Volunteers Ready to Offer Energy Efficiency Advice

Members of a Nottinghamshire-based environmental group have recently completed training to enable them to offer advice on domestic energy efficiency to their neighbours.
Members of the community group Greening Kinoulton were offered the training by Midlands-based environmental charity Marches Energy Agency (MEA). Over three sessions the volunteers learnt how to visit a home and offer advice to householders on understanding energy bills, how to make a home more energy efficient and how to purchase renewables.
The group now intend to practise their new skills on friends before hopefully offering visits to others living in Kinoulton later in the year.
Caroline Harmon, Project Manager at MEA, delivered the training:
‘It’s fantastic to find so many people in one village who are willing to offer their time to help others to make their homes more environmentally friendly and save money on their bills. Similar projects in other parts of the country have seen average bills fall by almost a fifth in homes visited. Hopefully the same can be achieved in Kinoulton over time.’
The training was offered as part of a Low Carbon Communities project currently being delivered in Kinoulton by MEA in partnership with Greening Kinoulton and with funding from Rushcliffe Borough Council. The project also includes energy surveys of the village hall and a soon-to-be-opened village shop, education sessions in the local primary school and work with young people.
Greening Kinoulton was set up in 2010 to help people in the village to respond to climate change. Almost half of the all village’s households took part in an initial campaign to choose at least three simple actions they could take to lower their emissions and the estimated savings were more than 100,000 kilograms of CO2, more than 70,000 litres of water and almost £20,000 saved on future energy bills. The village subsequently received a Mayor’s Special Award for their contribution to ‘Building Stronger Communities’ at the Rushcliffe Community 2010 Awards.

Community Climate Action Network Service Users asked to Complete Survey

Users of a variety of services for individuals and community groups working to tackle climate change are being asked to complete a short online survey to help inform the future direction of the service.

The Community Climate Action Network provides regular e-newsletters to 280 people representing more than 60 community groups across Derbyshire and Nottingamshire. It also provides online profiles for community groups on the Everybody's Talking website and a Networking and Signposting Service for groups.

Caroline Harmon, Project Manager at Marches Energy, said:

'The services the network currently offers are based on previous consultation with individuals and members of community groups working to tackle climate change and the service proved popular during 2010. We're now keen to find out how people's needs have changed and improve and ammend the service accordingly during 2011.'

Users of the service can access the survey at: and should complete it by Sunday 30th January 2011.

Anyone wishing to subscribe to the e-newsletters should email with 'Subscribe' in the subject line and their name and the name of any climate change-focused group they belong to in the body of the email.

Fantastic Home Exhibition Brings 21st Century Living to Victorian Fair

Visitors to the first day of the Matlock Victorian Christmas Fair received energy advice that was far from old-fashioned thanks to the presence of the Fantastic Home Exhibition.
The mobile exhibition, and energy experts from Marches Energy Agency and local community group Transition Matlock, were on hand to offer advice on modern day energy efficient living, and renewable technologies for the home, as well as to give away the latest energy saving devices including low energy lightbulbs, TV Powerdowns and Showertimers.
Despite there still being snow on the ground around 100 people braved the cold to collect freebies and get advice. Greg Shepley of MEA said:
‘Several discussions were had about the relative merits of various forms of renewable technologies and the importance of energy efficiency. People were very interested in the potential of the Feed-In-Tariff scheme and advice was given as to the implications of allowing a private company to install a PV system on a property and what benefit may be derived if the tariff is collected by the installer.’
Use of the energy saving devices given away will result in those receiving them collectively saving more than £20,000 on their energy bills in the coming years.

The Sun Shines as Renewables Advice is Given at Clays Cross Christmas Market

Visitors to Clays Cross Christmas Market received some unexpected sunshine alongside advice on how to make the most of it and other renewable sources of energy in their homes.
Despite the freezing weather we’ve been having recently, there was some welcome winter sunshine as the event got going. Energy saving freebies such as TV Powerdowns and Showertimers led to conversations with visitors to the stall about a wide range of energy issues including how to install renewables and how to economise on fuel bills. MEA’s new Volunteer Renewables Expert, Miguel Bolivar, was on hand to help with the some problem solving around specific renewable energy proposals.
A number of people also took up an offer from North East Derbyshire District Council to purchase reflective radiator panels at less than half price – a welcome early Christmas present!

More than 400 Turn Out in Sub Zero Temperatures for Energy Saving Devices

Staff and Volunteers from Erewash Borough Council and Marches Energy Agency braved sub zero temperatures and blizzard conditions on 1st December to give energy saving advice and free devices to more than 400 people at a market in Long Eaton.
Just over 400 people took away items which will collectively save them more than £128,000 on their energy bills over their lifetime’s use, including TV Powerdowns and Shower Saves.
Kris McGowan of Marches Energy Agency said:
‘Luckily we were kept very busy all day so we did not feel the cold! By the end of the event we had given out our entire stock of free items for the day. Aside from giveaways, we were able to assist people with enquiries about the savings associated with switching to a water meter, installing solar panels and loft and cavity wall insulation.’