Tackling Fuel Poverty and cutting Brickhill’s carbon footprint

One of the aims of the Brickhill Sustainable Community Plan is to reduce Brickhill’s carbon footprint. The plan suggested that a community group be set up to focus on this. On 5th December 2013, the Brickhill Better Energy Efficiency Group (‘Brickhill BEE Group‘) was formally set up. The group’s Mission Statement says:

‘Brickhill BEE exists to implement the aim in the Brickhill Sustainable Community Plan of
‘reducing Brickhill’s carbon footprint’, tackle Fuel Poverty and the impact of rising fuel prices.’

BEE Logo and slogan

Brickhill Green Day

On Sunday 26th January 2014, the Brickhill BEE Group held a Brickhill Green Day. There were two events held at the same time:

1. Brickhill Big Energy Saving Show – held in the main hall at St Mark’s Church Community Centre. The aim was to combine some fun with some practical advice and support. Energy saving advice was given by Bedford Borough Council and Green Deal advisor Arun Services, Bedford CAB helped six people change their energy supplier, saving £1,500 a year. AgeUK couldn’t attend but provided leaflets.

In addition Goldington Family Centre, St Andrew’s Church Fairtrade Group, a facepainter, Brickhil WI (who provided refreshments) also helped make it a successful event.

Approximately 100 people came to the event, despite the weather.

2. Green Open Homes event – Eight homes were open in Brickhill, to allow visitors to see various technologies in use for real, with no pressure from a sales person to buy. All eight had solar PV, some had solar thermal, two had air-source heat pumps.

For the Brickhill Green Open Homes event it wasn’t necessary to throw the whole of your home open for people to enter; it was enough just to show the changes you’ve made and enable visitors to learn more about them.

Other work

We also want to look at the lower-tech solutions. Have you taken action to cut draughts or increase insulation, to make your home warmer but without increasing your energy costs? If so, we really want to hear from you. If your home is still draughty or is not well insulated, then we can offer some financial support (and professional help) to make some very simple changes that may help.

Please send an email to brickhillcommunityplan[at]gmail.com (replace ‘[at]’ by ‘@’) with your contact details if you want to take part or learn more; we will then get back in touch to discuss this.

Leaflets were delivered across Brickhill to advertise the 26th Jan events. See here and here.

Work is now to continue, trying to find those residents who need help and support to tackle the cost of fuel.

Funding

Brickhil BEE Group is grateful for the financial support given by Bedford Borough Council, Bedfordshire & Luton Community Foundation, Brickhill Parish Council, Capgemini UK plc and Centre for Sustainable Energy.

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