Chichester District Council’s free home energy event is met with great response
Around 70 residents from across the district attended the sold-out event — ‘Cut costs, cut carbon in your home’ — on Monday, November 29
The event, which was held at Chichester College, showed people how they can do more to reduce their carbon footprint and save money by implementing different measures in their homes.
A range of experts presented on home energy efficiency and renewable technologies, including Paul Ciniglio, Refurbishment Lead at the National Energy Foundation, a not-for-profit charity.
Paul explained the benefits of adding energy efficiency measures, such as heat pumps, and measures that will generate renewable energy, such as solar (PV) panels, in the home.
Paul said: “In the UK, we have approximately 29 million homes that are responsible for around one fifth of carbon dioxide emissions so it’s really important that we retrofit our homes to help reduce the environmental impact.
“We’ve all seen the increase in energy wholesale prices recently so by improving the energy efficiency of our homes, we can help keep our running costs manageable.
“The best way to start your retrofit journey is to carry out a plan — this is like a blueprint which shows you the most viable options to fit and install in your home.
“Most homes’ energy consumption goes on space heating, so insulating walls, roofs, and floors, and making sure you have effective double or triple glazing is really important.
“After this you can look at installing new forms of heating, such as air source heat pumps or ground source heat pumps, and other renewables like solar PV to generate free, clean electricity.”
Katherine Shadwell, Partnerships Development Manager at AgilityEco, presented on a range of current and future grant funding schemes in the area to help people implement energy efficiency and renewable technologies in their homes. AgilityEco has partnered with the council to deliver over 30 energy efficiency/renewable home energy measures in the district through a Government funded scheme.
People can find out more about grant funding and check the eligibility criteria by visiting: www.arunchichestercab.org.uk/contact-us/energy-2021/Graeme Clements from the Chichester branch of Covers Building Merchants also attended and brought along a demonstration model of an air source heat pump and examples of renewable energy technologies for people to look at.
For anyone worried about their energy bills, Michelle Baker, Energy Advice Supervisor and Best Energy Saving Network Regional Lead at Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice, offered advice and shared some simple energy-saving tips.
At the event, she explained: “Our energy team can help people in lots of different ways from switching their energy supplier to helping them understand their bills.
They are available from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday and can be contacted on 01243 974063, or by emailing: [email protected]
“We also give advice on simple ways to save energy at home, such as regularly bleeding your radiators and defrosting your freezer.
“We have lots of tips on how to save money around the house including: leaving your oven door open after cooking; using a slow cooker; and tucking your curtains behind your radiators at night.
“Switching off your appliances instead of leaving them on standby could save you up to £120 a year alone.”
Councillor Penny Plant, Cabinet Member for Environment and Chichester Contract Services at Chichester District Council, said: “This was the first event of its kind in the Chichester District, and we were delighted that so many people could attend.
“The audience were thoroughly engaged throughout the presentations and many also took the time to speak to the experts one-on-one at the end.
“I spoke to a number of residents afterwards who all shared positive feedback about the event.
“Some had already made steps to improve their home’s energy efficiency, while others were just getting started, but they all agreed that they had learnt something from the speakers that would help them on their home retrofit journey.
“For anyone that wasn’t able to attend the event, we captured some short videos with a couple of the speakers at the event, which we will be sharing on our social media channels, including YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChichesterDCouncil
“We’re moving forward with our plans to tackle climate change in our district and supporting residents to reduce carbon emissions from their properties is a key priority.
“One thing the speakers made clear is that making changes to our homes and lifestyles — big or small — can have a positive impact on the environment, and there is a range of support available to help residents achieve this.
“Organising this event is one of the many actions we have taken to help tackle climate change in our area.
“Last year, the council produced a Climate Emergency Action Plan, which sets out a carbon reduction target of ten per cent year-on-year until 2025 for the Chichester District.
“This target was set for both the council and for the whole of the district. This also outlines our commitment to reducing greenhouse gases in the work that we do, and great progress has already been made.”
For more information about the work the council is doing to help tackle climate change in the district and for details of how individuals, businesses and organisations can play their part too, please visit: www.chichester.gov.uk/climatechange