The Parish Council Heat Network Committee
What is meant by 'Green Heating'?
We're working on a definition that this is any form of home heating which emits significantly less carbon than current methods. The most polluting source of heat energy is coal, then oil, then gas and then electricity from the grid (now about 40% renewable) and finally, individual 100% solar arrays. Members of our small Shoreham team, like many of you, want to have access to greener heating and wholeheartedly support the move towards zero carbon. We also know that we need to improve the insulation of our leaky homes as best we can. Moving to alternatives has to be cost-effective and sympathetic to this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Knowing that some other villages in the UK had started to explore the idea of a ground source heat pump network to provide low carbon heating and hot water for the community, we secured support from Shoreham residents, other organisations and the Parish Council. We applied, and won, a £40,000 grant from the Rural Community Energy Fund and the Study started in January 2022.
Our 'musts' for a successful study were:
- Technical factors - are there accessible sources of heat underground close to the village centre?
- Economic factors - can we deliver heat into homes at an affordable price?
- Likely community take up - are there likely to be enough homes signing up to make this viable?
With funding via the South East Energy Hub, we appointed consultants BHESCo and RINA Tech to assess the viability of a village-wide heat network in Shoreham. Separately, the Green Heating team established an insulation initiative on how to improve the energy efficiency of our homes and published a booklet (attached below) which outlines measures to improve the energy efficiency of your home. You may decide to tackle some of these yourself but we have also been talking to local and reliable contractors that can offer other services eg to install insulation or heat pumps. Residents who are interested can contact us via email@example.com.
We are hugely grateful for all the supported provided by members of the community who have:
- helped to make sure that information getting out there was accurate - and to bust any myths
- shared energy data for their homes
- offered support to friends and neighbours to get involved
- joined our team to share their skills and experience
- contributed case studies on improving the energy efficiency of their homes
The consultants finally completed their Feasibility Study report in September 2022. Reluctantly and after very careful analysis, we have taken the decision not to proceed with the network proposals. Although the report identified technical viability of several of the options, we decided that the other two 'musts' had not been met.
Instead, as a team, we have been working on ways in which everyone in the parish can reduce their heating bills and carbon emissions. We held a well attended public meeting on Wednesday 9th November which covered:
- a brief summary of the outcomes of the Feasibility Study and our reasons for not proceeding;
- case studies of how members of the Shoreham community are improving their energy efficiency;
- advice from contractors about upgrading insulation and installing heat pumps;
- information about availability of grants to help with improvements.
For further information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Lattimer, Peter Kasch, Nick Copeman, Sarah Newman*, Alan Davies, James Perry, Mike and Heather Sillitoe
* with thanks to Sarah for photos