We set up the Hanleys Energy Action Team (HEAT) to identify ways in which the parish can reduce the carbon footprint of its energy consumption, comprising the electricity we all use and the fuels that heat our homes and businesses. We also want to identify any opportunities there may be within the parish to create small scale renewables electricity generation or heating projects.
Electricity usage surveys
Local residents are offered a free electricity usage survey of their homes and advised on switching to 100% renewables electricity suppliers. This is a really good way to make an immediate impact.
How it works
A monitor is installed on the electricity supply and usage is recorded over a week, then analysed and a short report produced for the homeowner. The cost of the electricity used from their current supplier is compared with 100% renewables suppliers to see whether switching would offer any cost savings.
Feedback from residents has been very positive. They say they better understand how much energy each of their appliances uses and what changes, such as switching to low energy lightbulbs, will reduce their electricity usage. Switching to a 100% renewables supplier not only makes a 100% carbon saving but also a 19-25% cost saving!
If you are interested in having a survey done in your home, please contact us.
Working with the district council and the Hanleys Oil Club, we have identified a source of recycled heating oil, which we hope to offer to residents once it has been trialled to see how it compares with regular heating oil. We are also considering a boiler replacement planning service to help residents consider renewables alternatives when their existing boiler nears the end of its life.
UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE IMAGE
Showing the monitor installed onto a supply with the display unit in front. The unit gives a real-time display, which can be placed on view in the house, so you can see the effect on usage of switching different appliances on and off.
Renewable Energy Feasibility Study Results
In 2020 the HEAT team was successful in securing a Rural Communities Energy Fund grant to conduct a feasibility study into carbon reduction/renewable energy generation opportunities in the Parish, including:
Better insulation of community buildings
Solar panels on community buildings
Heat pump heating systems for community buildings
Small scale solar, wind or hydroelectricity generation
Community battery storage systems
Following a detailed tendering process, a green energy consultancy, The Sharenergy Cooperative, was appointed to carry out the study. The study involved:
Estimating the current energy-related carbon emissions from domestic and commercial properties in the Parish and making recommendations for their reduction.
Evaluating the potential for implementing renewable energy technologies in the Parish.
Current Energy-Related Carbon Emissions
An energy usage survey was published online and paper copies distributed to houses in the Parish. Data from the survey, along with existing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) was used to estimate the average carbon output per household, which is 5.85 tonnes per annum or 2.54t per person per annum. Because the Parish does not have mains gas and has a large number of detached houses and older housing stock, this is almost 70% higher than the UK local authority average of 1.5t/person per annum.
Potential Renewable Energy Technologies
Sharenergy evaluated a broad range of technologies. The majority were discounted as either not being technically viable, or being precluded by current regulation/legislation. A more detailed analysis of three technologies was then undertaken but each was deemed unviable at the current time, partly due to there currently being no spare capacity in the National Grid in our area.
There are no schemes that could be taken forward to implementation and there is no clear path at this time to realise the aspiration of Zero Carbon for the Parish through offsetting our carbon emissions. However, should the grid capacity situation and planning restrictions change in the future, some of the schemes considered may become more viable.
1. The Parish does not have the natural resources nor the technical infrastructure to implement
renewables energy schemes that will significantly offset its carbon emissions.
2. Significant reductions in carbon emissions will only be possible through a large proportion of
parishioners investing in low carbon heating systems and switching to 100% renewables electricity
3. Without a more radical approach, involving significant external funding or emerging technologies,
significant reductions in, or offsets of, energy-related carbon emissions are unlikely to be achieved to meet the Parish Council’s commitment of working towards carbon neutrality by 2025.
Statement from the HEAT team:
“The HEAT team is disappointed that no renewable projects that are currently viable have been identified in the study. It has become evident that the carbon footprint of the Parish is higher than average and that the current options for decreasing it are limited. These options will depend largely on individual house owners investing in energy efficiency schemes and alternative heating systems.
However, the baseline survey conducted during the study has provided the team with a clear set of metrics against which the Parish’s carbon reduction progress will be measured. There are some options for commercial property owners to install rooftop solar. The team will continue to raise awareness of how local property owners can make improvements and will also actively look for new ideas and developments in technology or regulatory circumstances that may make it possible to progress some of our existing proposals, in particular the ground solar project.”
You can read the full feasibility study here
The Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF) is a government programme, which supports rural communities in England. Developing renewable energy at a community level helps meet climate commitments whilst also offering benefits to the local community. The fund offers an opportunity to cover the up-front costs that are often prohibitive to community scale energy projects. Some of the technologies that can be explored include solar PV, heat pumps, hydropower and low carbon heat networks. To administer this fund we have had to create a Community Interest Company called Hanleys Energy Action Team CIC (directors: Jackie Bass, Bill Bell, Malcolm Fare, Steve Gogerty and Pete Jordan).
Ground Source Heat Pumps
Ever thought of installing a heat pump? Now might be the right time.
Ground source heat pumps derive energy from the sun warming the ground. There are two systems:
a series of pipes buried horizontally approximately 1 metre underground
a deep vertical borehole, up to 100 metres
The heat absorbed is then used to warm your home.
Home owners with ground source heat pumps are eligible for the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) – a financial incentive paid over seven years. This RHI expires in March 2022.
Alternatively £5,000 - £10,000 energy efficiency vouchers can be used towards the capital cost of installing a heat pump. These vouchers expire in March next year. It is one or the other, you can not have both grants.
There are several residents interested in moving to this technology. They are planning to sequence the installations with the intention of reducing some of the costs. Please get in touch is you would like to know more.