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).

Greenlands Energy Hour – Thurs. 15th August, 19:00

Greenlands Energy Hour – Please join us …
… for a fun and informative hour on Thurs. 15th August 201919:00 in Kingdon House, Tavistock. Children welcome.

Free refreshments

We’ll share the results from The Power in Your Hands’ so far, and importantly discuss what this means for you and others. How is The Power in Your Hands?

We’ll also be launching a trial using wifi plugs to help manage home energy use. Would you like to be part of the trial? Come along and have a chat.

When: Thurs. 15th Aug., 19:00                Where: Kingdon House, Pym St, Tavistock PL19 0AW

Book Here …
… or text 0800-233-5414 or just come along on the evening.

Find out more about ‘The Power in Your Hands here.

Imaging Alternatives – Feast for the Future

Imaging Alternatives – Feast for the Future

We’ve been taking part in an initiative developed by University of Plymouth, Regen and South Dartmoor Community Energy called Imagining Alternatives – Feasts for the Future.

Building on the successful Community Energy Feasts Regen has organised in the past, the idea was to bring different groups together to reflect and celebrate together about what we’d like to see in our Utopian future of 2068.

Tamar Energy Community held its feast on Friday 15th February at the Lower Deck Cafe, URC, Russell Street in Tavistock and 28 of us enjoyed a Vegan Feast provided by Blue Skies Catering.

 

If you’d like to join us please book BY TUESDAY EVE- Feb 12th by registering here on Eventbrite.

An important aspect of the Feast was the shared table which has been handmade by Devon craftsman Barnaby Stone. Everyone had a chance to sit at the table and leave their mark by creating their own pattern. The table has been to five feasts and a different sort of wood was used for each.

We  used this occasion to celebrate our achievements so far, chat about the future, and in particular how we can contribute to the challenges of significant carbon reduction by 2030 … Twelve Years!

A summary of our ambitions will be available shortly.

 

We’re pressing ahead in 2019

In 2019 here at Tamar Energy Community we’ll be pressing ahead with our work focusing on:

  • Energy Advice and Support including our Home Visits and Clinics … with particular emphasis on improving domestic energy efficiency and reducing bills.
  • Our community owned renewables as well as advice on options for domestic and non-domestic renewable energy installations
  • Local smart energy innovation including our OpenLV pilot.

If you’d like to know more, or would like to get more involved, please let us know.

We’ll be holding a monthly Energy Group Forum where we’ll be discussing ongoing work, lessons learnt and opportunities. Email if you’d like to be added to the invitee list.

If you have skills in marketing, social media, IT, engineering, energy, finance etc. or would just like to come and help out in Local Matters for a couple of hours on a Monday to Saturday please get in touch.

Or come along to Green Drinks – second Tuesday of each month from 19:30 to 21:30 – to join an informal discussion. Check out: tamarenergycommunity/greendrinks for the location.

Climate Action and Solutions

NOW is the time to act to reduce the impacts of Climate Change.

The UK has legislated to reduce emissions by 57% by 2030 (reduction below 1990 levels). That’s just 12 years from now.

Each of us has a responsibility to act NOW.

We must act individually as well as encouraging others incl. friends, family, colleagues, employers, politicians, planners.

There’s often frustration about so little focus on solutions. But that’s starting to change.

 

Working on solutions around energy is one of our key motivations here at TEC.

This page is all about sharing with you other sources of inspiration. Let us know if you have anything you’d like to add, or you have any stories about what you’ve been up to.

 

https://1010uk.org/carboncrush

Here are six places you can get on with tackling it. For each topic there’s something you can do yourself, something you can do with others and a way to take it up a notch.

Topics covered:

  • Lighting
  • Transport
  • Heating
  • Eating
  • Energy Supply
  • Knowledge

 

 

100 Solutions to Reverse Global Warming

Drawdown is that point in time when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere begins to decline on a year-to-year basis.

Project Drawdown is the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming.

“We did not make or devise the plan—the plan exists and is being implemented worldwide. It has been difficult to envision this possibility because the focus is overwhelmingly on the impacts of climate change. We gathered a qualified and diverse group of researchers from around the world to identify, research, and model the 100 most substantive, existing solutions to address climate change. What was uncovered is a path forward that can roll back global greenhouse gas emissions within thirty years. The research revealed that humanity has the means and techniques at hand. Nothing new needs to be invented, yet many more solutions are coming due to purposeful human ingenuity. The solutions we modelled are in place and in action. Humanity’s task is to accelerate the knowledge and growth of what is possible as soon as possible.”

Check it out online or buy the book. Go and surprise them at Bookstop in Tavistock and give then an order! It’s a great read

Energy Clinics

Concerned about energy costs? Like to discuss your heating? Need advice on switching?

Drop in and see us at one of our Energy Clinics

January 2019

Tues. 15th Jan 14:30 to 16:30 Tavistock Library
Tues. 22nd Jan 14:30 to 16:30 Tavistock Library
Thur. 31st  Jan 14:30 to 16:30 Tavistock Library

February 2019

Thur. 7th  Feb 14:30 to 16:30 Tavistock Library

 

If you’d like to talk to one of our Energy Advisors, or arrange a Home Visit and can’t make it to our Energy Clinics give us a call on 0800-233-5414 or email hello@tamarenergycommunity.com

Green Drinks

Green Drinks is an opportunity to catch up and have an informal natter once a month about energy, the environment, climate change and more. It’s the second Tuesday of each month. We meet at the Tavistock Inn from 19:30 to 21:30.

 

Tamar Energy Fest 2018 – 24th November

Our 2018 Tamar Energy Fest was on Saturday, 24th November in Tavistock Town HallThanks to all our exhibitors an visitors for helping make it a great event.

We talked about The Power in Your Hands to save energy, reduce bills, generate your own and help the planet, highlighting changes in the industry towards ‘smart’ … opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of homes, business and travel … as well as local generation and storage.

We showcased our progress with our OpenLV pilot including our work with St. Peter’s School and the Eco Club, our Energy Advice Service, our Bedford Cottages work and our Community Solar installations.

We were also delighted to be joined by Precious Plastic Tavistock, our local Community Growers and the local Eco Church community.

Our programme of talks ran through the day. You can download a programme here.

Our trusted exhibitors on the day included Mike Wye Natural Building Products, New Generation Energy, Utility Warehouse, ZLC Energy, and The Fell Partnership … more below …

Adding to the day’s fun and enjoyment were Red Squirrel Tree Care’s free woodland themed photo booth and our Energy Cafe with delicious locally sourced cakes … and warm and hot drinks … PLUS our Energy themed quiz for all the family.

Energy Fest Talks

The Talks were all held in the Rundle Room.

 

Our Exhibitors

We’d like to thank our Exhibitors for giving up their Saturday to be with us … including

New Generation Energy's logo ZLC Energy logo
red squirrel tree care logo
Devon Wildlife Trust logo