2012

Our aims for 2012

  • research energy use in our area leading to measurement of improvements
  • educate, advise and help with personal actions to conserve energy
  • advise on home generation from renewables and new low carbon ways of heating homes
  • lobby those with more power to influence positive change in our use of energy
  • research community use of renewables with a view to working towards local self sufficiency

24th November 2012

Wood Fuel from Hedgerows Demonstration Event

... Report On the Event 21 participants and four organisers/demonstrators braved the terrible weather on Saturday 24th November to take part in the Energy Group's woodfuel from hedges demonstration event. It turned out to be inspired planning to arrange the event around the Crown & S ...


20th November 2012

December Energy Group News

Warm Homes Project We submitted our application form for funding to the Energy Savings Trust on the 16th November. We hope to know whether we are successful by the first week in December, but as the final decision is in the hands of Greg Barker of the Department of Energy and Climate Change ...


29th October 2012

Tiverton and Mid Devon Generally Top Place in UK for Solar Installations

Tiverton postcode area has the second greatest concentration of solar pv power in the UK. Mid Devon generally is also very well endowed with PV as can be seen on this map. Evoenergy, a renewables installer, has been busy recently generating some visualisations of data sets provided by Ofgem ...


28th October 2012

November Energy Group News

We are holding a wood fuel from hedgerows event on the 24th November on John Quicke's land near Newton St Cyres. This will be a demonstration event with experts from Devon Rural Skills Trust. We hope to be able to form a community wood fuel group following this event if we have enough interes ...


10th October 2012

October Energy Group Meeting

Agenda 1) Attendees John, Linda, Charles, Hazel, Chris D and Chris T 2) Apologies 3) Warm Homes Project Review of 2nd October Workshop Decision on project Actions from Workshop - Charles will bring draft plan We decided to go ahead with the project to the next stage and ...


27th September 2012

September Energy Group News

We have been successful in reaching Phase 2 of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment Communities Scheme with our Sustainable Crediton Warm Homes Project. Charles Mossman will be attending a workshop organised by the DECC on the 2nd October to learn what procedures we must follow for Phase 2. The ...


5th September 2012

September Energy Group Meeting

Notes from meeting Present: Charles, Linda, Hazel, John, Chris D and Hertha Apols: Chris T Warm welcome to Hertha on her first meeting with Suscred. 1. Matters arising from the last meeting a) Influencing Housing developers and MDDC Charles to chase up John Downes to set up m ...


23rd August 2012

August Energy Group News

Solar PV Project We have had at least two supporters who have had problems with their inverters and who did not realise their PV production was abnormal. Please take a look at this article on how to monitor your system's performance. Solarsense have now fixed the problems. The Feed-in Ta ...


Logo for Friends of the Earth
2nd August 2012

Say no to George Osborne's war on the environment

 

George Osborne is holding the coalition's green credentials to ransom.

And the Lib Dems are letting him get away with it.

Treasury arm-twisting has forced the Lib Dem Energy Secretary, Ed Davey, to open the door to new gas-fired power stations.

So while Mr Davey may be claiming a victory for clean energy - by helping stop a 25% cut in wind subsidies - his concessions to George Osborne could lock the UK into dirty gas for decades.

Nick Clegg must stand up to the Chancellor's bullying and put strong, green ambition at the heart of the Energy Bill.

Email Nick Clegg to stand up to George Osborne


11th July 2012

Solar PV Project New Deal for Year 2

Sustainable Crediton and Solarsense have agreed a new deal for the second installation year of the Solar Project. The discount and rebate table used for the first year has been replaced for new installations in Year 2 by a straight 10% discount on the invoiced cost, received immediately. Th ...


11th July 2012

Solarsense Rebates

The first installation year of the PV Project has been completed and the first 15% rebates are due. Members of the Project who had installations completed in June 2011 can expect a cheque from Solarsense by the end of June. Thereafter 15 % rebate cheques will be issued at the end of each month for those members who completed their installations one year previously, ie July 2011 installations will receive their rebate cheques at the end of July 2012 etc.

Please check the value of the cheque carefully and contact Solarsense if there are any errors.


7th June 2012

Why energy efficiency should be our top priority, the definition of comfort, and how the Passivhaus standard works

Rob Rickey will be giving a talk titled "Learning from Passivhaus" at the Lamb Inn, Sandford on Thursday, 7 June at 7.30 PM. He will discuss why energy efficiency should be our top priority, the definition of comfort, and how the Passivhaus standard works. Rob is currently working as a ...


2nd June 2012

The Government announce new FIT arrangements for new PV Installations after 1st August 2012

The Government have set new feed-in tariff (FIT) rates from the 1st August to achieve a 4.5% to 8% rate of return for a typical well sited installation. The new rate for an upto 4KWp installation is 16p per KWH. This is still conditional upon the home having an energy performance certificate grade D, otherwise the FIT rate will be 7.1p per KWH. The Government have also announced how FIT rates will be reduced for future new installations ( known as tariff degression). The FIT rates will be reduced every 3 months by 3.5%. However if PV installation take up is still too high in the Government's opinion, then the degression can be larger upto a maximum cut of 28% every 3 months. Tariff cuts may be skipped if PV deployment is low for a maximum of 2 quarters. Additionally, the tariff period is reduced from 25 years to 20 years and the export tariff is increased to 4.5p per KWH.

If you are still considering installing PV, Sustainable Crediton's Solar Project is still a good investment offering until the end of July at least an 8% per annum tax free index linked return so it's still very worthwhile considering solar panels to generate your own electricity. Electricity prices can only continue to go up and as well as free electricity for your home you still get a payment for all the units you generate - a better return on investment than the banks! Contact Hazel on 01363 776275 to find out more. 

The Energy Group are also looking into firewood from hedgerows, energy performance certificates and encouraging Mid Devon Council to introduce zero carbon ideas into new building.
 
Come and join us!

30th April 2012

Solar PV Project Update

 

We have received a few more enquiries for solar panels in the last month and at least one new order for installation before June 13th. Up to 13th June installations completed under the Sustainable Crediton Solar Project are entitled to a 5% discount and a 15% rebate. After the 13th June, the Solar Project discount and rebate scheme resets to 5% discount only until the first 10 orders are taken in the second year of our Project. From 1 April obtaining the full FIT became conditional on your home having an energy performance certificate grade D. Homes which are not at grade D already will have up to 12 months during which to upgrade their insulation and possibly also their boilers in order to get 21p. The FIT is set to drop again in July, so if you are still considering whether to install PV or not, it is still possible to get a 9% tax free and index linked return on your investment.


30th April 2012

Ecotricity 2011 Update

The latest very impressive 2011 progress report.

Don't forget - if you switch to Ecotricity, Sustainable Crediton will receive a £25 donation. Please quote the code CCAM when switching.


11th April 2012

Energy Group Meeting


31st March 2012

The Government reveals its Low Carbon Heat Plans

A second phase of the Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme, which gives money off renewable technologies like biomass boilers, air and ground source heat pumps and solar thermal panels, will be launched on 2nd April this year. Of most interest to Sustainable Crediton supporters is the household voucher scheme. Vouchers will be worth the same and cover the same technologies as the existing scheme. 

  • Ground Source Heat Pump - £1250 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)

  • Biomass boiler - £950 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)

  • Air source heat pump - £850 grant (for homes without mains gas heating)

  • Solar thermal hot water panels - £300 grant (available to all households regardless of the type of heating system used.

However the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) for private individuals has been deferred until next year.


31st March 2012

What are your views on Wind Power?

From Helen Tuffin, a Sus Cred supporter who lives in Copplestone:

I wondered whether any Sustainable Crediton members would like to show support for the proposed new offshore wind farm off the North Devon coast? Of course, the argument against wind power is also, in its own way, environmental, so it's a thorny issue.

Anyway, at the moment the "no" vote far outweighs the "yes" vote, as always, as the anti-wind campaigners are almost frighteningly well organised and very vocal where as the people who wouldn't mind a wind turbine popping up near them tend to just shrug and do nothing......

Personally I find wind turbines rather beautiful. Last summer we spent a week in a holiday flat on a Danish island with a view of nothing but dunes, sea.... and offshore turbines. These in no way marred the view but rather added to its beauty! We have also camped in a campsite in Cornwall with several large turbines right in the next field. No one was bothered - least of all the owner of the site who had fiercely opposed their installation years ago - nor the horses at the equestrian centre next door.

It's only a newspaper poll, but it might make a difference.


31st March 2012

Update on Mid Devon District Council's photo voltaic installations

As you may have seen when you have been out and about Mid Devon District Council have been busy installing photo voltaics on the roofs of their social housing stock. With the permission of the residents over 1000 installations were made by mid March on the roofs of suitable houses with a target total of 1200 by the end of the month. PV will also be installed on the roof of Pheonix House in Tiverton and on all 3 MDDC leisure centres as well. The installations on housing stock will save the residents an average of £150 a year per household on their electricity bills as well as generating a significant amount of electricity to be exported to the grid. 

As I write the scaffolding is up around Lords Meadow Leisure Centre in Crediton and the installation is underway there. 

This project makes MDDC one of the most progressive councils in the UK on this issue and we would like to thank Mid Devon and Crediton Town Councillor John Downes, who is also a member of the Sus Cred Core Group, for the work he has done to promote PV to the Council and help make this happen.


26th March 2012

Solar PV Project Update

The Government has lost its appeal at the Supreme Court and hence all installations completed before the 1st March will obtain the full FIT rate of 43.3p. For installations after the 1st March the FIT becomes 21p. From 1 April obtaining the full FIT becomes conditional on your home having ...


22nd March 2012

Wood Fuel from Hedgerows Demonstration Event

I went to an event recently about how to set up a community firewood group. You basically need a land owner/ farmer who has hedgerows or woodland that a community group could manage and harvest, and a group of people who would like firewood for their stoves and are prepared to help from t ...


7th March 2012

Energy Group Meeting


29th February 2012

Solar PV Project Update

Solarsense have reduced their prices. New prices can be seen on our Solar Project website. As you may have heard in the news recently, time is running out to get the best possible deals for Solar PV installations. 

Here are some key dates to bear in mind regarding the UK Feed in Tariff (FiT): 

  • From 3 March: you still get 21p (index linked with inflation, as usual.) but any chance of getting 43p has vanished. Solarsense have capacity to install before the 1 April if you act now. 
  • From 1 April: after this date all grants become conditional on your home having an energy performance certificate grade D. Homes which are not at grade D already will have up to 12 months during which to upgrade their insulation and possibly also their boilers in order to get 21p. These laudable improvements could, nevertheless, cost thousands for some owners.
  • Up to 13th June installations completed under the Sustainable Crediton Solar Project are entitled to a 5% discount and a 15% rebate
  • After the 13th June, the Solar Project discount and rebate scheme resets to 5% discount only until the first 10 orders are taken in the second year of our Project.
  • From July the FIT rate is likely to be reduced further by the Government who are currently consulting on changes to the FIT scheme from July 2012.

We believe it is still worthwhile to commit to PV at the 21p FiT but it may possibly be more difficult to get the FiT when stringent energy efficiency measures are required from April 2012.

The rate of return whilst we are at the 5% discount and 15% rebate is around 9% tax free and index linked, far better than any bank or building society investment. All member orders installed by 13th June 2012 will receive the 5% discount and 15% rebate. That means orders received through to the end of April will qualify for full discount/rebate. Orders installed after 13th June 2012 will start at 5% discount only. Contact Linda if you'd like to sign up for a free survey.

For those members who already have PV installed, Ofgem have announced the new rates for 2012/13.


30th January 2012

Energy/PV Group Meeting


17th January 2012

Solar PV Project Update

Solarsense have pulled out all the stops to install as many members as possible before the Government set deadline of 12th December. As of the 12th December, 63 systems had been installed. That was all the systems planned to be installed before the deadline. 7 of our members cancelled their orders in order to place an order elsewhere to get installed before the deadline. We still have 5 members' orders awaiting installation. These orders were placed after the Government announcement reducing the FIT to 21p and have been placed on the understanding that they will only receive 21p .

We believe it is still worthwhile to commit to PV at this level of tariff and it may possibly be more difficult to get the FIT if stringent energy efficiency measures are required from April 2012. The rate of return whilst we are at the 5% discount and 15% rebate is around 8% tax free and index linked, far better than any bank or building society investment. All member orders installed by 13th June 2012 will receive the 5% discount and 15% rebate. That means orders received through to the end of March will qualify for full discount/rebate. Orders installed after 13th June 2012 will start at 5% discount only. Contact me if you'd like to sign up for a free survey. Solar industry insiders are concerned that the Government may cut the FIT rates to as little as 9p per KWH from April 2012 if it loses the Appeal mentioned below, so even more reason to get PV panels now rather than waiting.

The government's appeal hearing against a High Court ruling declaring its proposed changes to the scheme as unlawful had been scheduled for Friday 13th January. But on the day, three court of appeal judges failed to reach a conclusion on whether or not the government's proposed changes to the feed-in tariff scheme were unlawful.They stated that they could not make an immediate decision, and as of today no decision has been reached. However, the Government announced today that the current feed-in tariff rate for solar installations with less than 4kW capacity will not fall below the proposed 21p per kWh for all systems completed between the December 12 last year and March 31 this year. 

The reassurance is significant as it meant solar firms can assume that regardless of the outcome of the current legal battle over whether the government's plan to effectively cut incentives before the end of the consultation period is illegal, the feed-in tariff rate for the current period would not fall below 21p. It implied that if the government won its appeal against a court ruling branding its proposals as "unlawful" the feed-in tariff incentive for installations carried out after December 12 would probably be cut to 21p, while if it lost the case the incentives would revert to the previous rate of 43p per kWh.