Zoom talk by Tomas Larsson, Director at Better Planet UK Ltd
If you missed the meeting and would like to watch a recording of Tomas’s talk, please ask for the link
The meeting featured a talk by Tomas Larsson, Director at Better Planet UK Ltd, a supplier and installer of renewable alternatives for heating and electricity:
“Installing heat pumps, solar panels and batteries etc in older houses – the things to consider…”
At the start of the meeting Giles Barwell (Chair of Sustainable Harwell) reported:
I thought it would be useful to talk about the things we’ve been doing at a group level and then those that have been involved with specific projects have kindly offered to provide an update of activity in their areas.
At the group level several initiatives have been going on recently. Some of these have been guided by our existing projects but also by the discussions which took place at the last AGM meeting where the group decided that we should provide information on two important themes – namely ways we could reduce the carbon impact of the existing houses and other buildings in Harwell and secondly what actions could be taken to help Harwell become a net zero carbon society.
Following that meeting and as part of this the group, officers met with the Parish Council to propose that the Council declare a Climate Emergency. As a result of that we are pleased to say that recently the Council has now agreed and has joined many other organisations in declaring a Climate Emergency while incorporating the declaration into the council’s sustainability statement.
In addition to raising awareness of the climate crisis, part of the discussion we had with the council was having declared an emergency, what practical actions could be taken? In thinking about this we fed in some ideas and additionally offered to provide future support and assistance to the Parish about what initiatives could be rolled out at the Parish level. We are currently thinking about some other early-stage ideas and if they look to be sensible, we may propose them to the council. If anyone would like to be involved with this do let us know.
It has also recently been pointed out that the parish council has a vacancy for another councillor so if you would like to volunteer for this role please do contact them.
A number of us from Sustainable Harwell will be joining other local sustainability groups from Upton, Wantage etc in an online webinar which is designed to help groups think about how their local actions will have the best impact in addressing climate change. This En-Roads webinar will take place at 7:30 Thursday 17th December. There are still places available so if anyone would like to attend please let us know
We also recently polled the group on whether we should join other sustainability groups in the area and show our support for the Climate and Ecological Emergency Bill, a private members Bill to be taken to Parliament. The results from our poll showed that there was strong support within the Group to do this and consequently the officers felt that it was right decision to go ahead. A joint letter from the various groups was then sent to our MP asking him to consider and support the bill. A webinar with more information about the bill is being held on-line on the 11th which I am planning to attend.
In the summer we sent out a Survey to gauge people’s attitudes on the energy efficiency of new homes being built in the area. Nearly 100 people responded and the results showed overwhelming support that new homes should be built to a very high level of energy efficiency and have solar panel built into the roof space where possible and do it now rather than having to do more expensive retro-fitting in the future.
We sent the survey conclusions out to various organisations and are aiming to follow this up. The findings are also helping to steer out activities with respect to new homes being build in the future. This is clearly an important issue with Valley Park coming.
Since then quite a lot has been happening with Government commitment to rolling out heat pumps etc but there is still no sign of the Future Homes consultation which we spent time and effort responding to in the early part of the year.