Newsletter – October 2016

1. SWELL participants benefit from summer’s solar gain

We’ve been looking at the summer stats for Energy Local’s SWELL project. August saw locally-shared solar power meet a quarter of SWELL users’ demand on 7 days, and on most days solar met at least 10% of their electricity needs. Over a third of the power was used in properties where the panels were fitted, and almost all of the remaining energy was used by neighbouring households that are also part of the project. 

In September, with shorter days, solar has been providing less electricity for project participants. There’s been a lot of variation from day to day: one day saw a quarter of all electricity supplied by solar, but on 19 September, the sun only met a tiny proportion of demand – less than 1% – it must have been very cloudy! Once again, the SWELL participants benefitted from almost all (95%) of the locally-generated power in September, with the rest being exported to the grid.

..and solar powers ahead

And it’s also worth mentioning that in the six months between April and September this year, solar generated more electricity than coal in the UK – the first time this has happened.  Solar is always going to be more productive in the summer months, but even so this is very encouraging. Behind the headline is a complex picture of carbon pricing, government policy and other changes to the energy market.  This article from Carbon Brief explores the story in more detail.

2. Guest blog – vampire-hunting with Craig

A friend of Energy Local, Craig, was inspired to take a look at his own energy consumption, and especially the ‘energy vampires’ that gently consume power even when we think they’re switched off or at rest. 

Read how he went on, and his old vs new ‘fridge consumption stats…

3. Mary shortlisted for Innovate UK award

We’re very pleased to announce that Dr Mary Gillie is a finalist in Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation awards. She’s been selected as one of the final 34 candidates, from a strong field of 442 entries. As a finalist, she recieves mentoring, training and guidance. She’ll also have the chance to pitch for an award of £50,000 to support innovation activities, with winners announced in November. Best of luck, Mary!

6. Big Energy Saving Week 2016

The annual push to reduce household energy bills – Big Energy Saving Week – starts on 31 October.  We’re very pleased that Judith Kaufmann, one of the Cyd Ynni:Ynni Lleol champions, has provided Energy Local with her top ten energy saving tips.

• English

Bydd yr ymgyrch flynyddol i leihau biliau trydan cartref – Wythnos Fawr Arbed Ynni – yn dechrau 31 Hydref. Rydym yn falch bod Judith Kaufmann, un o bencampwyr Cyd Ynni:Ynni Lleol, wedi creu rhestr o ddeg awgrym arbed ynni i Energy Local.

• Cymraeg

5. Community Energy Wales event – sharing the Cyd Ynni:Ynni Lleol model

Community Energy Wales (CEW) held its annual conference in Bethesda last month.  Delegates heard about the Cyd Ynni:Ynni Lleol project in presentations from both Mary Gillie of Energy Local and from Meleri Davies of Ynni Ogwen.  More information about the conference is here.

6. Stay safe: tumble-dryer warnings

Now that autumn is definitely with us, drying the washing outside isn’t so easy and people may be making more use of their tumble-dryer. There have been a series of recent reports about faulty tumble-dryers causing house fires. While most tumble-dryers will operate safely, there are known problems with some designs. There is information online about the affected models – sold under the brand names Hotpoint, Indesit and Creda (or freephone number 0800 151 0905), and a free repair service for anyone owning one. Consumer group Which? has compiled its own list of affected tumble-dryer models.

Having smoke alarms, and testing them regularly, is a sensible precaution for all homes, and households with a tumble-dryer might want to reduce risks even further by only using it when there’s someone in the house to keep an eye on things.

7.Energy Local in the media

Energy Local featured in an article in Cooperative News last month.  The article reports extensively on Mary Gillie’s presentation to the Community Energy Conference 2016, describing the Energy Local approach and the SWELL and Cyd Ynni:Ynni Lleol projects.