Community owned renewable energy – governance volunteers needed

The 1066 Energy campaign is the campaign for local energy. It aims to take control of reducing how much energy we need, generate more renewable energy locally and ensure that this is owned by the community in order to help build a resilient local economy.

We are looking for experienced volunteers with expertise around governance structures, creating M&A and ensuring due diligence to join the 1066 Energy Campaign Governance group to ensure that a good framework is in place to launch a community energy co-operative.

For more information or to discuss please contact Kate Meakin, kate@energisesussexcoast.co.uk, 07840 485344

Our latest report: Warm Homes and Wellbeing Research Project

Energise Sussex Coast have been commissioned by the East Sussex Energy Partnership to expand on our fuel poverty research for Chesshire Lehmann Fund and integrate it within the framework of the Fuel Poverty Reduction programme in East Sussex.

Our research focused on the positive mental health benefits of key interventions. What works? What are the policy implications?

The key interventions divide into energy bill advice (including help to access grants, relieve debts or correct errors) and the identification of energy inefficient and unhealthy homes and housing conditions.

The case studies show a wide range of positive interventions by Energy Champions that can show measurable benefits for clients. These range from applications for replacement white goods to more dramatic interventions that prompt comments like “I felt like I got my life back”.

Our policy recommendations include addressing exclusion of vulnerable residents from the energy market and improving conditions in the Private Rented Sector  where people are often living in unhealthy cold and damp conditions.

Download the full report here:

ESEP Final Report 2016 FINAL

ESEP Final Report 2016 Appendices

At REconomy/LIFT (Local Innovation For Transition) in London

Richard and Sarah attended REconomy/LIFT (Local Innovation For Transition) on February 25th in London. The event gave Transition Town groups across London and the South East the chance to get together and share knowledge and ideas with a particular focus on strengthening local economies.

Richard gave a short presentation about what ESC are working on in Hastings and ran a workshop with Chris Rowlans from OVESCO on innovations in community energy.

The event was organised by London and South East Transition and took place at the beautiful Cinema Museum in Kennington.

You can watch the presentations, including Richard’s, below.

CAN Partner meeting, October 2016

On October 13-14 this year Hastings (ESC, Hastings Borough Council and Amicus Horizon) hosted the partner meeting with other organisations across the EU working on the Climate Active Neighbourhoods project, funded by Interreg North West Europe.

Various meetings and partner presentations were held over the two days and a walk round Ore Valley to see the Bridge Centre and Amicus Horizon social housing stock.

Read more about the CAN project in Hastings.

Climate Active Neighbourhoods partners:

Climate Alliance (Lead Partner), AmicusHorizon with Energise Sussex and Hastings Borough Council, Gemeente Arnhem, Brest métropole with Brest Energence, Energieagentur Rheinland-Pfalz, Stadt Essen, Liège Energie with Ville de Liège, Plymouth City Council, EPAM Seine-Aval with Mantes-la-Jolie, Stadt Worms

Job vacancy – Project Coordinator – Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN) project

Project Coordinator – Climate Active Neighbourhoods (CAN) project, Hastings
Fixed term for two years – full time, 37 hours per week.
Starting salary £28,554 per annum rising to £31,727 per annum with service.

AmicusHorizon, Hastings Borough Council and Energise Sussex Coast have secured funding from the EU Interreg programme to deliver the CAN project. We’re looking for a project coordinator with experience of managing grant funded projects and who has experience of domestic energy efficiency (retrofit and behaviour change).

AmicusHorizon is the lead partner for the Hastings CAN project activity. The role will report to AmicusHorizon’s Sustainability Manager with frequent reporting to Hastings Borough Council.

Key duties of the post will include:

  • Project management of AmicusHorizon’s CAN project activity (2 days per week)
  • Project management of Hastings Borough Council’s CAN project activity (2 days per week)
  • Developing and delivering an in-home energy advice programme for AmicusHorizon’s residents (1 day a week)
  • Engaging and managing external consultants to deliver project activity
  • Providing updates to the funder/lead partner as required
  • Developing project forums as detailed in the CAN funding application
  • Organising partnership meetings and events
  • Attending meetings with lead partner/other partners in Europe.

The successful candidate will have:

  • Experience of domestic energy efficiency (retrofit and behaviour change).
  • Experience of delivering externally funded schemes
  • Effective communication skills and ability to build and maintain successful relationships and partnerships.
  • The ability to work on own initiative.
  • Experience of project management, monitoring and evaluation.
  • Effective organisation and administration skills including a good working knowledge of Word, Excel and Power Point
  • Experience of working within the wider regeneration context.

The post involves travel to partner meetings in Europe.

We’ll provide full training and a lively working environment.

If you’d like to know more call Andrew Piper, Sustainability Manager on 01795 434691.

Disclosure checks by the DBS (formally the CRB) will be undertaken for successful candidate.

Click here to apply and enter job number 12628.

Closing date: 20 June 2016

 

Valuing diversity, equality and fairness.

Let’s end Fuel Poverty in Hastings and tackle climate change at the same time.

Teilhard de Chardin, one time Hastings resident, Jesuit scientist and philosopher, the one whose writing was banned for many years by the Vatican, thought that the way to understand something was not to break it down into its constituent parts but to embrace it in all its complexity.

The greater the complexity, the further your mind has to stretch. So here’s a paradox. What if the solution to climate change, inadequate housing, the energy crisis, and fuel poverty were one and the same? It is 2016. We live in one of the richest countries in the world. It was an unusually mild winter.

Yet the UK experienced the highest Excess Winter Death rates in 15 years (43,900). Double the rates in Scandinavian countries that are far colder. 9000 people died because their houses were too cold. You can imagine the “National Scandal” headline except that such a headline never appeared. Where are our media?

According to Dr Mari Martiskainen, a Research Fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand based at the Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) at Sussex University. “2.35 million Households in England living in poor quality, energy inefficient housing have to decide each winter whether to ‘eat or heat’.” Mari was a speaker at last Friday’s Community Solutions to Fuel Poverty workshop in Hastings organised by Energise Sussex Coast where the Rt Hon Amber Rudd MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change was a guest.

Peter Smith, Head of Policy and Research at fuel poverty charity National Energy Action (NEA) gave us the local facts: “Fuel poverty causes needless suffering and costs local health services a fortune. In Hastings we know around 5850 households are unable to afford to heat their homes and an estimated 297,000 households in the South East are living in fuel poverty.”

We looked at some local case studies. “R”, aged 83, who was charged for electricity by two companies, one of whom (EDF) owed him £ 2185. Mr. and Mrs. “N”, in their 90’s, whose meter was too high to read so they had estimated readings from British Gas for 1.5 years and were in credit by £ 1100.

You may have seen one of our case studies featured in the BBC Panorama programme “Too poor to stay warm” and in the BBC article “Anatomy of a cold home” featuring Hayley and her three children from Hollington.

© 2016 BBC
© 2016 BBC Hayley and family

Their rented property has prepayment meters, a boiler last made in 1995, old style radiators, and dangerous condensation everywhere. They have to wipe black and white mould off their belongings almost daily. We put a datalogger in the house and it showed temperatures of 12 at night (in April) and, shockingly, recorded humidity levels of 90% (humidity levels between 40 and 60% are healthy). No wonder the children, all under 8, were ill a lot of the time. Yet under new legislation that house, with an E rated EPC, can still be rented in 2018.

So what’s the solution? These cases highlight different aspects of a complex problem but in Hayley’s case, the answer is surprisingly simple. It was succinctly and passionately expressed by Dr Brenda Boardman of Oxford University at the workshop last week.

Brenda Boardman at the Fuel Poverty Workshop, Hastings, May 2016
Brenda Boardman at the Fuel Poverty Workshop, Hastings, May 2016

If we retrofit the town’s inefficient homes (social and private) to proper standards, including proper health standards, and do it soon, we won’t just eradicate fuel poverty but reduce energy and greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change, all at the same time.

How do we do it and how do we pay for it? The good news for Hastings is that a partnership of Amicus Horizon, Hastings council and Energise Sussex Coast have won £ 900, 000 in an EU funded bid to improve 600 homes in Ore over 3 years – the first Climate Active Neighbourhood (CAN) scheme. Part of the scheme involves installing smart meters and home energy management systems in 100 homes so that households can make the most of solar energy even when there are no panels on their roofs. A “club” of residents are then helped to switch their energy demand away from peak times, to store energy when it is cheap and reduce their use when it is expensive who can then benefit from time of use tariffs and the cheaper prices of energy generated and shared locally.

This is the direction the future energy market is taking. Luckily, we can be at the leading edge of it. The challenge is going to be engaging people enough so that they will want to change their behavior and spend money improving their homes to make them healthier, cheaper to run and more climate friendly, especially those households not trapped in poverty. So let’s figure out what makes us happier – and that could include lifting our community out of fuel poverty – and everything else may follow. More money, local jobs, local energy, more community spirit.

Transition Town stall at Big Happy Energy Day
Transition Town stall at Big Happy Energy Day

We love our town, care about it, invest more locally, buy less stuff we don’t need, grow our own food, make our homes cosier. All of which reduces carbon without us even noticing it. That was something else Teilhard de Chardin said. There is no evolutionary future for anyone unless everyone is included.

Energise Sussex Coast is looking for community energy champion volunteers! Contact Richard@energisesussexcoast.co.uk

 

Fuel Poverty Pilot, Report by Energise Sussex Coast

Energise Sussex Coast has just published a report on Fuel Poverty, commissioned by the Chesshire Lehmann Fund and supported by East Sussex County Council Fuel Poverty Reduction programme. Download or view the report below:

Energise Sussex Coast_Hastings_Report_Fuel_Poverty 2016.PDF

For this report we engaged with over 200 residents in East Sussex, most from Hastings and St Leonards, in order to identify  the most successful interventions that energy advisors could offer to those trapped in fuel poverty.

The report looked at 20 case studies in detail and gathered data on over 75 cases as part of an ongoing investigation into the mental health and wellbeing benefits of successful interventions.

We also identified what elements of the energy market are not working or could be improved by changes in policy and we listed several recommendations for more equitable policies.

We see this as a continuous practical research programme to address the scandal of energy poverty in the UK and would be interested to collaborate with other research partners and funders.

 

Fuel Poverty Workshop presentations

Our workshop held at Sussex Coast College on May 13th saw a wide range of speakers coming together to discuss Fuel Poverty in the UK. Below are the speakers presentations saved in easy to view PDF files.

The Fuel Poverty Workshop Agenda outlines the order of speakers on the day.

Session One

Mari Martiskainen Sussex University_ FP workshop

Brenda Boardman 130516
Dr Brenda Boardman policy recommendations

Community Energy South _Fuel Poverty case study

Kayla Ente Fuel poverty case study

Richard Watson _ Case study_ Fuel Poverty

List of case studies and policy recommendations for discussion

Session Two

Amicus_CAN presentation

EnergyLocal tackling fuel poverty Mary Gillie

NEA_ Peter Smith_ Fuel Poverty workshop

National Energy Action policy recommendations

UKPowerNetworks presentation_Hastings fuel poverty event