Notes from Energy Group Meeting on 2nd Sept 2014

Energy Group Meeting held at the St Peters Community Centre, Loughborough.

Present: Steve, Jon, Barry, Caroline, Matha, Judy, David & Martin

Draught proofing workshops has a budget of £652 (remains of the Green Open Homes event funding), plus the offer of free demonstration kit from CSE. The money can cover room hire for our planning meetings as well as our actual events, promotional materials, speakers, etc.

We talked about the sort of event that we wanted to run. Steve originally suggested doing it as part of an existing TL event on 11th Oct, but it was generally felt that we should  have a separate, well publicised event just for this. Location of the event was discussed – should it be in a local community centre or in a central town location?  Town centre-ish was favoured – options discussed included John Storer House, the public library, Baptist church hall, a market stall, St Peter’s Community Centre and the Town Hall.  Eventually opted for St Peter’s Community Centre as we could see the size of the rooms (as we were in it!), David could check booking availability for us, its close to the town (but also surrounded by rented properties whose tenants are very much the target of the workshop) and its reasonably priced (£24 per hour per room). After some discussion about dates and times we plumped for Saturday 22nd November 1-4pm.

We then considered if we  should have a series of talks or parallel workshops (or both if the building could handle it)?  Should we do door sausage dogs, thermal curtains, or window quilts? Judy said that Suella has offered to help do thermal curtains, and they can have more of an impact that sausage dogs.   We wondered if the workshop should be limited to just draught proofing or more general “low cost energy saving and draught proofing”  – everyone keen on the second option so its going to have a broader appeal. Steve also pointed out that if we just focused on draught proofing with no insulation information, we’d almost certainly have people come along wanting information on both and going away a bit disappointed.

In St Peter’s we can do tea, coffee & cake – included up to £50 in the budget to cover this.  We’d also like to have a speaker/presenter who can provide some context.  It was suggested that  Tina Holt would be a good choice if she’s available – she spoke at the Retrofit event last year and Caroline had her as a presenter at the open homes training event we attended in Chesterfield earlier this year.  It was suggest that she could do a talk from 2pm for 30-40 minutes to provide introduction, thermal images, cheap retrofitting options, etc.

Also suggested have four corners for parallel show-n-tell sessions  for before/after talk (ie 1-2pm and 2.45-4pm):

1) Explaining retro fit options, grants, etc (Caroline and perhaps Tina if she’s OK?).

2) CSE demo box (Jon)

3) Thermal curtain making (Suella)

4) Energy bill explanations (Judy)

Talked about how to promote the event and decided upon both a leaflet/flyer (1000 copies commercially printed on recycled paper) plus a poster (that we can photocopy on demand).  Budgeted ~£130 for the leaflets and ~£20 for posters.  Email/word of mouth worked well for open homes event too.  Leaflets/flyers could be handed out weekend before around the fair and/or distributed door-to-door in areas likely to have people interested in this event that email wouldn’t necessarily reach.

Division of tasks:

ACTION: Caroline to book & pay for room tomorrow.

ACTION: Judy to order the kit from CSE.

ACTION: Jon to design poster (including thermal image of house) and leaflet.

ACTION: Jon to make demo models (once we get CSE kit to know what to have in it).

ACTION: Judy to contact Tina & Suella to check availability.

Date of next meetings: Tues 21st October & Tues 18th November at 7pm, again in St Peter’s Community Centre.


Caroline asked if we could send email to people who went to open homes event to promote website, Google group and info about the draught proofing event.  Jon will do that once we’ve got the firm venue, speaker and posters/leaflets sorted.

Caroline said that the mentoring opportunity from CSE has gone – the funding has all been allocated.

Judy asked if we were going to do another open homes event? Steve wondered if we should aim for landlords next time? Could potentially link to council and/or University? Landlords will soon (2018) have a minimum EPC level before they can legally rent properties. Something to put on agenda for next time.

Martin is considering solar panels on his east-west facing roof.  Discussed this a bit in the group.  Jon has solar thermal on his girlfriend’s west facing roof which gives hot water in the late afternoon/evening and early morning (using well insulated twin coil water tank). Judy said that from a financial point of view east-west facing solar PV isn’t anywhere near as good as south facing, but that PV installation prices are a third to a half of what they were 3 or 4 years ago.

David said he’d attended solar farm open day in Wymeswold in July. They have 200 sheep grazing the grass under and around the panels – they want 800 sheep eventually. Looking at sowing wild flower meadows to encourage bees (and make honey!).  Discussed this a bit as there are more solar farms in that area of Leicestershire in the planning pipeline and appropriate/productive land use is an important issue.

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