Archive for December, 2013


Paul McIntosh says:
Free information events on keeping warm this winter

Category: Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security

Dorset Community Action are holding a series of Fuel Poverty Workshops in January. The workshops will be held in Lyme Regis on the 14th and the 29th in Sherborne. The workshops are being supported by Dorset Energy Advice Centre and Magna Housing Association amongst others.




Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset Energized Competition Winners Announced for Christmas

Category: Competitions & Giveaways, Energy Deals & Offers, Energy Efficiency

Drumroll please and sound the Christmas trumpets!!!

The lucky winner of our competition to win a fantastic Owl Wireless Electricity Monitor (worth £42.95) courtesy of green energy suppliers Good Energy is… Katie Corr! Congratulations Katie – we hope you will enjoy saving energy and saving money and would love to hear your feedback on your new monitor in the new year!

And congratulations too to Cheryl Pasquier who has won an assortment of yummy organic cakes, made with love here in Dorset by our friends at Respect Organics, as a thank you for sharing our competition via Twitter. Enjoy Cheryl!

And here’s our gift to you this Christmas…

Get £25 off your first bill when you switch to Good Energy – only when you quote ‘Dorset Energized’ – but hurry as the offer ends on 31st December.

OR celebrate the new year in style with a £60 Naked Wines Voucher when you switch to Ecotricity – only when you quote ‘Dorset Energized’.

Good Energy and Ecotricity are the UK’s only 100% renewable electricity suppliers, and they have both frozen their prizes until Spring 2014 which is great news.

It only remains for everyone at Dorset Energized to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy Green New Year!



Jacob Windsor says:
Green energy suppliers Ecotricity introduce winter-long price freeze

Category: Fuel Poverty & Security, Green Electricity & Gas, Renewable Energy Film/Video
Tags: , , ,

Ecotricity has announced a price freeze for all gas and electricity customers until the end of winter 2014.

The green energy company had previously announced a price freeze until the New Year just as the Big Six announced price increases of up to 10% – Ecotricity are now extending that price freeze until at least the end of winter for both their 100% Green Electricity and Green Gas tariffs.

Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said: “Energy bills are a big part of the cost of living in Britain, and there is simply not enough being done to solve the problem. The Big Six are increasing prices by up to 10% just before winter, the Government is playing politics by blaming ‘green taxes’, and the regulator has not been strong enough ever.

“If we continue the way we are now, we’re going to see energy bills increase significantly over the next decade – we could even see them double.

“There is another way – our model of using our customer energy bills to build new sources of green energy, what we call bills into mills; it’s working for our customers, and it’s a model we think is right for Britain. We’re not just making greener energy, we’re making cheaper energy – and we’re demonstrating how that works now by freezing prices until the end of winter.”

Ecotricity has reached a degree of energy independence by building its own green energy sources, and this enabled the company to announce a price promise in October 2013, to always undercut the standard regional tariff of the Big Six – providing green energy for less than the standard price of brown (fossil fuels).

Dale said: “We now produce around 40% of our own energy through our own green sources, and the more we build the better able we are to shield our customers from price hikes that come with a reliance on the fossil fuel market. That’s the way Britain has to go, because only energy independence can properly tackle rising fuel bills.

“The alternative is where we are now – a continuing reliance on fossil fuels, ever-increasing energy bills, and more people falling into fuel poverty every year.”

Ecotricity spends more per customer on building new sources of green energy than all other energy providers in Britain put together – on average, over the last nine years, this has equated to almost £300 per customer per year.

Ecotricity generates around 40% of its own electricity through green sources, and has planning permission for enough new sources of green energy to double that percentage.

Dale said: “The energy industry has to change. It needs to serve the people of Britain, not the largely foreign owners of the Big Six. Putting prices up at the start of this winter is a good example of what’s wrong: it’s cynical timing just as consumption doubles, and it’s just not justified by wholesale energy prices. In the end, it’s the people of Britain who are losing out.”

Ecotricity has an Ethical Price Promise, which means that every customer gets the same 100% Green Electricity or Green Gas tariff and everyone gets the same, best price, regardless of when they signed up or how they pay…

So it really is time to #DumptheBigSix!

Switch to Ecotricity through Dorset Energized and you’ll receive a £60 Naked Wines voucher!
Go to: or call free on 08000 302 302. When you sign up please quote ‘Dorset Energized’.

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Energy Brokers comments:
    "If you are increasing and then freezing the price, will people love you for this. Its better you reduce your prices. "
    December 25, 2013 a 7:25 am


Lets Get Energized says:
The Dorset Energizers Recommended Top 25 Eco Christmas Gifts

Category: Climate Change, Eco Gifts & Gadgets, Sustainable Living
Tags: , , , , , ,

With Christmas around the corner and people rushing around finishing off their Christmas shopping, we thought we’d ask our voluntary team of ‘Energizers’ here at Dorset Energized to share their top eco xmas gift ideas…

…So here they are! We hope they will inspire you to find or to give something a bit different and special this year, and we’ve given links to places you can buy online but of course if you can support your local retailers, bookshops or garden centres instead then even better!

Stu’s Eco Xmas List (Illustrator/Designer)


1. Wind Up Tiger Torch
Stu stumbled across this little stocking filler through the National Gallery as part of their Tiger range which is inspired by the main character featured in artist Henri Rousseau’s ‘Surprised Tiger in a tropical Storm’ painting. This ingenious wind-up tiger torch with carry strap uses no batteries at all – just harness your child’s (or big child in Stu’s case!) energy to pump the tiger’s arm and trigger the dynamo mechanism that will keep it shining in the dark. Useful, fun and definitely cute, this is a great, eco-friendly toy that simply won’t run out of steam. The wind-up torch is made by Ecotronic toys whose battery free products are also packaged in recycled, biodegradable cardboard.


2. Upcycled Apple iMac Computer Pet Bed by Atomic Attic
This is pure genius and the ultimate in up-cycling!!! It’s a converted old imac computer turned into a cosy pet bed for cats and small dogs. Stu and Anna are holding onto their old blue imac in the hope it will appear on the Antiques Roadshow one day (!) but luckily for now they can buy one of these for their pussy cats to cat-fight over in a choice of colours from Atomic Attic’s handmade shop at Etsy.


3. Logitech wireless solar powered keyboard for Mac
Wireless keyboards are brilliant, especially since these days so many of us are watching films and TV online – now we don’t need to be chained to our desk. But they eat through batteries. This smart design from Logitech puts pay to that, charging itself with lamplight or sunlight, outdoors and indoors. And on a full charge it works for at least three months, even in total darkness! The keyboard is only 1/3 of an inch thick, and boasts the traditional Mac layout we’re all familiar with. Plus, its advanced 2.4 GHz wireless connection virtually eliminates delays, dropouts and interference. Now we just need one for PCs and solar powered tablets too!


4. Solar or Hand Crank Powered AM/FM Radio
Stu’s got this handy AM/FM radio on his wishlist! Powered by the sun’s rays it will play for seven hours when fully charged. Or use the hand crank on rainy days. Turn it for just one minute and the radio will play back for about thirty minutes. The Solar Radio measures just 3.25″ x 3″ x 2.25″ which makes it extremely portable. Perfect for camping, doing the dishes or working in the garden. Batteries not included because no batteries or plug-in required!

Anna’s Eco Xmas List (Web Designer)

Anna says “I’ve got loads of things on my wishlist so maybe I’m just greedy (!) although some things I got last year for xmas and highly recommend! As an animal lover and vegan a lot of them revolve around animals or food (as Stu pointed out to me!), but then what girl doesn’t love a good cookbook, some chocs, smellies or a cute cuddly animal?!!!”


5. ‘Melting Away’ Polar Bear T-Shirt by Threadless,guys
This design by Jana Misheva was voted as the winning design at supercool t-shirt shop Threadless in their WWF Design Challenge so 25% of sales from this tee will go to WWF to protect natural species and habitats across the world. This tee is certified organic cotton and printed with water-based inks.


6. ‘The Comforter’ Bath Bubble Bar by Lush Cosmetics
This isn’t called ‘The Comforter’ for nothing! This has a warming, comforting and reassuring scent to give the same sense of safety and calm that your favourite teddy, your comfort blanket or a snuggly scarf gives. At times when you feel you need to protect yourself from the world – immerse yourself in this pink bath (but don’t have too many baths of course, it does use a lot of water!) and allow the familiar oils to envelop you in a comforting berry scented embrace. Anna says: “I love all of Lush’ stuff and they are one of the most ethical companies plus they started here in Dorset! But this my absolute favourite – its the most amazing smell in existence, its like berry bubblegum, you could eat it it smells so good!”. Lush, who support many charities and green causes, say that by using a solid bubble bath like this, you are eliminating the need for packaging on your product. Plus liquid products need preservatives, but solid products like this don’t. So it’s better for you and better for the environment; what a comforting thought!


7. Hazelnut Crunch Chocolate Truffles (and/or Champagne Truffles!) by Booja Booja
Anna says that Booja Booja make the most delicious scrumptious chocolates ever – fact!!! (And she has many years experience in these things!). You can buy from your local Dorset health food shop such as Naturalife but they are also available from many resellers online and also at Holland & Barratt. As well as being yummy and vegan friendly, they are also organic.


8. River Cottage ‘Veg Everyday’ Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner. His series for Channel 4 have earned him a huge popular following, while his River Cottage books have collected multiple awards. River Cottage started out here in Dorset but has now moved to nearby Axminster, Devon. This books contains so many inspiring mouth-watering recipes that are nearly all suitable for vegetarians as part of Hugh’s (and many people’s) belief that we must all eat less meat to improve farm animal welfare and support sustainable farming for the sake of our health and the planet, so this book really is a must-have for any kitchen!


9. Dorset Wildlife Trust / Wildlife Trusts Membership
A great gift for Dorset friends or family and nature lovers – protect local wildlife and take part in events and receive their fantastic magazine and guide to all their local reserves. To find your local Wildlife Trust visit


10. Compassionate Dorset Prints – 10% off until 31st December when you quote ‘XMAS2013’
Okay, we are biased on this one as these gorgeous prints created and made here in Dorset are by Compassionate Dorset which is a completely voluntary group run by Dorset Energizer’s Anna and Stu to raise awareness and funds for UK animal welfare charities, but several of their prints are on the wishlists of their friends and family and we believe that taking care of animals and nature is an important part of being green for our planet too!


11. Rapanui Organic T-Shirts at Ecotopia
‘Cross Top’
‘Peace Top’
‘Green Is The New Black’
Anna says “I think one of the best eco t-shirts ever was Rapanui’s ‘Wind Turbine’ tee which sold out a while ago but these tees are pretty cool too and all on organic cotton – cool ethical clothes for the eco-conscious!” If you buy through Ecotopia you will also be supporting renewable energy generation here in the UK.


12. Book: ‘The Lorax’ by Dr. Seuss – available at the Woodland Trust Shop
So it looks like a film has been made of this but it’s the first time we’ve stumbled across it and looks like a great fun read! Apparantly, the Lorax is the original eco warrior in this Dr Seuss fable about destroying the forests. Packed with zany humour and silly rhymes it delivers an important message – “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

Stress Chicken 800px H x 600px W Feb 2011

13. Give a Hen a Home (but not just for Christmas) – Adopt an ex-battery chicken (or 2, or 3…)
Everyone knows that a dog (or any pet in fact) is for life and not just for Christmas, so whatever you do please do not get anyone a pet as a gift unless you know they are fully committed to the responsibility and cost it entails and have actually asked you for one! Also make sure you get any pets from a rescue centre – there are thousands of animals waiting for a loving new home including from the RSPCA and Cats Protection who are completely inundated. But Anna’s top tip is to adopt some chickens to keep in your garden and enjoy fresh eggs every day the free-range way! The British Hen Welfare Trust rehomes thousands of commercial laying hens destined for slaughter that deserve loving homes and can still lay enough lovely fresh eggs for you and your family for years to come. Anna says “I know so many people here in Dorset who absolutely dote on their ex-batts and say they make great pets!”. Alternatively you can buy some lovely hen related gifts in the BHWT shop too!

Sophia’s Eco Xmas List (Carbon Strategist)


14. The Alternative Christmas Tree : Christmas Tree Wall Hanging
Not something to necessarily buy as a gift but if you haven’t got your Christmas tree yet Sophia says “We bought one at IKEA last year – it’s a prined cotton xmas tree that you hang up on the wall! Use over and over and practical if short on space or if you have a puppy which would chew up the real tree!” There is a whole range available on Not on the High Street for something a bit different!

15. Book: ‘Ecohouse’ (4th edition) by Sue Roaf
Sue Roaf is famed for her approach to design and her awareness of energy efficiency. In this book she reveals the concepts, structures and techniques that lie behind the realization of her ideals. By using her own house as a case study, Roaf guides the reader through the ideas for energy-efficient design or ‘eco-design’. Now in its fourth edition, the bestselling Ecohouse continues to be both a technical guide and an inspiration for thousands of architects, designers and eco-builders all over the world. Ecohouse provides design information about the latest low-impact materials and technologies, showcasing the newest and best ‘green’ solutions. Revised and updated, this edition also includes new case studies inspiring readers with more real-life examples of how to make an ecohouse work.


16. ‘Seedboms’ by Kabloom at Ecotopia
Small start up garden kits, seeds (like these ‘Seedboms’), how to cultivate your own veg-guides and the like, make lovely gifts for aspiring eco warriors or just for anyone who enjoys lovely flowers in the garden or wants to grow their own veg!


17. Animal Habitats / Insect Hotels for the Garden
There are lots of insect, bee, bird, hedgehog homes and more at Ecotopia and hopefully at your local garden or DIY centre. Sophia says “These are really good for biodiversity – we bought one in wood made by the learning disabilities groups in Salisbury and they are decorative too”. Another great gift for nature lovers or gardeners.


18. Book: ‘Guide to Bees & Honey’ by Ted Hooper
Sophia’s partner Piers is doing a course in 2014 to help save the bees – which of course is vital to sustain bio-diversity and hopefully they’ll get some nice organic honey too – so this handy book is on their xmas wishlist!

Theresa’s Eco Xmas List (Sustainable Projects Manager)


19. ‘Wonderbag’
Theresa’s partner James has selected a Wonderbag as his eco-gift of the year. Its an extremely well-insulated cooking bag that keeps anything – from meaty stews and vegetable curries to simple rice and soups – cooking for hours without using any power, saving time, money and reducing energy use. Wonderbag’s clever insulating properties allow food that has been brought to the boil to finish cooking without extra heat. This greatly reduces the use of additional energy, and means you can cook appetising, hot meals while saving time, energy and money. Wonderbags were originally created for poor families in Africa, to cut down the amount of costly firewood they need for cooking. It’s ideal for home cooked hot dinners, camping, outdoor festivals and picnics, as it keeps food warm for up to 12 hours.


20. ‘Kelly Kettle’
Theresa has a Kelly Kettle on her xmas wishlist which she hopes to be able to use at her off-grid community garden here in Dorset. It claims to be the most reliable ultra-fast Camping Kettle & Camp Stove for the outdoors!


21. Freeloader Solar Powered Charger
Theresa recommends this Freeloader Charger Pack which takes power from its own solar panels or via a supplied charge cable that plugs into a computer’s USB. Freeloader is an advanced portable charging system that can power any hand held device anywhere, anytime. What more could you want? (And it’s even available in pink for girls!).

Simon’s Eco Xmas List (E-Bike Enthusiast)


22. FreeGo Eagle Electric Bike
Simon’s No1 fave Ebike is his own Electrified Recumbent, rust an ‘all, but as it’s no longer for sale, Simon says: “I met a couple out on a ride the other day, both with electric bikes and the chap a lifelong road cyclist had done some serious distances on his – and it was a Freego Eagle which he’d bought in Dorset with the 16ah battery – he’d often done 60 miles plus in a day on a single charge on the bike and he loved it – and he was very pleased with the service from the bike shop, Hants and Dorset Electric Bike Co. Two more of his friends had the same bike and were equally as pleased so I would recommend the Freego Eagle as a a top of the range e-bike that is good and reasonably priced bike, and with a good local dealer.”


23. Have a Tree Planted by the Woodland Trust
An unusual and long term sustainable gift that goes on and on for nature and tree lovers! By contributing to plant a tree at one of the Woodland Trust’s beautiful sites, you will be helping to create a big impact for new woodland throughout the UK. Your donation will contribute to the initial planting of the sapling and also the careful nurturing of the tree and the woodland over the next 12 years, transforming the land into a flourishing forest in just over a decade. The newly planted tree can be dedicated for you too, and you or the recipient will receive a confirmation certificate by post or email.


24. Book: ‘Cows Save the Planet’ by Judith D Schwartz
Simon reviewed this book for Dorset Energized back in October and says it is “A fascinating book with many practical examples of how some farmers are working to bring back health to the soil (and thus create healthy plants, and interestingly helping the soil itself absorb atmospheric carbon – which improves the microbial health of the soil, assists in retaining water and of course works to reduce the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide emitted as a result of burning fossil fuels)… It’s a book I’d recommend for anyone interested in the environment, farming, horticulture, or food and health”.


25. Book: ‘The One Straw Revolution’ by Masanobu Fukuoka
Simon recommends this book too – originally published in 1975 but still relevant and an absolute classic. Simon says “Perhaps one of the books that got people worldwide thinking about and more importantly trying out methods of agriculture and horticulture that are based not on tradition, nor science (though not ignoring either), but rather seeking to work with nature. Masanobu Fukuoka used this approach and got yields equal to the most intensive (modern scientific style) farms, while using methods based on minimal intervention where nature is allowed to do what it does best – grow abundantly. The book also has a spiritual side – Masanobu Fukuoka being a contemporary exponent of zen in action”.

We could go on forever recommending more top eco gifts but we hope we’ve given you some interesting ideas for now and for this season of good-will… Please do send us your recommendations too please!

2Comments | Post your own comment

  • Erik Blakeley comments:
    "I know that not many employers are this flexible but it occurs to me that one of the most eco-friendly gifts you could give to someone is to pay for them to take a day’s unpaid leave during which they could stay at home and try to have a little environmental impact as possible by reading one of the many books already on their shelves or taking a long walk around their own area or just staying in bed! We spend so much of our time working at things that don’t really justify the expense of resources and environmental impact maybe it is time we started to question the old work ethic and make a virtue of slowing down even unto sloth. "
    December 9, 2014 a 2:56 pm

  • vince adams comments:
    "What a wonderful list of great idea’s for Christmas, its solved my present list dilemma’s "
    December 9, 2014 a 11:00 am


Lets Get Energized says:
Dorset’s Ace Energy Win Large Heating Contract at Spiritual Healing Centre

Category: Biomass Energy, Renewable Heat Energy
Tags: ,


Ace Energy have just succeeded in winning a contract to install 180 kW of biomass heating at The Ammerdown Centre near Bath.

The new Windhager wood pellet system will replace three oil boilers and save the centre £8,700 in heating bills annually.

As a commercial project the centre will also benefit from the Non Domestic Renewable Heat incentive (RHI) providing them with over £21,000 each year for the next 20 years.

The first phase installation is expected to be followed with a further 60 kW in the staff quarters and at the chapel on site bringing the total installed to 240 kW. Over the term of the RHI the Ammerdown Centre are set to benefit by a staggering £450,000 in fuel savings and quarterly RHI receipts.

If you have a commercial property or even an annex on your home you may also be eligible for this energy saving, finance generating system so give Ace Energy a call for your free assessment on 01747 858853 or 01225 729005 or visit


Lets Get Energized says:
Good Energy Solar Farm Plans approved for Mapperton in East Dorset

Category: Dorset Energized News, Solar Energy


Above: Mock-up of the proposed Mapperton Solar Farm 

Dorset Energized are thrilled to announce that 1 of 3 proposed solar farms by Good Energy here in Dorset has now officially been approved.

The proposed 28MW solar farm is situated near the hamlet of Mapperton, north of the A31 and west of Sturminster Marshall, East Dorset.

The site has been carefully selected for minimal visual impact on the surrounding landscape. It’s very well-screened by existing woodland and native hedgerows, which will be enhanced where required, and by the land itself.

As well as generating enough renewable electricity to power around 6,826 homes, the proposed solar farm would:

  • include the creation of new wildflower meadows, which would improve the habitat for pollenating insects and provide a wildlife haven in this predominantly agricultural landscape;
  • provide a new outdoor space in which local school children can learn about energy, wildlife and the environment;
  • provide a community fund to support local projects worth a minimum of £25,000 per year for the life of the solar farm, of which £5,000 per year would be specifically for the hamlet of Mapperton; and
  • include the installation of solar PV systems at Sturminster Marshall First School and the Memorial Hall.

As we reported back in the Summer, only 1% of Dorset’s total energy demand comes from renewables which is a third of the UK national average so to play our part in meeting national renewable energy targets, generation needs to increase by over 15 times in just 8 years. As Dorset also has the highest number of sun hours in the country, solar is an obvious and exciting solution for Dorset!

Read our previous related blog posts on Good Energy’s solar farm plans here:

You can also read the full plans for Mapperton here:

Good Energy were the UK’s first 100% renewable electricity suppliers and are the owner of Delabole Wind Farm, which was the UK’s first commercial wind farm. It has targeted the development of 110MW of capacity of new renewable electricity generation assets by 2016. They work with a community of over 55,000 small and medium scale renewable electricity generators, and Good Energy Group plc has now announced the sale of the 12.8MW solar farm in Dorset. The transaction is part of Good Energy’s strategy to develop its portfolio through a combination of selling some sites and building and holding others.

Juliet Davenport, OBE, Founder and CEO of Good Energy commented:

“This transaction is part of an overall strategy to develop and build out our own renewable energy plant. It supports our long term vision for the company to own and generate 50% of our renewables supply.”


Jacob Windsor says:
Green Energy Suppliers Ecotricity partner with Dorset Energized

Category: Energy Deals & Offers, Green Electricity & Gas
Tags: , , ,


Ecotricity are pleased to launch our partnership with Dorset Energized and support the work they do help empower people to live a more sustainable life.

We’re an energy company unlike any other. We take the money our customers spend on their electricity and gas bills and turn it into new sources of Green Energy.

When we talk about green energy we mean 100% Green Electricity made from the wind and the sun and Green Gas – that comes with a ‘Frack Free’ guarantee. People are really beginning to turn against the Big Six energy companies, to question where their energy comes from. The reaction to fracking plans in Balcombe and elsewhere is evidence of that, and at Ecotricity we have ensured that none of our gas will come from fracking, and our electricity is always 100% Green.

And we don’t just supply green energy, we make it ourselves with our rapidly growing fleet of renewable energy parks.

As the Big Six Energy companies continue to increase prices by as much as 10%, we have frozen ours until next year. And we have a Price Promise too – that we will always be cheaper than the standard Big Six electricity tariff in your region and the standard gas price from British Gas wherever you live.

As a not-for-dividend company, with no shareholders or investors to keep happy, we’re free to dedicate our money to our mission – changing the way energy is made and used in Britain. And on average we continue to spend more per customer, per year, than all of the other energy companies in Britain put together.

Electricity is the biggest single source of carbon emissions in Britain – but it’s not the only one of course. The big three are Energy, Transport and Food: between them accounting for 80% of all of our personal carbon footprints. The one thing they have in common is that Energy plays a vital role in them all. That’s why we extended our work beyond the boundaries of traditional energy companies.

In Transport we built the Nemesis, Britain’s first electric super car – to demonstrate how cars of the future could actually be wind powered. Next came our Electric Highway, the world’s first national network of charging stations – to kick-start the electric car revolution in Britain, find out more here.

On the food front stay tuned for news of our wind powered tractor and farm energy concepts.

Partnerships with organisations like Dorset Energized are so important to helping create a Green Britain and revolutionise where our energy comes from. Switching energy supplier is one of the easiest and single biggest things you can do to make a change.

Switch to Ecotricity through Dorset Energized and you’ll receive a £60 Naked Wines voucher.

It couldn’t be easier to join us and takes less than five minutes.

Switch online at: or call us free on 08000 302 302. When you sign up please quote ‘Dorset Energized’.

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