Friday, 20 January 2012

Guest Blog: Ecoville

I was really pleased to find out this week that Chorlton based Ecospheric and Action for Sustainable Livng (AfSL) have been successful in their bid for a £50,000 grant from the Government's Local Energy Assessment Fund. Detals about their Ecoville project taken from Ecospheric website:

Action for Sustainable Living in partnership with Ecospheric have secured Chorltonville funding from the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF) to help promote energy efficiency in all its 262 households. LEAF is a government grant for communities to help them understand the potential for improvements in their homes and prepare for new opportunities in sustainable energy and climate change arising from the Green Deal, Renewable Heat Incentive and Feed in Tariffs. This means we are able to offer up to £500 worth of products and services FREE to each household to help them reduce their bills including:
· An energy monitor for every household with access to an online dashboard and forum. Your private dashboard will allow you to track your energy usage over time, allowing you to see when you might be able to cut down. The community forum will collect anonymous data from all the monitors and give us average and total consumption figures for Chorltonville that we are aiming to reduce as much as possible! It will also give you the opportunity to ask questions to experts and your peers about access to an online forum where you can ask for advice from experts and your peers.

· Ecospheric are offering to provide 40 households with energy fitness and retrofit reports. This consists of a survey using amongst others, thermographic techniques to pinpoint heat loss within a property and produces a report with prioritised recommendations for individual properties. The bespoke report not only contains information about the property surveyed but also a comprehensive range of advice on sustainable living ranging from efficiency measures to occupancy health and behaviour.

· A series of workshops delivered by Action for Sustainable Living, Ecospheric and Carbon Coop aimed at helping every owner of the community. These include:

o AfSL's Energy Academy - Workshops on the importance of behaviour change in conjunction with refurbishment for the most effective energy saving solution. The performance of a house is affected +/- 30% by how the occupier interacts with it.

o Ecospheric's Chorltonville Houses Workshop - Specifically tailored to Chorltonville houses to help those who were not able to secure a full survey and report so that you are aware of what changes you can make and how to do it.

o Carbon Coop Householder Workshop - This will be a large workshop to enable residents to come together and identify their energy usage and discover ways of reducing any unnecessary losses. The Carbon Coop is a community benefit co-operative that promotes the development of carbon reduction measures.

o Ecospheric's Elderly Residents Workshop - This will focus on elderly residents, families, carers and other volunteers to provide specific advice about making homes more comfortable and reduce costs. Chorltonville has a rich heritage and many people have lived here all their lives. We want to ensure that they can continue to do so without worrying about being warm and comfortable in their own homes.

· Tours of the Chorlton Eco Show Home to show a practical example of a successful energy efficient refurbishment of a Chorltonville

We want to arm every resident in Chorltonville with the knowledge and desire to reduce their energy bills and enable them to live in a comfortable and sustainable house. We hope that this project will inspire on-going community lead action and generate awareness for other communities to initiate their path to sustainable living. UK building stock contributes to 43% total UK emissions and by 2050, 85% of our current stock will still be in existence. The importance of energy efficiency in refurbishment has never been greater. Helping communities with the knowledge and willingness to create a more sustainable future is the best way to help us meet our Kyoto agreements and reduce waste energy consumption. For individual homeowners, fuel costs have never been higher and are only set to rise over time as resources become scarcer. By reducing your reliance on energy, you’re helping everyone, not just your wallet

"I am delighted that Ecospheric and AfSL have been awarded a £50,000 grant as part of the Local Energy Assessment Fund, and will be one of the UK’s 82 pioneering energy efficiency projects. My Colleague, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne MP set up the £10m Local Energy Assessment Fund to raise understanding of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation issues at a local level. LEAF is intended to be a precursor to the Government’s Green Deal later this year which will overhaul the energy efficiency of millions of homes across the UK. It’s great that Kit and Jonny are leading the way in Chorltonville.

I think the project in Chorltonville is fantastic because it will help residents to understand how they can improve their home's energy efficiency and reduce their energy bills, whilst also helping to make their homes more comfortable and sustainable. The activities and services that Kit and Jonny have put together will have a lasting benefit because they are helping all residents to be more conscious of their energy use and live more sustainably in Chorltonville. I really enjoyed joining residents in celebrating Chorltonville’s centenary last year; I hope this project will help ensure Chorlonville’s homes are sustainable for another 100 years."

- John Leech MP for Manchester Withington. (Chorlton, Didsbury East& West, Withington, Burnage, Old Moat & Chorlton Park)

Ecospheric is a sustainability consultancy based in Chorltonville specialising in domestic retrofit. I will post more details about this brilliant project when they are available. In the meantime please visit Ecospheric's website:; their Chorlton Eco Show Home Facebook page: and follow them on twitter at @ecospheric.

1 comment:

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