Over the last year we have run energy saving projects with two communities in the Selby District, one with Cridling Stubbs and one with Barlby.
We started the project back in February when we wrote to all parish councils and community building managers in the Selby District, inviting them to apply to be one of our two energy saving communities.
Cridling Stubbs and Barlby were chosen on the basis of the enthusiasm of the people involved at a local level.
About the communities
Cridling Stubbs is a small rural village of 83 households in the south of the district. The village is not on mains gas so faces particular challenges in having to rely on more expensive forms of heating. The village hall committee were looking at ways of increasing the use of the building and the key first step to this involved looking at a new heating system and ways to make the hall energy efficient.
Barlby is a much larger parish of approximately 1,800 households. The local library and community hub has been taken into community ownership and is now run by volunteers. They were very keen to look at ways of becoming energy efficient, reducing its running costs and using it as a way of reaching out to local residents. Part of the village is on gas and part is not.
What we did next
The first stage of the project was to conduct energy audits of the two community buildings, Cridling Stubbs Village Hall and Barlby Library and Community Hub. Through these we reviewed tariffs, did some benchmarking of energy use, made energy efficiency recommendations around lighting, heating, insulation and electrical appliances, and looked at the potential for renewable technologies. These reports could then be used to support funding applications to implement some of the recommended measures.
The second stage was to use the community hubs to engage with the wider community, running energy advice sessions, attending public forums and coffee mornings, and visiting 10 households to provide in-depth one-to-one advice on reducing household energy use. These home visits identified total savings of £3,326 from actions such as switching energy supplier, improving insulation, and applying for the Warm Home Discount. We also delivered energy surveys to all households to investigate what energy-related projects residents may be interested in in the future. One lucky household from each community won an energy monitor through our prize draws which will enable them to see exactly when and how much electricity they are using.
For more information on this project, to discuss what we did and the lessons learned then please do not hesitate to contact Kate either by phone on 07738 818391 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are more than happy to share our experiences with other communities across the country who may be looking to do something similar. If you are based in Selby District and are interested in a community energy project then please also get in touch.
These projects were only made possible thanks to funding from the Northern Powergrid Community Energy Seed Fund at Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland. Thanks also to the representatives of Cridling Stubbs Village Hall Committee and Barlby Library and Community Hub who gave their full support to the project.