News Alert

Wondering how to further reduce your energy bills? Have a look at the HOBBS report for a few ideas.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mini event on renewables

For anyone who missed the recent event on Renewables, or for anyone who has further questions, there will be a “mini event” at the Test Match Pub on Friday 3rd December at 7.30pm. All are welcome, feel free to bring friends along too.

If you can give me an idea of which renewable(s) interest you, it would be handy ( There will be at least one installer present and he has expertise in all realistic options for houses.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Trip to Hockerton

22 Nov '10: DNC writes: I was very lucky, queuing in the coffee bar, and one of the students told me he was about to get on the bus to visit Hockerton houses. On finding there was a space on the bus, I made an immediate decision to join them, for the rest of the day.
   This must have been the first set of houses built that would meet the Passivhaus standard (although I don't think they have had them PHPP certificated because of the date of construction, mid 90s, and because they rely on Thermal Mass).
  We were shown round by Simon Tilley, and it was nice that we started with the allotments, the reservoir (they are off the water grid) and the wind turbines, the reed bed before we actually looked at the houses.    
   This demonstrated the holistic nature of the whole scheme, it is not about just the house design, it is also about the whole community and the order of living. He has a very professional presentation (in the Learning Centre nearby) and we also enjoyed seeing the interior of one of the houses.
  Really. They do not have heating! They get by with sunspace, thermal mass and heat reclamation of internal gains. Power needs are met by the combination of PV and wind power.
  The lake in front of the houses is recreational, although it does provide carp for the occasional treat. There is another small lake behind them, to the north, as a reservoir for their fresh water.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Interview with Jenny Johnston

Installation of PV panels in September 2010.

Jenny has been along to a few Eco House Group events and has recently installed photovoltaic panels (PV) on her roof. Tina Holt asked her a few questions:

When did you start considering putting PV panels on your roof?
I first considered putting PV panels on my roof when I heard about Rushcliffe Solar via Transition West Bridgford. I had considered solar panels for heating hot water previously but decided the amount of hot water I used did not make it worthwhile.

What was your main motive for installing PV?
My main motive was to lower my carbon footprint but also think it is a good investment as I will gain tax free income equivalent to any rate of interest available at the moment and it should increase the value of my bungalow if I need to sell.

How did you get the information that you needed? Who did you talk to, etc?
I received most of my information from the Rushcliffe Solar team.

What made you choose EvoEnergy?
EvoEnergy was one of the companies Rushcliffe Solar approached for a quotation for me. They seemed to offer the best value for money for the number of panels appropriate for my roof.

When was the install and how long did it take?
Monday 27 September - Scaffolding erected
Tuesday 28 Panels fitted to roof and main electrical work carried out
Ken Clarke visits Jenny's house,
as an example of a PV installation
19th Nov 2010.
Wednesday 29 Electrician returned for less than hour and put installation into commission and explained everything to me
Thursday 30 Scaffolding removed

How did you find it in terms of disruption etc?
There was no disruption to speak of. The only internal work was in my roofspace. The electrician ran cables from panels to inverter etc in the garage via the loft area so no cables visible from outside.

What would you say to someone else considering doing the same thing?
“Go for it” The initial outlay is high but I am hoping both the environmental and financial rewards will also be high.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Two Events in November

More than 30 people gathered for the third Eco House Group event held at South Nottingham College’s Ruddington site. David Hill of Carbon Legacy and Tim Saunders of the Energy Saving Trust gave a talk on Renewable Energy and the Financial Incentive Schemes available to home owners.

Afterwards the audience put their questions to David and Tim. Two SAP assessors and a number of other renewable energy companies also introduced themselves to the group.

Full details of the RHI (Renewable Heat Incentive scheme) have not been finalised by the current government. There will be an update on this site once the information is available.

The next day, 12 of the group met for a pint at the Test Match Pub to talk to Sean Stevenson of Westville. Westville is a local company that installs insulation of all kinds. Many in the group have the specific problem of living in solid wall houses, so Sean answered many questions on internal and external insulation as well as queries relating to cavity walls, cellars, floors and lofts.

If you would like further information or wish to contact one of the experts or suppliers present at one of these events, please email with your request.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rushcliffe Awards Scheme

11th Nov '10: Members of Transition West Bridgford attended the evening Rushcliffe community awards ceremony at Beckett School. We had a little bit of hope as we had some nominations - for example, for services to local business, or to the environment. But with so many things going on, and so many worthy volunteers deserving the prizes, we will have to wait another year.
   Well done to Kinoulton for their Mayor's special award, for a Greening Campaign that managed to get 50% of the village involved, which is, apparently, a national record!
Pictured are: Tina Holt (WB Ecohouses), Karina Wells (Transition WB and other things), David Nicholson-Cole (Rushcliffe Solar), Mrs Marie Males (Mayor of Rushcliffe), Sheila Hood (Sustainability officer for Rushcliffe BC)
We notice that Nottingham City Council had an award scheme on Wednesday night, focused on environmental issues with seven distinct categories for Environmental work.
Nottm Evening Post link 

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Glass Roof tiles

2 Nov: DNC writes: Here's an interesting thermal panel system. Glass roof tiles, from Soltech of Sweden.

Capturing hot air, and then you have a heat exchanger to retain it.

I am interested in the Fabric they use to hold the heat with. Anybody considering an extension or partial new build might find this an option to consider. I am not sure if there is a UK importer yet.