Archive for November, 2012


Nathan Shaw says:
DA21 & Dorset Energized Release Winter 2012 Renewable Energy Newsletter

Category: Climate Change, Dorset Energized News, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living

A special edition newsletter called TwentyOne, focusing on the latest Renewable Energy projects in Dorset, has just been released.

A joint effort between da21 and Dorset Energized has produced an exciting publication showcasing how people and communities are taking current energy problems into their own hands. So why not see what’s happening near you!

You can download the newsletter here:

We appreciate any feedback on the newsletter, info on any more projects in the pipeline and any other news that can be used for further publications, so please leave your comments here!


Sharon Fay says:
Bridport’s First Solar Car Port Vehicle Charging Station Launches

Category: Electric Transport

We enjoyed a very wet day at the launch of AP Chant Renewable Energy’s Electric Car Charging Port – the first of its kind in Bridport, Dorset, last Saturday 24th November.

The rain did not dampen everyone’s enthusiasm and we did a great number of test drives of the Nissan LEAF 100% electric car including for the Mayor of Bridport who commented that the drive was very smooth and quiet!

If you are interested in using the charger at AP Chant in Bridport you can contact  Lucy on, call 01308 420170 or visit


Wendy Pillar says:
Solar thermal rapidly spreading over Dorset rooftops!

Category: Solar Energy
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Photovoltaic solar panels, which generate electricity, have been rapidly spreading over Dorset rooftops in the last couple of years. Solar thermal systems seem less popular for some reason, but make perfect energy and financial sense if you have a south- or near-south-facing roof.

Solar thermal is like having a radiator on the roof that works in reverse – instead of taking heat from the hot water cylinder and distributing it into the internal space of the house, it takes heat from the sun on the roof and concentrates it into the hot water cylinder. In fact, you can make a DIY version with an old radiator painted black and placed in a sunny spot. There are some technicial issues with this, and it’s nowhere near as efficient as a modern purpose-built system, but on the other hand it is nearly free! (By the same token, you can make a solar shower with just a very long hosepipe and a shower head, but that’s a different story!)

A well-installed system should provide 60–70% of annual domestic hot water requirements. Simpler to install than photovoltaics, the installer drills the fixings through the slates or tiles into the rafters, sealing the holes afterwards. Inside the house there is a pump, temperature sensors and a controller that stops heat being removed from the cylinder when it is cold outside. You will probably also need a new hot water cylinder with an extra coil inside. It is important to calculate the size of the installation correctly – larger isn’t necessarily better, as the system may overheat if it generates more heat than can be absorbed by the water in the cylinder. For this reason, it is important to pick an experienced local installer. Once installed, your hot water is effectively free for about eight months of the year for at least 20 years into the future. You can turn your boiler off altogether over the summer months, making major savings on gas or heating oil.

The Renewable Heat Incentive currently provides a grant of £300 towards solar thermal installation costs, and a new grant is likely to be announced in the next few months that, similar to the feed-in tariff, will make payments for the heat generated, paying back the cost of installation in around 7 years.

So, with the cost of heating oil, gas and electricity steadily climbing, solar thermal makes sense on financial as well as environmental grounds, and there is plenty of time to get it installed before the sun finally returns in the spring.

For more information and the options available see our section on Solar Energy.


Wendy Pillar says:
The Renewable Energy Future Is Here!

Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy

It would be easy to think that the renewable energy movement has lost momentum, particularly with some of the messages coming from government. However, there is strong grass-roots support for renewables, and many people are prepared to put their money where their principles are. This means that the capacity of renewable energy projects is actually growing very rapidly. The latest progress report from RegenSW shows that there are now 55,506 renewable electricity installations in the South West, producing a huge 525 MW. Of these, 8867 are in Dorset.

The majority of these projects are solar photovoltaic, 8820 of them in fact in Dorset, generating 26 MW of power. There are also 32 onshore wind installations in Dorset, two projects using gas from sewage and four using gas from landfills, one that produces energy from waste, five hydro projects generating electricity from water and three anaerobic digesters. With many more projects in the pipelines, these figures are set to climb steeply in the next few years.

In addition to electricity generation, there were over 5000 renewable heat projects in the South West, with 425 in Dorset. These include anaerobic digesters, biomass and solar thermal installations. In all, they have a capacity of 118 MW heat.

Renewable energy in the South West more than doubled in 2011/2012, bringing tens of millions of pounds of investment, and 10,000 jobs, an increase of over 5000 in just two years in very difficult times. The positive effect of renewable energy on the economy is no longer a future projection, but is happening now. The target is to create over 30,000 jobs in the sector in the South West by 2020.

The kind of microgeneration that these projects represent may not be the most efficient way of building renewable energy capacity – it would cost less overall for the government to build one huge offshore wind farm. However, the capacity can be installed so much more quickly than a large-scale project needing government-level decision-making and finance and, as can be seen from these figures, these projects together make a substantial contribution. Basically, without having to wait around for the government to make its mind up, we can get on with solving the problem ourselves. An added benefit is that the huge collection of diverse micro- and medium-sized installations will never be owned by a foreign multinational.

For the full figures from the Renewable Energy Progress Report and Annual Survey go to:

For more information about the renewable energy revolution just check out Dorset Energized’s Renewable Technology Options.


Nathan Shaw says:
The Energy Bill: Is the future green?

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy
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After weeks of delays and political bickering, you could be forgiven to thinking that ‘the greenest government ever’ were taking the time to produce an Energy Bill that delivered clear energy policies whilst concentrating on lowering carbon emissions. But what was the outcome?

No 2030 decarbonisation target has been announced:

After months of attempts from the coalition to agree on this topic, a decision was made to delay any target until at least 2016. This opens the door to a ‘dash for gas’ favoured by George Osborne, and it was quietly announced that a Gas Generation Strategy will be released next month. According to the independent Committee on Climate Change (CCC), following this strategy will put our legally binding carbon budgets at risk increasing the chance of large scale fines.

Another problem arises from this short term solution to a long term problem. If a decarbonisation target was introduced in 2016, then newly built gas plants would need to be shut down early to ensure the target is reached. This would invoke a spike in gas prices and leave a hole in the energy mix – a substantial future problem that seems to have been side-lined.

This announcement also seemingly ignores the 50 companies, including Microsoft and Marks & Spencer, who signed a letter to George Osborne stating that they needed to see a decarbonisation target as a sign of commitment and stability from the government before investing in the UK.

Renewable Energy projects receive large subsidy boost:

In what was widely believed to be the product of a compromise on the decarbonisation target, significant funding has been cemented for investment in renewables, nuclear and carbon capture and storage – with the aim of a 30% contribution to the energy mix by 2020.

At least £7.6 bn a year will be available come 2020, to aid development through so-called contract for difference (CfD) incentives, a government initiative aimed at producing low carbon electricity projects. This will provide some consolation and certainty to investors that were hoping to see a decarbonisation target.

It will lead to further increases in energy bills, but these will largely be offset by efficiency gains. A strong, short-term investment now means we will reap the financial benefits in the long run.

Introduction of a capacity market:

This mechanism will provide additional payments to thermal plants that agree to supply back-up power as the UK becomes more reliant on intermittent energy sources. This is due to start in the winter of 2018-2019.

In conclusion, it feels like we are walking what is a 100m sprint. No decarbonisation targets mean there is a free rein on emissions over the next 4 years at least. With the gas strategy, the government have shied away from making tough decisions now which will benefit the country in the long run. Eventually every country will be reliant on renewables, so why not switch now and become a leading player? Yes, the clear intent from the government to invest in renewables is a major step forward but it might be some time before we see the benefits.

So is the future green? Let’s say its light green…

For something more inspiring and to take action TODAY, check out Dorset Energized’s web pages on choosing renewable energyswitching to a renewable energy supplier and some of our tips on Energy Efficiency.


Theresa McManus says:
Dorset Energized’s First Reaction to the Energy Bill

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy, Wind Power
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The Dorset Energized team have been waiting for the release of the Energy bill which is designed to encourage low carbon investment such as new windfarms.

We have been given that the Tories have been grappling with the lib dems and derailing all their plans for utopia from day 1 (remember proportional representation?). I guess it was only a matter of time before they put a spike in the wheel of their arch-enemies’ chariot – the world famous Climate Change Act introduced by Labour.

A few years ago I went to Whitehall with Tony Hamilton from Poole Agenda 21, where we were proposing that Climate Change is a planetary emergency that needs to be dealt with outside of party politics – a bit like the government during the last war. How visible does that emergency need to be before party idealogy can be put aside? Anyone notice the juxtaposition of news about the Energy Bill and the news about widespread flooding?

By deferring setting carbon targets, especially when those targets need to be front-end-loaded, just makes the overall aim of reducing our carbon emissions to 20% of what they were in 1990 so much more difficult to reach, especially when even the emissions the government have been reporting for the UK (which are not the whole picture) have shown a 20% increase since 1990.

All the more reason for people to start taking action by themselves!
We can all help to get the UK and the planet out of this mess.

Use less energy, use it more efficiently, and where you can generate renewable energy, and pester your MP to start taking your opinions on energy and climate change into account.

As a start, check out our pages on switching to a renewable energy supplier and some of our tips on Energy Efficiency.

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I agree with Theresa’s comments its time for us to act if our Governments will not.
    Install renewables, don’t change to gas, turn to bio-mass etc
    Pester your local MP ask him what he thinks and ask him to come out publicly.
    Do everything to get this message out there and use this site to advise, help, offer hope for the future. "

    November 23, 2012 a 8:40 pm

  • Sophie comments:
    "There is a great link on the Greenpeace site I found which gives the lowdown on the Energy Bill in simple terms for people like me who find the whole thing baffling. I switched to Good Energy this week through this site – so I can use my money personally to encourage low carbon investment. Can’t sit around waiting for the government to take action can we? "
    November 23, 2012 a 12:45 pm


Sharon Fay says:
Launch Party for Bridport’s First Solar Car Port Vehicle Charging Station 24th November 2012

Category: Electric Transport

Saturday 24th November 2012, 10am until 4pm
Launch Party for Bridport’s First Solar Car Port Vehicle Charging Station 
The Core, Unit 3 Homewood Way, Gore Cross Business Park, Bridport, Dorset, DT6 3FH

Here at FJ Chalke in Wincanton we are working closely with A P Chant Renewable Energy from Bridport in Dorset. We have loaned them a Nissan LEAF to visit their new and existing clients.  AP Chant have recently had installed a Solar Car Port Vehicle charging Station which will be used to charge the Nissan LEAF.  They are the first charging port in Bridport and are launching on Saturday 24th November.

This is an invitation to come to their launch at The Core in Bridport, to have a look at their Solar Car Charging Port and our Nissan LEAF.

Why Electric Transport?
Sustainable driving is an important step in decreasing energy waste, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating the harmful effects of global warming. With the number of electric vehicles on the rise and the demand for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) increasing, A P Chant and Schneider Electric deliver innovative, efficient and user-friendly EV charging solutions wherever EV drivers need to charge.

How Does it Work?
Unlike a standard socket the EVlink charging station transmits power between the electrical network and the vehicle. As such the station evaluates the energy required for charging the battery: the electric car is ready to go at a lower cost. The charger is installed with a load shedding function in order to avoid exceeding the threshold agreed with our energy supplier. It allows the charge to be programmed for a time when the energy costs are less, during off-peak times for example.

Is it Safe?
The electric charging system ensures user safety thanks to smarter control that will allow charging to begin only when the vehicle is safely plugged in. The unit is compliant with the IEC 61851-1 standard and the socket is equipped with shutters that cover the power contacts when not in use, guaranteeing a high level of safety for both domestic and commercial use.

Benefits of the EVlink Charging System

  • Faster charging – Charge four times faster with full 32 Amp power.
  • Smart design – Sleek, space-saving design, LED charging indicators.
  • Eco-delay charging option – Enables users to delay charging for up to eight hours, in one hour increments, allowing them to take advantage of lower off-peak utility rates and reduce environmental impact.
  • Protection – Absolute safety for users and their vehicles.

Please RSVP to Lucy at A P Chant on or by calling 01308 420170 or for more information visit

Click here to download a PDF invite >>

3Comments | Post your own comment

  • Sharon Fay comments:
    "Thanks for your feedback Theresa and I hope that you are getting as many in the company as possible to experience the Nissan LEAF Vince its best to give Lucy a call at AP Chant on 01308 420170 to book in to charge as its not 24hr, enjoy your trip to West Bay :) "
    November 28, 2012 a 12:53 pm

  • Theresa comments:
    "DEAC are lucky enough to be trialling a Leaf this week. It is an exceptionally good car and very responsive to drive. DEAC boss Phil Neale thinks they’re great! "
    November 17, 2012 a 1:17 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "This is an amazing new project and my thanks to Chalkes and Chants.
    I love to drive down to West Bay and its just a touch outside my scope with my Leaf coming from Sturminster Newton. This now will allow me to travel with no worries and maybe even go onto Lyme from time to time, Thanks vince "

    November 17, 2012 a 1:46 am


Paul McIntosh says:
Tip of the Pops Award Winning Eco-Disco!

Category: Dorset Energized News, Renewable Energy, Solar Energy
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Tip of the Pops is an award winning eco-disco made by combining recycling and renewable energy. Their unique brand of environmental activism with mass boogie appeal has been ‘Keeping it wheel…’ since 2007.

Tip of the Pops is actually DJ Dynamo and Earwig his solar powered wheelbarrow disco. All of the equipment and music is reclaimed waste from local recycling centres. The basic system is ‘wheely’ mobile and can be used anywhere, there is also a larger mobile disco using the same ‘Ecotainment’ philosophy.

DJ Dynamo has the freedom to set up anywhere, no power required. He can provide family entertainment, late night parties, educational activities, join in with parades or pop-up in obscure places. There are also several fun demonstrations such as a pedal powered beat-box and recycled solar ovens that can be used at your school or event. This year we have performed a world exclusive at Shambala festival, business lunches in Blandford, Salisbury schools, community fairs, weddings, children’s birthday parties and much more. Previous clients include the Dorset Wildlife Trust, Environment Agency and Lush.

DJ Dynamo says “I have a very small sound system as I am limited to what I can carry on my barrow, I mainly play vinyl 7” singles that’s 5 decades of dance music! It’s very low volume compared to alternative mobile discos but maximum fun and completely environmental. Tip of the Pops is not-for-profit and any private / commercial bookings subsidise our community work.”

If you would like to book Tip of the Pops or find out more please visit the website or contact DJ Dynamo on 07789865934.


2Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "Love the eco disco would you be happy to come to any of our events for renewable energy ? "
    November 30, 2014 a 9:48 am

  • Collette Drayson comments:
    "Hi Lee, Vince and Paul.
    Hey…thats our Down2Earth PEAT yurt !
    Would you be up for coming along to a school event. :o) Hope you are doing ok.
    x Collette "

    November 20, 2012 a 6:45 pm


Theresa McManus says:
FREE Fuel poverty awareness training in West Dorset 21st & 27th November 2012

Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security, Sustainable Living
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Dorset Energy Advice Centre are offering FREE fuel poverty awareness training for Community, Volunteer, Health and other home-visiting professionals and volunteers.

The training will cover:
• Definition of Fuel Poverty
• The Causes
• Health implications
• The help available

You will also receive resources, including a “fuel poverty checklist” to assist you in spotting those in fuel poverty. Each session lasts two hours and you only need to attend one session:

Session 1
Wednesday 21st November 9.30 – 11.30am, Room 1, the Bournemouth Learning Centre, Ensbury Avenue, BH10 4HG

Session 2
Tuesday 27th November 9.30 – 11.30am, Committee Room 3, County Hall, Dorchester, DT1 1XJ

Places are limited to a total of 25 on a first come first served basis, so please contact me, Theresa McManus, at DEAC to book your place now: / 0800 975 0166.

This training is kindly funded by Bournemouth LINks.
A Local Involvement Network (LINk) is a network of local people and groups who have joined forces to improve health and social care services by listening to people like you. They’re independent of the local council and the NHS and exist throughout England. There’s a LINk local to where you live. Register with LINks today to have your say:


Anna Celeste Watson says:
EvoEnergy’s Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide

Category: Biomass Energy, Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Renewable Energy
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I have stumbled across this fantastic website and wanted to share it with you!

A green electricity company called EvoEnergy have produced an interactive site (designed by Epiphany Search) to show how energy in the UK has changed over the last 40 years.

In 1980 when I was just a baby, Solid Fuel accounted for 36% and Petrol 37% for primary energy consumed, with Gas 22% and Electricity making up just 5%. After 30 years as of 2010 Gas use alone has nearly doubled and has risen up to a staggering 43%. Good news is that Petrol has reduced slightly to 32% and we now use Biomass as a renewable energy but that currently accounts for only a pathetic 3%.

It is very interesting to see the changes over the years (decade by decade) but we have a LOT more work to do – by 2020 I hope we’ll see a major increase in electricity specifically generated by renewable energy sources (including Wood Energy (Biomass), Solar Energy and Wind Power) with very little reliance (if any!) on petrol and gas. I guess the only way that will happen though is for us, the people – yes that includes me, you and your family – to make changes today and start investing in renewable energy for our future. At least to stop using petrol we now have supercool electric cars like the Nissan LEAF (not quite the personal ‘hoverpacks’ my Dad wants to be able to fly around with, but we’re getting nearer!). And of course if you do just 1 thing, you can simply switch to a green energy supplier such as Good Energy and be more energy efficient by using less energy in your home – to save energy, save money and feel more secure.

Have a play around on The Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide for yourself at:

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Theresa comments:
    "The Evoenergy interactive guide is great. It would be lovely to have something similar that could represent personal energy use so that people could model making changes to see what the impact would be.
    I just wanted to add another suggestion for saving energy, which is to buy less stuff. Have a look at to see the story of stuff movie. It only takes 20 mins but it’s 20 mins of a roller coaster ride through the recent rise of consumerism – you will never look at a shop window in the same way again …:) "

    November 17, 2012 a 1:14 pm


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Take Part in Britain’s Biggest Climate Change Challenge for Climate Week March 2013

Category: Climate Change
Tags: ,

Dorset Energized are very excited to hear that plans are now underway for Climate Week 2013, and there are loads of ideas on the Climate Week website to inspire!

Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. It culminates with thousands of events and activities taking place throughout the week of 4 to 10 March 2013, planned by organisations from every part of society. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew our ambition to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Climate Week is backed by every part of society – from the Prime Minister to Paul McCartney, the NHS to the Met Office, the TUC to the CBI, Girlguiding UK to the National Association of Head Teachers. During the first Climate Week in 2012 over 3,000 events were attended by half a million people across the UK.

You can now register for your organisation to take part in the Climate Week Challenge, Britain’s biggest ever environmental competition, where over 130,000 people participate and entries are judged by celebrities and it is completely free to take part.

The prestigious Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel has contained figures such Tony Juniper, Special Advisor to the Prince of Wales Charities International Sustainability Unit, the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the Bishop of London in the past.

The Climate Week Swap is a new element to the campaign for 2013, highlighting the positive impact that swapping clothes, books, toys, DVDs and other items can have on our environment. Run a swap event in your school, community group or workplace to save resources from going to landfill. All those who register a Swap event will be entered into a draw to win a swap with a celebrity.

There are a number of other elements to the campaign. Bubble and Squeak for Climate Week is encouraging people to make the food that they eat a part of the solution to climate change. They can do this by joining in the call to action of eating a low carbon meal during Climate Week, either by using up leftovers to make Bubble and Squeak or by cooking food made from local ingredients or less meat and dairy.
The Climate Week Pub Quiz will be run in hundreds of pubs and workplaces.

Start thinking about how you can showcase your organisation’s sustainability initiatives and engage your members in Climate Week 2013. There are loads of ways you can take part! Check out our ‘Things to do Guide’ for how you can get involved or create you own event promoting positive solutions to climate change for Climate Week 2013!

Whatever you are doing, make sure you register your event on the Climate Week website and help to create a national movement for change.

Keep a look out for news on how Dorset Energized plan to celebrate Climate Week, and for more information on Climate Week or to register your event go to


Paul McIntosh says:
Free Thermal Image Camera Training Workshop for Domestic Home Energy Surveys in Dorchester 22nd November 2012

Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset
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FREE Event: Thermal image camera training workshop 
Date: Thursday 22nd November 2012, 2pm – 4.30pm
Venue: Main Hall, Dorford Centre, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1RR

Booking: The course is FREE but booking is essential.
Places are limited to 25 people on a first -come- first- served basis.

Dorset County Council in partnership with Dorset Community Action is offering a free technical training course on using a thermal imaging camera for heat loss surveys of domestic properties.

The training is aimed at community volunteers who have experience of using a thermal imaging camera and want to learn more about interpreting thermal images. Also community energy groups, Transition Town groups and others who have access to a thermal imaging camera. Dorset Energy Advice Centre can provide free loans of a thermal imaging camera to local community groups.

The workshop will provide practical advice on using a thermal imaging camera for domestic home energy surveys. The training will cover applications for domestic thermal imaging, limitations and problem areas, interpreting thermal images, etc. It will not cover the basics of how to operate a thermal imaging camera. Case studies of domestic thermal image surveys will be presented.

Please see this weblink for further details of registration for the free workshop:


Lets Get Energized says:
Save £50 off your first energy bill with Good Energy

Category: Energy Deals & Offers, Green Electricity & Gas
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We have doubled our special offer discount when you switch to Good Energy, the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier.

Quote ‘Dorset Energized’ and they’ll give you £50 off your first bill (this offer is open to all UK customers so you don’t have to live in Dorset).


Lets Get Energized says:
Eco Skills Courses for Self Reliance in Dorset & South West this November 2012

Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
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Skills for Self Reliance are offering various eco courses including on; Renewable Energy, Sustainable Building & Construction, Food & Nutrition and Lifestyle.

Venues in Dorset include Monkton Wyld (near Charmouth, Bridport) and Kingston Maurward College (Dorchester).

Confirmed upcoming 2012 Courses include:

Bricklaying 5th November £tbc
Plastering 8th – 9th & 22nd – 23rd November £tbc
Willow Weaving 17th November £15
Celebration Food 20th November £20
Living Nutrition 30th November – 2nd December £50
Renewable Technology 1st, 15th, 29th November £FREE

Skills for Self Reliance is a unique public, private and third sector partnership, which links together 5 partners who provide training in a wide range of skills such as permaculture, sustainable construction, anaerobic digestion, running an eco-business, developing herbal products and much more. Thanks to funding secured by the project they are able to offer many places on their training courses at a hugely subsidised rate and in some cases free of charge.

For more information and to book a course email or visit their website at:

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