Fuel poverty and climate change solutions: Hastings in the spotlight

Last Friday’s Community Solutions to Fuel Poverty workshop organised by Energise Sussex Coast and sponsored by National Energy Action (NEA) was chaired by the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The workshop held at Sussex Coast College saw a unique range of companies and organisations come together to find solutions to one of the UK’s biggest challenges: Fuel Poverty.

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Climate Active Neighbourhoods project gets go ahead with ESC as partner

Hastings residents will benefit from an innovative project which aims to improve 600 homes in the north east of the town. The project will save residents money by reducing both their energy bills and the carbon emissions from their home and helping to tackle climate change.

The project is funded via an EU scheme called Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN). It will run over three years and is a partnership between Amicus Horizon, Hastings Borough Council and Energise Sussex Coast. It will see a total investment of nearly £900 000 and will be used to support various home improvements and resident advice projects.

It’s one of only two areas in the whole of the UK to have been chosen to take part, with similar projects being run in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

The CAN project will seek to improve the energy efficiency of 100 AmicusHorizon owned homes, and 500 private homes. It is also hoped that it will enable a competitive energy tariff to be obtained for all Hastings residents, potentially making worthwhile savings in energy bills for many families across the town. And it will see a major programme of energy advice delivered throughout the town.

AmicusHorizon will survey 100 of its homes to establish the most cost effective measures needed to reduce bills and carbon emissions. This could include fitting wall and loft insulation, new heating systems, LED lighting, draught proofing and renewable energy systems.

Energise Sussex Coast will be training Warm Home Champions to share good practice, opening energy advice centres in the North East Hastings area and commissioning home energy management systems in 100 homes.

Jane Porter, Executive Director Operations at AmicusHorizon, said:

“We’re delighted to have received endorsement and support for this project. This EU investment is great news for Hastings and will enable us to improve the energy efficiency of 100 of our homes and deliver a major programme of energy advice. This is also a great opportunity for AmicusHorizon to work with our local partners, Hastings Borough Council and Energise Sussex Coast, to deliver a programme that benefits both our residents and the wider community.”

Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for housing, Cllr Kim Forward, added:-

“I’m really pleased that this project has been given the go-ahead, which will benefit many local residents. We will play an active role in promoting the project, and will work with local community groups and organisations to support their ideas to tackling climate change in their homes. We will also carry out in-depth research to map domestic energy use across homes in the town, and look at specific measures which can help people reduce their energy use and save them money in the long term.”

Hastings Big Happy Energy Day

Energise Sussex Coast has booked the Atrium space at the local college for the day and we will run energy bill checks and workshops on heating and draught-proofing and promote the Big Energy Saving Network scheme and Winter Home Check service.

The aim of the event is to introduce participants – particularly young families and elderly and vulnerable residents– to the huge range of local volunteer organisations that support good health and happier living in Hastings.

The event will be attended by organisations involved in helping Hastings residents stay warm, well, healthy, safe, solvent and happy.

Free fuel poverty training for volunteers

Interested in free training to help the community stay warm and well and save money on energy bills?

We are always looking for volunteers to train so that you can engage with friends, family and neighbours and help them save money and energy as well as access free insulation and other grants to help with fuel debt.

This month NEA is running free training sessions in Hastings and Rother.

Sign up to the sessions and let us know if you plan to volunteer with us this winter.

If you are already working for a frontline organisation and want FREE training on recognising the signs of fuel poverty then you can also sign up for the free training events in Hastings and Rother. Please send us your contact details if you do so!

If you cannot attend any of these events a free 25 minute online training course for East Sussex.

To access the online course:

  • Select ‘NEA Fuel poverty and health (East Sussex County Council)’
  • Create a new account by following the instructions provided
  • When you are prompted for an ‘enrolment key’ enter: nea100?esC
    (please note that this is case-sensitive)

Resources are available for frontline staff or volunteers to assist them in spotting the signs that someone is suffering from the cold and to make sure that they know what help is available for their clients. Order copies of these from the East Sussex County Council health promotion resources webpages, where you can also access other leaflets and posters, teaching aids and online material (across a variety of health promotion topics) for free.

Go to: www.eastsussex.gov.uk/publichealthresources and select ‘fuel poverty’.

Richard Watson awarded an OBE

Congratulations to Energise Sussex Coast founder Richard Watson, who has been awarded an OBE for Services to the Community in Sussex in the 2016 New Year Honours list.

Share offer from Schools’ Energy Co-operative Limited

The Schools’ Energy Co-op (SEC) is an ethical, community based social enterprise which provides an exciting opportunity for you to invest in a co-operative which will install solar panels on the roofs of 6 schools in East Sussex, Berkshire, Hertfordshire and Nottingham.

SEC was originally launched in August 2014  to raise the funds to install a 150kW array of solar panels at Glenleigh Park Primary Academy in Bexhill, East Sussex.  This is one of the largest school solar systems, and probably the largest community owned school solar system, in the country.  SEC raised £150,000 and borrowed £50,000 to finance this installation which is already trading successfully and has so far generated more than 37,000 kWh of renewable electricity,  significantly reducing Glenleigh Park’s electricity consumption

Read more on the Schools Energy Website.


Application form EIS No 2-1 Share offer EIS 2 v11.11.15 clean

Share offer EIS 2 v11.11.15 clean

Energy Advice for Big Energy Saving Network 2015

We are pleased to announce that we have been selected to participate in the Big Energy Saving Network. This enables us to provide local residents with energy advice for this winter.

We will run a regular energy desk at Hastings Town Hall on Tuesdays 9:30am-2:45pm.

There will be other events happening over the winter period, including clinics in various local community centres. More details on these will be posted in our events listing when they are confirmed.


Jeremy Leggett talk at the Observer Building, Hastings

This month we are sponsoring an event at the Observer Building in Hastings. Jeremy Leggett will talk about his latest book and the political battles being fought on the front lines of climate and clean energy policy.

Jeremy was born and educated in Hastings at William Parker School and is one of the world’s foremost climate researchers, entrepreneurs and renewable energy activists. He is the author of four books on Energy, climate and Peak Oil, the founder of Solar Century (the UK’s largest independent solar company) and one of the founders of the Carbon Tracker initiative which has led to the Divestment away from fossil fuels movement.

In 2006 he founded Solar Aid which has, to date, replaced 1.7 million paraffin lamps in Africa with solar lamps. Attendees are being asked to make a donation to Solar Aid.
There is also a free showing of This Changes Everything film after the talk at approx 8:30pm. Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change.

The event is being hosted by Transition Town Hastings and St Leonards Salon.
Book a place now.