Sun shines on energy issues…

The Footprint Trust’s Warmahome scheme is to hold more of its popular Future Energy events – only this time they are going down the pub! They have been running the events for the past four years and thousands have attended. This year the Trust will be focussing on renewable solar energy – as part of its mission to and to save people money and to reduce the ‘ecological footprint’ of the Isle of Wight. Information will be available on keeping warm and well. The events are aimed at the general public and will be supported by a number of bodies including the Chale Community Project, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, S.W. Housing Association and the Isle of Wight Council.

At these events there will be a focus on renewable energy, in particular solar power. Specialist companies will on hand to explain about the various different technologies that can harvest the sun’s power. Information on air-source heat pumps, recently successfully installed in Chale, will be featured. Those attending will be informed about the free solar panels schemes and the generous tariffs paid by energy companies to householders who buy their own panels. Thus consumers will be assisted in making a decision into what offer is the best for them.

The public will be able to get their electric blankets tested for free by the IW Council’s Trading Standards officers. Information will also be on hand about the Buy with Confidence Scheme. Everyone will be given a free TV Powerdown worth £10.

The events are sponsored by Footprint Trust’s Big Lottery funded Warmahome project, and thus are free to the public and to charities attending.

The first event is at the Riverside Centre in Newport on Friday 12th November this will be followed by one at the Wight Mouse Inn in Chale on Saturday 13th November. Both events will run from 11am until 4pm.

The venues have been chosen because they are popular landmarks in their local communities. The Riverside Centre and The Wight Mouse Inn will be promoting the events to their customers and the wider community. It is hoped that many people will benefit through reduced fuel bills having visited the events. Special offers by the Council’s Warm One Island scheme mean that all householders can get free or cheap insulation. The Footprint Trust will be offering free home energy-saving visits to those attending.

Ray Harrington-Vail of the Trust explains…

“The Chale Community Project has been a major success with so many local people benefiting from improved insulation and renewable energy. We want others in the Chale area and across the Island to benefit too. The use of the Wight Mouse Inn is a first for us. In the past we have held events in community centres, schools, church halls, sports centres and theatres. We may make visiting pubs a regular activity if this proves successful!

“With rising fuel prices and uncertainty about fossil fuels in the future, householders and organisations are seriously looking at energy saving measures and renewables…and that’s the really important message…’

“Harvesting the sun’s power is not just about producing hot water from tubes on the roof. Air-source heat pumps can be an alternative to oil and LPG heating systems. Generating electricity from solar panels and then selling the surplus into the grid is also an option.”

“Renewable technology could give the UK greater fuel security in the future, leading to us depending less on imports of oil, coal and gas.”

Ray went onto say…

“Increasingly people on the Isle of Wight are realising the benefits of supporting renewable energy initiatives, like the Chale Community Project, and insulating their homes. It is not just making their homes more energy efficient and saving them money, but it is helping to tackle climate change, the biggest threat to the landscape, wildlife and people of the Isle of Wight.

For more details of these events please contact Footprint Trust on 82-22-82 or visit their website