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Energy

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Herts Solar Club
Discount Insulation Scheme
Energy Champions and Water Audits for Schools

What we do

The Group meets bi-monthly, its aims are:

  • To provide a forum which enables sharing of good practice on energy efficiency initiatives taking place both internally and externally within member authorities
  • To facilitate joint working partnerships in relation to the Home Energy Conservation Act
  • To work with the local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre to ensure residents have access to good quality advice on energy issues
  • To improve energy efficiency in public buildings
  • County wide promotional activity to increase Energy Awareness
  • Sharing of resources

Why we meet

In December 1997, representatives of Governments from around the world met to negotiate in Kyoto, Japan, attempting to reach agreement on actions to deal with the most serious environmental problem facing the world: climate change. The European Union which had a key-negotiating role at the conference, agreed to push for the basket of greenhouse gases to be extended, and for a 15% reduction of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by the year to 2010. Within this, different targets have been set for European Union member states, which range from a 25% reduction for Germany, to a 10% reduction for the UK. The UK has argued that the EU should go further and is committed to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.

The Home Energy Conservation Acts 1995 And 1996

The Home Energy Conservation Acts of 1995 and 1996 (HECA) require local authorities, as energy conservation authorities, to focus their attention on improving the energy efficiency of the housing stock in their districts, including houses in multiple occupation and certain house boats. All Hertfordshire authorities have submitted reports. Each authority has to prepare, publish and submit to the Secretary of State a report, which identifies practicable and cost effective measures, which will result in significant improvements in energy efficiency in residential accommodation in its area.

Authorities should be looking to measures which, when compared with the situation as at 1st April 1996 will lead to a 30% improvement. Substantial progress towards achieving this target is expected over a 10-year period. The first energy conservation reports were required to be submitted by 30th November 1996 and are updated annually in the Housing Investment Plan submissions made by housing authorities.

How you can help

  • If you are too warm, turn your thermostat down by 1C this can cut up to 10% off your fuel bills
  • Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows
  • Always remember to turn off lights when you leave a room
  • When you are not using your TV, switch it off at the set rather than leaving it on stand-by

Fridges

  • Don't leave the fridge door open for longer than necessary
  • Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge; allow it to cool down first
  • Defrost your fridge regularly as this will help to keep it running efficiently

Washing Machines/tumble dryers

  • Always wait until you have a full load before using your washing machine
  • Try to use the low-temperature programme, unless you have very dirty clothes to wash
  • Don't put really wet clothes into a tumble dryer; wring them out or spin dry them first

For more information on saving energy contact your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre freephone 0800 512 012.

Projects

A consortium of Hertfordshire local authorities have set up the Warmer Homes Greener Herts insulation scheme, which provides loft and cavity wall insulation to residents at a greatly reduced cost. Warmer Homes Greener Herts hotline 0800 80 48 777

A DIY solar club has been set up in East Herts to enable people to claim discounts on the installation of solar panels. With the support of HEF, there are plans to set up similar clubs in other local authorities in Hertfordshire.

The Schools Energy Challenge takes a whole school approach to energy and water management. It involves teaching and non-teaching staff as well as pupils. The Challenge is a partnership between Hertfordshire local authorities, Hertfordshire County Council, the School Improvement and Advisory Service and the participating schools.

A comprehensive energy report is compiled for each school taking part in the Challenge, which identifies energy conservation improvements; a copy is given to the school. The schools are given assistance to apply for CREATE grants, these grants provide up to 3,000 per school to implement energy saving measures such as new lighting or heating controls.

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