Preparing for 1st April energy price increase

The energy price increases are affecting all of us and are having the greatest impact on those for whom energy costs form a greater proportion of their income.

As the 1st April 2022 approaches, and the new prices kick in, there are a couple of things to consider:

Not on a smart meter? Have you given your energy supplier an actual meter reading recently? If not, make sure you send them a meter reading on or before the 31st March. This will ensure that any usage is charged at the old rate. Otherwise you may end up paying more.

On a ‘non-smart’ pre-payment meter? The rates on your meter shouldn’t increase until you add more credit. This means that if you add additional money on to your meter on or before 31st March 2022 this will charge your use at the old rate until you top up again. Remember that the units will be ‘re-priced’ on your meter when you top up after 1st April, even if you still have credit.

We understand that this won’t work if your supplier is Scottish Power.

Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert website explains this well. You can find the link here.

Concerned about ability to pay? If you’re concerned about how you’re going to be able to pay your energy bills, or if you’ve built up a debt, its really important to contact your energy supplier, let them know, and ask them to work with you to find an affordable solution. The energy companies are obliged, under Ofgem regulations, to take affordability into account.

Reducing your energy usage. For those of us in a position where we could use less, this is worth considering. The amount of energy consumed, particularly during peak periods, puts pressure on energy supply and on the prices. This is particularly true in the period between 16:00 and 20:00 each day. Try less energy intensive methods of cooking food such as microwaves (reduced cooking times) and slow cooking (much lower power use over a longer period).

If you’re interested in understanding how to use a slow cooker get in touch. We’re working with Learn Devon to put on more courses.

If you are struggling, and need help with your energy management, do call or email us at Tamar Energy Community (TEC) on 0800-233-5414 or We also have an online request form here:

‘One Pot Wonder’ Slow Cooker Course available – save money on your cooking

Save energy and money through using a slow cooker.

Sign up to Learn Devon’s ‘One Pot Wonder’ slow cooker course. Learn more about cooking nutritious meals for the family with the provision of a free slow cooker for each family who attends a course.

The first course starts on Monday 14th March at Alexandra Centre, Tavistock from 11:30 to 13:30 with the second and final session on Monday 21st March at the same time and place. Book by Weds. 9th March 2022, to secure your place.

The other sessions and locations are as follows:

Bere Alston at the Parish Hall 13.30 – 15.15 on Friday 18 March and Friday 25 March 

Princetown at the Community Centre 13.30 – 15.15 on Thursday 24 March and Thursday 31 March

Tavistock at the Alexander Centre 11.30 – 13.30 on Monday 4 April and Monday 11 April

Lifton at the Community Hall 11.30 – 13.30 on Tuesday 12 July and Tuesday 19 July.

To secure your place please contact Learn Devon at 01822 613701, text 0781 697 3926 or email

Please let others know who may be interested.

Join us as a Home Energy Advisor in our Energy Advice Team

Join us as a Home Energy Advisor in our Energy Advice Team

Hourly rate £15 –  Flexible working  –  1 year fixed term contract (Self Employed)  

We’re looking for a Home Energy Advisor to join our Energy Advice Team.

Looking for a new role?

Why not help to deliver grass roots action on the journey to Net Zero in West Devon, reduce fuel poverty and address the climate emergency.

Interested? Apply by Sun. March 20th 2022.

Read on here …

Tamar Energy Fest 2021 on Sat. Nov 13th

Tamar Energy Fest 2021 on Sat. Nov 13th

This year’s Tamar Energy Fest will be held on Saturday Nov. 13th in Butchers’ Hall, Tavistock.

The event is on the last day of the COP26 climate conference, so we feel its apt to embrace its theme of ‘Together for Our Planet’.

Find out more here.

If you’d like to get involved we’d love to hear from you.

We’re keen to hear from exhibitors able to share advice and support to for our journey’s towards low/zero carbon healthy homes, businesses etc. and/or support low/zero carbon lives.

We’d also love to hear from you if you’d like to help us organise and run the event and/or work with us in other ways.

You can download a Booking Form here as a word doc or here as a pdf.

If you have any questions or you’re able to get involved please email 

Retrofitting your Home. What’s it all about?

Retrofitting your Home. What’s it all about?

We’re being encouraged to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. What does this mean for me in practice?

We held a Zoom talk in late September to discuss the topic and to learn more about the practicalities of retrofitting your home, and the importance of taking a whole house approach.

You can download the presentation here.

We’re working with Devon County Council and our Community Energy colleagues across Devon to launch a Retrofit Service for Devon in spring 2022. This will provide a ‘one front door’ approach for retrofit advice and support.

If you’d like to know more, please drop us an email to

It would also be helpful if you could take a few minutes to complete this Retrofit Devon householder survey to help us understand more about about what the levels of interest in retrofit across the county. You can find it here: Retrofit Devon householder survey (

Great Big Green Week 2021

Great Big Green Week 2021

Great Big Green Week is all about local events taking place across the country as part of a national week to raise the profile of climate change and nature. Importantly, it’s to show why it is relevant to our community and to celebrate our local activity.

Across West Devon and the Tamar Valley we’re working with the West Devon Climate Forum, WDBC, Transition Tavistock, Tavistock Library and others to encourage individuals and communities to take part.

Moths to a Flame

As a unifying theme for Great Big Green Week in the Tamar Valley and West Devon, Art & Energy Collective, supported by Tamar Energy Community, invite groups to join in their inspiring Moths to a Flame project.

This involves hosting moth-making events or mini-installations where people can hang moths they’ve made (from milk bottles – instructions here!), before or during the week.

The installations will be collected up, during the first week in October, in plenty of time to be taken to Glasgow for a mass participation artwork to the COP26 climate summit. When you’re making your moths you can also record your messages and these will be shared online.

There are two online moth making sessions planned over the next few weeks, and subject to demand more could be added. It may be possible to arrange a session for specific groups as well subject to availability of team.

Once you’ve made your moths as a community, come together and hang them somewhere for everyone to see as part of a mini-installation.

On Saturday Sept. 18th we’ll be touring the area looking at your mini-installations and having conversations with you.

To let us know about your plans, get involved, find out more, seek support, offer help … please email

This is an enjoyable opportunity for people to come together. We hope this can also provide a stepping stone to developing collective action to combat climate change across the area.

Other TEC Events during the week

The first of our evening supper talks will be on Thu. 23rd Sept at 19:00. The topic will be the importance of Whole House Retrofit. This first event will be via Zoom: ‘Retrofitting your home. What’s it all about?’. You can register here.

Meet us at Bedford Square, Tavistock on Saturday 25th September. We’ll be at the Farmers Market and look forward to discussing whole house retrofit with you between 09:00 and 14:00.

More events …

Transition Tavistock and Tavistock Library are planning a programme of displays and activities as well.

If you have an event, or ideas for an event please get in touch (see below) and/or sign up to get your own event on the map – anything from an open garden to a film showing. If your event is in West Devon, pick out “West Devon Green Week” from the drop-down list of area events to link to.

Transition Tavistock is aiming to pull together local publicity for Great Big Green Week activities in the Tavistock area. If you are running one, let us know on info[AT] by 6th September 2021, as well as listing it on the national site.

Vacancy: Home Energy Advisor Roles at TEC

Vacancy: Home Energy Advisor Roles at TEC

Looking for a new and exciting role, that not only helps local residents with energy efficiency issues but also tackles climate change at grass roots?

Community energy groups across Devon are expanding their domestic energy efficiency and retrofit services. Read on to learn more about flexible work opportunities.

The Role

Due to the success of home energy projects across Devon, and an increasing awareness around climate change and energy efficiency, community energy groups in Devon, including TEC, are seeking additional Home Energy Advisors (HEAs) to work on various existing and new projects. Immediate start date.

HEAs are required to provide tailored advice and support on a 1:1 basis, helping residents to cut costs and energy consumption and help make homes warmer. Work is carried out via telephone assessments and Home Energy Visits. Participation at drop-in energy advice clinics in the community, talks to community groups, training sessions with frontline workers and partnership building with key local organisations are other activities that make up this role.

This is a paid self-employed role with hours to suit the successful applicant’s needs and availability.

HEA’s play an important role in the overall aims and objectives of Devon’s Community Energy Groups, working as part of an innovative team, directly helping to improve the lives of those living in our local community, as well as promoting a low-carbon life style.

There will be opportunities to progress to ‘Retrofit’ roles for those interested in developing a long-term career in this industry.

The skills and requirements:

  • IT literate and own laptop or tablet
  • Have own vehicle/access to vehicle for carrying out visits
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be required.
  • Enthusiasm, dedication to problem solving, and ability to build rapport with residents and colleagues in the community
  • A team player, able to work on own initiative with limited supervision
  • Have previous experience of working with the public
  • A caring and understanding approach and ability to show empathy
  • Excellent written and oral skills
  • Experience is preferred, but not essential, as training can be provided to the right candidate. A willingness to study and take a few exams would be required.

Full Role Specification is available on request. Download a pdf with this description here.

Tamar Energy Community (TEC) is a non-profit community energy organisation. We work across West Devon and S. East Cornwall. We’re an active member of the network of community energy groups in Devon, working closely with local authorities.

If you, or anyone you know, would like to know more about this opportunity, please contact Kate Royston, Director at TEC and Project Manager Warm & Well. 0800 233 5414.

If you are interested in HEA positions elsewhere in Devon check out Devon Community Energy Network’s page here for vacancies.

Interim Devon Carbon Plan is published – please have your say

Interim Devon Carbon Plan is published – please have your say

The consultation of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan is now live! The plan is a collaborative roadmap to creating a net-zero Devon where people and nature thrive and is Devon’s response to the global climate emergency,

The time has now come for your chance to offer further thoughts and feedback. You are asked to take part in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation, which lasts for 10 weeks until 15th Feb 2020.

Devon Climate Emergency (DCE) partnership wants to hear your views on key actions which outline some of the transformational changes which are required to create a thriving net-zero Devon.

You can also get involved in a series of Webinars looking at different aspects of the plan.

You can download the Webinar poster here and register for Webinars here.

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan will be updated to a final plan after the Citizens’ Assembly, now in 2021 due to Covid-19.

The actions cover a broad range of topics which will allow us to build back better. Addressing the climate and ecological emergency is an opportunity to create a fairer, healthier, more resilient and prosperous society.

DCE is requesting feedback from Devon’s citizens to indicate to what extent they agree with the proposed actions.

Have your say at or request a paper copy and consultation questionnaire from your local library from January 1st.

You can download a copy of the ‘Have Your Say’ poster here.

Are you looking for a role where you can make a real difference to the community and the planet?

We’re recruiting for a Project Coordinator to join our team.

We have a very exciting opportunity for a highly motivated self-employed person to join our team, but the catch is that you must start as a volunteer and secure funding for your own post. The post is then open for you to develop as you wish in accordance with our Aims and at the approval of our Board and Team. Hours are negotiable and can be on a part-time basis.

We have several projects underway for which we’d like some delivery support.

These include innovating to influence energy use through open data, developing a community owned renewable heating scheme, securing funding for fuel poverty projects, developing a retrofit advice programme, looking at opportunities to expand TEC’s renewable energy portfolio, developing community centred housing development and responding to relevant consultations.

Find out more by downloading the job spec here.

The closing date is 21st Dec 2020. Phone or zoom interviews will take place w/c 4th January 2021. The successful applicant will be notified by 18th January 2021, to start as soon as possible.

We are also, always, happy to hear from professionals/students in the community who want to get involved and/or gain experience in any of our projects or in helping us run the organisation (e.g. marketing, social media, website, finance, links to education).

Community Solar Share Offer

On Sept 14th at Tamar Energy Community (TEC) we 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.

On Oct 27th, due to the overwhelming interest in our share offer, the TEC Directors have agreed with our loan provider, the Low Carbon Society, that we can repay a further £32,000 of our loan. This additional repayment will reduce our ongoing interest payments and leave a loan balance at the end of Oct 2020 of £10,000.

This will bring the total Community Solar Share Offer sum to be raised to £322,000.

The share offer has been re-opened this afternoon. We anticipate that the additional opportunity may be subscribed for quickly.

The extended offer will be publicised nationally from Thursday morning if not fully subscribed; and the share offer will close by Saturday October 31st.

To enable as much benefit as possible to be retained locally, anyone with an interest is encouraged to find out more as soon as possible.  

The offer aims to raise £332,000 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.   

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