RANSITION MONTPELIER – OUR COMMUNITY'S RESPONSE TO PEAK OIL AND CLIMATE CHANGE

The state of Montpelier’s energy

The main part of the LEAF grant that we won in February was to deliver a series of reports and analyses by the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) on the energy efficiency of Montpelier’s homes, and the potential for renewable energy.

84% of our homes are ‘hard to treat’ for energy efficiency, and could qualify for Energy Company Obligation (ECO) grant subsidies for solid wall insulation and gas condensing boilers as part of the proposed Green Deal. This is relevant for homeowners, but is particularly important for the 28% of homes here that are privately rented, as it has the potential to allow retrofitting work to occur with no upfront cost to the landlord, and give cheaper bills and warmer homes for the tenants. It is not yet clear how ECO grants will function in the LA/housing association sector, but we aim to work closely with this sector as 44% of Montpelier homes are social housing of some form. The main reports are over 300 pages long, and due to the nature of some of the analyses, can’t be hosted on a public server – they contain information on which properties would be best to target for solid wall insulation and solar PV panels, and could be used by unscrupulous salespeople to target vulnerable homes. We are happy to share these with interested residents; please email if you would like to see more.

The CSE reports and analyses give us the first step for securing substantial grants for community work to tackle wide-scale change to the housing stock here. If you’d like to get involved in the next phase of our work, we are holding an Open Meeting on 10 May in the basement of Cafe Kino at 7.30pm. We really need someone to step forward and help us put a ‘community energy plan’ together. It’s not half as hard as it sounds, and our friends at The Converging World have workshops and experience, and kits and support all set up ready to go. Our volunteer who was doing it had to stop, so the space has become open. We are seeking local residents who are able to get involved with organising activities, and helping out on the day.