What is the Home Energy Centre ?
As project managers and consultants for community-owned renewable energy (CORE), localGen has long believed that the public has not had easy access to impartial advice and guidance about energy matters for the home
To fill that need, localGen opened in 2011 a pathfinder Home Energy Centre, community-based in the centre of market town Ilminster, South Somerset, to provide the public with easily-accessible free information and guidance about energy- efficiency and renewable energy generation
In a friendly atmosphere visitors can browse, use the brochures and other information sheets to look up and look into the products and services available locally (and some further afield) and get the advice and information they require to make informed decisions
With the arrival of the government’s Green Deal, introduced to encourage greater energy-efficiency in the home, the Home Energy Centre provides information on how the Green Deal works, together with other related current government initiatives, including the Renewable Heat Initiative and the Feed-In Tariff subsidies
The Centre has a permanent showroom with products from local suppliers on display and with brochures and access to a computer database of information about subsidies and services. The expertise of independent Domestic Energy Assessors/Green Deal Advisors is available and seminars, workshops, briefings and training takes place on a regular basis, at Open Afternoons every fortnight
The Home Energy Centre is supported by localGen and managed by a steering group of local citizens. The Centre looks for outcomes beyond profit generation by working in common cause with suppliers, social enterprises and community partnerships to builds up assets and resilience for its local community , by increasing awareness levels of its citizens to enable them to adopt energy-efficiency measures in the face of rising costs, the failure of energy supply and the local impacts of climate change
For more information, drop in to the Home Energy Centre based in Ditton Street, Ilminster, Somerset,(2-6.30 weekdays, 10-2 Sat), tel. 01460 250986, or contact by email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Background- microgeneration and CORE
Britain can only meet the target set by Government to generate 20% of the country’s demand for electricity by 2020 from renewable sources if there is a substantially greater, and well-coordinated, emphasis on and support for the decentralising of energy generation (microgeneration, or DER) throughout the UK
The target can be met if the government rolls out support for the distribution of energy generation away from central power stations, replacing it with locally-generated, renewable, clean green electricity, community-based and community-owned (CORE)
For example, the most cost-efficient and rapid method for local generation of electricity is to place solar photovoltaic (pv) panels on the roof of homes, farms and business/industrial premises ..to take up the task a community can set up a local community energy company to establish enough generation installations to ensure the future energy-resilience of the community as well as develop revenue streams for other community projects
How is localGen involved ? .. community energy generation..
localGen is working to inform and assist local communities and individuals in Somerset that have realized the need to become self-sufficient in power and intend to get going to ensure that the power they consume is clean, “organic” power.
Advice on suitability of a site for microgeneration is provided as an Appraisal, together with assessment of the specific types of generation to be installed , ie. solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, biomass, ground/air source heat pumps, micro-hydro and micro-wind
We explain to homes and businesses that even if right now is an inconvenient moment to get started in generating a supply of electicity, it's still essential in the meantime to change over to buying supply only from a 100% green electricity supplier.
localGen has developed a financing network which is available to the projects with which it works, together with the skill resources to carry out the project
The future - Microgrids
Linking together in each local area, as community wire networks, the micro-installations that generate renewable energy will give rise to microgrids that are independent of the national, centralized, electricity network ..these are SmartGrids, which will provide for each community resilience to the impact of the coming rises in price and the restrictions of supply by the National Grid... power outages (blackouts) are predicted by industry analysts to become “frequent occurrences” from 2015, or sooner ..the time is now to begin to build an alternative energy supply system.