Archive for May, 2012


Theresa McManus says:
Ensure your own energy security by using & producing your own renewable energy

Category: Renewable Energy
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Catherine Mitchell has recently written a really powerful article published in the Guardian, which is critical of the UK’s energy policy. The article Who is in charge of Britain’s energy policy? claims that “Intense lobbying by energy companies and government misinformation is creating genuine uncertainty about who has overall control”. It is cause for concern, but effectively emphasises the need for people to take their own steps to avoid possible future price hikes and to make their own low-carbon choices.

Read her  full article here:

For more ideas and inspiration from local people who are using renewable energy check out our ‘Dorset Energy Stories’ at and visit our Renewable Energy section on this website to see what is available and to take the next step:

As always, if you have any queries you can comment here on this blog post, or talk to me or one of my colleagues at the Dorset Energy Advice Centre on 0800 975 0166 for some free advice.

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Peter Bywater comments:
    "Another article in the Guardian a few months ago pointed out that the renewables industry gets a constant bad press and most of that bad press is completely void of fact. It was pointed out that in terms of subsidies we pay for energy through our fuel bills, we pay up to around £350 per year to subsidise nuclear power and only around £60 for renewables. In fact with the new cut in the wind + hydro subsidy that will be down to £55 next year. "
    July 31, 2012 a 9:02 pm


Paul McIntosh says:
Renewable Solutions Conference in Bristol 12th June 2012

Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset
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Regen SW are holding their annual Renewable Solutions Conference on 12th June in Bristol, as part of Bristol’s Big Green Week. The event is run in partnership with Bristol City Council and Burges Salmon.

Investment in renewable energy in the UK is now running at over £2.5 billion a year and growing rapidly, creating huge opportunities for local revenue streams and economic development. With rapid changes in the financing and delivery of renewables, interest is growing in new models and opportunities for delivery partnerships between the public and private sector.

Financing Renewable Solutions is the conference exploring the future of the public and private sector working together to finance and deliver sustainable energy covering:

  • Green Deal
  • Economic development opportunities from renewables
  • New developments, energy and local revenue
  • Localism and funding communities’ energy priorities

Speakers include:

  • Steve Ives, Green Deal demand team, DECC
  • Mareike Schmidt, strategic energy programme manager, Bristol City Council
  • Bob Ledsome, head, climate change and sustainable development division, CLG
  • Michael Barlow, partner, Burges Salmon


Public sector delegates £80 + VAT
Private Sector Delegate £125 +VAT
There are discounts available for Regen SW business and local authority members, please ask for details.

If you are interested in sponsorship or profile raising opportunities at this event, please contact Rachel Hayes, event and membership manager on 01392 494 399 or email


Beverley Satchell says:
Look out for the 100% electric Nissan LEAF visiting a town near you!

Category: Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset
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Friday 25th May – Sunday 27th May 2012
Jersey international Motoring Festival

Join FJ Chalke and the new Nissan LEAF at the RUBiS Jersey International Motoring Festival, the largest annual motoring event in the Channel Islands, comprising of competitive sprint and hill climbs for classic and vintage cars and motorcycles.

The full programme of events includes touring cars and motorcycles, ancillary trade stands and exhibits from all Jersey motoring clubs.

Enjoy a friendly and relaxed atmosphere on the beautiful Island plus there’s opportunities for car and motorcycle enthusiasts to display their “pride and joy” whether this is a veteran, vintage or classic, touring or competition car or motorcycle.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Look out for FJ Chalke Eco Team at these other Dorset events too:

Wednesday 30th May – Saturday 2nd June (9am – 6pm)
The Royal Bath & West Show

Have fun with the FJ Chalke Eco Team and the Nissan LEAF at the country’s biggest rural festival where there is something for everyone, from food lovers to families and farmers to fashionistas! There’s so much for you to see and do!

Sunday 17th June (12pm – 9pm)
Rotary Club of Gillingham, Gillingham & Shaftesbury Showground

Enjoy a Fathers Day festival of music and real ale with FJ Chalke and the Nissan LEAF at the Gillingham & Shaftesbury showground.

Live music, father’s day activities, refreshments, classic car display plus other vehicles.

Its going to be a great day, don’t miss out!

For more information visit

Don’t forget to take part in THE BIG TURN ON too! See my previous blog post all about the fantastic Nissan LEAF challenge:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
New Eco Holiday Cottage in Wool, Dorset

Category: Biomass Energy, Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living
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Fresh from the excitement of launching the Dorset Energized website, I am also very excited about another renewable energy website I have just created for the new Railway Eco Cottage in Dorset…

Catherine Fisher from Swanage (who now lives in Scotland but frequently visits Dorset) has lovingly renovated her old family terraced cottage in Wool, in an eco-conscious way, and I am very impressed by her commitment to making it as green as possible simply because she feels it is the right thing to do!

Here’s how she has made this 100 year old end of terrace into a practical, contemporary and beautifully presented eco-home:

SOLAR THERMAL PANELS on the roof heat all the water, of which there is always an abundant supply (but of course she encourages her guests to be mindful of their water usage).

All appliances are electric (no gas) and powered by Good Energy’s 100% RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY upon Dorset Energized’s recommendation (and she respectfully asks visitors to be mindful of their energy usage and to switch off appliances and lights when not in use).

UNDERFLOOR HEATING is more energy efficient. The WOODEN FLOORS are also an eco-friendly product designed to retain heat and are also very hardwearing so shouldn’t need to be replaced.

A WOODBURNER is more energy efficient and uses carefully sourced wood logs as fuel.

ENERGY EFFICIENT LIGHTBULBS are used on all light fittings throughout the whole cottage.

The kitchen table was made from RECLAIMED WOOD and both beds and mattresses made from SUSTAINABLE SOURCES.

ECOVER products are provided for her guests convenience and the cleaners Dust & Shine also use ECO-FRIENDLY products. There is deliberately no tumble dryer to encourage guests to use the WASHING LINE to save energy.

She encourages her guests to take advantage of PUBLIC TRANSPORT especially with Wool train station situated next door, or to explore Dorset by walking or cycling. Guests can keep their bikes in the undercover porch or shed but she is also currently building a special area just for bikes.

The garden shed has a WOOD STORAGE area and she makes RECYCLING and COMPOSTING easy with specially fitted bins in the kitchen cupboard doors.

Even during the renovation, Catherine was very careful not to waste any materials that could be RECYCLED and used ECO-FRIENDLY PAINTS.

The cottage is a perfect base to explore Dorset for anyone who loves simple holidays and nature, especially with it being right by the River Frome, and is ideal for eco-conscious travellers.

Catherine would be delighted to offer you advice on your own eco home renovations, or installing solar thermal panels or woodburners – email her on

Check out the website for photos and more inspiration, and make sure you recommend your friends!


Lets Get Energized says:
Climate change drop-in dicussions in Dorchester 23rd May & Bridport 24th May

Category: Energy Events in Dorset
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Pop along to a public drop-in sessions in Dorchester or Bridport to discuss how a grant from the Big Lottery could help local communities become more sustainable and to help tackle climate change.

This is your chance to see where community groups and residents can help shape the Communities Living Sustainably project.

Dorchester Corn Exchange
Wednesday 23rd May 2012
Drop in any time from 2 to 7pm

Bridport Town Hall
Thursday 24 May 2012
Drop in any time from 2 to 7pm


The Communities Living Sustainably project aims to make the two towns of Dorchester and Bridport, and surrounding rural parishes, more sustainable in the face of climate change. Funding has already been awarded to develop the project, and it is hoped that Dorchester and Bridport will be one of ten areas across the country to be awarded a substantial grant to tackle issues such as local food production, home energy efficiency, community sustainable energy and work with schools.

Visitors to the drop-in sessions will be able to find out more about existing projects and help shape new ones. They will also be able to meet representatives from the partner organisations which include DA21, the West Dorset Partnership, the Dorset Coast Forum, Dorset County Council, Rural-Net and Dorset Community Action.

For further information about the Communities Living Sustainably project contact Dorset Community Action on 01305 250921 or Simon Thompson on 07974 723087.


Lets Get Energized says:
Arguments Against Wind Power – Cartoon Says It All!

Category: Wind Power
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(Image credit: Joe Heller)

We couldn’t resist sharing this cartoon featured in Care2’s article on ‘Offshore Wind Energy Picking Up Speed’ – we think it pretty much sums up the arguments against wind power rather well!

Take a look at the full article on and send us your comments on the cartoon!


Guest Energizer says:
Grand Launch planned for Award-winning Green Energy Centre in Bridport 30th May

Category: Energy Events in Dorset
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Dorset’s multi-award winning Green Energy Centre is set to open its sixth interactive showroom in the market town of Bridport by hosting visitors at a Grand Launch event.

The event will take place on Wednesday 30th May 2012 between 12.00pm and 6.00pm at 47 South Street, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3NY. The centre has been designed for members of the public to be able to really see and explore the whole range of options available to them, to help reduce their carbon footprints and save hugely on their rising energy bills, and even turn a profit in the process.

Manager of the Bridport Green Energy Centre, Andy Probets, commented: “We are delighted to invite residents and business people of Bridport to the Grand Opening of the brand new Green Energy Centre. Come down and meet our friendly team who are here to really help and advise you. We are even giving the first 100 visitors an exclusive Green Energy Centre goodie bag – so get here as soon as you can!”

The Centre, akin to others in the group, will be a preferred destination for homeowners, allowing them an easy solution to reducing their energy needs by installing the most current sustainable technology. And of course, with energy prices rising by 17% per year, it will be at the forefront of every consumer’s mind as to how to save on their energy bills.

On offer at the Green Energy Centre, will be the latest in Solar PV, a multitude of cost-saving heat pumps, and a distinct variety of insulation options. Green Energy Centre’s Managing Director, Danny Godfrey, said of the new store: “We have taken the spot of the old Tourist Information Office in Bridport, which is a wonderful location. This will give local residents easy access to the latest ‘green’ technology available to them.”

For more information, call 01308 459530 or visit

Posted by Darren Northeast


Vince Adams says:
Fracking: FREE screening of ‘Gasland’ in Dorchester 30th May

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fracking
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The Co-operative invites Dorset Energized users to a FREE screening of the Academy Award nominated film Gasland, followed by an open discussion about what shale gas and ‘fracking’ means for the South West.

Where: The Corn Exchange, High East Street, DORCHESTER, Dorset, DT1 1HF
When: Wednesday 30th May 2012. 6.30pm start. Ends 9.30pm

Food and drink will be provided on arrival.

Gasland reveals the shocking story of the environmental and health impacts of shale gas extraction in the US. When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination.

The Government has recently given ‘fracking’ the go ahead, despite earthquakes linked to the practice in Lancashire and the risk of water contamination. Now Somerset and Dorset may see the extraction of shale gas through this controversial practice. Find out more at this event.

Book online at or call 01884 266892.

Click here to download the event poster >>


Simon Jonathan Naish Rayson says:
Zagato Volpe electric car video

Category: Electric Transport, Renewable Energy Film/Video
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Check out the video for the new single-seat electric Zagato Volpe car (classified as a ‘quadricycle’ or a micro-car).

According to the car breakdown company ETA, as well as the fully electric version, the Volpe will be available as a petrol or LPG hybrid. They said, “A retail price of £5,600 would make the Volpe no more expensive than many of the larger petrol scooters and it would be a drier, safer and greener way to travel around a city.”

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Simon Rayson comments:
    "That`s the trouble with so many of these concept cars – so few make it to production. As far as I know, and you may know differently, the only Quadricycle type vehicle currently available to buy in the UK is the Renault Twizy. Which by all accounts is a lot of fun – and practical (if you don`t mind the lack of doors in the standard equipment – add-ons being available). "
    May 9, 2014 a 11:04 am

  • paul comments:
    "Great car, trouble is you can’t buy one, in any country I know of. Cannot make them or produce them, unless you know different? "
    April 27, 2014 a 11:19 am


Theresa McManus says:
Poole Tidal Team Gets £20k Boost for Sustainable Energy

Category: Dorset Energized News
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The Dorset Echo have recently reported that the Poole Tidal Energy Partnership is cresting a wave thanks to a £20,000 grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

The funds have been used for an energy audit of Hamworthy schools, Upton House and other buildings, highlighting the importance of adequate insulation and draught-proofing as well as using sustainable energy sources such as community district heating systems.

27 students from three different schools at Bournemouth University have made the PTEP project part of their studies, and students teams are looking at ways to harness power locally for community benefit.

View the full article here:


Paul McIntosh says:
Dorset Community Energy Group Meeting

Category: Energy Events in Dorset
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The next meeting of Dorset Community Energy Group is to be held on Thursday the 17th May in Dorchester. There is a real hub of action in Dorset around community renewables with many projects such as Bridport Renewable Energy Group, Weymouth Energy Advice Centre and Transition Town Energy Groups taking the message out to their communities. This group is part of the Dorset Energy Partnership – which is responsible for the delivery of the Counties renewable energy energy efficency strategies.

Of real interest to communities is part two of the Govnernments consultation on Feed In Tariffs, which is considering whether there is justification for an uplift in the tariff for community schemes, and trying to define what a community scheme is. According to minutes of the DECC advisory group on Community Energy the Government is likely to need clearance from the EU Commission in relation to State Aid if they were to introduce a differential, but there is a strong case for such a move. This is due to the time it takes to put Community Energy projects in place, the cost to communities of financial and human capital, and the corresponding benefits of ownership, control and income.

Everyone is welcome! If you would like to attend the communty energy group or request minutes of the last meeting, contact DA21 via our website:


Vince Adams says:
Stoneham Green Open House in Southampton

Category: Energy Events in Dorset
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Radian have announced that its Stoneham Green Open House sessions have now launched.

This carbon neutral development of eleven family homes in Southampton is one of the few in the country aiming to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6. These sessions are a unique opportunity to listen to presentations from key members of the project team with an opportunity to review lessons learnt.

The confirmed remaining 2012 dates for the sessions are as follows:

  • 2nd May 14.00-17.00
  • 9th May 14.00-17.00
  • 16th May 14.00-17.00

Please note that spaces are limited to 20 people per session and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

If you are interested in attending please email or contact Gavin Board on 023 80628361.

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