We’re excited! Our Community Solar Share is now open

We’re excited! Our Community Solar Share is now open

On Sept 14th at Tamar Energy Community (TEC) we’ve launched our community share offer to raise £290,000 from the community to support our ‘Solar Roofs’ portfolio of renewable energy installations across the Tamar Valley.

There is a lot of interest in community investments at the moment, and this share offer will be marketed nationally from 28th September.To enable as much benefit as possible to be retained locally, anyone with an interest is encouraged to find out more between now and the 28th September.

The offer aims to raise £290,000 by 31 Oct 2020 to support TEC’s existing portfolio of community-owned rooftop solar arrays. These Solar Roofs are generating green energy from the sun, in and around the Tamar Valley. Any excess income is transferred to TEC’s community benefit fund which is used to help address energy efficiency and fuel poverty in the area. 

Launched today, the share offer provides an opportunity for co-ownership of the Solar Roofs portfolio, and receiving a fair return for your investment. You can find out more here or click on the image below.

From just £250 local people can support community-owned, low-carbon energy generation whilst targeting a financial return of up to 5%, subject to the risks set out in solar share offer document available here.

In 2016 and 2017, TEC installed six arrays of solar PV panels on the roofs of local schools and businesses in the area. These Solar Roofs generate over 250,000kWh of solar electricity per year – the equivalent to the annual energy demand of around 70 average UK

homes. What’s more, the electricity generated by the Solar Roofs is expected to displace over 230 tonnes of CO2 per year. 

Surplus income from the solar energy generated from the installations is reinvested into the community, through TEC’s community benefit fund.  This funding helps the disadvantaged in their community to tackle fuel poverty through energy efficiency and clean renewable energy initiatives.

It’s expected this surplus income will be over £200,000 in total over the next 18 years, with a projected minimum of £5,000 per year. TEC’s first round of community grants has already been deployed to local Energy Hardship Funds to provide support to households during the COVID-19 crisis.

“Our community solar has enabled us to save 50 tonnes of CO₂ to date and provides an everyday example within the school of the benefits of renewable energy. We work with our pupils to encourage them to save energy and have a thriving Eco Committee.

We’ve been able to invest the savings on our energy bills into other areas of the school.”
“The community benefit contribution to our Hardship Fund is particularly welcome at this time”
Pete Hamlyn, Headteacher, Carbeile Junior School, Torpoint.

Funds raised via the share offer will repay some of the existing loan funding that was secured to fund initial installation costs of the solar panels. Investors will be granted membership of TEC, giving them the opportunity to get involved in shareholder voting and having a say in the future running of the community.

Let’s localise energy

Power from the sun for a greener planet and local community benefit

A Helping Hand for Cold Homes

A Helping Hand for Cold Homes

Eligible residents, who are living without gas heating, are being offered the opportunity to benefit from free gas central heating for your home from West Devon Borough Council (WDBC).

The funding for Borough residents was gained last year from the Warm Home Fund and it is still available. WDBC and Tamar Energy Community (TEC) would really like to see eligible residents applying as soon as possible. The scheme is called Cosy and Warm.

Funding for a first time gas central heating system under this scheme comes from the Warm Home Fund and further funding from the Council together with contributions from SSE Energy Solution’s ECO fund (they are project managing the scheme) and Wales and West Utilities who manage the gas network. Wales and West will contribute by connecting properties to the gas network.

The Council would like to hear from residents who are struggling to pay heating bills and living in a cold home without a central heating system, but living close to the gas main.

Applications are welcome from owner occupiers and from the private rental sector, for households who do not have any central heating system (there is a £500 charge for landlords). Eligibility is dependent on the heating within the home, distance to the gas network and household income (homeowners or tenants must be under the household income threshold of £35,000 p.a.).

If you’re concerned aboout your heating and not sure if you qualify you can find out more here from WDBC. If you’d like to have a chat to someone about your energy needs and whether you may be eligible you can also call us at TEC on 0800-233-5414, email hello@tamarenergycommunity.com or check out this our web page.

Cold Calling Concerns, Home Energy Efficiency and Green Homes Grant

There are a growing number of reports of businesses claiming to represent West Devon Borough Council (WDBC) knocking on doors and offering home energy improvements. WDBC will never cold call.

One reason may be recent Government announcements about home improvements vouchers.

Our advice is that if any company cold calls or if they claim they work for ‘the council’ do not engage with them or allow them into your home.

The Green Homes Grant (voucher) scheme details are not yet clear. If you are interested in the scheme, we are inviting you to register your interest with us at Tamar Energy Community (TEC), and we will keep you informed. Working with our community energy colleagues and local authorities across Devon we will be putting together information. We plan to hold a webinar to share details and answer questions you may have. Check this link for more information.

We would also encourage anyone with concerns about your energy bills and/or keeping warm this winter to take steps early, before the weather starts to get cold. At TEC we offer free independent advice and support through our Warm and Well service We can also advise on the potential availability of grants for home energy measures. Find out more here.

Lockdown Interview by Links Magazines – Tamar Energy Community tells us about saving money

Lockdown Interview by Links Magazines – Tamar Energy Community tells us about saving money

We’d like to thank Tim Randall from Links Magazines for his time and attention in inviting Tamar Energy Community (TEC) to participate in Links Magazines series of Localdown Interviews.

Thanks also to Andy Coulson from our TEC team being up for the Zoom Lockdown interview.

Listen and watch here to find out more about:

  • how we, at TEC, have adapted our services to enable us to continue to work with you.
  • top tips for making your home energy efficient and the importance of taking time NOW to prepare for winter energy costs
  • our community energy projects designed to develop and generate energy locally and plough the profits back into the community
  • our forthcoming Community Share Offer
  • a welcome to anyone across the area with an interest in localising energy, particularly anyone with engineering, educational, social media or finance skills to get more involved. 

If you would like to get in touch you can email (hello@tamarenergycommunity.com) or give us a ring – 0800-233-5414.

 

 

Climate Emergency into Positive Action – Fri. 6th March 2020

Climate Emergency into Positive Action – Fri. 6th March 2020

When: Fri Mar 6th, 18:30 for 19:00

Where: Lower Deck Cafe, United Reforned Church, Russell Street, Tavistock. PL19 8BD

We had a great evening with 50 attendees. Thanks everyone for joining us and very many thanks to Blue Skies Catering for the wonderful vegan Jambalaya which we all enjoyed.

TEC AGM: Ran from 19:00 to 19:30. Minutes will be available in April 20

The event: Thanks to our speakers for the informative presentations and for the lively and positive discussions. We will share a summary and the presentations soon including:

  • Art and Energy – building community support – with Jenny Ayrton (Art & Energy CIC)
  • What’s West Devon Borough Council doing? How can we help? – Cllr. Neil Jory (Leader, WDBC)
  • Let’s hear from Tavistock Town Council – Lesley Crawford (TTC)
  • Communities and the smart energy revolution- Ky Hoare, Regen
  • The future of 21st century housing – fit for the future – Kate Royston (Tamar Energy Community)
  • Our Community Share Offer launching soon – TEC
  • What can I do? – All

The participation: We had a number of participatory activities including a “What can I do” board. We’ll be publishing this very soon.

Read more about the event and the topics here

Tamar Energy Community Annual General Meeting – Fri. 6th March 2020

Tamar Energy Community Annual General Meeting – Fri. 6th March 2020

Formal Notice of Tamar Energy Community’s Annual General Meeting … Friday 6th March 2020.

You are hereby notified that the Annual General Meeting of Tamar Energy Community will be held on Friday 6th March 2020 in the Lower Deck Cafe, United Reformed Church, Russell Street, Tavistock. PL19 8BD.

Refreshments will be available from 18:30. The formal proceedings will commence at 19:00.

Agenda:

  1. Welcome to Members
  2. Apologies for absence
  3. Minutes and matters arising from the previous AGM
  4. Presenting our Accounts and Reports of the Board
  5. The Application of Profits
  6. Resolution 1: To apply the audit exemption
  7. Election of the Board
  8. Any other business
  9. Date of next meeting

It would help us plan the event including refreshments and seating if you could let us know if you’re planning to attend (Email hello@tamarenergycommunity.com).

The formal agenda will be followed by our interactive event “Climate Emergency into Positive Action” including:

  • Art and Energy – building community support – with Naomi and Jenny (Art & Energy CIC)
  • What’s West Devon Borough Council doing?  How can we help? – Cllr. Neil Jory
  • Communities and the smart energy revolution- Regen (TBC)
  • The future of 21st century housing – Community ownership? – TBC
  • Our Community Share Offer launching soon – TEC
  • What can I do? – All

Close by 21:30 with time for chatting and refreshments

Keeping Warm and Well this Autumn and Winter

October’s a good time to be thinking about how prepared we all are for the colder weather before it arrives.

There are a number of things to consider and practical measures that we can all take to make sure we stay warm and well.

It’s a good idea to track your energy use and understand how much you’re using at different times of the year. This can help in managing your energy bills (gas, electricity, LPG, oil, wood etc.). Making sure you’re on a good deal is also important. Switching gas and electricity providers is much easier these days.

Now is also the time to check if you’re eligible for the £140 annual Warm Home Discount and, if you’re of pensionable age or have any vulnerability (e.g. disability or ill health) to sign up for the Priority Services Register.

LED lights can help reduce your bills, particularly if you are still using halogen or old-fashioned light bulbs which can cost ten times as much as LEDs. Using a slow cooker and a microwave can also reduce the cost of cooking.

Dealing with damp is essential. Damp air takes longer to heat and will cost more, and mould is dangerous for your health. Always ventilate well. Seek advice if you think you have structural or plumbing problems causing damp.

Stopping your heat escaping is key to staying warm. Draught busting (e.g. door and window strips, thermal blinds, chimney balloons, floor board strips) can make a big difference. Check that you have enough insulation in the loft, cavity walls are filled, pipes are lagged and radiators on external walls have reflectors. Underfloor and solid wall insulation could also be options. You may be eligible for help with insulation.

An efficient heating system and suitable heating controls that you understand are most important. Central heating boilers should also be serviced at least once every two years.

If you don’t have a central heating system, there are some schemes available across West Devon to help with first time central heating as well as broken or very inefficient heating systems.

If your home is suitable, solar panels on the roof can help reduce electricity bills and can help with hot water with the right sort of tank and a solar diverter. Eligible households with electric heating may be able to get a system at a reduced cost system.

If you’d like to talk through any of the above points, and/or would like some help, you can get in touch with Tamar Energy Community (TEC). TEC is your local community energy organisation and provides independent advice and support to help and guide you.

TEC’s Warm and Well service is available across West Devon and S.E. Cornwall and TEC works closely with West Devon Borough Council and others across the area.

TEC is able to offer free home visits across West Devon through LEAP (Local Energy Advice Partnership) to a wide range of households. This home visit will look at all aspects of energy in your home and includes installation of a number of free easy measures including up to 10 LEDs.

To find out more or to book an appointment please call 0800-233-5414, email hello@tamarenergycommunity.com or check out tamarenergycommunity.com/energy-advice.

You’ll also find us at the Tamar Energy Fest in Butcher’s Hall on Saturday Nov. 23rd (10:00 to 15:00).