Energy efficiency events run by South West communities awarded £30,000 funding

Community organisations across the South West have received £30,000 from Ready for Retrofit, the programme that supports energy efficiency in social housing, businesses and the community.

Under the scheme, run by the Energy Saving Trust, six groups in Bristol, North Somerset, Bath and Gloucestershire and eight groups from Devon, West and South Somerset and Dorset will be able to run Energy Saving Open Homes Days and Energy Fairs throughout the year.  Earlier events have proved to be very popular, attracting hundreds of visitors.

Jon Rattenbury, Ready for Retrofit Manager said: “At Energy Saving Trust, we have been thrilled with the number of successful applicants. The response to these events, both from the local groups who have already received funding and from the wider community is always really positive.

“We look forward to encouraging many more people to reap the benefits of energy saving, through events running from now until the end of September.”

The £8 million three year Ready for Retrofit scheme funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) is run by the Energy Saving Trust. It enables social landlords to apply for funding to retrofit energy efficiency and microgeneration measures to improve the energy performance of their homes.

Helen Royall, Director and Events Manager of Transition Stroud said: “Following on from the past roaring success of Open Homes, we are really pleased to have so many homes participating this May, especially with four of them hosting workshops.

“We are also excited about having so many exhibitors for our May Energy Fair in the Subscription Rooms.  There will be lots of activities to suit all, with fun events ranging from ‘make your own eco-home’ from scrap for children, to the chance to ride an adult electric bike for the grown-ups – and lots more besides!”

The programme also supports the local supply chain enabling businesses to become more competitive, improve skills and successfully achieve accreditations needed to bid for larger contracts.

Hosted by the homeowners themselves, Open Homes Days inspire many visitors to introduce simple measures to reduce their energy consumption and bring down bills. They hear first-hand how they can save energy and money through retrofitting different measures or in some cases start micro generating their own power.

Energy Fairs feature local businesses that supply energy efficiency and microgeneration products and services.  Speakers provide information and demonstrations to visitors, who get the opportunity to find out simple tips and products that are easy to fit in their homes.

Director of Exeter Community Energy, Joe Smee said: “The grant from Ready for Retrofit will help train volunteers and pay for the marketing that will really drive the Energy Fair.  We will have many exhibitors demonstrating renewable and energy efficiency technologies as well as independent advisors on hand who can help visitors with the Green Deal and ECO.  There will be lots of activities for kids and a brilliant solar powered coffee caravan for refreshments.”

Groups who successfully bid for funding received up to £4000 for an Open Homes event and up to £1000 to run an Energy Fair.