Go the extra mile
Since last couple of years of the Big Switch Off campaign thousands of people took part to help save energy, money and the environment. Many of them have already put the Big Switch Off messages in practice. To encourage these people to do more, this year’s campaign will focus on – Go the extra mile.
Please refer to the following case studies, which show how other people have gone an extra mile after adopting energy efficiency behavioural change in their lifestyle. This will encourage you to go the extra mile…
- The Stoate Family, Tilton on the Hill – How low could they go?
- EMAS and ECo School programmes
- Becoming a greenest venue - Yew Lodge Hotel, Kegworth
- The Green Man House, Congerstone - amature designers Jane and Peter Harris
40 households from Tilton and Halstead parish took part in the TILTON GREEN competition. Electricity meter readings were taken by TILTON GREEN volunteers around 1st April and 1st May in 2009 and again in 2010. The competition for the lowest overall use of electricity was to be won by the household with the lowest per capita use of electricity over the 13 month period between the start of April 2009 and the end of April 2010.
The Stoates won the competition with a recorded electricity consumption of only 262 kWh/person over the 13 month period. The households had electricity use ranging from 262 to 12,468 kWh/person. TILTON GREEN hopes that the competition has demonstrated that it is possible to live in a less carbon and energy intensive way and that energy efficiency brings cost savings as well as environmental benefits.
£2,500 of prize money (funded by GOEM) contributed towards the total cost of installing 16 PV panels on winner’s house as a community demonstration project. In the first three weeks, the panels produced more electricity than the winning household typically uses in three months! The annual energy output is forecast to be approximately double the electricity the household used over the last twelve months. Also, since 1st April 2010, every kilowatt hour of renewable electricity produced by PV panels installed on existing domestic properties will receive a payment of 41.3p, regardless of whether the electricity is used by the household or exported to the National Grid. No income tax is payable on the revenue income and the payment is guaranteed over the next 25 years and will rise in line with inflation.
The winners have decided to use the feed-in-tariff income arising from the solar panels to provide an income to TILTON GREEN (or other community environmental projects). The panels will therefore not only provide a physical demonstration of a renewable energy system for the community, but also a financial demonstration in terms of the payback received, as well as funding local environmental projects.
The story of Stoates and Tilton Green is inspiring others to take advantage of Feed-in-tariffs and generate your own electricity. Further information on micro generation technologies and feed-in-tariffs can be found from Energy Savings Trust website.
Schools in England emit 8.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year most coming from heating and electricity (SD Commission 2008). This is enough gas to fill nearly 9 million hot air balloons!
Based on electricity, gas and oil use, schools across Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland produce 65,335 tonnes CO2 a year - enough gas to fill nearly 70,000 hot air balloons!
Over 120 local schools are reducing their environmental impact through teacher and pupil-led environmental projects with the support of Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire (GWLL).
The projects support learning through fun activities, events and competitions that improve environmental impact and many schools attain a recognised environmental standard.
Pupils are involved in measuring energy consumption, running “switch-off” campaigns that include assemblies, competitions, internal promotion and class room energy monitors.
Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council support and encourage these programmes.
To find out more visit EMAS in Leicester City schools and Eco Schools Programme for Leicestershire County Council Schools.
Best Western Premier Yew Lodge Hotel in Kegworth, North West Leicestershire is one of the greenest venues in Leicestershire with 101 bedrooms, conference and wedding facilities, restaurant, health club and spa serving over 50 years.
Yew Lodge Hotel operates an Environmental Policy and are very proud to be one of the first hotels in the UK to offer guests the opportunity to ’offset their carbon footprint’. They carried out environment audits supported by the Carbon Trust and Envirowise, which encouraged adopting following green initiatives:
- major investments to install a solar array that pre-heats the water
- 6000 light bulbs being replaced to energy saving lightbulbs
- air conditioning levels set to optimum temperature with guest signage in place
- bedroom TVs switched off standby
- flow rate restriction on domestic water
- thermostatic blending valves fitted on all water outlets in public areas
- ‘carbon offset’ initiative is promoted on all emails and documents
Yew Lodge Hotel has taken part in the Big Switch Off for the past two years, working with staff and guests to encourage everyone to switch off unnecessary electrical appliances and lights. They are keen not only to reduce energy consumption in the hotel as a part of their corporate social responsibility but also to pass this message on to help others cut their carbon dioxide emissions and costs at home too.
The hotel hosted an extremely successful Big Switch Off business breakfast in September 2009, with fifty different businesses and councils joining up to find more about the Big Switch Off and how they could make a difference. As part of the business breakfast we delivered a presentation and led a tour to explain how we had tackled our own energy use to save £26,000 over six months by installing energy efficient measures, renewable technologies and through staff behaviour change.
They also ran a ‘dinner in the dark’ event to help promote the Big Switch Off to guests. This very popular candle-lit dinner was held on the Friday evening of Big Switch Off week and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. It provided a great talking point to promote the Big Switch Off and they intend promoting this to other Best Western hotels to encourage them to take part during 2010.
The hotel’s green initiatives have paid off by winning the Energy Saving Award by the Considerate Hoteliers Association in 2008. They also scooped the Green Tourism Business Scheme’s Silver award in 2008 and going for the Gold Award later in 2010 and were short listed for two years in a row for the Green Footprints Challenge Award run by the North West Leicestershire District Council.
The hotel is very committed to their journey and is constantly review the way they purchase, operate and communicate to become a ‘GREEN’ venue.
The Green Man House, Congerstone - amature designers Jane and Peter Harris
Jane and Peter Harris from Congerstone had a long held ambition to reduce their carbon footprint as well as design and build their own house. They embarked up on a project to build The Green Man House, which was designed by them without any professional help and only took 12 months to finish.
The Green Man House is a true green house full of many sustainable features including energy efficient lighting, solar photo voltaic panels, solar hot water, wood burning stove, air tightness meeting passivhaus standards, triple glazed windows, heat recovery and ventilation, rain water harvesting and many more.
The 20 photo voltaic panels rated at 3.6 KW were installed in January 2010 and in six months have produced, and sold 2046 units of electricity, whereas only 667 units was used from the national grid. A 60 tube solar hot water panel stores hot water in a 800 litre tank for use during non-sunny days and the 10KW wood burning stove keeps the tank water hot as a back-up system.
A 2 KW wood burning stove keeps the house warm in very cold weather running on the wood available free from their own plantation. However, with the good air tightness of the building the wood burning stove is only lit on 88 days in a year for 4 to 5 hours in the evening. A 3000 litre rain harvesting system is used for flushing toilets, laundry and outside tap.
Jane and Peter’s armature design helps to get rid of most of the bills and they only pay council tax and water bills. They won the sustainable building category in this year’s East Midlands LABC Building Excellence Awards. The house has been visited by more than 200 people and prompted local villagers to set up an eco group to reduce carbon footprint of the village. Jane and Peter have gone the extra mile to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint and become role models for others to follow.
Page Last Updated: 5 August 2010