Energy Awareness

Porlock Community Energy Awareness

Energy Economy, Renewables and Carbon Profile

In 2007, a group of individuals, conscious of the untapped natural free energy resources abounding around Porlock Vale and concerned that the community could do more to help the ecology, formed PORLOCK POWER. The aims were to:

  1. investigate local opportunities for micro-hydro, tidal, solar, wind, ground, water and air source heat pump, etc forms of energy generation
  2. encourage home growing and usage of local organic sources of food
  3. support harvesting rainwater for garden irrigation and water saving generally
  4. learn enough to provide advice to local people on making best use of renewable energy opportunities, and insulation etc for their own homes

A local district councillor was invited to join and took an active part. They soon found that being in a National Park, some compromises are needed and there are other complications such as land ownership and unsuitable conditions for wind generation in the immediate area, but progress was made and members joined with FORUM21, West Somerset District Council’s sustainability group to learn and grow. FORUM21 is currently supported by funding from West Somerset DC, Exmoor National Park and the South West Rural Development Authority (SWRDA) through WSDC.

There are a couple of micro-hydro projects that have been taken forward by individual property owners at their own expense as support funding is just proving too elusive. They will however be helped by the new infeed tariffs. Most members of Porlock Power have installed at least solar water heating.

One member has now been trained to City and Guilds level in domestic energy awareness through FORUM21 and carries out free surveys and audits for local householders, giving advice about energy efficiency, insulation, draft-proofing where necessary and referring for grant support where possible.

BOOK YOUR FREE HOME ENERGY SURVEY WITH VIRGINIA EVANS
Tel: (01643) 703161 or email: vireva@yahoo.co.uk

Or ask your local surveyor Tony Pinnington :–
Tel: (01643) 862002 or email: tony.pinnington@btopenworld.com

It is hoped that we can get together a group of interested householders and check the possibility of negotiating a subsidised and cost-effective group purchasing deal for the installation of various renewable energy or ecologically beneficial items such as solar panels, water harvesting etc.

There are many useful websites for advice on various energy saving and ecology matters, plus a self calculator for your own carbon profile, some listed below, and the Porlock Newsletter is featuring a series of clips on energy saving advice and sources of grant support to supplement the FORUM21 efforts.

Some useful contacts and websites are as follows:

ENERGY SAVING TRUST (EST)
Full range of energy and water saving advice and the latest on grants available. Freephone 0800512012
www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

FORUM21
Contact Lorna Scott, co-ordinator
Tel: (01984) 634242, email: mail@forum21.org.uk

RENEWABLE ENERGY
Covers many types of renewable Energy:
www.yougen.co.uk

CENTRE FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY- BRISTOL
CSE manage the Warm Streets project, funded by local authority and Scottish and Southern Electricity to provide free or subsidied loft and cavity wall insulation.
0117 934 1400, email: info@cse.org.uk , website: www.cse.org,uk

WARM FRONT
A government funded scheme to provide grants for energy efficiency advice, and a package of tailored heating and insulation improvements up to a value of £3,500 to people who are on certain benefits and either own their home or rent it from a private landlord.
Freephone 0800 072 9006, www.warmfront.co.uk

Look out for energy or water saving tips in each edition of the Porlock Newsletter