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Low carbon communities

29th June 2009 @ 7:07am – by Audlem Webteam
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On Monday 6th July, Simon Ross of the Marches Energy Agency in Shrewsbury will attend the Parish Council meeting at St James' Primary School to explain what this charity could offer Audlem in terms of energy-saving advice and practical help. The meeting starts as usual at 7.30 pm and is open to all residents – so if you want to find out what you can do to lower your bills and help the environment then go along.

Below is a overview provided by Simon Ross setting out what the Marches Energy Agency can offer:

Low Carbon Communities

Outline:

As a response to climate change and concerns around fuel security we work with communities to start lots of conversations around sustainable energy. By integrating activity in homes, community buildings and businesses the intention is to give residents the ability to make informed decisions in their own lives and so start responding to climate change and fossil fuel depletion.

Detail:

Low Carbon Communities offers 6 main areas of activity:

1. For homes – an energy efficiency workshop supported by on-line monitoring where residents can compare their energy use with friends and neighbours.
2. For community buildings – an energy survey and application to a major Government funding programme for the installation of renewable technologies.
3. For schools – a structured programme of energy efficiency activity for pupils over an academic year.
4. For businesses – sustainable energy surveys undertaken.
5. For volunteers – energy efficiency training.
6. A dedicated project manager who can exploit and co-ordinate other funding opportunities as they arise.

Sharing the journey with community groups and local people is crucial to success. We need your local knowledge and networks. In exchange we can offer a structured approach to energy descent that'll reduce CO2 emissions, help save money and give you the skills to continue beyond the project's lifetime. The hope is that all this activity will spill over in to other areas of the community – food, transport, its local economy and sense of place- and start to build resilience and understanding of the issues we all face.

The ideal project duration is 6 months planning and 18 months of delivery – 2 years altogether. The minimum delivery time is one year.

Cost:

Funding is currently being sought from the Northern Marches LEADER+ programme. It is planned to make the project free to the community at the point of delivery.

Match Funding:
There are a couple of options for match funding. This could be an extra £20,000-£100,000. Match funding sources include:

  • the Low Carbon Building Programme for domestic renewables,
  • Carbon Emissions Reduction Target funding for domestic insulation,
  • Community Sustainable Energy Programme for community building surveys and renewables.
  • In addition a dedicated project manger can also be used to go out and explore other funding.
There are savings of £00s as people understand about their energy use and become less wasteful.

Outcomes:

  • Energy efficiency advice provided to 30-400 extra homes.
  • CO2 (and fuel bills) reduced by 10-50% in participating homes
  • Pupils understanding of the issues has increased and 1-2 renewable technologies installed in schools.
  • 2-30 businesses with a better understanding of how to reduce overheads in the current economic slowdown, and are actively doing so.
  • Volunteers trained to continue the journey.
  • Lots of conversations started and the community much closer to a significant shift in attitude.


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