as exemplars.

Stuart works for a local company (Permarock Products) that makes and supplies insulation products. A square metre for external insulation £40-£100+ (more decorative is more expensive – brick is dear) – an average semi-detached house will require about 80 square metres. There’s a variety of insulation materials available (polystrene, rockwool, various foams, exotic materials such as compress silicon boards or aerogels). Sales are to the trade as its not really installable by DIY.

Caroline asked if CHN have any scheme to promote cavity and loft insulation using endorsed tradesmen. There’s Heatseekers who are endorsed (under written bybut not heavily promoted by the council. There are some cavity walls that have an existing membrane that prevents further cavity wall insulation being fitted – got to be careful about that.

ACTION: Tolu to supply Jon with information on Heatseekers scheme.

ACTION: Jon to produce a loft/cavity wall insulation promotion leaflet in time for Picnic in the Park.

Tolu also mentioned that there was a house on King Street that needed serious refurbishment which was going to be used for a Univerity/Council project that fell through. This is one the market now, but it was suggested that it could be used for demonstrating energy efficiency technologies, training local installers and then after it has been used as an exemplar, it could be sold by CNH/council at a profit based on the increase in value from the refurb. There was also discussion on how this could also potentially be linked into the University, either for new or existing research projects.

ACTION: Philip, Bob, Ewan, Stephen, Stuart etc to come together to discuss how to get a solid wall exemplar put together.

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