Go Green launches in Bath
On the 9th March, delegates gathered in the intimate and stunning Bath Abbey for the Go Green Bath Launch.
Go Green, which is run and managed by Low Carbon South West and the West of England Initiative, has gone from strength to strength following its launch in Bristol last February and the success of the programme doesn’t show any sign of stopping with the latest expansion to Bath.
The programme so far has engaged over 1300 businesses and over 1800 delegates have attended events. That’s a lot of sustainable business knowledge shared!
For the launch at Bath Abbey, attendees not only heard the fascinating story of the Bath Abbey Footprint project, but also learnt about low carbon climate policy and some energy efficiency tips, all whilst experiencing the ancient Abbey surroundings.
First Go Green members heard from Charles Curnock about the ambitious plans of the Footprint project to reduce energy and future proof the Abbey.
There are over 8,500 people buried under the Abbey floor! This has created voids as the graves decay and soon, without improvements, the floor would collapse!
The Footprint project includes stabilizing the ground beneath the Abbey floor and tapping into Bath’s greatest natural heating resource – the energy from the ancient hot springs. An incredible one million litres a day flows into the River Avon from the ancient hot springs at around 45C – providing huge potential for heating!
Charles also spoke about huge energy efficiency improvements as the chandelier lighting has been replaced by LED lights whilst keeping the original grand design features.
Bath Abbey also have ambitious plans to make the most of their large roof space and install Solar PV to fuel the heat pumps. There are also exciting plans to turn the abbey into a hub for learning, activities and projects. Watch the short video clip below to find out more!
Chloe Bines – Eunomia
Chloe gave us a low down on the journey of our low carbon climate policy. COP21 was hailed as an important turning point coupled with the UK’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gases by 20% by 2020. Then Chloe took us through the good, the bad and the ugly! Despite these significant and positive turning points, there have been some ‘ugly’ developments in the renewable policy landscape…
- Subsidies for large wind & solar have been scrapped
- The Zero Carbon Homes scheme has been scrapped
- The Green Deal Finance has also been scrapped
- Substantial reductions to the FIT subsidies
- £40 million reduction in energy efficiency budget
- Minister’s reset speech focused on new gas
However, there are some positive developments for renewable energy and efficiency…
- Business energy tax reforms are coming
- RHI will continue to 2021 and there has been a big growth in the supply chain, making it a competitive market with good value for money – Renewable Heat technologies can work very well with underfloor heating
- A greater role for Demand Side Reduction (DSR) & storage
- LED light bulbs have a short pay back period and are a simple solution
- Renewables still make financial sense even though subsidies have been cut!
Chloe said that it’s still hard for SMEs to access funding and support for renewable technologies. However this is where Go Green can help by pooling resources, developing your Action Plan and linking to other organisations that can provide advice.
Richard Hellen – Hermes Energy Services
Lastly, we heard some invaluable hints and tips on energy management from sustainable energy expert, Richard Hellen, Director of Hermes Energy Services. Richard gave us a useful framework to assess our energy – Be Mean, Be Lean, Be Green!
- “Turning off” can have a huge impact like Oxford Instruments savings through their ‘Switch Off’ Campaign
- Turning off during lunch time and down time can also create savings
- Closing doors, blocking drafts and closing windows is another quick way to save energy
- LED lighting has a short pay back time and is worth doing!
- Replacing inefficient boilers can have a big impact
- Installing heat recovery systems is worth exploring
- Solar PV is still worth considering, despite the cuts in subsidies
- Small scale hydro is a sector that is growing
- Biomass boilers and heating systems can be relevant to SMEs
- Energy Modelling – Plot your monthly energy use so that you can create a baseline and begin to measure patterns, drivers and inefficiencies
- Benchmarking – how do you compare with your business sector?
- SMEs have the same opportunities as large organisations to monitor and manage their energy! Low Carbon South West can help here, in connecting to organisations in the low carbon sector that can help businesses achieve improvements in smart energy management.
Don’t miss the first Go Green Business Breakfast of 2016 at Bush House on Bristol’s harbourside as they demystify the subject of Sustainable IT – http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/go-green-business-breakfast-sustainable-it-tickets-21059375158?utm_source=eb_email&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=claim_tickets_1&utm_term=claim_tickets_listing_title