Archive for December, 2012


Anna Celeste Watson says:
Happy Christmas from Dorset Energized!

Category: Energy Efficiency, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living, Wind Power

Providing we are not (or even if we are) all about to enter into other dimension with all the talk of 21st December as the end of the Mayan calendar (!), myself and everyone involved with Dorset Energized, would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Very Happy Christmas!

Thank You Dorset
We also want to thank all our bloggers for contributing to this very blog, and a special thanks to Vince Adams and Theresa McManus for all their enthusiasm and work putting this website together.

Dorset Energized was set-up as an online portal to help you get energized and be part of the green revolution of people connecting with our natural world through renewable energy. I started designing this site a year ago now and we officially launched in Spring 2012. Since then we hope we have shared a huge wealth of knowledge, news and events on renewables and saving energy in Dorset, and beyond, and hope that in 2013 we will continue to develop this site, and connect even more people with our green energy revolution!

We are a voluntary group of renewable energy enthusiasts, including individuals from da21 and Dorset Energy Advice Centre (DEAC), and with support from carefully selected local companies who have given our users exclusive money saving offers, including Good Energy (the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity supplier), FJ Chalke Wincanton (friendly dealers in the 100% electric Nissan LEAF cars) and Respect Organics (the UK’s leading organic cake producers – who are run by our very own Vince Adam’s whose passion for renewables is always an inspiration to our team).

This site has also inspired some individuals to form Energize Stur Valley – a local community group who champion renewable energy in their community around Sturminster Newton, and we would be thrilled if more people formed their own action groups in 2013 – do let us know if you want help doing so!

Wind Power Controversy
Dorset is a very beautiful county and contains such fabulous areas of outstanding natural beauty, supporting high biodiversity and many rare species. We must find a way to work with nature, rather than against. Although we aim to provide impartial advice and information on all renewable energy options, of which we of course believe wind energy is an important part of, we weren’t surprised to see a lot of negative comments on this blog against all local wind farm applications. We have always posted such comments as we believe in free speech, and we do hope that our posts and answers to any comments provide a positive response.

However, if wind power is just not for you, it is even more important that you take steps to reduce your own energy demand, and there are plenty of other renewable energy technologies available to you and your community. Check out our main page on the Renewable Energy Options on:

Have a Cozy Christmas
Make sure you keep warm this Christmas and perhaps take advantage of the sales to check out your local heat energy showrooms to choose a more energy efficient woodburning stove to make your home even cosier. See our page on Wood Energy here:

Until 2013…  have a fabulous Christmas and be happy!


Sharon Fay says:
Happy Nissan Leaf-y Christmas!

Category: Electric Transport
Tags: ,

We look back over a busy 2012 with the 100% electric Nissan Leaf here at our FJ Chalke Wincanton showroom, and we look forward to an even busier and exciting 2013 when the Nissan Leaf will start to roll off at the Nissan Sunderland Plant in the UK.

Keep an eye on my blog posts here at Dorset Energized and our website for updates and information about this and everything Nissan Leaf at FJ Chalke!

It just leaves me to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year!

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • vince adams comments:
    "I did a trip to London today, stopped halfway to Richmond near Camberley,30 minute fast charge both way’s and just got home safely.
    What’s Santa going to put in your stocking ? Could it be the new Leaf or even a test drive, I can highly recommend "

    December 20, 2012 a 5:48 pm


Theresa McManus says:
Renewables keep household fuel bills lower than gas

Category: Climate Change, Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s some warming news for Winter!

RenewableUK, the trade and professional body representing the wind, wave and tidal energy industries, has welcomed a report last week by the Committee on Climate Change which shows that generating energy from renewable sources will keep British household fuel bills lower than relying on expensive fossil fuels such as gas.

The CCC’s report highlights the fact that increases in gas prices drove household bills up by 62% between 2004 and 2011. In comparison, support for the entire spectrum of low-carbon technologies, including renewables, led to an increase of less than 10% over the same period.

Looking ahead, the Committee warns of the risks of focussing investment on unabated gas-fired generation, which it says could push household bills £600 higher in 2050 compared to relying on low-carbon sources of electricity.

The Committee also states that support for the entire range of low-carbon technologies will increase domestic bills by around £100 by 2020 (a 10% increase on the 2011 bill) – far lower than figures quoted in some media reports.

Maria McCaffery, RenewableUK Chief Executive, said:
“This report proves that the pound in your pocket is safer with renewables, rather than with gas. We know how much renewables cost, but gas has proved to be an extraordinarily volatile commodity. We must loosen its grip, for the sake of all of us hard-pressed bill payers, by switching to a more affordable mix of renewable sources. The Committee on Climate Change’s authoritative report is warning against a dash for gas. The Chancellor should take note of their expert opinion, rather than being swayed by a small minority of less well-informed voices.”

The report came on the day that the Energy Secretary, Edward Davey, announced that shale gas would not contribute to the UK’s energy mix for some time to come, and that what he described as the “seismic risks” brought by shale would be subject to new controls.

Mr Davey said: “We are still in the very early stages of shale gas exploration in the UK and it is likely to develop slowly. It is essential that its development should not come at the expense of local communities or the environment”.

In the meantime I highly recommend you switch your electricity and gas supply to Good Energy’s 100% renewable energy today. I have been with them for at least 10 years now and they offer a very competitive tariff plus you can save £50 off your first bill by simple quoting ‘Dorset Energized’. Switch to Good Energy here:


Lets Get Energized says:
Tell the Prime Minister that Green Means Growth

Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , ,

We know everyone is busy in the run-up to the Christmas holidays, but our local Friends of the Earth group have reminded us of a campaign by Action on Renewables to get David Cameron to stand up for green energy. It only takes a few seconds to join the call for a real commitment to clean renewable energy.

They have already had a great response, and if like hundreds of others you’ve already taken part in the campaign, thank you for your support!

If not, it takes less than a minute to add your support by following this link:

The Government’s Energy Bill and Gas Strategy have now been published, but they’re missing something vital, a 2030 target to make sure we’re on course for cutting our carbon emissions.

Green means Growth. Low carbon energy isn’t just good for the environment, it’s helping to get the UK economy get back on track.

In 2010-2011 over one third of economic growth came from our low carbon economy, things like the huge London Array offshore wind farm, community solar schemes like Wadebridge, or energy from farm waste.

Action on Renewables are calling on David Cameron to back a 2030 target. A 2030 target is vital to show the Government won’t pull back from the great start we’ve made in using our natural resources to create electricity in a few years time. Without it companies won’t invest, jobs won’t be created, and we’ll be locked into relying on the expensive imported fossil fuels that made up over 50% of people’s energy bills.

We want to make sure that the government prioritises our home-grown green energy sources like wind power, solar, and energy from waves and tides, boosting our flagging economy, bringing long term stability to fuel prices, all while reducing our carbon emissions and keeping the UK at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. We have a chance to really change the way we power the UK.

If you want to get involved click:


Paul McIntosh says:
Community Energy Group Newsletter for South West – December 2012

Category: Community Energy, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , ,

A new Community Energy Group Newsletter has been released for December 2012, supported by RegenSW, as the  first community energy bulletin for the South West region.

The newsletter aims to provide you with updates from the Community Energy Group Network and information about their Communities for Renewables Support Programme. It includes information about plans, progress so far, policy changes, upcoming events and useful case studies from across the network.

Click here to download a PDF of the Community Energy Group Newsletter December 2012 >>


Theresa McManus says:
Navitus Bay Wind Farm Proposals in Poole Bay Scaled Back

Category: Dorset Energized News, Wind Power
Tags: , ,

The BCC have reported that Navitus Bay Development Ltd has announced a “significant reduction” to its proposed wind park in Poole Bay, between Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

In my opinion, it is a sad day for our civilisation when the short-sighted and subjective conservative desires of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

How many of those vociferous few who have forced the plans for Navitus Bay to be scaled down have been taking action to reduce their energy demand so that we can do without these additional renewable resources?

For the full BBC article go to:

To take positive steps to reduce your own energy demand, see the Dorset Energized page on Energy Efficiency here: and for more information on Wind Power click here:

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Keith Wheaton-Green comments:
    "I agree the reduction in size is disappointing but at least there is still a project to be had; and hopefully the voices from the community will feel that they have been listened to and raise no further objections. "
    December 17, 2012 a 11:58 am


Wendy Pillar says:
Green Energy Our Way at Wendy Pillar’s Home!

Category: Biomass Energy, Solar Energy, Sustainable Living

When we moved to our house, it was very much with a green lifestyle in mind. It had a good deal going for it, such as enough land to grow most of our own food, and a rainwater harvesting system. It also had two-foot-thick walls and thus excellent insulation, but the heating was a real weak point. There was an old Franco-Belge range that had been DIY converted to run on oil. It was so thirsty that we could barely afford to turn it on, and we shivered through the first couple of winters with lukewarm showers and cold radiators.

A biomass boiler would have been ideal, but it was beyond our budget. The range could be put back to running on wood, but we didn’t want to rely only on that. Our temporary house had been heated only with a wood-burning stove, and getting up to a cold house on a winter’s morning or coming home to the cold after being out all day was not fun. We are not fans of the hair-shirt approach to green living, and I still shiver at the memory of ice on the inside of my childhood bedroom window in the morning!

In the end, we did convert the range back, re-using what you have always being a good green option. This was a labour of love, as it had been thoroughly butchered. A couple of parts had to be remade by the manufacturer in France, apparently when the wind was in the right direction and the planets correctly aligned, judging by the length of time it took. It now heats the hot water, as well as the ground floor and a radiator on each of the other two floors, and so far has run entirely on wood produced from our own hedge-laying and coppiced trees. I am still working out how to be able to use it for cooking, but it is theoretically feasible.

The range is backed up with a modern, efficient oil boiler. It is a simple system. The central heating comes on for an hour in the morning and on a timer late afternoon – if the house is already warm from the range, it doesn’t fire up at all or does so for only a short time. If we’ve been out, though, and the fire has not been lit, the central heating comes on fully so we come home to a warm house.

The hot water cylinder has a third coil ready for solar thermal, which will heat the water in the summer months, meaning that the hot water switch on the boiler should be permanently off. At the time the budget didn’t run to the solar thermal, but it is now booked to be done for the spring. This should cut our oil bill further, to less than 500 litres per year, and if oil ever became prohibitively expensive, we could manage entirely without it.

It’s not the kind of high-tech system that Kevin McCloud would be interested in for Grand Designs, but it is simple, user-friendly and was not too expensive. It reduces our consumption of heating oil by about two-thirds, reducing our carbon footprint accordingly, while giving a lovely warm house and ample hot water, which is very welcome now in the depths of winter!

To find out more about your Wood Energy options see: and for more information on Solar Energy see:


Keith Wheaton-Green says:
How the UK National Media Treats Renewables

Category: Renewable Energy
Tags: , , ,

We came across this article by E2B pulse – the UK carbon reduction network on a new study which has revealed the extent of negative media coverage of renewables.

It says: “More than half of articles on renewable energy published by the UK’s leading newspapers are either ‘negative’ or ‘very negative’, according to research by the CleanTech division of PR consultancy CCGroup.”

You can read the full article here:

The article essentially tells us what we already knew… that the printed media in particular is biased against renewables and that the nuclear and fossil fuels lobbies have been successful in promoting their industries at the expense of renewables. The public interest is best served through provision of decentralised energy generation that will prove to be cheaper in the medium to long term. Wind and solar for example cost nothing to run! It is only possible to compete with that by an attempt to totally rubbish it through misinformation. But, you can kid all the people for some of the time… (you know the rest!).

Obviously the last thing centralised energy companies want is energy independence and much lower bills to their current consumers. The best thing that renewable energy enthusiasts such as myself can do, is inform people as honestly as we can, how we can install our own domestic renewables and buy our electricity and heat from a specialist energy supplier with a renewable energy focus. Then enjoy our lower energy bills while others continue to be fooled into an upward spiral of dependency and cost.

For more information on all your renewable energy options see Dorset Energized’s section here:

For tips on saving energy see: or to switch your energy supply to Good Energy go to:

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