Notes from Energy Group Meeting 6th May 2014

Present: Barry, Steve, Bertil, Caroline, Jon, Aaron, Judy

The Loughborough Energy Efficient Homes grant is currently underspending slightly, but we’ve a few more things to buy still before the event on 17th/18th May.  We’ve currently got £243 left from items we’d budgeted for and either have got lower prices than the original estimates or haven’t needed/wanted after all.  Steve suggested talking to Hiron about getting a translation of the leaflet after all, but it was thought it would be too late now (we’d need the translation in the next couple of days to make any real use of it before the event).

We talked about house holder postcards.  Caroline makes these for Notts/Derbyshire eco open home events, but we thought it might be better to use the A5 leaflets we’ve already got now.  Caroline is going to photocopy her details on the back of some of these to distribute around her neighbourhood.  Barry and Bertil both said that they wouldn’t need postcards either – they were happy with the leaflets as is.

Caroline also suggested we get an A0 version of the leaflet made so that it can be used as a poster on the MEA mobile exhibition on Saturday.  She’d been quoted £66 but Bertil pointed out at the University A0 print outs only cost £12.

ACTION: Jon to try producing an A0 version of the leaflet and getting it printed out on campus.

Judy, Caroline and Jon will be in Loughborough town centre near Iceland on Saturday with the MEA mobile energy efficiency demonstrator van, and will be handing out A5 leaflets to interested passers by.  Steve said he’d come along to help set up at 8am along with Jon and Caroline, and Aaron offered to help man the stand as well.

Update on publicity for the LEET event: we’ve had an article in the Loughborough edition of Community Eye magazine, an article in last week’s Echo (and quite possibly one in this week’s Echo as well), we’ve placed two adverts in this week and next week’s Echo, Paul has put information on the villages’ website, Maria French has offered to put information on a council website, Jon has been tweeting about it, Steve is distributing flyers to community centres and we’ll have the MEA van on Saturday.  Any remaining leaflets after Saturday can be used for door-to-door deliveries a couple of evenings next week.

Monitoring and evaluation: Caroline suggested adding a list of places that people heard about the event to the back of the evaluation sheet, so that we know where to target future publicity efforts.  She said that Maria French has offered us some energy monitors, so we’ll include one as a lucky dip reward for people completing the feedback forms.  If we can get the monitors before Saturday we could even demo one on the MEA van.

We need to give house holders links to CSE & PlanLoCal information sheets online, the eval form and attendance sheets.

ACTION: Jon to email these to all the householders this weekend.

We discussed the insurance options and decided that the £170 additional insurance the local broker had offered to Steve wasn’t worth it.  We’re not offering advice, products or services to people but instead introducing them to householders who are explaining why they’ve done what they’ve done to their homes.  We’ve pointed out in the joining pack that householders should check that their insurance covers the event (most do).

On a non-LEET topic, Steve mentioned that he was going to the CBC Energy day for council employees on 5th June with his Fairtrade hat on.  It would be good if there was a Transitioner available to come and talk about TL energy projects, energy efficiency, etc.  Unfortunately its during the working week, so awkward for many of the group.

Draught Busting Workshop: Judy outlined some ideas she has had about running these with the CSE demo pack (that we can get on loan for free).  She thought evening sessions would be better and she suggested having multiple events so that people could come back and ask questions after trying things in their own homes.  Jon said it can be quite tricky to get folk along to one meeting let alone several.  The group seemed to converge on the idea of a “taster session” in the library one Saturday morning, followed by one or more evening workshops that people could book onto.  Caroline had picked up a funding application from Wilkinsons Helping Hands who might be able to supply some cash for room bookings and/or additional examples of draught busting items (as they sell alot of them).  The aim is to run these events in late September/early October.  Judy is leading the project and took the Wilkinson’s application form to complete.  It was suggested a meeting in July should be used to plan the event in more detail.

Date of next meeting: 3rd June.  It was suggested we use some of the LEET money to book a meeting room (possibly Rosebery St Peter’s?) for this as it will mostly be concerned with the post-event paper work and analysis from the LEET weekend (as we have to get everything back to the CSE by 11th June).

AOB: Barry said he’d been thinking about turbines in the water ways around Loughborough.  He’d known a professor who had explained to him the odd hydrology around Loughborough and that there was quite a flow in some of the waterways.  Jon said he’d seen a council document some years ago that had looked at renewable energy options in the area, which included some water powered turbines possibilities.  Caroline said there was a group in Belper who had been working on something similar for two years, and had at least another two years of work ahead of them before they could contemplate getting such a system installed – its a big job.

Jon said he’d recently been to a talk about “extreme & unconventional energy” such as fracking, underground coal gasification, and coal bed methane given by a chap called Paul Mobbs.  It was very interesting and there’s a lot happening in those fields at the moment as the DECC are soon to announce more on-shore licences for such fossil fuel exploration, including several areas in the Midlands.  We already know the local geology holds hydrocarbons due to the nearby close coal workings and the relatively close conventional oil wells.  Something to keep an eye on!

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