We intend to confront the climate emergency by decarbonising our energy use in Hope Valley. We have a vision of warmer homes, cheaper energy bills, cleaner air, and secure decarbonised energy supply. We want to see dramatic improvements energy efficiency, so we use less energy to heat our homes, a switch to low carbon heating when homes are well insulated, and the adoption and expansion of renewable energy generation to provide a secure and clean energy supply in the Hope Valley.
Our twin aims are to encourage dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and a switch to low carbon heating, and to support the expansion of renewable energy in the Hope Valley.
OUTCOMES – OUR VISION
By 2030 the energy efficiency of our homes will have been improved significantly, and we will have switched to low carbon heating. Most homes will buy their electricity from a genuinely green supplier and a significant amount of electricity demand in the Valley will be generated locally from renewable sources. There will be a range of energy storage options to manage peak demand. Our vision is that by 2050 all our domestic energy will be supplied from locally generated solar and wind power and 90% of homes will have an energy rating of C or better.
Apart from the high cost of energy, we face two key energy related issues in Hope Valley – firstly, the poor energy performance of most of our buildings and, secondly, our dependence on fossil fuels. We will need to overcome considerable barriers to achieve these aims.
On improving energy efficiency, the main barriers are:
- lack of specific trustworthy professional advice, as insulation can be complicated in older buildings, and it is possible to cause unintended consequences
- the high cost of retrofit and the lack of grants or financial support
- lack of trained energy consultants and installers
- planning constraints
On developing renewables, the main barriers are:
- national park planning legislation that prohibits large-scale renewables
- inability to supply electricity directly and obligation to supply surplus electricity to the grid
- inadequate grid infrastructure
- out-of-date energy market structure.
The Energy Group brings together people to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel to heat and power our homes. Our strategy is to on work on various fronts:
- raising awareness and providing exemplars of good practice
- encouraging improvements in home energy efficiency
- campaign for the provision of support and advice via ‘one-stop shops’
- promoting local renewable power generation
- lobbying policymakers and grid companies.
Above all we want to help create networks of mutual advice, planning and support. We don’t want to direct or control. We want to work collaboratively with groups of residents and business and to network with other groups doing similar work in the Peak.
OUR FOCUS IN 2023
- Eco Homes in Hope Valley – two days open homes visits in which people describe how they made their homes more energy efficient, how they changed to green energy, and what they recommend, and what pitfalls to avoid
- One-stop Shops – lobbying Derbyshire Dales, High Peak and Derbyshire County Council to establish local energy advice centres that can provide energy assessment and advice, including whole house plans, recommend consultants and installers and provide advice about grants
- Regenerative Villages – working with village groups, beginning with Abney and Edale, to improve energy efficiency of homes, switch to low-carbon heating and install renewable infrastructure to make villages self-sufficient in electricity
- Liaison with other similar community energy groups locally and nationally – liaising and sharing ideas with High Peak Green Network, Derbyshire Climate Coalition, Derbyshire Dales Community Energy, Sustainable Hayfield, Tideswell Environmental, Moorlands Climate Action, Acclimatise Whaley and many other groups
- Supporting local renewables community-benefit organisations and projects
- Thermal imaging service – home surveys using our thermal imaging camera to identify cold spots in your home’s insulation.
We are beginning to think how we might address the following:
- identify reliable local energy consultants and installers
- promote local training schemes to combat the retrofit skills shortage
- advocate nationally for a widespread retrofit government funded programme
- work national park authorities to define criteria for approval of renewable energy infrastructure
- lobby government and the Corporate Forum for National Parks for changes to planning policy
- lobby government to reinforce the grid and work internationally to reform the energy market.