Overseal Residents Save Cash and the Planet

Overseal residents have permanently reduced their village’s carbon emissions by more than 2% per year as the result of a project run in the village, saving themselves both cash and the planet. The project was run by SouthDerbyshire District Council and Midlands-based energy charity Marches Energy Agency.
As part of the project almost a quarter of the homes in the village have had loft insulation, cavity wall insulation or both installed for free with funding secured by South Derbyshire District Council. In addition the village hall and Baptist Church received a free energy survey of their building, local residents were able to attend workshops and pupils at the local primary school visited an Energy Farm to see first-hand how various renewable technologies, including solar panels, work.
The measures installed and the changes people make to the way they use energy will result in lower energy bills. More than 100 tonnes of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases causing climate change, will be saved each year as a result of the project.
Cllr John Lemmon of South Derbyshire District Council said:
'This project has been well worthwhile and shows what a community can achieve with a little bit of support and encouragement. We hope to learn from our time working with Overseal and roll out the project to more South Derbyshire villages in the coming year’
John White of Overseal Parish Council said:
‘The survey carried out on the village hall has really helped us to understand our energy consumption and to take steps towards reducing it. The building is used by many members of the local community and any savings we can make on our energy bills will benefit everyone.’
Caroline Harmon of Marches Energy Agency said:
‘We‘ve really enjoyed working in Overseal helping residents to reduce their carbon footprint through using energy efficiently. This will benefit both their purses and the planet as a whole.’


Light Fantastic Visits Arnold Carnival

More than 600 people received free low energy lightbulbs at Arnold Carnival in Gedling on 19th and 20th June.

Marches Energy Agency's (MEA) Light Fantastic was on hand to give out more than 1000 of the lightbulbs and advice about energy efficiency to festival-goers at the busy event in Arnot Hill Park which was organised by Gedling Borough Council.

Caroline Harmon of MEA said: ' The response to the stand was great: at the busiest times we couldn't give out the bulbs fast enough. Lots of people also wanted advice about the range of low energy light bulbs available and we were able to help them with this. We also set up our giant snake and ladders-style board game which was popular with children and helped them to learn about lowering carbon emissions.'

Carbon Foot-printing at Bolsover District Council

Representatives from the Marches Energy Agency visited Bolsover yesterday (16th June 2010) to give information and advice about climate change and home energy efficiency. Employees of the Bolsover district council, as well as the general public, were give the opportunity to work out their individual carbon footprint using a simple carbon footprint calculator.
On average the people of Bolsover were doing well with their efforts, nearly everyone we spoke to was doing something to reduce their carbon footprint, however they still had an average carbon footprint of 11,212kg. There is always something that could be improved to get those footprints down even lower and the 5-section carbon footprint calculator showed each individual the area that could best be improved for them; Be it using air travel less or buying more locally produced or organic food.
Using energy efficient light bulbs was a popular method that people reported already doing in their home to keep their carbon emissions down and we aimed to encourage this by giving out free energy saving bulbs to all that wanted them. Each bulb gives out 100 watts worth of light using only 18 watts of electricity!
We received queries about energy monitors for the home, local wind farm plans, low flush toilets and energy saving lighting. Many people were keen to look at our light bulb library and were pleased to see that a new range of energy efficient lighting is being brought out. There was some discussion about issues people were having with the traditional low energy bulbs and we were able to give advice on these issues.
Over all, the carbon footprint calculators were very popular and often people were pleased to learn that their efforts were having a significant impact on their carbon emissions.

Light Fantastic Visits Sutton Bonington Primary School

Visitors: Approx. 48 pupils and 4 staff
Bulbs distributed: 120
CO2 saved (lifetime): 17140.8kg
Retained economic benefit (lifetime): £4958.40

We provided two one-hour workshops on climate change: one to Year Five and one to Year Six. Both classes engaged well with a powerpoint presentation and discussion about climate change. They had watched a play about recycling earlier in the week and were able to link some of what they had learnt from that with what we were teaching them. They also explained some of the activities they have being doing to gain Eco School status. They really engaged in the workshops and asked lots of questions as well as supplying their own thoughts on how we should tackle climate change. Using manure to generate electricity was a popular option with the first group as were cars powered by hydrogen which they had seen on Top Gear!

The children got a chance to see a mini PV panel and wind turbine in action powering small lights and a buzzer. Towards the end of the session each child was given the chance to have a go at powering a lightbulb using our energy bike. We even managed to entice one teacher on to the bike – who was immediately surrounded by her entire class egging her on to power a lightbulb!

We will be sending the school 120 lightbulbs to distribute to each child who attended to take home.


Light Fantastic West Bridgford Summer Gathering

Date: 15th May 2010
Client: Rushcliffe Borough Council
Venue: West Bridgford Park

Visitors: 425
Bulbs distributed: 310

CO2 saved (lifetime): 44,280 kg CO2
Retained economic benefit (lifetime): £11,724.20

We were fortunate with the weather which was dry, sunny and cool. Phil Newcombe, from MEA, worked with Jenny Parrington from Rushcliffe Borough Council, and MEA volunteer Nick Ward, to answer a host of sustainability queries across a range of technical and service delivery areas.

Most visitors already had low energy light bulbs in some of their fittings but not all. Many had struggled to find spotlights and GU10 replacements and we were able to direct them to online retailers as well as outlining the costs and savings associated with the bulbs.

There was some confusion amongst people about the different types of solar panels and we were able to advise and give them factsheets and discuss the new feed in tariffs.

Customers interested in improving their loft and cavity wall insulation were signposted to the Council's preferred installer with whom they have a management agreement.

The energy bike was popular with the whole age range of girls and boys, many of whom seem to find it an edifying exploration of electricity generation and energy conversion.

Some children also enjoyed playing the giant energy descent Snakes and Ladders game.

A very busy and fun day had by all!