Notes from Energy Group Meeting 17th Feb 2015

Present: Caroline, David, John, Jon and Ashley.

Wind turbine planning application

David mentioned wind turbines are planned at Six Hills in Melton Mowbray – that will be a relatively small 600KW “farm stead” turbine. If people want to support this planning application the number on Melton Borough Council’s planning portal is 13/00596/FUL.

Energy Monitors

Jon explained about the Current Cost energy monitors that we loan out. He’s discovered that they contain historical data. This provoked two questions: should we offer to graph this data for people when they give the loaned monitors back, and should we also be wiping this data? The answer for both is “yes”. Jon offered to handle this.

ACTION: Jon to take existing monitors from Caroline, produce something to graph the data for users and wipe the historical data before loaning them out again.

Big Energy Race

Jon has had a pack of paper promotional material for the Big Energy Race, and has promoted it online. However we may have come to this too late as regional leaders are picked at the end of February and we haven’t had many sign up.  Caroline had difficulty registering and the people running the site removed her account and all the points she’d accumulated, without telling Jon (the team leader) about it.

Caroline mentioned that whilst we might be a bit late to this scheme, this sort of competition is almost certainly be something that happens again. Perhaps we should come up with a “wishlist” of larger energy related projects we might want to run if we got money from such a scheme in the future? Then we could promote the competition with a definite goal in mind.

One idea to start the wish list would be using a thermal imaging camera to provide images of houses in a whole area which could then be shared with the residents.  Another could be to install renewable generation and insulation on one or more local community centres.  Caroline suggested doing a larger insulation project for people in fuel poverty.

Money to spend by end of March

We’ve still got £128 of the CSE grant to spend on energy efficiency related items by end of March. Jon suggested that we could get a few appliance energy monitors. Caroline suggested paying for meeting rooms for the Energy Group meetings.  Judy had mentioned on the Google group about running a thermal curtain making workshop. Another suggestion was to buy insulation samples, although the CSE example pack is still available. A last suggestion was to get some file boxes and folders to put CSE leaflets in for use at future events.

ACTION: Jon will post a list of suggestions to the Google Group and we’ll make a final decision at the March energy group meeting.

Town Hall Event

Jon explained a bit about the event that was planned by the University (we had hoped one of the researchers would be joining us during the meeting to give more details and discuss how we could help).  Jon has responded to the professor in charge of the research centre to say that TL Energy Group are definitely happy to be involved and he’ll get in touch with the research team in the next week or two to find out more.

ACTION: Jon to meet with the University researchers and feed back details on how we are to be involved.

AOBs:

David said that next Tuesday 7-9pm at John Storer House there is a Action for a Better Charnwood talk on “Our Energy Future: Conservation, Fracking or Solar?”. Ashley said that there might be a showing of Gasland at that event, and there will be a showing of Gasland 2 at the University the following day.

Jon said that FutureLearn.com are currently running a course from University of Nottingham on shale gas and fracking. It covers what unconventional oil and gas extraction technologies are, what the economics are like, the environmental impact and the political views.  Its free to join, done completely online and you can go at your own pace, with access to the materials and discussions well after the course has formally finished.  There’s a week and half to still register on the course.

Ashley said he’d had access to a thermal imaging camera from work, which he’s borrowed and tried around his house. Walking around a house with a thermal imaging camera is interesting. Caroline said that the Rural Community Council have one that they have loaned out in the past. Ashley said he’d taken some images of his home which he could share with us. He also explained about his use of secondary glazing to not only cut down on heat lose but (more importantly) cut out on road noise.

ACTOIN: Ashley to supply Jon with copies of the thermal images for use in event promotions, etc.

We also talked a bit about the idea of a bulk External Wall Insulation (EWI) purchase as part of Green Deal Home Improvement Fund (GDHIF) funding releases.  Caroline hasn’t had time to arrange anything, but the notes from the last Energy Group did spark some interest in EWI. Ashley said he’d seen prices of £6-8 for an EWI install on a rented terraced house, and the GDHIF grant could take out two thirds of the price. If people missed GDHIF grants then you could do it under Green Deal itself, but Green Deal loans aren’t particularly good value – its often better to use alternative sources of loans if possible.

Date of Next Meeting

17th March 2015 at 8pm in the same venue (coffee lounge at rear of main hall of Rosebery St Peter’s community centre on Storer Road).

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