The Transition Loughborough Energy Group met in the Swan in the Rushes pub this evening – a rather low turn out of only four hardy souls probably due to the awful weather this afternoon turning paths to slippy slush!
Philip said the the Energy Efficiency Information Day (aka “Homes Behaving Badly”) held on 9th February had gone well, with positive feedback from several of the attendees.
We needed to consider where to go next with the Retrofit Loughborough project. As external wall insulation exemplars has been a big target of the project (and also the Government Green Deal scheme) there was quite a bit of discussion about how external wall insulation is going to marketed, and to who. We need to work out where external wall insulation fits in with the other options that people have for improving the carbon footprint of their homes and workplaces – is it a high cost but big percentage energy saved win and will people be put off by the long payback periods? Should we just be focusing on that one technology or looking at a broader spread of options people could employ at different cost:benefit ratios?
There were two positive next steps:
- Promote the EcoHomes open house events taking place in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in early March 2013, which folk from Loughborough can attend to see how other people have implemented energy saving and generation measures in their own homes.
- Ask people to email digital photos of the front/back/sides of their houses to us so that we can use them together with Permarock to provide better estimates of the indicative cost of external wall insulation for different types of building found in the town.
We then discussed the existing TL solar discount scheme. Take up has been slow in the last six months. This may be due to us not push it enough, not reaching the right people and/or the state of the market in the recession. Philip had spoken to director of New World Solar, who are looking to Green Deal for more solar installations, but it remains to be seen whether Green Deal is going to work for individuals or just provide a new financing route for housing associations, landlords and similar larger scale developers. Providing an option for a lower cost solar thermal scheme may be one way forward – Jon has had NWS install such a system last year and it was far less than the cosst of PV and suitable for more limited roof space. Joe pointed out the solar PV and thermal also work well together if you have the roof space and finance avaialble.
Philip had provide a set of options for recording home energy use at the end of the agenda for the meeting. Folk are free to sign up to try any of these, but Philip is talking to the folk running the Sheffield one which can cover micro-generation energy recording which is interesting for solar PV installations in Loughborough.
We had an agenda item to look at objectives for the next year to report to the next Transition Loughborough general meeting. This prompted some discussion and it was agreed that it would probably be worthwhile running an Energy Descent Planning meeting soon that could provide a set of strategic long term goals for the group and some operational/tactical shorter term tasks to help achieve them. We need to get widespread involvement in this so that we can capture the ideas folk in the community have in this area and then work out a practical plan together to make this happen.