Our Green Deal in Somerset

Axevale Consortium for Energy (ACE) is a collaboration of green groups in Wedmore, Axbridge and Shipham. ACE has been selected by the Centre for Sustainable Energy to join their pilot project for the Green Deal Scheme called Our Green Deal.

How does it work?

Step 1:

ACE encourages as many people as possible to apply for a free survey of their property to assess the energy saving measures that could be introduced. This is done by a specialist surveyor who will be able to answer all your questions about the scheme and how you could benefit.

There are four ways to get your free survey:

a)      Complete the referral form below, sign and return to the CSE at Centre for Sustainable Energy, Our Green Deal Team, 3 St Peter’s Court, Bedminster Parade, Bristol. BS3 4AQ.

b)       Call Home Energy Team at CSE on 0800 082 2234 FREE

PLEASE QUOTE THE REFERENCE ‘ACE”

c)      Email CSE info@cse.org.uk and request your free Our Green Deal survey
– again PLEASE QUOTE THE REFERENCE ‘ACE’

For more general information about the scheme go to www.ourgreendeal.net

Step 2:

Once you have expressed an interest, your details will be sent to the Centre for Sustainable Energy, who will provide further details of the scheme and how to proceed with a free Green Deal Assessment.
* The deadline for having the free assessment has been extended to 15th April but you’ll still need to move fast.

Step 3:

If you decide to take advantage of the free assessment available, this will carried out by a qualified Green Deal Assessor.

Your Assessor will recommend improvements that are appropriate for your property. These improvements can take many different forms, loft and cavity insulation, draught-proofing, solid wall insulation, under floor heating, and solar pv, are just a few examples.

Importantly, your assessor will be careful to ensure that any improvements you make will fulfil the Green Deal’s Golden Rule: that the expected financial savings will be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill.

Once the Green Deal Advisor has given you your report, you can take it to one or more Green Deal Providers who can arrange and fund the improvements. Any energy improvements that you decide to have installed will be carried out by accredited and qualified Green Deal trades-people.
The Finance to carry out the work is offered by Green Deal providers, and paid back monthly through savings made through the properties energy bills.
The aim of the scheme is to help business and home owners to employ more green technologies in their properties. The idea is simple; install new green technology into your property with no up-front costs. You will pay back the costs through your energy bill over a period of time.
 

Renewable Energy

As above

Warmer Wedmore – Tackling Fuel Poverty

The official government definition of Fuel Poverty is just changing and the phrase can cause stigma and put people off. But in the broader sense of the phrase if families are struggling to keep their house warm, even to the point of deciding between ‘food or fuel’ then the knock on affects are pretty bad.

-        Multiple health problems for young and old
-        Mental health problems such as depression can be set off/worsened
-        Debt problems
-        Children’s education can be affected
-        The house itself can deteriorate, mould, condensation etc.

The problem can often be a hidden one, people as a rule don’t want to be a bother, think they can cope, muddle through etc but this can exacerbate the problem.

Often the root causes are;
-        Badly insulated houses
-        Inefficient heating systems
-        Lack of knowledge about how to conserve energy, cut down on bills, switch suppliers, benefits that can be claimed to help with the bills
-        Skyrocketing energy bills themselves

I know there are people out there on the Isle of Wedmore who need some help. If you think you are one of them please get in touch on 07841 336720 or s.mewes@virgin.net

Aims

I see this as a problem that Green Wedmore can help with since it directly relates to energy. If we can help people reduce their energy usage and their bills then everyone benefits including the environment.
So the aims of this project are twofold;

1        Making sure everyone in the Isle of Wedmore knows they can come to us for help

2        Green Wedmore is the signpost to further help (the Centre for Sustainable Energy, CSE have people based in Somerset who will do home visits and they have a helpline as do the Home Heat Helpline people)
Some people have spoken to me about bulk purchasing schemes to help people reduce their bills. This could be something we look at in the future but what puts me off initially here is firstly that gathering a large group of peoples contact details, liaising with the energy companies to negotiate a bulk price, going back to the group to sign them up, monitoring the situation at least annually to check the market and if necessary do the same process again…. This takes a heck of a lot of time and admin which I feel would be beyond our resources at the moment. Secondly I would prefer we try to help the people most at need first. Thirdly this approach does not necessarily encourage people to reduce their energy usage per se so is drifting further from the aims of the Green Wedmore.

The Plan

What we will do:

-        Link up with CSE and their WISH programme. They may be able to join us for a Warmer Wedmore Workshop if we feel it would be useful. They may be able to help with training if one or more locals wanted to be trained up as a volunteer Energy Champion/home visit person.

-        We will do a press release perhaps once we have our first household who needs help and is happy to be in the media!

-        We will produce flyers for use in local shops/events, again similar to the adverts, signposting people to us and/or CSE.

More Info:

Centre for Sustainable Energy Helpline: 0800 082 2234 FREE, website = http://www.cse.org.uk/advice/