Archive for April, 2012


27
APR

Vince Adams says:
Its Official: The Dorset Energized Website is LIVE!


Category: Dorset Energized News
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Following the initial launch of our micro-site and blog for Climate Week in March, the full Dorset Energized website is now officially up and running for Spring 2012!

I am very pleased to be associated with Dorset Energized and the launch of this new website campaign. We hope to get all people in Dorset introduced to the idea of creating and using Renewable Energy over the coming years.

This move to Renewable Energy is important as the cost and decline of oil supplies begins to impact on us all. We want to help the general public to understand and make informed decisions about their own requirements. We want to influence communities to create their own local projects and gain the support of the Dorset business community in embracing the need to go Renewable at every opportunity.

So the time is now… let’s Energize the County of Dorset and it’s people!

Please do comment, make suggestions, send us your stories and experiences and above all feel that this is YOUR website and project for the future – we want to know what YOU want!



26
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Green Bus extends tour of the South


Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
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The Green Energy Centre in Dorset’s famous Green Bus has announced new dates for their continued tour of the South. Having appeared at numerous shows including The Greener Living Show and following an immensely successful 2011, The Green Bus has recently embarked on an even more extensive tour of Dorset and Hampshire this year.

The Bus, a brainchild of Green Energy Centre – a part of The Warmer Group – in Dorset, allows people to discover the importance of green energy in a fun and informal way. The buses have been fully fitted out with green energy related equipment including ground source heat pumps, solar panels running live heating systems and energy saving lighting.

Managing Director of The Warmer Group, said: “We are delighted to announce new dates for the Green Bus. It is a fantastic showcase for us to show what is possible to achieve with renewable, greener energies. Our presence at these venues will contribute to giving people a really hands-on, interactive look at the sort of things they can be doing in their own homes to join to the Green revolution.”

The Green Bus dates for 2012 include:

25th and 26th April – Asda Poole
4th June – Green Community Fair Poole
24th – 26th July – The New Forest & Hampshire County Show
23rd August – The Melplash Show
1st & 2nd September – The Dorset County Show
8th September – The Romsey Show

Many others are constantly being added to this schedule along the way.

The Green Bus will also be making a star appearance at this year’s Bournemouth Air Festival, as well as at the Alton and North East Hants Show.

For more information, or if you’d like The Green Bus to visit your area, visit www.thewarmergroup.co.uk or call them on 01202 897273.

Posted by Darren Northeast



26
APR

Beverley Satchell says:
Fuel Crisis… So What?


Category: Electric Transport, Fuel Poverty & Security
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With the talks of ‘fuel strikes’ to take place all over the country, we found this the perfect opportunity to promote the Nissan LEAF. With the Nissan LEAF being 100% electric, fuel buyer’s curiosity was going to be aroused. The realisation also became clear that we do rely too much on fossil fuels, and it’s not going to be in constant supply forever.

While people were wasting their time, queuing up at petrol stations, I was happily driving around in my Nissan LEAF that I had charged up at work. There was something quite satisfying about driving past those packed petrol stations, knowing the only reason I would have to go anywhere near a petrol station, was just to use the shop!

We did get more customers come in to our show room as a result, phoning up and asking for more information or to test drive the Nissan LEAF. The ‘fuel crisis…..so what?’ ad in the newspaper definitely stirred up a lot of interest. It was nice to see all the electric car doubters finally show a bit of interest.

Visit our website on www.fjchalke.co.uk/eco.



26
APR

Vince Adams says:
Wind Turbines for 2p per day


Category: Wind Power
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I thought I would highlight the research findings regarding Wind Turbines, especially in light of Donald Trump’s current objections to the much needed Wind Turbine development in Scotland…

Clean energy development is subsidised through the Renewables Obligation, which obliges electricity companies to buy a certain amount of their electricity from renewable sources.

Thornton Moor in “Bronte Country” is one place where wind turbines are being opposed. The additional cost is passed onto the consumer.

According to the regulator Ofgem, the cost of this in 2010-11 amounted to £15.15 per household per year. Just over half – £7.74 – was accounted for by wind power.

Ipsos-Mori asked people “to what extent do you consider this good or poor value for UK energy consumers?”

RenewableUK has just released the responses to this question – 43% thought it was either “very good” or “fairly good” value, against 18% who found it “fairly poor” or “very poor”.

Asked why they approved of wind power, a majority of respondents said it helps curb greenhouse gas emissions, helps tackle climate change, and contributes to the UK’s energy security.

“The misleading refrain that wind energy is an expensive burden on the public was disproved by recent figures from Ofgem,” said Maria McCaffery, Renewable UK’s chief executive.

“In fact it adds just 2p per day per household to energy bills through the government’s Renewables Obligation. Wind energy is a fantastic investment that brings broad benefits and the public knows it.”

1. In a sense we need to highlight that everyone one of us is paying for support of renewable energy so why not get your own share of the money you are putting in. This seems to me a fairly crucial selling point and one we need to highlight.

2. Lets take the research finding to the public.

3. Quote… as a long-time golfer, Scot and lover of the game I am outraged that Donald Trump can not only come to Scotland and radically change one of the most beautiful coastlines of Great Britain but now seeks to stop the development of much needed Wind Turbines, saying he is opposed to the concept.

I don’t believe its anything to do with the golfers themselves who in the main will be concentrating on their game and oblivious to the scenery. No its potentially going to effect the sale of Millionaire Houses to a very small number of potential house buyers. It’s this concern that really fuels Trumps outburst and its root is all about Profit nothing to do with Renewable Energy, scenery or wildlife.



25
APR

Paul McIntosh says:
BBC Say the Public Back Wind Farm Subsidies


Category: Wind Power
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I was very encouraged by a story in the BBC yesterday, which shows support not only for subsidies but also for wind energy technologies.

More Britons than not regard subsidies for wind power development as a good deal, according to a survey commissioned by trade body RenewableUK, the Ipsos-Mori poll found that 43% see the UK subsidy as good value for money against 18% who do not.

Check out the full article on: www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17783604.

As with all development, there needs to be site specific work to make sure that wind turbines do not interfere with wildlife.

Aft to contrast with the landing of Canadian Geese in a Tar Sands pool…



25
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air


Category: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Film/Video
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Just one advantage of push-bikes is their low running costs – I use mine almost every day, yet have spent only £40 on it over the last 3 years!

Here is the link to a very interesting book www.withouthotair.com.

Also, here is a link to a video of the author discussing the subject, which complements the book rather well: www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFosQtEqzSE.

And an interesting link to a site which allows you record your energy (gas and electricity) consumption and displays it in graphs as you accumulate values over time: http://readyourmeter.org.

I’ve just started using this to record my landlord’s household energy consumption. There are 6 of us in the house and we will try to reduce our consumption each week, in an effort to beat that of the previous week, thus steadily reducing costs. Quite a nice activity I hope might catch on here in Dorset! It is actually explained by the author of the book in the video link above at 36 min 45 seconds into the video.

Posted by Stephen Davey



24
APR

Keith Wheaton-Green says:
My Solar PV Installation


Category: Solar Energy
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Even when we moved into our house in Hazelbury Bryan in 1989 I knew I would one day put some photovoltaic panels on the roof. It’s a nice simple roof and near perfect south facing. In fact is southerly orientation is one of the main reasons we like the house. It always feels light and sunny (weather permitting.) However, my wife is very pragmatic, we’ve never been rich and the cost of the panels has been just too high. When I checked the first time in 1999 they had a 50 year pay back! So it was a no.

Then during a pleasant drunken session at my local pub one evening during 2010, I persuaded a fellow village mate that he could benefit from a career change to become a PV salesman because I reckoned (beware of people who reckon something!) that the new feed in tariff that the government were introducing would lead to massive growth of that industry. I have to admit to being very surprised to discover a few months later, that he had taken me seriously and had become very busy with what he described as “consultative salesmanship” at a series of home visits and surveys.

I felt obliged to allow him to quote for a 4 kW PV array on our roof. He told me he’d give me a good deal (as they do.) I got a couple of other quotes and “negotiated” a bit. Even my wife now thought the financials looked good. £15,000 for a 4 kW 16 panel top of the range (18% efficient) Sanyo system. The returns were estimated to be a total of £1.870 from the feed in tariff, lower electricity bills and electrical export to our electricity supplier from the 3,700 kWh our system was expected to generate. That’s an eight year payback and a 12.4% return in the first year!

We had various bits of savings, none of them earning more than 3.5 % after tax (and some a lot less!). So we bit the bullet and had the panels installed on 22nd June 2011. As of 18th April 2012 we have generated 3,240 kWh and received 2 cheques from our electricity supply company for the first 6 months totalling £943. We still have a bit of April, May and most of June to go before it will have been in for a year so I think we will comfortably exceed the predicted generation. I reckon (I do a lot of reckoning) that our end of year generation will be around 4,100 kWh. That will be worth £2,120 giving us a 14% return and a 7 year payback.

However, I was miffed to discover that if I purchased the same system today it would cost us just £8,000! But then you have probably heard that the government have dropped the tariff rate by half to 21p/kWh. That would be giving me a 14.9% return. So not much change. The good news for us is that once you have installed, your tariff rate goes up by inflation each year (for us it is 45.4p/kWh from 1st April 2012), so up goes the rate of return and down comes the payback period. Any increases in electricity prices make it even better (sort of!)


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24
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Blandford Forum Parish Centre Incorporates Renewable Energy Systems


Category: Energy Efficiency, Heat Pumps
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The Blandford Forum Parochial Church was redesigned as a Community Centre to have a low environmental/carbon footprint. It incorporates renewable energy systems (ground source heat pump and solar collectors), environmentally friendly building materials and low energy/water consumption features. Intention is to showcase best practice to encourage others to incorporate these features into new build/refurbishments projects.

Nature of Project
The much loved, much used Victorian pre-fabricated Church Hall which served the community of Blandford for over 100 years became disused, dilapidated and beyond economic repair. The Hall Steering Group (HSG) gained planning permission to replace the existing structure with a new, purpose built, environmentally friendly facility which would be available 7 days a week throughout the year for the community to use. No such facility existed in Blandford.

The Blandford Forum Parochial Church Council (BFPCC) and HSG were very keen to ensure that the new building should have as low an environmental/carbon footprint as possible. The building was specifically designed to reduce its environmental impact in terms of its construction and operation and will demonstrate to the local and wider community what can be achieved in terms of sustainable construction.

The building is constructed using structured insulated panels, triple glazed widows and double glazed doors with low emissivity glass. This makes the building very thermally efficient thus making it ideal to heat with low grade heat from the ground which is heated by the sun. Space and water heating requirements are provided by a ground source heat pump and solar hot water collectors. The building also has energy efficient lighting, waterless urinals and no-touch, low water consumption taps and toilet flushing. The exterior timber cladding, windows and doors were sourced from FSC certified forests whilst environmentally friendly Bamboo and Altro were specified for the flooring. We also used local tradesman and specialists on the project, John Turnbull Architect, Jack Wiles Quantity Surveyor, RB Snook Building Contractors, Microgeneration – ground source heat pump, Rayotech Solar Shading, Build It Green – wall panels, Bullivents – beam and block floor, Fusion Electrics.

There were no known examples of green church/community halls in the local area. Our intention was to promote the project widely as a case study to encourage the further take up of best environmental practice by others involved in the construction and renovation of community buildings/church halls, churches, church maintained schools and other community and church associated buildings throughout the country. We also hope to encourage those using these buildings to take action to improve their environment and to consider incorporating these features into their own homes and businesses.

Approach
Members of the HSG researched what had been done elsewhere to make buildings more environmentally friendly/sustainable. A checklist was produced which the group worked through to see what could be incorporated into the new building within the constraints of the budget and with the site itself. For example, rainwater harvesting was ruled out because of extensive tree roots from listed trees; the shade from these trees also ruled out the use of photovoltaic panels.

Some of the “green technology” was unfamiliar to the group e.g. the ground source heat pump. However, they showed great faith and, despite a few technical glitches with commissioning, are pleased with the results. We think it is fair to say that by stipulating a list of “green requirements” for the building, all those involved with the building e.g. architect, quantity surveyor, builders, tradesmen have all gained from the experience of seeing them being successfully incorporated into this sort of building project.

Community Involvement
They consulted widely with the community and existing/potential user groups to ensure that the building was designed to meet their current and future needs. They received many expressions of interest from numerous children and youth groups, community groups such as The University of the Third Age, The Civic Society, Playgroups, and public bodies such the Environmental Agency and the Town and District Councils. Indeed Local businesses and community groups were particularly interested in holding their meetings and training events in such an environmentally friendly venue which would in turn help them to cut their own carbon footprint.

For more information visit www.bfpc.org.uk.

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21: www.sustainabledorset.org.uk/community-energy.



24
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Leigh Park Community Centre Ground Source Heatpump to Power Underfloor Heating


Category: Heat Pumps
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Wimborne Minster Town Council, Dorset County Council, East Dorset District Council and Leigh Park Community Association helped Leigh Park Community Centre to install a Ground Source Heatpump to power their underfloor heating.

Nature of Project
To use Ground Source Heat Pump to heat Community Building to lower carbon emissions and reduce heating costs to community and public bodies.

Approach
The heat pump is a success and is working well. We applied for a grant from LCBP for 50% of the costs of the heat pump. The grant took a long time to apply for and came through 6 weeks after we had paid the contractor so funds had to be used from our reserves. A great deal of information had to be extracted for the grant and as the grant was fixed, the extra, unforeseen costs that were incurred during the installation process had to be born in full by the Council.

Community Involvement
The Community Building is shared between SureStart (60%) and Leigh Park Community Association(40%). Both Groups were consulted on the installation of the heat pump and supported its installation to reduce running costs to both groups and lower their carbon footprint.

For more information visit www.leighparkcommunitycentre.org.uk.

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21: www.sustainabledorset.org.uk/community-energy.



24
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Solar PV Installation at Thornford Primary School


Category: Solar Energy
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Solar panels installation at Thornford Primary School, Dorset.

Nature of Project
Thornford CE VA Primary School is a “green flag” eco school and has been involved with the Eco Schools programme since 2007. The school has a dedicated eco committee who carry out, amongst other things, yearly environmental assessments of the school including the building and grounds. From these assessments action plans are drawn up on ways to save electricity, raise pupil, staff and carer awareness and ways of improving sustainability within the school.

A number of green initiatives have been implemented since 2007 including; recycling paper, cardboard, tin cans, ink cartridges, clothing, planting hedgerows, creating wildlife areas, installation of an outdoor classroom and raising a greater understanding of the wildlife upon whom share school facilities.

Pupils, staff and governors at Thornford CE VA Primary School are continually looking for ways of improving sustainability within the school community. It was a natural progression to undertake a large scale project such as Project PV. It was felt that the installation of PV panels would not only help the school to reduce its carbon emissions and save money on electricity but it would also act as a useful teaching tool for the school and the wider community.

Approach
A grant-funded feasibility study was commissioned by Encraft. The company’s service extended to advising on grants, installers and planning approval, which the school found invaluable.

The school found the planning process relatively straightforward and planning permission was granted swiftly. Part of the application was to trim the neighbouring walnut tree allowing more sunlight onto the panels, but unfortunately this was rejected due to a tree preservation order. After consultation with the installers it was decided it would not significantly impact the efficiency of the panels.

EcoFirst, a local installation company, was commissioned to install the panels during the October half-term 2010. An electricity monitor was placed in the school hall so all pupils, staff, governors, carers and visitors can see first hand the electricity being produced and the carbon emissions being saved. It is early days for Project PV but to date 280 kWh of electricity has been produced. It is anticipated that the panels will reduce the school’s annual electricity bill by around £850.

The school found the grant process challenging and time consuming with many hours spent filling in grant applications and waiting delayed decisions. The school was grateful to receive grants of £8,615 from LCBP2 and £4,500 from Dorset County Council, however this left a shortfall of approximately £5,000 which needed to be found. The timeframe from first notification of the LCBP2 grant to implementation and completion of the project was also challenging in that it did not give enough time to find the shortfall of monies. After a number of unsuccessful grant applications to utilities, the school had no option but to make up the shortfall itself to ensure Project PV went ahead.

Community Involvement
A questionnaire was sent to all 358 households in Thornford to gauge their level of support /feeling towards Project PV. 71 households returned their questionnaire. 96% supported the idea of solar panels whilst 69% felt it was important that Thornford community attempted to reduce its carbon emissions. 80% said if the school could show significant savings on energy and cash from PV panels, it would inspire them to see how they could save energy at home.

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21: www.sustainabledorset.org.uk/community-energy.



24
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
DIY Solar Water Heater for Treewise Toddlers in Symondsbury


Category: Solar Energy
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The Bridport Renewable Energy Group (BREG) helped Treewise Toddlers in Symondsbury to get a DIY Solar Water Heater.

Nature of Project
The purpose of the project was to provide warm water for health and hygiene reasons, alongside the activities which take place in Willy Tuck’s Orchard, Symondsbury. A key one of these was the Treewise Toddlers playgroup who were based in a permanent yurt in the orchard, and whose activities involved both mud and food. The scope was later expanded to include separate hand washing facilities in support of the composting toilet.

The design of the solar water heater drew heavily from the booklet published by the Centre for Alternative Technology: Solar Water Heating a DIY Guide by Paul Trimby. Costs were kept to a minimum by maximising the use of recycled material, and adopting a DIY approach.

The site is considered difficult as it is on a North facing slope, is shaded by orchard trees and experiences heavy frost in Winter. This led to careful choice of position, and timely draining down and refilling (not always achieved!).

Approach
The project started with the Mark 1 solar panel based on the use of old central heating radiators, glass from a double glazed french window, scrap timber and a recycled hot water cylinder. Some of the construction work was carried out by a CooS student (Children out of School). The finished unit was rather ungainly (see photo) and some adverse comments were heard about its impact on the Area of Outstanding Beauty in which it was situated.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your disposition) within a year the steel radiators had rusted through and system drained itself. This was not altogether a disappointment, as the large volume of water within the radiators had meant that they were slow to warm, particularly in intermittent sunlight. They are also very heavy.

The replacement Mark 2 model addressed these issues by taking a more elegant form (see photo), and by turning to a ‘clip fin’ design. The clip fins are those used as for spreading heat in underfloor heating systems, and are available from BES Ltd. All pipework is in copper, and although more expensive, corrosion is eliminated. The system is also quick to heat up, and from temperature measurements about twice as efficient as that based on radiators.

The heating in both models made use of the thermosyphon principle – hot water rises. The Mark 1 was indirect ie with a coil in the cylinder, and unfortunately antifreeze had not been included and so the system suffered rust. In the Mark 2 system, direct heating has been employed – there is no coil and the heat is fed directly to the cylinder contents. The cylinder itself is a standard domestic vertical unit laid on its side to reduce the overall height. The framework and cladding is in Western Red Cedar available Barnaby Gower at Toller Porcorum. It has natural resistance to decay and has avoided the use of preservatives.

Community Involvement
Bridport Renewable Energy Group carried out the project with support from Treewise Cooperative, CooS, Dan Williams, Honiton recycling centre, Bridport South Street recycling centre, Barnaby Gower, and many individuals. BREG were at the time an unconstituted community group run by volunteers.

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21: www.sustainabledorset.org.uk/community-energy.



24
APR

Guest Energizer says:
Wood Fuelled District Heating for Rural Communities


Category: Community Energy, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Heat Energy
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At trueheat (Renewable Heat Utility Limited) we’ve been exploring the viability of providing wood fuelled district heating systems to rural communities in Dorset. This can provide a low cost, environmentally sustainable way to heat homes. For areas not served by gas and with a sufficient density of housing, a small scale wood fuelled district heating system will reduce your carbon footprint and lower your heating bills.

Click here to download our Wood Fuelled District Heating PDF Infosheet or to find out more visit our website at www.true-heat.com.

Posted by Andrew Lawton



24
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Bindon Mill Screw Turbine Installation


Category: Water Power
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Hydropower renewable electricity generation project at Bindon Mill in Dorset.

Nature of Prioject
A 20 kW screw turbine was installed at the historic mill site of Bindon Mill. The site is on the River Frome near Wool on the Lulworth Estate. The estate has a record of good environmental stewardship. The installation of this renewable electricity generation is estimated to generate 77,000 kWh/yr saving 40 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year making the site a net exporter of electricity to the grid and providing an income to the Lulworth Estate from the Feed in Tariff and sales of electricity.

A screw turbine was chosen to match the low head, high flows and requirement for fish protection at this site. The rated flow of the turbine is determined by the flows available and the limitations imposed by the grid connection. At this site, Scottish and Southern Power stated a maximum of 20 kW could be put into the grid. To comply with the Environment Agency Good Practise Guidelines, a 2.2 m diameter turbine, taking a maximum flow of 2.080 m3s was chosen.

The project included improvements to the existing fish ladder around the mill to facilitate better passage of salmon and trout for this environmentally important river. The turbine channel and turbine house were sensitively designed to blend well with existing building at this historic mill site.

Approach
Extensive negotiation with the Environment Agency, Natural England and Purbeck District Council was required to ensure that the scheme design and methods of construction complied with the environmental standards expected to achieve the necessary Abstraction License, Flood Defence Consent and Planning Consent.

It was decided to install the turbine in a new channel between the river and the exit to the fish ladder so that fish attracted to the turbine outflow would be able to make their way up the improved fish ladder. The fisheries research centre at East Stoke have installed fish counters to monitor the effects. To get the very heavy excavation and turbine delivery vehicle to site required the construction of two temporary bridges across the river and a parallel channel.

The turbine house above the top of the turbine houses a grid connect and control box that controls the flow of water through the turbine so that there is always enough flow in the river and fish ladder to ensure that fish can move up and down river. The grid connection is arranged so that electricity generated supplies the needs of the site owner’s residence, only exporting to
the grid when there is a surplus.

Postscript
There are numerous old mill sites and other potential hydropower sites in Dorset. The Feed in Tariffs, sales of electricity and avoided import of electricity make development of these sites financially attractive. Project management is not beyond the scope of a talented amateur but the complexity of the design and license application process means that expert
advice is usually required.

For more information on this project visit the website at http://www.potenergy.co.uk/bindon_mill.php.

This story was provided by Sustainable Dorset, the website for DA21: www.sustainabledorset.org.uk/community-energy.



23
APR

Anna Celeste Watson says:
B&Q Eco House Complete


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy, Solar Energy
Tags: ,


B&Q’s Eco House which has been refurbished to help you reduce the amount of energy used in your home is apparently now complete. Follow their experts as they continue to make improvements to the 3 bedroom end of terrace into an eco-friendly 22nd century home. Follow the latest developments, watch videos… and get inspired!

By the way, we’re not sure why it’s a 22nd century home though – definitely 21st century as everything they have done is accessible  to us now, and B&Q of course sell a whole range of products to help you on your way to your own eco house!

Check out the B&Q Eco House website here: http://www.diy.com/content/marketing/one_planet_home/about_the_house.jsp?menu=eco.



21
APR

Anna Celeste Watson says:
RSPB announces grand plans for a wind turbine at its HQ


Category: Sustainable Farming & Food, Wind Power
Tags: , , , , , , ,


As the co-ordinator of animal welfare group Compassionate Dorset in my spare time (aside from working on the Dorset Energized website of course!) I am naturally concerned about the impact wind turbines could potentially have on birds, but also know that we must invest in renewable technology, quite simply, to save the planet! (This observation is from my non-expert point of view as a member of the public I should add, and after learning more about renewables from this very website), so I am very pleased to read that the RSPB, who apparently do support wind turbines anyway, have just announced plans to have a wind turbine installed at their HQ.

Adam Murray from the RSPB, says “We believe that renewable energy is an essential tool in the fight against climate change, which poses the single biggest threat to the long term survival of birds and wildlife.”

He adds “We know that with the right design and location wind turbines have little or no impact on wildlife, but we always take care to consider any wind turbine proposal on a case-by-case basis.”

Check out their full plans for yourself here: www.rspb.org.uk/community/ourwork/b/east/archive/2012/04/20/rspb-announces-plans-for-a-wind-turbine-at-its-hq.aspx.



19
APR

Lets Get Energized says:
Greendor Eco-Homes Project in Dorchester, Dorset


Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Renewable Energy
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A new project has launched in Dorchester in West Dorset and hopes to expand across Dorset next year if a success…

Anyone who would like to find out more about how to make their home more energy efficient and environmentally sound can visit seven lovely homes which will open their doors during the 8th and 9th September 2012, with a great range of things to see …. bamboo worktops, heat recovery ventilation, limewash and lime plaster, solar panels galore, and lots more.

For more information visit http://greendor.wordpress.com.



18
APR

Theresa McManus says:
Take a breather… and get on your bike!


Category: Electric Transport
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Pollution experts from MIT in Massachusetts estimate that combustion exhausts across the UK cause nearly 5,000 premature deaths each year. They also estimate that exhaust gases from aeroplanes cause a further 2,000 deaths annually.

Road accidents in 2010 accounted for 1,850 deaths. Lead author Steven Barrratt says “We estimate that the premature deaths [from air pollution] are costing the UK at least £6 billion a year, and perhaps as much as £60 billion.”
See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116 for more details.

Canadian studies have shown that whilst this air pollution is bad for cyclists, drivers have higher respiratory problems than cyclists because of their higher exposure to volatile organic chemicals in vehicle exhaust.
“In stop-and-go traffic, [drivers] have more exposure than a cyclist who stays 15 feet or more from the tailpipes,” said Rebecca Serna, executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition, a cycling advocacy group.

The health benefits of cycling still far outweigh the risks from air pollution and traffic collisions relative to car driving… so… get on your bicycle or electric bike!!!



18
APR

Theresa McManus says:
How Low Can You Go?


Category: Electric Transport
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Low emission cars are increasing in popularity, according to a BBC article today: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17740356.

In 2007, only one in ten new cars sold was a low emission car, producing less than 130 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. In 2011, nearly half the new cars in the UK were low emission.
These low emission cars deliver an average of 54 miles to the gallon. Of course, some are much higher.

There is a close link between reduced fuel consumption and emission reductions, and the result of this trend is a big step towards a low carbon motoring future.



05
APR

Beverley Satchell says:
The Big Turn On is Coming to FJ Chalke Wincanton – WIN a Nissan LEAF, iPad2 + win charging stations for Dorset!


Category: Electric Transport, Energy Deals & Offers
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Dorset Energized partners FJ Chalke Nissan in Wincanton are encouraging drivers in the area to ‘Turn On’ to a low-carbon lifestyle for a more sustainable future.

The Big Turn On is an online led campaign with the aim of getting one million people to Turn On to 100% electric driving and create their own profile page on The Big Turn On website.

Once ‘Turned On’ you will be entered onto a leader board where you could WIN a Nissan LEAF and also an iPad2. You can then gain additional points by taking part in various activities and encouraging other people to ‘Turn On’ too.

YOU COULD WIN CHARGING STATIONS FOR DORSET TOO!
Nissan will also donate rapid charging stations to the city with the most ‘Turn Ons’. Local councils and businesses will then find the best locations to install the stations – please recommend Wincanton!

The website at www.nissan.co.uk/thebigturnon will house content and allow customers to:

  • ‘Turn On’ to electric driving’ by simply clicking the ‘Turn On’ button, these will add up to reaching the one million ‘Turn Ons’.
  • Contribute to their citie’s chance of winning 30 charging points.
  • Book a 24-hour test drive so customers can enjoy the benefits of 100% electric motoring.
  • Create a participant page and earn credits in The Big Turn On competition for their chances to win a LEAF.
  • View video content on different people’s experiences of driving a LEAF.

Join the excitement and book your 24-hour Nissan LEAF test drive. See how easy it is to make the change to 100% electric driving.

To book your 24-hour test drive at FJ Chalke Wincaton visit www.fjchalke.co.uk/eco.



02
APR

Theresa McManus says:
Government plans to slash carbon emissions from heating don’t go far enough


Category: Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Energy
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At the end of March 2012, the government launched their strategy for low carbon heat.

According to the strategy,

“By 2050, we need to remove all direct greenhouse gas emissions from heating our buildings. This is exceedingly challenging, and means that any heat generated at building level must be set on a low carbon footing by replacing fossil fuel-based heating technologies within individual buildings, such as natural gas or oil fired boilers, with low carbon alternatives.” It goes on to add that “ Before we do this, maximising the efficiency of our gas boilers will help realise cost and carbon savings in the short and medium term.”.

Whilst this strategy clarifies that we must move away from using gas and oil to heat our homes to using low carbon alternatives, I don’t feel that it places enough emphasis on the importance of insulation and other energy efficiency measures has in reducing energy demand.

Indeed, reducing energy demand is our first priority, as we already know that we cannot easily meet today’s demands with clean, renewable and sustainable technologies.

For more details of the stratgey see http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn12_034/pn12_034.aspx.



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