The Transition Loughborough Energy Sub-group aim to support local people in both reducing their energy usage and in making increased use of low carbon and renewable energy sources.
The first major project that the group got under way was a solar photovoltaic (solar PV) bulk purchase discount scheme. Solar PV panels are mounted on your house or workplace and are used to generate electricity from sunlight during the day. We teamed up with a Midlands based installation company to cut the cost of installing such a system by getting groups of people together to do a “bulk purchase” of 10 or more systems at once. This cut the costs for the hardware required as it could be ordered from the suppliers as a single container load. Unfortunately in early 2014 our installation partner closed and so this scheme has had to be withdrawn.
We were also involved in setting up a Retrofit Loughborough project intended to encourage the take up of energy efficiency measures by finding people with existing example installations who are happy to show their homes and workplaces to others. This project brought together local companies, volunteers, University researchers and the Energy Saving Coop. As well as showing off insulation, micro-generation & similar technologies that can be funded under the Government’s Green Deal scheme, the project was also intended to provide advice on other funding sources and grants.
In May 2014 the Energy Group ran our first Loughborough Energy Efficient Homes event – part of the network of Green Open Homes events run by the Centre for Sustainable Energy. The idea behind these events is to have local people who have made energy efficiency improvements to their homes open them up for a few hours over a day or two so that other people can see what they’ve done and ask questions. This has been found to be a great way to encourage other people to take similar measures, as it provides them with the reassurance that the open homers have already shown what is possible and can provide advice and pointers to problems and potential pitfalls.