07 Apr 2011 03:04:22
Barnet wins energy competition
LONDON, 7 April 2011—A new, community initiative in the London Borough of Barnet has won a £4,000 prize after coming top in a competition to find ideas to accelerate the creation of a sustainable energy system.
Gatecrashing the UK Energy Sector was an open source innovation competition run by Forum for the Future. It attracted more than 70 ideas with the best being invited to pitch for a prize donated by the Tellus Mater Foundation.
Energise Barnet will help local homeowners and businesses generate their own energy and improve insulation in a drive to reduce energy bills, improve property value, lower carbon emissions and protect the environment.
It will advise members on how they can benefit from Government Feed-in tariffs, the Renewable Heat Incentive, smart metering and the forthcoming Green Deal. It will also establish buying groups so members can secure discounts on the installation of solar energy systems, solid wall insulation and other high cost energy efficiency measures. The bigger the buying groups, the bigger the savings and the bigger the reduction in carbon emissions.
Supporters of the initiative's aims include Barnet Council, local MPs, CommUNITYBarnet, Barnet College, Middlesex University, Energy Savings Trust, Friends of the Earth, the Micropower Council, National Insulation Association and the Prince's Mayday Network.
Nigel Farren, founder and Barnet resident, said "As a new, community initiative we will rely on the kind support of others to help us carry out our work. The prize is therefore of immense help as it will enable us to get up and running".
He continued, "most of the 140,000 homes and buildings in Barnet are old and un-insulated and hardly any of the owners generate their own energy. As a result, they spend more on gas and electricity than they need do and Barnet has the 4th highest carbon emissions of any London borough. Added to this, most people are unaware of the benefits of insulation and generating their own energy or how to go about finding installers they can trust".
He concluded, "Something needs to be done about this, so we will be asking sports clubs, resident associations, churches, schools and businesses etc to promote the initiative and if the whole community pulls together on this, it can transform Barnet into one of the greenest London boroughs. And, if successful, we will seek to replicate the initiative in other areas like Energise Enfield, Energise St Albans and Energise Watford".
Peter Madden, CEO, Forum for the Future said: "If we are to overcome the dual challenges of climate change and energy security we urgently need to experiment with different ways of generating, distributing, storing and using energy. We hope that the prize money will help kick-start the Energise Barnet project and engage communities both there and around the country in new energy projects."
The Rt. Hon.Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet and Transport Minister said: "Climate change, alongside a diminishing supply of fossil fuels, means that it is ever more important that we look for ways to save energy in our homes and businesses. We all have a part to play in reducing carbon emissions and this scheme is great for providing practical advice and guidance on the changes people can make to their own homes in order to save energy."
Ruth Mulandi, CEO of CommUNITY Barnet said: "Supporting new community initiatives in the borough is extremely exhilarating for us. In particular, well thought social enterprises which seek to help families save money on their energy bills and raise awareness of the environmental challenges facing this and future generations".
For further information please contact Nigel Farren, the founder of Energise Barnet, by sending an enquiry.