BHESCo worked with the Hove Station sustainability group to develop an Energy plan for the Neighbourhoods within the designated area.
Ollie Pendered, ex-Communications and Communities Director at BHESCo has previously developed an Energy Plan and programme of initiatives in Barcombe in East Sussex. He has worked with Brighton & Hove housing sustainability team to develop energy efficiency campaigns across the city. Earlier this year he managed a £250k fuel poverty project Called Your Warm Home on behalf of the City Council and Department of Energy and Climate Change. He is a member of the Consultation Institute where he is part of their Roundtable on Neighbourhood Planning and is an advocate of low carbon energy plans.
Q: Why does Hove Station need an energy plan?
Developing a low carbon energy plan and offering initiatives to help people make their homes energy efficient will:
- Improve residents living conditions
- Save money on ever rising energy bills
- Help residents become healthier and be warmer at home
Q: How is an energy plan structured?
The low carbon energy plan develops a home energy efficiency plan for the area and a community energy plan.
Home Energy Efficiency first looks to mapping the existing housing stock and seeks to find solutions to make everyone’s homes energy efficient by conducting street by street energy surveys that consult with householders on appropriate measures i.e. draft proofing, loft insulation, advice on solid wall insulation and boiler replacements. Community engagement initiatives can then be developed tailored to each street working with local suppliers to offer solutions and group buying initiatives.
Community Energy looks to develop a long term energy plan for the neighbourhood, based on decentralised energy i.e. could we as a community generate as much energy as we use? The plan would include development of a waste and energy site on the DA6 area, look at possible wind turbine locations, local roof top community solar electricity projects, district heating potential and solid wall opportunities for whole streets. There are community ownership models springing up across the country that could be used.
Q: How will the community pay for this?
There are several funding streams for doing this type of work and developing low carbon communities:
- Energy Company Obligation (ECO) – this fund takes carbon tax money from the Big Six energy suppliers and offers it to vulnerable people, those on benefits or tax credits – this can help people get free heating systems, and fund solid wall and insulation projects. Three storey buildings can get up to 70% funding for solid wall insulation
- The Green Deal – will offer residents the opportunity to have home energy assessments and make long term plans for their homes – community funding will be made available through DECC and the local authorities to support this effort and boost energy efficiency initiatives. BHESCo also offers a low interest pay as you save scheme similar to the Green Deal
- Community energy projects – local community energy projects such as solar arrays can be set up as a local community share schemes
- Building relationships with local suppliers – agreements can be developed with local suppliers whereby they offer local buying discounts for the HSNP area and can also provide a commission to be reinvested into the area
Q: What are the first steps and initiatives for the plan?
Through the Sustainable Working Group the following initiatives can help raise energy awareness towards the HSNP. BHESCo will develop information fliers that will refer to HSNP and the website:
- The BHESCo small business initiative looks to provide small businesses in the neighbourhood with energy audits and low energy LED lighting options. This is a simple initiative that can help small businesses reduce their electricity bills
- ECO funding for heating and insulation – an initiative focused of the neighbourhoods vulnerable fuel poor residents – they can have full heating systems for free
- Combining the BHESCo business initiative with ECO solid wall funding i.e. terrace and businesses north of Hove Station or the Dubarry Building
Contact: Ollie Pendered
m: 07870 689978