Share offer closes 2 days early, raising over £335,000! We are delighted to report that on 23rd September 2016 our second community share offer reached its target raise of more than £335,000, in the end closing two days early due to oversubscription. All the PV systems which were planned to be purchased with the money have been installed, commissioned and registered for the Feed-in Tariff (FiT) and all this achieved before the FiT rate dropped on 30 September. The PV systems have been installed on seven properties belonging to the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust (including Stafford and Royal Stoke hospitals), and on St Giles Hospice, Whittington, the latter being in addition to those already owned by SSCE there. The primary reason for the installations, after saving CO2 emissions, is to enable the establishment of a scheme, with the surplus, to help those in the area affected by health conditions related to fuel poverty. Consultants in A&E will identify those people who continually present there with such health conditions and will request the patients' permission to refer them to fuel poverty charity, Beat The Cold, who will then help the patient address as many factors as possible that are contributing to their inability to maintain a warm, dry home. While the first year's FiTs are building up, we are delighted to say that this community work will be launched with the £10,000 proceeds resulting from the scheme's winning first prize in NEA's Energy Impact Awards 2016. We are overjoyed at getting to where we are, and are catching our breath for a while, but nevertheless we will post updates on the progress of the community work here when we have them, so do come back and see how we are getting on.  
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Best Energy Efficient Community Project Award, Nov 2013

SSCE were honoured to receive the award for Best Energy Efficient Community Project at the Birmingham Energy Savers Community Awards ceremony in late November. Project Manager for SSCE, Kate Sadler, said: “We were absolutely thrilled and honoured to get this award. We feel we’ve achieved a huge amount since we started out just over two years ago and it was great to have this recognised in the leading regional environmental awards ceremony. Community energy is a concept whose time has come and SSCE is leading the way in this part of Staffordshire with several exciting new initiatives in the pipeline.”  
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Co-operatives West Midlands – The Motion Picture

We have a star amongst us (though we always knew she was!).  SSCE director Kate Sadler was featured, along with the owners (the Hales) of one of the homes which had the SWI, in a video made by Co-operatives West Midlands, and launched at their AGM. A celebration of local co-operatives, it features Kate and co. at around the 7min 50secs mark, though it's all worth watching – and Christine Hale appears right at the end having the final say. Watch the video here
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Insulation for Solid Walls

Many homes in this area are of solid wall construction. Solid wall homes are often poorly insulated and lose a high proportion of their heat through the walls. There is now an increased focus on insulating solid walls, and the Government’s Green Deal scheme and ECO subsidy are designed to encourage this practice, alongside other energy efficiency measures. To help residents of Lichfield to understand more about it, Southern Staffordshire Community Energy and the Energy Saving Co-op were asked by Lichfield District Council to commission a video showing how solid wall insulation works and how to identify a solid wall property. The video was funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change through its Green Deal Pioneer Places project and produced by Armoris Video. The partnership also delivered 4 solid wall show homes across Lichfield: several of these are featured in the video. If you live in a solid wall property and would like to further help on insulating it please contact Kate Sadler on 07565 963282. We may also be able to arrange for you to visit a solid wall property that has already had external or internal insulation installed.
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Ecohomes Open Day – Sunday 19th May

The date is set for ten ‘Eco’ homes across Lichfield District to open their doors to visitors interested in seeing how homes can be transformed to make them more energy efficient. Nine of the homes will be open for viewing from on 2.00 -5.00 pm, and one from 12.00- 2.00pm. The homes demonstrate a wide variety of measures -from heat pumps to wood-fired boilers, PV to organic gardens, water recycling to LED lighting and featuring several properties with either external or internal wall insulation. It's a great opportunity to learn about Green Deal and the new ECO subsidy too. A free minibus tour visiting 6 of the homes will leave the Car Park of Lichfield District Council, Frog Lane at 1.45pm returning around 5.15pm. To book a place please contact Andrea via andrea@simpson00.wanadoo.co.uk  or on 01543 256808
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SSCE Training Days

The second of our training sessions will run on Wednesday 24th April and cover  Renewable Energy.   It will be held at Curborough Community Centre, Lichfield and led by Richard Davies MBE, the director of the local sustainable energy charity Marches Energy Agency. The session will focus on the smaller scale technologies suitable for homes, community buildings and neighbourhoods and will give you the basics of what you need to know to be able to act be a first point of contact within your community and local networks. Looking at heat pumps, solar photovoltaics, solar water heating, wood fuelled heating and small wind turbines the training will equip you with the basics and help you decide which technologies suit which situations. In addition to giving you the technology basics the training will help you navigate the financial support mechanisms that are available including the Feed in Tariff and Renewable Heat Incentive. Contact Kate Sadler via katesadler@talktalk.net or 07565 963282 if you would like to book on. The first training session on the Green Deal and ECO, held on 27th March, was very useful and it is hoped that attendees will be able to pass on their knowledge to others in the community, and encourage uptake of Green Deal to help create more sustainable homes in the locality.  
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Energy Makeover Competition Winners Announced

Four homes in Lichfield District are set to benefit from super energy makeovers courtesy of the 'Green Deal Pioneers' competition which was launched in January. The four were selected from the range of entrants following a rigorous assessment by a panel drawn from Southern Staffordshire Community Energy, the Energy Saving Co-operative and Lichfield District Council.  Three of the homes, which all have solid walls, will benefit from installation of external wall insulation, and one from internal insulation, in both cases aiming to create cosier more comfortable homes - and save the occupants money. The competition was planned as a curtain-raiser for the Government's new Green Deal scheme and for the ECO subsidy which will help households to install energy-saving measures. The homes are intended to act as demonstration examples which the organisers hope will inspire others to follow suit. Funding is being provided by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) following a successful bid led by Lichfield District Council. A variety of house types and areas are represented: a detached house in Burntwood, a semi and also a terraced property in Lichfield City and a Victorian terraced home in Whittington Conservation area. The Whittington property will benefit from an internal traditional lime and hemp internal rendering which is breathable, natural, of high insulation value and also absorbs carbon dioxide. Solid wall homes make up a significant proportion of Lichfield District's housing stock, mostly built before 1930. They are generally regarded as harder to insulate and more wasteful of energy than more modern homes. The four properties - and a number of others - will open their doors to visitors on Sunday 19th May. This will give other residents an opportunity to see what has been done and to find out more about the Green Deal and how to improve their own homes. For further information on the open days contact Kate Sadler of SSCE on 07565 963282 or via katesadler@talktalk.net A video showing the process of installing solid wall insulation in the competition winners homes is also being made as part of the 'Green Deal Pioneers' project and when completed will be available to view online. Mrs June Thorne, one of the lucky home-owners said “I am really thrilled to be a winner of the competition. As a pensioner living on  fixed income I do everything I can to keep my heating bills down – but it isn’t easy in an older property so I am looking forward to having my walls insulated and  a cosier home.” The four lucky winners were: Mr and Mrs Tennant, Gilbert Road, Lichfield Mrs Thorne, Church St, Whittington Mr and Mrs Hale, Trent Valley Road, Lichfield Mr and Mrs Poole, Chase Road, Burntwood
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Help your community to take steps to gain control over their energy use, including making sure homes are fully insulated and use energy efficient items

Lichfield District Council is currently running a project to help communities in the district to save energy and money. Initially there are four target communities – Chase Terrace, Longdon, Mavesyn Ridware and Clifton Campville but these may be widened if there is interest from other areas. As a partner organisation in the project, Southern Staffordshire Community Energy (SSCE), has organised a training session for potential volunteers to learn about energy issues they may come across in their communities, how to help people reduce their energy bills and find support from appropriate agencies where necessary. A Staffordshire based charity called Beat the Cold will deliver the training on Wednesday 9th January at Curborough Community Centre, Reynolds Close, Lichfield, WS13 7NY, and SSCE will also outline the project. The event will start at 10am and will last about 2.5 hours. The training is being provided free of charge.
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SSCE run introductory training course

Individuals interested in helping others save energy and money enjoyed a morning learning how thermal imaging can be used to identify heat escaping from buildings.
Getting to grips with the thermal imaging camera

Getting to grips with the thermal imaging camera

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Low carbon groups meet the Secretary for State, Ed Davey.

Robin Tasker (left) and Kate Sadler (centre) meet Ed Davey, Secretary of State.
Low carbon groups met Ed Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change at an event in Birmingham on 6th May. Kate Sadler and Robin Tasker represented Southern Staffordshire Community Energy, Whittington and Fisherwick Environment Group (WFEG) and Low Carbon Lichfield (LoCaL).
A discussion of projects completed by SSCE, WFEG and LoCaL and a chance to raise our concerns with the Green Deal process.
The event was set up so that the Secretary for State and the Cabinet Member for Health and Well-Being, Steve Bedser, could meet with social enterprises and community groups to discuss how such groups can support the roll out of the Green Deal and play an active role in tackling fuel poverty and the ill-health associated with cold homes. The Green Deal is the Coalition Government's initiative to support the implementation of energy efficiency measures to households and businesses without the need for upfront costs and is due to be introduced later this year. SSCE, together with WFEG and LoCaL, is committed to helping our communities receive high quality energy efficiency services that result in significant economic and carbon savings. The groups are keen to see that the Green Deal infrastructure will leave opportunities for smaller local businesses to get involved. SSCE highlighted the need for Green Deal property assessments to be carried out by independent assessors and that the work carried out under the scheme is tailored to individual households.
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Two PV systems up and generating and share issue imminent!

With a 18kW system installed at St. Giles Hospice and and an 8kW system installed at the Whittington Village Hall, the share issue to raise the capital for these schemes opens on the 18th January. The share prospectus will be available from our website.
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PV installations imminent!

A 18 kW PV system is to be installed on the roof of St. Giles Hospice, Whittington and a 8 kW PV system is to be installed on the roof of Whittington Village Hall ahead of the government proposed cut off date for the reduction in 'Feed in Tariff'.
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Planning permission granted for PV projects

Planning permission has been granted for a 50kW and a 10kW PV schemes on two community buildings in Whittington. Another step completed!
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Installer selected for our PV projects!

Following a rigorous tendering process, the board of SSCE decided that EOS energy from Warwickshire are the most suitable company to carry out the PV installation for the two projects in the pipeline. The share offer to raise the money for the installations will begin in early November.
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Whittington Country & Craft Fair

Venue: Bit End Field, Fisherwick Road, Whittington. A celebration of the countryside for all the family. Falconry, sheepdogs, heavy horses, ferret racing, dog agility, craft stalls, funfair, classic vehicles, licensed bar, food and much more. Find out more about SSCE at the Whittington and Fisherwick Environmental Group stall. Dates & Times: Saturday 3rd September 2011  10:00am - 4:30pm
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Find out more about investing in SSCE!

Come along to the Low Carbon Lichfield (LOCAL) stall at the farmers market on Thursday 1st August to find out more about investing in SSCE.
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