In 2015 the Community Fund awarded £19,940 to 7 projects.
Social Publishing Project
Summary- production and dissemination to low income households throughout B&NES of a special edition of the ‘Quids in’ magazine focusing on fuel poverty.Quids in publishing project - amount awarded: £4,159. Click for more info...
To produce a ‘Quids in! Special’ magazine for Bath on ways low income households can reduce the cost of running their home through minimising energy usage.
It will use the trusted Quids in! brand to influence habits and encourage savings, with clear ‘what’s in it for me?’ messages that compel the reader to take action. In its established house style, it combine a familiar-feeling tabloid approach with socially responsible content, keeping information simple, engaging and practical. Readers will save money and poverty will be alleviated home by home, while carbon emissions are reduced across B&NES.
Working with the local authority, the magazine will be distributed* to 10,000 lower income households in B&NES, targeting the wards identified as affected by child poverty and super output areas where residents are more affected by disadvantage. It will be supported by publication online and marketing to council officers, housing professionals and support agencies across the authority area.
Web content (on www.quidsinmagazine.com and www.accessgrantedbath.org) will provide further links to generic and local advice and support.New and existing partners will be involved in a unique opportunity to engage ‘hard to reach’ groups within local communities. Together it promote the principles of self-help and change beginning at home. Quids in! has a unique relationship of trust with readers and avoids talking down to them, despite promoting messages that their landlords, energy suppliers and the authorities try through conventional means, that are often treated with scepticism.
Overall the project will improve the standard of living for people in fuel poverty and other forms of hardship in the local area. We will also distribute the magazine to foodbanks, homelessness agencies and Children’s Centres to maximise its social impact.
Age UK Bath & North East Somerset.
Summary – working with volunteers to support older people throughout B&NES who are experiencing fuel povertyWinter Warmer Project - Amount awarded: £4,882. Click for more info...
The aim of the project is to
To reach, inform and support greater numbers of vulnerable older people, empowering them to stay warm through the winter. It is unacceptable in this day and age that people’s lives are still at the mercy of the cold weather and it is a shocking fact that the UK has one of the worst records in Europe for ‘excess’ winter deaths. We need to and can do more to prevent these tragic deaths.
In line with the Fund’s criteria, the project will:-
- Mitigate against fuel poverty and offer very clear community benefits
- Raise awareness in order to improve the conditions of those in fuel poverty
- Train and support volunteers to help run (and ultimately manage) the project.
In order to succeed with this project, we plan to:
- Make contact with all the local, independent groups for older people throughout the county and to offer to visit them to give a talk about staying warm in the winter – and about the risks if they do not (ie increasing likelihood of respiratory problems, increasing blood pressure and putting themselves at risk of heart attacks and strokes).
- Offer these groups information and advice about benefit entitlements (in order to increase uptake), insulation and local energy saving initiatives, the importance of checking energy tariffs and the importance of keeping active and eating well.
- Keep in touch with these groups to ensure that they are reminded of the actions that they can take and that they know they can contact us if and when they need further advice or support.
- Offer practical help – including helping people to make changes at home in order to keep warm.
- Contact pharmacies across the county, offering talks and sending information to empower them to deal with enquiries from older people about winter illnesses and the importance of staying warm (given that older people are now being actively encouraged by the local Clinical Commissioning Group to visit their local pharmacy for minor winter illnesses instead of going to their GP).
- Develop other partnerships in order to ensure wide and effective distribution of information materials about fuel poverty – for example, through Wiltshire Farm Foods who deliver meals to older people and through other charities supporting older people.
- Recruit, train and motivate volunteers, empowering them to work alongside staff to deliver all of the above activity – and ultimately, to assume most of the responsibility for project delivery.
Bathampton Community Cooperative (Dry Arch Growers)
Summary – installation of a solar powered pumping and watering system for three poly tunnelsSolar powered watering system - Amount awarded: £1000. Click for more info...
Dry Arch Growers is a community supported agricultural project on the edge of Bathampton Village. It is run mostly by volunteers. We sell local veg boxes to 24 suppliers throughout Bath. As the project is volunteer run, they may be working in the week and not able to water the plants.
We are applying for £1,000 to set up a solar powered automatic watering system. The majority of cost is for equipment to build this. The group anticipate a saving in their water bill and that the equipment should last a minimum of 5 years. They could also be a model example of how other gardening groups or professional growers could utilise such a watering system.
This project is based in Bathampton 1 mile from the BWCE hydro facility at Bathampton Mill
Bath Canoe Club
Summary – installation of Solar Air heating as part of a clubhouse renovationSolar powered heating system - Amount awarded: £4,100. Click for more info...
The clubhouse is based in a Victorian organ factory adjacent to the River Avon close to the centre of Bath. It is stone built with a pitched slate roof. The building is currently unheated. A major refurbishment is being planned both for the building and the grounds to make them more user friendly throughout the year.
The building comprises a basement, partially below ground level with an area of 119m2. It is used as a store for kayak equipment. The ground floor (119m2) contains further storage and three changing rooms including a disabled facility which are used all year despite not being heated. Hot water for the changing rooms is provided by electric showers. A partial first floor (46m2) is used as a meeting room / gym in the summer months only. The whole building is cold and damp even during the summer months unless the weather is exceptionally hot for a considerable period of time. The nature of kayaking means that a large proportion of the building contains wet kayaking gear.
It is intended to extend the first floor to cover the footprint of the building to provide meeting areas and a gym that can be used all year round.
To enable the first floor to be used year round the roof is to be insulated, secondary glazing and heating installed. Heating will also be installed in the changing rooms. It is also intended to improve ventilation to the storage areas which as well as helping to improve the atmosphere of the building will help maintain kayak equipment in better order.
One pitch of the roof has a largely unobstructed view of the sky and faces approximately south west. It is intended to maximise the use of this by installing solar energy capture of three types. Solar photovoltaics will be used to generate electricity to feed to the grid. This will offset the increase in electricity usage that will result from making the building more user friendly and the fact that it will be used more intensively year round. Solar water heating will be used to preheat the water supply to the changing rooms thus reducing the amount of electricity used by the showers and other washing facilities. Background heating and improved ventilation will be achieved by use of solar air heating.
It is the latter aspect of the development, solar air heating, for which support is being sought through this application. The warm air will be used to lift the background temperature of the first floor and the changing rooms. The heavy masonry of the building will serve as a thermal store. Internal insulation of the walls is not a practical option. When necessary, supplementary heating will be used to bring the various spaces up to an acceptable temperature. Used air will be exhausted through the storage areas of the building (basement and part of the ground floor), helping to improve the atmosphere in these areas.
Freshford and Limply Stoke Community Association
Summary – development of a calendar based energy efficient heating management system for Freshford Village Memorial HallDevelop an advanced heating control system - amount awarded: £2,500. Click for more info...
This project will develop a boiler controller which is optimised to minimise running costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions of community buildings throughout the country.
This application seeks funding of £2,500 for the development of a boiler controller for Freshford Village Memorial Hall.
This investment would provide a proof of concept and the basis for a product which could be further developed for many community buildings throughout the UK and potentially elsewhere, leading to significant reductions in running costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Through an energy survey of Freshford Village Memorial Hall we realised that the most effective recommendation would be to improve the control of the hall’s boiler which is currently managed by a very old 24 hour mechanical timer.
The hall has a multitude of uses which creates irregular usage patterns. The heating is set to run 7 days per week between 6.30am and 10.30pm but it is not occupied for much of this time – users manage these periods of no occupancy by turning the thermostatic controls down when leaving the building and turning them up on arrival. Not only is this onerous for the users, but if the users forget the boiler could, for example, be left on all weekend with no occupancy. The booking of the hall is managed by a booking secretary via a publically readable online google calendar.
We searched for a commercially available solution to this problem; something which integrated with an online calendar to cope with the irregular booking patterns of the hall and something with sophisticated control, including ‘optimum start’ which would automatically bring the hall up to temperature for the start of the occupancy period depending on internal and external temperatures.
Our research suggests that there are no controllers on the market which meet these requirements. It also occurred to us that this was a common requirement of most community buildings and something the market is not addressing. We therefore felt there was no alternative but to develop a bespoke boiler controller which meets our requirements and potentially those of many other community buildings.
We have already received expressions of interest from two other community buildings in the Bath area with similar requirements. It is expected the development will take place over the summer with installation and fine tuning from September 2015 at the start of the heating season.
The group believe there is a gap in the market between high volume domestic controllers which just focus on 7-day management of heating, with a single user, and much more expensive, and not cost effective commercial controllers. The ultimate objective is to provide an affordable, low-cost, flexible, easy to use product to reduce the running costs, energy consumption and carbon emissions of community buildings. A 17 page supporting project plan has been submitted.
Percy Community Centre
Summary – Installation of low energy lighting and occupancy sensors in the basement rooms of the Percy CentreLow energy lighting and censors - amount awarded: £1,799. Click for more info...
The project is to install low energy lighting and occupancy sensors in to the basement rooms of the Percy Centre. The project is to replace 19 twin 54w florescent lamps with energy saving 15w led strip lighting taking the lighting energy use in our basement rooms from 2052w p\h to 570w p/h.
We would also install occupancy sensors. The basement rooms are not connected internally to the main building and are therefore often left unattended with lights on when groups have finished. We anticipate that occupancy sensors could reduce room lighting from 7 hours a day to 4.
This would bring our basement rooms in to line with energy saving measures in place throughout the rest of the building.
Transition Bath (Energy Group)
Summary – further development and expansion of existing try-before-you-buy LED schemeLED lighting 'try before you buy' kits - amount awarded: £1,500. Click for more info...
Transition Bath currently allows residents of Bath to borrow its try-before-you-buy LED kit from Bath Central Library. The aim of the project is to encourage residents to replace their energy inefficient halogen down-lighters with LED replacements which use up to 10 times less electricity.
This funding application is to enhance this kit with an additional 4 down-lighter kits (GU10s and MR16s), plus a new kit with a wider variety of fittings. The application also includes funding for the production of a leaflet and marketing to continue to ensure the kit is well used.
The aim is to increase the volume of halogens being replaced in Bath. The kits have significant potential to make large energy savings, we estimate that if fully utilised 40 weeks of the year over the next 5 years, they have the potential to save up to 1,500,000 kWh of electricity or 400 tCO2, saving residents £170,0001 over and above the cost of purchasing the LEDs.
This is an innovative project, we believe the first such scheme in the UK and probably worldwide. The project enjoys the (non-financial) support of B&NES council and Bath Library Service.
The original kit was developed during 2014 and finally installed in Bath Central Library in December and contains 40 different GU10 and MR16 down-lighters, of differing beam angles and colour temperatures. Users can borrow the kit for 1 week, try the bulbs and purchase them online. It bypasses the barriers to purchasing LEDs; the difficulty in trying to determine whether they are compatible with existing dimmers and transformers. We tested over 80 bulbs before recommending these bulbs from 4 on-line suppliers, who provide them to us for the kit as samples, provide good support and 5 year guarantees.