Initial trial for Area East communities in South Somerset – Winter 2021/22

Details of the Scheme:

We have two thermal imaging cameras available for use by our Area East communities on a free lending-basis. These easy to use camera units connect directly to your smartphone or tablet (either Android or Apple) and will provide you with a thermal image of your home or building. The image can then be used to interrogate and identify potential improvements, such as requirements for insulation and draught proofing within your home to improve your energy efficiency, as well as to reduce heat loss and fuel bills.

We are initially trialling this scheme with our Area East communities this winter (Winter 2021/22), with a view to rolling the scheme out to all communities in October 2022. For a list of all eligible Area East communities, please see below.

If you live in Area East and would like to book one of our cameras, please contact us here.

List of Eligible Parishes

Initially the trial is available to our Area East communities, which include:

Abbas & Templecombe, Ansford, Babcary, Barton St David, Bratton Seymour, Brewham, Bruton, Cary Moor, Castle Cary, Charlton Horethorne, The Charltons, Chilton Cantelo, Compton Pauncefoot, Corton Denham, Cucklington, Henstridge, Horsington, Ilchester, Keinton Mandeville, Kingsdon, Kingweston, Limington, Marston Magna, Milborne Port, Mudford, North Cadbury & Yarlington, North Vale, Penselwood, Pitcombe, Queen Camel, Rimpton, Shepton Montague, South Cadbury & Sutton Montis, Sparkford, Stoke Trister, West Camel, Wincanton, Yeovilton, Charlton Musgrove.

What to do:

Once confirmed, we will provide you with the appropriate camera unit, along with a how to use guidance sheet. This will include links to CSE’s free home energy advice service offering further guidance after you’ve used the camera.

The scheme will be administered through the Bruton and Cary Retrofit Scheme.

Why use one? Carbon emissions and climate change implications:
Thermal images will show up where homes would benefit from improved insulation and draught proofing. Homes account for 22% of the UK carbon emissions and there needs to be an urgent application of energy efficiency improvements if we are going to hit the carbon reduction targets necessary to stop run away climate breakdown. Our aim is that using the thermal imaging cameras will help stimulate action for homeowners to improve their energy efficiency and therefore reduce carbon emissions.

Reducing Heat Loss and Energy Consumption

Once you have identified areas of heat-loss within your property, there are several ways that could help you reduce energy consumption and heat loss. These include:

  • Improving the insulation of the property, especially roof or wall insulation;

  • Reducing air leakage, for example around doors, windows, or letter-boxes; and

  • Reducing energy consumption by using efficient heating methods such as air or ground source heat pumps.

Although the above options may require professional inputs, there are also some simple (and cheap) DIY options:

  • use heat reflective aluminium foil behind the radiator to reduce heat loss;

  • use thick curtains, with a thermal lining, to reduce heat loss through the windows;

  • stop heat being lost up the chimney when not in use by using a chimney balloon or woollen chimney insulator (www.chimneysheep.co.uk); but remember to remove them before starting any fires!

  • watch out for mini-draughts, such as letterboxes or cat flaps – add an extra barrier in the form of a “brush”;

  • use draught excluders along the base of doors;

  • cover bare floors, which account for as much as 10% of heat loss if they’re not insulated; and

  • Insulate your house with DIY loft insulation and ensure the loft hatch is also insulated.

 

29th January 2022

A message from SSDC:

Hello 2022! We’re excited to be at the start of another promising year and looking forward to implementing environmental projects to help us live a more eco-friendly, sustainable life. Read on for tips and tweaks that can help ourselves and the planet.

Hello from Cllr Sarah Dyke our Portfolio Holder for Environment

Belated Happy New Year! Have you made some sustainable New Year resolutions? I’ve pledged to grow more of my own veg, improve the wildlife-friendly space in my garden to attract and support more wildlife, plant a tree, buy fewer clothes and when I do, I’ll choose 2nd hand, fair trade, organic or recycled.

I attended our SSDC Community grants webinar on 12th January where it was great to see such a high attendance of people interested to know how the council grant scheme can support environmental projects. If you don’t already know about these grants check out the feature further on.

Please do share Get SuSSed with others and help spread the environment message. It’s easy.. just see the Psst…Pass it on section below. We’ve moved it to pole position this month so you can think about who might like to read it while you are. Thanks!

Best Eco Wishes Sarah x

If you enjoy Get SuSSed and would like to share it, you’ll find the link on our website here. Just copy and paste the link into your social media or within some text on your website. Or just forward the email to friends.

You can also find all back issues of Get SuSSed here.

 

4th October 2021

A message from Bruton Town Council:

Today marks the launch of Retrofit Bruton and Cary– A new 18-month project funded by Somerset County Council’s Climate Emergency Community Fund, delivered by Bruton Town Council in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable EnergyOne Planet Bruton and Greener Cary.

From 4 October 2021, Justine Mallinson, our professionally qualified and experienced Retrofit Assessor & Co-ordinator, will give clear, impartial advice and support to homeowners, to help them plan and deliver exactly the right energy efficiency improvements for their homes.

This service will be available in Bruton, Castle Cary and surrounding Parishes. I invite you to draw the service to the attention of your residents. Charges will apply for homeowners in some parts of this area, and for larger properties.

We have known for years that if we are to have any hope of meeting our net zero targets, we will need to insulate our existing housing stock, and switch to cleaner sources of energy. Many residents have the means and wish to improve their homes, but don’t know where to start. Our service will offer the expert impartial advice and support they need to get going…

For more details please visit Retrofit.brutontown.com

 

30th September 2021

In May 2019, South Somerset District Council (SSDC) declared a Climate and Ecological emergency. SSDC has created this survey to try and better understand where our business community is with addressing the climate emergency.

We are conducting a survey to gain information that will help us identify where we can offer advice and support going forward. The survey opened on 27th September and closes on 5th November.

Business Survey – Addressing the Climate and Ecological Emergency – South Somerset District Council – Citizen Space

 

5th July 2021:

Join millions of people reducing their plastic waste.

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics.

To find out more please go to:

www.plasticfreejuly.org

 

31st March 2021:

The Met Office tweeted yesterday that it was the warmest March day since 1968. People were out enjoying the sunshine as it coincided with the lifting of lockdown and being able to meet with others outdoors.

Just imagine if, while enjoying the weather, you were generating free electricity from the solar panels on your roof and helping with the climate emergency. With many people spending more time at home, and solar PV panels at their most cost effective for years, what better time to consider installing solar panels?

Go to https://solarstreets.co.uk/brutoncaryplus for details of discounted solar panels in and around our area.

18th March 2021

Bruton Town Council wins £75,000 grant for innovative scheme to improve energy efficiency for residents

We are delighted to announce that Bruton Town Council has been awarded £75,000 by Somerset County Council for its “Retrofit Bruton & Cary” project to deliver high-quality low-carbon improvements to local housing.

The project, which has been developed jointly with Castle Cary Town Council, One Planet Bruton, Greener Cary and the Centre for Sustainable Energy, will give independent advice to homeowners about the best and most carbon-efficient way of improving their homes, at the same time as working with local builders to develop their expertise in low-carbon retrofitting.

The project will run for 18 months, and combine the professional expertise of the Centre for Sustainable Energy with detailed local knowledge and will employ a professionally qualified co-ordinator.

Councillor James Hood said:

“I believe that having declared a Climate Emergency the Town Council needs to do everything it can to address global warming, and not wait for others to take the lead. We need to think big, work with ambition and at scale, take risks, and learn as we go.

Domestic energy consumption is known to be the third biggest source of CO2 emissions in the UK and retrofitting homes has been identified as a ‘win-win’ by the Committee on Climate Change.  I am thrilled that the County Council has recognised our ambition.”

Mayor Ewan Jones said:

“Retrofitting home improvements that save energy offers the greatest return on investment of all carbon emission reductions – while delivering warmer more comfortable homes, where families can live more healthily. Like many Somerset towns, Bruton has a high proportion of older, much loved but ‘hard to treat’ traditional buildings. “Retrofit Bruton & Cary” will help to build the local skills that will create local jobs as retrofitting accelerates.”

Ian Preston, Head of Household Energy Services at the Centre for Sustainable Energy said:

“We are really excited to be partners on the Retrofit Bruton & Cary project- assisting Bruton Town Council in a market transformation initiative that will enable a local and low-carbon retrofit market to flourish. It’s great to see a Town Council taking such a pioneering lead on tackling the challenge of retrofitting houses in their parish.

This is a really innovative model, where the new retrofit coordinator will be employed directly by the Town Council, providing a trusted local source of advice, but able to draw on CSE’s depth of experience for their technical and case work support, using our decades of experience in providing household energy advice, and our specialist knowledge of the retrofit market from our Futureproof scheme. By embedding someone in the community to gain a deeper understanding of the homes and the measures they need, we can kick start activity and demand for business locally.”