Posts Tagged ‘energy efficiency’


How to Reduce Energy Consumption – We Need Solutions Like Tesla Powerwall

Category: Energy Efficiency
Tags: , ,

How to reduce energy consumption or how to improve energy efficiency are pertinent questions that need to be addressed sooner rather than later considering the pace at which we are moving towards an energy-deprived world. Most people are not overly concerned because they don’t see any imminent danger – Or they aren’t aware of the current state of affairs concerning energy usage across the world. On the other hand, there are individual and organizations that are working overtime to find solutions to the growing energy-consumption/energy-efficiency problem.

Robert Llewellyn, British, actor, writer, and presenter, has installed the Tesla Powerwall and upgraded the solar power system in home for sustainable and uninterrupted energy production day and night. The Powerwall is a set of batteries that stores the excessive solar energy produced during the day, but not used in that time. It utilizes this stored solar energy to power your home after the sun sets. You have a self-powered home that is not reliant on external energy resources for its daily power needs.

The Powerwall not only makes you use energy resources more efficiently but helps you save a lot on energy bills too. It is solutions like the Powerwall that are going to make a difference in our bid to reduce energy consumption and improve energy efficiency – And we need people like Robert who accept the challenges we are currently facing and are ready to make necessary amends to overcome them.


Vince Adams says:
Letsgetenergized is making its return to champion Renewable Energy

Category: Climate Change, Community Energy, Dorset Energized News, Electric Transport, Energy Events in Dorset, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Energy Stories, Sustainable Farming & Food, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized, Water Power, Wildlife & Nature, Wind Power
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This prototype Electric Tram is being tested in China, it runs on white painted lines in the road. Its highly advanced batteries give it amazing serviceability and it carries over 300 people.

Everyday I’m sent examples of new ways of developing electric transport capabilities. From cars to aeroplanes the future is electric and combined with the enormous development of renewable energy we are entering a new fossil fuel free era.

We can dramatically reduce pollution which effects everyone of us going about our daily routine.

We can begin to reverse the worst forecasts of climate change and together make our Planet once again safe for the generations to come.

Join us in spreading the word that the UK should be taking a lead in developing renewable energy and of course majoring on moving from petrol/diesel powered transport to electric or eventually even hydrogen.

None of our political parties are focussing on renewable energy or climate change the most important issues of our times. Hold your potential MP’s locally to account and make commitments of support on both subjects.

Our commitment is clear, to the Planet, to landscape, to people and of course to the Natural World.

Tell us your own stories about installing solar, buying an electric car anything that will give confidence to other people thinking of making changes.

Forward our website details to all your friends, relatives and colleagues. Lets shout about this new energy and really get the show on the road here in the


Vince Adams says:
Is this PR or a real time to re-think energy policy

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Energy News for UK, Sustainable Living, Uncategorized
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We have an amazing opportunity to say No to Nuclear and Hinkley Point B and focus on a future that embraces renewable energy and builds a sustainable future for us all.

Please read on:


july 29 2016, 12:01am, the times
No Point in Hinkley
Alternatives to the large-scale nuclear power station planned for Somerset are now so numerous that the government should cut its losses and start again

Hours after the French energy giant EDF gave final approval for its investment in the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station last night, the government put the project under review. It was right to do so. The EDF decision is the wrong one for British consumers, Britain’s energy infrastructure and for the company itself. As part of a sensible overhaul of this country’s energy strategy for the next half-century, taking into account fast-changing renewable technologies that could render fossil fuels obsolete within a generation, Hinkley Point needs to be scrapped.
The twin reactors planned for the Somerset site would constitute the biggest and most expensive nuclear power station in the world. Their combined capacity would power five million homes and help to make up a shortfall that the National Grid already has to remedy by paying inflated prices to existing power producers. But EDF’s design is unproven and unaffordable. The project as a whole is too dependent on Chinese investment. Even EDF is not wholly behind it. Last year its chief financial officer resigned rather than support it. Yesterday a board member quit for the same reason.

Hinkley Point C was supposed to produce electricity from next year. The earliest date now envisaged is 2025. If that were plausible the project might still be worth considering. In reality two plants of the same design now under construction in Finland and France are years behind schedule and billions over budget after a series of technical problems. Two more in China have been built faster and more cheaply but have yet to enter service.

EDF has modified the design for France’s own modernisation plans. It is absurd to persist with the discredited version at Hinkley Point, especially when there are so many alternatives.

The US, Japan and Britain’s own Rolls-Royce produce smaller nuclear reactors that could fit more flexibly and much less expensively into our future energy mix. Gas-powered stations can be built in as few as two years once planning requirements have been met, and are the cleanest, most efficient bridge to a low-carbon supply as Britain’s last coal-powered plants are phased out.

Most auspiciously, recent advances in artificial photosynthesis offer the prospect of a solar power revolution that is likely to pull renewables from the fringe to the centre of the energy industry within the lifetime of any nuclear plant under construction today. Last month a team from Harvard announced a breakthrough towards “artificial leaves” that can produce liquid fuel from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide — as plants do, but with up to ten times the efficiency. A second project, at the University of Illinois, has achieved the same trick with low-cost catalysts built into solar panels producing burnable gas rather than electricity. The process solves the energy storage problem that conventional solar power can only address with batteries.

Artificial photosynthesis has long been seen as a holy grail of energy science because its output is carbon-neutral and its input, the sun, is limitless. Its commercialisation will take time, but that of traditional solar panels is far advanced. Falling in price by an average of 10 per cent a year, they are expected to produce a fifth of the planet’s power within a decade.

Energy planners must be nimble enough to embrace these new technologies. To proceed with Hinkley Point C instead is to be held hostage to a design that is outdated before it is built and will never be commercially viable. The strike price agreed by Britain for EDF is twice the current wholesale price for electricity. The evidence suggests that Britain and France are pressing ahead with Hinkley Point C to save the blushes of successive governments that put their faith in it without paying enough attention to its many flaws. Shame on them.


Vince Adams says:
Car Sharing and your iPhone is this the future

Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized
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The Merging Worlds of
Technology and Cars
By Alex Webb and Chloe Whiteaker
June 28, 2016
The line between the technology and automotive industries is blurring. The rise of rideshare companies such as Uber and Lyft means that transportation is being tied ever more closely to your cell phone, while autonomous driving technology is turning your car into a computer. But these developments are expensive: Carmakers’ R&D budgets jumped 61 percent, to $137 billion from 2010 to 2014.

Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne thinks it makes no sense for carmakers to spend billions of dollars developing competing, yet largely identical systems. To share some of the risk—and the cost—the incumbent automotive giants and their would-be disruptors are teaming up in an ever-growing, ever more complex series of alliances.

So Fiat Chrysler, for instance, has paired up with Google to develop 100 self-driving minivans, and is in discussions with Uber about a similar venture. Google has, in turn, invested in Uber, as have Toyota, Microsoft and Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover. Bill Ford, chairman of the eponymous carmaker, has meanwhile invested in Lyft, as has General Motors, and Lyft has partnered with China’s Didi, itself the subject of a $1 billion investment from Apple.

Failed talks
Personnel move
GM invested
$500 million in
Lyft and bought
Cruise Automation
for $1 billion.
Uber hired Google’s VP of engineering.
Owner of
Land Rover
Uber hired Ford’s head of electronic systems
engineering to become VP of global vehicle programs.
Apple invested
$1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing company, Didi, which partners with Lyft.
DriveNow is a joint venture between BMW and Sixt Rent a Car.
Daimler founded Car2Go and acquired MyTaxi and RideScout.
VW, BMW and Daimler partnered to buy Nokia’s HERE maps.
Daimler invested in Blacklane, an app for booking chauffeurs.
VW hired the head of Apple’s car project, who previously worked at Daimler.
VW invested
$300 million in
company, Gett.
VW owns a stake in the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI).
The prize is lucrative, and the carmakers want to ensure that software players don’t win the lion’s share of it. McKinsey estimates that rideshare and onboard-data services could generate an additional $1.5 trillion of annual automotive revenue by 2030, adding to the $5.2 trillion from traditional car sales and services. And it’s attractive for consumers too: It costs an average of $8,558 per year to own a car in the U.S., but each vehicle is used just 4 percent of the time. Ridesharing in an autonomous vehicle could ensure that cars are always in use.

SOURCE: Data compiled by Bloomberg
ADDITIONAL WORK: John Lippert, Keith Naughton and Cedric Sam


Vince Adams says:
Save Energy Tips and Save £££’s

Category: Energy Efficiency, Uncategorized

David Bedford has created this amazing guide and has offered to share it with our subscribers.

Theres a huge range of energy saving tips and I hope you find it helpful




Sophia Karlberg says:
Dorset, Devon & Wiltshire Councils work with France to tackle our Energy Challenge

Category: Climate Change, Dorset Energized News, Energy Efficiency, Sustainable Living
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I would like to tell you about a positive local collaboration between, amongst others, Dorset, and Brittany in France, that has been going on since May 2011!

I met up with the SEACS (Sustainable Energy Across the Common Space) partnership of local councils on both sides of the Channel, in St Brieuc France, earlier this January to finalise their work on energy saving initiatives.

Tackling the Energy Challenge Together!

This is the vision of the £2million EU-funded project, called Sustainable Energy Across the Common Space, bringing together three UK local authorities; Devon County Council, Dorset County Council and Wiltshire Council, along with two French local authorities in Brittany; Conseil Général des Côtes d’Armor and Lannion-Trégor Agglomération.

The aim of the project is to create opportunities to reduce energy demand, implement energy efficiency measures and use clean renewable energies. The project has raised awareness on the importance of acting now on climate and energy issues and encourage people to change attitudes and behaviours towards energy usage for the long term.

Energy at home, at school, at work

The project is assisting individuals, households, communities, schools (including several schools here in Dorset) and local authority buildings to change their behaviour towards energy usage, implement sustainable energy measures and therefore reduce their energy demand.

The project focused on “Working with People and Communities” and “Working with Schools and Public Buildings”. Through the project the partners has reached around 100 households, 15 community groups around 50 schools and public buildings and to directly involve them in energy action planning.

After 2 days of meeting, the partners managed to review the many different case studies carried out by the partners within the project, to gather the information which will be fed into a toolbox and to discuss potential future collaboration projects.

The toolbox will give information about the all different stages of the initiative, the aim is to serve as a help guide for other authorities wishing to replicate one of the initiatives.

The presentation of the SEACS project will be held in Exeter in the end of March 2014.

Read more about this extraordinary collaboration at:


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


Paul McIntosh says:
Free draughtbusters workshops in Bridport 16th November

Category: Dorset Energized News, Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security
Tags: , ,

Draught Busters Poster

Save fuel, save money, save the environment. Draughts are responsible for up to 15% of heat loss in the home. The discomfort from cold draughts can make homes feel even colder. Transition Town Bridport are hosting two free workshops to help cut your bills this winter, demonstrating effective, low cost ways to save fuel and make your home more comfortable.

They will show you how to make thermal curtain liners without a sewing machine and how to draught-proof your home.

Both workshops will be held in the Chapel in the Garden, 13 East St, Bridport DT6 3JX.

Workshop 1 – Curtains
10:00am Saturday 9th November 2013

How to make a pair of simple thermal liners to beef-up your existing curtains into cold stoppers. Also, how to turn duvet covers into curtains. You will receive free thermal lining material, which does not need hemming, for one of your windows. Please give us the dimensions of your window openings and existing curtains before the workshop.

The liners are made by ironing curtain tape on to the liner with hemming tape and then reinforcing the tape with a minimal number of stitches.

The tools you will need to make thermal liners at home are an iron, hemming tape and a needle and thread.

Workshop 2 – Draught-proofing
10:00am Saturday 16th November 2013

How to draught-proof your windows and doors using professional quality draught-proofing strips. Funding has enabled us to provide materials for the workshop and allow you to buy the materials at less than half the retail price.

The tools you will need to draught-proof your home are a pair of secateurs, a small hacksaw, a tape measure and a small hammer.

For further details or to book a place on or Chit Chong on 01297 445682


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

Category: Climate Change, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy
Tags: , , , ,

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:
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:


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).


Theresa McManus says:
DECC Green Deal Quick Guides

Category: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy
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The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) have published some guides on the various aspects of the Green Deal which are available to download. These are aimed at domestic customers, and will hopefully make it easier to access funding for a wide range of energy efficiency measures AND renewable energy measures. Funding will be available from  the end of January 2013.

Visit the DECC website to download the Green Deal Quick Guides:


Theresa McManus says:
Cornish Manufacturer Launches Pixie Heat Pump

Category: Heat Pumps, Renewable Heat Energy
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Cornwall-based Kensa engineering, has launched the smallest ground source heat pump on the market, designed to provide space heating and domestic hot water for flats and small dwellings.

The Shoebox Heat Pump is small enough to fit inside a kitchen cabinet! Like all ground source heat pumps it is ideal for new builds, but it can also be retrofitted to properties that have suitably sized outside space, such as a car park, to contain the boreholes for the heat-collecting slinky pipes.

The system is certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and is eligible for funding under the commercial Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) because it qualifies as a district heating system. The marketing executive at Kensa Heat Pumps has been reported as saying that the approximate cost per unit is around £4000, including the borehole and other costs, and that it would typically pay for itself over the lifetime of the RHI.

Find more about Heat Pumps here:


Theresa McManus says:
Turning Down the Heat

Category: Energy Efficiency
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Most people are now worried by their rising energy bills, highlights an article in Greenwise published on 16th October (

Apparently, the YouGov Household Economic Activity Tracker (HEAT) shows that UK consumers are more worried about energy price hikes over the coming year than they are about unemployment, inflation or taxes.

However, at the same time, most people can also make lots of really easy savings.
There are two key things that can reduce your energy bills:

1. Simply use less energy!

  • Turn off appliances at the plug when not in use – especially equipment (like phone chargers) that includes a transformer.
  • Turn lights off if you’re the last person leaving the room – even if you think someone will be back in a few minutes.
  • Only fill the kettle to the level you need to use at that moment.
  • You could also change the timings of your central heating and hot water so that it comes on a bit later and goes off a bit earlier.

2. Stop your home from losing so much heat through insulating cavities and lofts, which is still currently free for most people. Other types of insulation, like cladding solid walls, secondary glazing and measures like draughtproofing, will all be potentially eligible for Green Deal loans when they become available early next year. (Don’t miss the FREE Draught Busters Workshops in Bridport 27th October & 1st December 2012 – see Paul’s blog post on:

For more tips check out:
Contact DEAC on 0800 975 0166 for more information and free, impartial advice about saving money through saving energy.


Paul McIntosh says:
Draught Busters Workshops in Bridport 27th October & 1st December 2012

Category: Energy Efficiency, Energy Events in Dorset, Fuel Poverty & Security
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Transition Town Bridport are running 2 Draught Busters workshops to help people reduce their heating bills.

27th October & 1st December 2012
Draught Busters
Unitarian Church,Victoria Grove, Bridport  

The workshops will be run by Chit Chong and willinclude training on how to stop draughts around leaky windows and doors, and is suitable for anyone who can use a small hammer. Transition Town Bridport will also supply the materials at cost to participants. Typically, the cost will be around £10-£15 for the plastic strips; the workshops are free.

Cutting out draughts makes a huge difference to keeping a house warm and cosy, and saving money from fuel bills, as well as reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Chit has recently started a business in Bridport providing more extensive insulation, and he will be available to discuss other ways of saving energy in the home. His website is at

Anyone who would like to attend a workshop should email admin@transitiontownbridport, telephone Chit Chong at 01297 480825 or visit

Download the Draught Busters Poster >>

1Comments | Post your own comment

  • Theresa McManus comments:
    "People often ignore measures like draughtproofing, but they can save as much wasted energy as double glazing – and doesn’t cost anything like as much ! Invest in some sealant today! "
    October 18, 2012 a 2:58 pm


Theresa McManus says:
Updates on Grants & Rewards for Renewables & Energy Saving in Your Home

Category: Renewable Energy
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Free Cavity Wall and Loft Insulation
We have been saying that CERT, the mechanism behind utility companies providing money for insulation grants, is on it’s last legs for so long, it feels a bit like we’ve been crying wolf. The official end date was March 2011, but it’s been extended and extended to allow for the Green Deal, it’s replacement, to be fleshed out (to a point) and (soft) launched.

For Scottish and Southern Electricity (SSE), the provider of grants for our area, the main funding stream is now closed. However, Dorset Energy Advice Centre (DEAC) have negotiated a separate stream of funding with SSE so that we can continue to offer grants until early November. We are also investigating other funding opportunities to enable this service, providing free insulation, to be extended for as long as possible.

The Green Deal
The Green Deal was officially launched on 1st October 2012 with the establishment of an enabling legal framework. From 28th January 2013, Green Deal Providers will be able to offer Green Deal plans to consumers and begin deliver a wide range of energy efficiency and heating measures at no up front cost to the customer.

In practice it means that these few months are intended to be used by Green Deal providers, assessors and installers who can start to become authorised to provide Green Deal services and to display the Green Deal Quality Mark, and put in place their quality systems for delivering assessments to customers .

DEAC, our Green Deal partners and network of local installers, have been preparing to be Green Deal ready for a number of months, and these activities are progressing well. We will be offering assessments, plans, installed measures, and providing finance options that are as locally-based as possible to ensure a high quality service to the customer.

Feed In Tariff for Home Energy Generators
For those customers who are considering installing solar PV panels on their home, the Feed in Tariff (FIT) payment amount will be set according to the date of installation. To see how much you would be eligible for, look at

From the date of the installation, you will receive that amount plus the annual index-linked uplift for the duration of the FIT payments. Note that from 1st August 2012, evidence of the property’s Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating will be required when applying for FITs. If no evidence showing the EPC has a band D or higher, then the lower rate of FIT will apply.

Energy Performance Certificates have been a mandatory requirement of the Home Information Pack since 2007. If your home does not already have one, call DEAC to get one arranged on 0800 975 0166.

Renewable Heat Incentives
The domestic element of the Renewable Heat Incentive, (RHI – like FITs except for heat energy produced by renewable, e.g. solar thermal panel producing hot water), won’t be available until mid-2013. However, the interim offer of approximately 10% of the install cost for some of these technologies, the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, is still available until the end of March 2013, subject to funding. For more details see

For further advice on any of the above incentives, get in touch with myself or my colleagues at DEAC on or call  0800 975 0166.


Lets Get Energized says:
Greendor Eco-homes in Dorchester a great success

Category: Eco Homes DIY & Tourism, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Sustainable Living
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Dorchester recently had its first weekend of free visits to eco-homes, on 8th and 9th September 2012. The weekend was part of Architectural Heritage Week and was organised by greendor, a local community project. The event was a great success, with over 260 visits to the seven homes that were open over the two days. Visitors commented that they found the visits “inspirational” and said it was “lovely to have such informed people to tell us about it”.

The open homes ranged from an individually designed low-carbon home built in 2010 to historic Listed Buildings that have been adapted for low-energy living.

The aim was to show in a practical way how people can save energy at home and still be comfortable. In fact by saving money on their fuel, water and electricity bills they can lighten the load on the household budget. At the same time it’s helping Dorchester to move towards lower-carbon living, which we all need to do as oil is getting more expensive and climate change is increasing.

Some of the things that visitors enjoyed seeing were unusual materials at different homes, such as external wall insulation made from lime and wood-fibre, a light tube to bring natural daylight into a dark area of the building, and a rainwater harvesting system which host Tobin Sykes said “has halved our water costs – and that was our highest utility bill.”

Many people expressed interest in following up their visit, and greendor is planning some further events. Ideas include : an opportunity to use a thermal imaging camera, which can show up where heat is leaking out of a building; home visits by local independent energy advisers; talks by energy and building experts; and small home-based groups where people can learn together about greener living.

Anyone who would like to know more about these events is welcome to contact Sally Cooke at or 07794 432 297.

Details will also be posted on the website

Here’s some further reading:

1. greendor is a newly started community initiative. It works in association with Transition Town Dorchester, and is grateful for a small grant from Dorset County Council towards the costs of the weekend. It is also very grateful for practical help from Dorset Energy Advice Centre, and for the generosity of the eco-homes hosts in opening up their homes. We also appreciate the help of East Dorset Heritage Trust, who administer Architectural Heritage Week in Dorset.

2. Energy from buildings is a big contributor to the UK’s overall carbon footprint, providing 36% of total UK greenhouse gas emissions. See the UK’s government-established Climate Change Committee website:

3. Dorset has a target of raising its contribution to clean energy generation by over ten-fold by 2020, and home generation has a part to play in that. See Dorset’s Renewable Energy Strategy:

4. The building industry employs over 2 million people in the UK, and has great potential for transforming the country’s building stock. Providing an opportunity to see the skills that are involved in low-carbon building or re-fitting has been one of the aims of the open eco-homes weekend. Guests from the local planning and building sector attended a special event at the Chalk Wall House, Dorchester, on Sunday 9th September.


Paul McIntosh says:
Big Energy Savings Week 22nd – 27th October 2012

Category: Community Energy, Renewable Energy
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Big Energy Savings Week aims to raise awareness with consumers on help that is available regarding energy bills, providing advice on energy efficiency and much more.
This year, Big Energy Saving Week will take place between 22–27 October 2012. The name reflects the collaboration with the Energy Saving Trust, who traditionally hold an event in October called ‘Energy Saving Week’.

Citizens Advice will co-ordinate the week in partnership with a large and diverse range of national organisations, including Government, charities, advice agencies and energy suppliers who are providing an increased level of funding to support the week.

Rural communities are a key target for this week and there are a range of opportunities for RCAN members to participate in promoting BESW – from running an event to promote your oil buying scheme or working in partnership with CAB, Age UK and others to deliver a larger project. RCAN members can attend free training provided by Scottish Power or apply for funding for fieldworkers to take a City and Guilds Energy Awareness course.
An overview of BESW activities are below and full details along with the Local Delivery Fund application form are attached in the email:

* A small grants fund for partners to help with the costs of holding events or providing advice.

* A larger grants fund, Local Delivery Fund, which local partnerships can apply for – to further the work of BESW in the long term (application form available to apply for funding and the closing date is 10 September 2012).

* Free half-day training sessions nationwide for 1,500 fieldworkers and advice workers on switching, energy tariffs, energy efficiency and more. Places will be allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

* Support with promotional and materials for events

For more information and related downloads visit the Sustainable Dorset website:


Lets Get Energized says:
BREG/Ourganics Anaerobic Digestion Training Events 23rd – 30th September 2012

Category: Community Energy, Energy Events in Dorset, Renewable Energy, Renewable Energy Film/Video, Sustainable Living
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Article by Richard Toft from BREG – the Bridport Renewable Energy Group:

BREG are now at the stage where our anaerobic digester is producing gas reliably from grass cuttings (what else you might ask?!), and turning our attention to how it can contribute to the activities at our host site, Ourganics. This has given us the confidence to tell you about the project, and to invite you to one of the events we are planning in late September at Ourganics in Litton Cheney.

The first on Sunday 23rd September, is a general introduction to Ourganics and the AD process. This will run in both the morning and afternoon, and there will be a charge of £5.

The second, rather more technical and perhaps more targeted at food producers, is on Wednesday morning 26th September. You will get lunch as part of the package, hence the price of £10.

The final event, the masterclass, is intended for people who are thinking of installing their own system or are just hungry for detailed technical knowledge. It will be on Sunday 30th September and be an all day event with lunch included, for £40.

Please note all these events will include tea /coffee and cake, and we’ll be making use of the biogas.

The distinctions I make above are only suggestions, and of course you would be welcome at any event. Before you decide you might like to look at the events page on our website on, as it gives you all the information that is missing from the above.

Please contact BREG if you would like to attend through our website on or feel free to email

You can also check out this video where BREG’s Malcolm explains micro AD:

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